5001  Claude Levi-Strauss hated the concept of sacrifice, so says Calasso here.  I have worked with that concept, or that act, for a long time and I continue to have a problem with it, but I am drawn to it.  At the center of it is the idea of a god, and that, for sure, is anathema to most modern thinkers.  Though not to me.

 

In my philosophy, the killing occurs when an ordinary thing of the world is transformed into an eternal form.  Surely that is questionable and, indeed, wildly rejected all around.  Though not by me.  Feminists especially hate it, but I am certainly not going to speak for them; I never have.  That is metaphysics; the enemy of the world; or so it is said time and time again.  Perhaps it is.  But what of the killing?  And why is it so abhorrent to our beloved science.  Along with Calasso, I think it is because it takes the clean distinctions that have been laid out (and I love them as much an anyone) and, in the moment of killing, obliterates that peace giving division.  Jesus is God and man, a somewhat easy concept, but at the moment he is done in, the mind whirls about and the eternal vertigo of thought/unthought begins.

 

The discontinuous elements, per impossible, become continuous.  Just as in music (and philosophy is music) the unbreakable elements of sound and time coalesce into one continuous flow.  They grow together into being that ancient thing,    and the musician must submit to that.  If he loses courage and stops, all is lost.  Things repeat, they always and forever repeat, and the smooth line must hold.  That is the anxiety of writing and, most surely, of philosophy.  The boy dies in the process of his approaching the god.  There’s nothing more to say.

 

 

 

5002  A Theory of Truth is different from Criteria for determining Truth.  As I see it, the true theory of truth is the correspondence theory.  The words of the sentence, which express a thought, must match reality.  It is that matching that is the essence of truth.  The problem for us, however, is that it is so difficult to see if that matching takes place.  We are misled so often.  Therefore, the criteria for truth are, not correspondence, but coherences.  We have to look and see if our ideas all hang together.  There is a problem with that, though.  Determining coherence is a BIG problem, just ask any computer programmer.  Also we apparently can never have a system of thought that is both complete and consistent, a la Gödel—but I don’t know if that matches reality(?) or not.  To jump to good ol’ commonsense, it seems to me, is a stretch.  Didn’t Descartes have something to say about each of us thinking we have just the right amount of that wonderful thing?  And isn’t commonsense perilously tied to public opinion, a monster if there ever was one?  It suspect we will just have to muddle through.  But maybe there is a magic point where we know and we know that we know.  It strikes me as true that there is.  That is an absolutism that seems true to me—or what?  We could argue the point, if you want.

 

 

 

5003  Here we have two (maybe not so) eminent physicists who are arguing about the true formula for momentum.   Is it p=mv  or is it p=mv?  And we have a third (somewhat pedantic, maybe somewhat cracked) philosophical guy over against the wall waving his hands yelling that there really is no such thing as momentum.

 

We all know what momentum is these days; it is a part of our common understanding of what all physical things have (assuming they have mass and velocity—making, of course, the further assumption that mass and velocity really exist).  No one today looks for evidence for the existence of either momentum or mass.  Or velocity, for that matter.  We are in a situation analogous to the theological theologians of the Middle Ages who simply assumed the existence of demons and angels and the incarnation.        

 

It is true that physics has many weird entities in its menagerie.  Most of them we never question or wonder at simply because we have become so used to them.  Among them, in addition to momentum, are energy, work, cause, information, elementary particles, charge, spin and on and on.  Not to mention space and time themselves.  All those are real things.  I want to emphasize that these are real existing entities—for physics.  Should we really believe in them?  Should we argue about the truth of this or that formula concerning them?  Yes, they are very useful in our predicting what will happen next, but is that usefulness not itself a (non-existent) fiction?  Oh my, what to do?  Should we simply tell that pedantic guy over against the wall to leave?  He could, after all, go to a philosophy class where he might find a friendly reception, assuming one philosopher is ever really friendly to another and not just dissimulating.  It’s a mean business.   Philosophy is great theater, it seems to me.  And maybe little else, transcendentally speaking, or course.  Do you have a problem with that?

 

Demons and angels and the Incarnation are  no less real than momentum, information and the cause and effect nexus.

 

 

 

5004  I have written up here a philosophy I have labeled Platonism and I have laid it out is a style that many have said is almost unreadable (but then what do they know).  I want to defend that style.  First, though, let me somewhat characterize that fabulous intellectual vision we, maybe erringly, attribute to the friend of Socrates.  It is the opposite, almost by definition, of nominalism, which means no more than that it doesn’t recognize the Forms or Universals, the pre-eminent Platonic existent.  Nominalism has only individual things.  Platonism has individuals, but also the universals that are somehow tied to them.  Platonism is a vision of a doubling.  That bed is tied to the Form of Bed.  So it is that doubling, that repetition, that is the heart and soul of Platonism.  Now then, whether or not such a vision is true to reality, the question in my defense concerns whether or not my writing evinces that doubling, that coming again. And again.  (“Evince” is “from out of victory” which makes me smile.)

 

Anaphora, epiphora, cataphora are great Greek words, which mean something like to carry back, on and down or whatever.  In grammar they refer to a word or phrase or whole clause looking somewhere else for its tie-up and meaning.  It is that tying up that holds the Platonic essence in my writing.  I double and repeat and return ever and anon just for the hell of it.  I think there is a certain musical beauty in that, even if it does drive my readers crazy.  The one thing before you self-divides, doubles, comes apart, returns to itself and runs off to god-knows-what-other thought that comes to me.  A thing has a hard time hanging on to what it is, much less its self-identity.  Lovers understand, the boring never will .

 

 

 

5005  Realism vs. Nominalism.  I will concede from the first that nominalism is the philosophy that most describes our everyday view of the world.  Therefore, there must be some other aspect of realism that draws me to it as the truth.  That thing is logic.  Aside from the fact that I fell madly in love with algebra and geometry when I was in high school, and my erotic self was in full blossom, I do have arguments on my side. 

 

Early in the twentieth century Principia Mathematica appeared on the scene.  It was a grand attempt to derive mathematics out of the most basic forms of logic.  It was mostly successful, though nothing is ever really completely successful, but it had at its core something that many objected to—the structures of Types.  It was a logic of particulars and universals and universals over universals on and on upward into a disappearing transcendence.  Cantor’s transfinite numbers had found a home and the famous paradoxes were overcome—but at the price of having those Types.  Others tried desperately to rewrite that logic but without any of that Platonic stuff.

 

They failed and said as much.  Quine et al. after years of trying finally conceded that a logic of only individuals and no universals or classes was impossible.  The question then was What is the relation of logic, which is necessarily Individual-Universal or Subject-Predicate, to the world?  Is the world also an S-P thing?  If logic is always Subject-Predicate is the world also that?  If S-P is the form of logic, does the world even so have logical form?  I, in my love of mathematics, a form of logic, answered, Yes.  The world has logical form.  That form is not just a projection of the mind as the idealists insist.  I insist that we live in a Subject-Predicate, Individual-Universal world.  That division does not collapse into the subject or the individual by means of devaluing the predicate or the universal as merely an abstraction or a name.  Such is the final dualism of Being.  Our everyday view is finally formless and destitute.  But strange things inevitably follow.  Тο δεινος.

 

 

 

5006  I am here, of course, writing a philosophy of Transcendence, not of Immanence as is so popular today.  I follow neither Spinoza nor Deleuze.  I am prompted by Another.  It’s a lovely fight.

 

For me, philosophy is not of me.  It has an object other than my own bringing myself into being.  Philosophy, for me, is not the biography of the philosopher as he struggles to bring himself to fruition.  I am taken by something other than myself-being-myself.  Philosophy itself is a thing.  It is a god.  It is not here.

 

Philosophy is not a system of his own building in which the philosopher imprisons himself.  I am not out to know him as a thinker when I read his words.  I am not there to feel the anxiety, the frustration, the fatigue, he must have felt.  I am looking for that Other One.  I am looking to catch a glimpse, one more time, of that Beloved thing.  I am looking for something other than the philosopher who wrote down those words.  It’s an easy thought, but dismissed by almost all today.

 

Because I have transcendent things in my writing, I simply name them and that will suffice for the reader to lift his mind away from me and my words.  I have no need for great folding/unfolding planes of infinite ingoing transversals.  That One is right there and is simply named and known.  The syntax and the diction are gentle.  The rhythms are perfect.  Time stops.

 

 

 

5007  For a philosopher, like me, to gnaw on the transcendent is so faggoty.  If you look at the boy blogs you will see the shadow of what is causing so many to momentarily collapse into confusion, time and again and again.  The presence of the Ideal.  Their god is present.  It’s an old story and, I suppose, a very human one, for a certain type of human, the bewitched lover.  I am one.  I most certainly have not been alone.  Transcendence.  Always the one thing.  Ever the same.  Is it any wonder it is so reviled?

 

CHAPTER XIV from The Little Flowers of St. Francis

 

How while St. Francis and his friars spake of God, He appeared in the midst of them

 

IN the beginning of the Religion, what time St. Francis and his companions were gathered together to speak of Christ, he, in fervour of spirit, commanded one of them that, in the name of God, he should open his mouth and speak of God that which the Holy Ghost inspired him. Now, while the friar was fulfilling that commandment and was discoursing marvellously of God, St. Francis imposed silence upon him and bade another friar speak in like manner. He yielding obedience and discoursing subtly of God, St. Francis, in like manner, imposed silence upon him, and commanded a third to speak of God, who, in his turn, began to speak so profoundly of the secret things of God that, of a verity, St. Francis knew that he, like the other two, spake through inspiration of the Holy Ghost; and this also was shown by example and by a clear sign; in that, while they were thus speaking, Christ the blessed appeared in the midst of them in the likeness and form of a youth, exceeding beautiful, and blessing them, fulfilled them all with so much grace and sweetness, that they were all rapt away out of themselves and lay like dead men, wholly insensible to the things of this world. And thereafter, when they had come to themselves, St. Francis said unto them: "My dearest brethren, let us thank God, who hath willed to reveal the treasures of Divine wisdom through the mouths of the simple; for it is God who openeth the mouth of the dumb and maketh the tongues of the simple to talk very wisely".

 

 

 

5008  One distinctive feature of the modern world is that intellectual and artistic endeavors always seem to take place in groups dedicated to just that.  All the great movements in twentieth century art are the work of a few very consciously working together—in a city—on their new “project”.  Manifestos, colloquia, symposia, cliques, clubs, openings, publishing contracts, critical reviews, exhibitions, marketing, marketing, marketing.  And philosophy has been exactly the same.  Can you imagine Leibniz or Anselm being a part of that?  Can you imagine any of the modern avant-garde being without it?  Or the patronage that comes with recognition by the monied class?  Marketing, marketing, marketing.  Where is the lone individual that has come to us from the past?

 

 

 

5009  “The Arch-fossil” comprises the key phonemes that will let you into today’s new philosophy.  The adventure then is to get back to the time before human time, before humans came on the scene and imposed their own mental forms on the primary things.  It is a concern of all those who have come out of Idealism and are now trying to reach through to some sort of realism.  It seems that idealists have always been trying to do just that.  The basic idea of idealism is that the world we see with all its various forms and categories of things is the creation of the mind, the human mind.  For example, take a rock or a tree or a bird or even an electron; those properties of rockiness, treeness, birdness and electronness are surely, it is assumed by the idealists, merely human concepts posited out there by mind or society or our use of our ever-distorting language onto what is the pristine primary whatever-it-is or was.

 

To think and recognize a world we use propositional form.  X is F.  Is that propositional form really out there?  The idealists say, No.  I say, Yes.  I say that when we look at the world and recognize things as particulars having a certain form, such as rock and tree and bird and electron, then what is really out there is a rock, a tree, a bird and an electron with just those forms we see, forms which I have here merely named in my English sort of way.  (We must always remember that the word is not the form.) 

 

These new idealists are worried about getting beyond themselves back into the primitive thing.  That has been a romantic idea of the modern mind for a long time now.  I think it comes into the heads of young intellectuals who are afraid that their oh-so cerebral scholarliness is causing them to miss out on the sexual sweetmeats of life.  (But who am I, the most bookish, to speak of such a thing.) Back to the flesh!  Back to the future!  In that wordy sort of way.

 

There is no pure sensuality beyond the Forms.  No bare mathematical coordinate system that you can swing on in the glistening-with-cum Arch Jungle-Gym of Life. (OMG, I’ve become dithyrambic.  But it was fun.) All that has always been a sublime back-to-nature dream of the transcendental idealists, but it was unnecessary.  And not a little crazy.  The romantic materialism of our time.

  
The specter of the literary.

 

 

 

5010  John Milton’s Satan was kicked out of heaven and he fell for days and days and days through Cartesian extension down and down and down to where we are now in our material brokenness.  Extension.  Extension.  Extension.  Everywhere.

 

Here on the floor of Hell everything is a structure divided from itself in a spatial being outside itself.  All simplicity is gone; now only the complex falling into the complex. The internal falling never stops.  A final restlessness.

 

I have written ad nauseam about the simple Forms, the unextended.  Few believe that such a thing is here.  They truly are not here.  They are not at a place; they are not in space.  They just are—nowhere.

 

Water as a form is a simple thing, cool and clear to the fallen soul; as a system of hydrogen and oxygen molecules it is all spread out in extended structures.  The form and those structures are different.  They are certainly not identical in spite of we incessantly hear preached all about.  In this Hell at the bottom only the unsatisfying structures are real; the form is fading to nothing.  Water, here, is only its jittery molecular dance.  And so it is with all the Forms; they have given way to extension and an ever being outside themselves.  The Forms as simple things now, here, aren’t.  We walk about with Satan and the simplicity of heaven is gone.  Few doubt there ever was such an unlikely simple thing.  Now so many speak of objects, internally a furnace of infinite otherness.  Transversals crossing the … crossing nothing.

 

It seems to me that structure itself could be considered as unextended and simple, but, as it is spoken of today, it is an ordered class and a class is known only as its separate elements.  As separate elements without the classness of class to hold them, they are as nothing.  They are nothing.  Or they are extension extended ever away from itself.  Into dissipation.  The water spills out of the glass and no one can gather it up.

 

I do believe in extension, but I also believe in the simple Forms.  The world is real.

 

 

 

5011  “What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.”  That last sentence of the Tractatus has been quoted so very often, but rarely has it been understood.  I will try to explain it as I think it should be understood.  We will have to look earlier in the book to find its meaning.  He is talking about logical form, which I will talk about after you read these numbered lines from that august writing:

 

4.113 Philosophy sets limits to the much disputed sphere of natural science.


4.114 It must set limits to what can be thought; and, in doing so, to what cannot be thought.

It must set limits to what cannot be thought by working outwards through what can be thought.

 
4.115 It will signify what cannot be said, by presenting clearly what can be said.

 

4.116 Everything that can be thought at all can be thought clearly. Everything that can be put into words can be put clearly.

 
4.12 Propositions can represent the whole of reality, but they cannot represent what they must have in common with reality in order to be able to represent it—logical form.

In order to be able to represent logical form, we should have to be able to station ourselves with propositions somewhere outside logic, that is to say outside the world.


4.121 Propositions cannot represent logical form: it is mirrored in them.

 What finds its reflection in language, language cannot represent.

 What expresses itself in language, we cannot express by means of language.

 Propositions show the logical form of reality. They display it.

 
4.1211 Thus one proposition ‘fa’ shows that the object a occurs in its sense, two propositions ‘fa’ and ‘ga’ show that the same object is mentioned in both of them.

 If two propositions contradict one another, then their structure shows it; the same is true if one of them follows from the other. And so on.

 
4.1212 What can be shown, cannot be said.

 

7.  What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.

 

 

What makes a proposition be truly a proposition, and thus able to represent reality, is that it has logical form – he says.  Propositional form and logical form then are identical.  The world also has logical form, but then it is not called propositional form.  Propositions and the world share logical form.  But what is logical form? 

 

Imagine you are given a list of words.  Such a list does not constitute a proposition, obviously.  They must be arranged in proper order to be what we would call a real proposition.  That is the work of a writer, and indeed of anyone who uses sentences or propositions to think and communicate.  But what is that proper order.  Well, that is the trick.  We all know how hard it is to write and express ourselves.  Good sentences are hard to come by, but good sentences and bad sentences are both sentences and have proper sentential form.  We do know a proper sentence with proper propositional form when we hear one, but what is that form?  What makes a string of words be a sentence, a thought?  That is what Wittgenstein says cannot be spoken.  Sentencity, propositional form, logical form is unspeakable in itself; it can only show itself in a properly constructed sentence.  If you think otherwise, go ahead and try to define or lay out just what it is that properly makes a sentence a thinkable sentence.  Why is “The cow jumped over the moon” a proper sentence?  And “The-ed  moon the  or be-jump-cause if cow-ing”  not.   

 

6.13  Logic is not a body of doctrine, but a mirror-image of the world.  Logic is transcendental.

 

6.522  There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words.  They make themselves manifest.  They are what is mystical.

 

 

Wittgenstein is speaking always of logical form.  That is what cannot be spoken.

 

 

 

5012  Socrates seems to have had a problem admitting the forms of hair and dirt into the Realm of the Forms.  He probably felt that that place should be reserved only for grander things.  Indeed, all visions of God seem to exclude the mean and the mediocre.  But must it be so?

 

Malebranche has a captivating Mystical Vision of God in which he sees the human mind as looking out into the mind of God as it surveys the Cosmos.  All of created extension is somehow in the Immensity of God.  In the same manner, human intelligence moves and lives within Divine Reason.  These things are easy to contemplate and they are a joy to the philosophical mind.  The problem is what to do with all those things that we somehow feel aren’t worthy of being there in that August Place.  The purity of divine Being cannot properly be said to touch corrupted things.  What are we to do?  We can’t wall all that off forever in our moving about.  What is the relation of the cruel and the frustrating things to Divine Being?

 

It seems to me that the only answer is to admit those things into that holy realm.  But such a vision is hard to come by.  The ordinary is somehow outside philosophy and theology.  And to have a vision of the ordinary as extraordinary seems illogical.  Should we, in fact, hang on to our ordinariness, our humble existence, when we stand before God?  And, anyway, where can one go to be outside that presence?  Into lies and the fake?  Isn’t God there also in this new theology of the mean and the lowly also being among the Intelligible Forms?  The problem is difficult.  It may be unsolvable and that may be why so many in the recent past have wanted to give up metaphysics and hold out a loving hand to what has always been denied a place in that Place.

 

 

 

5013  Should the humble, even mean, things of this world be let into the Divine Realm of the Forms?  That is not an ethical question.  It is not even a question of historical Incarnation theology.  It is a metaphysical, an ontological question.

 

Finding myself quite out of step with fashion, the philosophy I present is that of Platonic Forms, their exemplification here and there making up this world and the everydayness of things.  That is to say, of the Forms and ordinary objects.  Some ordinary things, maybe all ordinary things, have a “higher” form, or ideal.  Ordinary bread, it is said, has the Form of Bread, the Idea, the Ideal.  But there arises a problem in the heart of that metaphysics.  It may be a logical contradiction.  It is destructive.  But it is an essential part of it.  And I have spoken of it continually in these writings.

 

Imagine you are making a painting of a tree.  That is an ordinary thing.  There are so many things to consider:  all the elements of perspective, control, poise and tone, a pleasing shape, the whole rhythm of the painting.  Not just any old scribbling of a tree.  You constantly edit your ideas and your handiwork.  Finally you have it; you have captured the very essence of a tree.  The thing itself grabs the viewer’s attention.  He is riveted to that.  He and the tree (an I-thou relationship?) fuse.  The ideal is present.  But, My God, what arduous mental effort went into finding just that right balance of everything.  A real painter does not paint just anything.  But then who is that real, ideal, true painter?

 

The question is, Do ordinary things have a place among the Ideal Forms, the Strikingly Present Things-in-themselves?  Is there no difference between the Ideal and the ordinary?  Could there possibly be a Form of the Ordinary—or is it a form of the ordinary.  I think there can be.  I think there can be a Form of Ordinary Dirt, of Ordinary Hair, of Ordinary Music, of Ordinary Writing, of Ordinary Food and on and on.  I twist and turn my ontological mind to catch a glimpse of it.  Nonetheless, would you want to be invited to an Ordinary Party where everything is at the extreme of Ordinariness.  Or have I entered into Parody?  Or maybe simply parody?

 

Weren’t hair and dirt, for Socrates, essentially ordinary?  And thus a Form of that would be a simple contradiction?  He obviously didn’t know today’s fashion salon and today’s grunge theater, where everything has to be just right.  Just as the ordinary boy of my writings is an Idea Form—and my philosophy crashes on the rocks of the oceanic everydayness of things.

 

 

 

5014  Within the Blogosphere there does seem to be a rather nice, at times gentle fight going on between the proponents of Objects and the proponents of Process and Relation.  It’s kind of funny like a drag-queen street bitch fight.  I’ll let them at it; I don’t have a wagging tongue on that catwalk.  But I will try my best to characterize it from my window ledge.

 

As far as I can tell they both have a great concern with protecting the individual against the onrush of destructive forces.  It’s a matter of ethics and morality.  Both are concerned.  They are good people.  And thus not really like flaming drag queens at all.  Or so is the intent.

 

Ontologically speaking, they are searching for the ground of individuation.  Will relations gathering about do the trick?  Or is the individual lost in that swelter while the good, solid substance of Objecthood swoons with necessity?   It’s an old argument.  The substantialists have always been on the defense against the anti-subatantialists, the relationists.  The Thomist-Aristotelians have put up a good fight for a long time.  It is also related to Descartes’ and Malebranche’s notion of substance as an extended thing vs. Leibniz’s more classy notion of substance as a point.  Today we have the fight in physics between the particle theorists and the field theorists.  Is light a wave or a particle?  And, Oh My, is space-time a continuum as in General Relativity or discontinuous as is Quantum Theory?  The fight will go on and on in many forms generating heat and maybe some intellectual light.  There is nothing wrong with any of that.  And the Queens will have at it always one more time.  It’s a lively show.

 

I have a different dualism.  As far as I am concerned that individual (the ontic thing) they are both trying so hard to defend is what I call an ordinary object.  I have opposed to that what I call the Ontological Things which, I suppose, could collectively be called the Platonic Forms (if you include bare particulars and the various nexus).  None of those guys outside my window believe in any of that—they are hard-core nominalists.  So where does that leave the poor, defenseless individual in my philosophy?  Good question!

 

I have one of those mystical religious philosophies of old where the individual disappears in the Flaming Love of God.  It’s a visionary thing, a charismatic, orgasmatic, dervish holocaust.  Not fashionable at all today in our Calvanistic, moralistic universities.  It is Aestheticism pushed to its Holy Finale.  That’s where the True Queens drag themselves into the Light.  Oh Honey!

 

 

 

5015  Speculative Realists or Transcendental Realists or your ordinary gaga Platonist all believe that there is something, something that makes you nod off, behind what appears.  That behind.  That allure.  That dream.  In the dark.  Hands reaching.  Close coming moments.  Everything smells of midnight jasmine jism.  The body of the body.  The lure is in.  No one can speak of it directly in the daylight.  Pseudo-science is required.  But we are all specialists at that.  That so-called real science is a cover.  Great words hide the thing itself.  Eros, pteros, we know him well.  We easily give in to what we are.  In the dark inside the mirror, he primps and we watch waiting.

 

 

 

5016  If you have written up the truth and you have written it well, you will necessarily be misunderstood.  That is the Law of Misprision.  And you will by upset by the nature of things.  You are a toy of the boy of joy and the Cosmos.  The details are entangling. And dismaying.  You dangle out in public.  Pubes lick kicked out of school.  It’s hopeless.  Here on the floor of Hell.  And the dialectic proceeds.  Older than the oldest, younger than the youngest, you float.  Recriminations all about and good cheer.  I should have told you long ago how very beautiful you are.  My buggeroo.  We really do all understand right well.  You are a high kite flyer.  And we are the string.

 

 

 

5017  HERE is an example of the very nihilism that Nietzsche was fighting against or I am fighting against or somebody should be.  Yes, it is true that a lot of lonely, confused, young minds “alone in their bedrooms”, troubled about lost love and lost respect by their peers, do take to some philosopher and in his writings, barely understood, find solace.  The author of this piece seems to take offense at that as though those high philosophers could never really really be understood by such gimps.  But Nietzsche, and so many other great philosophers, was once just that young mind alone and in his own bedroom. 

 

The reason that this author is such a nihilist is that at least those young minds are in the intensity of philosophical love—and philosophy is after all love of the Sophos—while he is just a sour, demoralizing, real world guy.  They are real philosophers.  Unlike our journalist author who only ridicules their feelings.  He probably also rolls his eyes are how stupid those boys are who dream of being a hero in sports or battle or a great undertaking for the sake of humanity—or Love.  He, with his newspaper in hand, knocks down their dreams and their love and their spirit attempting to soar and tells them they will amount to nothing there in their bedroom.

 

Just as sports today is not so much about actually playing, the game but is much more the talking, talking, talking about it from on high.  And the same for music and fashion and politics and cars and television shows and food and on and on.  Everything is gossip and bemused sideline commentary.  And, of course, a grand display of one’s expertise in the matter.  It is especially true for philosophy.  If somebody actually tries to do it (whatever that means today), everybody watches and does instant analysis.  The de-construktive put down.  A simple falling in love with that ancient thing is so naïve.

 

 

 

5018  The Critical Mirror has directed us to one more attempt by a modern author to show us benighted ones that the whole Jesus thing is just made up by cracked minds.  Why do we need one more book on that at this late date?  It is as old as the old hat.  Nonetheless, I want to say something about these great attempts at debunking.  What I want to say now is that they are trying to get us out of our bunk and stop dreaming, but I will resist the pun.  They are trying to get us to pierce the Noble Lie that Plato softly presented to us in the Republic.  They are great believers in the idea that the truth will make us free.  And once we are freed from all those oppressive thought forms we can be truly creative and alive in our thinking.  That is supposed to be so Nietzschean.  (But that too is a lie, noble or otherwise.)

 

The Sophists of Plato’s time had a variation on the same idea.  They thought that if you teach the young that It is all just verbal manipulation, then they too can get in on it and take political control.  First the idea that all those so-called  Great Ideas are just rhetorical shifting, then a demonstration of just how it works (like today’s semiology) and then the preaching that you too can get yours.  We can all be creative geniuses once we see through it all.  And write philosophy books that no one can understand, but which are immensely impressive.  That guy who tried to get us out of bed with Jesus was an Intellectual, today’s Sophist.  He spilled the beans before we could fill our jeans with cosmic protoplasm.  He wanted to disseminate in front of us and stop our happily agitated minds in place.  A rabbit in the hat trick.  Illusion my friend.  Next he will probably try to show us that Hamlet and Don Quixote were not real but the products of demented dreamers, thus making all those college professors and all those thespian movers look foolish for going along with it.  Will intellectuals never learn that we know all that already and their so-called truth is bunk?  Now that is Nietzschean.

 

 

 

5019  So did Jesus the Christ, Son of God, really exist?  I will answer Yes, but you must always remember that I am a gaga Platonist.  Can a Platonist be trusted to give a reasonable, sensible answer?  Or will he give a “philosophical” answer?  In quotes no less.  Yes, again.  Nonetheless it may be fun and it may be enlightening and it may actually be true to reality.  Here goes.

 

Consider Alice in Wonderland, did she really fall through the rabbit hole?  Did Oedipus really kill his father?  Did Marie Antoinette really lose her head?  Did Krishna really call all those married women out into the forest?  Did the Buddha really find Enlightenment?  Did Antinous really become a god when he drowned in the Nile?  Did Werther really kill himself?  Did the cow really jump over the moon?  Did that fair one really smile and wink at me or was there only a piece of dust in his eye?  So many possibilities, but how many actualities?  And what is the difference between a possible something and an actual one, anyway?

 

The Forms exist; they are real, which means they are “outside” the mind and not dependent on it.  That is simple Platonism.  It is a belief in the real existence of universals.  Deal with it.  Whether or not they are exemplified by this and that is a different consideration.  And then if they are so exemplified there is the further question of whether or not that fact is actual or merely a possible something.  To exist, to be real, to be actual are three different kinds of midnight lovers.  To get them confused is trouble indeed.  Jealousy abounds.  Watch out!

 

As a real existing Form, yes, Jesus is and was Son of God living and walking about in Galilee.  And Alice is a real existing Form who really did fall in among mad beings.  And he really did wink and, moreover, is approaching right now.  But are or were those Forms actually exemplified in this historical, material world?  Maybe not, but who cares.  As a Platonist my head is up in the clouds and I see things really existing and actually present there, even if not here.  Does that satisfy you?  Probably not, but why not?  Interesting question.

 

Here’s Nietzsche:  … and Platonism in

Europe. Let us not be ungrateful to it, although it must

certainly be confessed that the worst, the most tiresome,

and the most dangerous of errors hitherto has been a

dogmatist error—namely, Plato’s invention of Pure Spirit

and the Good in Itself. But now when it has been

surmounted, when Europe, rid of this nightmare, can

again draw breath freely and at least enjoy a healthier—

sleep, we, WHOSE DUTY IS WAKEFULNESS

ITSELF, are the heirs of all the strength which the struggle

against this error has fostered. It amounted to the very

inversion of truth, and the denial of the

PERSPECTIVE—the fundamental condition—of life, to

speak of Spirit and the Good as Plato spoke of them;

indeed one might ask, as a physician: ‘How did such a

malady attack that finest product of antiquity, Plato? Had

the wicked Socrates really corrupted him? Was Socrates

after all a corrupter of youths, and deserved his hemlock?’

But the struggle against Plato, or—to speak plainer, and

for the ‘people’—the struggle  against the ecclesiastical

oppression of millenniums of Christianity (FOR

CHRISITIANITY IS PLATONISM FOR THE

‘PEOPLE’), produced in Europe a magnificent tension of

soul, such as had not existed anywhere previously; with

such a tensely strained bow one can now aim at the

furthest goals.

 

Nietzsche also told us that, as long as we still believed in grammar, we still believe in God.  I am a Platonist; I believe in Grammar and I am a sighing devotee of Jesus.  And Nietzsche is a Platonist also, because, although he didn’t believe in the depths, but did believe in the Heights.  And the gods lying about on the Isles of the Blest.  And grammar.

 

 

 

5020  I have a friend, a good friend, who, if you mention God or the Church to him, gets almost violently angry.  I think you know the type.  It’s best not to bring up the topic.  Once I did talk to him of the White Goddess of Robert Graves and he seemed to like the idea (he’s a very cultured man) and he thought he really could be a devotee of that.  What to do.  It seems to me it’s all a matter of taste.  Still, though, I do find it to be a pleasing pastime to think up arguments for God’s existence.  I really am a believer—or maybe, not a believer, but an obsessive, at times manic, lover of the God of my daydreams.  I do, moreover, know that if God actually turned out to be only as I imagine Him to be, that few would want to love that, but would rather run to the folds of disbelief. 

 

 

 

 

5021  In my last posting, I tried to fumble my way to that enchanting point where language fails.  I succeeded.  At least I succeeded in driving some of my readers (my imaginary readers) to the point of screaming at their ever-listening computer screens that I wouldn’t be in this predicament if I hadn’t so misused language.  Metaphysics, and that’s what it was, is only a way of torturing words and syntax and helpless logic—and thus the reader’s mind—they calmly remind me.  I, they insist, am a sadist!  And it was out of that kind of sweet love of humanity that the Ordinary-Language School of philosophy was set up.  And then, in my opinion, sweetly disappeared.

 

All that is water over the bridge now, and we are back arguing.  Some of us are naturally puzzlers of the metaphysical kind.  Elegant wits.  Stylish terrorists of thoughts unthought. And broke.  Wandering saddhus, who, for a nickel, will show you what madness is.  दीवाना Or so it is in my Platonic Heaven.

 

 

 

5022  I use the word Form constantly in my writing, ad nauseam.  It is a mysterious word, and the word is itself a Form, a mystery.  Perhaps we are here, following Roland Barthe, in myth, perhaps not.  He writes, comparing form and meaning:

 

“The signifier of myth presents itself in an ambiguous way: it is at the same time meaning and form, full on one side and empty on the other. As meaning, … I grasp it through my eyes, it has a sensory reality … , there is a richness in it; (it has at its) disposal a sufficient rationality. …the meaning of the myth has its own value, it belongs to a history … the meaning … could very well be self-sufficient if myth did not take hold of it and did not turn it suddenly into an empty, parasitical form. The meaning is already complete, it postulates a kind of knowledge, a past, a memory, a comparative order of facts, ideas, decisions. … When it becomes form, the meaning leaves its contingency behind; it empties itself, it becomes impoverished, history evaporates, only the letter remains.  The meaning contained a whole system of values: a history, a geography, a morality, a zoology, a Literature. The form has put all this richness at a distance: its newly acquired penury calls for a signification to fill it.  It is this constant game of hide-and-seek between the meaning and the form which defines myth.  … form has a literal, immediate presence; moreover, it is extended

 

Roland Barthe is no Platonist.  He is not, indeed, doing ontology, asking the question of existence.  Nonetheless, there is something in this brief description of Form that I can steal, or empty out and make itself be a Form.  I will, thus, leave the historical Barthe behind and also all the historical concepts he is working with.  Or course.

 

Take the boy of my writing, the Boy.  Obviously, there is the everyday boy, a very, very historically nestled thing.  Contingency abounds around him; he is becoming.  But then there is the Boy, in whom and around whom there is no history, no contingency, indeed no world at all.  He just is.  Barthe’s fullness and emptiness.  Myth is empty, but that emptiness is somehow mystical.  I do not write history.  But I play with history and poke at it.

 

I wrote a comment to someone lately in which I mentioned only general forms.  It was my way, but it was not his; he is a very historical, contingent, socially replete being.  It takes all kinds.  His reply to me took my words and placed them smack dab in the middle of politics and history, which is fine, but it unsettled me.  It took my precious emptiness and filled it up.  Oh my.  We deal with each other. 

 

Here I put myself  in a historical setting and I took Barthe out.  Hide-and-seek.

 

 

 

 

5023  I am not going to join the arguments about just what a Substantial Form is and if such a thing exists.  The history of that argument is dense and difficult.  And unresolved, as is everything in philosophy.  It continues today just as furiously as it ever has, which is to say, it burns out of sight.  Leaving that, let’s say that an object, an ordinary object, does have or is somehow tied to just such a Form.  Somehow the philosopher is going to have to join up that Form with the great mass of qualities and dispositions and historical comings and goings of that object.  With its spatial extension.  Its infinite dividing.  And so much more that a someone will inevitably pull out of the wall.  But, my God, how? 

 

It’s too much.  Metaphysics is too difficult, and this is metaphysics.  One thing we have learned is that just abandoning metaphysics, by means of supposedly “overcoming” it, won’t work.  We are stuck with it.  I certainly cannot lay out or sublate a smooth explanation or explication of it to your satisfaction.  It is too much.  Metaphysics is too difficult.  So I jump into the mystical—as have all the others.

 

Here in the mystical, we are beyond history.  We are with the things that just are.  Call it the religious, the mythical, the poetic or whatever.  It is not the ordinary.  And it is here that Substantial Form appears in propria persona.  In criminal court.  Alone. To be tried.  The philosopher is tried.  Getting ready for the wrack of thought.  The Thing appears without all its comforting, historical relations present.  Just that. 

 

 

 

5024  As far as I can tell the word “relation” is, for many of today’s new generation of philosophers, an action verb.  As in “he relates to me as though I were an alien being”.  We are here far from Russell’s theory of external relations.  Today, for these thinkers, a relation is how something is seen by a perceiving mind.  As in “I see him as standing by the window”.  The relation of “standing by” is then a mode of my seeing.  A relation is a mode of being a mind places on its intention.  And as such it is only an interpretation of the object seen.  Moreover, it is a distortion, because it is that mind’s doing, not something of the object itself.

 

The extension of this idea that some have given us is to make that distortion-giving relation be of all objects as they “relate” to each other.  Everything “sees” everything else in its own manner.  Everything “relates” to everything else by giving to it a mode of being from out of itself.  The simple and elegant idea of relation that so captured the thoughts of the early Cambridge realists has vanished in a phenomenological swoon.

 

 

 

5025  Not so long ago modern thought wanted to rid itself of any and all occult forces that may still inhabit some as yet unexplored subterranean recesses of its new mode of explanation.  Science wanted only the light of reason; it had no need of, it, in fact, abhorred, the mystical powers of the old medieval ways.  My My, how things have changed.  Today, the hip thinkers have fallen back in love with the abandoned ways.  Medieval powers and forces and dark agencies are once again the fashionable rage.  Gothic things, even the grotesque, i.e. things of the crypt, the grotto, the dank and dangerous cave, are again darkly burning in the romantic fire.

 

Walter Pater told us of the strange beauty that the new art proffered.  But this post-modern thinking is, perhaps out of mere laziness, merely strange without the beauty.  The tendrils of the brutal are eerily loved.  Opium eaters and nightshade.  La Bella Donna recedes, the reek, the weak in tow. 

 

 

 

5026  Here are some key phrases from a recent blog: that objects are independent of relations … Entities pass in and out of relations … As Deleuze famously put it, relations are external to their terms … Entities can enter into relations … Relations can have effects on entities … but entities are not constituted by their relations … entities can always be detached from these relations … in one dimension being can be thought as what takes place in both the forging of associations or relations, and what takes place in the breaking of associations or relations.

 

First off, I simply want to point out that it was Bertrand Russell who famously said that relations are external to the objects they relate.  We should give credit where credit is due.  That’s a minor point, but important.  I do know that in the crowd this writing is directed at few would take Russell as an authority, whereas they would Deleuze. 

 

That aside, how should we take those phrases as indicative of an ontology?  I mean, of course, ontology as I have been using the word, namely, as asking the question of What exists?  Should we say that this ontology above holds that relations exist and, moreover, that there is the nexus of forging?  I will overlook “associating with” and “entering into” as just other names for that forging.  If relations do exist, which apparently they do in this ontology, then they are tied to their terms by means of a forging nexus.  My guess is that here I am way off the mark.

 

I would imagine that this philosopher wants to say that the relation spoken of is really a relationship, which would be a larger entity that the first entity spoken of is a part of.  Just as my kitchen is a larger entity that the sub-entities of table, stove and microwave are within.  All the while remembering that those sub-entities are independent of the kitchen.  They would still be themselves away from that place.  I surmise that there are no relations as such in this ontology, rather there are greater and lesser entities is the sense of one incorporating the other.

 

I am only guessing here, but, from what I know about that thinking, only individuals, objects, really exist. 

 

 

 

 

5027  There seems to be a lot of rather negative, even bitter, talk on the blogs about Meillassoux’s idea of the sudden appearance of a God of Justice.  Before I comment on that let me say that my interpretation of his book After Finitude is that he is somehow saying that the material world is best described by Cantor’s transfinite mathematics.  That may not at all be what he is saying; in which case I am talking about a different Meillassoux who wrote a different book with the same title and the same words but with a different meaning.  Therefore, as I see Meillassoux’s ideas, he is asserting that this world is actually non-finite, or infinite.  This is a vision of the actual infinite.  Now then, anyone who has read some of those popularizing books on Infinity that are shot all through the mathematics section of your local bookstores will know that the probability of the actual existence of such a God somewhere in the universe of universes – if they are actually infinite in space and time – is one hundred percent.  These books come so close to saying the same thing.  If all of space-time or any part of it is actually infinite, then the existence of such a being is perfectly guaranteed.  That is simply the nature of the Infinite.  Especially in a Cantorian hierarchy of infinities.  Therefore, what’s the tumult all about?  If the nay-sayers simply try to prove that the whole material world is NOWHERE infinite, but rather EVERYWHERE finite, then the chances of that actually happening are greatly diminished – though not totally eliminated.  The madness is, as always, The Infinite.

 

 

 

5028  Contrary to what Heraclitus says, the way up and the way down are not one.   The contemplative vision is two.  There is the poetic form of the vision and the philosophical form.  The first is the vision of mortality; the second is of immortality.  As an example let me mention E. B. White, a master at contemplative writing.  Here.  Here.  And also Vladimir Nabokov in Lolita

 

In both of these, a young person is the repetition of a poignant, even an ancient, Form.  We can see it clearly.  Then the reader’s attention is drawn to the author’s sudden sadness at the inevitable disappearance of that great thing.  The bearer will simply outgrow it and eventually succumb to old age and death.  It is an excruciating vision.  A tough soul is required to hold on to it.  The expression of it, when done with the requited elegance, is captivating.  We read it while thinking hard in our schools.  It is High Art.

 

The philosophical vision is the reverse.  The bearer of the Form fades and the Form itself looms large.

 

 

The individual is strong and the Form is weak.  The individual is weak and the Form is strong. 

 

 

 

5029  How do I ontologically analyze a motorcycle?  Right away we can say that it is a particular and it is a structure.  That structure is magnificently complex, consisting, not only of other structures that are spatial parts of it, but of an immense number of non-structured properties: black, cool, heavy, sleek, awesome.  In addition, that physical structure is embedded in a context that is social, historical, artistic and on and on.  No one could think all that in one fell swoop.  Nonetheless, we will leave all that aside in order to say that all that is somehow tied to the Form of Motorcycle.  The puzzling ontological problem here—naively assuming we have an ontological understanding of what a structure is—is that of the Form, what it is and what connects it to the structured things of the world.

 

One way of solving the problem, maybe the most common way, is to say that the Form is literally nothing at all, that such Forms simply do not exist.  Another way, closely allied to that, is to say that it is just the structure itself or an abbreviated way of talking about that structure.  I have chosen rather to say that the Form exists; it is Simple (not complex like a structure); it is Separate from the structure and we are directly acquainted with it.  Now I have to look for a connector between it and the structures around about. 

 

A structure and a Form are both universals.  A structure, however, is an ordered set—or so it seems to me at the moment.  It is a complex one-many, a heavy burden.  That last one-manyness may not make any logical sense, but that is somehow what it is, nevertheless.  A Form, however, is a simple one thing; it is not “structured”.  I think that the difficult part for ontology here is to ground our knowledge of Form in a phenomenological presence.  If it is simple and it is known, then it really is known in one fell swoop.  Can we isolate such a knowing?  I think we can, but we have to pull back a lot of covers to get at it and see it in its erotic nakedness.  The Form of Motorcycle as an erotic … .  Well, Yes. Eros is the nexus.

 

Like all finally erotic things it is close to a swoon.  It is an instant of vertigo.  It is the boundary of oblivion.  It is a piece of the Ontological Violence that breaks through into this dull world.  It is from the Other-side.  It is the return of That. 

 

The Forms belong to the aesthetic.  Or the aesthetic belongs to the Forms.  It takes a fine sense of timing to reach the heights and a delicate touch.

 

 

 

5030  The aesthetic sense is opposed to the moral sense, if … .  So much of art, good art, is about war and death and violent jealousy.  We love to read the Iliad and Hamlet.  Othello and Faust.  And Dante’s Comedy is horrifying to the gentle soul.  Likewise, all those good, moral works that have come down to us, like … … I can’t think of any; they’re all bad art.  It is obvious that when the moral sense takes over in art that we only want to forget it.  And it is equally true that when what is aesthetically beautiful invades the “real” world, where we highly value and desperately need the moral sense, that we hate the sight of it there.  War and death and jealousy are glorious in art; they are anything but in reality.  I have said and written up so many times that the Forms, the Eternal Things, are separate from the everyday world.  I insist they must be.  The Forms, the Violent things, are the things of Art; and if they are not, then our art becomes insipid.  The aesthetic sense is not opposed to the moral sense, if they are kept in their own separate place.  Separate.  But then questions arise.

 

 

 

5031  Concerning agnosticism, let me discuss the difference between a good dancer and a great dancer. (For the point I am about to make it doesn’t really have to be a dancer; it could be anything, but I like dancers.)  A good dancer is one who makes it all look so easy.  Anyone could do it.  A great dancer is one who makes it look impossible.  No one could do that!

 

Let’s say you are one of the disciples of Jesus and you are walking the evening byways of Galilee and suddenly you see him up ahead.  You know he is dead.  But there he is.  It’s impossible.  But there he is.  What to think?  You are in active agnosia.  Did he somehow escape death and was taken down alive?  Was that someone else up there?  Surely he didn’t simply come back from the dead.  You hang between an ordinary explanation and a supernatural one. 

 

It is said of Nijinsky, a great dancer, that it wasn’t that he could jump higher than anyone else or more gracefully or farther, but that he came down slower.  Impossible.  You hang.  That is the fantastic, active aaaah-gnosia. 

 

 

 

5032  The mind is reflective.  Awareness is reflexive.  I am aware that I am aware.  The mind and the things of the mind are so intimate with each other that it is almost impossible to disentangle it all.  I will try.  To say that the mind consists only of the sensual object is hopelessly inadequate.  That was the tack taken by the early Empiricists, Hume and company with their fiery impressions.  There is of course a certain dark, luminous appeal coming from that sensorium, but we need not be seduced to such an extent that the other jewels shining in the bright night of the Intellect are overlooked.

 

In addition to sensing, the mind also perceives and imagines and remembers and wonders and anticipates and doubts and on and on.  And there are thoughts that fit with each type.  A thought is not a sensing.  Moreover, and this is most important, there is a further act of awareness of each of these acts.  I remember that the train comes by at three in the morning and I am conscious, aware, of my remembering.  Those are two, not one.  Or so I maintain, as do some others, but not all.  There are those (weren’t Kant and Brentano and some Buddhists among them?) who believe that every thought is self-reflective, which would make them reflexive.  Sartre was one who made a whole philosophy out of the mind “standing back” viewing itself; but, if I understanding him correctly, not as one thing, but broken up into many “selves”.  It’s tricky.  To focus in on only the sensual object is hopeless.

 

In addition to the various kinds of mental acts and the thoughts that fit them and the levels of awareness aware of its awareness and the sensa that are so close and so alluring, there are also the words we speak to ourselves in order to grab a hold of the thoughts, but that is a different writing.  It’s hard juggling so many balls.

 

 

 

5033  Nietzsche’s vision of the Eternal Return is hopelessly, marvelously ambiguous.  Therefore I will give that Buddha Wheel one more turn.  Imagine Mary at the scene where they are about to nail Jesus onto the cross—this is going to be an old, oft-repeated story, but why not.  Imagine that, contrary to the biblical story, the soldiers refuse, out of sympathy for an innocent man, to carry out their duty.  The life of Jesus is spared.  Now look upon the face of Mary.  She is furious.  She knows that unless this sacrifice is performed that the world will remain forever lost in sin.  She forcefully moves over and she herself begins to nail him down.  Down down down until he is secure and she herself stands up the cross for all of Being to see that it is done.  She then must be Eternal Rome, Imperatrix Mundi et Angelorum .  The instrument of death, the necessary death.  A blinding heroine.

 

Let’s say you are looking back on your own life and you begin to take pity on yourself.  You may know that you could not have arrived at the knowledge you now have without having gone through those terrible times.  But you hesitate in allowing yourself to do all that again or anyone else.  Could you be your own Mary to your own sacrifice and force yourself to repeat and repeat and repeat that so the vision will come again and again and again.  Or will you tell yourself that once is enough, now the blessed sleep.

 

Never mind, surely that interpretation is far-fetched, a stretch, wrong.  Nietzsche should have told us what he meant and not just wagged that worrisome crooked tale.

 

 

 

5034  You seem to be having quite a time trying to understand Platonic love.  That is as it should be.  Anything that is too easily understood and accepted is not worthwhile.  One problem we all have today, it seems to me, is that we no longer live in a warrior society.  Greece was certainly that.  It highly valued virtue, the true meaning of which can be seen in the root vir.  I think Nepali and Sanskrit also have that root.  It means masculine power, physical strength, aggressive force, might, vigor, even violence.  All the things that make a warrior superior.  That is the old meaning of virtue.  Today it has been greatly watered down and it has been totally emasculated into compassion, thoughtfulness, gentleness and so on.  You have to think of Platonic love in terms of producing the Virat, the gigantic Brahmanic, virtuous soul.  The great symbol of Power in the ancient world and among the gods was the Phallus.  The male sex organ was the ground of Strength.  The relation between the man and the boy was to instill in the boy such masculine virtue, power.  He was exposed to the male phallus.  The goal of Platonic love was to make the boy a man.  The man saw his beauty and took it sexually.  He ravished the boy.  The boy saw that force. Then the boy knew.  It may have been somewhat violent, but it made him a warrior.  Likewise, this was the sole purpose of education and music and athletics and religious ceremony, namely to instill this Virtue in the soul of the youth.  It was all in service to a Phallic God.  Without all that the boy remained effeminate, somewhat like the boys today who are certainly not warriors.  This is all something that we can hardly understand today, just as we can hardly understand the great warrior battles of old.  Think of Krishna, who was only 15 when he lured all those married women out into the forest for long nights of ravishing love, rasalilla.  He is the one who makes his worshipper’s hair stand on end.  Romaharsha.  Horripilation.   Today people look down on all that as great immorality.  Ke garne?

 

 

 

 

5035  I’ve just read a couple of articles in google.news.physics by some guys who are worried about all this fascination by other younger guys in parallel universes.  They went so far as to say that all that speculation is immoral.  My goodness!  They seem to think that by delving into the unverifiable that a mind will lose the hard edge of empiricism.  There is enough quack science around about based on nothing at all, so why encourage such fantasy?  I personally think that that right there is one of the reasons boys are doing so badly in school.  We are taught over and over again that we must have practical projects that will actually help our much beleaguered planet.  We need real honest-to-goodness plans for real endeavors, not dreams of infinity and the impossibly far away.

 

Girls make plans and boys dream dreams.  Girls are so very practical, or they attempt to be after being battered around a couple of times.  They are real.  Boys never learn; they are off in never-never land.  And if they are told to come back to earth they look away.  Boys go into math and physics because it is dreamy, not because it will help us make a better world.  If they can’t dream their way into science they won’t go there.  Theoretical physics, the romantic part, belongs to aesthetics and not ethics.  Maybe it is immoral.

 

 

 

5036  Modes of Being.  That phrase has had quite a long history in philosophy and even though I do now want to and will say something precise about it, I certainly must leave out a most important import or two of that eminent difference.  Nonetheless, I think I can speak of something that lies at the heart of the matter.  Let’s say that a mode of something is an adverbial description of the being of that something.  It answers the question of how something exists.  It exists ­­-------ly.  That, however, is not the point I am eager to make.  Rather, I want to point out that the mode of something is ever dependent on that something.  It has a lower ontological status, a mood in the demimonde, which means that of itself by itself it is nothing.  If I am now happy, then that happy-mode is nothing without me or some other person.  I and that other can very well exist without being happy, but happiness cannot exist without us.  Or so it is assumed, I presume, by those who speak of modes of being.  And that is how those are different from the Platonic Forms of Being.  At least from one of the essential Forms, maybe not for the accidental ones, if there are such things, which there aren’t, I surmise. 

 

A mode is somewhat like a universal, but then again it is different.  A universal, a Form, as I speak of them, is a full-blown existent separate from the particular that exemplifies it.  Aristotelians, who have, not exemplified universals, but instantiated ones, may disagree.  For Aristotelians, only substance has primary existence.  All other things, like properties and relations and quantity and so on, have secondary existence.  Now then what is this lessened, secondary existence?  Levels or types or degrees of existence, quite frankly, make no sense to me.  Existence is simply existence.  Or what?  I think a mode is a manufactured thing for those who are too timid to say that universals exist—period.  They want it both ways—they exist and they don’t exist.  They half-exist.  But there’s no such thing or mode of being.  Precisely. 

 

 

 

5037  For some philosophy is a fetish, for others it is a board game.  I think I am more of the first group.  There are, though, different ways to accomplish the final fetish moment and then the afterburn.  I want to consider, however, as my opening gambit or gimmicky gay gamb the philosophical game.  Or has all this already become a bored game for you?  Have you already come upon this too many times?  Wittgenstein after dark and all that.  No matter, I must go on; in this game there are fortunately only a rather limited number of pieces moving around in a rather limited number of moves.  And as in chess there are just a few brilliant players and then there are all the watchers.  It is the watchers of the philosophical game who are the fetishists.  Just as in chess, there are a great number of books about the greats and their nearly poetic maneuvers.  It is so much fun for the aficionados to sit for hours and talk philosophical-chess talk.  All the magical word-names gently uttered, all the worn-smooth concepts caressed again, all the now-tattered books timidly held.  Relics and incantatory obscurities.  The game, its pieces and players and moves and their magical books are the fetishist’s dream objects.  It’s an oriental swoon.  I am also there.  These are of the Great Forms.  And, alas, I and you work at jobs we hate just to get the money we need to buy one more feverish juju.  And tube of jesus-salve to sooth the rash of analytics.

 

 

 

5038  Now back to my consideration of Modes of Being.  I contrasted them with Forms of Being.  That was only a short time ago.  And by saying that I have brought in time.  Time is a most mysterious thing/non-thing.  Nonetheless, I am going to use it as a way of expounding the difference I am looking for.  I will simply pound it out.  I and others of my Platonic ilk have usually elevated the eternal, the timeless, over the temporal.  I am no different from the others.  One of the main distinguishing features of my ontology is that it has the Parmenidean feel of no time, no change, an eternal stillness in its precise logical cut.  The Boy just is.

 

Thus I do not have a moralistic sense pervading my thoughts.  Ethics requires a self free to act in an as yet undefined future.  It is the place of personal responsibility.  Or birth and death.  Of genuine loss and genuine attainment.  Of grammatical tense.  I have detensed my thoughts in a simple theory of temporal relations—no passing from future to Now to the past.  Only the captured thing in the gilded cage of perfected Being.  I have been true to the principle of logical non-contradiction.  The others, the slip-shod, have been more vague and opaque in the addled confusion that is real life.

 

I suffer the Light.  No soft penumbra of what was and what I must do eases my pain.  Only the intensity of the Bright Eyes. 

 

The Modes of Being are temporal shadows of past and future cast uneasily Now over the object.  They are, but they are not.  An illogical half-existence.  I balked at the thought that there could be such a thing.  I was of course right, but, according to our worldly time, so wrong.  The ambiguous nature of things outside us, away from our thinking about them, is the irrational smudge we have to live with.  Any ontology that does not consider that is not an ontology adequate to this everyday world.  Mine is exactly that.  I write the otherworld of no time.  I write the erect Forms, not the bending modes.  My philosophy is perfect in that, but it is nothing in the world.  I am the immoralist of blinding analysis.  I am in love with the smooth eternity of Beauty itself.  He knocks, I open, he enters.  The again and the again, nothing changes. 

 

 

 

5039  Thomas Mann in Death in Venice wrote “Passion is like crime: it does not thrive on the established order and the common round; it welcomes every blow dealt the bourgeois structure, every weakening of the social fabric, because therein it feels a sure hope of its own advantage. These things that were going on in the unclean alleys of Venice, under cover of an official hushing-up policy – they gave Aschenbach a dark satisfaction. The city’s evil secret mingled with the one in the depths of his heart – and he would have staked all he possessed to keep it, since in his infatuation he cared for nothing but to keep Tadzio here, and owned to himself not without horror, that he could not exist were the lad to pass from his sight.”

 

Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness, has developed three approaches to life’s changes that I think are useful in our take on what is happening today in Egypt.  They are Fragility, Robustness and Anti-fragility.  My spin on those ideas is that, in life, we can be fragile and thus be crushed, devastated and done in when – out of the blue - the unexpected comes and totally messes up our well-thought-out plans.  Or we can have a certain strength, robustness, that will ride it out, both personally and in the structures we have made for our protection.  Or we can in fact relish the thought that the roof has caught on fire and everything is crashing around us and the others because that is our clue to jump to it and take advantage of the situation.  That may not be exactly his idea, but it is mine.

 

The approach of the United States to Egypt’s turmoil is so very much under discussion on the media.  Here is my idea.  We should, obviously, not just crumble under the weight of events.  We should not blame ourselves or anyone else for not seeing the unforeseeable or gaily fathoming the abyss.  The future is suddenly there and it isn’t ever what anyone thought it was going to be.  Nor should we stand strong and insist, with all our power, that things go our way.  (They would unexpectedly go another way, anyway.)  But rather, like an impassioned lover, secretly smile and offer our loving presence.  It is devious and underhanded, but then that is the way of love.  Who knows what will then happen – no doubt more chaos – but maybe, just maybe … we will again simply be there, unfazed, undazed, and blissfully as unknowing as the next guy about what will happen next.  Let it come, whatever it is, we can go with that – maybe to our advantage.  It could be that beautiful Egypt will be ours. 

 

 

 

5040  Consider these ordinary objects: my microwave oven, that big pile of snow in the parking lot outside my window and that tired man trying to shovel out his car.  Consider them in time as they go through all the usual changes we all know so well.  Ordinary things in ordinary time.  Ordinary, ordinary, ordinary. Now perform ontological analysis on them.  You will find, I am sure, an overwhelming number of things that go into their existential constitution.  Spatial things, temporal things, sensual things.  Universals, particulars, relations, connectors, quantifiers, facts, classes, subtle meanings, all things that we see in the luminosity of understanding.  And then after all that, laid out, systematized, explained, explicated, empowered, signified, reified, made more than eloquent, you still have the feeling that the ordinary thing is not any of that no matter how it is all shoved together.  And here we must listen to those who lecture us, once again, about the difference between the intellectual appearance of the thing and the noumenal thing itself.  The object and its appearances.  It is so Kantian.  And so old hat.

 

All through that there is the unspoken belief that the ontological things that the mind sees so brilliantly are of secondary importance to the ordinary object itself unanalyzed.  Appearances are less than that out-there dark thing.  That was the revolution of Kant.  He made the things of the mind, things of bright intellectual vision, be the dejected things.  But why?  Was it unTeutonic? Why not say that the dark object, unanalyzed, is the lesser thing?  And that the real things are the things known in perfect intellectual light.  Time, that great mystery, yields to the ontological pieces that make up time.  The still, timeless pieces, are more real.  The darkness of time and an ordinary material object or person is only darkness and will pass when the Light comes.  The nod and the giving way of the noumenal disappear in the wakefulness of the bright sun of intellectual seeing.  Or are you in love with the darkness?

 

In a sense, I have been more true to Kant’s injunction that I not cross the critical divide.  More than those who are infatuated with the destructive sublime.  I see that hidden thing as something I do not want.  I will not go there.  It will eventually be gone.  Good riddance.

 

 

 

5041  Sometimes, when I want to forget myself, I sit for a while and read continental philosophy.  In fact, I usually read about continental philosophy, because the original, unlike Descartes and those earlier guys, is not made for the sane reader.  It is so very oracular, so much the stuff of priestly mutterings, for those into head-spinning non-ideas trailing off into the wide expanses of further questioning, which is somehow supposed to be what philosophers love.  But then who am I to talk.  I guess it just isn’t my type of incomprehensible thought-tag.  Maybe I am just missing a beloved, beautiful god present anywhere in that jumble of words.  Which have all the loveliness of a manual on computer programming for biological, psychological, sociological system-building.  If you ask me, which no one ever has, but oh well, I would say that that is what you get with the method of the Via Moderna or plain old nominalism.  Some way had to be found to achieve the unity that universals gave; they couldn’t just be content with a collection of individuals lying around like boulders.  And so we get constant references to difference and other and slippage.  No beautiful thing in itself right there for your worshipping love.  It’s a pity.  Talk of the Whole won’t cut it with this lover, certainly not the beguiling cavern of the underground – Lovecraft.

 

Continental philosophy strikes me as science or meta-science.  As such it is somewhat interesting, when I am in a hard engineering mood and feeling beleaguered by love.  It is a form of set theory and complexity theory and, maybe someday soon, quantum entanglement.  It is not philosophy.  Oh my, it may be post-metaphysical.  Or even deep into the post-human.  The Human is dead.  (But then Humanity with a capital H, was just another name for God.) As science, it is beyond my ability to judge or even my desire to judge.  It may in fact be great science.    I demur.  I am following the Via Antigua.

 

 

 

5042  I am sitting here surrounded by systems.  My printer printing, my office-chair swiveling, my microwave silently microwaving, beside my bed with folds enfolding, everywhere clumping chumps of matter spinning, touching, sliding smoothly along and around and through themselves.  Difference and sameness and this and that and now and later, so very orderly in an unseen coming together that is, when you think about it, nowhere in particular at all.  Indeed my room itself, lost in Being, is a system beautifully and efficiently laid out, almost.  I dream.  Words combine. Philosophy lies close.

 

I sometimes read an author saying that such systems are not, of themselves, positive substances, but rather there are somehow there only differences differing, contrasts contrasting, oppositions ever in opposition.  In other words, plainly stated, a system that consists of X being different from Y being different from Z is nothing … because mere difference is nothing.  Which means that I have described nothing at all, and thus, in my attempt to do that well, I necessarily did it badly.  But I think you get the point anyway.

 

Let’s take the pain or rather the pair Jack and Jim.  Together they are an item, a duo, a couple, a love-system.  The one without the other is lost; he’s as good as non-existent—or so be believes.  But they are two, not one; no, they are one, not two.  You understand perfectly.  The difference between them vanishes; it never was; it couldn’t have been—such is love.  That is a perfect system, though we sadly know that such a thing will never appear here. 

 

Difference is; difference isn’t.  It’s a great madness.  We do understand an author’s intention when he says that something consists only of a set of differences differing and thus is itself nothing and the setness of the set is, I suppose, then ever unsettled.  Yes, we understand and if he, feeling that he has not captured his idea adequately in words, goes on and on for great long chapters, trying desperately to say the unsayable, and becomes like a priest mumbling on with the Pythian  oracles, we understand.  If only he would stop.

 

And so I speak of the Forms as transcendent things.  Yes, No, they are, they aren’t.  They exist as philosophical things, which means that they are as nothing here.  Poor Jack and Jim, they are of that other place and must vanish.  They are in the world, but not of the world.  Have I made myself clear, as clear as the invisible sky?  Well now—what?  I seem to have found the Other here in my lowly room.  Things whirl and worlds wheel around and around and around.

 

 

 

5043  Think of green and think of blue.  Then think of the circumstance that green is different from blue.  I know that “circumstance” is not a pleasant word to use there, but I don’t know what else to call it.  The word “fact” points to something else.  So you may have to just stand around with that throughout this little essay.  Anyway, that word has historical precedence. The ontological question is Does that circumstance, as something different from both green and blue, exist?  Let’s say it does.  Green exists, blue exists and green being different from blue exists—three separate things.  What have we gained by saying that?  Good question.

 

Some more questions:  Does difference as a connector exist?  Is there a connector between the two colors and the circumstance?  Do those three things connected up make a further circumstance or fact or whatever it is?  My goodness, thought shakes and lists and the realization comes that maybe we are at the limits of  ontological analysis.  Have we already tried to speak the unspeakable?  Good question.

 

I think that we are here in the Dance of Being.  We are being led about rather forcefully and twirled and pushed and shoved and held and smiled at knowingly by something not human.  I think it’s fun.  What about you? 

 

 

 

5044  What I’m going to write here is not philosophy; it is psychology and, therefore, it is no doubt going to be rather amateurish, unlike the dilettante philosophy I usually write.  The question before me, a question instigated by another piece of writing from another writer on the same topic, concerns the first moment of consciousness arising in an individual mind.  What drives a mind into that greater awareness of itself?

 

Suffering was brought forward as the culprit.  I have no problem with that answer; suffering of some sort is certainly a part of it.  But I would like to narrow it down somewhat.  I think it is trauma that first sets the mind afire with self-awareness. 

 

Childhood is inevitably a traumatic time.  A terribleness that almost always centers around sex and death and threatening words.  The child trembles and our first impulse is to protect him, but to do so would be to deny him a higher life.  We all must go through it, though many will be damaged.  We have no choice.  Let it be and hope for the best. 

 

When I was a small boy we rented a farm house and I was given a little job of feeding a big gray sow for a couple of weeks while the owner was away.  I did it and I came to somehow know that beast.  We were friends.  Then when the owner came back I watch him and the others hoist that big thing, by her hind leg, up on a tree branch.  They cut her throat and blood started to pour out while she tried to stop it with her front legs.  Soon she was dead and the cutting began.  I was white with fear and anxiety.  Trauma.  That was one of the first moments of consciousness for me.

 

I know that many kids have a moment of first seeing sex by their parents or others or of having it done to them and they are driven into that same shock.  Or they have friends that bully them and threaten them with death.  Or they have a friend or family member killed and the kid thinks he is to blame.  Trauma is all around.  Awareness sets in hard.  It is hard necessity.  No child can be or should be protected from it.  That is life.  In the middle of the night sweet sleep is no more.  The insomnia of consciousness.

 

I could also talk of the fire of jealousy, but it’s too painful and the flesh crawls.  In all these cases, I suspect it may be the imagination, more than the actuality, that is so uncanny horrible.  I simply don’t know.  The imagination can see what isn’t there.

 

I further suspect that the terribleness of trauma easily changes into an exquisite pleasure.  A Mysterium Fascinans.  The joint of art.

 

 

 

5045  The sleeping is one thing; the dormant is another very different thing.  In English, when you shift from the Anglo-Saxon to the French, you move from the stark thing itself to a great intellectual conversation. 

 

 

 

5046  Chronic pain.  Nietzsche certainly knew it.  It is so hard to keep reading about it.  I too have known ever-coming-again headaches, bad headaches, days turning into years.  Fortunately, in the last few years, they have stopped.  It is all a very common thing.  They are there and though they may have something to do with my philosophy, my writing, my very consciousness, I don’t know what that could be.  And the truth is that I really don’t want to think much about it.  Let me only mention that the word “chronic” is Chronos, time.  It is all the pain of time.  Long time, langweilig, the dull and boring.  Is that too the Dionysian, the ground of the Apollonian? 

 

 

 

5047  The great question of our time has to do with male sexual power.  Is it an evil that must be restrained?  Are young men with their phallic instruments the cause of all the problems we have?  Are men dangerous for women and children?  Is the presence of the male sex organ a traumatic experience for the weak and counselors must be brought in to calm down the offended souls?  The feminists are having their say.  Everyone is pointing a blaming finger at someone and something.  Is phallic power a thing of the past and the modern world must overcome its deadly attractiveness?  Is it the root of immorality? 

 

Is there a connection of some sorts between male phallic power and intellectual power?  What is the drive that leads us into a new understanding of existence?  Into new control of nature’s deadly destructiveness?   Is the erotic force good or bad?  Should the young be protected against it?  What are we to do with testosterone in body and mind?  It is the old question that is still new.  Will the earth survive this assault?  Will the male become obsolete?  The intellectual battle rages. 

 

 

 

5048  The Kouros, the boy-god, was famous on both Crete and mainland Greece.  Along with him there seems to have been an opposing cult of the Snake Goddess or Medea.  Just how all that fit together is beyond me, but I can feel a certain rightness in this opposition.  The goddess of the underworld and the boy who is anything but that.  There is a natural antagonism there.

 

In ancient Israel there is the classic opposition of Saul and David, the fury and the beautiful shepherd boy who calmed him down.  As I see it that is the model of a thundering Jehovah and the gentle, yielding Son of David, the beloved, the one who calmed Him down and made peace between Him and the people. 

 

In both cases there is a Kouros, a youthful god, who is the way past a terrible force.  The people sought refuge in that beautiful, gentle one, so human and so divine at once.  The same forces are with us today.  Where is the boy?

 

 

5049  The art of syntax is nauseating.  All art is nauseating.  The rhythmical swing back and forth and back and forth.  The vertigo.  The inevitable ununderstanding.  It is the unrelenting religion of the returning spirit.  The ever-returning spirit, the imp.  The dizzying lick of love.

