Sunday, November 22, 2015

Fear of Fog

This blurb is for a new book getting some press from Oxford University Press:

Few deny the sheer significance of religious belief to human society, a topic of study that has provided much insight into how we lived previously, how we live today, and how we will live in the future. However, for what purpose, exactly, did religion originate? Is religious belief just an accidental outcome of human civilization? Or does it affect people’s behavior in a way that is evolutionarily advantageous? We spoke with Dominic Johnson, author of God is Watching You: How the Fear of God Makes Us Human, who suggests science and religion, two spheres thought to be in perpetual conflict, actually evolved together for mutual human benefit.....

There must be something original in the review, the book, though maybe not much. I have no intention of pursuing the book. And this is because it seems so to conform with contemporary binary thought.

But typing in a caption for my post, I typed in "Fear of Fog". I meant to spell "Fear of God".  By some quirky QWERTY typo, I hit on an answer, to modern dyspepsia. What the Greeks call metataxis, the "in between", is what is unbearable to binary thought. This logical possibility  gave us all civilized convenience and comfort. This is what Jan Cox meant when he pointed to the fact binary thought allows people to chop up the external world and rearrange it.  Rearrange and invent air conditioning, and the like.

Why the binary mind cannot abide the reality of metaxis, that in between where perhaps most of reality is, is not clear. Perhaps binary thought would not work, or so well, if you point to all it cannot cover, that which cannot be neatly divided into two. Perhaps other forces, currents are behind the apparent incompatibility. How binary thinking got this imperial thirst suggests larger issues I probably don't imagine. 

Jan Cox did not use the word "metaxis" in my presence.  We are here, like in all of the posts in this blog,  exemplifying a method of his -- to think freshly, not what others have done cerebrallly.