 

All philosophical things are known in the erotic knowing of again and again.  You must pay attention to what you have paid attention to so many times before, around and around.  The phrasing, the melodic mood, the vanishing line, a lull on the underlying sameness.  Slight modulation, a nod to subtle differentiation, the hint of a daring abandonment and the return.  The tonic of the tone.  Dissonance dissed.  He’s back again.  And the swing.  Hypotactic inversion.  Parallel pullulation.  Pollination.  The foal, the puerile, the few who rode the night.  Out and back.  The queaze.  The knowing.

 

 

 

5050  I have forsaken the narrative.  I have no story to tell.  I have no genesis to generate.  There is no progression or process of ominous portent here.  Only the thing itself with itself.  And if these sentences seem to move on and on, they are going nowhere, and there will be nothing for you to find at the end of their journey into themselves.   This is stasis.

 

And therefore, the unordered.  Which I have punctuated perfectly.  In good syntactical form.  As hard as the shell of a tortoise or the torque of lost love.  Slow meanderings. A dry river bed.  Fossils of coral.  And randy nights in the elegiac sensorium of nothingness.  I go on and on. 

 

And on and on.  In the mind-loss symmetry of backwards and forwards.  The past is the future inside out.  The present is anything it wants to be and more.  The relata shift.

 

This may be a good place to stop.  But it isn’t five o’clock yet and the news is still a few moments away.  I have time to fill with empty words.  There is so much time.  And the news is always so disappointing.  The whole point of which is to once again listen to the urgency of recorded voices.  Strange, it seems they are right there speaking to me in propria persona.  Oh God, I am improperly tensed.  And, unexpectedly, the period has come around.  So, in proper fashion, I must forsake also this piece of spinning fate.  Au revoir, mon cher.

 

 

 

5051  In Nepali the word vaam means, according to my handy Gautam dictionary, left (not right), opposite (contrary), curved, harsh, cruel, wicked, charming, nipple, and Kamadeva (ό θεος of love, eros).  It is related to the Sanskrit dhvan (covered, blackened, extinguished (Eng. Dun)), dhum (smoke, vapor (Eng. Fume)), and dhu (move hither and thither, shake (Greek θυω (sacrifice), θυμος (passion (Eng. Enthusiasm)).  So many wonderful meanings piled into one sound.  This is where etymology opens up the doors of thought and gives the writer a run, θεω.

 

Kamadeva (requires) the left-handed sacrifice.  Cruel vapors in the shaking.  Hither and thither in crooked passion.  Smoky enthusiasm.  Harsh charm.  The opposite nipple.  Perfume and down and obfuscation.  The dumb dove of thyme.  The dun, the din and the deafness.  He dwells in dust and the dusky drowse.  (The choir and the queery.  It’s questionable.)  A festival of fanatics.  The curved, the wicked, the covered.  Vaam, bham, oh, man, it’s too much; you just extinguished yourself all over me. 

 

 A little poem, a good as I can come up with.  Too much Al Jazeera has addled my brain.  (What is this all about?)

 

 

 

5052  It can be said of Mozart that he didn’t, in fact, write 47 symphonies, but that he wrote one symphony 47 times.  Artists tend to repeat. (Actually, he wrote 41, but I needed a word that fit a slight iambic trot.)  The rhythm commands.  And the same pattern is deep in the brain.  Which is deep in the local spirit.  The spirit is almost a monotone.  A dusky sotto voce.   A lull and the Word made meaningless.

 

What is the truth of art?  I have read that art reveals to us a new way of seeing the world.  Or that in art the world comes at us downwind from where we had previously known it to be.  Maybe, but I think a more important truth is that seen away from the world in the thing present just as it is.  The timing, the repetition of the same, the nodding chance that is ever with us. 

 

To see difference everywhere, to want to see that, is the via modo.  The ever new.  What unexpected thing has appeared to us today?  But for some of us, the ever new, the scramble after the latest, is itself rather boring.  We like the same spirit that fascinated us yesterday and ever back into the heavy eyelids of the past.  The via antiquia.  I suppose neither way is better than the other.  We have different tastes.  I rest on the rhythm shifting always back into itself.  Thus 47 or 41 or 167, it makes no difference where there is finally no difference.

 

I am a numb lover of aleatoric music and the long-tailed inverse power law.

 

 

 

5053  Philosophers today tend to drone on and on about difference.  It’s always the same.  It’s old hat.  It’s time for a change, but now it’s impossible.

 

I do find myself once again reading those texts, getting tangled up, lulling myself into wondering about how those boys in Tripoli are managing.  It’s a big mess everywhere.  And then there are those meaningless sex dreams.  Mangled romance.  He won’t leave.  I don’t really want him to.  He always comes again.  It’s a dull monotony.  One more revolution.  Until we all fall off the edge of the world.

 

An uprising is an exaggerated tale.  Iconic sections rifle about.  The quiet port is rife.  Dark, dangerous streets alone by the desert.  The smell of fear perfumes the night.  And all that.  The praetorian guard lies abut and below the window.  Cross-over delight.  It has been written up before.  Genet and the Nazis and the belles lettres butt.  My eyes hurt from watching too much.  Nothing changes.  My tongue works the phonemes.

 

This is the silent dialectic.

 

 

 

5054  For a long time now we have been berating ourselves here in the West for being racist and having the condescending mind of the caring, but hopelessly ignorant father.  We bemoan the fact that we are still, alas, colonialists and, even now, intellectual imperialists.  But I have a different take on all that.  I am one of those who believe that Europe is just the front porch of Asia.  Yes, we are racist and imperialist bastards, but, not because we are white or European, but because we are Asian.  I have lived in Asia for quite some time now and I see that racism and imperialism flourishes there just as much as here, maybe more.  And I insist it is not we who made them that way—as though we could actually do that.  We are all Asians; we always have been.  Europeans and we of that stock must come to see that we are the Orientals.  The romanticism out and about that depicts “them” as innocent of all that is nonsense.  Our attempt at humility and self-flagellation is only an attempt to make ourselves more white. 

 

And like many of my friends there I find that pink and white flesh to be a sensual delight, a tasty bite, a spiritual fright.

 

 

 

5055  Given that I am that and you are that and everyone, what are we to do?  And God and the devil.  And the most intellectual and the least.  Even the best and the worst.  Is there no hope?  We have come this far and we will go farther, but is there no hope of overcoming who we are?  There is no hope.  Our form is fixed.  Could it have been otherwise.  Probably not.

 

 

 

5056  I am always amazed that the reader will not hear or understand what he knows he shouldn’t.  Though the words are plain and calling out to be understood, the reader will not understand; he will not notice the obvious.  Thus, though I write the most glaring thing, it may not, probably will not, become a matter of thought in my reader’s awareness.  The reader sees, hears, feels and understands only what he thinks he should.  I suppose this is Freud’s Super-Ego at work.  It is amazingly efficient.  It is frighteningly efficient.  And no amount of encouraging it to look and see and dance with the dancers will make it do so.  It scoffs at your insistence.  The reader will hear and understand, always, what he thinks he should.

 

 

 

5057  Almost any sentence can be broken up into phrases, just as almost any piece of music.  Some sentences, though, feel good broken up; the pieces lie together without any need of coalescing.  Others require the mind to overlook the breaks and catch at the high abstraction of the whole.  I suppose it is the same with music.  Would it be right to say that the first are analytic and the second are synthetic or syncretic?  I’m operating here on feeling, not knowledge forthright. 

 

When I read some philosophers, I know that quite often I’m going to have to take a run at their sentences and try to grab on to the whole thing.  If I try to meander my way through it at my ease, I will find only fumes of distant work.  Surprisingly, though, if I succeed, or think I succeed, I am breathing an angelic substance unimaginable, only the most abstract.  There’s not much difference there.

 

The imagination requires images.  Separate pieces for later fanciful building.  To let the images lie about barely touching, as bodies languishing, is rather pleasant.  Imaginative writing is not the fantasy of the generative rush.  Writing and its reading is a walk around an ordered quiet place or it is a run through the tumult of hectic urban life, ever goal-reaching, ever waving you on to the end which never comes.  We are made for both—I suppose. 

 

 

 

5058  So what do I think the existence of the future?  Of the past?  Do I even have some thoughts about the possibility of there being the present?  If they do exist, are they properties of particulars?  For example, if I will soon hear the train rumbling past, should I say that the I exemplify the two properties of hearing the train and being in the future?  Is futurity a property of certain particulars?  I being in the past a property of Socrates sitting on the plain with Phaedrus?  What are these tense things if not properties?  Or are the past and future and present things that particulars are somehow in?  Socrates and Phaedrus are in the past.

 

Maybe those particulars are not in any such things or exemplify such properties, but rather there are only relations of earlier than, later than, simultaneous with to be exemplifies by pairs of particulars.  Perhaps the relational view should replace the tensed view.  Or can we have both?

 

 

 

5059  Philosophy began with the poetry of Parmenides and Heraclitus and all those we now call the pre-Socratics.  And, of course, with Plato.  None of it was really poetry, as we now think of poetry; but it certainly did not belong to the everydayness of speech either.  What should we call it?  The syntax was elevated and complicated.  The mind turned around and around trying to understand it.  It was philosophy.

 

Philosophical writing today is no less mysterious.  And it is also somehow, sometimes, elevated, but also usually flat.  The philosophical spirit forms it.  An unruly spirit.  Leading his followers into dark alleys.  And dead-ends.  There is no figuring his ways.  He dictates; we write; he laughs, we hold firm.  Will it ever come to anything?

 

The old ways are best, but they have vanished into the future.  I write holy scripture.  But not for now.  For never.  For the eternity of languishing souls.  Where the logic of logic reels.  And wheels within wheels lay the lovers down.  And down.  Time cannot be understood.  The knot, the gnarl.  The knee of now.

 

Time and philosophy and misplaced eternity are sentences in the syntactical taffy pulling machine.

 

 

 

5060  I am an admirer of form.  Anyone who has read my writings knows that.  I am more than an admirer; I am a mad devotee.  Or am I in the picture at all?  Has form, literary conceit, so taken over my words that this writer is nothing, nothing at all?  Formalism, New Criticism, Deconstruction, would seem to overlook the me, the one speaking to you now, as irrelevant.  It seems I should belong to that gang.  But I don’t.  I have learned my philosophy from Bergmann, and thus I am hip to the bare particular, as I have constantly reminded you of that one ever next to you.  That one.

 

In the ontological world I have laid down, form is not everything.  There is always that one thing, you and me and that mute one there, that receives, that suffers, the form.  The particular exemplifies the form.  The boy walking near your window now suffers beauty.  He will deal with it as best he can.  It comes and then it leaves, and that one is still himself.  I write and that same beauty slides up near to my moving fingers.  I attempt the near impossible.  I reach and I try to capture it.  It at times yields.  Then it goes and I write nothing.  Form, beauty, comes where it wills and leaves us wondering if it was anything at all.  Irony, ambiguity, the moving trope.  We are taken by form.  And It repeats.  Or not.  I write up that maddening togetherness.

 

There is form and then there is the particular, the naked particular that is covered by it.  And then the cold, the lonely wind, the frisson.

 

There are those who have neither form nor bare particulars; they have the thick particular, the individual, the object.  I find that middle ground, neither bare nor pure form, to be merely the dullness of the ordinary.  I have written about that also and that that is outside my philosophy, outside all philosophy, within anti-philosophy, and I have sighed and pained at the hegemony it has in this world. But it only makes sense it would.  I have another.  The form is Form, the Eternal.  And the bare particular, that, is also That, the One itself.  The dialectic is blinding.  And the Blank scares away my readers.

 

 

 

5061  Form itself is like a word found in an Arabic dicktionary; it means what it means, it means the opposite, and it means part of a camel.  Hebrew suffers the same dissolution.  Puns abound.  Irony and ambiguity and trails tailing off to the roundabout.  That is Being in itself.  The one God isn’t.  Or isn’t that.  Or is.  It makes no difference.  You as reader and I as writer are oblivious to what we really are.  We aren’t.  The world ends.  But everything is preserved in a green jelly.  Next time it will be red.  And wrought out of hand.  Time itself was a mistake.  Miss Prision in prison.  Miss Thing.  He had his moments of outright cuteness, but.  Always stuck in between.  I digress.  The camel humps.

 

Form itself is so fragmentary.  Or figmentary.  Or fagmentary.  Or assonance itself.  Oh, Nance.  Pants and ants and hanging on a telephone wire.  I am a formalist.  A waistland Hiberu.  A rabid nose under the tent.  Iron, big rail.  Livid in your hand.  More jelly, sir.  Risen up.  Stuck. 

 

And the perfect resolution.  But it doesn’t matter.

 

 

 

5062  Today philosophy wants to be scientific; it has wanted to be that for a long time.  It doesn’t want to be only a lover of knowledge; it wants to possess and even be real knowledge.    It has adopted the tone and style of serious scientific analysis.  But like all lovers trying to sound cool and disinterested in order to cover up their inner turmoil, they come off as pathetic, i.e. sad.  We have all been there.  Philosophy and philosophical novels have become parody.  Even burlesque.  But the writer doesn’t know it.  He is laughed at quietly.  He really does believe in his own words.  The complete irony of this situation is that in his abject state, this anxious lover really is one with Being itself.  The God of philosophy was never a scientist.  Like Nietzsche, God plays the fool for a greater unknowing.  The carnival is come to town.  Sideshow philosopher freaks—only twenty-seven dollars a peek (or three ninety-five at Amazon.com).  They have wings that fly where there is no air.  And boys, who are intimate with failure, take pity on them and love them.  Real scientists don’t have time for this poor and rueful, unwholesome love.

 

 

 

5063  There are two types of historical explanations—OK, there are more than two types, but I only want to consider two.  The first is the scientific, which shows that what happened was the exemplification of a particular scientific law.  The Hegelian narrative is this, but there are many others.  Here the particular is devalued in favor of a more universal scheme of things.  The second is a more literary enumeration.  Something unique happened and a narrator sets out to describe it to you.  Here it isn’t the scientific law that gives unity to the sequence of events but the sweet telling of the tales.  So we have unity by logical force or unity by rhetorical device.  Both work.  Neither reveals what really happened. Maybe because nothing “really” happened aside from those two orderings.  Or maybe something did, but it’s beyond our bicameral mind.  Or maybe it’s just too scary and we don’t want to think about it.

 

Nabokov said there is a reality that can be named only inside inverted commas.  There we find out what “really” happened.  But what did he mean by that?

 

 

 

5064  Here are a couple of paragraphs found near the beginning of The Modern Essay by Virginia Woolf.

 

  “Of all forms of literature, however, the essay is the one which least calls for the use of long words. The principle which controls it is simply that it should give pleasure; the desire which impels us when we take it from the shelf is simply to receive pleasure. Everything in an essay must be subdued to that end. It should lay us under a spell with its first word, and we should only wake, refreshed, with its last. In the interval we may pass through the most various experiences of amusement, surprise, interest, indignation; we may soar to the heights of fantasy with Lamb or plunge to the depths of wisdom with Bacon, but we must never be roused. The essay must lap us about and draw its curtain across the world.

 

       So great a feat is seldom accomplished, though the fault may well be as much on the reader's side as on the writer's. Habit and lethargy have dulled his palate. A novel has a story, a poem rhyme; but what art can the essayist use in these short lengths of prose to sting us wide awake and fix us in a trance which is not sleep but rather an intensification of life--a basking, with every faculty alert, in the sun of pleasure? He must know--that is the first essential--how to write. His learning may be as profound as Mark Pattison's, but in an essay it must be so fused by the magic of writing that not a fact juts out, not a dogma tears the surface of the texture. … “

 

I like the idea that the purpose of a piece of writing may be to give pleasure.  A subdued trance.  I feel that if I do that with my words, then that is enough; but I at the same time feel an unease with it being merely that.  This morning on the radio I heard someone give this piece of advice: Find out what it is that you don’t do well, and then don’t do that.  I write the only way I am able.  But I am reaching for God.

 

 

 

5065  All my life I have enjoyed strong opposition.  It is great fun.  Nothing personal.  It makes for good friendship.  Philosophy proceeds.  I figure my next move.

 

On any level.  Dialectical, analytical, theatrical, artistic.  Moralistic, stylistic, fascistic, emotional. But the intellectual fascinates me.  I love to be told that I am evil or banal or old hat.  I run with the goats, the weasels, the bulls, the dandyman with his fan.  But I fear the other will get bored or offended or simply run out of time.  I slow down and let him be in his own three act play.  I move on.  Then again, it never really got started in the first place and I, in my Socratic mien, dream of a contrary lover only sometimes mine.  Beauty is a difficult child.

 

Flaccid opposition is the waste of time.

 

 

 

5066  I have written up the philosophy of the Boy.  I have said in so very many words that Philosophy itself is the Boy.  The words I used to express the idea came to me early on mainly from Plato and St. John of the Cross.  I have also many times written of the bare particular and the nexus, both of which I was introduced to by Gustav Bergmann and I have said as much.  There are so many philosophical things named and scattered about in my writings, all of which I wrote up prompted, I suppose, by authors I had read.  There is nothing unusual in any of that.  But I have not taken the time and writing space to annotate any of it.  Have I been wrong in not doing that? 

 

Consider the bare particular.  We can say that it is a real thing out there open to being talked about by anyone and everyone.  Or we can say that it is only an idea and that idea is no more than the expression of the idea and that expression of the idea is owned by the one first writing it up.  Are bare particulars real things, like the scattered stars, or are they something that belongs to Gustav Bergmann and I must always give him legal ownership of it through annotation?  Is philosophy finally about existents or about ideas which are no more than copyrighted expressions?

 

Is philosophy about an existing thing or is it an interconnection of expressed ideas?  Is philosophy free or is it owned?  Thus, if another were now to write of the philosophical Boy, would he be obligated to mention that it is my idea?  No, he is only writing up what is really there.  But if he steals my expressed words, he goes to jail.

 

 

 

5067  Philosophy as a social gathering, a get-together where there is always drinking, intoxicating or not, was first introduced to us in Plato’s Symposium.  Ideas belonged to this or that speaker.  Person and personality were important.  Is that all philosophy is?  Is philosophy about something real or about somebody’s ideas?  Are there proper and properly philosophical things named only by philosophers?  Or are they concocted, dreamed up, in the burning incense of party time?

 

God knows philosophers love to go to Symposia, sometimes more politely called colloquia, and have fun gently attacking each other.  On the Internet, it’s still not quite worked out how we’re going to get about and sit cozily together.  The media are not good mead.  But we will eventually manage.

 

I too love the symposia, or I would if the Boy were invited, but he never is, so I don’t bother.

 

 

 

5068  Many today make a distinction between the author of a literary work and the writer.  If that is a real distinction, which it may very well be, then, if I am the writer of these words, who or what is the author?  Surely it is the Boy.  Who is God.  Who is the Logos.  Who is the least of these.  Who is also just me going on and on about nothing at all.  So I guess I am both the author and the writer, because I am the Logos, God, and the theological Screw up.  The Logos as logic and ontologic breaks.  Which is deconstruction.  Which is pure form.  It is Form.  The historical individual is totally gone.  Just the night air.

 

 

 

5069  At the end of every philosophy there lies … what?  The end of the philosophical journey is … where?  Does a god appear?  Or nothing?  Is philosophy an exercise in nihilism?  Is there finally just nothing at all?  Is defeat our only lot?  And failure?  And emptiness?  Or is there a something valuable there waiting?

 

Do we all have to descend into the muck and the mire and forgetfulness?  How depressing.  Should we lie to ourselves if it is so?  Or not look?  Or hope beyond hope—foolishly?

 

I have not written up nihilism.  He is there.  But the others smile bemused and sigh and say nothing.  I don’t mind.  I suppose the Nothing calls and sings sweetly to many.  I can’t imagine it so.

 

So, have I really succeeded in writing up a non-nihilistic philosophy?  Or have I failed?  Is failure inevitable?  Is God and the really real ever beyond us and our knowing it?  Is humility called for and waiting?  I have succeeded.  He is here.  Megalomania even beyond that of Nietzsche. 

 

 

 

5070  To see language as a closed system, referring only to itself, would be to see language as an adolescent looking at only himself in a mirror, impaled on his own image.  Is that how we really want to see or peek in on that self-present thing?  Some of us might.  I for one.  And I think it probably is true to the narcissistic event that is the Logos at home alone—but how could I speak such a thing?  How could I speak anything else?

 

Being is self-reflexive.  Being is with itself.  Present to itself.  In love with itself.  It woos itself.  It proposes marriage to itself.  It eats itself.  The logic is perfect. 

 

We are made from that.  We are that.  Such solipsism is the final thing.  We deny it only out of politeness.  Life is the blush of knowing that we are suddenly known by the Self itself.  We are not we, but that, the logic breaks when all perfection goes clear through itself.  The night fragrance.  The tautologous tango. A is A.  A is with A.  Εν αρχη ην ό λογος.

 

 

 

5071  There are two ways to know the meaning of a word (perhaps the word “book”): by looking to the simple form it names or by looking to its extension in many individuals.  If that simple form doesn’t exist, then we have no recourse except to the second way.  Let’s assume, for the time being, that the simple form doesn’t exist.

 

We are now looking at the individual (the many books) that holds the meaning we are looking for.  That individual—in this exercise—cannot be the exemplification of a form, because we have, for the moment, denied its existence.  That individual is itself, therefore, many things, all also in extension.  The book is itself a many.  So now we must look to the many things to find out the meaning of that one thing that is no longer one.  In space, in time, in its many, many relatings to other things, the book, the individual, becomes huge.  The many becomes Many.  We are on the verge of getting lost in the impossible.  There’s no way, there’s no time; it has the feeling of a nightmare.  Extension extending.  Dividing, dividing, dividing.  Place and moment are lost.  The one meaning isn’t.  The blade cuts.  The staunch fails.  The stench.  The ditch.

 

I go back to the one simple form.  Philosophy as itself exists.  It is not the many philosophers in a great puddle babbling on and on.

 

 

 

5072  After Descartes the Self loomed large.  Then came Kant and Hegel and that great gang of transcendentalists.  The Self.  The Self with Itself.  The Self estranged from Itself.  The Self finding Itself.  And then there is Shelley.

 

Shelley was an atheist or so he said of himself.  Surely the crushing Self with Itself was the divinity he worshipped.  Up against nature.  He was a materialist.  But it was Nature and sparkling matter full of gods and lustres.  He and the philosophers of his time were one.  It was an incestuous, poetic lot.  A puzzle and a maze and finally heart-sinking bedlam.  Whether or not I and the Boy belong to that lot is questionable.  I think not.  But if anyone would care to disagree, I will listen to your close analysis.  The intricacies make me elude myself.  A good reference would be Sexual Personae by Camille Paglia, the chapter on Shelley and Keats.

 

Since no one in the intellectual world will ever read this, I am, as always, speaking to the Angels and the Wind.

 

 

 

5073  One great division within literature is that between the social and what has been called canonical.  The first depicts the comings and goings within a normal social ordering.  There is a more or less strict adherence to the everyday characteristics that define the differences between the sexes, age groups and social status.  Everything has its place and everyone acts accordingly.  The second, the elevated writing of the Canon, are a violation of that normal ordering.  Here the androgyne is the centerpiece.  Every taboo is broken, every deep unspoken rule is torn apart.  Chaos threatens.

 

Imagine a setting of men and women socializing.  Husbands and wives, young and old, rich and poor, healthy and infirm.  It’s a well-orchestrated dance.  Life proceeds.  The good and the bad, the fortunate and the unfortunate, happy and sad; it is all there.  Now imagine an androgynous person making an appearance.  He/she doesn’t fit and everyone wants to see the freak.  The proper order is upset.  Things happen and scandals eventually ensue.  The end is not pretty nor is it spoken of often.  The androgyne is a monster that crosses over and cancels out boundaries.  The story cannot proceed normally.  We slip over from the social to a kind of strange religious acting out.  The canonical is the religious; horrid sacrifices are performed and the world suffers.  The division is huge.

 

 

 

5074  As I understand the pragmatist point of departure, he looks for a model or a grammar or an understanding of things that help him manage the world for his purposes. Whatever works! It is not a question of truth, but of getting things done. My desire is different; I am after a vision of the structure of Being. I have no goal to reach, except for reaching Being itself. I look at Being and write down what I see. (I know there are those who roll their eyes at that, but that is phenomenology—To the thing itself!—and philosophy is always phenomenological.) I see particulars that have properties. Being is a subject-predicate affair. A particular is tied to a form. The important phrase in that statement, for this exchange, is “tied to”. That tying is what gives order and structure and makes a world possible. If someone tells me that that is only my model of Being and beyond that there is surely something else, then I have no idea what he is talking about and I suspect he doesn’t either. 


It is true that there are problems with that S-P analysis. Most notably time doesn’t fit into that and surely time is important. Are we to give up the S-P view to accommodate time? To give up that is to give up logic, because that is the heart of logic. Or is it? There are those who have wanted to find a different “grammar” for logic, for example one that has only individuals (thick, no doubt). It has been tried, most notably by Quine and Goodman and that bunch. It didn’t work. Even they said so. Logic is ineluctably Subject—Predicate. So what are we to do with time? Good question. There is something that doesn’t appear, it seems. But to hanker after that is to jump into the sun and what to us is ever the (beautiful?) illogic that one finds there. Remember the Tie, that for us is as close as we can get to Being—after that the riot of thought commences.

 

Hello Again, As for Harman’s objects, they are still subject-predicate. They are individuals with essences or natures or maybe dispositions, which are sometimes called powers. And though they are totally isolated. There being are no relations between them. With only sensual images, occasionally caused, of one object inside another. And also the allure when disaster happens that hints that maybe something is beyond. (As in Japan.) They remain individuals with (an unknowable) form. He does ontologically dampen down the predicates, its essence, in favor of the object’s individuality, much the same way his mentor Aristotle did for substance, but they are still there. As for relations, which are dyadic or n-adic predicates, he puts them … apparently nowhere, again in imitation of Aristotle. When I say that there is something that doesn't appear to us in Being so that we might properly do an ontology of time, I do not mean anything like Harman’s withdrawal. I mean something unthinkable, some ontological thing not of the subject-predicate schema. It’s not only beyond our sensual, conceptual ken, it is a blank for us. There is no beyond.

 

 

 

5075  In Nepal there is a temple dedicated to Bagh Bhairav.  Bagh means tiger and Bhairav means fearsome.  Bhairav is Shiva or, in his more fearsome name, Rudra.  I want to speak about the Platonic Nexus of Participation.  Sometimes that is explained as metalepsis, a rhetorical notion, a kind of extended metaphor.  Sometimes it is a mythological connection between things or between things and people, and that word “myth” shoves it, again, back into the unreal, quasi-aesthetic.  I want to look at participation as a real nexus between things.  Bagh Bhairav as a real thing to which real people can really connect.

 

Imagine walking about, in your Platonic frame of mind, and thinking about the Tiger as a universal Form.  And you walk into a zoo and there you see a tiger.  That sleeping hunk of flesh is now your consideration.  Shift your mind around and see that thing slowly evolve into the Tiger itself.  I thinks that a rather easy act for anyone with a good imagination.  A child could do it easily.  It participates in the Timeless Form.

 

Now continue on your way.  Soon you spy a boy over there who attracts you, a lazy, ruddy-hair boy, potentially fearsome in your advance.  Your mind remembers.  You see the Tiger and you see that he participates in That.  Your imagination is good.  You see things.  The boy is a priest of that temple come to you and he participates in Bagh Bhairav.  A shiver of delight comes over you.  You are close to dreams and the Other.  Then someone speaks to you and it vanishes.  Was it nothing, nothing at all?

 

A true Platonist, a real believer in religion, would say that the vision was real.  The nexus was there.  But today the true believer is almost non-existent and we are told that we only have a good imagination, which is next to nothing, a thing of childhood.  True belief is childish.  I am a believer and I have been reading Jean Genet.  Desire.

 

 

 

5076  I have often, probably too often for most, mentioned that my writings are erotic or about the erotic.  I can just hear so many of my readers (I wish I had some) groan out, No, they aren’t.  So where is the erotic in my writing?  Sartre says in the introduction to Our Lady of the Flowers by Genet “… there are abstract relations that can be erotic.  The idea that Marchetti will remain a prisoner foreveris certainly even more exciting to this resentful sadist than the image of his being humiliated by the guards.”  Here, sadly in English, is Genet himself: “Marichetti will remain between four white walls to the end of ends.”  That’s beautiful and sadistic at once.  In my writings the erotic is carried by the word “exists”.  As I think “doesn’t exist” does the some other writers.  The full, present strength of the clear and distinct existent coming at me is erotic.  Just as emptiness and loss are for others.  When I say something exists I feel it close and pushing on me.  If that is nothing to you, then never mind.

 

 

 

5077  “Falls under” is a lovely nexus.  But it will get you into a lot of trouble.  I can say that Everest and Annapurna and K2 all fall under the concept of Mountains, and then as long as you don’t take all that literally I have made myself perfectly understood.  However, it approaches a kind of sexism that may cause you to fall into a fight that falls under the concept of an emotional riot.  Concepts, according to today’s understanding, fall under the notion of mental thing.  The things that fall under are unformed sensual quasi-things.  They become honest-to-goodness things when they are given form and order and a name by mind.  Idealism!  The traditional view is that feminine sensual half-beings are governed by, fall under, made whole by masculine, invisible, non-sensual mind.  Oh my.  Now you have a problem.  To fall under is to trip up.  Have you grasped my concept?

 

 

 

5078  Here’s another candidate for nexushood – equivalent to.  It is not the case that x and not y is equivalent to if x then y.  Some people want to think that that is the nexus of identity, but they are just flat-out wrong.  If you can’t see that then you shouldn’t be reading my blog, which you are probably not anyway, but oh well.  Not really.  I don’t know why equivalent-to is not identical with identical-with, but it isn’t.  I think it’s not even equivalent to identity, but that is a whole other can of worms.  And that’s beyond the question of a doubt.  One needs to tidy up one’s loose ends.  Then you’ll come out of this looking like a rose.  And you’ll smell the light at the end of the rainbow.  Which will be tantamount to a commensurate red convertible.  It’s all one.  And not.  A nexus gives you a world and then you discover that it is rather strangely not itself.  Or the equivalent thereof.

 

 

 

5079  “Now if one knows anything at all about Badiou, one knows that Badiou proclaims the identity between mathematics and ontology.”  Ontology asks the question, What exists?  If the mathematical is one with existence, then, if I ask for the ontological ground of color or fragrance or happiness, such a philosopher must tell me that they are in their very being mathematical things.  I take it that a mathematical thing is a number or a set theoretical construct or a topological space or some such thing.  Now then, to make such an assertion is, on the face of it, radical nonsense.  A fragrance is not a number or an ordered set of sets or a piece of twisted space.  A fragrance is a fragrance and that’s all.  Mathematics and ontology are not the same.  Most definitely not.

 

Today, those tuned in to popular science inform us that sensation is in its very being merely some complicated neuro-firing.  And that is described by means of tinker-toy schemata.  Yes, such nonsense wants to say that sensation, fragrance, is molecular, topological torque.  Badiou and the other Pythagoreans are having their day again.  But it remains nonsense.  Should I repeat that for you?

 

 

 

5080  Concerning the nexus, this is the very thing about which Wittgenstein warned us to pass over in silence.

 

 

 

5081  I have lately written a few pieces about the nexus.  There are many different kinds, but for the moment I only want to consider whether or not we can actually experience such a thing.  Yes, we can.  We can directly.  But, oh my, I suppose it is like everything else and only a few can and only sometimes.  Let me explain: there have been embarrassing times when I have tried to sing in a group.  I was told to follow one of those lines that wasn’t the melody, but in harmony with it.  The director assumed that I could, of course, hear such a line.  I couldn’t.  I heard only one block of sound.  I have no ear for music.  Likewise, I have been told to taste a particular wine and pick out the various fruity and nutty and metallic tastes; I, of course, couldn’t.  I have no palate.  The same goes for adding spices and all those other things to the soup.  It either tastes good or bad but usually just ok.  And don’t ask me about sports plays or subtle dialogue and gestures in a movie.  Or about … I think you get the point.  Some people can discern delicate differences in this or that and others can’t.   Surely it’s the same in trying to get a feel for and “seeing” non-Euclidean geometry and 12-tone music and the rhythm of free verse.  I don’t know if all that can be learned or one is born with the ability; maybe it’s both.  I have always been tuned to the terrible spirit of philosophical analysis.  Or a particular type of analysis.  I guess a rather strange kind of breaking apart.  It’s enchantingly easy.  I talk about this and that and no one has any idea what I’m talking about.  I have learned to just go on.

 

 

 

5082  As for Harman’s objects, they are still subject-predicate.  They are individuals with essences or natures or maybe dispositions, which are sometimes called powers. And though they are totally isolated.  There being are no relations between them.  With only sensual images, occasionally caused, of one object inside another.  And also the allure when disaster happens that hints that maybe something is beyond.  (As in Japan.)  They remain individuals with (an unknowable) form.  He does ontologically dampen down the predicates, its essence, in favor of the object’s individuality, much the same way his mentor Aristotle did for substance, but they are still there.  As for relations, which are dyadic or n-adic predicates, he puts them … apparently nowhere, again in imitation of Aristotle.  When I say that there is something that doesn’t appear to us in Being so that we might properly do an ontology of time, I do not mean anything like Harman’s withdrawal.  I mean something unthinkable, some ontological thing not of the subject-predicate schema.  It’s not only beyond our sensual, conceptual ken, it is a blank for us.  There is no beyond. 

 

 

 

5083  “Truth is beauty, beauty truth.”  Most people, it seems, really do believe that.  Today, when truth is seen to have vanished and only perspective remains, beauty is also nowhere in sight.  No one believes in truth and no one believes in beauty.  Only personal feelings matter now.  Artifice, simulacra, questionable things.

 

A few pieces back I wrote that the word “existence” erotically excites me.  The real present push of things transcendentally paralyzes me.  I am bound.  Truth is there.  I write it up.  And I said that for others loss and non-existence is the erotic element, a holy crying.  Surely for some it is, but today I think many more are excited by ambiguity and uncertainty.  That is the stuff of gothic fantasy and horror thrillers.  The world threatens—or does it?  The chill, the unknowing, the lack of solid ground is the erotic for so many.  My love of existence and the firm, clear presence is a turn-off for these Ambiguists.  To each his own.  No one speaks of beauty, only the thrill of the ungrounded, the near miss, the closeness of the abyss. 

 

 

 

5084  Here is why I am not a pragmatist.  He is one who looks for “whatever works” and then goes with that.  I, in my life, in the important parts of my life, the parts I want to work, have never found anything that does work.  So now I have mostly abandoned that and moved in with the otherworldly or the transcendent or the perfect forms or whatever you want to call them.  If I were younger I would probably still be looking for the true thing in itself out there.  Now I know or I think I know that it isn’t there to be found.  This includes any true, perfect way of speaking the Truth.  It can’t be done.  I mention it in my passing words and that is enough to send me out of here to There.  I said almost nothing but that nothing was enough.  My writer friend is still between worlds, still looking, still trying to make his way in the world and find “whatever works”.  He may very well succeed.  We are differently made.  What I have found is not what he will find.  I do for all that have my moments of utmost satisfaction, but not in the world where everything is, for me, the chaos after an emotional tsunami.  I remain only myself.  I am perfectly that.

 

 

 

5085  There are many philosophies out there fighting with each other.  It has always been so.  They can’t all be right.  They are incompatible, even violently so.  We choose or are chosen by one or the other, but it’s often an uncomfortable or unsatisfactory relationship and we quietly at times skip out and taste forbidden thought.  What to do?

 

And then there is Socrates, infinite absolute negativity.  The Troll par excellence.  He is my hero.  He is a nasty fellow.  He can take any philosophy, any of your most precious thoughts, and drive it into the intellectual Abyss.  No system or dream of a system stands through his tornadic winds.  It is no wonder that they forced him to kill himself.  An obscene ending to this Satyr.  He is my hero.

 

Pluralism as a philosophy cannot be.  The Whole of all philosophies together is sheer chaos.  Nothing.  So, since that Plenum, that Optimum, is one with war, where are we to go to find refuge?  Is there Philosophy beyond the many philosophies?  Wouldn’t that be, if so, then just another philosophy?  I have no doubt that Socrates, or one of his boys, could knock it down.  Nothing works.  Boys can upset any applecart.  They are the very incorrigible spirit itself driving Socrates on.  Nothing stands in the sharp light of their glare.  And then they just smile and walk away unconcerned.  Thus they are of the gods.  The Boy is himself infinite absolute negativity.  A wild beauty.  That is the soul of this devilish Satyr.  The gentle, refined Forms themselves.    

 

 

 

5086  New Criticism and Deconstruction can take any style of writing and ravish it to pieces.  In the same way close analysis of any hard crystalline philosophical system will violently swing and knock it on the marble floor of Pure Intellect.  No philosophy, no literary work is safe.  And it all proceeds so logically and so precisely and so perfectly.  It is a very, very refined art.  The angels learn their trade and they are our night tirade.  The show is superb.  To think of philosophy as any other more comfortable affair is to soon want an escape to that.  These boys of the night play rough.  The lights are too sharp.  The drink is too intoxicating.  Your head will know Vertigo.  That is the Transcendence of our unrelenting God.  O Happy Chance.

 

Then again there is bourgeois domesticity, which is rather pleasant.  I’m only a writer, slightly bored, and boredom makes one amorous.

 

 

 

5087  In the last few writings I have presented a philosophy of Transcendence.  A transcendence that hovers over the chaos of time.  The way a lover hovers over a sleeping, dreaming beauty.  Chaos is a strange beauty.

 

This Transcendence does not try to control or manipulate that beloved, or if he does, then he will fail utterly.

 

I write.  Using a very restricted grammar, unchangeable, fixed, I de-scribe the scene, the tent of the spirit.  We lie slightly protected from the wind.  My transcendence is only partial.

 

Time is filled with the non-self-identical.  Metamorphosis runs.  The night stench in the night musk.  I hover and nummular drops leave a trace.  A trance, a stare, a stair upward.  Nothing works.  He wouldn’t look.  I work the night.  The fright, He might.  The tight logic I am.  I hover.  There’s nothing left to do.

 

 

 

5088  Christianity is the religion of the Incarnation, and our trip to God is to take us through benevolence toward “the least of these”.  Yes, of course.  But there are intellectual problems along the way, bothersome theological problems.  Nagging ontological inconsistencies.  The man Jesus was God.  Oh my, it’s an impossible thought.  And we usually hide just how impossible that thought really is.  And we become ridiculous in our attempt to think it.  Not only does reason finally break, but all our interrogations of personal experience speak otherwise.  Or we become sentimental fools.

 

Kierkegaard advised us to jump into the absurd.  Or did he?  It’s unspeakable.  What did you say?  The Absurd.  I write the absurd.  Or rather the fool’s silliness.  The boy is my lust, not the “least of these”.  Or have I misunderstood the absurd and he and I are truly that?  I go on.  No one follows.  I am alone but with the furies.  Such extravagance.  Such vagrancy in the extraordinary.  So ordinary.  Kierkegaard is finally The Knight of the Middle Class.  I help where I can.

 

 

 

5089  In the first paragraph of Augustine’s Confessions we read: “Thou madest us for Thyself, and our heart is restless, until it repose in Thee.”  Until then we walk about longingly in the chaos of un-understanding.  No one can rest content with anything less than God.  Though we are told daily in our reading that there is no transcendence and that to seek such transcendence would be to shirk our responsibilities to the earth, and though we try mightily to be comfortable with that ever-shifting textual weaving, we remain restless.  No one can accept immanence as all there is.  It is impossible. 

 

We know all that; we really do know that, but we also love the earth, or some do, and we really do want to do well by it.  We cannot just run away to transcendence.  We would lose everything.  We are promised a rock to light on.  A high rock such as an eagle has from where he might look down on the deluge and the deadly fright.  But it is cold up so high.  And the battle of life is where our friends are.  We will live and die together without ever knowing anything for sure.  God is too distant and we are afraid to go where He is.  Still, we are restless.  Our lot may be to be forever without repose, but with the hope of homely comfort in the arms of death.

 

I long to climb up to that rock.  Or more accurately to be suddenly there.  I find the stillness beguiling.  I wait for the perfect words.  I hope I do so.  The logic is perfect, but so difficult.

 

 

 

5090  A few pieces back I wrote that I believe this is an S-P world, a subject-predicate world, a world to be described by a logic of particulars exemplifying universals.  I really should be more explicit about just what that means.  Heidegger talks of Being and the Modes of Being.  Modes are universals, except that he suppresses their primacy in favor of a more univocal notion of Being and thus makes them more like adverbs.  They all give way to a common something.  Maybe that something is history.  My universals are stronger and non-historical and one has a much more difficult time going from one to the other.  Maybe it cannot be done at all.

 

Let me give an example.  I, in my living life here on planet earth, find myself beset by others who are very, very different from me.  Well, of course, we all have felt that.  I, at one time when I was younger, thought I could explain myself to the others and they would come to understand and indeed feel what I felt.  Now I see that that isn’t to be.  Being divides and there is no crossing over from them to me or from me to them.  The Forms are unbridgeable and they do not fade away as we approach the Sun.  There are many, many Forms (of Being?) and they are exemplified here and there by this and that and that seems to be the end of it for all I can see.  We are all different.  The one community of understanding is a dream.

 

Now then, I ask myself, what about those who don’t believe anything of what I have just said, what about those who don’t believe in Being or God or the Forms or Logic or even in the Sun?  Are they simply exemplifications of a Form that is different from mine.  Yes.  But of course they would disagree.  I can’t understand them.  And I know I shouldn’t pretend that they are really with me.  They aren’t.  Nor am I really with them.  And that seems to be the end of it.

 

 

 

5091  Universals, the Forms, in any philosophy are fixed, unchanging things.  That really bugs a lot of people.  They want fluid, dynamic, living beings progressing, relating, moving, moving, ever moving.  They find a metaphysics of eternal Forms to be downright creepy.  Musty things from the underworld. In a place beyond hope.  Oh my, I must jump to it and defend these ancient, Saturnine things, perhaps from the Hammer of Nietzsche.  Or so it seems.

 

The Great Family Togetherness of today’s social order, so much alive in its celebration of life, is not where I find myself.  I am outside the gate.  I have ventured far off.  I am off the spinning globe.  In am in the stars.  Or I dream.

 

I dream the dream of philosophy.  Everything I have written is from somewhere else.  It is of no value to anyone back at the dinner party on that green lawn of life.  Therefore, if you have come here looking for an intellectual app to help you manage your way in the world, to help the world, to play your part, then you have bowed to the wrong icon.  I am somewhere else.  Go back to your friends.  This is not about real life.  This is about the “real”.  Here is the reality that can only be spoken of in quotes.  A caged bird.  The boy of the moon.  The Rose of Uranus.  Asteroids and rings rimming the far horizon.  It’s not for you.  Or is it?

 

Any street vendor sitting against the wall in Kathmandu can sell you a piece of transcendence.  His boy will deliver it to your room near where the crows march after nightfall.

 

 

 

5092  George Saintsbury in his History of  English Prose Rhythms writes:

 

“It has, I have no doubt, occurred to other students of elaborate rhythmical prose that curiously large proportions of the most famous examples of it are concerned with dreams; and I should not suppose that many of them have failed to anticipate the following suggestion of the reason. Dreams themselves are nothing if not rhythmical; their singular fashion of progression (it is matter of commonest remark) floats the dreamer over the most irrational and impossible transitions and junctures (or rather breaches) of incident and subject, without jolt or jar. They thus combine—of their own nature and to the invariable experience of those who are fortunate enough to have much to do with them—the greatest possible varietywith the least possible disturbance. Now this combination, as we have been faithfully putting forth, is the very soul—the quintessence, the constituting form and idea—of harmonious prose. Unfortunately it is not every one who has the faculty of producing this combination in words; fortunately there are some who have.”

 

There are a number of ways to achieve unity in a piece of writing, philosophical or otherwise.  For philosophy, one of those ways is a clean, logical progression, another is a steady dialectical peeling back, but, as in that quote above, it can also be had in numerous prose, the rhythm of dreams, captivating metrical variation, telling repetition, the smooth jolt of the irrational.  Something is awry.  The thing itself is close at hand.  The eye works into itself.  And the soul is beside itself. The night trick. Fearsome, fearless philosophy.

 

 

 

5093  There is a certain truth to ethnocentrism.  Consider this little story about a gift to a group of monks.  A well-known person, it matters not who, was very fond of a group of monks, it matters not who they were or why they received his love, and he gave them a gift of a portrait of someone, it matters not of whom, and this image was one of those almost magical images with eyes that always seem to follow you whenever you walk by, it indeed matters not where you are going or why.  The eyes are always upon you, just you; it is sure.  And if two monks, maybe one is you, walk by at the same time going in opposite directions, even then the eyes follow each perfectly.  And it does not become cross-eyed.  Each person is followed as just himself and that one followed never has to share the attention of that image with anyone else.  It is for him alone.  Such is true love.

 

Even so it is with an ethnic group.  The eyes of God are upon them perfectly with no thoughts of anyone else.  Each group sees it as so.  They have the full attention of that one watching them.  And that one is God.  He, and only He, is able to give His complete and undivided attention to each person and each group and He is one with them, even in their most peculiar ways.  Only for them; no one else.  Each group and each person thinks it is so; and it is so.  A kind of magic.

 

Yes, I, in my peculiar ways, am followed and I have this God’s complete attention and there is for Him no other.  He is as I am.  A beloved never shares his lover with anyone else.  Of course not.  It is only the one.  The One.

 

 

 

5094  The great question of philosophy has always been What is the mind.  The great problem of philosophy has always been What about time.  The great concern of philosophy has always been Where is the immortality of the soul.  Philosophy and religion are finally the same thing.

 

When I was a boy and so in love with another, I would devise great arguments proving to my friend that in love the mind, the soul, found the eternal and lived forever.  I thought and thought and worried that he might not understand and I thought and thought some more how I might very simply explain it that he must understand.  He, of course, never heard me, but I continued on because there were others that I loved.  I loved a multitude.  The task was and still is huge.  The arguments are easy for anyone who wants to listen and believe.  I’m sure he worries that he should not believe.  And that is a greater problem.  The forces aligned against philosophy and its proving slither about.  How does one battle slithering?

 

Credo ut intelligam.  Intelligo ut credam.  Fides quaerens intellectum.  Intellectus quaerens fidem.

 

 

 

5095  Time, as we experience it, is not just the moving of the Now along an ordered line from past to future.  There is also the re-appearance of something of the past and the pre-figuring of the future.  That last, though, is unspeakable and I, therefore, didn’t really speak it.  Apophrades and nefas and the uncanny.  I have been writing up the philosophy of the Forms for a long time now.  Such things are outside time but appear in time as tied to this and that.  I suppose one could say that the form here and now is one and the same form that was there and then and that will be.  Surely in a philosophy of reincarnation it is that that is ever again, and not the particular.  The strangeness, the attractive mysticism, of all that is the idea that the Form is itself a real thing ever with us.  Again and again.  But to some, I’m sure, that is not attractive, but repulsive.  One must be passive to its greatness.  That Thing is with us again from out of the past, floating on into the future.  And I too am a repeating Form.

 

 

 

5096  A philosophy of the eternal Forms repeating and repeating, ever here again, has something brutal and corrupt about it.  Teaching it to the young seems to take the life right out of them.  They are then entered by the ever-Unchanging.  In the musky, mustiness of a very old room.  Nonetheless, boys have always been called to take the cowl and enter the room of eternal prayer to the old phallic God, ever crawling over them.  It happens and we are unable to stop it.  A strange desire possesses us.  The young are vulnerable.  We are all wounded.  The sore of love.  The bore of craving.  The words of surrender.  And the breathing.

 

 

 

5097  He didn’t reply, so I turned and walked away.  I will use that as my example in talking about time.  It is a rather complicated example, but I can make do.  It is an event that may happen in the future; it has happened in the past; and, though it is not happening now, it could be.  You will have to make do; you will only partially succeed, however, just as I have.  The onto-logic of the situation will break; and perhaps that is the reason for the emotional mess that ensues.

 

One way to think about tense (not a very good way in my estimation) is to see it as a property of an event.  That event I mentioned above then has the property of being present or future or past.  Let’s go with that for the time being.  We can also then say that in the more distant future that event will be past, and in the more distant past that event was future.  Likewise, again in the future it is present and in the past it is present and even right now, if it is going on right now, this Now is also and only in the future or the past and the whole thing is lost in the maze of time.  Time is the Maze.

 

It seems that if tense (time?) is a property, then every event is, at the same time, past, present and future at once.  But that seems wrong and it can surely be restated in a way that the crease is ironed out.  Perhaps you can do just that.  I can’t and I don’t know of anyone who can.  I don’t think tense is a property of an event.  Unlike so many others though, I am not ready to drop tense as unreal because it involves us in inevitable contradiction.  Something else may be going on.  But what?

 

 

 

5098  Once again the example from the last piece. Perhaps we could, some say, overcome the (apparent) contradiction if we said that the event has the three mutually exclusive properties but at different times.  In other words, the event has a past, present and a future at every point in the past, present and future.  This would be equivalent to saying that there is a time within a time or time over time.  The problem with that, I fear (but maybe you don’t) is that we are at the head of an infinite regress, instead of a vicious circle as last time.  This time maybe you will accept your fated fate and go with it.  Or both accept it and not, depending on when and so forth.  “Ain’t time cute.”  Or so might say the one who is afraid as we all are.  The terror of beauty dancing with time.

 

Again the maze, ears pollinating the night.  A tease in the dale.  Time setting out against itself, again.

 

 

 

5099  Will the Apollonian save us from the Dionysian?  Authors throughout our intellectual history, poets and philosophers, have certainly tried to make it so.  Still, the two gods are at each other and neither seems to have the upper hand.  God, I surmise, is both and God against God is the Show we watch.  The Sacred Spectacle.  The Divine Liturgy played out.  As we are played out.  And we beg Jesus God to help up against the Furious God.  We barely understand, but we understand enough to know that we are in a very dangerous place.

 

The problem is that the Apollonian is at its core just the Dionysian.  Can we way that the Dionysian is at its core the Apollonian?  We must answer, Yes.  The dialectic is itself infuriating.  And in the great clamor of time, nothing changes.  The love of God is a strong wine so pure it is as crystal water.  Which means it is sharp and it cuts the lip.  And the metaphor is rather sickening.  The Apollonian/Dionysian dance is disaster to clear thought and writing collapses into … here I am obliged by the logic of balance  to say … into gentle order.  But I can’t.  Has the Dionysian won out?  I ask you clearly and directly as we sit here waiting for the appearance of the Beautiful One – again.  And the madness.  God, I fear, will never let go of us.  Surely he won’t.  The Eternal Return. 

 

 

 

5100  Continuing on with the plot-theme distinction again, I think we could also apply it to the Platonic dialogues, especially to the story of the Socratic encounter.  The plot, the movement of the Socratic argument, is finally aporetic.  It seems to come to no end at all, other than thought’s destruction.  In that way, it is like the progress of science today when theories are crashing all around us.  We will never know the end of the story, unless it is that there is no end, or what the Grand Theory of Everything is, because there simply isn’t any.  That is the frustrating plot.  We try to turn it into a liberating moment, but it never really satisfies.  The theme, the transcendent things caught in the net of words, are the Forms.  Everyone has noticed that in those dialogues there is a division between the “infinite, absolute negativity” of that Satyr, and the divine Theory of the Eternal Forms, supposedly of Plato.  Sides are chosen and sly, snide glances are given across the unbridgeable abyss, but we languish in philosophical lassitude.  The plot and the theme remain each itself.  Somehow the Forms do come out of that catastrophe of thought, but how, and what is that nexus of “coming out”?  Theme and plot are together, but eternally separate.  Or so you might say, but that saying says nothing.  Or what?

 

 

 

5101  I think this is part of the problem I have with my writing—and it is a problem.  Using the distinction I mentioned in the last piece, I think I am aiming for the Power and thus meaning and life are easily left behind.  I wonder if I sometimes reach it.  I am so bold as to say that now and again it is mine.  But probably seldom.  That’s enough. 

 

In today’s English, as Rosen says, Power most often resides in the littlest words, those words coming to us from Anglo-Saxon.

 

 

 

5102  It is no wonder that the homosexual is so hated.  They are the most judgmental.  They will look at you and size you up.  Are you their god or not?  Surely you will fall short.  He moves on.  The sentence passed was inevitable.  No one is good enough.  His god, his ideal, is always beyond.  And anything less is quickly, silently left in the grass.  You have no hope.  He is ever, inwardly contemplating higher things.  He roams through the heavens.  Looking.  He courses about in this darkness, leaving wreckage.  You will know only his moving on.  And on.  Without you.

 

Then he returns in the late afternoon and woos you.  He wants you.  He sees his god in you.  You, my friend, are divine.  But you never wanted to be divine.  You are Jesus to him.  He will be crucified with you.  He loves you.  It’s ridiculous. He knows only, he sees only, the ideal.  This is the heavenly, Uranian, love of the Higher Mind.  The Crazy Mind.  I am that.  So unjust.  Lex set up.  Ortho-paedos.  Banish him.

 

 

 

5103  A piece of writing is badly written, well written or perfect.  We look about for the perfection.  It is nowhere.  But it is close.  So close.  The breath of thought is on us.  In us.  We breathe its fragrant air.  The air is subtle.  Too subtle for life.  Perfection kills.  It is the only writing we desire.  It is the writing of desire.  The rise and the fall.  The coming, the going, the fated coming again.  The exquisite repetition.  You have heard the words forever.  Nothing delays your approach.  The breath burns.  The perfection goes clear.  It is through you.  You are through with the world.  Again.  He sees you.

 

 

 

5104  Correlationists and anti-correlationists are BOTH representationalists.  By that I mean that both believe that we are looking at a representation or image or stand-in or deputy for what is “really” there.  We do not see the thing itself, but something that is correlated to the thing itself.  The argument they have with each other is about whether or not that stand-in gives them the “truth” about the thing itself.  One side thinks it does, that we humans do “know” (reasonably well) the thing itself by knowing the representation of it, that that image is (pretty) faithful; while the other side thinks that the representation is an image horribly biased toward the human.  The argument comes down to an epistemological quarrel about the truth of the image, not about whether or not we are looking at and somehow through an image; both agree that it, indeed, is only a representation we see.

 

I am of those who think we are not looking at a representation, but at the thing itself.  No deputy, no stand-in, no mediator of any kind.  What we directly see is IT.  That is direct (oh so naïve) realism.  All of which leaves me open to the charge of wanting to be God. 

 

 

 

5105  In my last post I said both the correlationists and anti-correlationists were representationialists, or maybe it was an accusation, whichever, in my book representationalism is a totally hopeless philosophy.  It is a philosophy which claims that we never know any existent directly, but only through a deputy.  For example if I look at a face, I do not really see that face, but I see some mental construct, a mental thing that is a part of my own mind or brain activity.  For most representationialists that thing is a sensual something or other.  Whatever it is, it is not the face itself.  It may be a Lockean idea.  There are, of course, reasons why some have chosen to say we are dealing only in deputies, most notably the fact that contradictory properties are seen in the object it we don’t.  My argument against representationalism acknowledges that contradictions arise, but that the representationalist’s way out solves nothing and anyway it assumes direct, non-representationalism to begin with. Let me explain.

 

I look at the well-looked-at penny and it is round; I look again and it is oval; I look at it later and it is tarnished; I look closer and it isn’t a penny at all, but a fuse box plug.  You know the spiel.  Apparently, I was not dealing in the penny itself, but an image, a mere appearance of the penny.  Let’s assume that that is correct.  I was looking at an image.  The way all that assumes direct realism is in the saying that I was looking at the image.  Do I see that image directly or through yet another image?  Either I see it directly or an infinite regress begins.  Therefore I see the so-called image directly.  Un-mediated.  I see that image of the face itself directly.  Now then, let’s assume that “beyond” the thing I see directly there is another something, so that when two contradictory or contrary appearances appear, they are reconciled in that other thing.  That thing was called the noumenal by Kant and others have taken up his words.  Some today call it the object itself.  It is not the sensual appearance of it in the mind of another.  It is … it is nothing rational; it is in fact rather creepy.  A something that was supposed to heal the wound of knowing.  It is Sublime or Subterranean or Infinite.  Romanticism and the Fantastic rule.  But no contradiction has been resolved, only shoved into Obfuscation.  What the object is “in itself” becomes unspeakable, the Ineffable.  I accuse.

 

One more point, so, the thing we see directly is not an image; it is just itself.  It is not “in” the mind nor created by the mind and then projected; it is just itself.  The object of our direct awareness simply is.  It may be an illusion or it may be actual, still it is just that and nothing is beyond it.  Those who worry that I have not overcome the contradictions are right, but I have overcome a useless, benighted duplication.  Those who worry that I have left not room for God, could perhaps look to the directness itself.  Still, if you have a love of the things that go bump in the night, by all means, carry on with your eidola and shadows and their ever growing uncertainty.  I accuse for your pleasure.

 

All of which sets me down close to Bishop Berkley, but without the subjectivism, which puts me close to Nagarjuna, but without the nominalism, as we ogle the clear-eyed Platonic Ideal raising a clamor as He approaches.

 

 

 

5106  Time in this world we call Nature is the Imp Entropy, his doing up and his going down.  The Wheel of Life.  Nothing remains.  Everything passes.  The good, so easily seen and caught and loved, disappears so quickly through the palm of our hands.  Our hands now withered.  Beauty moves on.

 

Is there no release?  Must we always rise and then slip away into nothing?  Is there no Beautiful Form that lasts and lasts and moves on just itself without us?  Well, yes, of course there is.  We dimly see it in our dreaming mind.  We brightly, too brightly, imagine it in our gut.  That Thing nails us to the wall.  So tall.  We sprawl and crawl in lingual anguish.  The god is glue too present.  And we deliquesce down his ever-beautiful leg.

 

I write him up.  You read him red.  It is our returning joy.  The boy of lust and busted faces.  The Wheel turns.  The Turning never turns, ever returns.  And burns.  The Imp is hard importance.  To us.  Life is nothing.  I watch from a distance.  Within the Trance.

 

 

 

5107  Correlationism is a big word today.  It has something to do with being mutual, which is the co-  part, and relations.  I think it is mainly a meaningless word.  No one ever says what that relation is or what the difference is between a relation and a mutual relation.  The word has a certain power today, I think, because it is in fact rather meaningless, like all truly philosophical words.  There is an inverse relation between meaning and power, but don’t ask me to be specific about that relation, because here it is just a filler word and there is no power at all in it.   So I am going to say something about correlationism and the correlative anti-correlationism.

 

One big place of worry in philosophy today and always is the correlation between the timeless world of logic and mathematics, on the one hand, and the timeful world of history and real life on the other.  How do we manage to think them together?  Beats me, but we try to do it all the time.  Another question concerns whether it is the timeless or is it the timeful that is the way of mind.  Is the “out there” timeful or timeless.  Or is mind and the out there both, and/or maybe neither.  And then there is water.

 

Water is cool and soft (sort of) and gently flowing, not to mention sparkling and refreshing.  Hydrogen and oxygen atoms joined are none of that.  So what is the correlation?  There really is one of those (meaningful?) correlations.  Or is there?  If not then we are all anti-correlationalists.  Or should be.  Still, there may not be any correlation between what we think and what we think we think.  Or could, would, should.  The power runs off like a deer in headlights.  The word will soon go out of fashion just like all the other once wonderful philosophical words have.  Philosophy is intellectual fashion.  Sometimes high fashion. 

 

 

 

?? The soul, we see, in the Phaedrus, again, and again after a long time, is always in motion, back and around, and then again. Here and then there. The motions are jerky, usually. The topic is difficult. The breaking up is violent. The horses fight. The Beloved is so ungodly still. Just an uncaring boy. The motion is pointless.The singularity is gone. Or it never was. But you and I always return to him. To the motion of our motion that is what he is. The god in the ungod. The world he deposited on his bed sheets. The soul that we see. Thick silvery opaque.

 

His white shank is enough to keep us going. In the beauty of the night of thought. Quickened.

 

My question is whether, or not, the soul can drop off this course into unmotion? Into a final unoblivion into finally knowing itself stopped? Right now, in constant oblivion, looking, almost finding, slipping right past, not knowing itself, or its self, at all, almost, I forget. Will it ever remember and be and stop? And that’s it? Or have I gone too far into a sort of logic and missed the simplest—just nothing? No doubt, but that won’t work either, if you but think about it, and you’re off again. And your intellectual bed sheets are sticky wet again.

 

 

 

5109  For quite some time I have been concerned about certain philosophical words lying around here and there in our everyday dictionaries like unexploded arsenal.  Children, even untrained adults, might easily pick them up, try to use them and Being itself blows up in their faces.  Analytical entrails all over the written page.  Swaths of perplexed enlightenment encircling otherwise normal heads.  The danger is great.  But who is trained well enough to extricate these words of war?  The Genius of Vienna hinted at the problem—if only he knew, if only he knew.

 

I dare you to approach any philosophical dictionary that advertizes itself as a help for the metaphysically desperate and take one word out of there, held up as so important, and try to really grasp with a sure understanding what was written up so gently about it there on the white page.  It’s a fool’s game.  But the young are so full of hope.  Still, that is the glory of the whole sordid love affair we call philosophy.

 

Philosophical words, real philosophical words, are finally beyond the understanding’s ability to state their meaning in other words.  That we try and fail and in the process come up with magnificent new philosophies because of that is the joke on us.  And what is “process” anyway?  Another philosophical almost unword.  You are here in the presence of Power.  Just don’t try to explain either presence or power.  Just go with the spiritual flow that is in you and Write On into the dialectical night.  (If you think you understand the word “dialectical”, think again.)

 

 

 

5110  So many of the world’s religious sects have both an exoteric and an esoteric meaning to their sacred texts.  Most of those esoteric meanings are, if I have not stumbled in my understanding, a form of Neo-Platonism, finally ending up in an apophatic, bright silence.  Emanations emanating on and on down the aeons.  Dark incarnations subtly hiding the purgatory light.  Numbers numbing the nimbus of noesis into unknowing.  (OMG)  Magical gesticulation and smooth articulation clogging up the skies.  I at times rather like it but I suspect that all that mystification has another meaning dimly to be dream-seen grinning on down the line.  I think I know what it is.  Maddening metaphysics is nothing more than an attempt to corral a beauty as he threatens to, once again, bolt and leave the watcher’s eye blank.  We speak the heavy words until, in trepidation, having walked the dark, twisting alleys of thought, at long last dark matter captures light.  The chela becomes master and the master chela.  Not to worry this apocalyptic mask of play hides it more securely here in plain sight.

 

 

 

5111  Ideally philosophy is a dialogue, but in reality it is the One just talking to Himself.  That is the Essay form of writing.  It is a trying thing.  Every closing is an opening up.  The boy of God finally surrenders to your melodies and imprecations and then vanishes.  You are left talking to yourself.  The One is not there.  But of course he is there.  The dialogue went right through you.  The Logos was a log.  A bog.  A cog in the wheel and a cocked gun.  The form of Unknowing for us.  We relent.  But we don’t repent even if life is spent.  Hardly.

 

I have written so much, but it is just the One Thing ever repeating.  And then the silent night air.  He was there always, and I was gently speaking to no one else.  He understood, but he never let on.  I will force the affair to begin again at the beginning.

 

 

 

5112  A true Platonist is someone who believes in Separate Forms.  Separate!  Separate from what?  From everyday life.  Philosophy as I see it has nothing to do with life in this everyday world.  To think it does is to be mad.  Philosophy as such is absurd.

 

I am a true Platonist.  The things I write—I am told even so by my friends—have nothing to do with anything in this world we call our home, the so-called real world.  I tell them I write the Really Real.  They are unimpressed.  Still, that unworld, all admit, has at times a certain beauty about it.  But we should not corrupt the youth of Athens with it one more time.

 

If you have read my writings for even a short time, I think you will agree that it is hard to find anything in there that is practical for getting along in this worrisome place.  There is no earthly wisdom there.  The Forms are useless and as nothing.  We agree.  We may disagree, though, on whether or not there is a transcendent world, a place of Uranian Love, waiting for the soul that escapes the swamp and suction of this place.  Or is that just another bit of tainted food now almost inedible left by the demented curators in the ancient museum of discarded thoughts?  Or whatever.

 

I think we agree, the Platonic Forms are separate.  Mercifully Separate.  But that is real philosophy, while the other is a purgative anti-philosophy, now usurping the name. 

 

 

 

5113  Both the early Wittgenstein, of the Tractatus, and Karl Kraus, master of the aphorism, Viennese friends, were enchanted by and devoted to the sentence.  The pure sentence.  The sentencity of the sentence.  The almost ineffable.  Later came along Gustav Bergmann, also of Vienna, the ontologist who catapulted the object of their devotion into the stratosphere of rarified analysis.  The sentence, the aphorism, a thing that is half and one-and-a-half parts of a thought, a thing with no parts.  Today philosophy is about the sentence.  I write them up into the rising falling cumulus of the paragraph.  The almost ineffable.  The bane of scholars.

 

The sentence is an edgy thing.  It is the borderline between subject and predicate, between particular and universal, between this right here and the timeless.  A hairline crack.  The easily overlooked.  It moves on so swiftly.  Extending and contracting.  The silent reading voice climbing up, disappearing.  Fast then slow.  And then the cadence and the closing of the thing into itself.  The sentence hovers over the fact that is the world.  The hovering, the beloved is asleep, or not.

 

 

 

5114  Wittgenstein and Kraus both fell for the sentence.  What they discovered was too subtle, a seeming nothing and their too heavy Viennese boots made them trip. Up.  The sentence as a something different from the elements in it is hard to see when war is approaching and one is looking for a way out of that.  They eventually handed over their discovery to those who will think that a quick cleaning will do the trick.  If only we pay more attention to the proper, commonsense use of words then all this metaphysics and war will not happen.  The quick clean never pans out.  Metaphysics and war are not language mistakes.  Nonetheless, the subtleties of language are a beauty for those who will love it for what it is and not try to use it for man’s business.  Yes, the copula and the comma are precise and beautiful things.  And only a precise soul can live in that beauty.  Wittgenstein and Kraus were that but war is a vastness that obliterates.

 

Metaphysics and the aphorism are both maddening.  They say too much.  They don’t say enough.  They are surely twisted.  It isn’t the fault of the sentences, though.  We are here in the presence of the Real.  The Torque is really there.  And the precise and delicate timing.  We fall for and into the sentence.  It may be sweet.  It may be the cause of war.  To think all that as one is to be lifted up to the horizon and electrocuted by the gentle dawn.

 

 

 

5115  Philosophy and the imagination.  That last thing has held sway in the romantic mind for a long time.  The swagger, the swoon, the domination, the lurch and the careen.  But the word has not had a happy history.  We must first look to Locke and his division.  And then the reversal.

 

For John Locke, concerning poetry and philosophy, judgment and wit were the two faculties of the mind that exercised him most.  He wrote, “[Wit lies] most in the assemblage of ideas, and putting those together with quickness and variety wherein can be found any resemblance or congruity, thereby to make up pleasant pictures and agreeable visions in the fancy.”  (Essay, II.II.2)   Then he wrote, “[Judgment] lies quite on the other side, in separating one from another ideas wherein can be found the least difference, thereby to avoid being misled by similitude and by affinity to take one thing for another.” (ibid)

 

That same division (wit and judgment) is rendered by Wordsworth as fancy and imagination.  That last thing was Locke’s judgment; the image was a clear Lockean idea.  Wordsworth was after “the discriminating powers of the mind” inThe Preface.  He wanted to look “steadily at his subjects” with “little falsehood of description”.  He wanted the truth of judgment, not the play of metaphor and fancy.  That is imagination for him.  But the later Romantics turned it around and made imagination, not the achievement of a clear, isolated image, but the magic of synthesis.

 

The word “Imagination” now sways and oscillates and we are getting dizzy in the confusion.  Is poetry clear, sharp description or is it the vertigo of mingling?

 

 

 

5116  A friend of mine recently decided to write a paper for his humanities class on the topic of Platonic Love.  They had been reading the Symposium.  Unfortunately, he asked my opinion on the matter, went with that and got a bad grade because his ideas “made no sense”.  I am not surprised.  I told him not to listen to me any more when writing a paper.  I had told him that Platonic Love could indeed be real physical sex and not just the “spiritual” non-sexual type that is the usual understanding.  I will here defend my idea, but first let me talk about the Forms and our approach to them.

 

It is usually thought that the Forms, the Platonic Forms, cannot be seen with the eyes, heard with the ears, felt with the hands and most certainly not smelled, tasted or eaten.  The Platonic Forms partake of the invisible, bodiless form of the transcendent God.  Or so it is thought.  It has always been my contention, which is obvious to anyone who has read for a time in my writings, that I am one who believes that the Forms and even God Himself are accessible by the senses, the very things made so humble and weak by the pure.

 

For all that I do believe in the Transcendent.  But then transcendent to what?  Past the everydayness of the everyday to the ontological Things.  Take a simple example of the problem.  I see two red rectangles.  The realist (admittedly not the man-on-the-street), and not the nominalist, says that that oneness of color is grounded in a universal.  It is not two reds that somehow unite only in the bodiless concept.  The color Red is therefore real.  Do I see it with my eyes?  It’s either yes or no.  If no then what we see are two individual reds that are one in a transcendent Red.  Do such individual reds exist?  The nominalist says yes; they are tropes or perfect particulars or thick particulars.  The traditional Platonist says that, yes, there are such individual reds, but they participate in a non-sensual Red.  The traditionalist has some sort of eidetic intuition or illumination.  All of which falls to the Third Man argument of Aristotle.  It seems that there must be a third red that unites the individual reds and Red.  The metaphysics falls apart.  As far as I can tell, if I want to hang on to Platonic Forms, universals, the red I see is the Form of Red.  I see Red. 

 

Now whether Plato, in his writings, would agree with that, I have no comment because I am not a scholar of ancient texts; I am an ontologist.  I believe in the Forms (which most humanities teachers and their students don’t) and as I examine them directly (not texts about them) I come to the conclusion I have stated above.

 

Now for Platonic Love.  Such love, I think it is agreed, is an attempt to reach the Forms, especially the Form of Beauty.  I think you can see how I would say that that Form can be approached through the senses.  All the way.  Even as in Jesus we know that which was from the beginning with our eyes, ears, touch, and surely smell, taste and we eat it.  I glory in the prospect.  But then again I am just a humble faggot who would naturally (or unnaturally) think like that. 

 

 

 

5116  Defending the idea that the Platonic Forms can be seen with the senses, I used the sentence, “Past the everydayness of the everyday to the ontological things.”  (It really is strange to quote oneself.)  Some would, I’m sure, question that as an illegitimate jump.  They would wonder what the difference is between that and jumping to the “unseen” Forms.  It may be that I have jumped from ordinary seeing to philosophical intuition.  Maybe.  There is a jump there, for sure.  And it may be that I have jumped from seeing with the senses to “Seeing with the Senses” in a transcendent sense.  And then later, when I talked about physical sex, I was really referring to “Physical Sex”.  Maybe.  Nonetheless, and even if that is true, Platonic Love really is Physical Sex—and I win the argument.  Or do I?  Oh well, that is the screwiness of ontological talk.  It is night talk, or Night Talk.  It is The Screwy.  Jump.  He is coming.  The lowly Illegitimate One, outside the law—but I ever repeat.

 

 

 

5117  Back to the question of whether or not we can see or “see” universal forms, Platonic Forms.  I’m looking at a box of Cheerios.  I will try to ontologically analyze that in a way that will give you my idea.  No, I am not going to analyze that because it is too complicated; I will, instead, analyze a yellow rectangle and you can extrapolate—or whatever you want to do with it.

 

I see or rather perceive the fact that this is a yellow rectangle.  I am the thought [this is a yellow rectangle].  I will assume that the thought and its object are two and not one—I am not an idealist.  I can also, by tweaking my seeing, see the yellow and the rectangularity.  Again the thing seen and the seeing are two, not one.  I can also see the particular “in” that object—the “just this one”.  And I can see that that particular is tied (oh so closely) to the yellow and the rectangularity.  Moreover, I can see that yellow and rectangularity are each literally one and the same “thing” that is “in” other yellow and rectangular objects.  They are universals and I can see that ontological fact.  The object has blown up into a myriad of things or “things”.  And I see or “see” them all.

 

I think you followed all that quite easily, but you no doubt wonder about all those quotation marks.  What do they mean?  They seem to be at the heart of the problem of philosophical seeing.  Philosophical or eidetic intuition.  Yes, it is a bug-a-bear of a problem, but I insist on one thing.  The thing seen in all that extraordinary seeing is not a mere mental thing.  I am seeing something that does exist; it is not created by my mind, maybe prompted by something outside it. 

 

All that seeing and “seeing”, the ordinary and the extraordinary, are of something that is really there.  Now then just don’t get hung up on “really” and “there”.  We all must know when and when not to be exact; the language is an imperfect tool.  You will try to sort it out later, I presume.

 

I see the fact that this is a box of Cheerios.  I see the Form of being a box of Cheerios.  I see the just this one.  I see my thought [this is a box of Cheerios].  I see … and on and on.  Yes, my ontology is sort of like an Asian city, a big mess, but I am rather fond of both of those things.  The Beloved comes at night and in my little room off a side street creates worlds with his Big Bang.  Bham, I have seen it with my loving ontological eyes.

 

Did that help?  Probably only a little.  Don’t worry, I will try again soon.  We have all the time in the world.

 

 

 

5118  If you’re going to talk about consciousness, you’re also going to have to talk about thoughts.  Here is an example of a series of thoughts within some one consciousness: 

 

Pray tell can sweetness be more sweet?

And then more sweet, a sweetness even more complete?

With just one drop the entire cosmos fills

And drowns within its lovely honey swills;

In sweetness all directions merge and meet.

 

The smiling rays of camphor touch his lips.

The smile melts from his misty mouth and drips

Entering by force the ears of all the skies

It beguiles, and ravishing it ties

The hearts of all and, most of all, the girls.

 

Just hear about the dulcet flute’s disgrace!

It steals wives from their husbands’ sweet embrace,

Destroys their dharma and their chaste vows.

And Laksmi too in heaven is aroused,

So what hope have we poor girls to save face?

 

That is the Rasa-lila from the Bhagavata Purana.  The “girls” are the shy guy devotees of Krishna.  Those thoughts were in the mind of whoever wrote that—maybe it was God Himself, no doubt it was.  His followers have tied their minds in knots trying to not understand it.  The truth falling into itself. 

 

So now we have, not only consciousness, but also thoughts.  If your philosophy talks about consciousness—and so many today do—can you tell me what a thought is?  It is a something “in” consciousness.  And it is somehow fused with words.  That fusion is mysterious, for sure.  I think it is because of that confusing fusing that most philosophies don’t talk about thoughts.  They just assume they are one with the words, the text.  But a thought is not the text; it is just a thought, and the text, though fused with it, is very very different.  And they are bothersome.  Can you talk about thoughts?  Do they exist?  What are they?  Are they just irreducibly themselves? Yes, they are that.  And the thoughts and the words and the object are intimate, so very intimate.  It is no wonder the guy devotees are so shy.  I blush for them as they hurry on past. 

 

 

 

5119  Today philosophy must be dynamic and democratic.  It MUST be that.  Because that is the zeitgeist.  If you want to be understood, that is the necessary thing.  That is the true revolution. That is our only escape from the dusty duskiness of the old.  Otherwise we will all perish. And Gaia, our needful mother, will herself succumb.  Hop to it!

 

Think about it, my friend.  No more high abstractions.  No more meaningless visions.  Do something.  Therefore, if you want and you must want, to get moving, get building, then get on with the planning, plotting and social plaiting.  And for God’s sake don’t sit there mesmerized by some pretty twink that has you in thrall.  That sexual stare and democratic dynamism are opposites.  MOVE!  Meditate to overcome your just sitting there.  Your static stasis is stultifying.  Whatever it is that has come over you, you should not let it come over you.  Your musky mucus is molding.  Bite down.  Revolve!

 

And don’t read the ontological boy.  He will lead you into cross-eyed aphasia.  Not the ineffable, just a helpless inability to say anything sensible.  Read Hegel!  Learn the vastness of speech.  Learn volumes.  Write like a midnight striker.  The world needs you.  You must learn the overcoming of the lurid overcoming by the stupid gods of metaphysics.  And the stupa and stile must be strewn under walking, prancing feet.  Good luck.  The chthonic angles at you demonicratic.

 

 

 

5120  If all sentient beings disappeared from the face of the earth, would the sun still be bigger than the moon, would the bright sunshine still be shining on white houses along my street, would there be right angles on the houses and would those angles still have the property of being described by the Pythagorean theorem?  Would there still be particulars exemplifying the form of house?  I think that today most who think about such matters would say, No.  Surely, they would say, all those properties and relations depend upon being embedded in the human context.  They derive their meaning from so very much inter-relating of thought with neural anatomy.  Such contextualing is the mode of thinking today.  Everything is context and perspective.  Everything that is true is true because of everything else that is true.  Truth is an eco-concept.  An echo of everything other in monadic harmony.  We lie down in the whole.

 

I, of course, would never say or believe such a thing.  Yes, if all sentient beings disappeared from … etc. …  the houses would still be there as houses.  That is realism.  Knowing and the known are two, not one.  I am an unrepentant dualist.

 

 

 

5121  The specula, the mirror/seeing/espionage, of Speculative Realism seems to be offering up a rather benign image these end-time days.  In the hands of the harmony seeking, eco-loving pretty boys, it is giving us only the bright image of a rather apollonian goddess, the boy in drag.  The shining surface of chthonic Nature beguiles.  The Medusa head lays low no enemies.  No enemies exist.   Only a misunderstanding.  I demur.

 

But if you don’t go along with this flowing-haired, fair goddess as sighing happy consort, you are not of the elect and you will have to go under.  The love tension is not to be yours.  She is La Belle Dame sans Merci.  Good luck.

 

These guys in their symposia are drinking the ancient mead made rather too sweet.  Nature, it is insisted, is not the horror, but the enfolding truth.  I think it is here deadly simulacrum.  Nature cannot be made out as the playful, beautiful boy-girl of Fantasy, which, it seems to me, is what the SR people have tried to pull.  Nature is the Gorgon.  You will succumb.  No heaven awaits in this mother.  Around and around the wheel-of-life runs over your pretty head.  Bad luck. 

 

 

 

5122  I am a very naïve realist.  I innocently spout Naïve Realism from the rooftops—where the Internet cable comes into the house.  The others are afraid that such a blatancy may be a little too blatant and maybe it was all a dream.  I say it is the clamor that precedes the second coming.  And thus embarrassing.  Do you think the ancient wisdom that is philosophy should be more solemn and blindly decorous?  And anyway the God we worship is invisible.  To say we can see His Reality with our naked eyes is blasphemous.  But—I SEE THE REAL.  Hang on a minute, my God is the Boy, not a politely covered Lady.  Is the latter one yours, after all?

 

The Boy is properly naked and out in the openness that He is.  Yes, nature loves to hide like a proper Dame, but she is of another person’s philosophy. Here, in these writings, the Real is entirely visible.  And I naively gaze.

 

 

 

5123  In our philosophical and theological history the Invisible has taken precedence over the visible.  Meaning usurps the order of firm, visible structure.  Real beauty, we must repeat, is inner, not outer.  Hidden Laws rule nature’s smooth motion.  Life-value proceeds from obscure relations.  The strong do not allow themselves to be observed with the seeing-eye.  To be seen is to lose power.  Or so it is thought by the wise and the devout.

 

Wasn’t it the Deconstructionists who tried to put an end to all that domination by the piously reserved, by the withdrawn?  Didn’t they try to elevate the apparent beauty of the vulnerably within sight?  Didn’t they show that the Mark of Cain, the devalued, was at the heart of the most valued?  The seen world is the world.  God suffers our gaze.

 

 

 

5124  It must have been very embarrassing.  The colloquium finally did finish and everyone had given the very best of themselves.  It was a roaring success.  Even the food and intoxicating drink had been delicately, colorfully laid out and well stirred.   And served with panache.  Magic obtained all round.  Moreover, we did not fail to notice that we had seated ourselves in what has to be one of the most magnificent university buildings on any campus in the world, the peak of late neo-classical, such exquisite proportions!  And then there was the charming, intelligent host.  Impeccably dress, as usual.  Conscious of everyone’s needs.  An old-fashion gentleman, yet still a man of the times.  Everything was perfect.  The Ideal had been had.

 

The problem is that this was a conference on the glories and the greater value of the state of becoming, not of such final perfected being.  We were there to hold up the many moments of journeying, not of arrival.  We should have had presentations still half-thought-thru.  Microphones not set up quite properly.  A roaring truck outside.  Food not yet cooked completely.  Drinks with not enough liquor.  Colors that clashed.  Panache more like a pancake.  Magic that failed.  We should have held the thing in the maintenance shed.  And the host should have had bad taste in clothes, humor and attentiveness.  Everything should have been is a great state of imperfection.  Of not yet.  We had been had. 

 

Becoming, I fear, has not been honored.  There was way too much finality of being.  And of all the bad luck we went home happy and relaxed.  We were proud of ourselves for a job well done.  Like fools we were carried along to completion.  Being was once again served, not ingloriously glorious becoming. 

 

 

 

5125  It takes two to paint a picture; one to paint it and another to tie the painter’s hands behind his back when it is finished.  Ideally the two become one and the process of constant change ends.  Without the End that is reached the painting evolves ever into another.  And so it is with today’s philosophical writers; as soon as endgame is almost at hand, they cower and cannot or simply won’t pull it off.  Imitating the Socratic Aporia and believing is eternal questioning, they roll over into another question, devise positions and the process begins again.  That is the unease of today’s philosophical lack of destiny.  It is the final pain of unending foreplay, infinite absolute negativity.  Plato stopped it with the appearing Forms; the boys undid the Socratic question.

 

Perhaps it takes three; those other two and a third to force the closing of the argument and a breaking out into the Openness of finality.  Then we will again need that other one ti simply prevent the painter from trying to paint the Sky.  The painter, the thinker, can go back inside if he wants, absorb the darkness and wait for another day.  Then it begins again. 

 

The End is never the end.  The Moment of Climax is never the final moment.  We always want another and another.  Nonetheless, to have no climax, no orgasm of thought, is to have nothing.  The Ideal exists and comes again and again.  It cannot be evaded forever.  You will be there.  And ever again.

 

OMG, after all that I may need another to prevent anything premature.  The long work of thought and correction really is necessary.  Still, even in our workers’ state work does have a point and it ends.  And I’m hoping I have found it here for this piece.

 

 

 

5126  All writing tends toward the Ideal; otherwise it becomes just floundering and foundering.  We want to express the Idea clearly and simply.  We want good order.  Perhaps even elegance.  And we want a certain power to be present in the words.  Otherwise it is embarrassing.  We work on into the late night.  We forge and break apart and align and realign and wait.  Thinking and dreaming and begging and so many times of simply giving up.  We wait.  The blood rushes and gathers and then as though out of the midnight blue the sky peers and it is there.  The god lies down.  And you lie there with him tired and mangled and he succumbs to our workman’s beauty.  The end.  And sleep.

 

 

 

5127  There are a few boundary lines within philosophy that cannot be safely crossed.  One is that put there by the philosopher’s love object.  I am intent on the Boy, but there are few that move with me.  Most of the others aim toward the … I don’t even want to name it for fear of misnaming it.  Let me call it the Female.  It may also be Mother Nature or the Great Goddess or even the more feminine Fair Damsel.  I think you get the point.  I am not going to characterize it—or rather her or Her.  I know when and where I should leave off.  And that hesitation is the same that I feel when I think of responding to some philosophical writing on the blogosphere.  So many of those guys I read, I know, are, not-so-secretly, in love with or in thrall to that.  I will leave well enough alone.  Nothing I could say in the way of criticism would hit the mark.  We are eternally divided.  Such is life and probably even Life beyond mere life.  I do, however, think I know where they will end up; and I cover my eyes instead of looking.

 

 

 

5128 

 

Keats is quoted here.

 

“Intelligences are atoms of perception”

 

These three Materials are the Intelligence, the human Heart (as distinguished from intelligence or Mind), and the World or Elemental space suited for the proper action of Mind and Heart on each other for the purpose of forming the Soul or Intelligence destined to possess the sense of Identity.”

 

Mind and heart work on each other.  I take that to mean that perception and emotion fuse together as if in a Smithy’s forge called Space.  That may not be quite right but it doesn’t matter for what I want to talk about.  My question is What are those things of the heart, which I have taken to be the emotions?  I will try to show that they are things among things.  They are there to be known by consciousness just as are bicycles, stars and numbers.  They exist and they are not human.  That is to say they are not the product of human activity.  The emotions just are and they still just are even if all humans or all consciousness disappeared.  They are things.  That is my Naïve Realism.

 

We commonly say that we feel emotions, which is somehow more that knowing them.  Whatever the case, we are intimate with them; we are tied closely to them.  I also think that when we name these emotions we all more or less know the same identical thing.  Just what is associated with the emotion may very well be different, though.  Therefore, in this ontology fear and love and even an itch are things.  These are then somehow connected to something we perceive.  The emotion is of a thing.  “Of” may not be the connector, but for the moment just what the connector is, is not important.  They are connected. 

 

Now then, soul is perception connected to feeling.  I see that the sky is clearing.  I love the sky clearing.  Just as the object of my perception is the sky clearing, so also the object of my feeling is love.  All of that fuses into one thought.  One awareness.  When the object of an awareness contains emotion that is called soul.  Why not.  I am an awareness of the clearing sky and love in one awareness.  I love the clearing sky.  All of that is immediately, directly present in front of my mind.  None of it is a function of anything else.  It is just that that I know and is.  How naïve!

 

 

 

5129  The word EMERGE is currently fashionable.  Consciousness emerges out of massive neural physiology.  The emotions emerge out of the swirling atoms of the shimmering body.  The red of the rose, the hardness of rocks, the slithering of green snakes all emerge out of the tortuous convolutions of the finally infinite dimensions of space.  But space itself is no more than the void emerging out of the emptiness of nothing at all.  But whence Emergence?  Does emerging emerge out of itself only?  No, there is no such thing at all.  EMERGE is a surd.

 

When the word appears you know you are in the land of myth.  Things magically transform.  It is the story of Aladdin’s lamp.  Metamorphosis and transmogrification.  From nothing arise the phantasmagoria.  And then fall back.  The world never was. 

 

In English these are all great Latinate and Greek words.  Transmutation, transfiguration, metempsychosis.  And that always indicates we are in high abstraction.  Head-spinning ideation.  The murky stuff of academia.  It’s fun, but it’s mythology.  There is no such magic.  It goes with the Fantasy that is also so popular now.  Science has become poetry.  Dark vatic mumblings.  Trash.

 

The only recourse is to let the things that supposedly emerged simply be as they are.  Consciousness, the emotions, the striking properties of things simply are.  Even space and number and, yes, myth itself with its changelings all exist.  Dare I say that they all come only from out of themselves?  It feels magic and the transverberation is close.  The lusty pinpricks of myself emerging.  Aladdin dallies.

 

 

 

5130  How should we think about Jesus?  That’s a bad question.  Jesus is God to so many and I am not about to tell a devotee of Jesus just how he should think about his God.  Therefore, I will ask, for the religious and non-religious alike, How might we think about Jesus?  Some suggest that he might be considered as either a historical figure or as a symbol with perhaps a Jungian, psychological meaning.  Neither one of those satisfies me.  I see him more as the thing we encounter in The Dark Night of the Soul such as described by St. John of the Cross.  A duende, a lover.  Or as the ecstatic angel of The Transverberation of St. Teresa of Avila.  Or as the Strikingly Beautiful Prince in The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi.  And on and on.  In all those depictions He is a strong presence, a thing directly before the mind’s eye, neither lost in history nor removed and intellectual as is a symbol.  There he is the object of passion, not a tool of the understanding.  But that may not be your cup of mead.  For the devoutly heterosexual fellows among us Jesus in such a role is probably slightly off-putting.  In that case, Jesus may be the … I don’t really know what.  I guess he is a historical or symbolical figure, albeit one that saves.  I am not about to tell another how he should worship, see or love his God.

 

 

 

5131  In idealism everything comes back to mind.  In today’s blog philosophizing everything comes back to the conversational spirit.  I suppose those two are not so different.  The casual chat about God, existence and everything pervades the pixelated winds.  The respectful back and forth—always excluding, of course, the trolls and the fugly souls.  It’s a gentle time in philosophy.  No more deadly, spiritual battles.  Having recognized the cruelty of precision in the mind, everything is now loosely ambiguous.  Gentle sentences pile on and up and disappear into the Great Gods called Das Gerede und Die Gemütlichkeit pours down— one more time.  I never could manage it.  I stare and everything becomes a thing.

 

 

 

5132  Among the young, liberal minded thinkers there is now, and indeed has been for a long time, a desire to find common ground between Christianity and Buddhism.  I have also thought that I see something there.  We are all dilatants but, nonetheless, we try.  I will try my best here to state my views, which I suspect are not quite the same as that of many of the others on the blogosphere.  I want to talk about the Wheel of Life.

 

I have had a few pundit friends in Kathmandu who had studied Hindu and Buddhist philosophy for quite some time and we would argue.  We all loved to argue.  Some would insist that the goal of religious practice, or rather the ultimate goal, is to get off that Wheel.  Most said that the Wheel is final and there is no getting off.  Karma and rebirth are matters for the Wheel.  Is there any getting away from all that?  Would one really want to?  Surely dependent arising is a part of it.  As is compassion and meditation.  But what about leaving all that behind as nothing at all?  Was final enlightenment a way off?

 

In the West there has also been something similar.  In the ancient Near East, there were cycles of life and death in the cultic religions.  The Pentagram was its symbol.  Life-in-death and death-in-life.  Around and around.  Was Christianity a way to step off that pagan turning?  Wasn’t God the living God and thus not a God of stillness beyond it all?

 

So many young people are Vitalists, lovers of Life.  They want to insist that all of existence is filled with the Spirit of Life.  The mechanistic universe of the Deists is gone and they think they see hope in the new science.  They celebrate the great richness of it all.  Life, life, life.  I think for them the idea of getting off the Wheel is anathema.  And Christ did not come to get us out of the world but into it more lovingly.  They want to jump into immanence feet first and swim in the great Ocean of Being.  The spirit is inward, not in a still life-less transcendence.  Oh my, the young.

 

I, in my philosophy, have made a distinction between the ordinary world, the everydayness of things, the great living cosmos, on the one hand, and the still ontological, analytical pieces, on the other.  For me contemplation of that stillness is the same as the step away from the Wheel of Life, away into the Godhead beyond.  That is where Buddhism and Christianity come together.  And Platonism.  The Pentagram is broken.  The others hear me and just blink.

 

 

 

5133  Allan Bloom is an interesting fellow.  Some have wondered how it is possible to reconcile his atheism and his licentiousness with his conservatism.  Really though, the only way he was conservative, that I know of, was in his great desire to conserve our collective love of the Great Books.  I think we could say that those magnificent words were holy to him.  Indeed, they, including and extending the Torah, were the very thing he worshipped.  This Great Holy Word was his God.  And indeed that is not so different from the Ancient Jewish worship.  Really, it is not different at all.  He, in that sense, was not an atheist.  As for his licentiousness, his undoing here on earth, that was … let’s just say with certainty it was his great love of Life, another Jewish idea.  It all fits together rather well; it seems to me.  Mr. Ravelstein is here and here.

 

 

 

5134  I am a naïve realist.  That of course is a marked phrase.  I usually call myself a direct realist, but I want to say something else about philosophy, as it is practiced and has probably forever been practiced, in the schools.  Alan Bloom, in addition to being associated with the very noble idea of the Great Books, has also been a part of that great camp of behind the scenes swing that we call a government.  I am referring to, not only the government of state, but also to all university academic administrative intrigue and personal petty gossipy backbiting that is there so pervasive and oh so human.  I detest all of it.  Others thrive on it and work so well within it.  I suppose it has its fun side in a small setting, even if on the world stage it is a horror.  In the schools it usually leaves no more than a dirty feeling and ruined careers.  I want nothing to do with it.  I much prefer a blissful naïveté.  And I suspect that those who have a distaste for naïve realism, have a certain love for the splendor of unseen cunning and they may do well in the departments.

 

 

 

5136  One more posting about Allan Bloom.  I really don’t know that much about the man.  I only know that he along with Leo Strauss were intent on preserving a love of the Great Books.  And I know that their ideas have ended up badly.  The new American Imperialism has come out of it.  And bitter, bitter talk.  It seems that Bloom’s love of antiquity was the same as so many others for the last couple of centuries, both here and in Europe.  They fell in love with the manly warrior.  And they saw, or thought they saw, his image, his pure image, in ancient Greece.  Whitman, Nietzsche, the early Nazis, the Officers of the Raj and on and on, saw a beauty there in the great male thrust.  I also am half in love with it.  Only half, though, because I don’t believe it was really there.  It is nowhere.  It is a dream.  An erotic dream.  And to try to make it real is disaster, as with all erotic dreams.  I let the Transcendent itself take care of that part of life.  Maybe there.  Maybe there.

 

 

 

5137  I seems to be a given for most philosophers that the mind can know only what is in the mind.  Even the phrase nihil in intellectu nisi prius in sensu, there is nothing is the mind except that it was first in the senses, confirms that, because sensations or sense-data are also things—it is thought— in and of the mind, though, perhaps, caused by something outside.  But why do so many believe that?  Why can’t the mind know what is not of the mind.  I mean directly know, not know through something in the mind or reflected in some mental thing?

 

I see no reason to hold the belief that the mind knows only what is in the mind.  Therefore, let me say and assert that the mind directly knows what is not in the mind—in addition to directly knowing mental things that truly are in the mind.  I see a train going by across the way.  I indeed see the train and that train is not in my mind; it is across the field over on the railroad tracks.  It is black and orange and it rumbles and shakes and none of that is merely sensations in my mind; it is all in and of the train and I see it.  Period.

 

In this philosophy the paradoxes of correlationism do not arise.  And I am not beset with that entanglement.  Even the shape and the speed and the odor and the danger of being too close are out there, not things of or in my mind.  And the fact that it is a train, a long train, a beautiful train is out there.  I am beside myself in knowing all of it.

 

 

 

5138  Continuing on, to believe that the mind sees what is out there directly, and not through a mental deputy, is to forgo the seductive paradoxes of correlationism.  Those philosophers who find themselves caught on the horns of an epistemological dilemma are, I humbly submit, loving it.  There’s no way off.  The intellectual pain will continue forever.  A sweet prick.  And the words will flow like the dusty, dusky sheen on a star-boy.  Ok, maybe not like that, but long conversations into the aporetic night will lyrically and finally dithyrambically peter out in a late night walk home.  And though home should be nowhere for a mind trapped in itself, you are seen dead on by embodied angels just as you are.

 

 

 

5139  In the history of philosophy the opposite of necessary is contingent.  It’s a questionable opposition, a misty misalignment.  Ne-ket-ti, from which one cannot draw back.  Kom-tagere, near touching. 

 

That H2O is wet and cool is contingent.  It could be otherwise.  That photons, a knot in 12 dimensional space, is green and dark blue is a mere near touching, nothing more.  It is probably otherwise in another realm of Being.  That I am drawn to you is necessary.  You are of the Perfection of Being and you must be for me.  I cannot walk away.  In another realm nothing will have changed.  It is fixed forever.  Even so, there is also here a near touching.  An alignment beyond thought.  Maybe beyond existence.

 

 

 

5140  Today it is 44 F outside and it feels cold.  Two months ago 44 F would have felt warm.   44 F is cold; 44 F is warm.  Yes, and from that so many today jump to the conclusion that the property of a day as being warm or cold is only in the mind.  Today the air feels cold.  The day and its properties are not things in my mind.  The day, the cold, the feeling are things that exist.  None of it is created by my mind.  I am not God looking within.  But how can I accommodate other sightings, other feelings, other incompatible properties all gathered in one and the same day?  They aren’t so gathered.  There is no substance into which all differences disappear.  I am not a Buddhist, but like a good Buddhist I am an anti-substantialist.  It is such a big important word for nothing at all.

 

Therefore, I do not have all ideas, feelings, aspects, appearing, disappear in one mind.  I am an anti-substantialist.  Such a big important word for nothing at all.  Mind, the one mind, is a substance and substance is nothing at all.  So now I fear I will have to contend with those who want to surreptitiously make The Nothing be substance.  But I am an anti-substantialist.  A word for nothing at all.  Not The Nothing.  The day is warm.  The day is cold.  That is the end of it.  That is the truth of the day.  I see and feel and value it as it is.

 

 

 

5141  That last piece no doubt elicited a hesitant but … but … but.  Anti-substantialism can be easily stated and then it is abandoned, left to sit there on its own while the philosopher walks away.  But no one leaves the poor frail thing alone.  Questions are thrown at this daimon as he quietly, so quietly, waits for … for nothing.  Something is coming undone.  His shirt flaps in the wind of the spirit.  Substance and contradiction demand their say.  The world is one they insist, even in its brokenness.  The argument begins.  But there is no resolution.  Philosophy itself is without substance.  And quiet contemplation of nothing at all will not bring peace.  The daimon bursts out.  Blogs and bogs and floggings proliferate.  Profligate philosophy tries to find its way home, but the intoxication of thought makes the stars swirl.  And the road has disappeared.  Nirvana is to leave home and never return.

 

 

 

5142  Continuing on, since substantialism is so ubiquitous today, I walk alone.  But wait, I hear young Buddhists calling.  They want to tell me that they too are anti-substantialists.  They believe only in the great interconnectedness of all things.  Dependent arising.  The oneness.  I turn away, fearful of telling them that I think their Greatly Interconnected, Dependently Arising Phantasmagoria in the One Thing is just the substance I run from.  Such an Absolute, the True, the One Reality we are all a part of, folded into, blissfully lost within.  Such an oceanic thing.  Such a Fantasy Forest.  Suffocates me and that itself is what I fear falling into.  Nothing stands before its deadly lure.  Rather, I want the existing forms just as they are in their striking simplicity, bare and alone.  Such are the ontological things I write about here on the windy prairie.  Certainty sits beside me.

 

 

 

5143  Aristotle spent a lot of tortured time in the Metaphysics trying to find primary substance.  It was not matter which existed only inseparable from Form; it was not Form by itself whether individual or specific or even generic (or was it?); it was somehow the structured wholeness of matter plus Form, but then again structure, if it is a compound, must give way to the simpler elements within it; so it must be structure simpliciter, but then it becomes, perhaps, just one more element of the final Structure and problems pile up.  Just where and what primary substance is remained a mystery even for the later Aristotelians, and they have failed to resolve the issue.  I have done no better than they. Today there are those who have given up on finding the many substances that make up our world and, along with Spinoza, have jumped to the One Primary Substance, Reality Itself, The Absolute.  Others have looked on askance.  As have I.  The flame of metaphysical thought flares up now and again, but now it burns low.

 

There is no primary substance in my philosophy.  There are ordinary things outside philosophy and there are the elements, including order and structure itself, but bringing the everyday and those finally mystical things together is impossible.  And to say that the metaphysical elements are only concepts, as is the popular way out, is the idealism of half-way thought and it then becomes a problem for tomorrow—or never.  But some of us still worry the ancient enigma of Being.

 

 

 

5144  I just came from a philosophy lecture where the topic of concern was What individuates a cognitive event?  It was a fine lecture and it ended somewhat in Socratic aporia.  Cognitive events are not things I worry about.  They have the feel of being too dryly intellectual and anyway I shy away from Latinate confabulations.  I know they are all the rage, but so is Justin Bieber.  The problem they were having, if you ask me, arose from their not having bare particulars.  Almost no one has bare particulars.  In fact being bare in philosophy is more frowned upon than it is in Church.  I, of course, rather like it.

 

I’m sure that most of my readers (I still wish I had some) have no idea what a bare particular is.  And if I say that it is a particular sans all properties, still no idea.  Moreover, a bare universal, such as rising and departing, are just that without any qualifications as to time, place, condition, relation or species.  Just rising and departing.  And my readers are baffled by such a thinly empty notion.  But there you are.  Perfect ab-strahere.  The thing withdraws from all type and token.  It is just itself, a simple thing without parts or aspect.  Who knew?

 

The problem of the lecture, however, was the individuation of a structure.  That is a perennial problem that even I with all my ontological chutzpa have tangled with all night long only to have him leave unhad.  But I analogize.  Let me only say that structures are universals among universals and that the only nasty knot I have to untie in its gown is the tie between it and its parts.  Still the tie, I insist, is external to what it ties and that too is easily managed.  All of which leaves me without a normal object in my hands.  The spirit blows and happiness is strewn all over the mind’s bed.  Which is nothing, nothing at all.  And like the others I go home and sleep.

 

 

 

5145  The bare, rarified things of ontology and these nudes belabored and then smartly animated by Kenneth Clark, those two starry considerations of the last couple of postings usually make my philosophy a matter of frayed nerves.  It is certainly not of life in the city, nor is it even the glorious life of the mind.  It is of the far, deadly spirit.  And I sit here as the stars swirl and the trees twirl.  My back aches and words ever repeat.  Time isn’t, only the ever again.  The logic of my trap is and always has been perfect.  God is an untimely lover.

 

 

 

5146  Ours is the Living God, but what does that mean?  That word “living” is Ζων, the root of which is gwei, from which we get “quick” as in the quick and the dead.  I think it would be better to say that ours is the Lively God.  And it is from there that we are able to connect Eros to religion.  The imp of sexual impulse implanted in us quickens us.  Jump to it.  Trim your lamps.  The beloved is coming.  The clamor arises.  The dead surge upward.  Soon the Shout!  And it will be finished—one more time.

 

And the Word became flesh.  That is a most difficult thing.  Flesh is σαρξ, which, amazingly, comes from twerk, meaning to cut or hew.  The Logos became a hewn or graven thing.  An idol.  A thing to be cut down and cast out.  A lifeless scattered thing.  Nothing.

 

In the sex act we approach the living one and with our gentle caresses we quiet it down and soon it is still, almost as still as death, and we proceed to devour it.  From movement to stillness.  From knowing subject to the known object.  To know is to kill.  The excitement grows.  We move across to the being that only God has.  Eros is a frightening thing.  Then we know it also.  Life beyond mere life.  Something.  My nerves twitch.

 

 

 

5147  What finally is the end of desire?  Does desire desire the end of desire?  It is said that desire begets desire.  Does desire finally want to cause and see desire coming back to itself?  What is that happy vision?  A lover wants to see his own reflected desire in the eyes of another.  Is love’s body the look of love?  If desire itself is manifest does it have the form of the ideal human body?  What is the object of desire?

 

The East tries to kill (or maybe hide) desire by means of over-intellectualization in greatly compounded Sanskrit substantives.  The West has learned that lesson well.

 

 

 

5158  In medieval philosophy, two important notions are haecceitas and materia signata quantificate.  You know to google that.  The first is usually associated with Duns Scotus and the second with Thomas Aquinas.  They both attempt to account for individuation.  What makes an individual be just that individual one?  It can’t be any property or set of properties, because that could be shared by other individuals.  Leibniz may disagree, but you get the point.  In my philosophy, following Bergmann, there are bare particulars: the a in F(a).  Many philosophers, not really liking the idea of a bare particular tied to universals, have a bundle or knot of (non-universal) qualities.  They want to say that you, my friend, are a knot of many monadic and n-adic properties.  I suppose that then, if that bundle changes, you are someone else—unless there is a core of unchanging properties that you are.  Whatever, it all seems wrong to me.  I think, along with Scotus and Aquinas, that there is a something besides those properties that individuates, and like them I have a bare particular, a particular different from those properties.  The point is important, but since it is not thought about much today and is nowhere in the popular literature, I doubt I could convince any undergrad or grad to take it seriously.  It will seem too coldly abstract and they will settle for a cozy bundle or knot of properties and relations.  So be it.  I am of the happy few.

 

 

 

5149  Time is the most difficult.  It is the stuff of poetry.  It destroys philosophy.  Because philosophy deals in timeless forms.  Philosophy runs from time’s inevitable unreasonableness.  From the injustice of death and it’s sting.  Nothing remains upright.  Time gives life and then takes it away.  To try to enter bravely into its good night is no more than a boy’s whistling in the graveyard.  It may be that no good is there, that nothing is there, and it is a simple end to things.  The fright will not go away.  So then we try to run to the timeless, high intellectual forms once again.  Perhaps.  Perhaps we can conquer it.  I keep my distance.

 

Time has been seen by many poet-philosophers as the womb of the Great Mother.  Surely that is a thing not to be feared, they figure.  But many, maybe most, men are afraid of the womb.  And woman is made into a shining icon, but her dark power still lies in wait.  And most men are afraid.  But who am I to talk?

 

 

 

5150  Das Sein des Geistes ist die Zeit.  The being of mind is time.  I think that is Hegel.  One could also say that Time is the substance of the world.  Both the mind and the world seem to be embedded in time.  At least the particulars of those two realms are.  Poetically speaking, we could say that the particular things of the mind and the world arise and fall back within time.  An appearing and a disappearing.  It’s quite a show.  Stories take place.  Far out there in the world and inside, deep in the imagination.  Time is the great mystery.  We write it down.

 

But there is no such thing as Time.  There are only time relations.  Look close!  There is nothing there.  No emerging, no falling back.  There are no moments for particulars to be at.  There is no bed for embedding.  Only … only what?  Only bad philosophy.

 

So many philosophers have recently tried to speak rationally, sensibly about duration, becoming, dynamics.  But it’s about nothing.  Look close.  There’s nothing there.  Only bad literature.  And maybe a feeling for loss.  Finally it is the absurd.

 

The more you try to hang onto your hat in the wind of thought, the more you see that the bushes are shimmering with lust.  Get out of there!  Go to the far side of the moon.  “O moon, come forth from the heart’s sky and turn our night to day, that no night-traveller may say, “Tonight is not a night of moonshine.”  May my heart be unapprised of where the Beloved is, if my heart is not quivering like the heart of quicksilver for the love of Him.”

 

For six thousand pages, I have written good and bad philosophy tinged with good and bad poetry.  In time it has all come to nothing.  In the transcendent nothing, time has come to an abrupt stop.  The Forms are here.  The Boy is beloved.  I sit with certainty.  Your call.

 

 

 

5151  Any philosopher who wants to think about time and individuation should read well book twelve of Augustine’s Confessions.  There he dwells on the first verse of Genesis.  In the beginning God created heaven and earth.

 

This earth was without form and void.  It is not our formed planet moving in its orbit.  It was the deep.  And heaven was the opposite, the well-formed form, cleaving close to God as a beloved.

 

Concerning time and individuation, that deep, formless thing became the pure potential that is matter, the Hyle, Materia of the Aristotelians and the Thomists.  It was a something-nothing that merely could be.  It was that strange middle thing, like Eros longing for beauty, for form.  And that is the meaning of time’s becoming.  It is always a halfway quasi-thing.  Only a this that could be formed into a what.  A could-be, not a being.

 

Such Matter is very akin to a Field in today’s physics.  With Thomas, that field shattered into Materia Signata Quantificate, which is a quanticization of that field now become particles.  Field theory or particle theory, the debate still rages.  There we find time and the ground of individuation.  Even Bergmann for a while thought a bare particular was an area of space-time.  He later abandoned the idea, as he had to.

 

Deep formless potential is matter.  Uncertainty, ambiguity, the I-don’t-know.  Shifting number.  The other far off.  But Form, perfect beauty, heaven is close and it is one with the One. 

 

______________

 

I have dreaded the unfact that in a bad dream, when I try to count something, I never get the same number twice—and usually I can’t reach the end of counting.

 

 

 

5152  Among those interested, today, in a more spiritual explanation of existence, one idea is often employed.  It is the idea that the incarnation of Christ somehow injected Life and even God Himself into dead matter.  Or it at least helped us to see that God had been there all along.  That was a rather abrupt, awkward way of putting it.  Some of those neo-theologians are much better, even poetic, at impressing that very life into their own studied words.  I have no objection.  I am amazed, however, at the way they so blithely, innocently and uncritically take up old well-worked, well-travelled ideas of formal instantiation and inherence as something new.  Such is the Eternal Return.  I prefer the even older—and much less reputable—notion of Platonic participation—or exemplification, as I call it.

 

For Aristotle, the form or essence in-forming the individual is the inner energy driving it onward.  It is the actor, the active agent, within.  Outward action and activity lets us know of that inner fire.  I think there are similar ideas out and about today, driven, no doubt, by hot sexually repressed thinkers hidden away inside universities.  Things repeat and beginnings begin again.  But I have been blunt and awkward again in my laying down that beloved idea.  So now I have to contend with those who say that the world I present is dead subject to a foreign, all-powerful dictator—Transcendence!  Oh my, did I do that?

 

Let’s just say that my way of doing things has no hidden inner anything.  Everything is revealingly outward and clearly visible.  This god is naked to the world.  That is the Greek sun god.  As I see the incarnation, it is the parousia, the epiphany, the glorious appearing.  But then perhaps you shyly prefer the other.  No matter, the philosophical world is very accommodating.  I only hope that new ideas can be seen as the ever-repeating repetition of the old.  A magical coming again.

 

 

 

5153  My Grandmother’s church was Apostolic Faith United Pentecostal. Oneness Pentecostalism. They do not believe in the Trinity.  They think that it was God the Father that was somehow in the man Jesus, who was then called the Son of God.  This is like or is Patripassionism.  Maybe Sabellianism or even Modalism.  These distinctions and divisions within theology and Christology are great fun to think about.  And, for someone like me, more than mere fun, they are at the heart of philosophical passion.  The Beloved moves about within the thinking.  I am tied to the outcome.

 

For me religion, faith, lies within the arguments of theology and philosophy.  Does that not make me a heretic of rationalism?  Have I sullied reason with my lusting faith?  I gnaw the hand of love. 

 

 

 

5154  Beauty cannot be separated from Eros.  Eros is hunger.  Hunger is charis.  Charis is surrender.  Beauty gives itself over to the desire for beauty.  In the fainting, in the whirlwind, in the devastation.  Hunger is satisfied.  It begins again.

 

Хαρις, the craving, the yearning, the rooted hanker.  The look, the gaze, the fever in the subtle espionage.  The flesh is battered.  It’s an old story.  Socrates reaches for possession of beauty and knowing.  He has neither.  He sees what he wants.  He devises a tornado.  I imitate.

 

Around and around, out and back in.  Beauty peels off.  The mouth enunciates.  Saliva is salvation.  Globs of being.

 

Rigid towers are set up.  Walls are plastered with white light.  The company of voyeurs arrives.  I pick their pockets.  I prick their eyes with glory.  He leaves quietly.

 

Meaning is in the desire for meaning.  Beauty oozes.  The lips purse.  The tongue curls.  The flame burns.  Astringent strings of delight slip into old poems.

 

He’s laid flat in explanation.  I rave.  The quiet remains quiet.  I careen.  It is just as you wanted it.  I take possession.  And you have been seen seeing what you want.

 

 

 

5155  We live in a world where beauty flashes and then it’s gone.  I suppose Walter Pater’s Conclusion up above does speak with hope about that.  And I have always spoken of the Eternal Return.  Still, when it has gone and it is so woefully gone, it is too much.  And that is why we reach for another place.  A place where things, in spite of Pater’s hopeful words, do not fade so horribly and so soon.  We languish.

 

We look about and we think that perhaps if we just fix up this or that and try to set whatever it was back up, that some of the glory will at least momentarily return.  Yes, of course, it’s easy.  And then that too vanishes.  So look elsewhere.

 

Where is that elsewhere?  It’s nowhere.  In the Nowhere.  And it is as sure as the drunken night.  You have no choice.  Go there.  He waits.  And that will be the end.

 

 

 

5156  I just read your essay on Christological Realism.  Once again you have given us a very pleasant piece of writing.  Because of the ease of your syntax and the aptness of your diction, we can almost fly through your presentation.  And the idea, the vision you have laid out has all the satisfaction that every other piece of a high mythology joyously extends toward our dreamy moods.  It is the Aladdin’s Lamp of arising phantasmagoria.  But ontologically it is all wrong.

 

You have hitched your chariot to the horse of Emergence, a beast which lately has had a lot to do.  Metaphysically, I assert there is not such beast.  It is a brother perhaps to Pegasus.  Consciousness exists, obviously, and it does not emerge out of matter no matter how “alive” the cosmos is.

 

Today, all over the media, in every textbook, in every student’s tortured explanation, there is the belief in the emergence of mind out of matter.  To think otherwise is to go against the Zeitgeist.  Haven’t we, after all, have been shown that the former Cartesian thinking was only the evil in our patriarchal ways?  So now the young, especially the young, have fallen for this magical, fantasy arising.  Why?  Maybe it is Freudian Mother-Love.  No one wants to argue with that, but it is … what, it is only poetry.

 

When all that comes into science, then science becomes, once again, myth.  Which you may not object to at all.

 

________

 

OK, that was my petty, cute, little diatribe against the ever-popular notion of Emergence.  My question is Why do you and almost all other young students today so unquestioningly accept the idea that there is such a thing, that consciousness emerged out of the workings of the brain and all that?  Has Spectral Materialism such an unbreakable hold on you because that is from where the high priests of thought now make their dark pronouncements?  Has the Great Cause-Effect nexus become all encompassing?  I often live in the East and it sure has there.  Why not the intentional nexus?  There are many nexus.  Why such subservience to the allurements of Nature’s magical creative powers?  We are more than natural ooze, even if that is now called Life.

 

One other thing, why do so many accept the idea that the mind can know only what is in the mind?  That’s a whole other can of worms, though, and I will leave it sit there stinking.

 

The mind exists.  The material world exists.  Neither one emerges out of the other.  That is realism.  The mind directly knows material things (among other things)—because that’s what minds do.  Yes, I am sort of a Cartesian dualist.  The mind does exist just as the moon and boxes of Cheerios exist as things; it is a thing among things, and it is not the body.  A mind is not a material thing.   Why is that such an evil idea? 

 

I really did mean it when I say you are a good writer.  A good poet.  And it is a pleasure to read your words.  By the way, I learned my philosophy from Gustav Bergmann, the best philosopher of the second half of the twentieth century.

 

 

 

5157  Concerning what will happen in the future, I have no idea, but I suspect that everything will happen.  That is to say that I speculate that from this moment an infinity of different futures will all take place branching out into God knows where.  In other words, in the infinity of God all things are.

 

That can be a rather unsettling idea and one wonders what place that leaves for ethical behavior.  If all things good and bad come about, then is God good?  Is the Good, as Leibniz says, the Optimum, the most Magnificently Full?  It is a sublime thought, which is to say, it overwhelms.  When I think of this the image of Arjuna always comes to mind.  He insisted that Krsna show him His true form.  When he saw it he was … he was done in.  As am I just thinking about it.

 

One also wonders what place all that leaves for cause and effect lawfulness.  If everything can follow then … well, I suppose one could still look for patterns, which is what science does.  Surely there are patterns in the Infinite.  Nothing is necessary; everything, all the laws of Nature, could be other.  But still, it is all there.  Our only worry is that the All is too much to handle.  Way too much.  Are we to beg for a gentle and beautiful form appearing before us?

 

 

 

5158  Time and the Eternal.  Poetry and philosophy.  This is about the quarrel between those two enemy/friends that Plato referred to in the Republic.  Many Christian thinkers have wanted to bring them together.  The attempt is still ever tempting.  And they all tip over into confusion.  And in that the lure has entered in.  I have always been one to think that the two realms are dreadfully separate.  I see that, if not, all is lost.  So where does that lead me in my attempt to speak of the Incarnation? 

 

I can write all day about the Incarnation and still that magical thing is nowhere in my everyday life.  When I go shopping I forget about it entirely.  Even eying the grocery boys, making an effort to see the Eternal Presence right there, I know I have seen something that that boy and his friends would find laughable, the doings of an old man.  The two realms cannot meet.  So I summon up Whitman and Ginsberg and we go off to read in the little café.

 

My curiosity concerns the mind of a poet.  Writing about time he enters into a timeless consideration.  It is a strange in-between place.  I think it is an unplace.  The poet finally succumbs to … to what?  It is never pretty.  And society in its attempt to reach that glimmer of perfection reaches the Abyss.

 

 

 

5159  Owen Barfield has become popular among some of the blog denizens I sometime read.  I do read them well. As well as I should.  And, for the life of me, I cannot understand the attraction he has for them.  I remember back in the early 80s I was trying to date a very pretty young man and he too was taken with C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald, Tolkein and that whole neo-Christian clique of Oxfordian fantasy writers.  They almost destroyed my life.  They did destroy my romance.  They convinced by lover/friend that the normal, bourgeois, quiet, scholarly life with a normal, bourgeois, quiet, scholarly wife was the only moral thing to undertake.  I was undone.  Now it is back.

 

Barfield is an unashamed, unabashed, unreconstructed fantasy idealist.  He tries to hang onto reality by claiming that he is a great friend of electrons, protons, and that whole zoo of unrepresentable beasties that lead young Matrix philosophers around by their intellectual nose.  The rest is imagination, the wonderfully spiritual imagination.  A child’s madness.  I will attack.

 

I too have my own madness.  An erotic madness.  And I am perpetually directing by sight toward the Beloved.  At least I have a Beloved.  They have love, I will sort of grant them that, but what is their Beloved.  It seems to be a free floating love of Life.  The end of their spiritual, intellectual journey is nothing—as far as I can tell.  Here they do keep a family or they want to, sort of.  But in Eternity … what?  Who or what are they in love with?  They seem eternally lost in the dream imagination, which is rather just an ever more insane fog.  Or so my desire to attack leads me to write down.  Who or what do they finally love?  Do they finally find anything at all to be real?  Or will the kiss always fall into the unspeakable infinite?

 

                                      24.

 

Oh thou whose robber-eyes are pillagers!

 

The Kaaba is thy face, the angels are the pilgrims.

 

It is those who are a community in their love of thee who are saved,

 

O thou by whose lips the makers of sweetmeats are put to shame!

 

Nesimi

 

 

 

5160  An Idealist is someone who believes that the material world originated in Mind.  It started off as the merest speck in the pure smoothness of consciousness.  It eventually grew.  Even time appeared and the there of place and then the beginnings of differentiation.  Eventually it was all kicked out of mind—or should we say it was subtly, gently posited as other?  But the growing and becoming more and more complex didn’t stop.  Then, because of the horror of the estrangement, the two began hesitantly to come together again.  Slowly, slowly, slowly, more and more folds of complexity unfolded.  We are still in the middle of all that on-going drama—or so we are told.  But soon (in cosmic time, that is) the split will have healed over and oneness will drive on and on until the final return to perfect, pure, smooth consciousness; and, in a sigh, we are once again at peace.  From mind to mind.  Matter, the rib of mind, is the lost and found lover, cradled, caressed and brought home.  It’s quite a romance.  That is Idealism.  I don’t believe any of it.

 

That kind of dynamism bores me.  I believe in the final act-object distinction.  Erastes-eromenos.  The looking look.  I believe in Eternity and time and perfection and the moving dance all finished in the Now.  Nothing comes out of anything.  Nothing goes back into anything.  Being is.  Non-being is not.  The world rolls on and Eternity is still.  You can choose one as your lover and stay forever with that.  The Kingdom is at hand.  And the ΟΡΓΗ.

 

 

 

5161  Here is my argument with Owen Barfield, Emerson, and all those others we call Transcendentalists: they wrongly make all the Forms subservient to the Great Soul.  That maternal thing gives them birth, eternally holds them and then gently sucks them all back in at the end of time.  That philosophy puts Soul, Mind, over the Forms.  It seems to me that the Forms are ontologically prior to Soul.  As Calasso says, the gods are not pieces of mind, now usually seen as diseased pieces, but rather mind, soul, are pieces of the gods, the Forms.  Let me bring in Nagarjuna to defend my ideas.

 

One way to interpret that august Buddhist philosopher is to say that not only did he deny any material substrate to appearances, he also denied that those seen forms had Mind as the substantial bed they lay within.  The substancelessness of his philosophy meant not only that there was no matter to hold appearances, but there was also no mind that created or held or received them.  The appearances hung on nothing.  I do think that Nagarjuna did falter, however, because he does, maybe, see those appearances as lying on the bed of Time.  That, though, is another matter.  My point is that the Idealism of the Transcendentalists has to go.  Soul, mind, observes, but doesn’t create.

 

 

 

5162  Leibniz made a distinction between the Necessary and the contingent, between the eternal and the temporal.  He gave us substance defined by the power of activity within it.  He gave us the dynamic, modern world.  His followers have taken up that power, that contingence, that infinity of relations in time.  And they have completely forgotten about the necessary, the eternal, the stillness of perfection.  They have forgotten the simply stated.  Enchanted by the infinite, they wanted to forget.  But a great nervousness has now settled in.  And long essays finally dealing with just that.  I write up the other.

 

 

 

5163  Some might object to the Platonic way of putting the Forms beyond the mind as a strange Idealism or blind mysticism, not realism. Didn’t Aristotle, who gave us the modern idea of realism, finally put the Forms, when abstracted away from matter, in the mind?  Yes, and with that Aristotle opened up the path leading all the way down to modern nominalism (aka. conceptualism).  So now we are stuck with Kant and the mind trapped inside itself.  And with Locke, who couldn’t make up his mind as to whether words referred to external objects or ideas of whatever those were or are. I prefer a full-bodied realism where the super-brilliant Forms are not weak creations of a primal mental substance.  As with all such philosophies of dark substance, clinging properties (here the forms) are connected to an underlying meaningless (because without form) I-don’t-know-what by the nexus of creation.  Such creationism is only the creation of phantasms.  The Forms belong properly beyond substance, whether that substance be mind or matter (or time or the Infinite or the Matrix or etc.).  The so-called Idealism of Plato is the true Realism.  The Forms are real, not exaggerated concepts.

 

 

 

5164  I’m trying to get beyond the material and the world-soul to the unmanifest, therefore I jump to the Boy.  The Blindingly Brilliant.  No one wants to look at this invisible vision.  He is anathema.

 

 

 

5165  Let’s say a man is reading.  Or a man is dancing.  Or figuring.  Reading, dancing, figuring are properties of the man.  What is the relation of a man to his properties?  Many other men, at different times, at greatly removed places, all have those properties.  Those very properties.  Universals exemplified here and there, now and then.  That relation between a man and his properties is tight, but it is an uneasy marriage.  The man knows he is not his properties, that that thing, that other thing, only hangs around him, possessing him for a moment.  Commanding him.  The man must go.  He must go along.  He is taken and then taken in by what he is.  What he is, is always other.  He’s stuck.  And then abandoned.  But even the gods are no better off.  Let’s say a god is flying high.  Oh well, we now know that both the flying and the highness of the heights are other than even the gods and the sky itself, and they too worry about those sublime properties.  The properties come from God; they are God; and the individual worries God.  He comes and goes.  A lover’s game.  I philosophize in order to calm down and let myself know that in this game everything is as it should be and God is a good, though worrisome, love.

 

 

 

5166  Some here, under their mind-breath, accuse me of being a dualist.  They are aggrieved that mind and world, individual and property, class and element, axiom and theorem and on and dualistically on all have none of the so patently felt unity we all wallow in.  And love.  Yes, I suppose being a dualist would leave me open to their thrusts.  Therefore, let it be known that I am not a dualist.  I am a trialist or triplist or tertiarist or three-banger or whatever you call it.  Between, without there actually being a “between”, the two there must be a third, a nexus.  Just as between two lovers there must be the kiss, or all is lost.  The Nexus, the Kiss, the Intimacy that is God, exists.  And it is a something.  I am most certainly not a monist.  An intellectual universe of one is without the charm.  And the charm is everything.  Hana, the rooster, the cock, the Singer.

 

 

 

5167  There is a new type of Platonism out and about.  I call it new but it was also in Schelling and probably others.  Not being much of a scholar, I cannot say.  But it is new to the extent that it has turned Plato on his head, it seems to me, but who am I to speak, the non-scholar.  I’m unsure.  But I think I can figure out what happened: the formlessness of our (or somebody’s) apophatic (apophantic?) God became one with the formlessness of matter and there you are.  Now the forms are given birth by the pure potentiality of the abyss.  The vacuum creates the visible universe simply by moving inexorably into greater and greater uncertainty about itself and … Bham! here we are, maybe, but the moving is ever increasing.  Maybe there is no universe.  Such is the Cloud of Unknowing we are being sucked into.  I am very unsure.

 

In the not-too-distant past, the Forms were the principle of actual being.  Matter was the principle of not-yet-being.  When Form united with matter our world appeared, a place of halfway things.  Here, now, the less matter, the more actuality – that is the classical idea.  Pure Act, pure actuality, Energia, God, unmovedly moves the lesser things, the materialized things, to shake off the mere of matter and enter into their full realization sans the blockage of seductive, sleepy matter, the dark and the hidden.

 

How did it come about that in the minds of so many now it is the material thing, the firm, living stuff readied to be handled that is the real?  The pure form abstracted up into pure mind is now the dream.  Pure thought thinking pure thought is a peacock’s flame, simple arrogance, nothing.  How did it happen?  Mary has given birth to God.  Theotokos.  The purity of matter.  I demur.

 

 

 

5168  The mental Act is not a mental activity.  Ever since Leibniz introduced Activity into substance (thus setting off the dynamism that is the modern world) we have been philosophically beset by this most bedeviling notion.  Some call it, along with Leibniz, a power or an impetus, an inclination or even desire.  It is theVis that drives each moment on to the next.  Each configuration into a succeeding configuration.  The Then into the Now.  It is Time itself, the unsettled, the urge, the drive, the Let’s-go!  It is everywhere in the modern world.

 

Plato said, in the Phaedrus, that the soul is always in motion.  From that he proved its immortality.  It is a restless thing.  We know it well; we are that intimately.  There will never be a let-up.  We are stuck.  Or are we?

 

Consider some of your thoughts.  This morning you thought, “I have to meet X at three.”  ”That bathroom light is still on.”  “I hope it doesn’t rain.”  “Those lips look so kissable.”  “My hand aches.”  “Now for some fresh, hot coffee.”  “The hell with it.”  “He will just have to wait.”  My point is that when you consider such thoughts, when you look right at them, you see that they are instantaneous.  Thoughts take up no time at all.  And they most certainly are not in space.  There may have been an impetus “behind” them (I doubt it), but they themselves are simply just themselves.  And each is a simple thing—without mental parts.  So is there a force, a drive, an impulse, an activity behind them?  Leibniz says that that is the very nature of mental substance, of all substance.  Energy drives us ever onward.  But to where?

 

A thought is a mental act.  A mental act is a thought.  A thought is absolutely simple, therefore without duration.  It is in the Instant.  Activity is nowhere in sight.  The pushing onward that is time is bedevilment to analysis.  We are stuck—for now.  And I have to hurry and post this before my friend comes.

 

 

 

5169  The analysis of cause and effect is the occasion of constant contention in philosophy.  For a long time now efficient cause, the push and resistance of this with that, right here and now, has been under attack.  Transient exchange has been a very transient idea out of here.  Rather occasionalism, of one sort of another, theological or otherwise, has been the order of the day.  From Descartes to Hume it is mere regularity of association that seems the only plausible alternative.  And that is where I have landed also. 

 

That this somehow goes with that seems brute.  It just is.  I take an antihistamine and my eyes stop watering; it is just a fact, a brute fact, a regular occurrence, nothing more.  Nothing moves from one something to another something.  Maybe God aligns things.  Maybe he has aligned them from eternity.  Who knows?

 

Also, there is a feeling out and about that there is something “behind” the appearances that accounts for the seeming impact that moves.  To believe in that is to jump into the dark, mystical side of metaphysics.  Maybe you like it there.  If so, have fun.  I am not going to follow.

 

My problem is that, even though, intellectually, I don’t believe in transient or efficient causation, and I do hold a Humean occasionalism, I, nonetheless, do like the push and resistance of the erotic.  Of course I do; that is my whole philosophy.  So what is that?  Is the whole and heft of existence erotically involved with itself, pushing and pulling and resisting and playing hard to get and simply hard to handle?  Well, yes, but now what does that mean for my and the others’ hands-off occasionalism?  I don’t know what it means, but it is a very interesting, involved question.  I will ponder it and lie on it and push my intellectual weight around it and wait.  Something or someone will appear because of my insistence.  The brute will come.

 

 

 

5170  When I write I wait for the end of the sentence, the end of the paragraph and the end of the piece.  Reaching the end is essential.  Thus my writing is finite; thefinis arrives. 

 

A feel for the end, for the telos, for the final thing is a feel for the return.  But maybe you like the feel of travelling out into the great unknown with no thought of ever reaching the last place, which is again the first place, the place where it all began.  The unending, the ever-going on, the explosion into the void may be your taste.  The question and not the answer may be your style.  You may love the infinite, and the thought of an end is unsettling to you.  It’s your choice.  I wait for the end.  I long for the end.  The final turn and the completion is my joy.  And then it ever repeats.  Or all is mere foreplay.  The matter clicks shut.  Perfection.  Or nothing.  God is finally known.

 

 

 

5171  Because of this and that my love affairs and my philosophical conversations with another have always been one way affairs.  I do all the loving and I do all the talking and the other is silent and oblivious to the tumult in my mind.  I have gotten used to it—sort of.  I expect nothing else.  And, surprisingly, I now just go on uncaring what the other thinks or even if he is uncomfortable with his predicament as other.  Life is what it is.

 

Because of all that I have been very sensitive to any philosophy that might lead to solipsism.  I fight against it hard.  I will not yield.  The other shall be conquered.  I will be there.  And he will be directly before me—with no intermediaries.

 

 

 

5172  Cognitive science has been the rave among the digital young for quite some time now.  It’s a loose system of poetic metaphors that pretends to be a science. The mind remembers the way a memory foam mattress remembers you and your body.  It’s fun to think like that, but it is horrible science.  We live in the age of the elevation of Pseudo-science.  The false, the metaphoric, the looseness of thought, relaxes us.  Cognitive science is a feel-good friendly way of talking to your fellows.  Nothing more.

 

Materialism as a philosophy, as a way of analyzing just what mind is, is silly.  Mind is not physiological brain activity, even if that brain is extended far out into the noosphere.  When I look out my window and I see a child chasing a bird, I am not looking at the last link in a chain of isomorphic electrical data bundles.  I am then looking at a child chasing a bird.  Cognitive science can’t handle that thought.  Then again it never really wanted to; it wanted the poetry of being lost in vanishing images, so prettily psychedelic.

 

 

 

5173  Battles in war and battles in sex do have something in common.  In both the person ceases to be a living being and becomes just a thing lying there—to be eaten.  Or so it seems.  When the mind goes and only matter is left it is strange.  The Most Strange.  That kind of death is the enchantment of sex.  The boy is his body.  I suppose that is the lure of the philosophy of materialism.  To see the body as just jerking flesh, chemicals, weight, is rather appealing in a heavy-breathing sort of way.  You then have the freedom to do what you want.  And you want to become that with that.  Death in battle and in sex has its pull.  The invitation.  And I have, finally, a philosophy of things.  Just things.  Beyond the material.  Stark first pieces.

 

 

 

5174  “The principle of superposition claims that while we do not know what the state of any object is, it is actually in all possible states simultaneously, as long as we don't look to check.”  I found that easily on the Internet.  Superpositioning is a common enough idea from quantum physics; today everyone seems to know about it.  I have read as many popularizing books on it as most and like most I can only guess at what it really means.  It probably means all possible things as long as we don’t check more closely.  Whatever, I will use the idea to talk about ancestrality, another popular idea among a certain delightfully befuddled philosophy clique.

 

The universe began fifteen billion years ago.  Well, yes and no.  Now that we checked it has; but, before that, it began (and didn’t) at all possible times.  Everything is in a state of uncertainty as long as no mind observes.  And of course that uncertainty is not just in the knowing, but in reality.  Things really are in a superposition state of being in every possible state.  Therefore, before we looked, the universe also began six thousand years ago.  Unless there was a non-human intelligence around who checked.  That seems easy enough to understand.

 

So was there a non-human intelligence around to check?  Well, I suppose until we somehow check, there was and there wasn’t.  Paradoxes abound and that is the glory of thought.  As Kierkegaard said, “A thinker without paradox is like a lover without passion.”  My hunch is that uncertainty and indeterminacy (and superpositioning) are at the heart of so-called nature, a questionable thing.  The fine, sharp line between yes and no is of something else, a timeless realm.  Now then, just remember, a paradox can be precisely stated and it fits in the precision of logic just fine.

 

I’m not sure if I have said anything in all that or not.  Physics is ever a partially interpreted calculus.  I said that because it sounds impressive and it appears that certainty is mine and I know what I am talking about.  Someone should check; maybe I do.  Or will have done.  Or whatever.

 

There was an old theological question about whether  or not God could change the past.  I turns out that we can—sort of.

 

This really really has nothing to do with answering the pseudo-question about ascestrality.  That only came up (emerged!) because they had lovingly trapped themselves in the paradoxes of idealism.

 

 

 

5175  Life, or perhaps I should say life-form or an assemblage of vital impulse, exists on various levels or degrees of complexity.  Some life is very simple.  It is concrete.  It is radically empirical.  And because of that it is powerful and striking and elegant.  But it is unimpressive in that it is only that and it has no transcendental, far-flung meaning within the beautifully prolix socio-political ambiance.  From the empirically simple to the conceptually complex.  Today the latter, in all its horror, is represented by H. P. Lovecraft and his dictionary-hugging epigones.  The reverse of that extreme might be Wittgenstein in the Tractatus.  From simple Anglo-Saxon to terminal hypotaxis and Latin.

 

Transcendental Idealism, ever eager to overcome itself, sinks ever deeper into a swampy mirroring of the Heights in long, highly involved (in-human) sentences.  It wants to speak the language of angels, transcendent intellect, meaningful communion.  It invents jargon.  That is the true horror of Lovecraft—his inelegant verbosity.  From the simple light of plain English to the darkness of manic academic perplexity.

 

The young are long-winded as they try to blow heavenly beings across the arched sky. 

 

 

 

5176  It is a quintessential philosophical act to contemplate death.  It is also, or could be, high poetry.  From there we move on to the contemplation of things-in-themselves.  We think of death-in-itself and life-in-itself and time-in-itself.  So many, many grand things.  It seems to me, however, that we needn’t tarry on such heavy ideas.  Couldn’t the same ontological problem be laid out with pale quotidian things?  What is the difference between contemplating the end of life and the end of a good story?  Or the end of a fine weekend?  Or of the last delicious potato chip?  Or the end of a tube of tooth paste (isn’t it always possible to get one more use out of it?)?  And so we come to the contemplation of negative facts.  The chips and dip are no more.  How is it possible for the mind to think what doesn’t exist?   And do negative facts exist, anyway?  I suspect that those last questions are much harder than the thought of life and death as things in themselves.  And more baffling.

 

 

 

5177  Anyone who has read much of my writing (maybe the angels) knows that I have a campaign to get rid of long-winded, highfalutin language in philosophy texts.  It wasn’t always there; writers of other times have had great style – Augustine, Aquinas, Boethius.  Maybe it was Christian Wolff, the teacher of Kant who got it going.  Maybe it was the German language.  Maybe it was God.  I really have no idea how it started but it is obviously an attempt to scale the walls of heaven and retake it.  That makes it Satan who is the culprit; though I think we will have to leave Milton out of it.  We must further sadly note that the Great Sanskrit Commentaries also have an insurmountable propensity for long compounded noun phrases.  That would put the blame right in the Indo-Aryan language essence.  Cussed compoundedness and a need to trap one’s students.  The Trap—there are many lovely and snide uses for such a device.  A philosopher’s life is lonely and a briar is just the place for a lair. 

 

It is thought, by some who should know better, that the extravagance of long philosophy books is more than just a desire to bamboozle the publishers and the buyers; it is also and a genuine attempt by the philosopher to make his weird ideas and be less weird.  He also needs to explain himself; he feels it in his bone.  But, we insist, not in public.  The poor ass wants to communicate and be a useful part of society.  He wants to participate in the great adventure.  Why not? 

 

The problem is that if real philosophical thought is expressed clearly and to the point, it is obviously outside the ordinary and scary.  And so … and so, philosophers have to hide it.  Most of all from themselves.  I have devised other means.  Anyway, don’t you think Christian Wolff is a great and apt name? 

 

 

 

5178  One can either write up and revel in the great complexity that is philosophy.  Or one can aim for the simple majesty of the One Thing.  The first way is fun and the young, beginning philosophers love it; it is like a game.  The second way is more difficult and it takes years of practice to manage the elegance of such power.  No one ever really manages, but some of us try.  Then the stark and the still overcome the fun and the young move back.  I have known both the pleasure of watching all of philosophy fall together in magical interconnections, but I have also been drawn away into the far reaches and reached out farther into the most difficult.  I wait for what comes next.

 

Parmenides in Plato’s dialogue is an old man aiming once again for the tortures of love and he lays out the great dialectic.  The magnificence of Being overcomes him and us and we move on.

 

 

 

5179  Here is a list of facts:

 

1.      The sun is an orange sphere.

2.      The sun is a purple pyramid.

3.      The sun is not an orange sphere.

4.      The sun is not a purple pyramid.

5.      The sun is an orange sphere and the moon is a purple pyramid.

6.      The sun is a purple pyramid or two plus two is four.

7.      If the moon is a purple pyramid, then the sun is an orange sphere.

 

I think you get the point of how we can build up lists of facts, including facts linked together with logical connectives.  Now the ontological question arises—remembering that ontology asks the question of existence.  Do some of those or all of those or none of those facts exist?  Do facts, of any kind, exist?  I will give my answer, but first I want to consider just why we ask such questions.

 

I think that most young philosophers today would be perplexed by such questions.  They are more into ethics, politics and that bad Gothic poetry called cognitive science.  Indeed, existence, ever since Heidegger, has become a surd.  What is it, anyway?

 

If I say that facts or numbers or sets or universals exist, most would-be philosophers look at me with a blank face.  And that may be a good place to start.  The Blank.  Emily Dickinson wrote it as the dash:

 

There is no Silence in the Earth—so silent

As that endured,

Which uttered, would discourage nature

And haunt the world—

 

The philosopher stares blankly at existence.  And young maidens laugh at philosophers.

 

Yes, all facts exist, some are actual — some aren’t. 

 

Actus purus — movens immobile.

 

Le Frisson, the erotic, one more time.

 

 

 

5180  It is common enough for most philosophers to say that assemblages, structures, all things complex don’t really exist, to imply that they only seem to exist in the “unity of perception or apperception”.  Therefore, the world, which is a complex structure, exists only in a mind observing it.  Just what that “it” is, is imponderable.  So do such complex things (or unthings) exist “outside” the mind?  The answer is Yes, otherwise we quite obviously run head-on into that very thing we are all trying to avoid—idealism and therefore the anxiety of solipsism.

 

It is also common enough today to hear someone say that the world consists of inter-relational impulses, concordant (or discordant) relationships, networks and information relays, but also hear them say that relations as such don’t exist.    How can that be?  The answer given is that these relations, these structures, are phenomenal or ideal or verbal or even entia rationis—just not real.  I suppose the word du jour is “virtual”.  And then these same people will exert a great amount of energy trying to break out of the idealism they just placed themselves in.  If only they would have admitted that relations and complex structures of all kinds are real, then that realism would have been theirs.  So why didn’t they?

 

 

 

5181  The last few lines of Shelley’s A Defense of Poetry are these:

 

“Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration; the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present; the words which express what they understand not; the trumpets which sing to battle, and feel not what they inspire; the influence which is moved not, but moves. Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.”

 

That’s heady stuff.  I think those “spiritual imaginaries” who today would lead us into a new land are too heavily burdened with belatedness.  Like Shelley they want a more spiritual materialism.  They want a Christianity that loves the Earth.  They want to elevate man into a heaven of creativity where he properly belongs.  But the past lies unbearably on them.  There is so much to learn.  Too much.  Still, who could wish them ill.  Certainly not I.

 

The Romantic Heights crashed on the rocks we call the twentieth century.  Maybe now it is time to try out our wings again.  I have no objection.  But I am wary.

 

I am a product of the twentieth century and I have learned to speak plainly.  I rely on the fixed, sharp bands of logical connectors, hard prepositions, and flinty particles hovering around empty verbs.  The boy lies heavy, waiting.  The heights are only his coming up and my going down.  I do not protest.  Innocence is everywhere.

 

Alas, the poetic imagination is so impractical.  The laws they legislate are too beautiful for the rest of us.  Icarus now lies still beside me.  Billy Budd.

 

 

 

5182  I have a svelte, lovely young friend who loves to talk.  All night beside me he goes on and on.  The sound of his voice is so very sensual.  And sexy.  And a come-on.  But he says nothing.  Form wins out over content.  I let it be.  Surely we should all abandon interpretation at such times.  And so it is with a certain young philosopher.  I watch and I listen and I am enchanted.  Nothing much gets said—some new age stuff—but the ancient spirit is there, nonetheless.  I really have nothing to say in return.  I can only write my concise pieces.  And wait for morning to come.

 

 

 

5183  Can we say that Life as such exists, that it is a thing?  Can we say that Consciousness, that which defines all acts of consciousness, exists? How about motion (Latin momentum) and Celebration and Love and a lover’s simple Turning Over?  Are all those too abstract to exist? What about the Motricity of an automobile, the lathering of soap, the sly look, or most urgently the Redness of the red of those lips?  Most would say, I am sure, that such things are not entities.  They are only general concepts, which are really quite fuzzy and most certainly impossible to nail down.  Yes, they cannot be brought down from the heights, but it seems to me that the Heights exist and these things I named are real entities.  Such is Platonic realism, a much beleaguered thing.  But its arguments are hard.

 

 

 

5184  A nimble young philosopher who hangs out on the Internet, snagging passers-by, has defined matter as “the caused”.  That is not so far from Platonic/Aristotelian passivity and potentiality and receptivity.  He reads the classics and the handiwork of God in creating the waiting world is benign for him.  I have no objection.  But it seems that some others do.  They try and try to knock down his assurance in matters of the spirit.  He, like all charming young men, resists.  Or seems to not hear.  Or is simply recalcitrant and stubborn.  Such is the way of the beautiful.  And I think that that resistance, that infuriating inertia, that attentive inattentiveness, is a better definition of matter—if indeed we do need a definition.  The boy will not obey.  Is he impenetrable?  Such is the trouble of those who would romance such a one.  I suggest that if you cannot put up with the ways of beauty, then love is not for you.

 

 

 

5185  Yesterday I listened to a video of an obviously educated, intelligent man speak of Grand Ideas.  He was somewhat put out by people who take things such as Life, Consciousness, Motricity as real things.  Yes, Motricity.  He proceeded to destroy these great things using the Socratic method of aporetic definition searches, plus a little sarcasm.  I think we all know how it works.  Nothing stands before this tornadic, intellectual power.  Nonetheless, he was finally wrong, just as was Socratic when his destructiveness gave way to the erotic Platonic Heights.  The turn is impressive and it is real.  Now Motricity.

 

Motricity, I suppose, could also be called the motorness of what drives a car.  Is there such a thing or are there only the myriad workings of an engine?  I will use Wordsworth’s Imagination.  Think of a car engine, feel all the human feelings that go with it, peel off every thing and property of that engine and separate out all those inessential feelings, swoon before the great Work of that Thing that is the Motor until the pure driving Power of that sublime Machine hangs in your mind.  That is Motricity.  It is divine Ab-straction, the pulling away, the ablating of the particulars, the sure intellectual movement toward the essence of the engine.  That is the Imagination.  That is the analytic imagination.  The synthetic imagination tacks in the reverse order.  In the synthetic imagination one builds and builds and builds all the parts and properties together until right there you have the constrained explosion that is a car.  The analytic imagination finds, on the empty plain of the mind, the one thing, the simple thing that is Motricity.  The synthetic imagination finds in cities and on thousands of country roads millions and millions of people living lives in union with their driving madness.  The Simple vs. the overwhelmingly complex.

 

Does Motricity exist.  Yes, it is of the unmoved mover that drives us down innumerable highways, out on to lonely, lovely lovers’ lanes.  That Great Image, the Idol, looms.  Motricity.  But the Calvinists are so very against idolatry.

 

 

 

5186  I am a positivist.  A positivist is someone who thinks all metaphysical, ontological, truly philosophical statements are absurd.  I am a true philosopher; I write only absurdities.

 

Most young philosophers are worried.  They so badly want to be of use to society.  They want to leave a good mark on the world.  They shun the thought that they might belong to the lumpen-proletariat.  Are they no more than mental jack-off artists?  Is that really so bad?  Surely they are only the present incarnations of the Buddha.  It comes to nothing.  But they still worry.

 

Is the Great Circus that is the human soul really a meaningless flash?  Is that the beauty of beauty itself?  Surely the body, the form of the soul, is quite odd.  I am sure it is meaningless.  I can think of little else.  The urges drive me on.  I am undone by its attractiveness.  I want to eat it.  I dream of sucking it in.  I languish.  I am lumpen.

 

Only science is meaningful.  But science is finally boring.  Only philosophical flash is desirable.  Philosophy is trash.  We are slumming in the spirit.  And you, bright eyes, what are you doing in this night of nights?  This glorious unlight?  We will talk.  About nothing.

 

 

 

5187  All materialism, both scientific and Christian (which may finally be the same thing), is a mounted tour de force trying so hard to be in love with overwhelming complexity.  It somewhat succeeds.  But, of course, is finally brought down.  It is too much. The philosopher is enfolded and suffocated.  Did he want that?  Honey, you take my breath away.  Maybe.

 

The simple thought comes to me, “The train is going by.”  As I analyze that, there is the irreducible thought “the train is going by”, a simple universal, exemplified right there by the bare particular that I am.  Period.  Finished.  I stop.

 

Of course the materialist balks.  He almost screams at me that things are much, much more complicated than that.  Well, of course he would say that; his beloved complexity is nowhere in sight.  The folds of being have not appeared to gently hold him.  He finds no rapturous obliteration in the All.  I am sorry he is so frustrated.  I will go somewhere else and think out loud to the rolling, draining sky.  We are differently made.

 

 

 

5188  I have often characterized my own philosophy as a slum compared to the reductionist types.  Then again I have said that I aim for simplicity of expression.  Are those really so different?  The reductionist idealist/materialists use up a lot of time and disk space getting their ideas down; they have so many inter-relationships to define; the world depends on them.  I look about and I see all the many, many forms already there and I just let them be.  I feel no need to do more than nod in their direction.  Nothing depends on me and my words.  The world just is. 

 

 

 

5189  Today we are once again, as a philosophical people, concerned with absolute nihilism, or we think we are.  We are mesmerized by the thought that the world and all that it is comes to nothing.  That, though, isn’t absolute; it is eventual.  Absolute nihilism is Nagarjuna. Let me try to explain the difference. And by the way, Nagarjuna is one of my favorite philosophers and these modern pretenders to nihilism are, in my humble opinion, manqué.

 

I am not a nihilist; if anything I am the very opposite of that.  And I love the statement of Simone Weil, “Very few are the spirits to whom it is given to discover that things and beings exist.”  Maybe opposites attract.

 

Nagarjuna uses logic to prove that nothing, absolutely nothing, exists.  He is a supreme rationalist.  Let’s just suppose his logic is sound and he is right.  He has not proved that all our supposed thoughts are unreal or that the whole manifest world is not really there.  He has proved that nothing, nothing at all, exists.  Today, the self-styled nihilists among us usually only go so far as to say that the ordinary way of looking at things must give way to a more scientific way.  That the manifest relies on a scientific fundament.  Thus they are not true nihilists.  They love to emphasize, however, that soon, all too soon, it will all give way and only the empty void will remain and even now, for all practical purposes, we are as good as dead because of our blinding knowledge of that.  That is their nothing.  Big deal.  There is no glory in that and we really are after glory in our thinking.  Nagarjuna has found Glory.  We contemplate his pure nihilism and Bham! enlightenment.  It’s not my philosophy, but I see something there that is lovely.

 

A few years ago, I was hit by a car as I was trying to cross the street in the rain.  I don’t remember it; I remember nothing; no bad dreams, nothing.  I do remember, distinctly, pulling myself back into existence in the back of an ambulance.  I had encountered the nothing.  When I told the story to a Buddhist monk he was impressed and he assured me that I had encountered the Buddha of pure non-existence.  I smile when I think about it all.  I remember the force, the great force, of making my non-existent self exist again.  Strange.

 

 

 

5190  Here is a quote from a young blogish philosopher, “…but I think ancient and medieval thought SHOULD be brought back into the philosophical conversation, so I take this as one of the most positive aspects of OOO/SR. What draws me to the movement is that it is allowing cosmology and metaphysics (and perhaps even non-phenomenological theology) to be brought back into the center of the philosophical discussion.”

 

The problem is that in their once again taking up metaphysics (a good thing) they are also taking up the Aristotelian logic of substance and essence (a bad thing).  They seem to be completely ignorant of the “new” logic of Russell’s Principia Mathematica”.  To overlook that is to fall prey to all the “old” problems that have so exercised so very many, very fine minds for over a century.  This new group seems to have learned philosophy without also learning logic.  And wasn’t logic always one of the necessary tools of an ancient and medieval philosopher.  That is the one glory of the Logical Positivists: they paid attention to logic and believed in its value.  But today that is considered “correlationist” stuff and therefore wrong.  So they have gone back to Aristotle’s whittled down ontology without relations or sets or quantifiers or any of the tools of today.  It’s a pity.  And it won’t work.  Or don’t you think it’s a bad thing?  Do you know the difference?

 

 

 

5191  There are those anti-religion skeptics who believe “it is the very category of narrative that has been rendered cognitively redundant by modern science. Science does not need to deny the significance of our evident psychologicalneed for narrative; it just demotes it from its previously foundational metaphysical status to that of an epistemically derivative ‘useful fiction.” The religious narratives of redemption etc. are just artistic flare and, though we need artistic flare, it is just nothing at all.

 

Are we here throwing out the baby with the bath water?  Science is a narrative.  No narrative, no science.  Also religion and art have been so closely intertwined for so long that maybe, just maybe, they are the same.  Thus science and art are both gone. (They are the same.)  But, hey, that doesn’t make post-existentialist nihilism wrong.  My my, the narrative of just why that one narrative is true is long, but if you have the time, bright eyes, and the inclination we can go on into the night.  We have really nothing else to do.

 

I don’t think he escaped paradox at all, but then none of us have.  And studied casualness is passé. I’m not against his ideas, only his cocky ways.  And all of that in spite of the fact that I like cock.  And most certainly flare.

 

Rewrite – I’m not against his ideas, it’s just that he has that adolescent cockiness that I would otherwise love and am half afraid of.  The flare of cock on other guys is a sprite.  Only the grave love the grave.

 

 

5192  God and pure contingency.  There is the religious narrative of why the world is the way it is (at times beautifully artistic, at times not) and there is the scientific narrative (sometimes beautifully mathematical, sometimes just drab conjecture).  Narrative is narrative.  One thing follows another again and again and again.  The story has the repetition that the human mind craves.  But then sometimes “he comes as a thief in the night”.  The beautiful lover breaks in and, oh my, the night is on.  Or the devil has his dull old ways and no lover comes again tonight.  The sudden, the unexpected, the rapturous hurriedness.  He comes.  Are your lamps trimmed?  It’s finished.  Or nothing and the same old devilish emptiness soothes the tired, but no one else.  God is pure contingency.

 

 

 

5193  What is the point to writing philosophy as literature instead of dry analysis?  The one necessity today is to break free of the ever tightening constraint that is the social.  Society is slowly ingesting everything.  It is Babylon.  Anything anti-social is Anathema; it is lifted up and it disappears.  I am invisible.  As analysis, both Anglo-American and Continental, philosophy serves society.  The universities serve the state.  Students are the workers in the charnel houses of society.  To break free is the most urgent.  I write as a free man.  I write literature, philosophy as a god.  Splattered across the screen.  Or the duress.

 

 

 

5194  I am currently reading Ray Brassier’s Nihil Unbound and I am more and more of the opinion that so-called cognitive science is a fraud.  When it comes to science I am a strict materialist.  I think no mention at all should be made of mental or philosophical or phenomenological entities.  There is no marriage of chemistry and philosophy.  There is no marriage of physics and mental things.  To try to devise a science that “translates” mental or philosophical (phenomenological) things into chemistry and biology is to generate a pseudo-science.  Neurobiology and philosophy are eternally separate.  There is no translation.  The physical world, chemistry, biology, logic systems, whatever, is a closed system.  Mental entities have no place there.  Indeed, piling Latinate abstractions higher and higher is an idiot’s game.  Philosophy should leave science alone and not try to arrogate some of its glory for itself.

 

 

 

5195  HERE is a wonderful essay The Doctrine of the Forest  by Roberto Calasso inThe Ruin of Kasch.  It is about the Sannyasin, those holy men who completely threw down, abandoned, the sacrifice and the killing of the Hindu rite.  They have left the world.  Now after centuries have gone by, holed-up in a little rented room with only his books, that one has migrated westward, no longer as the man-out-of-the-world, but seemingly as the man-in-the-world.  He is the one who gave up the world and is here once again doing (the mirror-image of?) the ancient sacrifice, now called scientific experiment.  Such an otherworldly, unworldly, man is one like Ray Brassier and the eliminationists.  The circle is completing itself.  Science is myth.  “A liberation from the fearsome excess of life.”  Moksa.

 

 

 

5196  I am a dualist.  The perceptual object and the scientific object are two, not one.  A face and the chemicals “in” it are different; they are other; they are two, not one.  The scientific chemicals are not really in the face, nor are they what the face really is.  The face and the chemicals are other.

 

Science deals in mathematical models.  That model, by itself, uninterpreted, is just a bunch of numbers or geometrical figurations.  It is all rather meaningless.  Nonetheless, it is easily manipulated and changed into all kinds of other configurations and that is the fun of mathematics.  But the “connection” between that and the world we perceive is often, usually, either vague or downright unknown.  And so the question is about interpretation.

 

We interpret mass as somewhat like weight, and velocity as a thing speeding by, and a statistical explanation as a throw of the dice.  We somehow line it up with something we directly know.  It’s all rather slipshod, but it helps.  Interpretation is messy.  But science is exact, or it wants to be.  The perceptual object is aligned with the scientific object and theys are really nothing alike.  But we want to think they are, because not really knowing is tough.  And so we fool ourselves.  We say a face is chemicals and brain activation and on and on and we know that that’s not really right and anyway our interpretation, our imagination, of those scientific objects is itself rather wrong, or far off wrong, and we pretend.  Out of our pretense we devise wonderful poetry.  Our interpretation of the mathematics of science is poetry.  Maybe dark, maybe full of light, but just poetry.

 

The face exists—of course it does.  Perceptual objects exist and to say they don’t is mad.  Scientific objects exist and to say they don’t is also mad.  But East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet.  For now they run on more or less parallel tracks, but it may not always be so.  I suspect it will not be so for long for any of us.

 

 

 

5197  I present my writings to the world.  I suppose mainly academic types will read them, if they are read at all.  Others will look at the pictures.  My problem is that because of my style of writing (not the pictures) most academics will instantly see that it is not of “proper” academic form and they will instantly go somewhere else.  We do judge a book by its cover.  And I have no objection.  I too do the same thing.  Long, academic, dry essays instantly turn me off, but, unlike the others, I usually plod on and somehow make my way through them.  Such matters are essential to our judgment of intellectual worth.  Some of us quickly run toward the one thing and some run away into distraction. 

 

 

 

5198  Almost all philosophies today, maybe all, are in love with complexity. Alas, even Bergmann believed that all mentioning of simple things in ontology was finally absurd. The world is all that is the case—facts within facts within facts. The mind can only think facts. He never approaches the question of how he, as a philosopher, manages to think the simple things, the absurd. He has no act of philosophical intuition. The world’s complexity wins out and his philosophy disappears.

 

Today Whitehead and concrescence inform the student mind.  Experience, the gathering of the many things into one thing, silently engulfs itself and then explodes into the experiencing of others. The great complexity of experience within experience, fact within fact, the burgeoning within the burgeoning, exists and then moves on. Surely existence is the blossom of life with life with life. The simple things are left behind as though they never existed and for these magnificently smooth engines of becoming they never did.

 

Thus, the philosophers of today write the long continuum. The minimal shift. No breaking, no definite rhythm, no final cadence.  They go on forever in the gentle breeze of words lying together.  They mention they care for the beckoning earth and its growing life force. And then they die and join the caravan. Thanatopsis. Here is the horror.

 

 

 

5199  The Constructivists, in The Realistic Manifesto by Naum Gabo, denounced and renounced the surface of objects, color and line, volume and mass, and static rhythms and they affirmed only depth and the kinetic forces.  It was a time of revolution and things were happening.  The Event. Life, work and the present day.  The young were on the move.  I am almost the opposite.

 

In my writings you find yourself walking with difficulty in a difficult place.  The demands of love are heavy.  The one thing repeats.  The grade fills itself up with itself and soon brings everything back around to the same, one place.  There is the heavy pendulous thing.  The thickness.  The tumescence that goes nowhere.  This is the bare particular and the just that.  Time stops.

 

Thus I write the numbing grasp of the erotic.  The thigh is now even and in your imagination; it already weighs down.  The irrevocable.  Nothing has changed.  Nothing ever will.  He is smiling elegantly and pushing down on you.  God is a glimmering oppressive thing.  A lover’s nexus.  Firm line, smooth sheen, just there.  The surface nods.

 

 

 

5200  There are those, and they are many, who say that by doing what we as humans are doing we are damaging the ecology of our world.  Taken literally that makes no sense.  That’s like saying that by building atomic bombs we are damaging physics.  Indeed, both the laws of ecology and physics will prevail no matter what we do; it’s just that we may permanently damage any suitable home for ourselves and our animal friends.  The world will survive and some sort of flora and fauna will always be here. 

 

On the one hand, the concerned today want us to see ourselves as one with all other things, both animate and inanimate.  A great democracy of value and ontogeny.  On the other, they are worried that we may be driving ourselves out into the wilderness of destruction.  A destructive waste is fine; other planets have shown it to be a “living” place.  Volcanoes erupt and gases swirl in beautiful chaotic patterns.  But we are still worried about ourselves.  And the laws of physics and ecology ever remain.

 

We want a democracy of beings of all kinds.  But we also want to be a part of that democracy.  We don’t want to be chased out.  And we will do anything to stay here and flourish.  We will even severely limit the powers of the Other.  We are like those dictators who will claim to be of the people as long as they can keep their wealth and rule.

 

 

 

5201  Man has knowledge. It is overwhelming. That we should have so much to such depths, to such heights is bewilderingly strange. How did we manage to do it? I suspect it was through great malice. We are killers.

 

From Calasso here:

 

“The decisive step is the renouncer’s refusal to eat animal flesh. The majesty of sacrifice survives only so long as creatures are killed on the altar. When such gestures cease, sacrifice is ready to be transformed into moral law. But the peculiarity of the sannyasin lies in his renunciation of something that he nevertheless recognizes as the basis of order—namely, killing. In his choice there is no trace of the Enlightenment’s rejection of the malign religio, as in Lucretius, but rather a decision to remain on this side of life, which in the end can be transformed into a Beyond.

 

… From the sacrifice, through the brahman, to the renouncer. From the renouncer, through the individual, to technology. The process, which began as an attempt at maximum affirmation of the world (and devout dominion of the world) in the doctrine of the Vedic seers and shrank to the analytic negation of the world (with Buddha), begins expanding again with the renouncer, the individual-outside-the-world. It culminates in the emancipated and enlightened individual-in-the-world and, through him, in the anonymous subject of technology, an enterprise of dominion, control, affirmation— though it is no longer clear of what, since the quanta have meanwhile dissolved the world beyond any possible localization.”

 

There is no knowledge without sacrifice, no sacrifice without killing, no killing without knowledge. We have come into great knowledge. Man is very strange.

 

 

 

5202  I see a world before me.  I believe in the world.  It is an ordered place.  Well-ordered and demanding of love.  I yield.  There are certain things that must be for such a world to exist.  First and foremost is the form of the simple and the complex together.  No simple thing alone, no matter how grand, could ever be an ordering.  And a pure complexity falling ever and ever and ever into greater complexity will never be well-ordered.  The simple and the complex must both be.  But there is more.

 

There must be something to unite them.  And that thing, that third thing, will never be reduced to either.  Such connectors, the nexus, are different from the connected.  Differences appear.  I believe in differences.  Ultimate differences.  Order depends on there being such differences.  Difference, but not difference alone, is necessary.  And now the great effort to hold all these apart.  Imminent collapse threatens.  And so we devise ritual to maintain the world.  Order must be maintained.  But today order and that ritual are abandoned in favor of the One Unknowable.

 

Today, we are told that all those different things are momentary mind (or brain) tools ready to be discarded.  And then the Catastrophic Event.  The world dissolves into the shadows of Sheol.  The mire, the swamp, the twisted anguish.  Order finally is nothing and the world was a dream.  Or not.  I still believe.  I believe in the ultimate differences.  I am a dualist.  Or more.  But the demands of love are at times almost too great.  It exists.  It exists in plain sight.  I wait.

 

 

 

5203  God is a mystery. Or so it is said by those who love mystery.  Or think they love mystery.  Or have no idea of what mystery is.  To me it is the inability to speak.  The closed-mouth dread.  The stun.  It is in the last things of philosophy.  That thing you want to say, but can’t.  That no one can.  It is the inexpressible.  It is that thing right there that defies you.  That defies speech.  The Mysterium.  The Stare.

 

I have tried for a long time to describe the connection between the ontologically simple and the ontologically complex.  These two most fundamental categories are totally different.  But they are one.  Some have tried internal connectors or a sort of internal connector as metaphor, but … no.  It is the same with the categories of fact and thing.  Is there a connector or not and if not are they simply ipso facto one?  It makes no sense.  The ontological mind boggles.  And the unphilosophical stand in closed-mouth wonder at such a freak of a mind thinking its freakish thoughts.  I am the victim in this Tremendum.

 

 

 

5204  Is there truth and can we know it directly?  Yes and yes.  Is there the truth of ultimate things and can we know it directly?  Yes and yes.  The lover ascends the Scala Paradisi and beholds Beauty itself.  Or, more simply, I look at a pencil on my desk and I see that it exists.  And I see existence directly.  Existence is the final thing.  I am perfect in my intimacy with it.  But an unease stirs.  The unease of love.  And, like every lover, I worry that I will run away.  I wonder if others have ever managed that.

 

Because knowledge, both epistemic and erotic, is unsettling we long for that rest found in the commotion of the streets.  Where thinking stops.  Where business begins.  Except that the night comes and he may be there again.  We sit for a while on the stoop.

 

 

 

5205  To think difference and to hold it precious is the most difficult.  Here is Bergmann: The differences among some of the several existents are very great indeed. I, for one, would not hesitate to call them momentous, or enormous. That, I submit is a major source of the resistance serious ontology has always met. For these differences are much greater than most are prepared to face.

 

The rush toward some sort of monism, of matter or mind or something beyond both, makes for a crowded highway.  Dualist is the harshest epithet.  But the differences extend far beyond just two.  The divisions within Being are final and many.  And Being is not the one thing that unites them.

 

I said that Being is not the one thing that unites them and I am trapped in paradox.  From here I could take up residence with those who make it all a play of metaphor and theater.  A night out of illusion and as if.  But I am a lover and the lover is always game for the real.  I wait for the darkness after the show when he comes out alone.  Existence is mine.  And the difference. 

 

The face.  The enormous.  The moment.  And the seriousness.

 

 

 

5206  There are so very many blog writers today who are expressing a great concern for the ecology.  It is strange to call it that as though it is something precious.  Ecology is a science like physics and chemistry.  Laws are proposed and tested.  Even fractal geometry gets in there for some fun.  I suspect that for many of those young writers, probably little more than boys, they are not thinking of hard science but of the dame Nature.  She is a goddess to them, a white, delicate star.  And she is being treated so badly by the monsters among us—mostly the capitalists.  They want to save her.  All that could be something Freudian or Medieval, but I suspect it is just High Romance.  I certainly have nothing against that, even though it is far from the road I am travelling on.  I wish them well.  Still, I have no advice on how they should proceed and I promise to cover my eyes as they approach the end.

 

 

 

5207  Thomas Nagel in The Last Word presents a rationalist’s argument for the existence of Reason and Truth.  He opposes this to the subjectivist’s view that such things, as we know them, are the result of evolutionary biology, and thus not really existing things at all.  I think Nagel’s argument is convincing.  Reason grabbed me as I read it.  But I usually have a different take on the matter.

 

I take the way of radical empiricism.  That is the idea that, not only do we find sensa before us (and then apply the mind’s (or the brain’s) intellectual forms to them), but we see before us also the complete logical form of the world.  Reason and truth exist, I say so because we see them.  You may want to say that that seeing is philosophical intuition; it makes no difference what you call it.  What is presented to my mind’s eye exists.  Reason and truth are so presented.  As is mind and presenting itself.  That is radical realism.  It is all right there for me to contemplate.  And in the stillness I am overcome by its beauty. 

 

 

 

5208  People prowl the Internet looking for an argument.  It is the place of impassioned conversation.  Usually it is civil.  Much gets said.

 

All of that usually takes place in the comment box.  It is such a little place for such a great undertaking.  And we are always afraid of appearing to be a troll.  Socrates would not have fit there with his infinite, absolute negativity.  And Kierkegaard with his call to an embrace of the Absurd would have died there.  Flaubert, who spent so many long hours seeking out just the right word, would have been left behind.  And all the stylists of word arrangement would have been too intimidated.  It is finally for the many, the conversationalists, the figures of the glorious, democratic crowd.  I put my creations on my front step, but almost no one looks.  I am not really satisfied with any of that.  Civil has the same root as cemetery.

 

 

 

5209  It's Better To Die On UR Feet, Than To Live On UR KNEES..............!  Is it really true that most who would become atheists do so out of a desire for freedom?  Is life on UR KNEES the worst thing ever?  Or are they really trying to choose which deity they want to go down for?  The God the Goddess?  I think it is the latter.  Heterosexuals have a really hard time submitting to a male God.  That phallic thing is always there even if it is never mentioned and never seen.  And to be enthralled by the beauty of such a one is to be brought down hard.  Better to die in the arms of Nature and join the eternal chorus in the deep caverns of howling pain.  The Lady has her allure.  La belle dame sans merci.  The moon’s turning.  The twittering of punishing wisdom.  The knees will bend.

 

 

 

5210  In philosophy there has been a struggle over the existence of necessary truths.  Some call them analytic or a priori; the issue is very fluid.  As I see it, there is a difference between all of those.  Whatever the case, I think the real issue concerns human freedom.  That the mind of man should have to bend to, be so severely constrained by, such transcendent things strikes many as unbearable.  The call for freedom and the democratic man is the call to dissolve all necessity.  But some of us find submission desirable, even erotic.  We are held in check by the one with perfect ratios.  The rush and fingered reed.  This then that, it must be.  The tight exactness.  The sheen of elegant power.  The exquisite point.  Oblivion.  Reason is bondage.

 

 

 

5211  Let’s say that Dawkins is a hard-nosed nihilist.  Total destruction.  Let’s say he has handed us a ruin.  A place where there is no sweet contemplation of spiritual things.  And we look over at this giver of dark gifts and wonder if perhaps there is something in that ruin that attracts him.  Has he, by intellectually destroying the world, found something else? If you will not be too offended, let’s suppose he has.  And let’s look around for someone else who might have done the same.  Who might he be following?

 

I think we will also have to get this man’s image out of our heads.  Pretend that you don’t know anything about him.  If you find him to be a vile human being, forget it.  Consider only the core of his ideas.  The massive destruction.  A living soul has invited you to walk with him at the end of time.  A soul that is no soul and is not alive.  The void.  Just pretend.

 

What do we see?  I propose that the thing X before you now matches the Catuskotiof the Madyamikas:

 

1.      It is not the case that X is Φ.

2.      It is not the case that X is not- Φ.

3.      It is not the case that X is both Φ and not- Φ.

4.      It is not the case that X is neither Φ nor not- Φ.

 

For Φ you can substitute eternal or finite or existing or aware or living or anything else.  Our dark mystic has encountered the unthinkable.  Is it simply nothing at all?  That is the great question of Nagarjuna.  Mystical contemplation is not always sweet love.  It is sometimes the Blank.

 

Is Dawkins really like that?  It is not important.

 

 

5212  In Greek the Indo-European K changes to a P (strange but true).  Thus *p-p is, working backwards, *k-k.  Pepsis is cooking.  Remember that the stomach cooks the food.  Cooking or heating up is important in religious sacrifice; on the alter fire from heaven descends and then the sweet smell rising to the nostrils of God, and all that.  Christianity, maybe uniquely, has a cold carcass to offer.  There the host is eaten raw.  Flesh is left in its primal state.  Somewhere there is significance in that.

 

According to Aristotle, the farther down the chain of life you descended, the closer to the impure forms you came.  Down there you were the farthest from the sun and the aether.  I think the aether is the tapas of the Vedas.  Heat takes the impure and releases the pure, true forms.  Today in our intellectualized world we really don’t know how to think the impure, the corrupted, the truly gross.  (But if you hang out in the waiting rooms of the poor people’s hospitals you will see it for sure.)  Now everything has already been pre-cooked for us.  Prepared food and neatly packaged in mathematical exactness.   We are truly afraid of the muck of life.  I know I am.  I want everything photo-shopped.  And so accordingly I have written this up badly and put a picture of perfection in its upper place.  Here.

 

 

 

5213  Flat out contradicting somebody never works, the thrust is easily parried.  The only way that moves the soul along is to extend the thought farther and farther out into either a higher truth or into parody.  And if the latter, you will sometimes find, by extending a plumb line down into its depths, that it too is revealing of strange realms of Being.  Mysticism, I venture to say, is inevitable.  And no critical line drawn in the sands of thought will remain.  Even the very sensibly ordinary in the pietistic German soul became … the unspeakable.

 

I will venture to say that it is very common for a mystical writer to feign scientific rationality, even when thinking quietly to himself.  Indeed, he probably thinks he is the most sensibly rational. But in the end others will see what he does not see and draw out the mystical thread.  The philosophical imagination will devise ways.  Look what happened to Aristotle and to the Buddhist logicians.  The path of thought is unpredictable.

 

 

 

5214  Is nature bifurcated?  Yes. It isn’t something we did to nature; it is already so.  But wait, which bifurcation are you talking about?  All of them!!  But there are so many ways of bifurcating.  Can we generalize?  Probably not, but why not try?  Let’s say you have two furks.  And you feel deeply that just leaving them like that won’t do; the world is not that.  Never mind.

 

 

 

5215  I just found myself defending a radical materialist.  One I don’t even know.  What started out as a bit of wry humor ended up being a call for me to defend my wayward defense.  Always willing to take up a philosophical challenge, I was up to it.  It was probably received badly or with a roll of the eyes.  The dialectic spins uncontrollably.

 

If you know just the littlest bit about me you know that I am not, most certainly not a philosophical materialist.  It is a philosophy that is not worth defending.  Thus I defended it as mysticism.  I turned it into a ruin.  I could also have turned it into The Dark Night of the Soul.  Either way one must walk through the valley of death.  It seems, though, that today’s young want to take a shortcut to heaven and they leave the terrible side of the spiritual life out of the picture.  They probably also want Sartori instantly.  Maybe one can.  I don’t write any of that.  I write about the torturous path of Eros.  And I have tied myself to a philosophy of radical realism.  The magical thing I want is the Tremendously Real.  I am in eternal bondage to That.  And I suspect that the emptiness of the nothing may be more attractive to most of those who now take up the call to thought.

 

 

 

5216  The Bifurcation of Nature or Get Out the Meatballs, Mom, We’re Comin’ to a Fork in the Road.  Maybe Shakespeare “such a poor, bare, fork’d animal.”  No doubt, though, it refers to the ware/particle duality and superpositioning.  But then again it may be the strange fact that your lips, my lovely friend, are both a heart-breaking pink and also zillions of tiny 12-dimensional string-like things.  We are, I surmise, caught on the tail of a dilemma —is it yours?

 

Whitehead, who gave us this word, insisted that the two prongs of this fork not remain oblivious to each other, but relate to each other.  An interrelating should happen.  An Event.  Hop to it, guys.  I’ll watch.

 

Now the obvious question is, What is the nature or kind of that interrelating relation?  I think we can dismiss cause and effect.  Color doesn’t have a causal effect on sub-sub-subatomic things.  Waves don’t act on particles.  Spinning left and spinning right don’t seem to bump into each other.  So it is some other relation.  But what?

 

What is the relation between me and my reflection in the mirror?  What is the relation between the content of this paragraph and the look of it?  I mean, if that relation isn’t cause and effect, name a different one.  I conjecture that there is no relation there, except “togetherness”.  And then, who knows?, apartness.

 

Those who speak of bifurcation are usually looking for a way to overcome it.  Even in physics and philosophy.  But why?  Why is duality such a terrible thing?  As I see it, the difference should not fade.  Indeed, in this world, far greater differences are to be found and, though they are “momentous and enormous”, they are final.  That is why we are what we are.  To overcome ourselves and to be Supermen is to accept things as they are.

 

 

 

5217  A cult is a scary thing.  It is a power play.  Disciples are gathered around and indoctrinated.  Some set phrases, a manageable vocabulary, a few fundamentals.  A feel of assurance, single-mindedness, love.  The master is everen garde.  If another master, or even a simple unbranded thinker, approaches one of his boys, he becomes wary and ready to jump in.  He asserts the ancient divines.  He speaks forcibly.  He displays intellectual strength.  He corrals his boys.  They rehearse the sacred text.  Things calm down.

 

That seems to be the way it is with today’s philosophical blogs.  The new realists, the process theologians, the Marxist ecologists, the spiritual atheists, the matrix materialists.  Gangs roam.  Pimping masters watch primping minions.  Fledgling angels wait to take flight.

 

 

 

5218  Concerning this type of hieratic love of the beautiful boy, should we say that the beloved is totally oblivious to the thoughts of the lover?  The question is urgent.  Should we also say that the lover is oblivious to the real person of the beloved?  Are they both acting out the archetypes of lover and beloved and thus there is no real world encounter?  I have often said that philosophy, not the anti-philosophy of today, is separate from the everyday.  The gap is absolute.  Therefore, I suppose I will have to agree that they are at least oblivious to the everyday other.  Nonetheless, we are more than our everyday selves.  We are also theomorphic.  The lover and the beloved are looking straight on at something very real.  Super-real.  And deadly.

 

 

 

5219  Philosophy, literature, music all the great cultural institutions are worshiping acts of love toward the beautiful.  The thing we love so intently controls everything we are and do.  The body of that one has us enthralled.  I write up the beautiful boy and nothing else.  I am following in the great train of devotees.  To the point of madness we all go on into the eternal night.  No one fails to understand.  We are in the sheer necessity of what will be.  To object is without hope.  We die and come again and again forever.  It is right here.

 

The strange thing is that almost everyone also balks at the very thought of such a state of affairs being real.  Surely it is the dream of the deranged. There is nothing there to elicit such voluptuous emotion.  Why is it?  If you look at the human body, it is rather gawky awkward composed of parts that by themselves are totally without charm or even meaning.  That all that fits together to make heaven is downright weird.  Nonetheless, our whole culture is taken magically, transcendentally with it.  We are blown away in the wind of divine beings.  You have no choice but to go with it.  I and you, we’re soon out of here.  Bham!

 

 

 

5220  According to Aquinas, Beauty is Transcendental.  It is most properly said of the Second Person of the Trinity.  Here.  Integrity, proportion and clarity.  It is perceived, thus it is aesthetic.  Beauty calms and we are content to contemplate its perfection.  Here we are at the end.  But do we really know what is being said there?  What is that thing?  How should we think it?

 

I have written up a philosophy of lover and beloved.  I have used the classical words of madness and bondage and the inexorable.  It is the presence of the daimon, a shudder and the blank.  The lure and the glance and the sexual pierce the rind of the abstract.  Hunger and waiting and the bite of incessant thought give prevision to his coming.  I have longed for the final moment and found the unending processes of modern times burdensome.  I gnaw my hand.  So where in all that is the calm forehead of divinity itself?

 

I have taken up with Kierkegaard and the Absurd.  I laugh with him at the true dialectic.  I live a contradiction of myself.  I am the diary of the seduced.  Masks, masks are everywhere.  But the Thing itself is radically present.  Vision is perspicuous.  Logic holds.  I am.

 

Irony and humor and oblivion in the οργή of Being.  Thinking works against itself—or it isn’t thinking.  The Logos steals you away.  Perfection.  At the end everything is other?

 

 

 

5221  The eco-blogs swish.  Long, flowing sentences (really quite comforting) slowly gather and turn and level off and move on and one feels that the process is proceeding right well.  And like a gentle spring ever emerging more and more and more, elemental, simple clarity sparkles in the sunlight of thought.  And that’s it.  Nothing really important gets said.  It’s as though all the things of nature are saying to man through these words, “Can’t we all learn to just get along?”  It may not be easy, but these bloggers are doing their verbal best.  At least they are having a splendid time sitting and gently conversing with each other.  It’s a lovely time to be alive in academia.  Friends.

 

And paranoia.

 

 

 

5222  Camille Paglia suggested that Henry James wrote the almost incomprehensible Golden Bowl as a way of covering up or escaping from the demonic in The Turn of the Screw.  In the same way, I suspect, our young bloggers, of great syntactical creations, seemingly so calm and intellectual, are running from their own paranoia.  They seem to know intimately much of the frightening mind trips that are all around us today.  Of course they should.  They go on and on in their smooth wordiness saying almost nothing, yet so worried, while they are per force hopeful for the world.  It is almost sweet.  Something is awry.

 

 

 

5223  Like almost everyone else you probably think a thought is a gnarly thing made out of vibrating protein.  Nonetheless, let’s suppose that piece of utter silliness proves not to be correct.  Let’s suppose thoughts are just thoughts, simple universals exemplified by this and that.  Now what are we to think of our thinking of thoughts?  Have we looked straight on at something timeless, as are all universals?  Of course we have.  But maybe you think we can’t look straight on at such a thing, even if they do exist.  Can we think universals in their universalness, just as they are?  Or is it the case that “all thought is propositional”?  How should I go about proving we can think these philosophical things, which when taken literally are said to be absurd?  Does the question even make any sense?  Bergmann said philosophical things all need to be explicated in terms of commonsense, and, I suppose, not taken literally. I take them literally, I think their absurdity, and with that I am halfway home.  The timeless is with me here and now.  That is part and parcel with the puzzle of the Incarnation.  I believe.  Oh my, I have done philosophy and I have seen the proof.  Now making the others see is the other half of the way home. No, it’s impossible; I will leave this path and take off by myself for another place.

 

 

 

5224  I have written a couple of postings now about the eco-bloggers and their pleasant socializing.  This is the new age of social cohesion in the happy light of forthright thinking.  It’s a vision so very different from the horrors of history.  Or is it?  Nazi and Stalinist propaganda provisioned the same thing.  But maybe this is different.  Is the social, not the evil of our time, but rather something good?  What happened to the individual of existentialism?  Has Hegel won out over the ridicule heaped on him by Kierkegaard?  Are we, not ein Volk, but rather a community?  What is the difference?  And what about those loners off in their rented rooms half buried in their torn books?  I am that and I look obliquely at the happy fellows together.  They will die a good death.  And their force is becoming overwhelming.

 

 

 

5225  The eco-bloggers are mostly Platonists.  They are not hard-nosed analysts taking apart ideas to test their coherency.  They dream of far things.  They softly utter magical words.  The great warbling gods dimly appears.  A mere sound transmutes the air into spectral intelligence.  Anima mundi.  Process, system, Gaia, assemblage, organism, the self-organizing, the actant, the crisis of ekos.  Timid mutterings, moving spirits, LIFE.  Just hearing the words makes me shudder.  Platonic Forms gently holding the delicate spirit.  The rush of maintaining smooth articulation.    The duree, the elan and then lights out extinction.

 

 

 

5226  Concerning my site someone wrote this on a chat posting:

 

I don't even know anymore.http://static.mediatropes.info/pmwiki/pub/external_link.gif

I feel like I'm on an FBI watchlist for looking at that site.

 

When I was a boy we knew or thought we knew of a forbidden book list kept and quixotically enforced by the Catholic Church.  We didn’t really know what was on it, but we suspected it had to do with the rebellious Protestants, who were “my people”.  Later as academics we came to think it had to do with those sexually suggestive symbols for union with God, symbols which might be taken wrongly by the unguided.  Whatever the case, we were aware that those in ecclesiastical power wanted to insist they were only symbols.  And so it is today with the academic servants of the state who want to forcibly insist that all instances of “platonic love” in the history of philosophical literature are chaste and pure in spirit, only symbols.  And better left undiscussed!  So now the people censure themselves from even looking at the symbols for fear of being arrested.  Soon Fahrenheit 451.  Are they mere symbols?  Why is William Burroughs still being sold, though discretely never mentioned, in bookstores?  I see that Genet has mostly vanished.

 

 

 

5227  I have here written up a philosophy of love bondage.  The lord of this verbal house dominates me.  And you, if you are not a wary reader.  It all goes so against the freedom longed for and celebrated by those philosophers of Idealism and the Enlightenment.  The yard outside has grown over with weeds and no one comes by.  Still, like all lovers, all intent lovers, I gladly stay awhile.  In the late afternoon sun I work the inaccessible analysis, and he waits.  Soon the glorious night.  The connectors will connect.

 

I iterate myself into the grand.  I am always unpredictable.  Chaos gently reaches in my window.  It is exact.  Inside inside inside.  I am ever the same with myself.  He informs me.  The iteration will not stop.  And inevitably the not-me.  I am that.  Down along the lithe form.  Turning, burning, churning.  Quiet.  There is no story here to tell.  This is the unending.  And then the End.

 

Nothing new has been said.

 

 

 

5228  It has been said that mathematics is the language of Being.  If you strip out all content from the language we speak and leave only that purified form, then, yes, that is form itself.  It is the form of form.  And there is no doubt a sure magnificence in that.  It is, for some of us, a great pleasure to contemplate.  But we need to look at that rarified language to see just what it is we are so taken with.

 

I’m sure you remember those algebraic and geometrical proofs you did in high school.  There was a firm, steady flow from definitions to axioms to theorems.  The movement was smooth and impressive.  One thing substituted for another, changing, changing, changing, tumbling onwards, ever onwards in absolute necessity until … until that grand QED – the orgasmic CONCLUSION.  It makes one’s heart beat faster and faster just thinking about it.  Or at least it does for some of us, maybe just a few of us, but that is the core of existence for us.  Mathematics is not just abstract information; it is perfect motion.  A still unmoving motion in the spirit of man.  Also, of necessity, in the holy spirit of God Himself.  The Spirit moves over the face of the deep.  Into the boy’s head.  It’s too much.

 

 

 

5229  Many of today’s young bloggers profess a love of process philosophy and of Whitehead, whose name is so closely associated with that.  They seldom or never mention mental acts, only the phenomena that are sometimes the object of the act’s intention.  And for good reason, mental acts are not processes, only the object of the act is. 

 

Do some introspection; look straight on at one of your own acts of perception or imagination or doubt or remembering.  While the phenomena you see may be in process, the act is not.  The act is instantaneous.  You perceive or you don’t.  The object of your perception may be very incomplete, fuzzy, changing, progressing, vanishing; but the perceiving you are is perfectly itself.  There is no process there.  And thus these young bloggers miss their own act.  They are, it seems, eternally beside themselves.  Lost to themselves, they have been captured by the world and they wander. 

 

Perhaps they should be a little more narcissistic and turn around and look at themselves.  They are the one looking.  But I suspect they love being the one looked at.  These objects of my attention are without a self and I must lend them the act.  Will it work?  I doubt it.  So I only watch.

 

 

 

5230  At the beginning of the twentieth century there was a big push in certain quarters, maybe most notably the Bauhaus, to get students to pay attention to basic forms.  Out of these the world or a world was built.  That gave it a distinctive scientific feel; nonetheless, it is amazing how varied the various worlds were that appeared on the easel of the artists’ minds.  They were hardly worlds at all; rather they were snatches of being.  Fragments.  Emotional strips.  And they still hang there in thought’s history.  I too, we all, are following.  Now to language.

 

Philosophy is thought up and written down.  And it is those little particle words that are the power.  At least for us in the Indo-European group-ing.  I have always paid attention.  For some languages they become prefixes; for English they are that, but more strikingly they are separate.  And they move the sentence and its thought along with force.  Now for thought, the main concern of philosophy.

 

All the basic forms are thought about.  They are looked at and through.  Mulled over.  Grabbed and grasped.  And the little nexus between that intellectual looking and its object is ever necessary.  And between the just this one right here and the form that is forever there is the elusive.  It plays out.  And the mind gives out.  The enterprise is too much.  Everywhere the forms swirl.  Thought’s tornadic destruction.  I watch.

 

And then there is love.  Eros.  Sex.  Or the philosopher’s chaste contemplation of such.  Much anxiety.  That is the way of the world.  I fall.

 

And rise again.  Ever again.  Now I wonder about that word ‘again’.  The basic forms are a power on me.  They are the end that is never at an end.  And then there is God.

 

 

 

5231  I have always said that I follow Gustav Bergmann in my thinking.  He is the one who gave full blown, full bodied existence to universals, bare particulars, the various nexus and facts.  Later in life he amplified the ontological types he saw that he needed to have in order to have a complete ontology.  None of that could be reduced further.  His ontological world was full.  He even said it was, compared to the desert of the other more nominalistic ontologies, a slum.  I follow him in all that.  But, as I see it all, I feel I should go farther in asserting the magic words It Exists.

 

Bergmann started off as a positivist, a logical positivist.  He loved the way they paid attention to and believed in logic.  I too.  The positivists, however, thought all philosophical statements were meaningless and absurd.  Bergmann eventually thought they were not meaningless, but he sort of hung on to the idea that they were absurd in that he said philosophical statements had to be “explicated” in terms of commonsense or everyday (non-philosophical) expressions.  The philosophical vision gave way to ordinary seeing.  Thus he avoided the religious and the strangeness of ontological mysticism.  He retained the positivist’s fear of “jumping into the sun”.  Still, his last writings and his last ideas did go far too far for the this-worldly.  He came on with it and then his mind gave out.  He was glorious in his attempt.

 

I am not so afraid of religion and the mystical vision as he.  If anything I lessen the importance and the importunateness of the ordinary.  It’s a matter of taste.  He asserted the full existence of the entire ontological menagerie and I have let these spiritual animals loose.  Be wary, very wary, of what is out and about in these words.  You are exposed.

 

 

 

 

5232  Questions of immortality are lovely ontological puzzles.  Suppose you are a young student going out for the evening.  You meet your friends, talk about important and trivial things and look about.  Life is good.  You go home for the evening.  You sleep.  In the morning you wake up, shower, and head back out onto the streets of Cairo where you once again will try your best to sell what articles you have to support your ailing wife and five kids.  Your friends make life tolerable and at times pleasurable.  Life goes on.  At the end of the day you again sleep; you dream; and in the morning you wake up and go about your business—but every time as someone else, somewhere else, in another time.  The philosophical question is this: is it the “same” person continuing on or could it be?  Or has the former “self” totally ceased to exist and therefore that Self with it.  Is there any way we could say that a one particular self—you—continues and that you remain just you throughout all the changes?  I feel and I think others do also that, yes, one and the same self could be travelling along that very discontinuous road.  Otherwise, the teleporter on the Starship Enterprise would never work.  But the questioning persists and the mind almost despairs.  Will that famous crew ever return from outside time?  Oh my, oh my, I’m late finding the end of this paragraph. My dear, if time is infinitely divisible, maybe you can do it every day, every second, within the interval of one Planck time.  Have you forgotten?  And then there is scalar, fractal geometry and all that mess.  Thankfully, Alice once came here in the guise of Lewis Carroll and even now the tea party rages on.  Try not to forget.

 

I don’t think OOO’s objects will survive this conflagration.

 

 

 

5233  For quite some time there has been the question of whether or not sensa or sense-impressions actually exist.  Look at your computer.  Let’s say it is black.  Now pretend you are an impressionist painter and you want to paint just that black light at it strikes your eye.  Be attentive to just that, not the computer.  The computer is “out there”.  But the black that you are attending to is … where?  And what is it?  If it is not “out there”, is it in the mind?  It has become an object of your intention.  Philosophers have been confused about this for a long time.  And they have called it a sense-impression, a phenomenal thing, and not a perceptual object like a computer, which most definitely is on your desk and not in your mind.

 

Though I use the word a lot, I don’t think they are merely in the mind.  Black exists and it is as “out there” as anything else is.  I think the problem is the phrase “out there”.  It seems to imply that the computer and maybe the black are located in space.  But if space is only a relational thing and not a place, then literally nothing is in space.  Likewise these things are not “in” the mind.  They just are, and the tie that ties them together is external to what it ties.  They are universals in neither time nor space.  All of which is easy to say but very hard to imagine.  If I have to say whether or not sense-impressions, sensa, exist, I would say no.  Black is a thing in its own right, independent of any sensing.  I see it.

 

Nonetheless, it is still confusing to me and what I just wrote is confused.  I am still thinking.

 

Materialists, who believe everything is neural firings, are a happy lot and don’t have this problem.  But they paid for that happiness with their intellectual integrity.

 

 

 

5234  Let me try (once again) to express one of the central ideas of “my” philosophy.  It isn’t really mine, but I also am that.  One way to state it is that we, not only perceive, imagine, remember, wonder at all the facts and structures of the world, but, most importantly for my philosophy, indeed my religion, we also are aware of the super-fact that we do all that and also of all the ontological pieces involved in it.  For example, I perceive that lightening is glimmering through the clouds, but I also, maybe as a philosopher, “see” perceiving, and two particulars (and twoness) and the universal forms of lightening and tree and through, and the tie that unites all them into one thing, and also I “see” my own perceiving and the thought and even the Seeing that is here just this philosophical seeing.  Either you get my point or you don’t.  But what is that philosophical seeing?

 

There is ordinary consciousness and there are ordinary facts.  And then there is an awareness of all that, a philosophical seeing.  All of us, I think, have at times done the latter.  A philosopher does it more often.  But there is one problem.  And that is how to express it in words and logic.  It seems that it is not propositional and all the statements of logic are propositional.  It is as though we are aware, non-propositionally, of all the “pieces” or elements of logic.  And if speech is propositional, then this is outside speech.  The ineffable.  And now the Tractatus.  And maybe the Kritik.  Awareness, intense awareness, attentive intention, exists.  It is striking.  Existence is.  Powerfully and perhaps beyond all meaning.

 

 

 

5235  These considerations, these inexpressible unthoughts, out of time, rejointed onto nothing, bear down.  And he just looks at me.  I see the ineffable, well yes, don’t we all, but I have to move on because more important things than God and its supposed apopha(n)tic existence is graded in this class.  I tried dalliance and high silent decibels in this disjuncture, but he came and I had to go to a party where I knew no one and no one cared.  History is history and it’s gone.  I make the most exquisite allusions and our heads in collusion stop.  They just stop.  This art gallery closes at 5:00.  Be ready to depart or come apart or anything you want, my dreary dear.  The bears are about.  And salaries have to be paid and the pain is crushing.  Except that that’s just a way of talking, a lopping metaphor.  The inexpressible remains in- or unexpressed.  Why don’t we just go home and have our usual lunch.  The boys are waiting and so much has to be said.  It’s meaningless, or it would be if he didn’t always return without finding what he wanted.  I will make do just for him and he will understand me perfectly well.  The abyss is even on tv tonight.  We have it all.

 

 

 

5236  The author of the article about strange Australian elk, in this journal you are now reading, lives in the only town in North Dakota that has a Chinese mayor.  That is a difficult sentence, philosophically speaking.  Therefore I propose we analyze it and we begin at the beginning with the word ‘the’.  That, of course, is the definite article and we really should know what it means more precisely.  Or do you think you know enough already.  I suspect that, even if you have found yourself bewildered when a foreign student who speaks a language without a ‘the’ asked you just what ‘the’ means and how to use it, you, nonetheless, here in this company of English readers, think that no more needs to be said and we all know exactly what it means.  But I beg to differ.  In fact a whole school or a whole great movement of philosophy has descended from the great Bertrand Russell’s attempt to define it.  Thus we have his famous Theory  of Descriptions.  Oh my, I think I can hear you say so softly, are we going to have to read about that?  Yes, but I’ll liven it up; I always do.

 

It seems that we have here a typical subject-predicate sentence.  There is an author and he has that rather long, complex property.  Or so it might seem, except for the certain fact that there is no such author.  Check it out.  So how can you have a subject-predicate sentence about nothing at all?  Yes, my intellectual friend, this is a philosophical article about the existence of non-existent things or maybe not.  Russell thought he found a way around the perplexity, but I suspect that at the end of that detour you will be more that perplexed; you will be shocked.  Or you will simply leave and go watch TV.

 

I know you know how to go to Wikipedia and look up Russell’s theory and find out about the logic of quantification as opposed to a simpler Aristotelian S-P logic.  Therefore, I’m not going to drag you into that.  Now let’s get down to business and think about just what you are thinking about when you read that first sentence about that author.  There are three main options.  1) You are thinking about a mental image or a concept that has no real world counterpart.  2) You are thinking about a sentence that has no referent and that’s all.  3) You are thinking about a complex structure that has potential existence or potentiality, but not actuality.  Choose one of the doors and we will see what is behind it.

 

If you choose 1) then you seem to be saying that there are images or concepts to be thought about.  Do you want to say that?  If 2) then you are saying there are sentences or propositions hanging before your mind’s eye.  Do you want to say that?  (sorry about the flourish)  If 3)  then you are saying that there are structures along with potentiality and actuality ready for them to possess or not (and therefore, I suppose, the tie of possession).  Do you want to say that?

 

I do think though that you will probably take the easy way out, the very modern way, and say that sentences and definite articles and thinking and analysis and questions of “what’s really going on” are metaphors for nothing at all and should be quickly dropped when they reach their useful limit.  Anyway it’s all neural activity looping too hard and fast.  And the TV is calling.  “The” TV.  Moreover, this isn’t a journal.  And there are no elk there and no such mayor here.

 

 

 

5237  The point of Russell’s Theory of Descriptions is this: my hat is under the bed.  The “old” Aristotelian logic described that as there being a substance H, my hat, and it had the simple property of “being under the bed” U.  Thus H is U.  In that logic and that metaphysics relations don’t exist— or maybe you could say that they exist weirdly internally.  In Russell’s new logistics or predicate logic with universal and existential quantification it is this:  there is an x and there is a y and there is a relation R such that x is a hat H and y is a bed B and R is the relation under U and (H(x) & B(y) & U(x,y)).  That is overly simplified, but the point is that relations now are no longer tucked away inside properties (which are inside individuals), but rather they are full-fledged existents external to and “between” particulars.  Russell took so-called relational properties, under-the-bed, and replaced them with relations, under.  Thus he set up the possibility of an ontology that had relations among its existents.  He was the first to do it.  Now, it seems that among the OOO people and the materialists and process theorists and almost everyone else they have disappeared again.  There is something strange about relations in that they cannot be located and that makes them too weird to be believe in.  To be is to be located is the principle that rules.  So much for Russell.  Or might you believe in things that are nowhere and nowhen?  You should.  Or hard solipsism is your fate.

Today we hear a lot about “relationships”.  They are functions, if anything, and functions are coordination rules, hardly real entities.

 

 

 

5238  Writing about his own relation to Yeats as a young man, T. S. Eliot wrote, “A very young man [college age!], who is himself stirred to write, is not primarily critical or even widely appreciative.  He is looking for masters who will elicit his consciousness of what he wants to say himself, of the kind of poetry that is in him to write.  The taste of an adolescent writer is intense, but narrow:  it is determined by personal needs.”  How true.  I have at times, perhaps foolishly, tried to get a young person, a college student, to read my words and it never works.  Really nothing comes of it.  Literally nothing.  I seem to not have anything that moves in their narrow orbit.  I write about that one himself, someone he may not know, not his hero.  I write about that one as a god, as did Emerson, not about the pitiful thing he sees when he looks at himself, not so far from that infamous, divine Mr. W. H..  C’est la vie.  C’est la guerre.  I’ll try again soon.

 

 

 

5239  There is a blog posting today written by a sensible young man bemoaning the fact that so many are taken with the weird and the spooky.  Well yes, I suppose it is lessening the necessary attention to hard reason that philosophy requires, but there is, it seems to me, a real reason why one would be so taken.  That being the fact that the weird and the spooky really does exist and it literally takes you.  Let’s first get it out of the literary imagination and folklore and look straight on at that which causes a shiver to go up your spine.  That, of course, could be either pleasant or unpleasant.  Even very pleasant or very unpleasant.  Call the first good and the second evil.  That shiver does at times come.  The person has then encountered Good and Evil itself.  I repeat, in truth, that shiver really does come and go.  And if it is evil, as in one of those horrible nightmares that some of us know, then the only thing a person can do is pray to God to save us from that.  And if it is good, and we want it again and again like a magical drug, then we pray to God that he come once more and once more.  It’s a simple matter and we suffer it all.  Such things exist and that is the end of the story.

 

The twist in all this is that we sometimes run from evil by turning it into bad literature and bad movies and even bad philosophy.  That is an escape that will work only for a time.  That shiver really does come.  And then go.

 

 

 

5240  Philosophy is an ordering of subtle differences.  Very subtle. The thread runs under the gums.  The bite is unrelenting.  You must follow. You must.  Differences, vast, subtle differences.  Held.  Bound in eternal immobility.  In your head.  Your heart weakens.  He squeezes.  And then That.  I look away.

 

The order is canonical.  Like a canon you shoot your mind to oblivion.  Yours is not to reason why.  But you don’t die.  There is no death.  The inextinguishable.  The anti-nirvana.  Jesus with you at last.  It will last.  He is the imperturbable.  Your subtle turbidity swells.  And it is swell.

 

How can one hang on to the subtle and the ordering and the magnitude?   In the face.  Of That.  The splattering is too great.  Grated down.  The cut and the cuts and the guts explode.  Or not.  you lie there thinking.  And the wall looks back at you so longingly.

 

This and the eternal form.  And then comes along the long transformation.  You pierce your self.  But you are nowhere to be seen.  So you leave and go home and alone you become the thing itself.  Nothing.  He has you trapped.  You tripped his trigger.  You snigger.  And your rigging comes down.  You are his idea of a good time.  Eternity lingers on.  He will come and laugh again.

 

 

 

5241  One can write a sensible paragraph or one can write a surreal few lines and then there is the vast area of understanding and almost understanding in between.  I do both.  And the both of both bothing.  I am both.  I see the booth where they are standing and sometimes sitting, then again lying, over on the intellectual horizon.  Vertizontal.  It makes no daytime sense.  And the nightdreams are too scary.  Philosophy slides  along the divide.  Absurd redux.  In a tux.  Deluxurinate night fights.  But the cage is too small and the Paterfamilias doesn’t approve.  I gradugrate summa cum laundry.  The thing itself cannot be spoken.  Honey, you are that.  And you flit.

 

Consider the copula “is”.  So very insubstantial, but the most important of all, or there is no world.  There may not be one anyway.  He’s a divine mite.  An imp.  A sap.  A tap for more tapatic heat—or am I being redundant?  And what about the if-then connector.  The mind reels and feels like going out for a coke.  From here on joke and bloke and toke and soak come in hard but never mind.  Important considerations are at hand.  Even all over your hand.  My treatise tires.

 

What I want to say, honey, is that if you don’t have all your connectors connecting properly, everyone will think you are either a deluded mouse manqué or an artist.  The world is cruel.

 

 

 

 

5242  If you believe in, or more ineluctably techno-formal, if your ontology countenances, only individual things, then, if you are Christian and you think it is important, you are going to have one hell of  a time making sense of the idea of the Trinity.  Most think it is not important.  But if you are a Platonist, with those high-flying Forms, it is as easy as pie.  Not Pi.  Though just what it is that individuates is going to be a bug-a-bear.  This is heavy stuff.  But a delight for those of us in the know.

 

Consider a couple of pairs of fingernail clippers.  Consider three of them.  Three individuals, as separate as separate can be, all exemplifying the one grand Form of Fingernail Clipper.  Three persons, if you will, and one Clipperhead.  See how easy it was.  Three individuals (aka, persons) and one godhead.  Still, though, that leaves us with the question of whence the nexus in addition to the individuators, but we will leave that for another time when I will have more shinings from my smartass theology.  Or onto-theology as it is so lovingly called today.

 

God succumbs to analysis. 

 

 

 

5243  Three persons, one godhead. (Does it bother you that I don’t capitalize that word?)  Three, one—numbers and Number also must be considered.  Augustine said that God is Number.  Are they more primordial than the God we know—a god beyond God?  And set and “and”.  All the wild animals in the ontological zoo or Zoo.  Is God the source of all that and if so, is the Trinity metaphysically after that?  A posterior thing.  Subtle differences.  Beautifully subtle.  And not a little vertiginous.  The magic boy is the one who surveys the great divisions within God.  God for him is the tearing apart.  The enormous Thing.  Difference.  He’s in love.  Ripping love.  And the way home seems so long. 

 

 

 

5244  In physics, they are looking for the Higgs boson; they are looking for that one thing that gives mass to all the other airy formations.  In philosophy it is the same; there is a great need for the anti-abstraction.  We want, we need, we desire the desire for the heavy thigh of the lover god.  And the heavy thigh.

 

Most writing goes on and on and the spirit wilts with the lightness of all the considering.  No hard attending ever calls.  No blistering moment of light.  No hand coming around.  No push from the words.  I wonder a deep wonder.  It gathers.

 

Heidegger had the thickness of German.  That’s all he had.  We were had.  The Reich reeked.  And the resolution went into dissolution.  Many words followed and kvetch. 

 

I sometimes dream that I cannot move to get away.  That I cannot calculate fast enough the complete my calculations.  But the paragraph always ends and settles down.  Around his downy behind the times.  Everyone has moved on into oblivion and I sit here with the unwashed.  Dark nights will follow and lavish kisses and dropsy.  I sink.  And the sink gurgles on and on.

 

 

 

5245  Like Ginsberg, I live inside the spiritual chant and I eat the boy of God.  It’s all timing and numbers.  The exactness of his coming again and again is nauseating.  The anxiety of knowing is the tremendous.  The tremor shakes the buildings of the holy city.  Boys run around.  The hole opens up and they fly up to heaven.  I sing the ancient song.  No one hears.  I am an aphastic bitch.  In the ditch I find him prostate and wanting more.  It’s always the same.  I am he is me.  The balls roll and when the bell tolls, I recoil.  Always more.  The chanting goes on and on and tea is served.

 

Outside the inside breaks.  Treble voices are nothing but trouble and butt.  I hitch a ride and the tide turns.  Over and over, the mouth mouths the very words that brought the past into view before we arrived and it waits for us.  Hang on, sink in, look out.  And book.  The end is never really the end.  It is itself.

 

Om mane padme om.  He tastes good.  So good.  In the hood.

 

 

 

5246  Perception is not the same as sensing.  I perceived that my friend was parking the car in the garage.  I merely sensed a few banging, muffled sounds.  I perceived that he had been eating sausage.  I merely sensed a whiff of seasoning.  I perceived he was tired.  I merely sensed a quick lurch toward the red of the couch.  One perceives much more that one senses. 

 

Some say that perceiving is a form of inferring.  That from the sensa I somehow in my hidden brain computer-like deduced that x is F.  Nonsense.  I sensed sensa.  I perceived a fact.  Thus the old question of how we know that the table is rectangular when all we sense is a trapezoid is answered.  We see, perceive, the first and sense the second.  And that’s that.

 

 

 

5247  To sense.  To perceive.  They are different.  I perceived that he was lying on the bed.  I sensed the color of flesh and the contour extending.  I intimately knew, I secretly perceived, his lying there.  But a painter would paint something else.  I knew his weight on the mattress pushed down.  I sensed nothing, but I knew it pressing on my mind.  To sense and to perceive are different.  And if they are different, can they exist apart?  Are they existing apart right now as you so closely know what I am speaking of, but you sense nothing?  In writing they are pulled apart.  Surely, when our senses are dead, we will perceive the world, the fact of the world, the world as it is beyond the senses.  Surely, we will.  Then freedom.

 

 

 

5248  Pessoa wrote his disquiet.  He lived in the real that lived in his imagination.  The outer world of Lisbon was dead to him.  He was a philosophical realist.  It works like this: the objects and happenings of the imagination are also existing things, universals exemplified by this and that, tied to the act of knowing by the intentional nexus.  Whether or not they persist past the act of their being known is irrelevant.  An imagined perceptual object is also a perceptual object.  The sensa that the mind senses are sensa.  An imagined perception is also a perception.  The object is also the object.  It is difficult to find a difference.  Is there one?  Even dreams have their continuity.  The difference comes and goes.  You will choose your reality.  Phenomenological analysis is slippery here.  And disquieting.

 

The important point of all that is that we distinguish between act and object and see that the nexus of intentionality is like no other.  An object of the imagination also exists, just as much at any other object.  Existence is existence.  There are no degrees.  And perceiving is not sensing.  The dialectic lies in wait quietly and the fact that few if any try to handle this glistening serpent today is sad.

 

 

 

5249  I never could do the dialectic well.  I saw the glistening truth standing before me and I wanted to dance for him, but love made my two feet stumble.  I bumble along.  I mumble and creek.  Still, to do manage to say those very things he wanted me to say; they were, after all, his words and I properly begged that he don this paltry coat.  This Don is the duende of my writing.

 

Stomp stomp stomp.  He rattles my mind.  I jerk like a fool.  I am a fool.  For love.  Off the map.  My naps are sharp.  And he stares.

 

The back stairs out of here through the smooth schools is blocked.  And my cage is locked.  He offers his sweet face and I erase the world for that.  This is the love of the clean and clear forehead of night.  I go along. 

 

Nothing works to make it work.  All thought crashes.  And that is the god of philosophy.  A cross-eyed love.  The majestic and the cute are one.  The eternal and the very ephemeral.  Last night it/he was so perfect.  But then again it was all my hopeful imagination.  Now I ask you, what is the difference?  There is none.  And that bugger of a puzzle is It.  My fits make me flit.  He works me.

 

 

 

5250  Whitehead is popular today.  Presumably because his is a process philosophy, which, also presumably, means that change and life and progress and optimism are the desired thing.  I doubt that is really the essence of Whitehead, but I’ll let it be.  Furthermore, it seems that he has given those who love complexities within complexities within complexities and on and on a philosopher to love.  Again, I doubt that is Whitehead, but they want it to be so.  Let it be.  Also let’s assume it is so.  This is then a philosophy of the great, ever complex, presumably again, with no simple things at its foundation.  Or at its summit.  An eternal falling falling falling.  Finally a no-thing, eternal or otherwise.  Beyond thing and thinghood to change its unself.    A searching restlessness.  But then nothing is worse than rest for the young who are never tired.  The jig is ever danced.

 

I sit in the stillness of contemplation.  I contemplate complexity abstractly.  What is it?  It seems that for Whitehead, because simple things never did exist, they could never be lost.  The Great Complexity, in all its wraith-like parts past and future, always was and always will be.  He, I admit, has become the complexity I cannot figure.  I rush to the abstraction.

 

 

 

5251  A fact, x ε F, a class, (x, ε, F), a function ε(x,F), a thought [x ε F], and as separate things hanging within the philosophical Vision |  x  ε  F  |.  Those are all complexities with the same elements.  But they are very different.  Complexities cannot be reduced to their elements.  Nor to each other.  Therefore, they must simply be classified and made a part of ontology as is.

 

And then there are structures, a circumstance of difference, identities, considerations, collections (which are classes without any unity at all—an explosion), and the paradoxical collapse of all that into one absurdity.  That final thing I, like Kierkegaard, have called God, the love-tormentor.  Ontology is a blast.  

 

 

 

5252  A thought is a thought is a thought, well, Yes.  But they do hang together.  And the thinker/writer hopes they hang together well.  If they do, then that one thing is … is what?  Do all those thoughts gather into one transcendent something?  Did they originally come out of that?  Could we think that one thing without the many separate thoughts?  Is it finally simple or complex?  And if it is simple, is it unexemplified by a particular?  I will think and think and think and try to lift myself up to that.

 

 

 

5253  There is one type of complexity that has given me a lot of grief.  Does it exist or not?  You are reading this right now on some type of computer, I presume.  It is a particular that has the property of being an electronic devise; let’s say a laptop.  It has such and such and such properties, both actual and potential.  That group of properties, that set, we could symbolize as { f & g & h & j …. etc.}.  Call that grouping L, for laptop computer.  Does L exist?  Or is it “reduced” to f and g etc.?  Is a set of properties an existing “derived” property?  Do such derived things exist?  Does the property Laptop Computer exist as something different from those elements in that set?  I think you get my point.  Anyway, the people I like to read say or came to say, No, derived properties do not exist.  At least as a complex thing.  How about as a simple thing that has to then be tied to those elements?  It’s a tricky problem.  I’m still thinking.

 

 

 

5254  Surely, you are once again, if you have read these last few pieces about raw ontology, wondering just why I have these boy pictures decorating the place.  I do it to keep in mind that I am finally writing a philosophy that is a theology.  Maybe even an onto-theology.  At the end of thinking we once again come face to face with that god.  If you are bothered, is it because of the twinks or the religion?  Could they be one and that’s why you are against such things?  And what about the cloying rhythms?  It all falls together.  And you are falling.  Beyond the ethical.s

 

 

 

5255  Individuals exemplify universals.  His hand beckoned me.  That hand.  A particular exemplifying a property.  The Form of Hand as that thing right there drawing me on.  But philosophical questions arise.  Surely that is a structure, a marvelously complex ordering of so many, many things.  Could it really be one simple form?  If it is, what is the connection between simple and complex, identity or equivalence of something other?

 

It is something other.  Yes, they are together, just as the simple form of water is together with H2O.  But what shall we call it; what is that togetherness?  What is that hand?

 

The essence of that hand is  … what?  A little movement it makes toward me?  It’s electric touch?  The intricacy of my caress around and through the fingers.  I think we are here coming upon poetry, all the things of rhetoric: metonymy, metalepsis, synecdoche.  The connectors are many.  The Form of Hand exists and we grasp it in so many ways.  It is elusive, but we know it intimately.  And then there is the anatomical structure, which, I suppose, is just one more hard piece of poetry.  The things of Being tumble and in love’s confusion make a world.  And then that too is gone.

 

 

 

5256  The enemy is Publik Opinion.  Two of the greatest warriors against it are Kierkegaard and Karl Kraus.  It was the latter who recognized the slightest thing.  Concerning that, Calasso writes: “The great Judaic heritage resounds in these words, the memory of Adam giving names.  And this origin is mirrored in a messianic end when … the Kingdom will be established by leaving everything as it is, except for a few slight modifications.  Holy Writ and its counterfeit copy, the newspaper, can pass into each other, in both directions, precisely by means of slight modifications … .”  Here we are talking mainly about tone.  A slight rearrangement of words, a comma inserted here and there, quotation marks, triple dots, etc..  Public opinion, the presenter, takes up a real idea with substance, probably disturbing, and slightly modifies it until it is an innocuous truism.  He takes something that should shock and makes it everyday reasonableness.  If a proposal is made that in fact is rather harmful, even devastating, he, by a change of tone, turns it into something gentle and good, no harm will be done to anyone.  Even the death of Jesus is made out to be so reasonable and sensible of God. 

 

Public opinion speaks in stock phrases.  Words we have heard over and over until we automatically give our unthinking assent.  It all seems so right and decent.  No one could sanely argue with it.  It all happens because it is given out with just the most precise tone of voice.  The words are arranged exactly.  No one notices that we are all taken in.  The non-idea is so comfortably obvious.  It is the voice of God.  Public Opinion agrees with Holy Writ, but with a slight modification.  Dissention is useless and calmly made an obvious evil.

 

 

 

5257  Gestalt theory has a point, but they give too much value to the whole over the parts.  I have usually called that whole structure.  It can easily be represented schematically.  It is like a class except that the elements are ordered toward each other with some sort of relation and often in only one direction.  Ex, Ey (( F(x) & B(x) & G(y) & H(y) ) & R(x,y)).  Which might mean: There is a big patch of dark-blue and there is a little patch of white and the second is in the first.  That might make you think of the dreamy night sky and a star.  Gestalt theory says that the overall whole gives a feel, a mood, a spirit, a tone or coloring to the parts—the dreaminess.  Yes, it does, sort of.  But it doesn’t create or make or dominate the parts.  They remain just themselves and other than the structure.  Whatever the case, I want to consider that feel, that mood.

 

I walked into his room.  It was a sight to behold.  It had a certain je-ne-sais-quoi feel to it.  I was drawn in and down into a big white chair.  And I wondered just what that spirit was that pervaded the scene.  I spied a little sculptured glass on the table and that seemed to almost capture it right there.  I think that is synecdoche.  Whatever it is; we are in the realm of art and rhetoric.  The structure has a Form, a feel, a mood, a spirit, an intonation to it.  It cannot be denied.  But what about the sense of domination that the Gestalt philosophers want to get at?

 

The objects of that room, at least some of them, seemed to pull and push against me.  There was a force there.  Sort of.  I was driven.  Sort of.  Everything was transformed. Not really. After all, I wasn’t paranoid.  Still, it was a good feeling.  And it cannot be denied.  Is that the Platonic Form?  I suppose it is.  Except that the Form is simple, without parts, and the Gestalt or structure is complex.  That feel, that mood, is also simple.  It seems to reside or live in the structure.  The pull, the force, of the whole is other than the parts ordered and indeed other that the whole complexity.  It is a god in there.  Or whichever name you feel comfortable with.  “In” isn’t the right word.

 

For me, the most important structure is the paragraph.  Syntax contains a mood.  “Containing” though is not the right word.  I will think about all that later.  Getting it just right to capture that Thing is tiring. “Capture” isn’t the right word either.

 

 

 

5258  I think a decent aesthetics might be what I shall call the Theory of Immanent Moods.  It is a rather simple idea.  Every structure in our world has a certain feel to it, in it, about it.  Or spirit or even spiritual vapor.  No doubt, more than one.  And since, structures are absolutely everywhere, we could say that the world is full of gods.  A good artist is one who is able to manipulate those structures and bring on the most enchanting mood.  This is a realism because that what-ever-it-is inside the structure or hanging around it is really there though, like every other property, not actually at that location.  These are timeless, placeless things somehow with that structure.  Later I will try to think that nexus.

 

We are able to think these immanent things because they are transcendent things captured by this and that.  Much as beauty is momentarily tied to just that one, but then leaves.  It’s exasperating.  And my metaphysics will finally collapse.  Not to worry though, there is always a later hour.  I will hear his knock.  And then the answer.

 

 

 

5259  In my last piece I wrote up an aesthetics and I quickly called it a Theory of Immanent Moods.  It was a short piece using my usual simplistic sentences.  It did not have the feel or mood or spirit of an academic piece using a serious Latinate vocabulary.  That spirit will dictate the future of the writing.  For now it is as nothing.  A sudden breeze that comes and then it’s gone.  Today it’s very hot and I will once again have to walk to the store.

 

 

 

5260  An artist creates a work.  This goes here and that goes there.  Try again.  Sometimes he strikes at just the right place and the mood appears.  He has studied his art for a long, long time.  He has thought and pondered and made thousands of formulations of what might be, should be, in order to reveal that mysterious spirit.  He understands art.  He understands nothing.  He does what he knows must be done; nothing works.  Then suddenly, in a moment of forgetting everything he knows, that spirit, that mood, creates the work right there in spite of him.  There is finally no understanding to the epiphany of that god, that sprite.  An artistic structure, because of the slightest, reveals magic.  It makes no sense.  Our psychological analyses tell us nothing.  It is just there.  Or it isn’t.  And why all that useless thinking beforehand was necessary is unknown.  But it was.  You will do the work.  And then the spirit will shove you aside.  There’s no other way.

 

 

 

5261  The notion of Withdrawal is popular today among certain SR philosophers.  Harmanesque, but it is even older.  It originally was held out to be a mystical part of an inverted Platonism.  Take a hammer.  It has the Form of Hammer.  That is normal Platonism.  Now consider the hammer when it is broken, no longer really a hammer.  The Form has left.  Should we say that its soul has departed?  Where did it go?  Where did it come from in the first place?  If it came from God, it returns to God in its full actually.  But if it was first a potentiality residing in matter, then it returns to the earth.  Is the Form of Hammer, no longer out in the light of day, now within Pure Act or is it a shadowy, potential thing?  Inverted Platonism makes the Forms be inchoate potencies within matter.  A broken hammer is one where the Form has gone back to, withdrawn into, the matrix of life, Gaia.  It is εν Άιδηι with the deep fire.  Inverted Platonism is the new thing.  The Earth has rebelled against the Sky.  Now the artist must go to where he thinks the Form comes from.

 

 

 

5262  There is nearby my door a potted geranium, one of my favorite flowers.  It wasn’t always in the same pot.  And, of course, it has grown a lot.  Eventually when it dies, I will throw it away.  And then another potted geranium may come to the stoop near me.  The Form of Geranium does exist; or, if you don’t think it does, just pretend.  This particular outside my door right now has lasted for some time, but will eventually be gone.  The philosophical question is this: Can, not the Form, but the same particular come again?  The particulars of no-longer-with-us objects do exist even now in the shadowy recesses of Time.  They are in the Past.  Do you think the Past exists?  Time questions are somewhat creepy.  Time’s objects have an uncanny feel.  To think that they might return is to see a weird.  Nonetheless, philosophy asks its questions unafraid.

 

It has sometimes been said that a particular writer might, once again, be taken with the same spirit or Form that animated the writers and thinkers of ancient Greece.  Well Yes, but could one of those old guys himself return?  Could Socrates himself be suddenly here?  Is there even now a particular lost in time that could come to us?  The spirit, the mood, may come back, but could, not the wildness of Alcibiades, but the person himself?

 

With God all things are possible.  Even particulars could be called up from out of Time.  Or is that illogical and thus God himself could not do it?  Is there an ontological barrier that God cannot cross?  For us here and now that barrier does exist and violating it is unthinkable, but it may not always be so.  The final structure of Being itself has the looseness of the most contingent.  Or what?  For now, my potted geranium from last year is gone for good.

 

 

 

5263  The beauty of fiction is that it presents reality in an elegant, simplified form.  Meanings are clear and things progress coherently.  It feels one.  We understand the matter.  But it is a lie.  Reality is never so unambiguous.  Reality is at odds with itself.  Reality is the non-self-identical.  Or maybe not.  Maybe reality is the great fiction. And if we could only squint enough the single truth would shine through the slit.  Or it is the all that, the tall hat.  Schrödinger’s cat is both dead and alive—except that this isn’t physics.  It is worse.

 

To write non-fiction, ie. reality, is to write the un-understandable.  To write creative non-fiction is to let the truth write itself in your, now not your, words, the other than you growing on you.  Creativity is abandonment to the real.  To the bewildering.  Words mean what they mean and then again something else.  It is to write the absurd thing now in you.  Words shimmer and crash into the misty night.  The boy’s red lips in the eternal dream.  You have never been other.

 

 

 

5264  Only the aphorism truly describes reality and the aphorism is just as Karl Kraus described it: “An aphorism can never be the whole truth; it is either a half-truth or a truth-and-a-half.”

 

Reality is only half true and then again it is a truth and a half.  For more of his intellectually frustrating quotes go here.

 

I love this quote; it is so true, but it doesn’t make much sense:  “When the roof is burning, it’s no use praying or washing the floor.  Praying, however, is more practical.”

 

 

 

5265  Many young philosophers, and even old philosophers, want to overcome the distance between the seemingly irreconcilable opposites that characterize so much or our thinking.  Maybe they do and maybe they really don’t.  There is comfort in distance.  Then again, there is excitement in union.  Any lover knows both.  Watch out!

 

And there is chaos in too much intimacy.  And squalor.  And bad dreams.  Order requires a proper otherness.  And if there is to be union, it must be through a third.  Still, the collapse into disorder and smooth oneness beckons and we want to fall.  We can’t.  So we write philosophies that scream that we should.  Objective, staid, unmusical sentences that will say what we want without becoming scary.  We don’t want to mix other people’s wine for them.  We serve; we don’t ravage.  But then there are those after-hours places where we come undone.  Before we go home and sleep.  Life is uncontrollable. We want it to be controllably uncontrollable.  I write sensibly and seductively.  Or maybe it is nothing at all.  I wait.

 

 

 

5266  Keeping a proper distance is both desirable and undesirable.  We observe the world from a safe distance; we are objective; we respect the otherness of things.  But then, at times, we savor the closeness, even the oneness we have with all that.  Or rather, because my words and your thought of oneness is itself a form of separation, I will write swe fall into the object of our intention.  There perception becomes sensing.  Then we “are” what we experience and the thin veil between the mind and its object vanishes.  Thought deliquesces into the thought of.  It’s messy.  And frightening.  And lovely.  So we allow ourselves to linger there only for a short time.  And we pull back.  Or our very self would disappear.  We are told over and over again that the healthy person is one who has a good, strong sense of self; he takes care.  It’s back and forth and back and forth, uniting a separating, uniting and separating, falling and always rushing back to safety.  A strange addiction.

 

 

 

5267  Most philosophers are tricksters running fast and loose with words.  They delight is shocking the uninitiated with their “well thought out” ideas.  These ideas, unfortunately, are not all that well thought out, nor are they hard to think: most people who try their hand at it quickly perform this trick, fooling even themselves.  Thus when a philosopher utters an absurdity and we call attention to it, he almost always assures us that he too sees the world as everyone else.  He assures us that his seemingly strange ideas are no more than slight corrections which will soon feel normal.  But, in fact, it’s a major jolt and it will remain.  I am a philosopher and I deal with this god of tricks all the time.  It is sometimes called love.  Eros confounds.  There is no end to it.

 

All philosophers want you to believe that they are common-sense philosophers.  All mad lovers feign the most convincing sanity.  But it is too exact.  Such perfection belies deceit.  The most casual is the most inwardly agitated.  We all know it well.  I write the calm, simple sentence, full of light, because I am beclouded with erotic turbidity.  Fortunately, you understand all too well, and you connive with me against Him.  We will lose.  Hopefully.

 

 

 

5268  In ontology there are many categorical pairs: particular-universal, thing-fact, class-element, act-object, mind-body, simple-complex, part-whole, one-many, cause-effect, process and stasis, and on and on.  Philosophers try to overcome that heady array of dualisms by means of a third thing or many third things.  The wince appears.  That is dialectic, of which there are many kinds.  Many problems, of course, arise in the attempt.  New dualisms pop up everywhere.  No answering finality responds to the questing mind’s plea.  No place of rest appears.  Thus when he spies suddenly something that does help his understanding and then tries to show it to another, the imp of one more problem to solve happens by and you must go with him.  Your show collapses.  Your garden has weeds.  Your coffee spills on your keyboard.  And the doorbell rings.  It’s a conspiracy by furcs.

 

There are two main ways to overcome it with a third thing.  Either a simple nexus combines them into a complex or a quasi-complexity is formed by means of a nexus-less joining.  Consider a class.  We could say that the nexus of being an element of joins class and elements.  Somehow it feels wrong.  The class is one and then again it is many; it is other than, different from, the elements, then again it isn’t.  It is one thing, or it is just the many.  Its queasy quasiness is all around it.  The nexus is and isn’t there.  Bafflement.  And when someone screams that it is a creation of mind, we can only wait for him to see that that answer solves nothing.  Inside the mind, outside the mind, the strangeness remains. But only someone who has struggled with this problem for years can see the gravity of the plea for help.  God, it seems, is that.

 

And with the nexus, such as the copula “is”, the infuriating question of whether or not there is a further nexus to join that and the things it joins to the complex joint.  Words crash into each other and you look stupid trying to lay it all out on the tabula rasa.  But God is inevitable.  Then I fear, I greatly fear, that I am boring my readers with this one more time attempt to explain the obvious, my happy vision. 

 

 

 

5269  When I read the religious writings of philosophical theists on the Internet, I get an image of God that is very much in line with the, now old, non-imagistic God of the Jews that has been handed over to the, now dead, Christian theologians.  There He (though I think such a gendered pronoun is hardly appropriate for them) is constructed out of pure, moral feelings.  There is nothing there to look at; no form is there to capture the imagination.  God is not, therefore, an idol.  He is not to be desired by the lusting eye.  And since there is nothing there to look at, we turn our attention to man and nature and obey the call to husband all that with care.  God is an injunction.

 

I have written up something different, very different.  Like a lover, I have made, been forced to make, my God be an Idol.  Every lover in love idolizes his beloved.  The very couch He lies on, the cup He holds, the mole on His cheek, all of it is unutterably holy and makes this lover shudder with exquisite pleasure.  The ethicist recoils at the thought and refuses to acknowledge such a malign force.

 

 

 

5270  Two of my favorite writers are William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.  They are, however, pale theological monotheists; though they would recoil at the thought.  The highest for both is the ethical.  God is nowhere to be seen.  There is only the Good, unseen, beyond existence, beyond the One, found only in the cut-up feel of the world.  But they do silently, secretly worship the form of their god walking past on the rough places.  A god beyond God.  Afraid to acknowledge him, they try to be the rational ethicists, all the while pining away with love.  History and tradition have too heavy a grasp on them.  Still, I love to read them.

 

 

 

5271  Today on the news there was one more story about, not only how the Afghan army is not ready to “take over”, but also how the government is “totally dysfunctional”?  I have lived half the year, for seventeen years, in Nepal and I used to have the same feeling and ideas about them.  Eventually I came to see that I was totally wrong.  They were perfectly able to take care of themselves.  We have to stop trying to make them do things as we do them.  They will never operate their lives and their government as smoothly and as civilly as we.  The world is a lovely mess, but it goes on just fine.

 

 

 

5272  I have written that the world, the real world, is not described by linear process theory, that is to say by a story line.  Rather it is finally ambiguous and contradictory and chaotic.  Thus we love stories in order to get away from the world into a saner place.  I too.  I love the order of science and mathematics and rational history.  It is a sheer pleasure to follow the smooth unfolding.  One thing follows another like perfect clockwork and I have always loved clocks.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, the world is not like that.  Nor is true science or Complete Knowledge, Scientia, or Mathematics itself beyond the types, or History as it is in God.  In God, History is one self-reflective point, the circle of an eye looking at itself.  Or maybe not; I have no idea what History is in God; I have only dreams.  I try to write the most non-linear iteration I know how.  If you are unable to follow what I have to say, then I think I have written it correctly.  The Boy eats Himself.  The Holy Eucharist that flows so gently through us.

 

 

 

5273  By contemplating eternal things does one become eternal?  By contemplating that eternal form that one exemplifies (or instantiates or participates in) does one grab onto his own eternal existence?  Both ways have been taken by philosophers.  Of course, if you do not believe in eternal things, then you’re stuck right here and now, with little hope of escape.  Or so you might think.  And who is that “one”.

 

Another point, many have agreed that there are universals and that they are “timeless”, i.e. that they do not exemplify time properties as do particulars.  The problem, the unspoken problem, is that when the particular that exemplifies the universal goes, it seems the universal no longer exists. So they weren’t all that timeless.  There is a dependency there, of sorts, and there are no unexemplified universals, it seems.  The bigger problem is that this problem is never addressed as such; it is never faced head on.  Are so-called timeless things also eternal?  Is one word onto-technical and the other just too too poetic?  And can I as a particular in time plus a timeless form cling to my form and leave the timed thing behind?  It seems a little strange to think I couldn’t be my own form (if there is such a thing).  And, without doubt, each moment I am leaving some particular piece of myself behind.  Time is a hoary thing to think about. 

 

Nominalists who believe only in time and vanishing particulars have it so easy.  But then they too are no more.

 

So many today in this age of scientific materialism cling to the idea of creativity and imagination.  Why?  What are they after?  Are they trying to have something of their own that will last?  It’s a wistful attempt.  And wasteful.  Soft, the slender waist of eternity is still beckoning.  And reckoning one’s own demise is dreary.

 

 

 

5274  I look up and I feel the warmth of the sunlight coming in through my window.  I look out and see some cars parked along the road.  I remember that I have to call Jack.  Feeling, seeing, remembering all these have been well rehearsed in philosophical discourse.  We know the phenomenological difference.  We have long known about the theories of cause.  We are well aware of the body and its brain and the massive amount of physiological happening that is folded into that scene.  We are immersed in our bodies and in the world.  But philosophical intuition is another matter.

 

I read philosophy books and I am constantly thinking, not about the facts of the world, the ordinary things of our lives, but about very, very abstract things, things that are hardly or never mentioned in the everyday world.  I see the words bare particular, universal, ontological nexus, facticity, class, actuality, subsistence, simplicity, and that great word existence.  I am intimate with these things.  And they are for me imposing things.  I don’t sense them or perceive them or employ any other of the usual mental acts to get at them.  I speak of the Forms and I “see” those that are important to me.  But, as you see, I had to put that word in quotes because it is so different from normal seeing.  Nonetheless, we all somehow do “see” abstract things when we read.  We really do.  And those things are not of the facts seen by sensing or perceiving.  And we make strange dream images to go with them.

 

When I look out at the street and the cars, when I feel the warmth, when I remember and imagine, there is a causal chain that leads to my perceiving and sensing and remembering.  We can say that the street and the cars and the warm light “cause” my perception, though I hasten to add that that chain is not identical with my perception, yet it is causally necessary.  There is no such external material object, no material chain, involved in my “seeing” those abstract, ontological things.  No isomorphic relay.  It is accomplished without the physiology of the body.  Or so I surmise and so it seems.  I think that is why so many say that that “seeing” does not really exist, that it is really something else, just the causally determined, expressionistic dream image.  I disagree.  I see and I know those existing things.  They are  other.

 

 

 

5275  There are two ways to view the male body.  Either it is seen as the machine that initiates action, the agent of change and control, the governing center, the active one.  Or it is a still object of contemplation, the form that entrances, the desired, the one passive to the lusting eye.  Those are very different.

 

There are two ways of seeing and approaching God.  Either he is the great governor, the lord and master of the social order, the one you dare not look at because of his high power, the Dispatcher.  Or he is the beautiful one, the one drawing your hungry mind, the one you work only to catch a glimpse of, the compressed beloved.  Those are very different.  Toward or sent out.

 

Some are sent out into the world to order it and make it work efficiently.  They are agents of domination.  Some are pulled in away from the world toward the holy chaos of love.  They are patients in the hospital of divine lust.  The first group approaches each other in respect of the common power and lordship that each embodies.  The second looks about at each other and spies the one Form of their god and, in the instant, rushes inward to grasp at that singularity.  The male form as power and agent or as the exquisite art of desire.  The first builds up a world to make it a whole; the second tears it down to get at the hard object of their tight, spiritual hunger.  I write the second.

 

 

 

5276  Goethe and his modern followers want to use the imagination to dig deep into Nature to find the original Forms, the Mothers, the Ur-seiende.  Blake did likewise and so did many of the Romantics.  The problem for the young thinker is that the things found are not the pleasant, beautiful things of their naïve first attempts.  Down there we find only pain and despair.  Or don’t you believe it is so?  Read the poets and see the dark vision, so alluring at first, so deadly.  There is a reason why we have run to the Light and Reason.  With the horror at our backs.

 

 

 

5277  Coleridge wrote of two types of Imagination, the Primary and the Secondary.  The first was what we might call the vision into the unseen, primal Forms, a sort of Platonic Vision downward into the recesses of matter, where Nature first stirs into existence.  It is filled with the turgid visions of the subconscious.  It is the spectral murmurings of an unknown, but somehow known, god.  It is the Infinite twisting inside the finite.  Always dark, we do not casually approach it.  Pain and despair threaten.  And seduction.  But the Secondary Imagination is a happy, playful thing.  The light of reason and goodwill swiftly create arrangements that delight the mind and the heart.  Permutations and combinations, serendipity and aleatory, the lightness of fancy.  A day at the fair.  So many in our time have thought up utopian dreams for the pleasure of living.  They are all of the Secondary Imagination.  The Primary Imagination has been relegated to the marshes where bad dreams and nightmares are forced to lie quiet. 

 

 

 

5278  Religion is obsession-compulsion; it is immense repetition.  In the arid desert of emotion, in the scorching hunger, on the endless path, the pain of onward and onward and onward blinds.  That is my philosophy.  That is all of philosophy. 

 

The Crusaders took off to fight the Saracens. Both camps were immersed in the bath of religion.  If I had lived then, I would have been one of them.  The driving erotic pull of this ever again and again God pressure on the chest.  I understand it perfectly.  I am of that.  Even now I fight on both sides and I die with the dying.  To be morally against all that is to not know the pull of repetition, the thrall of holy love.  What cannot be vanquished.

 

 

 

5279  Continuing on with our conversation about the good or evil of religion in the world, let me give you my views on the origin of the violence that is both inside and outside the mind of man here on planet Earth.  There are two main views out and about.  I believe in one of them.

 

The first view is the one that is mainly associated with Rousseau.  He wrote that man in his natural state is good.  He said that all the violence that we know today comes from the great institutions man has created.  Those institutions are religion, government, the police, the educational system, capitalism, and on and on.  They are systems of oppressive authority that pervert the natural goodness of man.  Now the main job of the human being, for the sake of himself and all other life, is to rid himself of all that and go back to living a simpler way of living.

 

The second view is much older than Rousseau.  It is the idea that man, because he is a part of violent nature, is himself naturally violent.  Today we would say that it is written in his DNA.  Nature is essentially violent and only the fit survive.  Therefore, we need strong institutions to try to control all that, to bring peace, to keep our natural instincts in check, to hold back physical destruction.  This view thinks that without the pressing authority of powerful institutions the violence would be much worse.

 

There is a third view also which agrees that man is naturally violent, that is to say he is violent because of his biological makeup, but the great institutions do NOT, in fact, control it, but amplify it.  This is that most pessimistic view of the three and it offers no hope that we might save ourselves from the evil that is necessarily present.  Therefore, few want to believe it.

 

I believe the second view.  Nature is violence.  We must use our reason and engineering skills to work against Nature inside and outside the body and overcome the destruction all  that so easily brings down on us.  The child must be controlled and taught and not simply set free to do as he pleases.  “The innocence of the child is only his weakness of limb.”

 

 

 

5280  There has been a philosophical battle over the ontological status of sense-impressions going on for quite a long time.  Do they exist?  Are they “in the mind”?  Are they mind-dependent?  Are they simple or complex?  And I am wondering whether or not we or some non-human mind could perceive an object without their presence—if they do, in fact, exist.  I suspect it is possible.  And I suspect we do do that ourselves.

 

I glance into his room and I see that there is no one sitting at his writing table.  Consider that table.  It is rectangular and brown and half in the shadows of evening.  But if a painter were to paint all that he would not paint a table and the rest; rather he would put certain trapezoidal shapes on the canvas and a particular shade of brown and angles of dark gray.  What we actually sense, the sensa, the sense-impressions, are different from what we perceive.  We perceive a brown, rectangular table; we sense an imperfect trapezoid and uneven tones of color.  I think you get the point.  A painter spends quite a while training himself to see the difference.

 

The phenomenologist must learn to distinguish the two and to philosophically “see” the difference.  After that he can consider the proposal of T. P. Nunn and G. E. Moore.  They both claimed that sense-data (we have no elegant word for it in English) are “out there”.  Perhaps hanging around the surface of the object.  Most others have said that they are “in here”, in the mind.  It seems to me that sensa are not in the mind, but it also seems to me that they are not located there, near the object.  They are not in space and time; they do, however, have spatial and temporal properties.

 

Now look back at when I asked you to consider your glancing into his room and seeing that table in the evening shadows and his absence.  I suspect that the idea entered your mind quickly and just as quickly you accomplished the mental act and “saw” what I wanted you to see and then you went on to the next sentence.  You perceived all that, in an instant, but, I feel sure, without any accompanying sensa, especially concerning his absence.  You did see something, though, and as philosophers we must give ontological statue to that object.  Or do you disagree?  Whatever, there it is, an existent or a quasi-non-existent or a mere subsistent shade in the world’s form.  Leave it if you think there are matters of more pressing importance.  I’ll stay here and think.

 

 

 

5281  Let’s assume that sense-impressions or sense data really do exist.  Like so many other objects they are complexes composed out of a bare particular exemplifying a property, a universal.  Of course they are much more complex than that, but as a schematic that is enough.  The perceptual object that these sense-impressions somehow hover around, from a “place” either inside or outside the mind, is also a bare particular exemplifying a property, a universal.  With only that, though, it is hard to say just what the difference is between a sensual object and a perceptual object, but leave all that for the moment.  Right now, your attention should be on the complex makeup of the sensum.  Universals are not sensa.  Universals are neither inside nor outside the mind.  They are not objects as sensa or perceptual objects are.  They are exemplified by those two kinds of things.  Universals are just themselves.  My point is that they should not be confused with any object in the mind or outside it.  Therefore, so-called sensations, which are simple, not complex, somethings-or-others, simply do not exist, just as there are no simple perceptual objects.  Thus only a complex sentence, a proposition, can adequately refer to them.  But now the other questions arise.  How do we think universals and bare particulars and that difference between sensa and the perceived object?  Being is a labyrinth.  And a Minotaur rests quietly at the center, waiting for you.  There is no mnemonic thread.

 

 

 

5282  The difference between a sensual object and a perceptual object is not easy to detect.  Somehow the former is closer to the mind, more intimate with the act of knowing, almost to the place where the feel of knowing itself is gone.  You could say that in the second there is an obvious nexus of intentionality mediating.  But the first, because it is maybe in the mind or right up against it, has an unmediated, nexusless, unity. An ontological faltering is easy here.

 

Mediated/unmediated.  Sometimes after I read John Ashberry’s surreal poems I pick up a book of hard analytical labor.  Suddenly, that analysis feels just as surreal as the former.  What exactly is the difference?  Is the real just the surreal by another name?  And what is the difference between a poem and smooth prose?  A detective has a hard time discovering the gap.  I suspect it isn’t there.

 

 

 

5283  Smaragdinos in Greek means emerald-green and smaragdeo means to crash and roar (as in the ocean) and to scream (as in birds) and howl (as in goblins).  I magically intuit that if you take all those Dionysian verbs and crystallize them you get the Apollonian Emerald. 

 

 

 

5284  One common theme running through so many philosophy blogs is the search for a philosophy, a way of thinking, that will help us avert ecological disaster.  There is great concern for Mother Earth and the human being.  There is practically no concern for Truth.

 

I have tried to find that which is true and real.  I have looked for whatever it is that exists.  Because it seems to me that if the truth cannot save us, then nothing can.  And to simply grab onto a philosophy because it might put our minds in an ecologically useful mode is finally a dream of nothing at all.  I do hope the truth will save us.  Just what form that salvation will take is unknown to me.  And like the others I beg for mercy.

 

 

 

5285  There are those today, indeed, there have always been those who want to take up Platonism and make it fit and be a pattern for family life.  Man and woman and child and an integral universe.  A coming together of opposites generating a social cosmos.  They are today’s Catholic Church, supposedly following Thomas, and the Socialist Utopian communities, surely following Marx, and lastly the greatest preacher of the family, the Capitalist.  But hidden in plain sight there is another road leading away from Plato and from Hegel, who was  a sort of Platonizer.  It is not the way of family and the social, but the way of the boy and the androgyne.

 

Platonism without the boy, Greek culture without the gymnasium, Thomism without the separated monks, German Transcendentalism without the Romantics are all absurd.  To turn any of that into a family thing, man and woman coming together in a stable, community structure, is to miss the mystical shudder, the devastating, the strange.  The Sublime is gone.  From Goethe to Swinburne, the high places and the infernal unplace, were darkly enamored with the middle unthing of the androgyne.  And the presence of that destroyed any sense of social order.  As did the boy of Plato’s Academy.  Transcendence was at hand, not family immanence.  Plato without the boy, as so many today want, is a waste of time and not a slight parody of the original.

 

 

 

5286  Scholars have spent a lot of probably wasted time trying to figure out just what Heidegger meant by Destruktion or deconstruction.  Also Derrida.  And finally everybody.  No doubt it can’t be done.  For innumerable reasons.  And no wonder, it is like figuring out the destructiveness of love.  And the, rightly considered, terrifying Love of God.  There’s no end to it.  Just as there is no end or figuring to what I have so minutely and so horribly de-majestically written up and down here and called my book/unbook.  It’s hopeless.

 

Just yesterday I said that Plato and Platonism without the boy is an absurd idea.  Or a great parody.  Or merely an attempt to give modern family worship some sort of pedigree.  The girls want to play along.  Or want to be that boy.  Or the scholarly mob wants to take the DESTRUCTION out of deconstruction.  And play nice.  Because we are destroying the world.

 

The Boy in philosophy is—I will agree—destructive.  But then again the absolute, infinite negativity of Socrates was not a walk in the park.  It is a walk in the dark, where Wittgenstein found his dusky man.  The ambiguous God.

 

And the Androgyne that permeates Romantic literature is a home wrecker.  And dies young.  Even Dorian Gray.  Absolute Literature and Philosophy are not allies in making the world safe for worried families in the third world.  I have lived there and I can see that they are far ahead of us in metaphysical Destruktion.  While the boys lounge.  As they always have.

 

 

 

5287  In the nineteenth century, the time of the Romantics, the age of Hegel, the union of opposites, of thesis and antithesis, there were two main types of coming together, types that are still with us.  There was the family, the social order.  There was the world of theater, fast approaching Decadence.  There was the married couple with its ever worrisome politics and ethical problems.  There was the Androgyne, a artist, the threat to sanity and the potency of the nation.

 

There is the social novel.  And there is the canonical, quasi-religious influenza.  The family.  Or the unperson as art object, the monstrum.   Bloggers following Hegel and the social, the holiness of family, today are unaware and darkly threatened by Literature.  The Canon.  The Fay.

 

 

 

5288  There is now, just as there always has been, talk about whether or not God-talk properly belongs in philosophy.  It is the age-old question of the relation between religion and science.  I think, though, that it is a dead question.  Religion, real religion, hasn’t existed for a long time.  Today what goes by the name of religion isn’t religion; it is the social.  The social has taken over.  The gods and demons are long gone.  Or if they do still hang around, it is not in the churches.  Maybe they are somewhat present in prisons and in lonely rented rooms inhabited by rags.  Bad dreams and horrible repetitions exude that otherworldly odor.  And the terror of holy killing.  Homo sacer. 

 

 

 

5289  Philosophy begins in wonder.  Well yes, but that word has been prettified beyond all bounds.  Today it means something like pleasantly wonderful, full of delight, a happy questioning, a smiling surprise, a school-boy’s curiosity, a bit of amazement from the science channel.  Originally it meant something like being struck down speechless, being made stupid by an immensity, being hit by the awfulness of the scene, falling and hitting the spiritual wall because you were knocked off balance by a monstrum.  It went from the stupefying, the stupendous and the strike to the cute.  Philosophy doesn’t begin in the cute.  It begins with the philosopher being thrown.  In that Heidegger was right.

 

Θαυμα Thauma from *(s)teu, to strike and stick out. Stupid, study, contusion, and the beginning strike of the archetype.  The river Styx, the steep and stuttering.  Toil. 

 

 

 

5290  A conversation moves on and there is no point in going back over it.  Each part lives only in the fervor of the moment.  Thus it is not like a collection of poems or essays, which are fixed and meant to be enjoyed again and again for what they eternally are.  They are excised from life and stand in the solitude of art.  The Internet with its blogs and chat rooms is a conversation.  The daily postings are forgotten as quickly as the saultering parts and moving moments of any conversation.  I have not written up parts of a conversation.

 

 

 

5291  Concerning whether or not God exists, I too might as well say a few things.  Yes, God exists.  Yes, the question is right at the heart of philosophy.  Yes, the philosopher’s answer to that question fits right in perfectly with his answer to the usual questions of whether or not other typically philosophical things exist.  It is intimately, dialectically one with the question of the existence of Love, the Good, Beauty, Truth, really big Numbers, and the color aquamarine.  The ever unhesitant Platonist will believe in such, now spiritually hackneyed, things.  I do.  And he will in a flash, at the top of the subtle, contemplative climb, have that blessed philosophical vision of their cinematic, radiant glory.  How refreshing.  It’s old hat.

 

But for some reason I cannot figure others don’t believe.  They will, with an almost angry but straight face, go so far as to tell you that No, aquamarine does not exist nor is any other color really there.  Much less all those other oh-so-subjective things.  They are quite adamant.  But we shouldn’t get upset at them, because they are in their element—forceful denial.  We all get our kicks somehow.  I don’t know if they are being butch or queenly, but they are implacable.

 

The question of God’s existence is one with the question of the existence of any philosophical Form.  Or strange ontological thing.  One has to squint really really hard to see them.  But I do assert, with an asserting equal to their disbelieving, that we do actually see them.  That is my radical empiricism.  I don’t offer proofs for their precise examination.  So I guess that is the end of it.

 

 

 

5292  Wikipedia gives this introduction to Platonism, The central concept of Platonism is the distinction between the reality which is perceptible, but not intelligible, and that which is intelligible, but imperceptible, to this distinction the Theory of Forms is essential.

 

That seems to me to be clearly wrong.  That makes the ultimate distinction be perceptible/intelligible.  It seems to me that the correct distinction is participating individual and participated universal.  The above definition implies that what is perceptible is not the higher universal, the intelligible.  Surely we can perceive the universal as well as the individual.  The universal is perceived; otherwise what we perceive in unrecognizable.  Anyway, wasn’t it the goal of the ascent up the Ladder of Eros in the Symposium to gain a vision of Beauty itself, indeed of all the Forms?  Their very super intelligibility is what makes them preeminently visible.  The Light of the mind is not darkness to sight.  The Beatific Vision is the goal.  We see God. 

 

The material individual is a mixing bowl, not the simplicity finally reached at the end of contemplative travail.

 

 

 

5293  Here is a bit of autobiography.  Early on, some time after I had fallen madly in love with geometry, algebra and the boy next door, I took up with the Andalusian Islamic poets and Saint John of the Cross, who, for the most part, got his ideas from those same religiously crazed, duende possessed, inheritors of the spirit that wrote the Song of Songs.  I was next in line.  The line shot right through me.  But the mathematics was still there.  The vector vexed me.

 

Anyway, on the pretense of not having any money, I quit college and slept wherever I could find an undisturbed place.  The passion of thought was disturbance enough.  Just how I have made it as far as I have is a mystery to me. So today, thinking of all that, I went to the university library and checked out many of those same books I haven’t seen for a while.  Here are a few random paragraphs from As Through a Veil by Schimmel.  I was reading a lot of scholarly stuff like this:

 

The other favorite rhetorical figure, husn-i ta’lil, the fantastic etiology, allows the poet to make everything alive: when the rose opens, the poet sees this natural act as an expression of the rose’s tearing its fragrant shirt because the beloved, beautiful as Yusuf, has come to the garden. According to the Koranic tradition (Sura 12/26—28) Yusuf’s shirt, in turn, had been torn by Zulaikha and later served to heal his blind father by its very fragrance. The combination of the rose with the shirt forms a kind of mirrored image—the rose is both as beautiful and fragrant as Yusuf and yet envies the Yusuf-like beloved. This artistic form enabled the poets to put everything into a kind of mythological setting and to express psychological moods by esthetic means; thus all nature becomes alive and active in this poetical cosmos.


Persian poets also loved the art of tazãdd, contrasting pairs of words, which is especially applicable to the description of God, who manifests Himself in the world under the dual aspects of lutf and qahr, kindness and wrath, of jamal andjalãl, the fascinans and the tremendum. This dual aspect of the Perfect One Divine is necessary to maintain the flow of life, as are yang and yin, the positive and negative poles, and, in the Persian poetical tradition, Beauty (as a static concept) and (dynamic) Love, which are interdependent and appear here on earth in various manifestations.


The ghazal, the shorter poem with monorhyme, which probably developed out of the erotic introduction of the qasida, uses a softer instrumentation, and ghazalwriters concentrate on their love of God or their longing for the beloved who is as beautiful as he is cruel.

 
What do the jurists know of Love? Neither the Kufi, Abu Hanifa, nor Shafi’i know its ways and traditions.

 
What shall I say about the one who denies Love?

He is a cow, a jackass, and a hard stone,


sings Gesudaraz, the Chishti saint, who even at the age of 90 still enjoyed singing of his love. But he has gracefully pointed to one of the problems connected with love:

 
You look at the beautiful one and see the stature and the figure-—— I do not see in between anything but the beauty of the work of the Creator!


He alludes here to an aspect of Sufism that had become more and more popular: to see the Divine beauty reflected in or manifested through a human being, ideally a boy of fourteen. The alleged Prophetic tradition, “I saw my Lord in the most beautiful form,” which was then enlarged with the qualification “with his cap awry” (kajkulah) gave the mystics the pretext not only to discover God’s wonderful creative work in a lovely human being but to regard him as the true withess, shãhid, of Divine beauty. The root of all human beauty is God’s smiling(dahk Allah), and when later mystical poets claim that they do not care for Paradise but are happy with the smile of the beloved, they allude to the tradition that God will be smiling at them in the Otherworld. What, then, would be the need for houris and castles as promised to the faithful in the Koran? 
The veneration of young boys—branded by the orthodox as a kind of manicheism—developed into a highly refined spiritual art, but could also degenerate into a more or less crude homosexuality. The sober Sufis were always aware of the danger of “looking at the unbearded,” and already Sana’i accused the Sufis of his time of having no other qibla but shãhid, sham, and shikam (a handsome boy, candles at parties, and their stomachs).  The lovers, however, maintained that such a love was licit, provided that the chastity of the glance was preserved. Ahmad Ghazzali put a rose between himself and his beloved, contemplating both of them alternatingly.

 

Whenever you see a shahid

Sit before him like a mirror,


says Rumi, echoing Ahmad Ghazzali’s ideals. As the old proverb says, al-ma jaz qantaratu’l-liaqfqa, “The metaphor is the bridge that leads to Reality”; the Sufis knew with Ruzbihan-i Baqli that love of a human being is the ladder leading to the love of the Merciful. Hence human love was called ishq-i majazi, metaphorical love, in contrast to the pure, true, Divine love, ishqi-i haqiqi. The soul needs the wings of human love to fly toward Divine love, and thus many poets claim: “We have directed our qibla toward the quarter of the one who wears his cap awry.” This verse by Hasan Dihlawi was imitated time and again, and it is here that Persian poetry gains its specific flavor. The constant oscillation between the two levels of experience often makes it next to impossible to translate or even to understand a poem correctly. It is this ambiguity between the human and the superhuman levels which makes the Persian ghazal so delightful, like a two-faced brocade. Without returning to the heavy and usually quite tasteless theological interpretation of the various metaphors, one would agree with Goethe that the poetical word as used by the Persian poets is a fan that both hides and reveals the beautiful face behind it.

 

 

 

 

5294  I just posted something about my past in which I mentioned the great influence that Islamic mystical love poetry had on my younger philosophical thinking.  I knew all about that overwhelming passion already.  I only needed the intellectual apparatus to hang it on.  I got a lot of that from those crazed lovers.  And from, therefore, Plato, who along with that other trans-worldly only slightly moved mover, Aristotle, created Muslim philosophy.  It is so very different from almost all philosophical God-talk today.  Today’s blog-inhabiting God is the divine, kindly bringer of justice.  He is the one who orders or who would love to have us let him order according to his perfect goodness.  (We could follow His directions.) That God is the most rational and happily creative.  He is not the cruel beloved of those now dead lovers.  I miss them.

 

The value of Islam for Christianity is that it reminds us that we as Christians worship One God, not three.  The Trinity is not tri-theism.  The one God exists as three persons or individuals, but in all that He is just one.  That is hard to think and we usually slide over it to make a family sort of nonsensical thing.  Like Muslims and Jews, we worship  one God.  But how can those three be one?  That is where Platonism comes in.  In the Bible there are the words theos and theotites.  The first is usually translated as god and the second as godhead or divinity.  That last is indeed the substantive Form that all three persons have.  Today, however, when such Forms or universals are thought not to exist and only the individuals that sort of have this no-thing exist, we never speak of theotites.  We should.  That is the God beyond God, the devastation of intense love.  It is absolutely simple.  With a simplicity that forces you to fall in love with it.  And drives you mad trying to speak it.  I have tried for years.

 

 

 

5295  There is one sweet, young Ph.D candidate on the blogosphere who has been trying  to find a place for religion, and indeed all of human culture, alongside the quite unapproachable things of physics, such as electrons, muons, quantum waves, phase space, solar winds, and manic, didactic relativistic hump vectors or whatever it is that lies beyond our ken in the gently colliding minds of hadron wizards.  The humanities vs. science.  Can we have both?  Is conflict inevitable?  Is Science obvious truth as opposed to the poetic delusions of our oh-so-literary ivy-covered inheritance?

 

It seems to me that one way to get at what he is so passionately pursuing is to characterize it as the “fight” between all the phenomena so readily seen by the naive mind and the well-tested constructions or reconstructions of that  phenomena handed to us by physicists and their ilk and said to be what is “really” there.

 

Phenomena vs. scientific under-things.  I will assume that those under-things really are there.  I, after all, have no reason to doubt that they are.  And scientists, in spite of being mostly boring engineering types, seem like good folk who have no evil designs on us.  So why should be give up on the fun phenomenal world as something that is really there?  I think the problem is not with the scientists, but with some of the old philosophers (who mainly wanted to stick it to the Church).  We have for all that received a intellectual tradition that has a goodly number of ill-considered beliefs.  Here is one of the most important:

 

“The mind knows only what is “in” the mind.”  Thus all those cultural things that it contemplates, like the taste of food, the softness of a breeze, the feeling of anger, the hurt of falling, the sound of a sigh, the magnificence of the sky, the roar of the crowd, the smile and nod of a beauty across the way, and, alas, the lateness of the hour, then, too quickly, the rising of the sun and the suddenness of birds outside the window—all that is phenomena we experience and because we experience it it is “subjective”, i.e. in the mind.  Because, it is said by those old philosophers, all that the mind directly knows is “in the mind”.  But they were wrong.  Was it Galileo who first put these “secondary qualities” in the mind?

 

If we get rid of the idea that the mind knows only what is in the mind—and therefore not real—then all those phenomena are again real.  Yes, my philosophically seduced friend, the mind knows, directly knows, what is not in the mind.  Right now I am looking at my printer and it most certainly is not in my mind; it is on the table by my window.  And I am most certainly not looking at images of that residing in my brain or only in me.  I see the printer and that is the end of it.  I suppose there are scientific things there too, but I can’t see them and they most certainly will not usurp the real away from what I really do see.  The phenomenal world is real just as you see it.

 

I have spoken of this so very many times and I really don’t feel like going on with it any more.

 

 

 

5296  I think you, my friend, have falsely assumed that all those cultural phenomena that you want to lovingly value are merely subjective.  They are not subjective; and though they are very different, they are as real and as “out there” as any of those things of physics.  Therefore, if they are real—and I know they are profoundly present to your mind—then they most certainly exist.  Yes, among those phenomena out there is the God you know so well when you quietly close your eyes and pray.  Analysis must know when to stop.

 

The mind directly knows what is not in the mind.  Indeed, that voice you hear now is not “in your mind”; it is coming from the hallway and it is your friend wanting to see you.

 

For love has grabbed my hem and drags it

As a hungry man clutches the edge of a tablecloth.

 

Love and its pull are really there.

 

 

 

5297  I have always loved Islamic mystical poetry.  The rough play of passion.  The cruelty of beauty.  The intense realism.  In this world things go awry, terribly wrong.  You fall in love and you are rejected.  And then the pain.  The unendurable pain.  You die but no one notices.  No one wants to notice.  You go on.  It is magnificent in its devastation.  Those poets write that up.  And magically transform it into supreme glory.  The Lie of poetry is exquisite Truth.  This God is overwhelming.  You are attacked by the ferocious tiger of love.  You burn bright.  The angels watch.  No one notices.

 

I think it is amazing that in the popular press Sufi poetry has been turned into a quasi-philosophical sweetness of harmony in the One.  The spilt blood and the meat hook of love are forgotten.  No one wants to see.  This poetry is excruciating realism.

 

 

 

5298  The unbeliever is like a dried up tree whose branches cannot be moved by the breeze of divine love. 

 

 

 

5299  I have written up here a radical realism and a radical empiricism, and, I suppose, therefore, a radical Platonism.  Whatever has appeared before my mind’s eye as an object of awareness exists.  Tellingly, all the apparatus of logic and the emotions and even the ontological forms are right there.  They are not derivations of anything other than themselves.  And the objects of imagination and all facts, positive and negative.  Structures, connectors, both breezy and violent sensa, and divine love that becomes our loving in the presence of intense beauty.  It is all in the bondage of right there.  None of that is just of the mind.  And, of course, none of it is in space or time.  Existence hangs on existence and that is the end of it.

 

I do analysis.  The world breaks up into its ontological pieces.  The simple and the complex.  Both and neither is reducible.  God it that.  God is a swelter.  He is a slum.  He is a mouth crammed with spirit.  Passion clogs in the massive clot that is man.  Eventually the passion vanishes in the stillness.  That too is love.  And then rest rests until he comes again.    Awareness hovers over it all like a distraught lover.  Reason does time with passion.

 

 

 

5300  Today there is a moving mass of process philosophy blogs clogging up the Internet.  Somehow, for the theists among those thinkers, God is Himself in process headed out into … we can only trust he is creative enough to come up with a somewhere.  In the ancient philosophies of the East, God has the dual nature of being both the stillness of the beautiful and the fiery movement of love toward that prize beyond measure.  Today’s process guys, always moving out, have nowhere to go, it seems.  Without a beauty to attain it is surely a waste of time.  Beauty and love.  Beauty and love.  Beauty and love.  Eromenos and erastes.  They form an eternal pair.  The one God is that.  An impossible thought.  The mind tears apart in its philosophy. 

 

That is why these guys want only one half of that dual nature.  They think that maybe then they can think it.  But the stillness waits in stillness.  And beauty will not be denied.

 

 

 

5301  With enchantment we overcome our pain.  The religious poems I have been writing about in the last few postings have been about the most awful moments of love.  We all know them and we all look for an escape.  Rejection and dejection and a spiritual dying.  That is of the essence of love.  Or you haven’t really known that most bewildering thing at all.  It is God himself present.  And we are fire worshippers.

 

I read those poems and the terror is magically changed into sweetness.  How is it done?  Is it meter and rhyme?  Is it the marvelous metaphors?  Is it an ambiguity that simply confuses the mind?  It is art, but what is that?  Surely God himself, the cause and substance of our plight, is himself in there as the cure.  We are in a terrible place with a mighty jailer keeping us forever in the most perfect bondage.  The heart is a sigh.  The Beloved exists always.  There is no way out of His presence.  And you must die into that ever again.  And again.

 

The poet flies on wings weighted down with beauty.  Just how I do not know.

 

 

 

5302  We persuade with reason and evidence; we coerce with style.  The problem, as Aristotle mentions, is that any attempt at simple reason and plain evidence is itself also an attempt at style and there is no escape from soft subterfuge.  The Bible itself is the most grand imposition.  Its poetry is unsurpassed.  Its madness is sublime.  Its honeyed love is unrelenting.  Its promise of destruction is from the depths of fear.  Its God is thoroughly bewildering.  The mind is taken with no appeal.  Persuasion finally never works; we love style.  It must be in our jeans.

 

 

 

5303  Yesterday, at a used book store, I bought Sherburne’s A Key to Whitehead’s Process and Reality and I thought to read it so I could more knowledgeably think about all those many references to all that in today’s philosophy blogs.  It was mostly as I so inadequately remember it, except that Whitehead seems to me now to be speaking of set-theoretical ideas.  I was struck when I read that that most central idea of Creativity is in fact Aristotle’s idea of Matter.  Well, Yes, that makes sense, if you see matter shattered as it is in Aquinas, or moving toward that in ever-expanding sets of sets of sets on and on beyond forever.  God is and will be that.  It goes all the way to After Infinity, another set-theoretical vision into the Cantorian heavens. The Whole simply doesn’t exist.

 

 

 

5304  Part way through my review of Whitehead, I am struck by one great paradox.  According to that ontology only actual entities exist.  They are composed of eternal objects and something else which I think we could call the super-ject.  In other words, actual entities are complex.  The problem is that its components don’t exist because other than complex actual entities there is nothing, nothing at all.  How can a complex be composed out of nothings? 

 

It is true that these nothings, these potential entities, are also components within the great entity called God and they do there have a sort of existence, but nonetheless, that sort-of-existence is quite literally nothing and only the actual entity God exists.  In addition, of course, to the lesser entities, which aim at Him in an eternal obsession with Life. 

 

Whitehead has an ontology of complexities—or facts, as I have boringly called them—but not simple things.  The world is built out of nothings.  And those groundless complexities climb higher and higher opening up and up and out and all around like a crazed Rose.  Change and process and unfolding are all there is.  But even that doesn’t really, finally exist.  Oh my.  It is mystically beautiful, but escapes every attempt to grasp it.  In that it really is just like real life.  I pace in harried contemplation.

 

I will read some more.  Maybe a dialectical turn lies up ahead.

 

 

 

5305  My uncle used to love to say, “I’ve known coal miners and I’ve known truck drivers, but I have never known anyone like you.”  We are here talking about the sui generis.  And that is what the intentional nexus is.  It cannot be reduce to or explained away in terms of any other thing of any type.  There’s nothing else like it in all of Being.  Consider this:  right now I’m sitting at my card table with my computer and if I glance up I see a rusty, old Plymouth sitting in the parking lot across the way.  Now then, if you take seriously what most philosophies are saying you would have to say that I am looking, not at an old Plymouth, but at some kind of electrical sensum on my brain, which is translated as “in my mind”.  I, however, insist that I am not looking at that; I am looking at that old Plymouth and it is most definitely not in my brain or mind; it is over there across the way.  And that is the end of it. 

 

My idealist/materialism friend chimes up and says, yes, you have grasped the form of that Plymouth but not the particular, not its materiality.  Through a cause and effect chain the form has moved in isomorphic constancy up into your grey matter and that is it.  It seems that “isomorphic relay” puts us in intimate touch with the world.  And I object again.  No, I am not looking at some sort of isomorphic anything; I am looking at the old Plymouth itself.  And it has not come to me through any chain of intermediaries.  I am directly aware of the thing itself.  And because my friend knows only cause and effect chains, he is baffled.  I tell him of the sui generis intentional nexus and he just blinks.

 

It seems that the whole tradition of phenomenological thinking that, in modern times, begins with Brentano through Meinong and Husserl and on down to Bergmann and Grossmann et al. has been lost.  The intentional nexus is, I suppose, in hiding, waiting for the next generation of philosophers to pop up again.

 

 

 

5306  One important idea in modern philosophy is dependence or interdependence.  It is part of a part/whole ontology.  It works like this: consider the genus Boy and the relation friend of.  Boy is a part of a vast array of living things and living things are part of a great natural order.  Friend of is only one of the many relations that connect us one to another and to everything else.  The modern idea of dependence usually says that neither boy nor friend of make sense alone, nor indeed exist as things alone, but borrow existence and meaning from being a part of a greater, in fact much greater, complexity.  Finally it turns out that everything exists only as a part of the Whole and only there does each wanna-be thing have meaning and gain force.  Dependence is ubiquitous.  And it brings into being all those things that on their own are literally nothing.  Every atom finds itself only in the One Reality.  A person becomes himself only among friends.

 

The problem with the idea is that it exists and has meaning only as part of the great tradition of thought   …   or maybe not, maybe everything else is just wrong.

 

Whatever, Boy as a genus depends on individual boys and likewise individual boys depend on the genus Boy.  The circle goes around and around.  And surely what I mean by that depends on all I have read and the vast meaning of words in the history, or many histories, of words that will not quiet down.  We are Gulliver tied up in infinite connections connecting.  At last nothing means anything and nothing really exists.  Except ad hoc, but what is that when our salvation into a simpler heaven is what we really want.

 

It seems to me I should be able to say, “His eyes are bright, the music is sweet and a beautiful, clear idea has come to me”, and let that be that.  So simple, so elegant.

 

Now then, I’m sure many of my readers will have felt uneasy with my using Boy as my example.  Could it be that for them Boy has meaning and existence only within the great family of Man?  And by himself he is nothing?  I, it turns out, do not have a part/whole dependence philosophy.

 

Lovers do not mix with those with intellect because

Someone who has not been thrashed does not mix with someone thrashed.

Those with intellect run away from a dead ant out of caution—

Lovers trample carelessly on dragons!

 

Every morning out of love for you this intellect becomes crazy,

Climbs upon the roof of the brains and plays the lute …

 

 

 

5307  In the Middle Ages, substance and attribute loomed large.  In modern times, the structure of part/whole sizzles.  So today one might take a pond as a paradigmatic object.  All the fauna and flora and minerals alive in dependency demand our care so that a balance is maintained.  Energy flows in and out and the rhythms of life repeat and repeat.  It is a magnificent structure and so many things could go wrong.  They are going wrong now.  And because the world is also a chaotic system, the slightest far away movement may or surely will eventually upset it all.  And new pulsations will begin again somewhere else, but we may not be here then.  Because our care was not caring enough.  Our worldview is structure.  I have something other.

 

A structure is not a subject/predicate affair.  The Medieval view was and so is mine, but with a difference.  Consider that pond again.  As I see it, it is a particular thing, a bare particular, exemplifying the universal Form of Pond.  Other ponds, other particulars, exemplify literally the same Form.  There is only one Form of Pond.  Neither the Form nor the particular is in either time or space, though that particular and another, maybe a snake, indeed exemplifying a very different Form, may together exemplify both a time and space relation.  That’s all space and time are— relations, that is to say, universals.  I think you can feel the difference between those two views of the world.  I do believe in structures, but that is not all.  Because the chaos out and about will win and we need a way out of here.

 

 

 

5308  There are two ways to write about God.  Either you can depict Him as the Beloved and you can write love treatises to and about that Beauty that puts to shame all other beauties.  Or, embarrassed by all that, you can insist that he cannot be depicted or so depicted and write only logical abstractions.  The Internet is the second and I wonder if it is that of necessity.  I write the first, but I have no readers.

 

Marshall McKluhan wrote, “Instead of tending towards a vast Alexandrian library the world has become a computer, an electronic brain, exactly as an infantile piece of science fiction. And as our senses have gone outside us, Big Brother goes inside. So, unless aware of this dynamic, we shall at once move into a phase of panic terrors, exactly befitting a small world of tribal drums, total interdependence, and superimposed co-existence. [...] Terror is the normal state of any oral society, for in it everything affects everything all the time. [...] In our long striving to recover for the Western world a unity of sensibility and of thought and feeling we have no more been prepared to accept the tribal consequences of such unity than we were ready for the fragmentation of the human psyche by print culture.”

 

Are words of love about the Beloved fit only for the private act of reading, for a literary person? 

 

 

 

5309  The human body is a most unlikely thing.  At every turn there is a surprising difference. A silken articulation of meaningless pieces.  I slowly, anxiously move my mouth over its smooth ever varying simplicity.  The true pattern of dialectical change emerges.  The least beautiful is the most beautiful.  Beauty and desire in and out of each the other.  Beyond understanding, I read him into the horror continui, divine perfection.  

 

 

 

5310  In the night sky there is the constellation Orion.   A handful of stars, a slight arrangement, a dream.  It takes but little and the Great Form itself is present.  The individual stars, the collection, the ordering, the Form.  Those are very different things.  Those different things are tied together with one of the many  nexus in Being.  The elements, the connector, the system.  Simple things, complexities pilling into complexities.  And time.  And Space.  And mind.  Beauty peers.  And love with its soft caress.  Amazement traverses the pavement.  And then the spell is broken.  Life spills out.  I sleep again.

 

 

 

5311  As I see philosophy, it isn’t the job of the philosopher to think through a really deep and hard problem and then present a solution to be lodged in the body of knowledge that humans are gathering up about their world.  Rather it is his pleasure to think and once again, just as he does every day, reach that exquisite point of intellectual orgasm.  Oh my, it is messy.  And if he writes it down, we can all watch.  Life and thought and pleasure are one.  All that scientific seriousness has to be left for another more jaded time.

 

 

 

5312  Philosophical thinking and writing is the obsession of religious ritual.  It is the ever once again of sex.  It is the uselessness of spiritual orgasm.  Tension and then beautiful release.  It is pleasure.  It is decadence.  It is life.

 

Over and over again in perfect timing.  The exactness of the words and intonation, the just-right gesture, the ancient Form.  Nothing changes.  A fastidiousness beyond the human.  And the watcher.

 

And then the moment comes.  The silence.  The proper hesitation.  The killing, the blank, the most gentle oblivion.  Non-existent perfect existence.  The cheek floods with roses.  And the far dream of liquid spirit.  It’s finished.

 

Or so you might see if you could get into that tiniest instant when it is all accomplished.  Your only joy.  My frumpish boy.

 

 

 

5313  In ontology—and also art and life and probably everything else—less is more.  The Platonic Forms, those overpowering eternal things of God, no mean parts of existence, come to us in the least of things.  Let’s say you want to capture the very essence of a Cowboy.  You could look through all the artifacts we have from that time and learn everything the history books have to say and on and on into a great complexity of knowledge.  But every step of the way you would be getting farther and farther from that magical essence you so want.  The truth is, or the Truth of the matter, is that the essence comes upon you suddenly in a piece of minutia.  Perhaps it is a single spur or a big hat or a pair of chaps.  Perhaps it is the smile in a faded picture or the feel of a pistol or the rough texture of a lasso.  Some little thing speaks that great Form itself.  And it has to be a little thing.  That is why a toy, a doll, an icon, will take you to the heights.  And if someone points out to you that it is almost nothing, you will know that that is exactly why it was able to do the magic required.

 

It is the same with writing.  Some little word or turn of phrase and the essence is captured.  It comes suddenly and cannot be planned by the author.  All of this is maddening.   And of course music is the same.  And you know it is a glances or a touch or a nod that perfectly conveys Love from the Summit of the Soul—not a long speech.  You must trust the appearing.  And know that only in the littlest thing, in the almost nothing at all, the mean mechanical, the Great Thing is present.

 

The problem is that the skeptics and the sour will try to show you that it was exactly nothing at all.  I am a Platonic Realist.  That Form from out of Being really exists and it really was right there. I insist.

 

 

 

5314  “Hell hath no fury like a spurned lover.”  That’s another way of misquoting Congreve.  I want to use it to describe Yahweh, that embattled Lover.  “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast.”  That’s a correct quote and it also applies to the same Passionate One.  But in this age of dispassionate philosophy it makes no sense to think of Him as such.  Now we admit only a thin, abstract RatioGod.  Or, I suppose for those who appreciate the literature of ancient Israel, that wild beast of a god is safely put away in the pages of poetry.  Still, He is the truest being we know.  Love is real.  And it isn’t mere meditation compassion.

 

God is Love.  Love knows jealousy.  Only the sweet music of the beloved is able to control it.  God loved man and was ignored.  God became man, a beloved who returned love for love, rhythm for rhythm, and the non-lovers killed him.  God was quieted.  We who also know the fury of love now slip into that still place and wait.  We are fearful even to ourselves.

 

 

 

5315  Hegel is just the right philosopher for today’s young graduate student looking to begin a pleasant career as a professor. He set out to find the Absolute, the Spirit itself, the pinnacle of thought and Behold! that very thing realized itself, concretized itself, crawled right up to his tired mind as the modern, bourgeois Family with himself as paterfamilias.  Just exactly what our young friend is aiming at.

 

 

 

5316  The Greek word for Boy is pais, which also is English Few and Poor and Pauper.  The boy and the Boy is the least of things.  He is the dialectical opposite of the Majesty of God.  God became that.  Such a one can present no evidence that he really is God, the very idea is absurd.  And so Kierkegaard steps onto the stage of life as the opposite of Hegel’s Absolute.  The boy is not Absolute Spirit.  But he may grow up to think he is.

 

 

 

5317  And so we arrive at Kierkegaard and the dialectic of the Absurd.  It turns out that the true appearing of the Man (or Knight) of Faith looks exactly like a modern family man, glancing over at his wife and kids, wanting to do his very best just for them and then silently whisking himself away to work.  There’s nothing special there.  We are far from the time when God and the gods walked among us.  But not to worry, all that tiresome majesty has in the magic of dialectical history arrived right here at the perfection of Spirit.  The Absolute has been living right around the corner.  Heaven, it turns out, looks a lot like home.  God is a worthy householder.  The Absurd oozes about.

 

 

 

5318  Things repeat.  In writing, in my writing, not only does meter grade up and grade down and then the cadence once again, but the same terms terminate the same thought.  It becomes a cliché.  Or rather, as I would rather say, one more appearing of the Archetype.  The Eternal Form is here again in the same tired appearing.  The numbness, the boredom, the lethargy of religious obsession.  Our only love.  Love itself.

 

 

 

5319  First off you must make sure you know just what a universal is.  Consider a dark red rose, a cup of Sufi dusky wine, the cupbearer of musky entanglement, and that one who walked so dangerously close to you last evening in the odor of owl-light malfeasance. So many points of sameness.  Time curls in on itself.  We will coolly examine the ontological scene.  And the heart will pop.

 

In reality, outside your mind, outside anyone’s mind, do universals exist?  Sadly, most who would think say, No.  Out there they see only individuals that are only similar, and there is nothing repeating that is one and the same.  Similarity vs. the one and the same.  A universal is the latter.  Literally the one thing is exemplified by so many, many bare particulars.  And thus, the one thing exemplified and the many things that exemplify are different.  And that difference is real, not a mind-fictional separation.  Out in existence such differences loom.  But most see only similarity, not the one thing.

 

In that erotic scene above, you can see ordinary individuals of which we could say that the mind devises certain similarities.  Or you could say that timeless things appear with the many, bare things.  That is quite a difference.  The first way is safe and lies in the lap of the everyday.  The second way is the incoming of divine beings and you had better watch out!

 

 

 

5320  In the Eucharist, when we eat the body of Christ and drink his blood are we really doing that or just pretending so we can remember what happened a long time ago?  Well, my dear, it must be real or it is a boring waste of time.  I am a sacramentalist.   The Mysterium is present or there is nothing.  That Boy of God is in my mouth.  I write down the effluvia.  The Fascinans.  The Shudder comes over me, the same as before.  Then my salvation is that frisson I see running on out in the cool, dark night.  And head-spinning logic beckons as always. 

 

 

 

5321  It isn’t so hard to figure out just why a would-be philosopher is so afraid of having universals enter into his beloved thinking.  They are the Heart of repetition.  Thus the Chant of life.  They are the Trance of obsessive thought.  Again and again it ever begins again.  Hardly have you fallen asleep when you see the dreams coming.  The spirit will not leave you.  It is always the same.  Even when it comes across the vast distances of Being, it is again the same.  The universal turns on the one thing.  It has been waiting in your hand, under you, silent.  You will respond, won’t you?  The one thing, the tall lord, you read his world like a book, line by smooth line right under your lips.  Your intention runs to catch it.  Or your thought’s legs are heavy – again – and you are simply stuck.  His embrace is your embrace and the braces.  You are become a paraplegic of analysis.  It’s a shame.  But you don’t care.  The universal is the fault line.  Will you or will you not submit?  That one thing.  Falling.

 

 

 

5322  “Thought, according to Aristotle, must be non-contradictory. This is a result of his doctrine of substance and the principle of sufficient reason. If we make a further experiential distinction, however, between thinking and what is thought, we see that while the latter must remain consistent to be considered reasonable, the former must remain inconsistent for the same reason. Thinking is the differentiation of that which nonetheless remains whole; it is identity in process, not an identifiable product; it is the transitive flow of experience, rather than its substantive content. The unthought cannot be thought, since the unthought is that which produces thought. It is the activity of thinking itself.” Snatched from out there.

 

My thinking thinks against itself.  I am my thought and I become other.  My thought congeals.  The movement vanishes.  I am no more.  The dead thing lies there.  It now makes sense.

 

The first way of expressing the idea is intelligent and meaningful, but labored and fastened and slightly awkward.  The second way has more plain power deep in it and the words flow, but it is rather meaningless and not the product of mutually acknowledged thought.  Power that rises and ebbs or meaning hammered together.

 

 

 

5323  “Love took up a mace and beat intellect’s head.” 

 

Or again,

 

Intellect says: “The six directions are a limit, and there is no way out.

Love says: “there is a way, and I have gone it several times!”

Intellect saw a marketplace and started business:

Love saw marketplaces beyond that one!

O how many hidden Mansurs, trusting the soul of Love,

Have given up the pulpits and gone to the gallows!

 

Sufi tradition is famous for counterpoising intellect with love, reason with madness, the law with ecstatic intoxication.  Here the pulpit and the gallows.  Plato, the source of much of that poetry, gives us both the extreme of dialectical logic and love’s Ladder of Paradise. Professors of philosophy today choose the one side and poets choose the other. I have in these writings tried to put them together.  I have succeeded, but in the process it seems that I have by that achieved only a sort of decadence, a broken parody, the loss of both.  Thus, I am neither grand analyzer nor poetic drunk.  My rhythms are tame, not lush, and my reasonings are meek, not austere.  Or perhaps lush and austere manqué. So I have failed to be a dandy of despair at my being abandoned by either.  Still, I think in that I have finally arrived at the most exquisite end point.  Alone with the alone.  And the forlorn cliché.

 

 

 

5324  Following Arthur O. Lovejoy in The Great Chain of Being, let me divide philosophers into this-worldly and other-worldly.  And parallel to that Plato’s two notions of God into 1) a dynamic, overflowing, friend of the world and 2) a perfect, indifferent, stillness separate from the world.  The former is today taken up by those following Whitehead et alia.  The latter is now out of fashion all-together.  I am the latter, and thus unread.  But in the great sway of time in a time now gone I would have been among the many.

 

Also in Plato there is a tension between the Ideas and the souls, even the Great Soul, inhabiting divine realms.  Universals vs. individual minds.  Today the latter are much admired.  The Ideas, the Forms, are never spoken of.  That is no doubt because the Ideas, not the encircling souls, are in the quietness of an otherworldly Eternity.  An immovable otherness.  The perfect End of thought.

 

The Boy, in twilight and a musky oblivion, is destruction to the world and an escape into mind-effacing ratios.  Into the self-sufficient.  The fury held and tempered into the final cut.  The separation is complete.

 

The others are joyfully busy.

 

 

 

5325  For Plato, because the Good is without envy, his perfection is shared with an infinity of souls in worlds beyond worlds.  The One overflows.  On and on and on.  This is the great self-sufficiency that we contemplate.  Handed about, every thing emerging from its own being, mirrors its God.  Like from like.  Nothing more is needed.

 

This is exactly the same as the self-creating universe of today’s science.  And it is the dynamism of that universe climbing ever higher into the Transfinite Numbers that describe it.  Ever onward, the journey is endless.  From itself into itself beyond itself without a self the day burns.

 

And then for Plato, because he needed rest from the heat of love’s tempest and the never-quite, the stillness of the indifferent, final moment, that ever was and never, sank into time and exploded into a dark point that frightens us all.  The object of our desire.  Desire’s end.

 

I go beyond the dynamic God of Life toward the empty Blank.  He breathes-in the thin light, the air of jeweled fire, a frozen chant of boys who never were.  Beyond existence.  I fall far.  The end.  And now, like this terrible God, I care nothing for the world.

 

 

 

5326  Could the world have been other than it is?  It does seem that I could have left the bananas out of my morning Kix.  Or that you could have smiled more sweetly.  Or that he could have shaved before coming.  So many things could have been other or we could have imagined them otherwise.  The world might have been better.   We could have been happier.  But surely all that thinking is ultimately wrong.  Yes, it could have all been different, but, because God, the reason why, is perfect, the result of his making must be just as perfect.  In Eternity it was always so; it was always just as it is now.  And it will all repeat in the infinity of Being.  From the perfect only the perfect can come.  The necessity is tight.  Nothing could have been different.

 

Surely by the same reasoning, the badness of this place is just as necessary as the goodness.  And failure at times beyond time must be.  A world without all that would be a poorer place.  And the Perfect is rich beyond riches.  Everything must be as it is and each think will be in its own perfection.

 

Still, almost no one believes that.  I have taken, completely taken out, free will.  And, in order to preserve our high place among beings, we must (mustn’t we?) be our own masters and our will must be as we, not necessity, wills.  Or do we also feel an absolute impulse always to do what is best and we cannot will an inferior thing?  Surely, we could do the lesser thing and nothing, not even our own intellect, could force us to act as it, not we, wanted.  Or what do you think?  Is will higher than intellect.  Is it?  Oh, I doubt I could have forgone that banana.  The world is necessarily as it is.  From out of the timeless is appears.  And appears.  And appears again.

 

But what about parallel universes where only one tiny thing is different?  Is that also necessary because of divine perfection?  I think so.  It’s hard, so hard, to think this through.

 

 

 

5327  The Tyrant of Beauty, the Lord of  Love’s Nighttime, the Impossible Dream, has us in thrall.  The shrill thrill, the incessant prick.  The willful irrationalist.  Simply because of That, everything, which I once thought could have been otherwise, is, I now clearly see, bound in tight necessity.  It’s his way or … there’s no way out.  Pure necessity emanates from his whim.  The Whim is the necessity that is love’s way.  You know that.  It is in that madness that the totally arbitrary and what must be come together.  Drill, kill, tilt.

 

 

 

5328  Which is higher and stronger Intellect or Will?  Does God create such and such because it is good and well-formed, or is it well-formed and good because he creates it?  Is two plus two equal to four out of a necessity to which even God must bend or is it so because of his arbitrary will?  Is the world as it is because of the irrational, capricious Will of God (or the Void), a whim, or is it so because of some rational necessity.  Is it simply chance?  Is chance without reason? 

 

I am in love with the Perfect Beauty, so well-formed, an exquisite play of differences.  Is that well-formèdness itself well-formed?  Or simply difference differentiating.  Is that, when paradoxically held in unity, the very definition of God.  The sassy one.  The incorrigible.  Your hopeless obsession.  Or am I playing his word games?  Surely it is so.

 

 

 

5329  The Forms of Being are many and they are vastly different the one from the other.  On the Field of Battle that is the Soul they raise the twilight dust of war.  Love and hate roar and abate.  And I now sit here and roll my eyes at this impossibly literary God, my life, my obsession.

 

On the page and on the street I feel the heat, the tension, the rage.  There is no end to my attempt.  The essay and the assay and the cute ass.  I am undone.  My room, the gloom of not knowing, too much attention, no one pays attention, my extended intention, it’s wrenching headache and cinch have mercifully left for a while and I simply have another cup of coffee.  God is easily understood.  Difference and unity in the noose we call life.

 

For a moment we have beauty and then as in a dream it leaves and we watch it alight on another as he lies and sits and walks dazed through the days.  The days cease and it moves on again, ever again.  Surely we will find the Magnificence itself again on the other side.

 

I am an otherworldly guy.  I just look.  The maze in the maize is amazing.  Pollen falls from smooth silk.  Ears stand up.  And fall.  The unending bending rendering me like a dead animal.  Anima animus mundi.  Hic et ille.  I’m a little ill.  Vastly different.  Momentous.  Too much to bare.  He bares it anyway.  God must be denied.  As we deny all mighty love and try to hide.  In the twilight must.  And scroll down.

 

 

 

5330  When you listen to someone who has had a brush with death, they often tell you that it made them notice the world afresh: the grass is greener, the sky is bluer, the flowers are more fragrant.  They speak in generalities about simple primary qualities.  They have become like the Imagists.  They forsake the social.  Seeing death made them see the first things.  Standing out and still.  Scintillating, cutting, terrifying in their presence.  Maybe that is to be our experience of death.  The bare just that is before your mind.

 

 

 

5331  I think the Boy uses the same brush to arrange his hair to make a lair in the wind on the open range and you find yourself.  Within what we now call love, but it is the same as the breath of death.  The throat winding.  He is incensed with musk.  Pugnacious pungency.  The mask of this adolescent writing.  The too-sharpness of death is just bad taste.  You will bare it all and he will laugh.  And leave.  We have been hood winked.

 

 

 

5332  My politics is founded on the frailty of the human body and the magnificence of man’s mind.  It is amazing what we have learned and how much we can manipulate nature and, therefore, the human body back away from its frailty, at least for a while.  The superstructure we have built up over that body, to protect it from what it naturally is, is GRAND, but, alas, because of other magnificent theories of exchange and distribution we have also dreamed up it is very, very expensive and someone else is going to have to pay to have it brought around.  (But the money has all flowed to the top and gotten stuck.)  So if THEY don’t do something, if we are left with only frailty and no way to get at the knowledge and those impressive techniques we already have, then – REVOLUTION!  Yes, the people are going to rise up and get what they have to have, or they are going to tear it all down out of anger.  Classical textbook rage.   It’s all very understandable.  And probably inevitable. Shiva dances his Dance of Destruction. 

 

 

 

5333  The boy is not generative.  He is the still perfection of ideal ratios.  Thus he is otherworldly.  This place is unfolding life, not stupefying beauty.  Here we find joy and sorrow, birth and change and death, the rush of coming and going, bittersweet concern.  There is found the starkness of the exquisite Cut after life leaves and the world is forgotten.  That place is the frightful thing at the end of our reaching, the thing ever unreached.  The reach pulls back.  He is the too much seen as too little.  That Life beyond life is a dead thing to this world.  Its movement is too quick and its eternity is as nothing.  His perfect presence is unseen.

 

 

 

5334  Rimbaud and Shakespeare of the Sonnets have always been two of my favorites.  They reflect, though, as very different in their poems.  Shakespeare is directly giving us the pulsations of his own love.  Rimbaud is giving us the wild swings of another, usually Verlaine.  The French kid was, strangely, a nice boy, very good in school, respected, a lover of men coming home from work in the dark.  Shakespeare, in the Sonnets, is just Shakespeare in love’s pincers.  Rimbaud loved to manipulate the man.  He reminds me of the Mysterious Stranger in Twain and the child Jesus in the extra-canonical writings.  And of a brainy kid torturing a fly.  Beyond good and evil, he watches.  The pure intellect of Gaulish writing.

 

 

 

5335  I tried to read Badiou’s take on Rimbaud but it was hard going because it seems wrong to try and get profound philosophical insight out of a piece by an impish teenager who loves to seduce older men.  I think he can add Badiou to his collection of conquests. 

 

At the beginning of his chapter on What is Love, Badiou says, “Let us add that contemporary philosophy is, as we see everyday, addressed to women.  It might even be suspected, and I lay myself open to this, of engaging, as discourse, in strategies of seduction.”  I think that is true, but here he fell for a boy’s superior powers.  Yes, philosophy is an attempt at seduction, but of whom by whom.  The Boy is out and about.

 

 

 

5336  I received a friendly comment urging me to consider the idea that “reality is at least co-created by the human unconscious mind, which Barfield eventually identifies with the Mind.”  Fair enough.  My first thought is that I will not be up to it.  It strikes me as on the verge of a great mythology.  And I am not very good at thinking those magical transformations that are essential to that way of seeing the world.  I like to read mythic stories and I can feel the deep attraction, but I cannot think it well in my philosophizing.

 

In every grand Myth there is a breathtaking rising up and rising out of.  In today’s mythic science the whole magnificence of the universe and the human mind gradually but inexorably unfold out the folds of inchoate matter.  The vacuum manages to sink even deeper into itself or uncertainty becomes uncertain or infinite randomness has no choice but to eventually come up with all this.  From the least of things the greatest of things set themselves up … and then fall back.  It’s an enchanting story.  Matter, Mater Suspiria de Profundis, the great unconscious awesomeness, heaves and we are cast out into existence.  Or something like that – I am not a poet adequate to the idea.  Creation, the Mind, the unconscious, magical words, a talisman.  I am other.

 

 

 

5337  Whitehead’s Process philosophy and his God who participates in process are popular again.  But it seems to me that all that goes against one of the fundamental ideas in quantum physics.  Today, particles do not move in orbits, they simply don’t move.  Nothing changes place. There are only statistical probabilities that something is at a particular place.  “At” and “place” being defined as values in the equations for what seems to be a very broken-up space-time.  Or something like that.  It is not just that I cannot say it well (and I can’t) but that the equations are only partially interpreted. Whatever, the important idea is that nothing moves; there are only statistics that something might be here or there, whatever “here” and “there” are.  Information, nothing more.  Process is gone.  Indeed, space and time are gone.  Statistics, chance, and probabilities and, of course, that twisted imp randomness.  It’s fun, but almost unthinkable.  If only we had a good definition of information.

 

I think these process philosophies and theologies that are out and about are nostalgia for a simpler, more understandable time.

 

 

 

5338  The geometrical forms that physics uses to describe the world are not the forms of our everyday understanding.  That is well known.  In physics the weary thinker’s imagined phenomena are reordered, rearranged, shuffled around.  The syntax is other.  His mind reels about into another place.  Insanity feels close when he places his finger at the zero point.  Infinity always has its kiss.  And all his attempts to normalize and renormalize the explosion finally fail.  Incongruencies seem inevitable.  So why did he and we start shifting frames of reference in the first place?

 

We didn’t shift anything; perspectival spectacles are inherently, essentially tricky, and light is unstable.  That is the shift.  We are along for the ride on the photonic mount.  There is no final destination.  No true place to stop.  But still eternal Truth does exist.

 

Outside of all perspective to Perspectivity itself.  Outside of places to the Place.  Go apart, my friend, from the many inconcruencies to Incongruency.  To the Form itself far away from the forms.  Or don’t you believe is such grand Things?  Away from the play of the imagined with the real to the Play and That Above the imagination and the real.  Outside, in the cool, wild breezes of Being.  Lying on your bed made of emptiness and far separation.  Dream your philosophical dreams as you did before birth and death pulled you away.  Return to that face.  His electric lips.  And oblivion.

 

 

 

5339  Bertrand Russell was the first philosopher to really understand relations, but that understand came and went rather quickly and he may not have understood that understanding that was momentarily his.  Consider the fact that I just saw him going around the corner.  There are two relations there: saw and going around.  And there are three objects: I, him, and the corner.  Let’s say that I am dejected; he is preoccupied and the corner is orthogonal.  Thus we have three more facts to add to our original one.  Four facts, three objects, two relations.  And we, as bright –eyed ontologists, can see right well how all that fits together.

 

That fit is about to give us fits.  Any one of those facts could change or simply disappear and the others would remain just what they are.  That thought is easy to think and easy of agree with.  But here I have to pause to explain something, to head that something off at the pass, because the insistent Idealism will try mightily to butt in to our sweet conversation, but it must not be allowed to destroy our moment of light.  When I say that something remains the same I am referring to what the thing is in itself, not how you or I or the King of Norway perceives it.  Idealism will insist that a thing is its perceived appearance and it claims to have moral arguments on its side.

 

Things are about to get complicated so here is a little musical interlude here.

 

What we have is are not two relations, but, using the word relation rather loosely, three.  “Is” is also a relation (I say that even though I prefer to call it a nexus and a nexus and a relation, thought both being connectors, are different)

 

It may very well be true that when one fact changes that I then perceive other facts as changed.  If he were not so preoccupied and if he hadn’t disappeared around a corner, I might not be dejected.  Or if I weren’t dejected, he may not seem to me to be preoccupied.  Or if I were an alien with a different brain, that corner may have merely been a straight line in my 12-deminsional space.  Fact A causes fact B to appear different.  Well, yes, but it’s irrelevant.  The problem is our usual understanding of cause and effect. 

 

 

 

5340  The idea of direct or immediate realism is that nothing stands between the mind and its object.  The mind does not go through any third thing.  The object is present to the mind in propria persona.  I see a pair of eyes.  It is not the case that those eyes and the space-time flux created an image on my brain or concept in my mind and I am only aware of that.  I directly see those eyes without looking down through any imagined chain of causal things between.  It’s an easy idea.  Too easy for the complexity-loving scientific mind.  So how can it be so?

 

What ties the mind directly to its object?  That thing is the nexus of intentionality and its only job is to do just that.  It is sui generis, that is to say, it cannot be taken apart and defined in terms of anything else.  There’s nothing else like it.  It unites the mind with its object.  And that’s that.  Other than either the mind or the object it remains what it is and leaves both the mind and the object to be just what they are without conflating all that into one big blob.  I see a pair of blue eyes.  I, the seeing, the eyes are three things.  The structure doesn’t collapse into a one thing.  I and the eyes are other, but I see the eyes just themselves.

 

Mind and its object are two.  I am a dualist.  But with the intimacy of the nexus. 

 

It is important to realize that the nexus is outside both mind and its object.  If we consider it in the nature of mind itself to be one with the object, if seeing those eyes is something that I as a mind am,  if I am the active partner, then the object is sucked into my mind and the world is my creation.  Rather, I, as an awareness, am passive to the work of the nexus which is not me.  I am with the world; I am not the world.  And that being with is not me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5341  I have tried and even now and I always will.  Eternity piling into eternity.  The boy must be reached.  And I preach to myself.  The leaches of thought suck me dry.  Over his unteachable complexion.  Dejection.  And he goes to another.  I know jealousy as well as I know anything and I pout and the rout of understanding lays waste to his waist lying so deceptively close.  Lies nothing but lies.  I cry like a drunk.

 

Philosophy with its boys and thought toys and its end attained too easily and busily and the bus to exceptionalism is late again.  I think.  And think.  And repetitions come.  Identity, difference, meaning, a crooked smile.  The more we understand, the less we know.  I am towed into his heaven of broken nights and fights with dazzling light.  This is nothing less than the majestic God of Gods.  The final thought before oblivion.  And sweet creamy goo.

 

Difficult analysis.  Broken pieces of reality.  The really real.  Jabbing and jabberwocky.  And he grabs you unexpectedly right in the supermarket and time stops.  Philosophy comes upon you on the stranded mile.  From out of the nowhere that is so smoothly laid out in his perfect solar plexus.  The nexus of the perplexed soul or sole of his delicate foot now surprisingly on your tongue.  God loves you mightily.  So tight it hurts.  Good night.

 

 

 

5342  The intentional nexus overcomes me.  And I see.  Tight within myself, in the dark, in fear, I am pulled out and, voila, there is the world.  It isn’t that I see, but that seeing connects me to the not-me.  I am passive to its insetting, he insists.  Plato said, if I am not mistaken, that the Good joins mind to all the things of Being.  Good God, I’m hooked up!!  I worry that I will screw up.  Or get screwed.  Or that I won’t get screwed.  Or the brew of thought will collapse me back into myself.  The Good is as good as gone.  There’s nothing there.  ”Beyond existence”, he says.  He is the gold that is as clear as glass.  I ask and am told, “Be bold!”  I think the unthought.

 

The Dasein is not the thinking person himself, but that awful thing that settles down on him and is his seeing jaggedness.  Being is full of pricks.  And bedtime tics.  The gadfly, godfly tick.  We know ourselves violently.  And the world.  And the whirlwind.  God is other.  The Other.  The Incubus.  The bloody foreskin thrown about.  It’s about time.  And angst.  I tell you, if it weren’t for the creamy son of god who comes around now and then we would all be as good as done in.  Without His starry asterisks.  It’s a tricky situation, a final permutation.

 

 

 

5343  Unlike almost all the other writers of philosophy, I am looking up trying to find the Boy of God.  I think the others are glancing down looking for the Galactic Lady.  But I can’t be sure because they are unsure, or rather they are trying to swim in the pleasant uncertainty of her shadows.  Therefore, I do not berate or denigrate or try to ingratiate myself to the demonic demoi, the put upon who love to hate themselves in bittersweet literature.  This is not satire.  I don’t sit here with a faux-transcendental comedic grin.  I am far from both the earth and the institutionalized. This is other.

 

I write Hyper-sex.  Capitalized. The so gone, the tathagata.  I have come to myself.  I am paradox.  I am smooth reason.  Mind-obliteratingly smooth.  Or rather He is.  Or whatever.  There is no sex here.  I only write.  And dream.  And let logic swirls curl His curls into mine.  I think the others are not amused.

 

 

 

5344  I spend most of the day sitting around and lying around trying to think of an idea I can write up smoothly and clearly and simply and truthfully.  I sit down to write.  And a thrill enters me and words come and a cracked contraption appears in black letters that begins to emit the strange fumes of a despotic spirit.  God has taken over.  All my thinking has come to nothing.  The duende or the genius or the bad boy of unwholesome seduction sucks me open.  But to tell the truth I have succeeded in saying more honestly exactly what it was I really did want to say, but I was dreaming the wrong dream.

 

I start off with beauty and I end up with force.  Beauty and the beast.  Chemicals surge.  Mathematics roars.  Eyes peer and shut.  We are a gentle people, the worst kind.  We lust for the ungentle.  And we soon find it.  Who will kneel first?  Who will go down to the tonic chord?  To the nectar, the crossing over to death?  The musk tusk.  God again.  This is none other than YHWH.  Waylaying you as you try so hard to be good.  Smoother than smooth.  Ears back.  He takes what He wants.  I go half-willingly.  I want to go full throttle.

 

 

 

5346  Platonic participation vs. the nexus of exemplification.  I walk down the street and I am spiritually impaled by a red-lipped boy.  There are so many things there to attract the mind.  Intention becomes standing at attention.  And later the tension of writing. Lips, Red, red-lipped, Boy, Walking, walking-past, our passing into the past.  And on and on.  And then there is just that ordinary boy and me walking past.  The ordinary participates in the Elevated.  Otherwise the ordinary is just the ordinary and there is neither participation nor anything else philosophical.

 

Aside from the ordinary, caught up in the Spirit, the Form itself is with me.  And the Just That that exemplifies it, its catch.  From the ordinary point of view, or rather quasi-ordinary, halfway out of the ordinary, one foot in the grave of having gone beyond, we say the thing there participates, maybe analogically, or as an image, appearing as in a glass darkly.  From the purely Ontological side, there is no such halfway presence, no mere image, no dark presentiment, but the Thing Itself if fully present.  The Form present away from the ordinary is exemplified; the Form half with the ordinary is participated.  I usually speak from out of the other side, but the nectar hasn’t yet transported me there.  I wait with the waiters in this restaurant on the edge of Being.  I’m still in detention.

 

 

 

5346  There are those who might say, if they had read my words, that I blend together the sacred and the profane, the elevated and the lowly, the moment of Rapture and the instant of rape.  I suppose I have … sort of.  But not really.  Rather, in an ironic fit, I have left the world, the ordinary world, altogether.  Yes, I write of the Wind and the Breath and the Kiss and the Frightening Night of Love, but these are the pure Forms lifted up.  Only There do these things blend.  Back in my daily dalliance, waiting, I see no blending, no intoxicating crossing of boundaries, only the dry weeds of business.  I have to enter into the Boredom of boredom with all that and squeeze my soul in order to go There.  And no one sees.

 

 

 

5347  There’s a guy on Youtube who, quoting some other lady, wants to shock up with the idea, the well-documented idea, that every word that is in the New Testament is stolen from older Greek texts.  Rehashed Platonism.  Unfortunately for him, it’s an old idea and it has long been recognized that almost everything about Christianity was lifted, not only from Platonism, but more generally from the Orphic religions and other such places.  In fact, the early Church Fathers had a theory about that.  They speculated that the Devil knew what was coming so he pre-created counterfeit images of it.  Or they said merely that Christianity took what was already there and brought it to perfection.  Yes, everything and everyone feels the influence of the past.  There is anxiety there, as Harold Bloom attests, and there is misprision.  But there is also apophrades, the nefas, the resurgence of the dead in the present.  The upsurge of the present in the past. The uncanny and the unspeakable.  Should we say that the present appearing creates its own past?  That the past never really existed until the present moment?  That the present utterance brings it into being?  Or will have already?  That guy on the Internet has a view of time that is much too linear and unknowing.  He’s tiresome.

 

 

 

5348  Barfield, Barfield, Barfield, so many are enamored with dear Owen.  I really should try to find out what this guy is up to.  I have made a little progress and I do have some first impressions.  He is an anglo-representationalist-idealist trying his best not to be.  He longs for old style participatory realism, but like every good Englishman he doesn’t want to get carried away with it into coukoo wonderland, so he settles for the Symbols of the by-then well-worn Symbolist kind, plus a little Freud and Jung to make it sound somewhat scientific.  We have all been there.

 

Barfield, as far as I can tell, never did see the difference between consciousness and the objects of consciousness.  If I think of the smile of the Cheshire Cat or of a differential equation or of the Dutch language or of the now seemingly non-existent Higgs boson, those things and my consciousness of those things are different things, very different.  Those things exist away from the mind.  They are not concepts in and of and from the mind.  They are existing things.  That is realism.  In time, we are conscious of many, many different things.  Some are rather simple, some, maybe later, are great complexities.  None of those things are in the mind—I insist.  Moreover —and this is an important point that the representationalist-idealists miss—we see those things directly without going through mental concepts.  They are out there beyond space and time, and we are conscious of them.  I think Barfield and his modern epigoni, who want so desperately to appear “scientific” and get along, hesitate.  They jump into that last refuge of the scientific materialist—the imagination.

 

What Owen called original participation is the true philosophy, not that final participation of Symbols from out of the poetic unconscious.  There is no poetic unconsciousness.  All the things we directly see are real.  But what are those things?  Oh my, I have spent years trying to describe it all in what is now a nauseating number of electronic pages.

 

They are bare particulars and timeless universals and other grand things.  And of course the nexus, which we might as well call participation.  Remember, though, that space and time are themselves also timeless universals likewise captured by those bare things.  Captured, participated in, call it what you will.  The world is real. And I, of course, am not talking about those damn little sub-atomic particles.  The music I hear is a thing.  That particular and the eternal Form of Music itself.  And my consciousness of those pieces of divinity.  The world is made out of things from Eternity.  We have no choice but to fall in love.  The gods are dancing all around you. 

 

They are real, not symbols.  I think I have here tried to push Owen over the cliff (or down the rabbit hole).  So I will read more, maybe I spoke too soon.  I do like his picture and that makes me sympathetic to his intellectual plight.

 

 

 

5349  A warning to scholars – even though the thoughts lovingly delineated on these pages are touchingly right up your alley, you must not stay here long.  If one of your fellows or your professors or any one of the philosophical blog superintendents finds out that you have come here and lingered, you will be severely (but joyfully) reconsidered, maybe deconsidered, even knocked a notch in the collective academic mind.  Remember your high standing and tend to it warily.

 

 

 

5350  For most professional philosophers and their friends the true essence of philosophy is the symposium.  I am not referring to a gather where each presents his paper nor to Plato’s dialogue.  I am referring to an evening dinner party with drink and lively conversation.  The philosopher and his intellectual, artistic buddies.  So convivial.   Quips and retorts, droll and cutting, a cozy affirmation of life’s need and pleading pain.  Besotted sentimentality.  There true wisdom is found.  And found wanting.  Philosophy becomes the philosopher and his like-minded others stretching out across the centuries.  Bittersweet.  And then the long caravan.

 

 

 

5351  Ok, I’ve read a little more and I have understood a little more of Owen Barfield—I think.  One important point is his definition of Imagination as perceiving possibilities.  He goes to great lengths to make sure the reader understands that word “possibilities”, not in that degraded, rather dead and frigid, common understanding it has today, but as a living, dynamic, power.  I think I get the point.  They are from out of the World-Soul; they are Goethe’s Urphänomen (the Mothers?); they are seen with the eyes of the “primary imagination” in Coleridge; they are the Anima.   I don’t like the idea.

 

Barfield does still think that these possibilities, the Potentia, the Powers, are things of the mind; only now that mind is the Great Mind, the Over-soul, perhaps, of Emerson.  Then, because he wants a kind of realism, he places that Mind out there.  It is in Nature; it pervades Nature; it is the heart of Nature.  Barfield is a Nature Romantic.  I don’t like the idea.

 

Then I think he begins to get into pseudo-science, a la Rudolf Steiner.  Because the World-Soul is out there and in  Nature it is of course located.  The Powers, the Potentia, the point of contact of the Imagination, are in each object.  Everything is ensouled.  If only we could meditate on that life-force within each thing we could come to understand it as it really is and that understanding could be turned into a new, mighty science.  We could cure disease!  We could cure an ecological system badly in need of a cure.  I don’t like the idea.

 

So are these Powers the same as the Platonic Forms?  I don’t know; I am not a historian of philosophical writings.  But they are not the same as I mean when I use the words Platonic Forms.  The Forms, as I see them, are not located; they are not the same as Nature; they are not in or from out of a mind, even if that mind is The Mind.  The Forms are transcendent, eternal things, alone, and the philosopher contemplating them is out of here.

 

I’ll read more and see if I come to a different understanding of our friend Owen.

 

 

 

5352  In my last posting I described what I thought was Owen Barfield’s philosophy, a philosophy now shared by many, and I mentioned a number of times that I didn’t like some particular part of it.  Of course, my liking something or not, doesn’t mean that it is false.  It just means that I didn’t like it and I would soon be off looking for something else.  At the end I wrote, The Forms are transcendent, eternal things, alone, and the philosopher contemplating them is out of here.  Now there is a something that I think most of my readers will strongly dislike.  Yes, yes, to each his own.

 

I suppose I could come up with philosophical arguments against those ideas of Barfield that I don’t like, good arguments, but, though it may delight me, it will never convince another, nor should it.  The point of argument is to bring a certain understanding and clarity to a scene, not to vanquish the other.  Being is vast and clarity and understanding come in vastly different, heavenly places.  I leave the earth and its creative Powers to the lover in love with that.  I’m out of here.

 

 

 

5353  It has been said by some that quantum physics has demonstrated that mind interacts with matter.  No it hasn’t.  One of the most fundamental features of that theory is the Uncertainty Principle.  Consider an electron; consider its position and its energy charge.  That Principle states that the more certain one, the less certain the other.  When measured at an exact point in Space-time, that electron has every possible degree of energy.  Or conversely, at an exact degree of energy, it is at every possible point in Space-time.  The one property remains indeterminate in relation to the other.  Another place where the indefinite runs rampant is in entanglement.  A particular property of that electron has two, three or an infinite number of values.  Only when it is measured does one value appear; the others are gone maybe to a parallel universe.  The key word in all that is measurement.  And some have thought that that means a conscious act.  Then that act is the reason for the actual definiteness of the world.  So is measurement (in physics) a conscious act?

 

Consider that boy in the next room.  Does he have red hair?  Creamy skin? A slender waist?  Is he your ideal?  Or is he other?  So many possibilities.  Should we say that he is only a Barfieldian possibility, a natural power of maybe, a dream of the imagination, before you open the door and look?  If quantum mechanics is carried over into the everyday world then, yes, and there is no reason in quantum mechanics that it shouldn’t be carried over.  He has indeterminate form.  And then determinate.  Is it mind, consciousness, that changes the infinite possibilities into one actuality?  And maybe shoves the others into that other universe, parallel or otherwise?  Is it mind that changes real Possibilities into real Actualities? 

 

I am sitting here wondering if you actually opened that door and looked at that boy, or were you not interested?  Maybe you did and maybe you didn’t.  You, my lucky or unlucky friend, are in a suspended state of this or that.  Until I look or ask or somehow find out.  I brought you into actuality.  Or  I didn’t.  Until you look or ask or somehow find out.  I suspect that, like Krishna, you are everything in every possible world.  Or you are lying dreaming on your bed entangled in the sheets and the sun is about to blind you.

 

So is measurement an act of consciousness?  Can one electron measure another?  Yes.  Does that make consciousness be everywhere?  No, but it might make measurement be everywhere.  But then the measurement may take place and then again it may not.  And things go to the second power.  And everything is back with the Uncertainty Principle.  Heaven is a place for statisticians and probability theorists.  Nothing moves.  Or if it does it goes every possible where.

 

You cannot use physics to either prove or disprove any philosophy; they are finally equally fucked up.

 

 

 

5354  All my intellectual life I have fought against materialism.  The problem I have with Owen Barfield is that he is a materialist.  I know that that statement must grate on the minds of his followers, so let me explain. 

 

That philosopher, who is greatly loved by so many today because he wants to spiritualize all of existence, defines Spirit as mistress of the Imagination.  Or he as good as does that.  He theorizes that deep within the material world there lie the Powers, Potentia, δυναμις, the Goethean Mothers.  For him that is Spirit.  The Coleridgean Primary Imagination makes contact with that.  Down there, deep within matter, there is the fire of generation, the Forms become Life Force.  It is a sort of inverted Platonism.  The Surge of Becoming overtakes the stillness of Being.  The fixity of pure actuality, which formerly was God, now becomes death.  Matter, which formerly was ever in a state of maybe and could-be, becomes the glory of becoming.  Potentiality, pregnancy, the Aristotelian principle of matter, replaces, Actuality, the principle of perfected, visible form, as the most valued.  Matter, the Mothers, advances over Form, the patriarchal God.  Philosophy is turned upside down.  Materialism.  The Imagination bows to that.  But I am still back with the old metaphysics, unbowed. 

 

 

 

5355  For most of the twentieth century the great idea was that of Transformation.  There was always a pair of opposites mediated by a dialectical third.  Always evolving and iterating up and up and up.  The superstructure built over what may have been a very simple set-up at first became overwhelming and intellectually the most difficult.  And, alas, it often ended in what may as well have been gibberish.  Certainly the theories of Freud and Jung were like that but so was every Hegelian theory of historical progress.  Mythology and literature and even physics suffered.  Bewildering complexity ruled.  We had evolved into monsters.  We’re still at it.  That’s my take on anthroposophy and the present crop of anthroposophists.  But then who am I to talk.  Simplicity is even more restrictive.  And deadly.

 

 

 

5356  I have been reading some of the anthroposophists, namely Barfield and his blogger friends.  As I do I struggle with something in and about it.  I seem to be swimming is a great formless ocean.  I suppose that is Mind or Soul.  There is no end to it; there are no boundaries, no circum-cision.  The paragraphs flow continually into each other.  The considerations never reach a conclusion.  Unless you can somehow think of that Ocean as the End—I can’t.  I long for a clear distinction, a piece of dry land, the breath stopped at the breath’s extinction.  The descried pricking point.  But the ever-continuous ever continues.

 

This may be a peculiar desire of mine.  Consider Time and Space and Light.  One can easily think of them as things in themselves going smoothly on forever and ever.  That is the usual way.  Or one can view them as existing as quanta.  We have already done that for light; perhaps we should also do it for space and time.  I think so.  Likewise, a writing can go on and on and on, taking the mind through never-ending inter-relatings.  Or it can quickly draw itself up into a tight, unified one thing.  A quanta of thought in words.  I do prefer that.  Anthroposophy, so far, has been the opposite of that.

 

I think the snthroposopists are trying for the Absolute into which everything else deliquesces.  Boundaries and levies and barriers break and leak and the cataclysm of one single mind gives way to Mind Itself.  Some find that thrilling.  And I can see why, but to have only that and no final, orgasmic point is nerve-wracking, because it is finally unsatisfying.  At least it is to me.  I do like the slight, self-contained one thing—the boy.  A clean break and a separation.  I write in quanta.  I like to read in quanta.  Or there is no rest.

 

 

 

5357  So what do I really think of the Barfieldians?  They seem to me to be similar to the mind-only Mahayana Buddhists.  Who are very different from the nihilistic followers of Nagarjuna who do not believe in that mind substance.  I also do not believe in mind as substance.  But, of course, that first gang of thinkers is august in its domination.  I do not believe in Barfieldian Soul or Mind as the Agent of Creation.  I do not believe in agent or evolution of consciousness or process or sweet harmony with nature.  Like most Buddhists I want out of here.  I want off the Wheel of Life.  I want the clean and clear Cut.  The release.

 

Barfieldians are too much in the world, for my taste.  And there is the point.  It is all a matter of taste.  I have nothing against people with a different taste in philosophy.  But taste is usually what determines who you hang around with.  Thus I do not expect them to communicate with me.  And though they say they value dialogue; they will break it off fast.  It’s sad, but inevitable—I suppose.

 

Go Here.  Go here and find out how Internet interpreters can talk and talk and screw things up so prettily.

 

Shen-hsui wrote –

 

The body is the Bodhi-tree

The mind is like a clear mirror.

At all times we must strive to polish it

And must not let the dust collect.

 

 

Hui-neng (secretly) wrote –

 

The Bodhi originally has no tree.

The clear mirror also has no stand.

From the beginning not a thing is.

Where is there room for dust?

 

 

 

5358  I recently wrote this concerning Owen Barfield in an email to a blog correspondent:  In my mind he is a part of a certain clique of thinkers who were popular back in the 70s and who gave me no end of emotional grief because they had a stranglehold on someone I was attempting to seduce but couldn’t because of all that.  

 

I am now reading Unancestral Voice.  Until about an hour ago I was going right along thinking to myself that this guy is just a common idealist/spiritualist, but then, at the end of ch. 9, I came upon just what it was that so bugged me and so tortured my love life all those years ago.  He was talking Christian theology, about the incarnation, and the descent of Timeless ενεργια, Energy, into the dead soul of man.  He went on to tell of Lucifer and Ahriman, the two evil forces we must contend with.  It is those last two that cause us to entirely misuse that gift from on high.  We had become potent and lo and behold they turn it into perversion.  And what is that perversion?  He writes, “It {Energia} has its own laws, which it does not cease to obey because they are misused.  Every child who plays with fire, or with his own body, learns this.  And I and my fellows know it is sorrow when, because we cannot not act, we needs must act destructively.”  And then later on when he is describing how this perversion becomes our modern misuse of science, he writes, “What you have described, said Burgeon slowly, is a kind of Cosmic Masturbation.”  I surmise it is then, because the sin of homosexuality is so aligned with masturbation, that our solicitor, Mr. Owen Barfield, clothed in Edenstoff, rears up as a giant homophobe!  Are his spiritual followers also that?  Is that the trouble I am having trying to correspond with them?  Does it all come down to that?!

 

 

 

5359  With Hegel, the Idea that always had been unperturbed eternity suddenly transformed itself into Spirit and started to move into itself and beyond itself and history was born.  Energia was let loose and the lively metamorphoses of dialectical destruction and re-creation spun off into the modern world.  Now philosophy is no longer still contemplation, but Life and Power and the Joy of Becoming.  It’s nerve-wracking.

 

Any philosophy that now still holds to the unchanging and that beyond life and death is declared devilish and the work of old eunuchs.  Fecundity is the byword for today’s mind.  And Progress.  And Re-birth. We are ever a renaissance people.  No more cloistered silence.  No more mere logic.

 

Alas, I am back with the old ways.  Nothing has changed.  And I am seen as the epitome of evil.

 

 

 

5360  For a while I read Barfield’s novels; then I pick up Rimbaud and Edmund White’s biography of that bad boy.  That last is the epitome of those who got Owen so worked up and mad, which I can understand.  Unlike that solicitor, though, I am also in love with that wild god.  And so I have more trouble, much more trouble, with Mr. Barfield than Verlaine’s “little fair-haired pussycat”.  The philosophical Meggid speaks to me through a beautiful badass.  You probably know what I’m talking about.

 

The destructive Energy of the Spirit is all around us.  World destruction.  Shiva?  Ahriman?  Jesus?  That pretty bitch of a boy?  We may never know.  We may know too well already.  Silenius salivates.  Our salvation is sure.

 

By all means, Burgeon, let’s be scientific scholars and use strange, big, long words.  Those little phrases do so lead us on and we have none of the gravitas so needful to the great thinker.  Oh, my dear, the whole universe is summed up in your perfect prick, which will never do, so I suppose I should say I will evaluate this phalloteleology more exactly.   Ο-γλουτος-γλυκερος- δυσδαιμονιον-ιτες θεολογια.  Or whatever.  Monsieur, Mein Herr, Sir, you will handle it all the best they can.  In the dark places of the Imagination.  And these garret chilblains.  The interior is the posterior. 

 

 

 

5361  Many philosophers, Barfield among them, are radically upset that physicists, or the wimps among them, have abandoned “real” cause and effect in favor of statistical prediction or whatever it’s called, because to them it is not good old Aristotelian cause and effect at all, a solid masculine force.  Yes, it isn’t.  It may be Humean.  In any case, the world is as it is and wanting it to fit one’s metaphysics won’t make it so, no matter how much you really want it so.  So what is a mere statistical cause?

 

It doesn’t refer simply to our state of understanding.  It doesn’t say that maybe there is an underlying something that we don’t know, but for the time being … .  It is not about the uncertainty of our imperfect knowing; it is about what is really there.  Randomness is real and there is no getting around it.  Something may happen and then again it may not.  You have an X change that it will and that’s the end of the story.  Can God live with that?  And if He can, can we?

 

Barfield, thinking that all that just will not do, wants us to believe in higher, non-physical energy sources.  And they are, of course, completely determinate, i.e. not merely statistical.  These forces know exactly what they are doing—or some overlord does.  At least God knows.  Doesn’t He?

 

It comes down to this: does infinite randomness exist in the world?  Is it actual?  Does the Actual Infinite exist?  It’s an old question.  Aristotle and so many others have said, No.  They assumed and still assume that only the potential infinite exists.  Potentiality exists as becoming or what could be … and here the reasoning gets tricky.  I personally believe that the Actual Infinite exists in the world.  But then so do potential facts.  Belief, though, doesn’t make it true.  We must resort to philosophical argument.  Blood will flow, real blood.

 

 

 

5362  I’m getting kind of tired of writing abusive things about Owen Barfield, but at least I know that my readers aren’t tired of reading it—I have no readers.  He wonders aloud in Unancestral Voice just how it is that pure probability can be subject to laws, as in the Laws of Probability.  That’s a fair enough question, and really is rather difficult.  I think the problem lies with the words “subject to”.  He seems to think that laws force things into place.  That they are immaterial powers.  He can’t seem to rid himself of that idea.  But they aren’t.  As a part of mathematics (does mathematics have parts?) they share in (whatever that means) the laws of logical form.  Logical derivation follows a certain prescribed course, indeed it follows of necessity.  And it is that logical necessity that has been argued about for a long, long time now.  Nominalists usually think there is no such thing, but they don’t necessarily think so.  Ontological realists usually, maybe necessarily, think there is.  Must it be that if all A are B and x is A, that then x is B?  There are of course other strictly logical progressions, pure form empty of content, and do they all follow in that It-must-be?  Yes.  At least in this region of Being there are.  Maybe existence is other in another place, but here there is such strict necessity.  But what is it?

 

Logical Form exists.  The logical form of the world exists.  Everything, even pure randomness, has that form.  That little word “has” is more than interesting; it is of the essence.  And it is difficult.  Prime numbers, irrational numbers, transcendental numbers and God-knows-what-else, all the transfinite Alephim, all the pouty faced Cherubim and hot Seraphim and even my burnt toast have that form.  Form is everything (almost) and I have never been able to manhandle that prime piece, that breathtaking urchin with his cap down askew over one eye.  Along with Owen I am skewered.

 

 

 

5363  Augustine believed that the innocence of children was mere weakness of limb.  But by the time we get to William Blake and Lewis Carroll little girls at least had regained that natural spiritual purity that had been so grievously lost in Eden.  Boys were another matter.  And so we arrive at C. S. Lewis, Tolkien, Barfield and that lot.  A return to fantasy land and innocence.  Nature has been redeemed and the old metaphysics, so steeped in deadly stillness, has been overcome.

 

But boys remain questionable.  And, it seems, irretrievable lost.  Unless they get wed to one of those innocent ones.  Girls are the salvation of their fallen brothers.  Oh my, the return to Nature.  No more transcendence.  No more flying.  No more blessed freedom.  Home and family constrain.  The bane of Rimbaud.  And Jesus.

 

Today, so many, alas, it is almost everyone who fights against metaphysics.  Now we have Life and Becoming and Energy and Will and Glorious Evolution.  We are all rushing rushing rushing toward the Heights.  And even the Heights are surging ever more and more.  It is heady stuff.  And joyful.  But it’s all getting a little old.

 

This is finally the old fight between Parmenides and Heraclitus, or so it is said.  Do time and change and motion really exist?  Or ultimately exist?  Or are they in and of the Really Real, το οντος ον?  Metaphysics, the many have rightly come to believe, answered, No.  And so, since the everyday world so loved time and its heartbreaking stories, metaphysics was kicked out of the Tavern that life might get on with it.  Now in that dark place, that drunken, squalid reaching, Eden is again appearing.  Magic and fantasy and dreams.  The Pure Lady of the Lake.  A strange innocence.  The inkling and the glimmering.

 

 

 

5364  I’ve been reading a book on whatever and the author, of course, because it is sort of a new age book on Reality, berates all dualistic thinking and then he speaks of polar logic and overcoming all polarities and dualities and on and on, always assuming, and assuming that I also assume, that all logical distinctions or divisions or things are entia rationis.  I don’t.  The divisions and things of logic mirror what is out there in the world.  The world is internally divided, cut up, cleaved.  Monism is cracked.  Just like that author.

 

I’m not going to try to write up all that sensibly— for two reasons.  One, I’m incapable of doing so, and, two, even if I could it would be pointless, hopeless, a waste of time.  I have written, in my own way, about this long past the time when the cows come home and no one pays any attention.  They blink and move on.  The very idea that logical distinctions are in the world is an unthinkable nothing to them.  Only material individuals in space-time are out there.  Idealism and nominalism reign.  But then that is the commonsense, everyday way of looking at things and nothing more is to be expected.  Der Starke ist am maechtigsten allein.

 

 

 

5365  I have written up timelessness in a timed piece of writing.  Have I overcome a dualism there?  Have I feigned the right and the ability to do such a grand thing?  Am I Jesus, the incarnate connection?  Words come easily, too easily.  But, alas, only after long nights of walking the cold streets.  So mundane.  So meekly poetic.  So haphazard.  I demure to myself.

 

The Lover came.  He never came.  Tiresome opposites.  There is no coming together of opposites; we merely jump across.  And here I suppose I could write about the crossable and the uncrossable, but why bother.  The night-time, slight and bright, is unthought.  With sweet feet tomorrow always comes again.  The same Tomorrow, the same Coming, the same Lover.  Life is Hot.  And sure.

 

 

 

 

 

5366  Can one philosopher ever really understand another?  I think that the one can understand the other as well as the other can understand himself.  Every philosopher misunderstands what he has written.  Philosophy shot through his head as he was writing it down and he hardly had time to think about it.  He may have had an inkling or a notion or a dim vision, but it was no better than the reader’s imagination.  Then again, who knows, maybe Philosophy comes to that reader and, at least for an instant, perfect understanding is his.  But then writing it down for him is an impossible task and we are back in the mess called life.  Perfection does exist and it does visit us but we can barely last through that catastrophe.  Philosophy is a blast to the head.  Bham!  And words peel off.

 

Does perfection exist in this world?  Yes, for an instant I saw it on the bus this morning as I was coming back from the library.  He turned his head and glanced down and I could see, right there, that which was from the beginning.  From eternity.  Which will ever be.  And then it was gone.

 

Can one ever capture perfection and make it one’s own?  Yes, but it makes you very tired and soon you want to go do something else.  In writing, in the sun, asleep, curled up in the attic, shopping for a winter’s jacket, He happens by and … well, you look and sigh and wonder if maybe you shouldn’t get out of here and go there.  Eventually you will.  And then who knows?

 

Have you understood me?  Yes, perfectly.  And the words were so easy.  But not so easy as the understanding of them.  Now you have to get back to whatever it was that you were doing.  And that is the un-understandable thing.

 

 

5367  The question, What is philosophy? is as easy to answer as it is to ask.  Historically, philosophy is an attempt to answer the question, What is the mind?  And the great tradition has answered by saying that it is a something.  In the same way that a tree and a smile and a mathematical equation are somethings.  So what is a something?  Most often that question is answered by saying that it is an individual thing that exemplifies certain properties.  So philosophy comes finally to asking the questions, What are properties? and What are individuals?  And then that has been answered by saying that individuality is grounded in matter, both physical and intellectual matter.  And properties are grounded in universals, often called the forms.  And then a way is sought to unite matter and form.  Either with a nexus, such as participation or exemplification, or without.

 

That was easy.  Mind consists of thoughts.  Thoughts are individuals that have the form of a thought.  I think the thought, The night is beautiful.  A particular is there with the simple form of The night is beautiful.  And here is where so many philosophers hesitate and even recoil.  We have arrived at or maybe jumped into almost a mystical vision mind.  So be it; that is philosophy.

 

Those who balk at the very idea now turn philosophy into backtracking.  No forms, no matter, no thoughts, no mind … only a numinous unthing beyond understanding.  If you are comfortable with that, go for it and forget philosophy.  Maybe politics is more suitable to you spirit. We need good politicians.

 

The things of philosophy exist or they don’t.  If they do, then they are simple and simply there and that is the end of the story. 

 

Simplicity is hard to life with.  We hunger for great complexity.  It is finally much more comfortable.  And politics is the most comfortable.

 

One more thing, there is the question, What unites mind with its object?  Should we say that there is a special sui generis nexus or that they are just ipso facto together?  It’s your choice.

 

 

 

5368  The scholar and the creative thinker.  For a long time, maybe forever, it has been the goal of the scholar to see the object of his gaze clearly and truly.  He works with the beloved outcome of another, of the creative worker.  He neither adds to now takes away from what he is called upon to see.  He examines as one would a pinned butterfly.  The scholar must not be creative.

 

The creative thinker is not so very different, but he is, one might say, a bad scholar.  He too works with the received past.  He examines the thing, but maybe too closely.  He sucks on the object.  His passions interfere.  He grabs.  He tries to possess.  He ends up mangling.  As all lovers do to the one they love.  The object is now other.  He, inadvertently, transformed his beloved into himself.  Oh well, that was the secret goal that lay in such a sordid beginning.  The creative thinker is without shame, without proper respect for his catch, without civil distance.  And now we all have to live with his terrible mistake.  Misprision. 

 

Not to worry, soon we will come to see that the past was really the present all along.  Apophrades.  That which has been is that which will have been.

 

 

 

5369  I just read Introducing Plato, one of those comix-style beginners’ books.  They are often very good, but this one was good only in that it showed the reader, once again, the ridicule, the slight snickering, that continually goes on about Plato’s Theory of Forms.  (Those words were capitalized out of respect, but that’s as far as that deference goes.)  It is true that the Forms are not something that the everyday mind, the common sense, the sensible mass, would find engaging.  I have no quarrel with all that.  But some beginner might.  A rare one.  A one sensitive to Philosophy itself, not just reportage about the workings of the deranged.  Not to worry, that one will find a way through.  And a way out.

 

 

 

5370  I’m about halfway through Worlds Apart by Owen Barfield.  It’s a pleasant book to read, though heavy on English gentlemanship.  I am continually struck by the persistent conceptualism of the speakers.  Let me use Bergmann’s expression that concepts are “universals exiled to the mind”.  And along with that Wittgenstein’s phrase that “the world consists of facts, not things.”  And, of course, there is the insistence that Cartesian dualism is wrong.  To put all that together, I think what the book is saying is that mind, i.e. concepts, must be united with matter, the individual things that by themselves could never make a world.  This non-dualism where individuals and concepts are not separated is the world.  That unity is also what Wittgenstein called a fact.

 

The problem I have with Barfield is his conceptualism.  There are no such things as concepts.  But there are universals.  And, of course, there are minds, but they are not concepts.  Rather minds are reflections of facts.  If a fact is represented by the symbols x is F, this individual x exemplifies the universal F, then the thought of that (and mind consists of thoughts exemplified) is [x is F].  Notice the brackets, which indicate that a thought is a simple, one thing, not a complex as is a fact.  Or to quote Aristotle, “The mind is one, the world is many.” 

 

Then Barfield’s evolution of consciousness is this: in the beginning (of philosophy) the Forms were “out there”.  The world was full of gods.  Then all that was lost with conceptualism, where the forms are mere mental generalizations and the world was left to lie there as unintelligible masses.  I think Barfield is looking forward once again to uniting concepts (minds) and those individual clumps of whatever.  He wants concepts, the mind, to be real and “out there”.  He hesitates.  He knows he is not there yet.  He hasn’t yet been able to go back to full-fledged, winged, Forms.  Universals are still in exile with him.  Because he cannot separate them from mind.  I think he wants mind to exist and if he does separate the forms out, he fears that mind will be lost.  It won’t, but it will be, not concepts that reflect individuals, but thoughts, the reflection of facts.  He really does need to recognize the existence of facts before he can go on.  It would be the gentlemanly thing to do.

 

 

 

5371  There is a fun little section in Worlds Apart where Barfield takes on the Ordinary Language Philosophers.  He really tears into them.  It is of course a stupid philosophy, but there is one mystical element in it that tickles me.  It began with Wittgenstein’s declaration that all philosophical statements are absurd.  Well, yes they are, but the Absurd has a great, uplifting lineage in human philosophical thought.  Every schoolboy knows that philosophy is maddening.  No progress is ever made, just confusion.  The non-philosophers, for some reason, get very upset with that; they want to throw this revolver lover out of bed.  My my, they can’t handle shot-to-the-head love-making.  So they become engineers of artificial intelligence.  To each his own, is what I say.

 

You really can’t win the game of love of the logos by walking away.  Or declaring it absurd.  These positivists are left with nothing to say.  Aphasia.  And lovers are so demanding of talk.  You must express your love or you will be left alone.  Sweet nothings and the confusion of intellectual intoxication are better, much better.

 

The inheritors of positivism’s aphasia are those who today call themselves spiritual and insist they are not religious.  They swim in aphasia.  Intelligent sounding blather.

 

 

 

5372  Mr. Barfield in Worlds Apart draws the distinction between familiar nature and inferred nature.  I have sometimes called them ordinary things and scientific things.  He, that is to say, some of his characters assume that those familiar, ordinary things are mind-dependent.  That mind-dependency is rather mysterious, but let us assume we know what it means.  I look about myself here as I sit in my hovel and I see a rubber mallet lying on a low bench.  Those are ordinary, familiar things as is the relation of lying on.  Are the mallet and the bench and the lying on mind-dependent?  An idealist will answer Yes; a realist No.  The characters in that book are idealists and they try to save themselves from that by hoping to infer from something about the ordinary things around about us that there is something unseen grounding the appearance of those familiar things in the mind.  It’s a rather desperate act—it seems to me.  I am a realist.  The familiar things, just as we know them and love them, are really out there and they are not mind-dependent.  I insist.  I can say no more than that.  Some things are deeper than argument can reach.  When I see that mallet, I see that mallet and it is lying on a low bench, also out there.  None of that is “in or from out of my mind”.  They have not been pushed out of my mind, postulated, and made to look like a separate thing.  The ordinary, familiar world is really there.  Period.

 

That period is, however, death to narrative and dialogue, therefore it is useless for a writer like Barfield.  Such realism will not do.  Realism is silent contemplation; it is passive to Being, it is timeless.  It is so our of fashion.

 

 

 

5373  I have in these last few postings presented a realism in contrast to an idealism.  I divine, however, that many of my imagined readers would balk at taking up with me and following me out into such an independent upstart of a world.  It is rather cocky and creepy in its eternal demand.  The stillness weighs.  It is the Thrall.  And there is something so attractive about mind, its self-sufficiency, its creative, imaginative power that is joyfully exciting.  Things happen and we are a part of making it go.  The mind is active and energetic and praiseworthy when things go right and so wonderfully damnable when they go so terribly wrong.  It is a great story we can tell again and again out into the intellectual night.  We did things.  We were free.

 

But I find it tiresome.  I would much rather lie on my bed in love’s depression.  I am deranged.  God is heavy and oppressive and final, as a lover should be.  Passion is fixed.

 

 

 

5374  One matter I have per force been interested in for a while, but about which I hardly know how to think at all, is today’s form of digital presentation versus the book form.  We now have great tools for hyper-texting.  We can constantly cross-reference and refer everywhere all about and superbly keep track and easily bring the whole mass into … well, it’s hardly a unity.  No, we can’t find unity at all.  That is achieved only when some other text is authoritative or causally productive of the one present at hand.  Cross-referencing just any old thing won’t do.  And now nothing is authoritative.  There are no sources.  We drift.

 

Take any one of my pieces and try to relate it to what I said earlier and you will be stymied—because everything so nicely relates.  No, the piece stands by itself.  There is no story there.  Further interpretation and elaboration and elucidation are just me spinning my mind’s wheels.  No plot, no character, no theme, no whatever else it is that has usually gone into building up a book.  Is it because there are simply no pages to turn back and forth?  It’s more like a scroll.  Indeed, the ease and plenty of hyper-texting tools have made the whole enterprise impossible.  It’s a jumble.  The glory of the book is gone.  I hardly know what to say.

 

 

 

5375  When I write, I do so from off the top of my head; I simply put down what comes to me on the spot.  That may be surreal; it may be subreal.  But did it all come from my subconscious?  Or did it come from outside of me, from a spirit, either divine or stupid?  I think it may have come out of my groin.  In which there resides an imp.

 

I don’t believe in the sub-conscious.  I do believe in dreams; Oh My God, I do dream.  Constantly, when I am supposed to be gently sleeping, wild dreams, tension dreams.  That is to say, I really do believe dreams exist and they are not creations of my mind.  Dreams just are.  I believe in them just as I believe in my bathroom.  Maybe more.  In Nepali you say, I saw a dream, not I had a dream.  It came, I saw it.  And when the contortion is too painfully great I force myself to wake up.  Jesus help me.  I understand Hamlet.  Dreams exist.  With an ontological existence.

 

The sub-conscious is, or would be, too flimsy, too shadowy, too close to nothing.  Dreams are powerfully present.  Dreams hurt.  The subconscious is a vague premonition.  Dreams are what are pre-monitored.

 

The subconscious has always been written up as a place of secrecy.  What is said is not really said; what is unsaid is darkly proclaimed.  Contradiction and opposition reign.  Interpretation is called for.  It is a false power because when the truth is revealed, it is no more; it was a nothing.  But dreams are another matter all together.

 

Dreams are relentless; they never disappear; they are from the beginning and will endure.  There is no meaning that will vanquish them, no revelation that will show them to have been nothing at all.  And if I write dreams, I am not writing myself, but the hardness and the tension of Being.  And the far ejaculation.

 

 

 

5376  I have arrived at that part of Worlds Apart where he is talking about Rudolf Steiner.  I know very little about that guy, but what I do know makes me think he is a descendent of Swedenborg and Blake.  That’s not my Mad Hatter’s cup of tea.  Right now the conversation is about the ether.  It’s a crazy idea, but it does bring up the question of what individuates mind.  Is there such a thing as intellectual matter as contrasted with physical matter?  He has gotten it all mixed up with considerations about all the various forms about space and time.  Somewhere I expect he will get into a kind of pan-psychism, a topic which is oozing about in the blogosphere nowadays.  All of this leaves me somewhere else.  Decadence and the jism of spiritualism have had a hold on English garden thinkers for too long.

 

 

 

5377  I just finished the Second Day part of Worlds Apart.  I am disappointed that no more was said about Spirit as the matter of paradise, but maybe I can put it myself into what was finally discussed.  They got on to a theory of evolution that is at odds with the usual one we hear about.  As I understand it a sort of Monism descending into pluralism was presented.  Let me give an example.

 

Consider an area, white and square.  Simply that, nothing more.  It is sort of spiritual.  Now imagine an invisible line going diagonally across.  It is transformed into two triangles.  Now imagine the whiteness of it changing into yellow and green, one color on each triangle.  Now proceed making as many cuts and divisions as you please, and color changes.  What we have here is the One Thing of Monism changing into a plurality.  Now the important word comes along.  The many are, it might be said, latent within the One Thing.  These latent things e-volve or turn from out of their hidden, quasi-existence, their long sleep inside the White Matter of Spirit (our simple square area).

 

The Matter of Paradise, Edenstoff,, Varuna/Ouranos, unfolds and the world of separate things appears.  But, alas, separate from that oceanic womb it eventually hardens and dies.  Unless… unless we can somehow keep it wet with life, a remembering, and … the end hasn’t yet appeared.  Perhaps this new consciousness of our spiritual beginning will reveal the next saving act.

 

I, of course, think otherwise.

 

 

 

5378  I finished reading Worlds Apart by Owen Barfield.  It turns out that I have nothing to say about the final laying out of the main idea.  The philosophical idea is that the mind of man must learn to stop trying to separate himself from Nature and feel himself a part of it.  Feeling the rhythms of Nature, feeling himself swimming in the Ocean of Life, is the goal.  Once man, it seems, did know himself to be a part of Nature, but he knew it unknowingly.  After the scientific revolution, man stood apart from Nature, but it was a lonely, dead existence.  Now it is time to knowingly touch and feel that living thing again and to unite with it.  Man is in Nature and Nature is in him, all in the full light of consciousness.  Nature is man’s subconscious and man must consciously find a way into that magical part of his own being.  It goes on and on.  The basic idea is that man and Nature are again wed.  Nature, it turns out, is a goddess.  It or She is definitely female, thus the rhythms and the expanding/contracting oceanic tide.  It’s a view that I am sure many guys can fall in love with.  It is not my way, but I am certainly not going to begrudge it to another.  I never argue with another person’s love.  I simply say Good Luck.

 

 

 

5379  Worlds Apart by Owen Barfield is easy to read, a little too easy.  Because it does not have that very dream feeling that it finally covets.  It is the work of an English gentleman.  He has heard all the arguments and he has read philosophy extensively; it is obvious.  He has intelligent ideas.  He proceeds to write a book.  He places all the right characters round about and he has them say the things that we have all heard said in humane conversation.  It is familiar, a little too familiar.  It is cobbled together.  It comes together from outside.  It is mechanical.

 

Dream words are not easy, not familiar; or rather, they are also not that.  They have a movement that unites what otherwise could never be united.  They feel wrong and the long time of sleep is oppressive.  They are tiring.  That book is too much of this world and not far enough apart from here.  I felt while reading it that I was indeed out in the world, out in the extensiveness of real life, with old-fashioned erudites.  The words did not pull me in and entangle me in lovely syntax.  The rhythms were not there.  It was a scientific work.  But maybe it was a prelude to a terrible afternoon nap.  After the quests had gone home.  In the gray wind.

 

 

 

5380  Is the Mind “out there”?  The capital letter and the quotes show right away that this is a philosophical question.  I suppose that Mind transcends the thoughts in it.  And that the “out there” is beyond the local out there of the everyday.  All of which makes the question almost unintelligible.  Still, that never has bothered me before and it will not now.

 

I think the thought ‘is the Mind “out there”?’  That thought exists; of course it does.  Many have thought the same thought.  This god gets around.  If I had my druthers, I would say that the thought is not in Mind, but that the thought rests on Mind, or the stuff of mind.  The just that one of the just that thought now.  This is the greatly abused bare particular.  At once a very fine spirit and a brute.  You know the kind.  You are sometimes also that.  And you stick out “out there”.  You, honey, are the very out.  Everyone knows.  We will finally go with you when you go.  Unconcerned with whether or not the question has ever been answered.  Or what?

 

 

 

5381  It seems that a fight has been set up between the beautiful and the moral.  A fight between a gentle, bourgeois idea of beauty and a radically anti-bourgeois idea of smashing that oppressive, unknowing niceness.  Of course, the bourgeois think that spreading their idea of beauty all round is the moral thing to do.  And the anti-bourgeois think that the violence of the true rebel is beautiful.  It’s a boring mess.

 

That fight is nothing new.  The beautiful ways of the rich and the quasi-rich have always irked the poor.  Well, of course and I am poor.  And the so-called beauty of the rich is a poor thing.  Go into any home of the educated and the well-off and breathe in the limp air of culture.  You will soon be asphyxiated.  Lounge in thoughtful college symposia, the beautiful gardens of living ideas, and talk the talk of educated niceness and wilt.  It’s enough to make you want to man the barricades, except that these are the descendents of those very violent ones.  The bourgeois and the anti-bourgeois dance their dance of pretend aggression against each other and the spirit is nowhere in sight.  That kind of violent, beautiful unbeauty and learned, cultured kitsch is, I hope, not my style.  But I too must eat and I must try to be heard.  I am up against it.

 

 

 

5382  The bourgeois, the burgher, the burrower, from √bhergh – to hide and protect.  Today, we hear about the withdrawn object, surely the ideal of the small town solitary.  The world is vicious.  Underground cavities are calling.  The land.  The cemetery.  Blessed safety.  Blood and soft remembrance.  Viscous prolepsis.  The coming kingdom.  Reunion with the mistletoe.  Bound again in sacs of golden light.

 

I am against it all.  I am the anti-bourgeois.  I am the rebel.  But I am not interested in any of it.  If you want to bury your sword in the scabbard of joy.  That’s fine.  I have the boy and we are gone.  The bard and the retarded goyim remain.  The wind from Sind and he bends.  The corner is taken close.  The coroner is mistaken and morose. Dreams hurt.

 

Where do words come from?  They don’t come from anywhere; they just are.  I fuse with them and they never refuse me.  The root in its boot swaggers by.  The chat room lights up.  I sow and reap and keep the noise down low.  We dine.  The tyne is mine.  The boys’ down and dawn and din in muscletoe racks of laden bights—it’s hopeless.  There’s no way out.  And then there is.  It begins again.

 

 

 

5383

 

O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,

How can we know the dancer from the dance?

 

That famous line from Yeats Among School Children is often brought forth as an instance of non-dualistic thinking.  It presents a union of body and mind, of form and content, of movement and the abstract.  It is a concrete expression of the eternal.  It is the universal and the individual as one.  But it becomes the occasion of bad philosophy and worse love making.  It is a lonely paradigm.  It is confusion.

 

What was sought was fusion.  I too use the image of the dancer and the dance, but, in my vision, the one is overtaken by the Eternal and all the while he remains separate from it.  That is the form of lover with lover.  There is no such thing as a lover, the dancer, alone.  Or it is narcissism.  I see the boy covered over, surrounded by a being that desires him.  Eternity takes him.  This new Ganymede is elevated, sublimated, ravished.  And then he is left alone on the hard rocky ground to wander and wait for the Return.  It takes two to tango.  The “one thing” of Symbolism never finds the other.  The poet, the thinker, is made out to be his own other.  It is a hopeless thing.

 

We must study the difficult nexus of taking and overtaking, surrounding, covering, finding.  That is the god in the Dance now with us.

 

 

 

5384  I’ve been reading Frank Kermode, so a lot of what I talk about is inspired by his wonderful books.  He writes about the Image in Romanticism, especially Symbolism.  Imagine a young artist type.  Lonely, separated from society because he is too sensitive to the Great Forms or whatever.  He longs to be other; he wants to get off his dreamy butt and become a person of action.  It’s contemplation vs. acting.  And so he conjures up a lovely, young maiden.  She so effortlessly makes soup and so perfectly sews such things as such a one sews.  She has achieved the exact unity of form and matter.  She simply is.  Unlike the poet, she is not divided against herself.  It’s a rather old-fashioned idea, but it is still around, even if in a more complicated get-up. We can say it is sexist and throw all kinds of epithets at it but all that is beside the point.  Our young friend, the artist, doesn’t want to be alone anymore, and it is his art that seems to have made him that.

 

Right there is the horrible dualism that has to be overcome.  The essential separation at the heart of every dualism.  The thinker/poet is lonely; he is separate from being the active hero/lover he so wants to be, he just must be.  He has become Mary to another’s Martha.  The poor sap.

 

So he thinks up or latches onto an already thought up philosophy of non-dualism.  He preaches it from the rooftops.  And he finds so many others preaching the same thing.  He joins that forlorn society, or un-society, thinking he has found a way out in philosophy.  It eventually, inevitably, after long years, comes to nothing.  It’s a hopeless philosophy.  The maiden is an unapproachable dream.  He goes mad.  (Or gets a real job.)

 

 

 

5385  To a young internet friend, I wrote this: “One could say that the Ontological Boy is my misreading of the Romantic Image.  Or vice versa.”  I was referring to the ideas of Frank Kermode.  My friend, I only imagine, is the opposite of me in many ways.  He is an urban, European, savvy, good-looking, capable, sensitive, straight guy.  I don’t really know for sure about any of that, but that’s my mental picture of him.  In other words, I see him as a pleasant interlocutor.  I divine, though I am even less sure of this, that he is at a time in life when he is thinking that he is maybe too sensitive and capable in a part of Being that is not going to help him across the great rough stretches of life.  In other words, he has an artistic philosopher’s loneliness.  It’s a scary thing.  Let me say it is a spiritual matter.  And since I am the opposite of him in so many things, I am not going to be of much help to him, except perhaps as a template of what not to do or be.  And this is where he might find the act of misreading to come in handy.

 

I have written a lot, an ungodly amount.  It may be in all that that I have said something he can twist around into a beam of light.  I suspect he may find the Romantic Image to be more straight-on appealing than I, and therefore, if he simply misreads my misreading, he may find a truth or two lying about in that rumble.  I have no objection. 

 

 

 

5386  What does it mean to misread?  It means to read an author’s writing against the   intentions of that author.  But why?  Simply because you think that the author misunderstood his own ideas.  And that a true interpretation of his words leads somewhere other than where the author had hoped.  It’s an act of violence.

 

All of this so often centers around sex.  One’s sexuality, I firmly believe, is informed by the highest and deepest part of the spirit.  It is not a minor difference. It is of the extreme and it is extremely pressing.  To misread, to intentionally misread, the sexual meaning of a person’s writings is grave.  I have done it often.  And if another does it to me, I will understand.  And I will have a friendly retaliation—usually.  Life is not all that important and anyway it is only of the middle places.  We remain what we are and the heights will later still have to be climbed.  Or if you are a depth diver, good luck; I have never been able to go under water without holding my nose.

 

 

 

5387  The word realism is tricky.  Thus it is like empiricism and sin.  It means what it means and it means almost the opposite.  I want to here do a little disentangling.

 

I write Platonic Realism, which may, in fact, have nothing to do with either Plato or his writings.  For me, it means a belief in the real existence of universals, the Forms, a definition not unlike that you find in a common encyclopedia.  To be real means to be extra-mental.  We can somewhat imagine all that.  But just what a universal is is the tricky part.

 

Let me use an idea I just got from Frank Kermode.  Realism in a story is an aura created by mentioning little quirky things that are often random and of no significance to the storyline.  Thus as in real life there are things that give uniqueness to a scene but which are not important, not material that reason uses to carve out its understanding.  They are the minor details and they are many.  Platonic Realism is almost the opposite.  It dismisses the minor things that add character and homeliness.  It greatly reduces, edits, chops, mangles, kills.  Only the pure thing is left.  I do not write a boy, but the Boy.  Just as another would not write up a woman, but Woman.  The miniscule letter is out of “real” life, the majuscule is Transcendent and Real.  The living and the Living beyond mere life.  And here, people begin to scream.  The realm of Platonic Realism, where the Romantic Images are found, is hopelessly frightening to almost everyone.  One who is at home there is not at home here and trouble follows.  Jesus help us.

 

 

 

5388  I write up the Transcendent Forms.  And then I make my comments.  The august and the frightening Other World is here, and then there are my homely observations.  Judgment and obiter dicta.  I am finally a humorist.  But I am merely trying to stay alive in the Blast.  You may understand.

 

The boy came, left and he will come again.  The boy, The Boy.  My mind reels.  The soul is immortal.  There’s no way out.

 

So have I invented a higher dialectic here, or merely screwed up the old one?  Well, yes of course.  If you met me in real life, you would see that I am nothing more than a smartass.  But I have good punctuation.  God yields.

 

Kierkegaard said at the end of his essay on Socrates and the concept of irony, “Finally, insofar as there can be any question of the ‘eternal validity’ of irony, this can only find its answer through an investigation of the sphere of humor.  Humor contains a much deeper skepticism than irony, for here it is not finitude but sinfulness that everything turns upon.  The scepticism of humor relates to the scepticism of irony as ignorance relates to the old thesis: credo quia absurdum; but humor also contains a much deeper positivity than irony, for it does not move itself in humanistic determinations but in the anthropic determinations; it does not find repose in making man human, but in making man God-Man.”  That, I guess, says it all, and it says nothing.

 

 

 

5389  I have just read two books by Frank Kermode that I really liked.  I learned a lot and I got a lot of ideas I can work up into my own writing, but he does have one quality that I can hardly hear.  It is something he shares with so many other academics.  It is something that makes me glad I am as far from academia as I can get, because I know it is so prevalent there.  He loves to say of another writer/thinker that he or she has got it all wrong, has misunderstood, has failed to do the work that will bring a proper reading of what has been going on.  Intellectual gossip and backbiting.  So tiring.  Vicious.

 

I suppose it has always been like that.  It takes the fun out of learning.  At least it does for me.  I have no doubt that others, many others, find it otherwise.  I will leave them to it.  Other people make life difficult.

 

 

 

5390  This philosophy is the Clinamen, the swerve away from death-in-life and life-in-death.  I write the erotic and the romantic; I write the pure Form; I write the eternal.  But unlike the Romantics, I do not write the Dark Lady, the Goddess, the Wailing Night.  I write the Boy, one who walks away from that Medusa head and never comes back. 

 

 

 

5391  The Boy and the Beauty in these writings are, I suppose hesitantly, of the same Vision, the same Image, the same Ideal Form that has so laid waste to all the others down along the line of human history.  Who knows, perhaps the angels are also undone and beside themselves.  Today, though, it is unacceptable in public to speak of Him.  In words, only the woman is to be mentioned.  Why?  No doubt it is because it is unspeakable.  Let me explain.

 

In poetry there has been for a long time the difference between power and meaning.  Or between vision and discourse, feeling and thought, the spiritual and the mechanical.  The dissociation of sensibility.  The Boy is vision, intense feeling, the spiritual, all beyond everyday discourse, relational thought and the materially constructed.  Words, practical labor and organizing are female activities.  The Boy’s beauty is still, brute power; there’s nothing there to analyze; it is destruction only.  It’s better not to speak of it—in public.  Anyway, He cannot be laid out in words.  But I have nonetheless spoken ad delirium into Him.  It’s hopeless.  Nothing has changed between now and then.  I hesitate to even think it.  I have written it up perfectly.

 

 

 

5392  There is now and then a philosopher who likes to try his hand at being the writer Plato and writing up a dialogue of Socratic dialectical argument.  It is almost always a failure, a weak piece of forced and over-wrought, logical analysis.  It is aporetic only in that the writer shows he doesn’t know where to go next.  He quietly asks, What is the point?  The point he missed is that the argument was intended to seduce the boy, not to perform a universalized, intellectual action.  Without that beauty sitting close and agitating the soul of the dialectician, there is no fire, no spirit, no intense point to philosophy.  With it, the affair is sordid and thought is thrust on into the centuries as chaos in the soul, the presence of Beauty itself.  We are that.  I write it up and I am laid low.  No one knows.

 

 

 

5393  Camille Paglia says, if I haven’t misread her, that the Ideal of the literary canon is always the Androgyn.  A monster of beauty and ugliness in the social fabric.  It is both Socrates and Phaedrus.  It is the aesthetic Image.  The ever-returning moth and flame as one.  No good can come of it; it is beyond good and evil; it exists terrifyingly only for its own sake.  Or literature and religion and philosophy are empty.

 

I agree.  And I do think it is all socially disadvantageous, to say the very least.  But it is what we all want.  Society will have to protect itself the best it can.  The ad-vantage point will be had.

 

The writer of such things will today always be accused, rightly, of being sexist, now a very damning word.  If a devotee of such a one thinks that the everyday world is one with his vision, yes, it will be harmful.  To himself and the one he is backwardly courting.  He will no doubt attempt it, but he will inevitably be brought up short.  It does not fit in the world, nor does he.  It is an act of terror.  It threatens to become soft ooze. 

 

 

 

5394  Kant drew the Critical line in the philosophical sand.  No one, he said, dare attempt to speak what is on the other side.  But the waters of the poetic Vision came and washed it away.  So many tried to speak.  The Images whirled about in the Imagination, that place of magic.  Still, Kant’s dictum remained, they all knew it, and soon the tragic end would come.  Eventually, the poet must lie down hard forsaken and in despair.  His joy, the Perfect Joy of Seeing, comes to nothing—or perhaps it is just that words must fail.  And the Silence must be kept.  Or the incessant babbling of babes will torture us forever.  That is the necessary end of the Romantic Vision.  So many have said so.  Camille Paglia, Robert Graves, and Keats in La Belle Dame sans Merci.  But maybe Kant was wrong.

 

I do not believe Kant’s philosophy.  Nor have I ever hankered after the darkly numinous.  The Lady has not been my love.  I am of another camp.  The Beauty I see is not the Imagination, but the Real.  The bane of the Transcendental Idealists.  Their laugh of naiveté.

 

The Vision I have is not that that ends in wistful despair, the hoary sublime, cultured tragedy.  Thus that sheen of satin beauty does not cover my dying skin.  But that is a whole other story, or unstory, and I have written it up already far into the night of civilization.  Few believe me.  Or none.

 

 

 

5395  As a motto at the beginning of the Tractatus, Wittgenstein quotes Kürnberger: … und alles, was man weiß, nicht bloß, rauschen und brausen gehört hat, läßt sich in drei Worten sagen.  ( … and anything anyone knows, hasn’t just heard people roaring and blustering about, can be said in three words.)

 

Such sparse economy of words is rare or even non-existent in philosophy.  That’s no way to come up with something acceptable to the editor of a scholarly journal, much less of a seriously impressive book.  Grand complexity, not stark simplicity.  Publishing houses are not in the business of letting out oracular utterances. And collections of aphorisms are just light humor.  We want vast tracts of dull prose, not compact poetry.  It’s more comfortable that way and we are so in need of comforting.

 

Thus the simple, elegant Platonic Form is so out of fashion.  Long, entangling relationships are more intellectual.  The funk of functions of functions of functions.  The derivative ever deviating through diverse perversions.  Understanding is a mood, nothing more.  The slight rhythms of non-rhythmical divergence.  The numbly numerous.  No one has any idea what the three words could possibly be.  Or cares.

 

 

 

5396  Here is a very nice description of a field from String Theory for Dummies. “Physicists use fields to describe the things that don’t just have a particular position, but exist at every point in space.  For example, you can think about the temperature in a room as a field—it may be different near an open window than near a hot stove, and you could imagine measuring the temperature at every single point in the room.  A field theory, then, is a set of rules that tell you how some field will behave, such as how the temperature in a room changes over time.”

 

Now go here and then come back.  Warmth is usually thought of as a secondary quality and only “in the mind”, not out there around the stove.  In such a philosophy, there is no real warmth field.  But imagine that warmth is real and there is a field of warmth out there.  Now imagine the same for all so-called secondary qualities.  In other words, imagine that there is no difference between secondary and primary qualities and that all are really there.  That is somewhat my philosophy in these writings, except that here all those varying qualities are exemplifications of placeless universals.  It gets complicated, but I think your imagination can begin to touch the real in all that.

 

That author above did not have all that in mind.  He quickly changed warmth into temperature measurements and positions of moving atoms.  But the imagination is finally just as bewildered with that.

 

 

 

5397  Whitehead’s style of writing is not the clearest, but I have somewhat gathered an idea of that he is getting at.  Or maybe not; it doesn’t matter.  Because this is what he should be saying.  An ordinary something is a coming together of a universal and a particular that is a happening.  There’s more to it than that, of course, but that is the heart of it, I surmise.  I am right now listening to a piece of music, just your favorite.  Music itself and tone and rhythm and all those other forms that go with music cram together, grow together, concretize, in just that happening.  An event!  So let’s concentrate on that particular that is the occurrence, the happening itself.

 

Pick out one event that is right now taking place around you. Or making a place or whatever.  Strip away all properties, all form, all qualities and try to grasp the pure happening itself.  It’s impossible.  But you do it so easily.  You read my words and do it instantly.  Philosophy is so easy.  It’s too easy.  It makes the philosopher giddy.  And he clings onto the difficulty in Whitehead’s writing and only once in a while looks at that thing we just almost discussed.  The intellectual vision gets bogged down in discussion and we almost have it.  But a happening stopped is nothing.  You knew that already, but you try the trying words anyway because there is nothing left to do.

 

 

 

5398  One can be in love with the pure form as it is given to us in the Romantic Image, a faint, pale, delicacy so close to death.  A lovely wilting, a dark shadow over youth that is ending too soon.  The heights turn into decadence. The words stop and feeling evaporates into invisible delirium.  The end comes soon.  And that poignant mortality is the bittersweet finale.  Or one can be in love with the pure form as the opposite of that.  Is there an opposite?

 

To not be wistful when death’s sad song is close is worrisome to the cultured mind.  Only despair and loss are deep.  Only pain is wisdom.  Only the melancholy man knows.  One falls in love with what one hates.  That is the romantic end that Kierkegaard so shied away from.  He ran to the Christian God.  To the absurd.  The aesthetically inclined brushed him off.  But it’s that as the opposite or nothing.  I write up Jesus and the eternal perfection of being.  A beauty far beyond the mire.  The boy that is the answer to the Medusa head.  I work the night.  I have aimed exact.  It happens.

 

 

 

5399  Dear B., You did touch on one important difference between an American soul and a Nepali.  Of course this doesn't always apply, but it, nonetheless, exists.  Consider a pioneer heading out into the vast open spaces of the West.  (It seems that all of America is somehow the Western allure.)  There is some poetic attraction for him in the immense emptiness, the loneliness and the non-human stillness that he finds there.  The solitude in the barren nothingness is almost mystical - and not a little frightening.  He may want to call it freedom, but it is deadly and he is anything but free in it.  That is not Nepali.  The Nepali soul longs for family and friends, everyone is a brother or sister, uncle or grandfather.  Friends pop up all around.  It is a loving togetherness.  It drives most Americans crazy.  Me too.  I know the attraction of the shudder that comes with seeing the long stretches of empty road ahead.  You did find friends and I suspect you learned not to see the threatening solitude all around.  Indeed, many Americans also look to escape from that American emptiness, but they are necessarily of two minds about it.  We are not a little insane because of that terrible thing.  It's what we were born into and there is no escape.  Just why our ancestors ventured out into this barren land is a mystery.

 

 

 

5400  It is a commonplace among the Kierkegaardians, with whom I hang around, to call the final moment the leap into The Absurd.  It is also called a moment of decision or the crisis of faith.  It is where the eschaton moves from being imminent to being immanent.  Each moment of life is the instant of the cut.  Is that one right there the Christ, the appearing of the Logos, or not?  One knows from out of whatever it is that is beyond.  Philosophy presses.

 

F is a universal, an eternal Form, or F is a quality, a mere predication, a momentary mental or verbal characterization.  Should we say that the quidditas is essence and thus of Being or a dim reflection of the individual, a nothing.  It’s your choice.  And that choice determines your philosophy and your belief in religion.  But it is an absurd choice to the everyday mind: to ask whether or not that present form is from eternity is just too crazy to be given second thought.  Philosophy is the second thought.

 

Should I merely pass over it in silence as Wittgenstein so loudly proclaimed?  It is impossible.  The demand for a choice is at hand.  The End is here.

 

 

 

5401  The effectiveness of a fictional philosophy of the fictiveness of fiction is soothing.  We enter the dream but it is hard and we want out.  Ghosts don’t really exist.  Non-existence rescues us.  But the thrill was there.  We want to not believe.  And we don’t.  It’s so easy.  But the matter returns.  It is the same.  Images come at us.

 

I love the movie Juliette of the Spirits.  The images are hard and sharp.  Eyes close and they strike.  There’s no way out; eyes must close.  There’s no let up.  Hard.  Sharp.  They grate the mind.  They brutally exist.  They are not fictional fiction.  They are what fiction was before the philosophers of non-existence tried to tame them.  The philosophy is itself fiction.  But it too is a real spirit we must deal with.  The obdurate thrust.

 

 

 

5402  I have long written of fact.  And I have spoken of Wittgenstein’s dictum that the world consists of facts, not things.  And it has been a difficult philosophical thought to think.  A fact is neither a particular not a universal.  It is a strange third thing.  Like classical substance it is neither form nor matter.  Like an angel it is neither temporal nor eternal.  This is the dialectic, the third thing.  And then there is the boy, not a woman, but not a man either.  It is all because of Eros, the not beautiful and the not ugly.  Always an in-between.

 

Consider the fact that he glanced at me and then turned away in thought.  It happens.  It happens often.  It has happened for millennia.  The fact is as new as it is old.  This piercing moment right now.  And the ancient moment dimly here again.  The Perpetuum.  His eyes made for me and right through me.  I dived into the eternal.  I sought safety.  He would be here again.

 

 

 

5403  Concept vs. Form.  When Aquinas—or was it someone else—made the angels only a little lower than God.  When he put those august beings between the sandy pile that is matter, quanticized time, and the fixed ramparts of the Godhead, the Quantum, and made them places of High Intellect, then he started us on the road to Idealism.  The third thing became Concept.  Substance gave way to perpetual thought.  Perhaps it was Plotinus.  Perhaps the angels themselves.  Earthly thinkers may never have had a chance.

 

The Form, the Platonic thing, is beyond mind.  But when mind asserts itself and insists that it is the creator of form, then occurs the architectonic shift in Being.  The rearrangement.  The cur of the dialectic.  And substance slips inside the glance longing for safety.  And stay.  It’s a fact.

 

 

 

5404  On the news this morning, he introduced a story about comics by saying that though each issue is so very papery and short-lived, the art form itself endures.  I wonder if he meant that literally or if it was just a way of speaking.  Does the form endure?  What does it mean for a form to endure?  I suspect he would say that it is a concept and we have shared that mental idea for a long time.  The form endures in the minds of the readers.  Such conceptualism is ubiquitous, but then that is itself a concept of concepts in our minds, which are themselves mere concepts.  And, alas, concepts are also a mere concept.  It’s an entanglement, a bog, a boogey.  Worse than that it is an intellectual error.  We are left with the Form which cannot be thought away so that Man can have his freedom and power.  Quite literally the Form endures.

 

Which is good and fine, but what is endurance in the face of Eternity.  Such a Face!

 

 

 

5405  I have written up a philosophy that few understand and most would instantly reject if they did understand.  It, after all, seems to deny man’s freedom.  It does, in fact, deny that freedom; that freedom never existed.  There are things, great things, in existence, I hopelessly insist, that the mind is totally dependent on for every part of its existence. We are made of non-human things.  There is no freewill.  The word itself is meaningless.  We are grounded in the Other.  But there is also no such thing as cause and effect.

 

Or rather cause and effect is just the name we give to the fact that one thing and another always go together, if this then that.  Nothing more.  That is not what most people mean by cause and effect.  And there are thus no emergent properties, as though the things or the mass they came out of were their cause.  No freedom, no cause and effect, no emergent properties.  What’s left?  Everything.

 

I think of X.  I am the thought of X.  I have taken on the form of the thought of X.  I am made out of the bare I and the thought which is other that I.  And the object of that thought is out there. 

 

I have written up a philosophy that few understand and most would instantly reject if they did understand.  It, after all, seems to deny man’s freedom.  I think of X. I did not create X.  I did not create the thought of X.  I did not create my coming together with the thought that I become.  Nor did X or the thought of X create their coming together.  These little ties make the world. 

 

 

 

5406  In philosophy the distinction between appearance and reality is common and old.  I doubt Plato was the first to draw it, but his name is prominently associated with it.  It is a greatly loved thing.  It adds spice to life.  And it takes away some of the pain.  I seldom or never use it.

 

Jesus says in Mark 4:11-12, To you has been given the secret of the Kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables; so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand; lest they should turn again, and be forgiven. That’s a hard saying. Why so hard?

 

I think the hardness is only appearance because the people don’t really want to perceive and understand; they love to wander in darkness trying to figure it out.  They don’t want to be forgiven; they love wallowing in guilt—trying to figure out a way out of what they know its illusory hold.  People love the play of illusion.  They toy with its pain and its guilty pleasure.  And as for final knowledge of the real, it is too easy.

 

 

 

5407  Why do I put up the pictures I do?  Is there a secret meaning behind the apparent play of pleasures or a not-so-hidden devilish repression?  Is it a scholarly binding of light and dark, of the true and the false, of existence and non-existence?  Are we in the mixing bowl?  As I see it, it is an appearing, a true appearing of one of the glorious Forms of Being.  Nothing more.  But you may interpret away to your heart’s content, because I know you love such things.  I will watch and make my sly comments.

 

 

 

5408  Everything repeats.  I have written a long, sweet diatribe against Life and Being, rubbing against the pricks; I can’t complain.  I am somewhat worn out.  Nothing much gets said.  I am upset … but at what?  I complain and chew my bitterness into pulp.  I’m not bitter.  At all.  It’s not a diatribe; it’s just that that is such a nice word.  An interesting word.  The McLuhan tribes and the tom-toms beating their poles into the mangy darkness.  We are become deaf.  The silent sounds resound redoubtably.  Hopefully.

 

The pulp burps.  Abrupt comings and goings and scholarly dialogic.  I can manage.  With myself and him.  A ménage a trios.  A mélange a froid.  Le frisson ancien.   Rather nice.  I can’t complain.  Or explain it even to the least of these.  And just why was it that the boy of God got mixed up with us, the reprobates?  Without rebate or appeal.  He usurped my place.  Hopelessly. 

 

I will continue and the dreams will always cut right through.  And the night will have to be suffered.  Not much is happening at three AM when I look out the window.  That’s why I never look.  In fact, I have the blinds closed and I contact the world, the HD world, through my pixilated spiffy wifi.   And go back to bed.  The rhythms never let up.

 

 

 

5409  I suppose I really should say something about the Aristotelian notion commotion around potentiality becoming actuality.  The story starts off, sizes itself up and proceeds to be itself, unfolded.  Nothing changes … really; only a thing becoming itself from itself through itself in spite of itself and every other preposition you can think of.  Beginning, middle and end.  The plot plods along on the spot.  Snakes crawl out their hole and the moon inclines but not much else.  You see (and probably already know), there was this problem in Greece about existence popping up out of non-existence, which is quite absurd, so they invented matter, which is an almost.  And therefore about to exist anyway, a potency for existing, and it simply, slightly, slides sideways into the such and such it always almost was so near at hand.  A sprightly slight-of-hand.  And lights up.  With hyphens making sure it hangs together.  But have I managed the same?

 

I don’t have unfolding.  I have things simply, eternally there.  The boy is naturally naked.  The night is always on.  The open is open until the wee hours.  The houris whore around the hoary heavies.  Sweet guys.  Potato heads.  But cute.  I doubt there’s any story there.  Anyway, am Sontag I am against interpretation.  And we camp about and abut.  This is the real world, honey, not your casual, comfortable, contrived story.

 

 

 

5410  The great difference, as we converse, is not between extremes of thought, but between thought and the vast expanse of space and time; it is between the gentle idea and the massive weight of real material things out there.  We can talk about distribution systems for goods to a certain population, but then we must eventually arrive at a truck, a Big Truck, Long concrete highways, and the solid human body.  Thought vs. real mass.  The difference is striking and those who sit in a chair and think most of the day usually fail to feel that Great Thing out there.  To devise political systems is one thing, to get in a car and drive to another town and try to get real flesh to listen to you is another matter altogether.  That may be intention vs. extension, whatever it is it is a heavy burden on a delicate mind.  I know of no political or social theory that takes all that into consideration.  And even without the theoretical Higgs boson, mass will still be here in his thigh against you.  That is where theology begins.

 

 

 

5411  My politics is that I am a labor democrat.  It comes out of the hard work of moving this and that here and there for hours on end and finally arriving home dead tired.  I pushed and pulled on massive things all day and well into the night, I was passive to the resistance of things, I was torn.  I sat and I could hardly think.  Headaches came and wouldn’t leave.  I kept on keeping on.  The world has extension and weight.  Then it is a long drive home.  And back.  The human body is not easy to manipulate.  I was passive to its presence.  Everything pressed itself into my mind.  I knew and I know inertia and force.  That is my philosophy of the real.

 

The things of Being come at me relentlessly.  I endure and I endure having to endure.  The world is vast, extremely so.  Far places filled with workers just like me.  It is too much.  The workplaces are filled with effort and tired  bodies.  That is what life is.  It cannot be moved about in silent thought.

 

Most of the time I am a reader and a writer.  Again reading and writing is work.  I push words into place and I am passive to their being.  I read words into a meaning and I am passive to their being.  Those who want to glide through all that while they nap never know the reality of it.  It comes at me and I meet its force with force.  I am passive to its being.  It is work.

 

I really have no time for politics.  It too is work, the work of going here and there and gathering bodies.  It is not theorizing.  It is not arguing over systems of distribution.  It is not fine considerations.  It is exertion.  I have no energy left to give to meeting it head on.  I would succumb to its weight too soon.  Others will have to work the night.  And be passive to that great thing.  I’m going home to sleep.

 

 

 

5412  Are we all slaves to the machine?  To a great bureaucratic complexity?  Yes.  To the mind-destroying, macro-molecular structures that we sorrowfully call our bodies.  Those very institutions of oppression.  Those caves we have crawled inside of.  Spider-web nightmarish things.  They have us bound.

 

All of the other institutions of life are set up to reflect and care for those demanding places of ever-increasing entropy.  The super-bureaucracies of science and learning, of government and business (blood-sucking, corporate behemoths), of church and medicine, of communication and entertainment, of daytime dreams and nighttime longings, of impossible families and guilt-ridden leavings.  We are immersed in the folding waters of oppression.  A living machine of apocalypse.  The beginning and middle and end are one—the plot is, in any event, a cemetery plot.  But there may be a way out.

 

Maybe not.  We are probably too in love with the story at the heart of these institutions of life and death.  We hang on to our attentive seat, waiting for the next moment.  The end is near, a terrible end, but will he find a way out?  It’s a cliff-hanger.  Surely just another peripeteia.  And so so so fascinating.  AFascinans.  The evil eye has us in its power.  The storyline cannot be broken.  Like chickens we are mesmerized by the chalk line drawn out ahead by the evil hand of the encoders. 

 

We spend our time trying to decode the words of this so-called world.  If we could get at the meaning we would be saved.  There is no meaning, except the hermeneutical act itself.  Secrecy was generated out of nothingness and will return to nothingness.  Itself a hopeless philosophical abstraction.  We call it love.  And truth.  And hopelessness.

 

 

My my, that was pessimistic.  Is it really like all that?  Or is that just one more possible outcome in our attempt at explanation?  It is a much used Form.  It is sometimes fun to think like that.  But I fear it is no longer of much use when we want to drive down an opponent.  He and we have become much too sophisticated. Life goes on.  As for me, the happy erotic is what calls.  Ever again, ever again.  And again.

 

 

 

5413  The quintessential Christian idea is that of the apocalypse.  Or at least to say that makes a good opening to some kind of story, which may in fact be thestory.  Which may not even be originally Christian, but who cares?  Whatever the case, we are about to find out just what the truth is—that is the apocalyptality of apocalypticity.  Soon, it’s coming.  It’s rather orgasmic.  And also not a little messy.  In any case either the earth will be destroyed or the bad guys will be.  We have to wait to find out.

 

It’s almost impossible to have a serious conversation today without the idea of the approaching end to something being brought up.  Eco-calamity, a world banking collapse, the settling in hard of totalitarianism, a new revolution in music that will finally capture the one most subtle eschatological shiver  of the enigma-chord.  Has it been quietly playing in our genes all this long time?  And, of course, it has been plainly encoded in uncountable worldly inscriptions if only we had been smart enough or pure enough to read it.  The end of the story was always right there even at the beginning.  And the middle part was just a spinning spinning spinning.  But wouldn’t you just know it.

 

We’ve been here before many times.  It is the Form that guides us.  Which doesn’t mean it’s not true, or the very form of truth; it’s just tiresome.  But then the morning after comes and we somehow manage to gather up our strength again to have another go at it.  There’s no let up.  It is the sexual.  And we are nothing else.

 

 

 

5414  The great concern of Symbolism was whether or not literature could communicate.  Did it have a vision of a timelessness beyond words?  We know the considerations well.  From Kant to the broken syntax of Emily Dickenson to the silent passing over of the Tractatus, we know how to think about it as long as we don’t try to tell ourselves just what it is we are thinking.  There’s nothing left to be said—in spite of there never having been anything.  And I have written it up mighty well.  You know.

 

And so now we have young philosophers who will have none of it.  They want desperately to say something valuable in this apocalyptic world.  The science of eco-habitation.  A very domesticated thing, rather boring to us old guys.  Mother need.  Sensible.  Not to worry, it’s just their way of rebelling against their infantile forbearers.

 

The most hated thing today in the minds of the vitalist young is positivism, the philosophy that declared metaphysics meaningless because it was an attempt to go beyond the limit—but which went there anyway.  Our waywardness is unwholesome to them.  Good for them!  The next generation will point out how boring their immediate predecessors were.  I’ll bide my time. 

 

 

 

5415  One of the great divisions in linguistics is between pre-positional and post-positional languages.  English is, for the most part, post-positional: verb follows subject, object follows both verb and that proto-verb the prepositions, adjectival phrases follow the noun, and adverbs follow the verb.  Still, this is a Germanic language and we easily reverse it all, though not as easily as German itself.  For us it often brings on a poetic feeling.  French is even more post-positional than we are.  I am speaking of speech, not sex.  Sanskrit speakers are the great masters of the pre-position.

 

Sanskrit loves the compound word-phrase.  And as time went on its love because greater.  It seems that all of existence was caught up in one giant unit.  The Thing is massive, overwhelming, authoritative, impressive and a delight for grammar puzzlers.  But is it poetic?  Maybe.

 

I wrote that French is extremely post-positional.  That is not quite true.  While the German languages often leave the particle that modifies a verb unattached and lying magnificently somewhere after it, all the romance languages fix it firmly to the front of the verb, the prefix.  And since the French part of English is the intellectual part, we use those longer compounded verbs to sound smart.  It is a sign.  Being able to use prefixes shows you are no dummy.  But usually the opposite effect is achieved.  And thus we have modern philosophy.

 

Pre-positioning creates the effect of solid permanence.  In poetry, it gives the feel of a different slower time, even eternity. It is holy speaking.  It is not lively and spirited.  It intimidates.

 

 

 

5416  At the end of the day you will finally not have succeeded in doing philosophy.  The dialectic of the one and the many will not come to rest.  Placing intuition beyond analysis will be just one more analytic trick who will not stay the whole night.  The morning is for beginning the search again.

 

Because philosophy will not move in with you as a domesticated pet, you must go out on the streets where he hangs out.  Once in a while he will be yours, completely.  Then this eros/pteros will be gone, simply nowhere.  It’s hopeless.  Except that hope will never leave you.  Rise up again!  He will surely be had.  But he has been had by so many for maybe too long.

 

And so I write up the Boy.  The incorrigible.  The blood-sucker.  The one more  time.  It’s inevitable that he come again.  You are that one.  We will be back here soon and I will see the beauty you have always been.  A terrible gentleness.  A deep erotic stillness.

 

 

 

5417  A long time ago, once upon a time, in my early college daze, I remember being enchanted by something or other that Henri Bergson wrote.  Being curious about just what that might have been, I checked out his Introduction to Metaphysics.  His attempt in that book to get beyond the conceptualizing of analysis and sink into the object itself by means of intuition could have been what I was so taken with.  It does have a certain mystical, even erotic feel to it.  Maybe that was it.  Whatever, now, after all these years, I want to say something about his attempt.

 

He is here thinking about time.  A most dangerous thing to do.  He is after the absolute thing beyond all the concepts we apply to it.  I think we all understand.  My objection is to the dangerous way is goes about it.  He has in the process of thinking made the world we see and think disappear.  Seeing, thinking, sensing, imaging, all translating is, he says, a lessening of our vision of the thing itself.  And as he progresses, in order to drive home his point (which we all got long ago), he ever dims the being of the world we do know, or think we know, directly.  Page after page, he makes appearances increasingly frail as we fall into the intuited, the unspeakable vision.  That will not do.  The world we see is real—I insist.

 

For sure there is a philosophical problem here.  All of our analyzing has left time, its continuity through change, unthought.  The one in the many is an ontological impossibility.  No understanding beyond the inevitable contradiction is metaphysically conjured up.  No one can think an ontology of time, Bergson is correct.  But wiping away analysis and the world feels so wrong.  Unless you are one of the tender-minded and love the swoon of hard-handled thought.  I was that.  And even now.

 

Perhaps, though, I have merely analyzed his book and not let myself sink into an intuition of it.  Then the book would no doubt disappear.  Just as it did before.

 

 

 

5418  The technical name of what Henri Bergson is aiming for is the Perfect Particular.  Not the bare particular, which is only a this.  Certainly not a universal, which is exemplified by so many and which exists in timelessness.  He wants the simple absolute itself oozing with itself, steeped in its own essence.  In other words a particular that has a nature (without that nature being a separate thing).  And we all know that we cannot get at that by aiming conceptual descriptions at it.

 

I feel I did not describe that very well.  Bergson himself went on for paragraph after paragraph trying to nail it.  I’m sure he also felt the same.  Nonetheless, he did succeed as well as anyone can.  And we do understand, as well as anyone can.  We understand him perfectly.  He needn’t have gone on so long.  The problem is that there is no such thing as the perfect particular.  And how can you describe well such a non-existent?  And our understanding matches.  It is always on the way.  To nowhere.  It’s quite mystical.

 

That same energetic reaching for the perfect particular still mystifies and draws the young.  They may even be it.  Surely it is so.  The same long paragraphs tumbling over each other trying to get at it.  The same hope.  But it still isn’t there.  Finally despair.  Words fail.  Philosophy can’t be done.  And Bergson’s intuition is a chimera.  The old man philosopher and the boy he still is are at each  other.

 

 

 

5419  There are quite a few today who call themselves Platonists (of sorts).  They do revere the Intelligible Forms and Mind and the Spiritual Imagination.  The word “participation” is on their virtual, pixelated lips.  I watch them go on and on in quasi-dialogue style.  I too call myself a Platonist.  It is becoming an overused, hackneyed handle.  But nothing will change.  I do, however, pull back from identifying myself with those others.

 

The problem is this: most of those guys see the forms lying about in infinite darkness—or at least it seems so to our very limited quasi-knowing, they woefully admit.  We see in a glass darkly.  And it is that darkness that worries me.  I’m not going to argue that it isn’t Platonic, though I think it isn’t, but that that very darkness is the bright divinity they really worship.  It is something that every poet following the Romantics knows well.  It is love in the great Womb.  The Waters.  The deep, holy pain of creativity.  Fecundity!  The Forms weep quietly in its Power.  Fey.  The problem, it is said, is that we today have become dried out old things no longer shimmering in the limpid pool.  Humanity has lost its humidity.  Separated from the Mothers we are dying.  The magical nighttime is so sadly lost.  I back away from that sort of Platonism.  I simply walk away.

 

Those Platonists are Symbolists.  They look for Art that will picture the Darkness, the Emptiness, the Infinite Beyond.  They sink into it.  It’s the New Age.  They float in ambience.  They participate in the whole.  It is a soft lying on the bosom of mystical.  I think it is all illusion cast by the Sirens.  Soon the rocks will cut and blood will reveal itself as the very darkness of the dark.  The healing waters aren’t. 

 

 

 

5420  A little ways back I said that the thing with the ontological, technical name of perfect particular doesn’t exist.  It is therefore, I believe, an unthing, a ghost, maybe a simulacrum.  A wraith, a spectre, an intellectual spook.  A shadow of real thought, a vaporous column.  A haunt in the philosophical mind.  A nothing.  A nothing at all.  Or whatever—it’s so fun to write like that.  They are necessary though as a philosophical foil.  And I do also believe that they must be accounted for in our ontological catalogue, just as so must the square circle and the number i.  Not to mention the union of Being and non-being that Sartre called the impossible, useless passion.  The perfect particular is that strange thing that is a universal that has given up its universality and become a just that particular.  I will lay this fading violet down and out for you and then you will discover that this would-be lover never really came to your door.  It was your dream.

 

Consider a pair of red lips.  Consider the universal Red.  The red of those lips and that timeless Thing are very different.  Consider another pair of lips, also red.  Those pairs are two, not one, and that is another difference, but what about the red?  Will we have to say that here we have red1 and red2?  And then there are also red3 and red4 and … redn?  So many different reds all individualized.  They all seem to exist.  And here the argument is usually abandoned.  No one wants such a proliferation.  All those reds were perfect particulars.  And after they are abandoned (as they should be) the thinker then says that those reds were only names for the different pairs of lips or any other red individuals (nominalism) and that what we are really dealing with here are concepts.  The concept of Red is the thing.  But it’s a move in this game that is doomed.

 

A concept is also an individual thing in a thinking mind.  And I and you and so many others throughout space and time have thought it.  They are the same in each thinking.  And therefore they are either the Universal or more perfect particulars all over again.  Such concepts don’t exist.  Perfect particulars in or out of the mind cannot logically be.  They are phantoms of the intellectual opera.  One must start over. 

 

Instead of perfect, natured particulars, there are bare particulars and universals and their being tied together in facts.  We must replace the idea of those simple impossible things with the complex fact.  The problem is that then we have other intellectual problems.  The dialectical dance never stops.  So now you can either dance with this troublesome partner or just leave the dance hall and go home.  He has me in thrall.  I’m staying.

 

 

 

5421  I just gave you a very ontologically-difficult piece of analysis.  Your mind probably drifted.  I did give it in my usual slap-dash manner of writing and no doubt that was a large part of your being turned off by it.  You were turned off, weren’t you?   If I had drawn it out in great paragraphs of detailed historical narrative, do you think that would have helped?  Maybe if I had gently talked around it on a long walk.  I do fear, however, that you are just not into such matters.  No matter, I laid you back in stunned wonder.  Maybe that is philosophy.  A head-banging onto-fuck.  Yes, that is Bergson’s idea of Intuition of the Absolutely just that.  And I am a Bergsonian after all.  I have defeated myself.

 

 

 

5422  Early on Wittgenstein directed us on to what cannot be spoken.  He pointed us in the direction where it lay.  He hinted at what it was.  And then he walked away to think about other things, things that could easily be spoken.  He never went back.  Thus he abandoned the glory he has seen and became a dealer in cheap baubles.  It’s a pity.

 

Today his later ideas are on the lips of the many.  We are told that truth really doesn’t exist and that only shades of meaning rise up here and there and then vanish.  The great things of ancient thought, the magnificent Ideas are now, after looking hard a second and third time, seen to be literally nothing. Only family resemblances are there to give us a feeling of oneness.  A family we do not know. A faint feeling.  Nothing holds.

 

Well, yes.  But what about the beyond, where the holy Forms swirl is eternal imperturbability, that he once saw?  What about the silence we have endured?  Hasn’t the silence become too silent?  And slipped far down?  Glory is hard to come by.  Wittgenstein had it, saw it, wrote it up.  And that was it. 

 

 

 

5423  Henri Bergson drives home the point that you cannot construct the movement of time out of the pieces of analysis.  After analysis is well underway, and so many of the elements are laid out before you, and you think to go back to the original, you find you can’t quite.  No matter how you nuance the togetherness, no matter how finely you divide and differentiate, no mind in its intellectualizing can ever arrive back home with the simple thing itself.  Analysis and intuition are ever separate.  I sort of agree: analysis cannot capture time. 

 

But then he writes this and it is clearly wrong:  “But it is movement which is anterior to immobility, and the relation between positions and a displacement is not that of parts to a whole, but that of the diversity of possible points of view to the real indivisibility of the object.”  In other words, I think he is saying that the object is simple while the mental representations of it are many.  The world is one; mind is many.  That is the opposite of Aristotle’s saying that the mind is one and the world is many.  As I see it the cut and separation, the differences and otherness, the many things belong to the real world.  It is in thought, the mind that we find transcendental unity, but thought and world remain two, not one.  He is writing up pure idealism.

 

What I have written is rather that the everyday, non-philosophical world is what ontological analysis cannot reach.  And I have said that the ontological things are timeless.  That may make time the mark of everydayness, and then again it may not.  You cannot move from philosophy back to the world and still be within philosophy.  The two are eternally separate.  I do meet Bergson half-way.  The difference is that he denigrates the things of analysis and I elevate them to the Really Real, independent of mind.  I worship the timeless; the temporal is for me the lesser.  To each his own.

 

I will only say that the timeless things of Being have appealed to many in certain types of poetry and religious contemplation.  Again a place separate from the world, an otherworldliness.  I think Bergson and his followers are in love with what they call the “real world”.  At least they acknowledge the abyss looming up between us.

 

 

 

5424  On the news the last few days there has been a discussion by some about whether or not a Mormon is a Christian.  It’s part of an old (now almost funny) Great Argument and still today we feel the urgent need (or itch) to resolve and salve that sweetly burning question.  It is very human—or maybe not.  After the death of Socrates no less than seven schools of philosophical thought rose up each claiming to be his true heir.  In Hinduism and Buddhism an equal number of schools or sects vie for recognition as the correct way.  You can pick any human discipline from political ideology to physics to poetry and you find the same division and the same urgent contention.  It is very human, indeed.  And I too have loved to play the game.  Therefore, I will give you my definition of atrue Christian.

 

true Christian believes that the Logos became flesh (meat).  A particular piece of flesh, Jesus of a long time ago.  We killed it as a sacrificial rite.  Now, even now, if we eat that flesh and drink the blood in it we can escape, not only death, but also the painful dreams than come to us in this horrid night.  It all goes mightily against ordinary reason.  To believe is to jump into the absurd.  I am a Kierkegaardian—even in ways he may not have been.

 

Others believe otherwise and I have no problem with that (it keeps away the riffraff).  The argument is great fun.  Today it makes for good TV.  As long as the passion is true.

 

 

 

5425  The notion of Intuition in Bergson is not unrelated to that of intuitionistic logic.  And I cannot say that it is not the same as non-dualistic Vedanta.  Which leaves open the question of it not being or being that or yet again something else.  We all know the sickening feeling.  The middle should never be excluded—unless there is no such thing.  And it is certainly not not true that it is false.  It’s like looking in a mirrored mirrored, which doesn’t make it not the same, or even different, to or from or even around the truly real—or what might have been so.  And we happily go on down the road.

 

No law of the excluded middle, no double negative elimination, no reductio ad absurdum.  Just the thought that it may all have been something else entirely, something we hadn’t thought of, something from another game board with other rules.  We are so very limited.

 

Yes, the object of Bergsonian intuition is neither one not many.  Or both.  Or not both.  It is unanalyzable.  Which was the whole point.  And we can think it.  maybe.  Or just sink into it.  just as you did or tried to do with these few paragraphs.  And failed.  Or not.  Or something I missed completely.  Intuitionistic thought makes me not exactly uneasy, just not calm.  I like a prefer a purer madness.

 

 

 

5426  Ever since the Marquis de Sade made rape famous as a literary form we have been artistically overwhelmed by wrecks of abused women.  Aesthetics is today mainly a discussion of the spectacle of rape. And its aftermath.  Here is a quote from De Quincey.  It is said by some to be the most beautiful sentence in English literature.  “And her eyes if they were ever seen would be neither sweet nor subtle; no man could read their story; they would be found filled with perishing dreams and with wrecks of forgotten delirium.”

 

Today on the blogosphere there is a constant crying by the sensitive because of the abuse heaped on the family, the poor woman, her helpless children and her weakened man by the brutal hyper-masculine forces of the Capitalist Masters.  The ever-burning Sun has left no place for the gentle light of the loving moon.  It is relentless.  We choke on bile and gile.

 

I don’t know what the end of the story is except that it is to be some sort of great apocalypse.  Somehow the evil must be destroyed.  Or some other literary form will have captured our imagination.

 

 

 

5427  I’m setting out to read Greg R. Jesson’s doctoral thesis.  It should be fun because he is also sort of a fan of Gustav Bergmann.  Right away I see that he sets up a very nice conflict.  He makes a distinction between direct realism, which he likes, and naïve realism, which he says “is obviously a straw man, rightly lacking any serious advocates in the history of philosophy.  Then he cites someone named Cornman, whom I don’t know from Adam.   I am a naïve realist.

 

I think the problem goes like this.  I see a something up ahead that is potentially a nice piece.  He gets closer and closer and my eyes attempt to go up and down and around that ever more defined form.  Nice brown hair, no wait it is auburn, a shaded complexion, but soon bright and smooth, slender and light, but no, as he gets closer and nearer he has size to him, not too much, but definitely a force.  At last I see what he is; his existence has come out of half-appearing into full bloom.  I see that one object as he really is.  The philosophical problem has to do with the ontological status (OMG!) of all that half-way appearing that fell away in the heat of my insistent gaze.  Does the naïve realist find himself having to say that that is real?  If the world is as he sees it, and not just as he finally discovers it to be on examination as the fulfillment of his looking, isn’t his world overflowing with the way-too-much and the simply wrong?  The naïve realist finds himself living in more than a plethora; it’s a jungle!  Well yes, so be it.  I am overwhelmed by Being.  It swarms.

 

Dr. Jesson is much more sensible.  Nonetheless, I still don’t know what he is going to do about those half-way things that other philosophers have called sense data.  Maybe he’ll go that route also, like Reinhardt Grossmann, but I doubt it.  I’ll read on.

 

 

 

5428  I have written up more than often in these writings my complaint that other philosophers give me only foreplay and no climax.  Are other readers also as unsatisfied as I?  GRJ, in his thesis, insists that the final moment be there.  Bravo!  Finally I will have the object thrown against me.  The thing itself.  I will read on, waiting.  I do hope he comes through.  I am here in the agitation of intellectual fire, the god of intellectual anticipation, Agni.

 

Or am I being naïve?  Is my naiveté not part of the complete final thing?  All those little hesitant steps, those not-quite there, thrown under, sub-jective, waitings.  Yes, I want That, but this and this and this swarm in the very mean time of just-about.  That too.  Momentarily I am a naïve realist waiting for his direct statement of the a-letheia, the perfect nakedness.  And he oozes in my mind.  The thesis.

 

OMG, I hope he never reads this.  I repeat.

 

 

 

5429  The writing style of an academic thesis contrasts sharply with mine.  And for me to reply and even critique such a calm laying-out is difficult at best.  It is probably impossible.  Or at least there is always the very present danger of slipping into a briar.  I write up the trepidation of doing philosophy.  Or of Him doing me.  And already I am saying things that no academician could.  What comes to me in my thinking comes without my prior design on the matter.  I do not examine the topic, the subject, the victim; I am examined, victimized, subjected to his gaze after taking me to his place.  It’s a nerve-wracking eternity.  Soon I ask to leave, promising to come back soon.  He then again lies in wait.

 

Doing philosophy is a disease, an unease, a easy way into tangled love.  Not an academic anything.  But I go to the room of such a one, looking for something to steal.  At home I work it up into a fetish, called sometimes a symbol by the proper.  I don’t read this thesis but misread it.  Anything for a thrill.  Is there no dialectic that can unite us?  Is that asking too much?  There is, but only I see it.

 

 

 

5430  The nexus of exemplification joins a bare particular with a universal to make a fact.  That is Bergmann; it is also the paradigm of my philosophy.  There are other nexus and other complexes made, but the philosophical problem that follows is the same.  Namely, do such “reified” nexus exist and does the fact, the complex, exist?  A mischievous dialectic ensues.  An impossible entanglement.  A lover’s argument.

 

Is a fact a one thing?  A simple thing?  But how could a complex not be complex?  Isn’t it fundamental and irreducible and, therefore, not made?  Is it a one-many—surely an absurd ontological impossibility?  It, per force, is not a thing.  But we do think it or this un-it so very easily.  We are beyond existence itself in the Great Roundabout.  Or nowhere.  And now the nexus.

 

Bradley’s regress sets in quick.  Well, yes, we are here in the philosophical heaven, never-never land, and there is no way back.  Ontological things lie about unordered.  Even Order itself sits alone.  There’s no way to make a livable world from this mess.  Still, the stillness is nice.  Only the bright-eyed, commonsensically stupid can breathe the air here.  Philosophy isn’t.  I am a happy philosopher.

 

 

 

5431  Like Bergmann, I am a philosopher-terrorist.  Follow me into the Other.  Mystical analysis.  I push it too far.  He left his fellows far behind.  But I refuse aphasia.  He’s dead; so who knows.  I suspect he found “Peter is blond.” 

 

A difficult cutting him off at the pass.  Everything is arranged so he cannot escape.  The one thing.  Der Starke ist am maechtigsten allein.  Philosophy is trepidation.  Go there!

 

Close to the unsaying, I have found the few words.  Long explications are of time and another time.  This is the heavy plodding against the wind of eternity.  Slow reading.  The numbers begin and recede.  The perspicuous mirror to the reverse.  Treble voices.  Troubled vices.  The grip grips.

 

If you haven’t understood, it is your own fault.  Your own fault-line.  Soon your erection will shake.  And then the gentle rain.  Jesus loves you mightily.

 

 

 

5432  The whole coruscating point to prose writing, the magical art, the sublime infuriation, is to unite the very diverse into one smooth flow.  The kiss of thought.  The hiss of the nagamandala.  The nod.

 

I write pure philosophy.  The ontologically impossible one-many.  I do not pretend the non-dual.  This is war.

 

Meter guides my sentences into an ouroboros.  I am myself.  Well, no, not that at all.  You understand perfectly.  The delightful synthetic a priori dances you and me into a mangled death.  And then it suppertime.

 

Boys have detained me and now the schools are closed.  Or this is the school.  The Academy is back.  The academics are gone.  And there is no way they will escape my grasp this time.  But, don’t get me wrong; I am not a conceptualist.  I am the sweet change.  Street change from the hole in your pocket.  The spirit from the hole in your head.  We’re as good as dead.  And now dessert.  The scherzo for sacred scatterbrains.

 

 

 

5433  Ontology draws the philosopher’s attention to the difference between the particular and the universal (the circumstance) and their being drawn together by a togetherness maker (a sort of function).  Difference and unity.  The object as tension.  An almost impossible affair to speak.  That will have to do.

 

That difference, that the universal and the particular are other, is itself a something.  We can think the difference.  Should we say that they are held together by mind?  No, the mind sees the circumstance, the something of their being different.  And the mind sees the togetherness of those different things in a fact.  A fact being their being together.  It’s a simple thought, no doubt too simple to be attentive to for long.  The energy is so high.  We are here at the heart of Order itself.  Entropy, the falling into the blur, soon comes.  Only God can maintain Himself before it.  He is that!—but that is a thought that is much too difficult, so leave it.

 

What should we call that function that is only sort of a function?  Ontology, after all, is not mathematics.  How about a theological word?  I like Puck, the prick of a joint.  But maybe not.  Surely though, it is impish.  I and that and the standing around.

 

 

 

5434  Philosophy is a high tension affair.  Few can maintain their attention. 

 

Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:

 4And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.

 5And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:

 6But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

 7And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.

 8And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit …

 

The few, with their enduring inward passion for Being itself, soon leave the schools, where only the steadfast determination and good sense of the worldly clerisy find peace.

 

 11And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:

 12That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted … Mark 4

 

 

 

5435  There is a reason why I write philosophy in this mad style.  I early on studied Gustav Bergmann; I studied him intently, with the intensity of love.  At the end of his doing philosophy he came back around to where he started, to the inexpressible form of logic itself, that Wittgensteinian silence.  I had to go on.  Philosophy cannot be done at the end in any way other than the way I have been forced into.  All else is foreplay and a biding of one’s time with halfway considerations, mere practical matters.  Therefore, this very vocal aphasia.  A finger up my spine.  The imp, the boy, my joy.

 

 

 

5436  Rhythm is a marvelous notion to analyze.  The root is √sr  but also √rs – and that itself demonstrates one of the magical changes that is a part of what rhythm is.  And of course the fact that the s drops off and even changes to l in lean and incline where it becomes c.  Marvelous.  A wild jumping around.  And thus we have, I think, the root of arseno as in arsenocoitus, that troublesome word St. Paul uses and has maliciously been used to condemn homosexuality.  Jumping around – the promiscuous male.  The unfaithful one—we all know the problem.

 

Thus rhythm is a masculine jumping around.  Yes, I am guilty of that in my writing.  It sometimes makes philosophy be like a bad dream (just like love)—but, nonetheless, thrilling.  It is in fact Saintsbury’s definition of prose form—the maximum amount of metrical and phrasal and sonorous variation with the least amount of disturbance.  (Good Luck on that last part.)  In Sanskrit it is also rishi and sri.  The singer of the Vedas and, maybe, the hero, also from eros which is, Plato says, the flowing.  It all fits together so marvelously well in a wild thrill, the sweet disturbance.

 

 

 

5437  Philosophy is not science.  Science is the long arm of commonsense; philosophy is far from commonsense.  The long arm cannot reach it.  Only the twisted mind.  Philosophy is literally absurd.  It is not true.  But it is High Truth.  Still for all that, it feigns the most relaxed obviousness.  A deviousness beyond seriousness.  Come.

 

I’m reading a very nice thesis on intentionality.  It is a very difficult topic and almost impossible to grasp.  I suppose that is why so many give up and run to scientific materialism.  I and a few others have remained behind to try our hand.  Here is my take on it.  I follow Bergmann.

 

The world consists of facts.  A fact, in its most simplified schematic, is an exemplification of a Universal by a bare particular.  Some believe that all universals are exemplified, that there are no unexemplified universals.  Bergmann thought that.  I’ll run with it for now.  A thought intends or means a fact.  |F(a)| M  F(a).  That expression between the two vertical strokes is the thought of the fact.  It has the same form as the fact, but it is a simple universal to be exemplified by a particular mind.  The complete expression is analytic and therefore actual.  And since all universals are exemplified, that thought is exemplified and that fact is actual.  All things are.  All facts exist and all thoughts of those facts are exemplified and thus exist.  In God everything is.  Even the bewildered expression on the face of the commonsense, scientific person reading this.  Philosophy is mad.  I am a philosopher.

 

 

 

5438  Consider a bridge.  Consider that form, the form of Bridge, exemplified by a particular, therefore, that bridge.  The bridge is perhaps long and old and made of steel; it also exemplifies those forms.  Consider the simplest, let’s say atomic, fact—Br(a).  That fact is connected to another fact—Br(a) & Lo(a) & Ol(a) & St(a).  Just what that connection is and how dependent—on each other— the two facts are is a good philosophical question, but for now I want to insist that the two facts are independent—and separate—in spite of the presence of some connector connecting them, which makes yet a third fact.   (A) -?- (A & B & C & D)

 

That atomic fact, Br(a), applies to many, many bridges all through space and time—or it would if space and time really existed.  Therefore the thought |Br(a)| is a universal that applies to that one fact that is also so much more that just this one bridge here in our collectively one imagination.  It is mighty confusing, but mystically fun to think about.

 

So many now are pulling out Occam’s razor.  They much prefer the few ordinary bridges we have in our world and this seething jungle of philosophical things is just too much.  To each his own.

 

 

 

5439  What is the object of the philosopher’s gaze?  What does philosophy move about?  Is it a thing?  Philosophy is about philosophy.  But can we say more about what that is?  I have said it is the Boy.  It is that god.  It is God.  I am a traditionalist.  We eat and drink that thing in.  I am a sacramentalist.  That is the tradition.  The terror, the joy.  The scandal.  I cannot stop.  Jouissance. 

 

It’s a little thing.  My paragraphs quickly curl up in a ball.  One thing.  Nothing much.  Tight.

 

And then they go on and on.  They never stop.  The flow.  Who knows?  I bow before that thing, that unthing, that lithe bloom.  That crawl and awl up my back.  Side.  Ride it out of this loom.  On a loony tune.  The philosopher’s maze.

 

In the maize.  And pollen silk.  Stuck.  Have I answered your question?  Or raised his handle and caught his ear?  It’s a rout.

 

 

 

5440  I’m still reading GRJ’s thesis.  It’s a pleasure.  I get the feeling that he is not working toward a solution of his own, just evaluating what has been given so far.  I am constrained to say that for a young guy, probably no more than in his middle twenties, it is quite impressive.  I wish I could look ahead and see his own matured thoughts on this almost impossible, but for some of us very urgent, matter.  I will here say a thing or two about it.

 

As I see it an ontological analysis of dreams will find no difference at all between those objects and the objects we see when awake.  The only difference comes later when we come to understand that it was “only” a dream.

 

I see a room and I am trying to make something work.  That could be in either a dream or in wakeful life.  And strange things happen in both.  Another example: I see a room and I am trying to make something work and I know that I am dreaming.  Likewise, I see the same thing and I know that I am awake.  The only difference is that in the last two the seeing and doing is accompanied by the thought that I am awake or I am dreaming.  The difference is only in that side awareness of the quality of my act of perception.  The things of dreams exist just as much as the things of our wakeful world.  And those things exist without my mind or any mind having created them.  Even the strangeness of it all.

 

 

 

5441  Do I write philosophy or am I merely a wayward litterateur?  Scholarly writing, which is excruciatingly without any seductiveness, is like the invisible, plain God of our tradition.  It is the appearing of straight men who never want wandering eyes eying them.  Such fear of appearance over content is, I suppose, a part of the prevailing homophobia.  All cattle and no hat.  I am a philosopher and also a litterateur.  With the wayward.  Do you like our show?

 

Other than this religious reason why academia has remained so homophobic (in spite of what they say), there is the concern that they not be like the original Academy where Alcibiades and Socrates caused such worrisome trouble with the state.

 

 

 

5442  I get the feeling that GRJ is going to look for a way out of this philosophical quandary over non-existent intentional objects by avoiding altogether what he calls “philosophers’ objects”.  He has a decidedly anti-metaphysical bent; he is sort of a positivist.  He, though, would strongly disagree.  He just doesn’t like ad hoc, roll-your-eyes, weird metaphysics.  He does respect it, however, because it is, after all, the tradition.  He has, I suspect, started down the road taken by so many others away from the early Platonism of Russell and Moore toward a reductive logical atomism and, who knows, maybe the nominalism of everyday good sense—God forbid!  Even the later Bergmann is way too much for him.

 

 

 

5443  Americans are masters of Spin.  We can take any act, any statement and turn it around to mean exactly the opposite of what it at first seemed to mean.  That is true philosophy.  Deconstruction.  Which of course isn’t that at all.  That’s why I am the most traditional of all philosophers.  Here on the prairie, I sit with the boys of the Academy.  And think.  And dream.

 

Derrida is a little out of fashion right now, but the centrifugal force of the dialectic is always here.  Just what that thing is, thought, is ever a blur.  It’s hardly self-identical.  Hard?  Hegel tried to make it the high road to quiet family life.  Even the anarchists and communists after that wanted to bed down at night on the soft breast of domesticity.  Now it is Middle America and radio preachers.  My my, how things change.  Retired college professors must have their pensions.  That is the spin on the sacrifice of God to God on Golgotha.  Kierkegaard would be darkly amused.

 

 

 

5444  There is a very nice denouement about the denouement of philosophical analysis in GRJ’s thesis.  Here’s the paragraph:

 

The unique role of Husserl’s notion of “ultimate fulfillment” as a particular kind of consciousness involving acts and objects coming together with categorical perspicuity is not entirely without precedent.  Descartes’ “clear and distinct ideas,” Hume’s “vivid impressions,” Russell’s “acquaintance,” “denotation,” and “proper names,” Chisholm’s “self-presenting,” Fumerton’s “acquaintance,” Kaplan’s “vivid names,” and Kripke’s “rigid designators” are all attempts to describe how thought or language can achieve a grounded hold on some part of reality.  Husserl’s ontology of knowledge seeks to broaden the range of objects that can be secured by such a “reality hook” beyond one’s mental states.”

 

Yes, yes, yes that is the final moment of philosophical orgasm beyond the foreplay.  I have written it up and been there many, many times.  We know and we know that we know the final thing.  Some of us rush to that moment faster than others.  Boys need it bad.

 

But what is the place of foreplay in all that?  What does the philosophical analysis of philosophical analysis reveal?  Just how does foreplay work in reaching the really real and what is (OMG) its “ontological status”?

 

 

 

5445  Philosophers don’t read me because I am too literary; the literary don’t read me because I am too philosophical.  The secular don’t read me because I am too religious; the religious don’t read me because they are too secular.  I deconstruct myself at every turn.  He comes.  I write because he is the Logos and he falls into my word-trap.  Or vice versa.  I wait and weave and swerve and still I punctuate correctly.  He is my perfect timing.  And climbing up.  In tortured verses of philosophical vice.  Grip.  Burns and bites and sacred rites.  And lurid calls.  In tall order.

 

 

 

5446  Frege speaks of unsaturated entities and Husserl speaks of unfulfilled representations and logicians speak of unsatisfied rules; we are all looking for something.  Apparently it is not emptiness.

 

In all those cases it has to do with the universal joining up with the particular.  That is the most mysterious.  Kierkegaard called it the Absurd itself.  I, along with so many others, have called that joiner the nexus of exemplification.  It’s a little thing and usually overlooked or simply denied.  Mystery is eschewed.  And the lover chews his fist waiting for the eternal.

 

Too often, it seems to me, has the universal been seen as what exists, so incompletely, on the side of the mind, while the particular waits in a blur until mind comes and give it form.  It’s a love story.  But it is much more complicated than that.

 

The problem, as any pair of lovers will attest, is all those others hanging around.  There must be a place where they can be alone.  Complications destroy.  Simplicity lets the piercing light in.  So, as philosophers, we must perform the epochè.  We must build a hedge to shield us from the leering eyes.  The scientific and their shouting theories of cause and effect origins must be silenced.  To the thing itself.  And then oblivion.

 

Proper philosophy is of the schematic, the simplest form, the almost nothing at all.  And that is the flat surface of modern, anti-academic, art—surprise!  The most abstract.  That from which the masses run.  The fulfillment is the emptying.  The bare thing.  The touch.  Just that.

 

 

 

5447  In the news today there is an article about the obsessive addiction to pornography that is destroying the lives of so many men.  They write about it as thought it is something new.  It is the same, exactly the same, as the life-destroying obsessive addiction of the ritual repeating repeating repeating religious in his cell.  St. John of the Cross wrote it up in The Dark Night of the Soul.  Life is replete with such capturing acts.  The gambler, the warrior, reader, the late night physicist.  I know it well.  A god has us by the balls.  The pleasure is too great.  That is the essence of life.  It is Life.  It is surely Philosophy.

 

 

 

5448  How do we know universals?  What is there in thought that joins us up with those eternal things?  Many have said that there are no such universals, that outside the mind everything is an individual.  They have thought that universals are themselves nothing more than concepts.  It is with concepts, they theorize, that we know the particulars out there.  And that out there the individuals encountered, because they are complex, are represented in the mind by complex unities of concepts.  It seems so easy.  But then the world out there finally gives way and only mind remains—and its positing of the world.  The mind creates the world with its deposited concepts.  I run from the very idea.  What to do?

 

Universals exist out there, independent of my or anyone’s mind.  And we do know them.  We know them directly.  But how?  Through concepts as Husserl thought?  Maybe Yes, maybe No. 

 

In the Bergmannian philosophy I cling to there are thoughts that are joined with facts.  |F(a)| M F(a).  They are simple things that mirror a complex.  The mind is one and the world is many.  Such is the transcendental unity of mind.  But he never takes up the question of how we know ontological simples.  Maybe he thought we simply don’t.  Is there such an act as |F| M F  ?  Isn’t that the same thing as a concept intending a universal?  Are all universals, indeed all ontological simple things, doubled?  Like a boy and his mirror?  He is known,  He insists.  He shall be seen.  Or you don’t know boys.

 

Even in Husserl concepts, which are in the mind, are not of the mind.  They are not mind.  And that makes them strange, just like Bergmann’s.  To think of concepts as non-mental is magic.  They are the mirrored double of the universals.  I rather like the idea, but I tremble at the thought of where it might lead.

 

 

 

5449  I write about the various nexus.  And they are of course asymmetrical.   The bare particular exemplifies the universal and not the other way around.  The thought is of its object and not vice versa.  The conclusion follows from the evidence and not the converse.  And on and on—but not the reverse.  The world is out of balance.  That is to say it is ordered.  Order is asymmetry.  But can we say that asymmetry is order?  No.  Or maybe.  Judgment awaits.  We are always only halfway there.  Along the of course.  Until we are there.  And finally nowhere.

 

Order, rather mysteriously, has been defined as (a(a,b)).  It’s the usual definition in mathematics books.  I suppose it is meaningful to some, but hardly to me.  Nonetheless, I will go with it because the question of just what Order is, is a mind-breaker.  I will translate it into ordinary English as “a is different from a is different from b”.  Notice that a is mentioned twice.  Therefore a is not only separate from itself because it is in another, but it is, or course, not so.  And thus ordinary English begins to sound like atonal music, which I rather like.

 

So difference, asymmetry, and mind-breaking thoughts want to align with the usual transcendental unity of mind.  It will be a wild night in bed.  The philosopher has to get it on.  Or just go home.

 

I will try to think the difference between the bare particular and the universal it exemplifies.  Between those two things and the nexus.  Between those three simples and the complex formed.  Between difference and the sameness of self-identity itself.  It will be a load.  I will ejaculate it all over the screen.  I will make a scene and skiataphore, my desert tent.  Alone with Him.  The night is on.

 

 

 

5450  In prayer, in close contemplation, in my afternoon reverie, I close my eyes and piercing things invade my mind.  Erotic things.  Sensa.  Syncategorematic little things.  Precisely timed abstractions.  The breakings off.  I am stuck.

 

The imps of implantation.  Grafts into the flight of thought.  He is in.  These are the “vivid impressions”.  The non-mental things inside the mind that made Bergmann forget Act.  Ordinary things give way to their ontological assay and crumble.  No proposition can handle such dalliance and dilation.  Just that now in my mind, so sharp. 

 

The pugnacious things.  Pungent musky things.  Coy joy.  I am toyed with by the gods.  Existing things.  Beyond the gray individuals of ordinary life.  Bright slight things.  Slivers that shiver me.  The frozen frisson.  I see the differences clearly.  Asyncretistic. Shattered.  I am, alas, battered by analysis.  I am quick and dead.  Pure diction.

 

 

 

5451  My sentences and my dreams flow and in the flow sharp sensa pierce like deep pin pricks in the smooth skin of illicit love.  The sky is nauseatingly blue, sharp pungent rectitude.  Those same lips that have glided across the skin of my every attempt.  Sweet like carrion.  And a bruised thigh.  He is nigh.  And onyx.  And I’m on it.

 

Discontinuity within the continuity is so very ritualistic.  It is what makes the sun come up in the morning.  And at night.  And I fight with fright.  The freighters are travelling.  Without travail.  Pointless rhetoric.  A tic and a prick and a cutlass lad without a veil.

 

It all made wonderful sense at the time.  Now I can’t remember why.  Or how.  Woe and lo it’s impossible.  Dreams can’t be captured, so angelic.  Stuck like a duck in the mud.

 

 

5452  After reading GRJ’s piece about time-lag and direct realism, I get the feeling that he is not making the proper distinction between perceiving and sensing.  Also, he has that lingering nominalism he displays throughout his whole thesis.  He wonders how we can say we perceive an individual star long after it has gone out of existence.  I would interrupt with the comment that we don’t.  We never did or do perceive an individual anything.  Rather, we perceive facts.  We perceive that a bare particular exemplifies the Form Star.  There are ontologically (we are doing ontology, aren’t we?) no such things as individuals.  The world consists of facts, not of things.  Die Welt is alles, was der Fall ist.  Die Welt is die Gesamheit der Tatsachen, nicht der Dinge.  Individual things are not perceived, ever.  We perceive facts—but I repeat myself.

 

Facts are separate from the perception of facts.  Thoughts and the facts they are of are other.  Likewise, facts are in neither space nor time.  The bare particulars in facts mutually exemplify space and time relations.  Nothing is “in” time; there are no time things. As for sensa, they too are particular exemplifications of universals such as color, sound, etc.  We sense this and that exemplifying such universals; they are called sense data.  Sense data don’t exemplify the Form Star.  We can either perceive that this particular sense datum is white or we can sense it.  When we sense it we “get the feeling” that it is “in” the mind.  That “feeling of separation” is missing.  We are close, very close, to sensa.  They stick into the mind. 

 

Now then after all that, we can talk about particulars that are past, i.e. exemplify that time relation.  It’s rather complicated, but we don’t have to worry about seeing some individual that no longer exists.  And also, all talk of cause and effect chains and a physical medium is entirely beside the point.

 

 

 

5453  One of my favorite books is the Tractatus.  It’s an impossible book.  I read it in my own way.  Just as with the books of Bergmann, I interpret it in ways that the author would probably find (maybe offensively) unrecognizable.  A book, though, is much more than its author.  Especially a very good book.

 

All this has to do with Bloom’s misprision.  Usually, in a book that has become a strong force on the reader’s mind, there is something he finds terribly wrong.  I have loved those books, but they were, I suspect, in the author’s mind instruments of what I perceived as a great evil.  The same goes for the Bible and Plato.  These books pressed into me and hurt.  It was imperative that I change them.  I managed to make them my salvation by turning them inside out.  And the result was a book that spoke exactly as I wanted and needed it to speak.  I found the real truth of the writing.  Beyond the everyday understanding, there was a very obvious reality.  That is apophrasis.  The new meaning is the old truer meaning reborn.

 

What did Wittgenstein and Bergmann really mean in their writings?  They may not have ever known.  Or they may have greatly misunderstood themselves.  Did Jesus know what he was up to?  Probably not.

 

 

 

5454  One of the great themes of high literature and low cinema is that the horrors of the underworld appear in the guise of a pure, young child.  The surface is smooth and bright, but the inner-workings are twisted and dark and sickening.  In other words, man is the measure of all things, because that pretty much describes the human body.

 

It is the same with a piece of high writing.  Mouthy sounds united with twisted ink in tortured syntax on ancient words with slippery meaning in mangled brains.  But hovering over it is a shining, transcendent form of great beauty.  Always to read closely both the words and the flesh is to be disillusioned and disgusted.  Nausea.

 

So here is a fork in the road.  We can either accept the low and the hellish as the truth.  Or we can believe in the superficial and the beautiful.  One other possibility, though, does appear.  We could sit down right here and survey the scene.  We can marvel at what has happened.  Beauty and the beast.  I believe in both. 

 

 

 

5455  I wrote last time that I believe in both the beauty and the beast.  I do, but, of course, paradoxically I don’t or I can’t or Bham! there is no thought there.  There is, however, no perfect or exact or even adequate definition of paradox, so who knows?  Kierkegaard said that a thinker without paradox is like a lover without passion.  Russell et al. were so afraid of paradox and tried so very hard to get rid of paradox, and just looking at them it’s easy to believe that they were surreptitiously aiming at getting rid of love instead.  Wittgenstein, the night prowler, just declared it to be—wouldn’t you just know—unspeakable.  I say paradox is here to stay and I speak it.  Or do I?

 

We live in a world of self-referential selves and elves and entities and propensities.  It’s maddening and deadly.  Love bakes itself.    We move along happily and then suddenly we find ourselves at the extreme and things fall apart.  Philosophy cannot be done.  It fakes itself.  And falls for itself.  It’s a sorry case.  The image of our perfect God.

 

God is the perfect paradox.  God is Love.  And we must work to overcome both.  It isn’t to be.  “Man is a useless passion.”  God, the ontologically impossible, is all we really ever wanted.  I will have Him, I insist.  Beauty and love.

 

 

 

5456  Bergmann entitled one of his essays The Glory and the Misery of Wittgenstein.  He had the idea that the early Wittgenstein set out to answer the great perplexing questions of Philosophy.  He failed, but it was a glorious attempt.  Later he did succeed in answering some perplexing questions but they concerned rather trivial, everyday questions.  He miserably succeeded in little things.  And that is why Bergmann is not read today.  As Nietzsche said, people today are not interested in great things; their souls are already bruised too much.  The Wittgenstein of little things is appreciated rather comfortably.

 

Contrary to Bergmann, there are and have always been those who think the early Wittgenstein was, in fact, not really interested in great, glorious questions, but was only trying to help Russell get rid of the possibility of unwanted paradoxes in his new logic.  Any glory that is found in the Tractatus is put there by those who like Glory and are taking advantage of the schematic vagueness of the work and a few wild sentences admonishing people to shut up about glorious metaphysics.  There is Silence and then there is silence.  Is it a magnificent thing or only quotidian utility?  I suppose you will judge according to your sensibility.  I see it as Glory, but who am I to speak?  I sit alone.

 

 

 

5457  One of my favorite books is Sexual Personae by Camille Paglia.  But I do something in my philosophy that is strictly denied in that book.  In her vision all human beings finally succumb to chthonic dissolution.  The male soaring intellect, so grand in its attempt, at last fails and he falls into the clutches of the watery mass.  For her that is literature and I think she has correctly interpreted the canon; it is a pleasure, and so instructive, to read her. In my philosophy he succeeds, or does when he wants to.  She would, no doubt, have a sad, bemused half-smile on her intelligent face at my declaration.  So be it.  Few have such a want.

 

Mark 14:51-52  And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold of him: and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.

 

Mark 16:5 and 8  And entering into the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. … And they went out quickly and fled from the sepulcher; for they trembled and were amazed; neither said they anything to any man; for they were afraid.

 

The neanikos, Ό νεανικος, the youth who flees and the youth who greets them after Jesus had fled death.  It’s a powerful symbol.  This is the Boy who flees death and the world.  We catch a glimpse of him and then he’s gone.  It’s a frightening thing.  And, amazingly, he is found nowhere in art for an art critic to comment on.

 

 

 

5458  One statement leads to another and another and inevitably they start to pile up.  They become gently entangled and that hint of confusion wafts by.  Soon, very soon, the blank.  In literally no time at all.  It’s finished and something else has taken its place—whatever “it” was.  Into difference itself the scene is forgotten.  We move on.

 

Looking back you see that your friend has become mesmerized.  He stopped.  He is simply staring.  At nothing.  A daimon has him paralyzed.  But it is nothing and he snaps out of it.  That Thing never was.

 

One nice word is interstices.  Philosophical truth lives in the interstitial tissue of the spirit.  Which, of course, means nothing, but it’s a nice piece right there.  We go on and on and the blank interstitial disappearing field swallows all the racket of creation.  The blank becomes the bland of no disturbance.  Difference mitigates.  Soft soft.  Smaller than the quantum interval.  Where anything can happen, and does.  Watch out—you’re there with you self.

 

Think the difference between blue and circular.  I know you can do it because you do say that those two very ancient things are different.  There is a thought there.  Or a non-thought.  Blank.  Being swallows itself.  And you go flying.  Then oblivion falls into oblivion and we’re all right back here ready for another cup of coffee.  We wait for the water to gain its fury.

 

 

 

5459  On the one hand, I have a great love for the questions that drove the history of Logical Atomism.  What is logical form; do logical connectives exist; do we want the desert of nominalism or the cluttered room of realism?   It’s a marvelous puzzling mess.  And I make it an otherworldly excursion.  Some others ended up there rather accidentally, like Bergmann; I go there intentionally.  Our loves are different.  Which brings me to the other hand.  My writings and my musings and even my getting up and walking around are filled with boy eroticism.  Plato was right when he said that those taken with such a love are flying away to a transcendent heaven of Forms.  Those others probably didn’t intend to go there and never acknowledged that they had stepped out onto that highway.

 

On the third hand, there is my love and insistence on the sensual feel of the sentence.  Many kinds of rhythms and blanking out.  The thing of philosophy is in my throat. And down my legs.  I walk and sit and lie down philosophy.  Form is the content of my doing.  A smooth thing of feeling and even taste.  I smell philosophy.

 

Finally, on the fourth hand there is God and the gods.  I speak of them constantly.  It’s a deadly thing.  And probably the most important of the four or the reason for the others.  I aim for that.  A piercing thing.  And sweet oblivion.

 

 

 

5460  In German you can make the word Entgrenzung (undoing the boundaries) which means something like to go too far with something or to take something to the extreme, maybe the bitter end.  It could indicate fanaticism or even the final orgasm.  Victor Klemperer, here, says it is very German and I have heard it said that whatever the Germans are the Austrians are 110%.  I think it can be applied to Wittgenstein and Bergmann, two of my favorite philosophers.  And, though I am probably mostly Norman, I have a touch of all that in me. What I do with philosophy is unspeakable. 

 

I speak too much.  Like Wittgenstein I go on and on about what cannot be spoken.  That is to say, I do philosophy even though I am convinced that philosophy cannot be done.  Every philosophy collapses.  The Catastrophe.  God is the Absolute Absurd.  I am a twisted Kierkegaardian.  The love of God does not know moderation.  The boundary between Him and me must be violated.

 

Gregory Landini has shown that Wittgenstein was taking Russell’s idea of eliminativism in logic to its mystical end.   Every philosophical or ontological thing, such as particular, universal, fact, nexus, inference, and on and on, were to be replaced with talk about the mere scaffolding of logical structure, which was of itself nothing.  It was a ladder to be thrown away after one climbed up into the empty air of analysis.  Well, yes, but he went too high up.  Nothing remained, except perhaps the very trivial and banal.

 

I think most philosophers today would agree that analysis can and must be used to get rid of old, musty metaphysical, religious notions, but not to eliminate the whole world.  It should be used to safely bring people into the light of reason and logic, not to destroy logic and reason itself.  The human limits of analysis, of ontology, must be respected.  Moderation in all things.  Not that German/Austrian Entgrenzung.  But then I fear Philosophy must be made harmless and boring.  Not Wittgenstein’s will-o’-the-wisp oracular pronouncements, intellectual killings.

 

I am reminded of the explanation of why a Calvinist and an Anglican learn Greek.  The first because he wants to know exactly what the Bible says, the second because every young gentleman scholar should know a little Greek.

 

I, of course, have likewise eliminated all philosophical things from the world, the everyday world, but then I put then up in the Platonic Jungle of Extreme Realism.  Maybe opposites unite, maybe not.

 

 

 

5461  A lot has been written about just what Wittgenstein meant by saying “There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words.  They make themselves manifest.  They are what is mystical.”  Indeed, I think that what he really meant is itself one of those mystical, ever-unexpressed things.  And when we do get a vision of just what that thing is, it will still always and forever remain unexpressed.  Nonetheless, I will express that something is my philosophical sentences.  All the while, maintaining, as I always do, that philosophical statements are literally absurd.  I am a philosopher who utters the words that comes to him from out of the … whatever it is.

 

I have always loved the Tractatus.  The writing is then, of course, a different piece of writing from the one seen by someone who feels differently about that book.  It speaks of something lovely, therefore a beloved thing, and for me, because of my wayward nature, a beloved, the Beloved.  You will just have to put up with that.  It speaks of timeless, placeless things, things outside the world. 

 

It speaks of the usual things of metaphysics: universals, bare particulars, logical form, the various connectors and nexus, quantifiers, modality, deduction, fact, class, simplicity and complexity—all the great abstractions.  Do those things exist?  In the world, No.  They have all been eliminated by his manipulations of logic, a trick he probably got from Russell.  So do they exist outside the world in Transcendence?  I will give my or the philosophical answer using a philosophical statement.  Yes, they exist!  I believe in that absurdity, just as I believe in Love and Beauty and the Good, absurdities all.  So now here you are in Eternity with me.  And you better hurry back to the world fast or you will catch my disease.

 

 

 

5462  Is the philosophical Absurd an absurd idea?  Of course, but it’s easy to talk about and easy to show that it is at the heart of our love of the Sophos.  Consider that motto of Bergmann that I quote often:  “The differences among some of the several existents are very great indeed.  I, for one, would not hesitate to call them momentous, or enormous.  That, I submit, is a major source of the resistance serious ontology has always met.  For these differences are much greater than most are prepared to face.”

 

So much of modern analytic philosophy has been an attempt to devise a logic that is free of paradox.  Kierkegaard called God the Absolute Paradox.  And I have said that every philosophy eventually goes down in flames.  As does love.  Analytic philosophy never did find its magical, ideal language.  And even all speaking by the mystical positivists about what cannot be spoken has ended in blather.  So we end up in Zen pointing to emptiness.  And boredom.  What to do.

 

The flesh of Jesus was God.  Between flesh and “that which was from the beginning” there is an enormous difference.  No one can think their unity.  The most we can do is say eternity is inside some present material thing.  As mind is in the body.  But such a belief is heresy all around.  The timeless wasn’t inside the temporal flesh; it was that.  Or in ontological terms, the universal became that particular.  This is what philosophy is: the union of two categorically different things.  There are many such unitings in the philosophical zoo.  And every time, it is accomplished by a nexus, which is a most contentious thing.   The engineering is difficult and most throw it against the wall as absurd.  The Absurd.  And walk away. 

 

 

 

5463  Gregory Landini in Wittgenstein’s Apprenticeship with Russell (a mighty fine book) wrote this on page 251: 

 

“ … naturalism does little to save logic from collapsing into psychology. 
The moral of our story is that Russell’s original program of logical atomism is worth resurrection. All necessity is logical necessity. The task of philosophy is to provide the reconstructions that reveal this. But the resurrection of logical atomism requires that a concession be made to Pythagoras and Plato. Logic andknowledge of logic cannot be submitted to a naturalistic or eliminativistic analysis of any kind. Logical atomism depends on the view that logic and mathematics have nothing whatever to do with human conventions, practices, or psychology. Russell’s moderate eliminativism deserves a new beginning which returns it to its roots as a science of logical analysis. Logic is the essence of philosophy. If we attempt to answer the question as to the nature of logic and our knowledge of logic, we will travel in a loop. Knowledge of logic is presupposed in any such account. Russell’s original logical atomism avoids the loop by exempting logic and knowledge of logic from eliminativistic reconstruction. Wittgenstein unabashedly embraced the loop. The ouroboric Tractatus proclaimed that logic has no content and that there cannot be a genuine kind of knowledge (or science) of logic. Wittgenstein hoped that logic, and knowledge of logic, could be understood as scaffolding. Far from perfecting Russell’s philosophy, however, logical atomism collapses in the hands of Wittgenstein into mysticism. The wrong oracle yields the wrong philosophy and the constructions of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus were almost uniformly wrong. Logical atomism cannot survive the will-o’-the-wisp pronunciations of Russell’s well-intentioned apprentice. “

 

I wonder just what that concession to Plato and Pythagoras could be.  Are we not at the beginning of another mystical ascent?  Those of us who love the climb gleefully think Yes.  The others who want to forestall the possibility and even the thought of such a journey shout No.  It’s your choice.

 

 

 

 

5464  The Rasa-lila is thought by the devout followers of Krishna to be the sweet essence of the Hindu scriptures.  Here is the article from Wikipedia: 

 

The term, rasa meaning aesthetic/s* and lila meaning act, play or dance is a concept from Hinduism, which roughly translates to "play (lila) of asthetics (rasa)," or more broadly as "Dance of Divine Love".[2]

The rasa lila takes place one night when the gopis of Vrindavan, upon hearing the sound of Krishna's flute, sneak away from their households and families to the forest to dance with Krishna throughout the night, which Krishna supernaturally stretches to the length of one Night of Brahma, a Hindu unit of time lasting approximately 4.32 billion years. In the Krishna Bhakti traditions, the rasa-lila is considered to be one of the highest and most esoteric of Krishna's pastimes. In these traditions, romantic love between human beings in the material world is seen as merely a diminished, illusionary reflection of the soul’s original, ecstatic spiritual love for Krishna, God, in the spiritual world.

 

In the Bhagavata Purana it is stated that whoever faithfully hears or describes the Rasa lila attains Krishna's pure loving devotion (Suddha-bhakti).[3]

 

Just as a child plays at its own will with its reflection in a mirror, even so with the help of His Yogamāyā Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa sported with the Gopīs, who were like many shadows of His own form.[4]

 

(*I think a better translation of rasa is juice or sap, but it is, nonetheless, connected with feeling as is the word aesthetics.) 

 

As with so much of Hinduism, the Rasa-lila is extremely sensual.  It is maybe more than we in the West can deal with.  The Boy of my writing is not that.  Rather, he is, in the face of that, down-right abstract and intellectual.  Even the erotic with him is more of an instant at the end of analytic intensity, and then he’s gone.  He is certainly not voluptuous; nor (thankfully) does he linger for such a long, long time.  It’s good to see the difference, but what does it mean for my philosophy.  Good question.  Is it the difference between a boy and a woman, as Plato said?  Is it an ontology of simple Transcendent Forms vs. vast material extension?  I think so.  Or not.

 

Search for Rasa-lila on this blog.

 

 

 

5465  A religious mind looks at the world and sees gods; he looks beyond the world and he sees gods; he looks at his own looking and he sees gods; he is God obsessed.  He is a run-of-the-mill empiricist.  After dark, in the attic, behind old machinery.  He relishes the moment.  Left behind, he likes the taste of life.  All down along the body of existence.  A pure empiricist.  A free-wheeler.

 

Analysis breaks open objects and releases the timeless things.  It’s a matter of elegant logic, the simple a priori, the form of form.  Empty variables.  They are right there named and poking in your eye.  I contemplate logicism.  It is a thing among things, among flowers and boys and money in his hand.  I am the radical empiricist of logical entities.  As fine as the down on his cheek.  So close to silence.  Until the end.  It’s Him.

 

 

 

5466  I work within the analytic tradition of Moore, Frege, Russell and Wittgenstein. (The work “work” is a crazy word.  It makes me sound productive and valuable in a modern society.  The truth is that I lounge about like a rag.)  The problem we all worry about is what to do with the metaphysical impulse of certain humans.  In me the impulse is strong.  Thus my lack of value.  Those august thinkers tried to get rid of philosophy’s inevitable para-doxa, the side-appearing.  The collapse.  The catastrophe.  Always in the slaying Vision.  Philosophy, they thought, was only good for sighing romantics.  They were modern and out to build a scientifically engineered place for humans, not gods and their sick devotees.  I was to be left out.  Nonetheless I am still in that tradition,  …  though they would hardly agree.  I go on.

 

The question concerns what to do with logical entities or pseudo-objects.  Things like universals, facts, nexus, deduction, existence itself—do those words refer to things?  To say that they do is to fall into meaningless metaphysics.  To say they don’t is to eventually fall silent.  So is there a middle way of not going all the way?  Just as in sex, there is, but who wants it?  It may be necessary though for those who don’t want to give birth to ethereal babies of the far spirit.  Or whatever.  I go all the way.  There are no babies here, but there are timeless things that bend me back.  I fall into love.  And I have disappeared.

 

 

 

5467  Landini writes on p. 227, “Consider the following statement:  (P) The temperature of O is 98 degrees and rising.  We all know what this means—in some sense of “knowing meaning.”  But we are equally unclear what ontology its truth commits us to.  Shall we conclude that if (P) is true, the number 98 is rising?  In the hands of a naïve philosopher, the English surface grammar might inspire a metaphysics of entities that are temperatures and even numbers which rise.  The philosophy of logical analysis admonishes philosophers of this sort.  I take it that I, the naïve realist, am admonished.  Oh my.

 

Let’s suppose that the temperature of that rock out in the sun is 98 degrees F.  And now let’s suppose that a neutron bomb has gone off and all consciousness on the planet is wiped away.  Assuming there is no heat in such an explosion, is the temperature of that rock still 98 degrees F?  Yes.  Does that mean that there are such things as temperature and degrees and 98 and a rising, and their nexus in a fact?  Yes.  None of that depends on mind or language systems that come out of minds.

 

Let’s say that Temperature is a defined thing, i.e. it is a complex structure.  Then the word “temperature” is a tag, an abbreviated way of referring to that—nothing more.  Do structures, ordered relational complexities, exist?  Yes.  Is temperature one of those structures?  No.  It is, however, equivalent to that.  Now I do know that equivalence is a funny notion, but for right now I just want a nexus word to connect temperature, a simple, and a structure, a complex.  It is a hairy problem just how that would work, but I live with that beast.  As I see it, logical analysis didn’t do away with those Forms, those things, like Temperature, it only showed the structure they are connected to.  Temperature does exist, but it is a universal Form, not a particular.  And then there is the fact that it is exemplified by a bare thing, just that.  Humans are irrelevant to it all.  I will work it into the night.

 

 

 

5468  I have travelled the world.  I have shot through the sky.  I am at home in the clouds.  Bland thoughts of nothing.  The emptiness of logic and the tying untying of the forms.  A perfect bed.  Love comes easily.

 

I know the most abstract.  I have always known.  Pure spirits.  The ever again, the same, the same.  Difference differs continually.  The holding holds.  On and on.  Time is just itself.  I know; I have always known.

 

Today I read the books of philosophy’s history.  I comment.  I try not to remember too much.  It’s the same as it always was.  A slight movement across his plain chest.  Long sentences hide the absence of conflict.  The sentence was handed down long ago.  Terrifying pleasure.  The end never ends.

 

The sky expands inexorably.  And love contracts.  A pinch on my side.  It unfolds.  And grabs onto nothing.  It falls back.  The ages scroll down.  The roiling never ages.  He pinches again.  What is this all about?

 

Thoughts come and then the release.  The sky scoops me up.  I become thick.  And then the Spirit.  The jism of wafting.  Strings and pointed jabs.  On this perfect bed.

 

 

 

5469  What after all is the doing of a long sentence and the undoing of the mind but the revenge of the crepuscular markings and gashes that must carry the burden of thought.  I twitch inside and my throat muscles go on unheeded working working working until the end.  They never were really mine or anyone else’s.  I have been thoughtless.  And even now in all this blustering while the sky shines serenely I and they, we, put up with each other, but it needed be and soon we will be done with it.  My eyes hurt.

 

It’s nice outside today and I really should take a walk.  Or rather my body should.  I, obviously, will go along for the ride.  And then I will think about this and that and watch the goings-on.  No doubt, I will try to make something of it, something that will take me to the skies.  Which really are plural and, I suppose, nowhere.  Niceness impinges on me.  It’s exactly the same as it always has been and will be and who cares?  I talk to myself as I walk.

 

I am a fusion of mind and thought and sentences and the twitch.  “Fusion”, though, is a meaningless word.  We use it because we are a fussy species and we have nothing to satisfy us.  Togetherness and union and joint are just as inexact.  Nonetheless, I know exactly what I mean.  Or meant to mean, but simply lost interest in.  My body waits and I have to go.

 

 

 

5470  One of the distinctive features about my writing is that I don’t use such big words.  I am an eliminativist.  I have gotten rid of them.  This is the philosophy of John Locke, who broke every complexity up into its simpler parts; though you would never know it from the Latinate amplitude of his sentences.

 

Those against Plato and his so-called realism complain that we should stay with the ordinary individual things around us.  And then they go on and on dressing up their thoughts in the most abstruse abstractions.  Hyper-compounding.  Nasty nominalizations.  Juggernaut jargon.  Snide attempts to trip up their trembling readers.  White spiritual fog on a Sunday morning.

 

Devotees of the transcendent Forms lure you with rhythm.  The god stands right before you.  A kiss so close to your ear.  And his legerdemain.  Simple words are a trick.  For the night.  And you need it so bad.  Maybe just this once.  Disciplina intellectualis will have to wait.  This then that.  And soon it’s all over.  And it’s all over you, the unclean.  The morning light will never know.  Until the judgment and the negative blasts out of your head like frozen jism the prism of the now non-counterfactual.  Oh my!  You’ve been had.  So sweetly.

 

 

 

5471  Platonic Forms are hard things and they are separate from everyday life.  We glide through the day, around objects, into quick understanding, glancing, one thought dissolving into the next, life is ephemeral.  If you look at a typical sentence, paragraph, chapter in a philosophical day-book, nothing will arrest your eyes, there will be no place where you can stop.  It reads quickly and disappears up into a meaning that vanishes.  Then other business must be taken care of.  That nothingness is the whole point.  The reader doesn’t want to present you with things, but head-long thought.  The ghostly ride is the game.  Slippage into nothing.  The rabid rabbit.

 

I think I have written a hard thing.  Words and phrases and sentences and sections impinge the mind.  They are things.  They cling.  Meaning fuses onto it and with the black, jagged letters.   A tight togetherness.  Separate from the everyday.

 

 

 

5472  Last time I admonished a young writer for mixing up the ordinary and the magical things of his Imagination.  It’s an old story.  The young poet is in love with His Vision and he tries to find an earthly lover who will make his dreams come true.   But it’s impossible and the poor person who has to try to be that suffers.  He will have to choose.  The goddess will abide no other.  We should cover our eyes instead of watch.  It ain’t pretty.  I know the difference between a boy and the Boy, or, rather, I have learned.  Still, that gentle writer may not by the poet of my dreams and I got it all wrong.  Life and the beyond twist about.

 

 

 

5473  Analysis breaks the world up into its myriad pieces.  Floating around up in the sky all jumbled up.  Up into your mind, into the end of your dick, into night dreams.  Up and up into galloping hoards of horrible swarms and smarmy lords.  It’s pitiful.  Until the Force comes and beautiful things emerge and smoothly move in the sweet dance of love.  I yield.

 

Without the Nexus to bring it all lovingly together, we are lost and tossed about in the rumble.  Without the Nexus, I cannot write; with the nexus, I am written down with the ordering of happy thought.  I am done to.  This god has me.  Or the writing never appears.  And the world vanishes.

 

At the end of analysis there is the one most precious thing.  The One.  The lover’s cord.  The snap.  We come together.  Existence glistens.  And ferocious thought.

 

 

 

5474  All agree that the madness of the Phaedrus exists.  Few agree, today, that it can be divinely good.  Whatever high value it may have had through the centuries in art and religion and battle has all but disappeared.  That god is descending.  It remains only as a diseased psyche.  The wir is leaving us.

 

Wir in all its forms meaning masculine strength and force is now seen as destructive and evil.  It greatly hurts people.  Feminine gentleness will save us from here on.  Such is the death of God.

 

 

 

5475  Just as many, perhaps most, philosophers think of red and the sensing of red as one and the same, so many think of thought and its verbal expression as one.  In this philosophy you are reading now, they are separate.  All will probably agree that that same thought could be expressed in other languages, but that doesn’t deter anyone.  They, the many, want to emphasize that without the outward expression there would be no thought.  For us humans that may be true, but that is only, it seems to me, to be a peculiarity of this place.  Nonetheless, the thought and its expression are other.

 

So right away those other philosophers accuse me of leaving thought and expression stranded, isolated, lost, the one without the other.  The reason they say that is because they have no notion of a nexus, which is precisely the thing that unites so tightly.  A world without a nexus to bring all the ontological pieces together is no world at all.

 

Indeed, those other philosophers are so very adamantly against any and all kinds of dualism, otherness, difference, simply because they have no simple joiner in their ontological toolkit.  I suppose that without that I would think the same.  And then the high platform I have made on which I stand to see the Heights would collapse under me.

 

This is a sort of constructivist philosophy.  A boy’s erector set.  Ό Καιρος is, of course, very precise.  And my nerves are jumpy red.

 

 

 

5476  Matthew David Segall, that fascinating guy, is a believer in panpsychism.  Or panexperientialism.  Somehow all things have a “mental aspect, a unified center of experience or point of view” as Wikipedia explains it.  It’s rather vague, but then all of philosophy is rather vague, not the least of which is mine.  Let me explain it as the presence of a thing, a psyche, that is a one-many.  The many things of the world are gathered together in a simple one thing.  That is a paradox, but all philosophical things are paradoxical, and for centuries nobody has cared, certainly not I.  The Psyche is then the thing that unites the many of matter and the too-tight-unity of the Highest.  It is the mediator.  It is the bridge from pure mind to pure matter.  That has always been its historical description.  I think we can all use our philosophical imagination and understand it just fine.  In fact, the Understanding is also just such a one-many and we are stuck with it.

 

Another one-many, one that the analytic tradition has been wrestling with, is the notion of a class.  Take the Platonic Form of a Bed or whatever.  Most philosophers don’t like the idea of such Forms as existing things separate from individual things.  So then they say that the word Bed refers to the class of all particular beds.  A class is not something separate from the individual things in it; nonetheless, it is one thing.  It is not really one thing, at least not one thing in addition to all the particular beds.  It is and it isn’t one thing; it is and it isn’t the many things.  It is a one-many.  Now then, if and when the analysts can straighten out just what a class ontologically is, they will then have the key to understanding just what the Psyche is. For now, it’s easy to say “panpsychism”, but it remains a paradox, cunningly all covered up in Greek phonemes.  I prefer to see the paradox laid our bare.

 

 

 

5477  In the last few weeks I have written a number of pieces about the writings of a few young philosophers.  I have said what I thought and I haven’t expected a response.  I admire these guys.  They are impressive writers and thinkers for their young age.  The fact that I think they go astray is not important.  Philosophy is simply in essence a going the stray way.  That’s where we find new ideas.  And old ideas in new clothes.  And it’s always a simple pleasure.  If they were ever to read my writings, I’m sure they would roll their collective eyes and move on.  That makes me sort of sad, but it’s understandable.  Life is life.  And I’m not a little strange.  Or rather the god I worship is rather impish.  And that is all I ever really wanted.

 

 

 

5478  Without style the object of the writing and the writing are different.  With style the writing gains material substance and intrudes.  Then the object of a piece of writing is present in the style.  Style is a slow thickness.  The reader wants to hurry on but can’t.  No one reads the classics now because we are tired and that long walk would only increase our restlessness.

 

 

 

5479  As you can tell from the small number 430 I wrote this some time ago.  Now on reading it I would only add that the Idea or Form itself is an individual thing, in itself, separate from the individuals that exemplify it.  And it thus also has that material presence, that thickness, and we approach it erotically.  The bare this and that spreads.  Or the ideas flee into nothing.

 

430  Does God know us personally, or does he only know the abstract idea of us?  Does God know individual things or does he only know the Ideas through which the world was created?  That is to say, does God intellectually touch material existence?  Likewise, does the human mind directly know individual things, or does it only stay within its own representations of the thing?  Can the human mind get out of its own thoughts to get at the individual as it is in itself?  Or are we trapped within just our own view of things?  Is the individual, the thing itself, the other person, forever beyond the reach of our minds and God's?  That was the main question after the Summa of Thomas.  And it's the question today.  Not only can we know the individual but what it is that accounts for individuality.

 

The ideas are the things that go across minds, are open to view, are communicable.  The individual thing out there will never enter into anyone's mind.  It's closed to the mind's view.  It's absolutely non-communicable. The Ideas, the universals, are the intelligible.  The individual is non-intelligible.  It escapes intellect.  It is thus the absurd.  The artless.  Without intellect's grace.  The unknown.  The abyss.  Logic deals with the intelligible.  Philosophy tries to cross over.  Philosophy is the search for the bridge between mind and the world.  Between the universal and the individual.  Between the rational and the non-rational.  Philosophy's failure is its not accomplishing that, but staying only within ideas.  Philosophy, to be real philosophy, must encompass material existence.  It must itself have a part of the thick stupor of matter.  It must have the feel of the unintelligible.  Intellect must turn to sex.  Not just talk about it, but have it.  It mustn't hide the madness.

 

As for the jump from a feeling for absurdity and for a realm outside logic, or at least an indefinable logical entity, to identifying it with an ontological need for grounding individuality, that jump itself partakes of the non-intelligible, and is surely illegitimate.  But those jumps are the essence of philosophical proof.  Philosophy isn't logic.

 

 

 

5480  What is sex?  What is the erotic?  One of my favorite books is Gide’s The Immoralist.  It tells of an extreme, intense sexuality that the main character Michel feels he must free himself from in order to remain in the world.  Surprisingly, no sex scenes are described and we are in fact told that no sex took place with his erotic other.  Rather he places himself close to that and quietly, silently he lets the thickness of that other flow into him.  Or he would flow into it.  In any case, the boundary between him and that other was gone and he was both.  The erotic is that vanishing of boundaries between one individual and another.  But that other doesn’t have to be a person; it could just as well be a wall or the wind.  Substance oozes across.  A filling up.  In-tense.  From out of the terminal skin, the ex-treme.  Almost oblivion.  And obliteration.  So dangerous.

 

Many times overseas, I would sit in a tight, compact microbus, up against a thickness of thigh and shoulder.  I could feel his very substance in me.  Boundaries disappeared.  I was him.  The individual bare thing, away from all intellectual knowing.  Just that.  One can only do that for a short time or the addiction is victorious and you have no self left.  And your possessions dilapidate.  That is Gide’s story

 

Likewise, when I think of the cities I have travelled to, I do not remember the people I met, but I so closely know the feel of the concrete buildings, the pungent smells of the street, the push of a voice, the tiredness on my bed and the cold of the shower.  These other things were in me.  That is the eroticism of my travels and its hard work.

 

It is, I suppose a sensualism.  The difference between perception and sensing is that the perceived object is always out there at a distance, but sensa impinge the mind, invade, lie down in the awareness.  The veil, the thin outer film on the real, is gone and the sharp thing itself is in you.  Keeping it all in order is necessary or you fall.  Anxiety.  Things happen.  Being is the lover.

 

 

 

5481  When you listen to Buddhist or Hindu prayers or Muslim recitation.  Or Christian or Jewish ancient chants.  The rhythms eventually take hold of the mind and soul and body and transport it into the pure order of sound.  The meaning of the same words repeated repeated repeated drops away.  The understanding makes no sense of it.  There is only the gentle rhythm lifting you along into itself.  It is the same with literature.  It has a certain feel to it, something outside the story that you thought you were interested in, but which was as nothing.  It’s a soft vertigo.  And we worry its existence.

 

Many people like to have the radio or television quietly on while they go about other duties.  They pay no attention to what is being said; they only feel the rhythms of conversation. It is soothing.  And done with.

 

It is the same with my writings.  I have written a lot.  Mostly it is the same thing over and over again.  And if you read it for a time, you will catch the prose rhythm—or it will catch you—and you will perhaps find it pleasurable.  It is thus like literature.  Or it is that.  And you and I will wonder what was the point?  Is God in that?  It is surely like the numbing caress of love.  You and I are trapped.

 

 

 

5482  There is an argument, a gentle argument, among some of my favorite philosophers about whether or not complex universals or forms exist.  If they do certain paradoxes might ensue, but that is neither here nor there for now.  For example, if tight exists and painful exists does the combination of tight and painful exist?  If it does, it is generally agreed that it is of (watch out!) “lower ontological status”.  I want to talk about that lower status.  The question of existence may come in there somewhere or maybe not.  How should be think of that lowering?  Is it the reducing of reductionism?  Or the converse of it?

 

Here is a sentence from a book I really liked: “In Russell’s view, philosophical analysis involves supplanting one linguistic framework by another in such a way as to retain (wherever possible) the successes of the old framework, and through a reconceptualization and reconstruction reveal the sources and solutions of the philosophical conundrums the former framework generated.”  It’s a perfectly good sentence for a book on philosophical history.  It is replete with complex forms.  That is the way of scholarly thought.  It does not try to be a powerful statement, certainly not oracular as is the Tractatus, which is the topic of the book.  It does not climb up to the heights.  Or, after climbing up Wittgenstein’s Ladder, it has come back down.  We could even say it has a “lower ontological status” than the utterances of the “great minds”.  Is that reductionism?

 

Which brings me to my writing style.  Here is a typical paragraph I might write:  1511  When I read another philosopher as he attempts to lay out the ontological structure of Being, and I feel his fear of being untrue.  When I wonder if we are serving the same god, or trying to love the same, and I demure at the thought that he would not like my speaking of gods and love in what is probably his institutional view of philosophy, his public undertaking.  When I see that he is forming himself as a clear and distinct thing and I am so much in the turbidity of sex.  And I wait for myself, I lie in wait for myself, to catch and find myself out, in the night air, as I go or come back from wherever I unintentionally secretly have gone to do what I have called philosophy. 

 

 

Mine feels different.  It is not better: it just serves another purpose.  I use few complex forms, hardly any.  Simple existing things build up into just that.  Does that make it more powerful and even oracular?  Maybe.  More authoritative?  Maybe.  Maybe just more irksome and unpolished.  If it really does use existing things, it is a metaphysical existence that is of little or no value in cultivated thought.  Nonetheless, I rather like it.  I am moved greatly by those simple existing things.  And the curve of their coming together is a swoon. 

 

 

 

5483  Francis Bacon painted the violence of life and he put it all behind glass.  It is that very smooth, clear, impenetrable film that is the mark of the presence of the Real.  The liserè.  The glossy skin.  The hard liquidity. The flow.  It is the persistent.  The resistant.  I live and slowly breathe in the gleam.  The glance of this invisible. I am caught along the pubescent touch.  His torch glazes my soft clay.  Slick. The silent teeth.  The mouth.  Gorged on the elongation and the silken scent.  Distant and reflective. The glass is violent and sexy.

 

This is the ontology of the definite descriptor.  The

 

 

 

5484  Those sensitive, artistic guys of the Renaissance discovered antiquity.  That is to say they discovered the figure of Ganymede, the boy transumed to heaven.  Transcendence was to be attained through rape.  Those guys shuddered with anticipation.  By Jove, it was to be.  They would make it so.  And they set about to work it up.  We are now different because of all that commotion and agitation and lovely delectation.  Except that now magically and perhaps mistakenly heaven has been brought down to earth and chaos reigns.  They went too far.

 

From the flying up of the ancient myth to the so very present presence of Caravaggio.  The boy smiles and gleams and his come-on is too much.  We do need transcendence or we will be crushed.  Now the walk backwards.  Into the timeless, the sacrificial killing, the non-human.  Surely it is possible.  But maybe not.  The attempt.  The temptation.  It is still and it is Him.

 

 

 

5485  Here is the pressing problem you will have if you travel to a third world country.  As an American you are naturally very sentimental and your heart breaks so easily when you see all the suffering that the innocent must endure and you desperately want to help.  So you talk talk talk and you have ideas and everyone can see that you really do want to help and, moreover, you really think you can.  Your need to help is obvious.  It is like glistening oil all over you.  Like liquid money.  And those innocent ones are going to get what they can.  You are vulnerable.  You are weak.  They know it. They will bill and coo with sorrowful need, just the need you need to feel coming from another.  You are being seduced.  They know exactly what they are doing.  And you will fall.  Love will be all around. 

 

None of that means that they don’t really love you and need you.  They do.  And you do.  And they are just as sentimental as you, so they understand perfectly.  But they are anything but innocent.  You will have been had.  As well as being loved.  Everyone gets exactly what they wanted.  Even the sex card will be played.  They know exactly what they are doing.  And no one will be the worse for wear.  But you wallet will be a little lighter.  Life goes around and around.  Accept it.  It’s a lovely problem.  Helpless innocence doesn’t really exist anywhere.  Or it exists everywhere.  We are born with the knowledge of good and evil all through us.

 

 

 

5486  We have successfully sent Freud off to live with the poets.  The terror of his ideas, namely that the child is a deeply sexual being, is now stopped.  It is put with all the crimes of literature.  And the gods.  We are now humanists and we are filled with care.  Innocence must be established.  The belief in sin is the sin we now eradicate.  Everyone says so.  The darkness has past.  The subconscious is no more.  Only television.

 

 

 

5487  I read that for the Renaissance Ficino and Pico the only difference between an earthly love and heavenly love is that the latter is the thing itself and therefore not fleeting as is the soon-to-break-your-heart former thing.  The thing itself and the thing not itself.  What could that be?  I will dare to say that it is thing and fact—almost.

 

As I see it or for me, but not just for me, or you, there is a thing called Love, the universal Form, and that is exemplified by countless bare particulars. That thing as exemplified or the exemplification of that or the bare this as that Form is a fact.  It is the fact of love as a loves b.  It is easy to say and easy to say in many different ways.  And it is easy to understand.  That is to say it is easy until a closer look is taken and you are taken down by love and its ontological ways.

 

Thing vs. fact.  A fact is composed of things, namely a Form (or many Forms), a bare particular (or many) and a nexus to hold them all together in one.  Other than those things there is no further thing that is the fact.  If there were, a further more inclusive fact would have to exist to join up that to the other things and it becomes a receding swish of nothing.  A fact is, therefore, not a thing.  It seems to be a no-thing.  And if the world is composed of facts then the world is a nothing also.  Only things.  And creation never occurred.  Something is awry.  Or almost.

 

Yes, for the lover of God, the world is as nothing.  Or it is literally nothing.  But then earthly love is nothing and God is just the every day we see about us.  And it is all so fleeting.  We long for a different, timeless thing that will not ever escape our grasp.  Samsara is not nirvana. 

 

Love as the ontological thing itself and the fact of its being exemplified here and there are difference.  The difference is momentous.  We know it well.  Philosophy’s dissolving it away into a heaven will only work if we never have to come back down and go to work.  The fact of the world is the hard part for philosophy.  “It is not how things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists.”  Fact is a fact.  The ordinary escapes the high-minded.

 

My ontology simply states that fact and thing are radically, categorically different and leaves it there.  Philosophy cannot explain what is not-philosophy.  And to bring not-philosophy into philosophy is despair.  I run and grab both ways.  My loving is suddenly lifted up and I cannot explain it ontologically.  It just is.

 

 

 

5488  All the socio-political ethical mighty sentimental concerns of man are on high-flying display every-dullsucking-day in the very agitated, masticated noosphere, the clogged up blogosphere, I’m outta here without a hat the cat is the mat, quantum mechanized happy place and we’re all only slightly amused.  Stuffed full.  But I am unafraid to report that I always see something else at work, an ever-unmentioned addendum, pudendum, when I am out and about.  And I watch.

 

It is sempiternally the case that the most agitating of the flames is beauty.  Well, of course.  Work is dull until, for a moment, he is there.  But, alas, if it is more than a moment, it becomes painful.  And then, if it is still there tomorrow, the scene becomes mutinous, just as with the hanged Billy Budd.  Nothing is as upending as the beautiful boy.  I’ve seen it in the work place over and under again and again.  The girls whirl and the other rotating men and boys perk straight up and try their very hopeless best to be intelligent, witty, strong, helpful and very, very concerned, always smiling, almost beaming.  Everyone is shaken.  Beautiful young men and boys cause commotion.  That is the very heart of the socio-political, ethical doings we are immersed in.  And it always ends badly.  But no one mentions it.  The love that dare not speak its name.

 

 

 

5489  Beauty is deadly and unconcerned.  You will try to capture it and you will fail.  He will not go home with you.  Or if he does, it’s only pretence.  You know what I mean; you have been that.  There is no innocence here.  But who wanted such a paltry thing anyway?

 

I think of Rimbaud and how he had Verlaine wrapped around his—what was it?—his little finger?  The Infernal Bridegroom.  Such malign willfulness.  Just the way things have to be.  Here is the Necessity of Being.  The smooth flow.  The poisoned arrow.  And the tense bow.

 

Not to worry, I write only from the artist’s view.  Yes, it’s only art.  Art for art’s sake and all that.  Art and the social are—don’t let them tell you otherwise—at each other.  Any connection there might be are undercurrents, the undertow, you don’t know.  We are few.

 

God, the heart-ravisher, walks about among us, unmentioned.  No one dare.  In the back we stare.  He’s there.  Unbuttoned.

 

At the extreme He is the identity of wrath and love.  Honey, you do know.  Your thought has marched right up to the magic point many times and then—Bham!

 

 

 

5490  The love that dare not speak its name is named and spoken of ad inflamationem to day and night.  The lovers are scattered under every rock.  But the Lover Himself, the Grand Inquisitor, the Fiery Thumb, is, per force, shielded from every popping eye and rotating tongue.  And no one knows.  Our ancient god is an embarrassment.  The Triune Mystagogue Himself.  Saul-David-Jonathon.  The midrash has set in.  Our speaking is politic instead.

 

Wrath tamed by beauty and then jealousy.  There’s no end to it.  Speak of something else or be shunned.  Talk to your pillow.  Muffle the horrid words so you yourself cannot hear.  Sweetness itself.  Sticky globs.  Silent sobs.  Because He has you.  And there is no escape—for eternity.  So just pick yourself up and go back to work where everyone knows already and will never mention it.  No one knows.

 

 

 

5491  Alain Badiou is a philosopher whose name I have often seen, but whom I haven’t read, or read much of.  I find him boring and too too heterosexual.  Others, of course, will disagree, but there is no real disagreement here; it’s all a matter of taste and de gustibus non est disputandum, or whatever.  There is, though, one belief of his, at least according to Wikipedia, that intrigues me.  He takes up the old problem of the alignment (or some such bringing-together word) of Being with all the forms of being or individual beings.  It seems that whenever the One moves up close to the many, it ever slides off the bed of thought.  Badiou, strandely, tries to make this love affair work by saying that the One is not.  Here’s the Wikipedia entry:

 

For Badiou the problem which the Greek tradition of philosophy has faced and never satisfactorily dealt with is the problem that while beings themselves are plural, and thought in terms of multiplicity, being itself is thought to be singular; that is, it is thought in terms of the one. He proposes as the solution to this impasse the following declaration: that the one is not. This is why Badiou accords set theory (the axioms of which he refers to as the Ideas of the multiple) such stature, and refers to mathematics as the very place of ontology: Only set theory allows one to conceive a 'pure doctrine of the multiple’… .

 

I am intrigued by pure multiplicity.  I try to contemplate it.  Most philosophers have given the palm of existence to unity and unities and said that a pure collection without the least trace of unity simply doesn’t exist.  Or maybe it is the very definition of non-existence.  Absolute otherness.  What has Badiou given us here?  I really don’t know if he thinks pure multiplicity exists or not.  Probably not.  He does, however, induce all the Schwärmerei like me to get agitated trying for a vision of this non-existent unthing.  Surely the labyrinth of set theory is an image of it.  As is the vast wasteland of his prose.  Still, a simple clear vision would be refreshing and help me put an end to it.  I find that hedge around the Lake of Fay to be distressing.  The blogsters I read seem to be less ecstatic and more sanguine—but maybe not. 

 

Pure multiplicity … hmmm.  It’s the purity that is almost beautiful.  So very ethereal.  It reminds me of Mallarme.  Is this an even purer atheism, like the deeper vacuum physicists are looking for?

 

 

 

5492  I recently read and then wrote down that the secret of the Bible is the identity of wrath and love.  That is a hard saying.  Thought swirls and contorts.  But it is also rather well-known.  It is, in fact, commonsense.  And somehow obvious.  We are sitting in the ordinary.  Philosophy, with its grand, sometimes jolting statements, loses its punch.  Sapientia becomes insipid.  And we just simply have to go on into the suddenly banal.

 

 I suppose this is existentialism.  The Absurd becomes not even absurd.  Is this the final dialectic?  Your lovely lover is ordinary.  And his flesh is just sticky.  But then you feel like getting it on again.  And thought and philosophy and amazing writing slithers in all around.  It never fails.  The vapid vortex.  The peripatetics are so pedestrian and the foot swells uncontrollably.  Those who try to give up God so they can find a greater excitement fall back with Him on top of them and the passionate twisting begins again for good, for evil, forever into the sweet anon.  The glistening blandness of Being.

 

 

 

5493  Kasper Nijsen finds the Dutch word “kek” to be irksome and regurgitatious (or that’s what it would be if there were such a word). I think I understand perfectly.  He also thinks there is no hope of salvation for that word.  Maybe so.  Because Dutch is not my language and Holland is not my home, I really can’t feel what he feels for that particular word; I do, though, have the same feeling toward other bits of my world.  Why is that?

 

It’s more than mere disapproval; it’s a visceral cringe.  A sharp dirty stab.  I see no way to turn it into art.  And I suppose a world without such a thing would be less.  I can live with it and surely he can also.  But what is the cause of it?

 

The spirit contracts.  He says it is to be dealt with, if at all, by the Imagination.  Does its horribleness then lie in its being a thing apart from the Imagination?  Is its irksomeness its unimaginativeness?  What is that that is apart from the Imagination?  The irritant, the vexatious, the jag and the pike, the kek.

 

Sometimes I think people find me to be that.  Sometimes I find myself that.  I have at times been, not a clever wit, but a smart ass.  And my words drop into the insipid.  Well, we all have.  Why is that?

 

I just tried to listen to Mozart and I found his quick trills irksome.  Should I say kek?  If I understand it, yes.  Right now I really have no idea why any of this is the way it is and as for the Imagination, I can’t imagine how that would help.  I’m hopeless.  Kasper is a young man who has a great sensitivity to language; maybe, at times, it serves him ill.

 

 

 

5494  At the end of Plato’s Symposium, Alcibiades compares Socrates to Marsyas.  I’m not going to say any more to you about that last mentioned Satyr because. in this age of the Internet, you know very well how to quickly find out what you need to know.  Let me just say that Marsyas was flayed, stripped of his skin, and behold! a beautiful form appeared.  Socrates was that and maybe the rest of us who have to contend with the inevitable dilapidation of the human body can be also.  Ouch!

 

This is a Dionysian scene.  It seems that someone is always being stripped, flayed and mightily undone.  It is also Christian in that the old is cast off and the new takes its place.  Maybe in the twinkling of an eye, maybe in martyrdom, maybe in a thousand other psychologically, spiritually gruesome ways.   Life is Dionysian.  But there is hope.

 

The Apollonian arises out of the Dionysian.  Nietzsche says it must be, but he was only repeating what we have always known.  So let’s get on with it.  Then again, tomorrow may be soon enough.  Wallowing in destitution has it comforts.  Rebirth is sharp.  And the Light may be too bright.  No doubt we will have to be dragged into it.  That’s how we came into this world and it seems to be how we will get out of it into whatever is next.  And with that thought there isn’t much left to say.  He’s coming—and I’m sitting here playing with the Internet.

 

 

 

5495  I travel to third world countries and find a room where I can write.  Back here in scruffy America I tell people about my consorting with the poor, the street boys, the agonized, to whom I inevitably give money and a little help, very little.  I am praised for the good I do.  They think I have reached down and lifted someone up into life.  But, of course, that’s all colonialist twaddle.  I consort, not because I want to help, but because I am one of them.  I am an agonized gamin, imp, twilight idler, nothing more, though not as good as most of my kind are at seducing the unsuspecting into giving me money.  The prize for that goes to Jesus, lord of the back alleys and abandoned hallways, the tender touch.  Oh ho, he’ll be coming down this scary street any moment now.

 

 

 

5496  The main problem we as a world have today is that we, because of our numbers and the delicacy of our structures, are in great danger of—inadvertently—bringing IT all down in one very huge sudden piece of agony.  We must constantly be on the lookout for any little piece of extravagance.  All art, except for the childish decorative kind, must be banished.  This house of fine intellectual crystal must, it simply must, remain intact.  Or else.

 

In our long, but really very short, human history, there have been certain ways of thinking and acting that are intense and unsettling.  All art and religion for one.  We can no longer allow such things.  At least they must be marginalized, if not eliminated, and greatly humiliated.  Then ignored.  No one, absolutely no one, must be allowed to agitate.  Now only light entertainment.  Now only the phantasmagoria of television and the Internet.  Twaddle is our only needful fate.

 

So now here we are.  We will let everyone know that we are ringed about and eternally comforted.  Nothing will disturb us.  When the time comes we will be gently lowered down into the grave and sleep.  The media has no other task than this peaceful holiday parade of happiness and then nothing.  All will be well.

 

We really have no choice.  The numbers are too great; our knowledge for destruction is too great; our systems are too fragile; our bodies are too weak; our minds are too close to nervous breakdown; our crying is ever eternally close.  Please, just be still and relax.  The end is not so far away for all of us.  And then … who knows?

 

 

 

5497  Matisse, when asked, said he believed in God only when he was painting.  Also, he left his wife, more or less, when he moved to the south of France, saying that he loved his wife, but he loved painting more.  It seems that Matisse had two parts to his life: his life when he was painting and that when he wasn’t.  Likewise, the women he painted and the so-called real women he loved when he wasn’t painting were very different.  The Woman of his painting was an artistic ideal, no doubt a universal Form—hardly a real woman.  God, for him, was of the Ideal, not the everyday world.  And that is the way I think it always is.  The great argument is about whether or not the Ideal, the Really Real, world exists.  I, of course, think it does.

 

Do simple things exist or only the Great Complexity?

 

 

 

5498  At the beginning of his artistic life Matisse scandalized the art world with his hard and fast use of bold colors.  (It says so in a documentary I watched.)  He discovered sharply cut shapes and hurt the eyes of the unsuspecting.  He challenged heaven.  Now those same colors shapes have fallen far down into the most exciting, cute designs all around us.  Matisse is hip fun.  (Also from that documentary.)  The Fall is into intense commercial happiness, which we all crave.  (We used to call that being co-opted.)  Now we are all daring and modern.  We have almost remade the heaven of ideal things.  It is scandalous, I say, scandalous.

 

 

5499  Surrealism such as practiced by Salvador Dali is what Coleridge called secondary imagination.  It is wit and fancy.  And as such it belongs to the faculty of Reason, which the Enlightenment so loved.  Permutation, combination and play.  It is not dark arisings out of the subconscious, which so many say it is.

 

The opposite of Dali might be William Barrett.  Hard, still, oppressive.  It might be, but what do I know.  I don’t know art history well enough to say.  It just feels that way to me now.

 

I also think something of Andy Warhol is that subconscious religious thing.  It is like a religious Icon full of the stillness of death.  Dali is merely someone who could draw well and was at home here in the joining and disjoining of the everyday.  He is Walt Disney, a man of calculated manipulation.

 

I shouldn’t talk about such things from out of my ignorance.  I do know that philosophy is not a mere play of ideas.  It is heavy and stark and not casual conversation as is so much academic writing.  Then the boy playing is an attack.

 

 

 

5500  Walter Pater in the Conclusion (see upper right) writes, “The service of philosophy, of speculative culture, towards the human spirit, is to rouse, to startle it to a life of constant and eager observation. Every moment some form grows perfect in hand or face; some tone on the hills or the sea is choicer than the rest; some mood of passion or insight or intellectual excitement is irresistibly real and attractive to us, --for that moment only. Not the fruit of experience, but experience itself, is the end. A counted number of pulses only is given to us of a variegated, dramatic life. How may we see in them all that is to seen in them by the finest senses? How shall we pass most swiftly from point to point, and be present always at the focus where the greatest number of vital forces unite in their purest energy?”

 

He is not asking us to contemplate only the perfection at hand, but the immanent corruption of that thing by approaching disappearance and death.  For Pater, beauty is always innocence overtaken by the poignant horror of corruption.  It is an intense moment, even a moment of panic.  We feel the impulse to rush forward and protect that thing, that person.  Anger surges and panic grows.  And that is the very thing that makes the beauty beautiful.  It arrives only in death.  That is why for Plato the vision of Beauty itself is into a timelessness beyond life.  It is a radiance beyond death.  Beauty and the beast.  But the one who gazes on it is disoriented.  And he loses himself; he loses his self.  Then the very act of looking and being so still while captivated becomes itself a moment of panic and he/you come undone.  That is the aesthetic act.  That is what Beauty is.  Immanent corruption.  That is why Socrates, the corrupter of the youth of Athens, is the philo-sophos.  In him we see the terror, the enchantment.  And it is the panic of the people toward philosophy.

 

 

 

5501  Used goods and quantum collapse.  When you make an offering of a flower to Vishnu, you must not first enjoy the luscious sensual thing yourself.  If you did it would not be pure.  To know something is to corrupt it.  Being known is to be corrupted.  The Ψ-wave looked at collapses.

 

Likewise, you must not even look at a young person with an eye to beauty and therefore desire.  To look and to then know the inevitable arousal of the slightest of sexual feelings in yourself is to corrupt the child.  The most minute measurement will make the field of pure possibilities lose itself in just that one fallen thing.  Knowing is lust is destruction.  Don’t even look!

 

You will of course look and know; you can’t help it.  No one can stop it.  But it is deadly and you know that too.  So then Panic!!  Your Freudian Super-Ego rushes in and you deny it ever happened.  But it did and that secret knowledge of knowledge is down there.  You are a child-rapist.  You enjoyed the very flower that belonged to Vishnu.  You will be punished.

 

The dialectic is horrible and you cannot escape it.  That is Henry James in The Turn of the Screw and The Author of Beltraffio.

 

We exist and we are collapsing because God has looked our way.

 

 

 

5502  At the first moment of existence the bloom of perfection glistens forth.  And immediately it begins to fade. The bloom shifts into the past.  It moves among what was, the delicate dead.  It tenderly hangs just out of reach and we remain in the sadness and pang of life.  Then even the thought of it soon becomes musty.  The muse of the museum collects dust.  It is all forgotten.

 

Are these things dimly recollected the Platonic Forms?  Was the perfection really ever present, even at the first moment?  Is the Form itself the perfection without the corruption?  Does beauty need immanent corruption to be beautiful?  Is beauty always lost beauty?  I suspect that in Heaven where the perfect Forms lie still in their perfection, we blank out and then who knows?  Beyond the merely beautiful.

 

 

 

5503  Maybe at the moment of death we see intense beauty, we become disoriented, lose hold of our self, and blank out.  We have come close to that here many times, but we always caught ourselves before we were gone and then denied it ever happened.  Panic!!  The very thought is too thrilling, too intoxicating, too true to be erased.  Rapture is difficult.

 

 

 

5504  Dialectically beauty and boredom and hatred are all the same.  Well yes, dialectics, because its heart is close to contradiction, can accomplish that.  Still, those of us who are at home in dialectics, that is to say in the erring ways of madness, can see and feel it easily.  Maybe it’s the philosophical imagination.  But no, that word is overused and tired.  It is the duende.

 

Here on the prairie nothing happens.  Blue skies, yellow gravel scattered on long receding lines, cutting calamatic grass, the eternal wind.  A hand quietly goes along your and my smooth skin, around and around, the numb minutes of emptiness.  Intense luminosity.  The inclination.  Perfected lips.

 

Such beauty and boredom, the unrelenting.  Marching band cadences on an afternoon that smells like dust.   Otium otiosum, Odium.  Implacable, unflinching screaming anesthesia.  Boys reach for a sudden itch and fall asleep.  No appeal.  The beauty is too too intense.

 

 

 

5505  There are two philosophical/theological ways we can understand the so-called Free Market, the bane of the eco-movement.  Let’s, for the sake of argument, agree that the Market is sheer violence toward human wellbeing and indeed toward the wellbeing of all living things.  So, is the Market unnatural or even anti-natural?  Or is it fully in line with Darwin’s natural selection?  Is the Market, the Free Market, Nature itself in action?  Or is it the outside rapist of Nature?  The question is about the relation between Nature and Violence.  And then finally between natural Sex and the throwing, tearing, killing Machine.

 

There is a lot of talk about Harmony and living in harmony with Nature.  The classical idea was that harmony is the union of concord and discord.  Harmony is the union of peace and war.  Harmony cannot exist without violence.  Just as art cannot exist without agon and antagon. 

 

To take violence out of life, out of the market, out of philosophy/theology is to kill it.  Violence is life.  Peace is life.  The eco-movement is wrong.  But they are also right, because I have known them afterhours.  Wisdom, Sapientia, eats its lovers and finds them sweet.

 

So does that mean I am a Free Marketeer?  No, the Free Market is unbridled naturalism and I am unnatural.  In the name of another spirit, I fight nature, even Nature Herself.  But you already knew that.  While Wall Street and Gaia dance their unsightly dance.

 

 

 

5506  Last time I attempted once again to write about eco-theo-philosophy.  It’s always a mess when I try.  I think the problem is that the very idea of Gaia and Lady Nature and Sophia Creatrix and all that somehow aligned with God the Father and Jesus and even science is necessarily a twisted dialectic that simply can’t be laid out straight.  Then again no dialectic can be, so what the hell.

 

Maybe the idea is this.  In the past, in literature and in Gnosticism and everything else that came out of Greek philosophy, most notably Platonism, the material world is somehow bad or evil or fallen.  Along came the Deists and it was no longer any of that; it was just neutral stuff to be worked on by engineers.  And now that that has gotten the earth all screwed up we need a new Vision.  And that is to see the material world as, not only loving Mater or enchanting Matrix, but as beautiful goddess.  From deadly Medusa to stuff to Lovely Flower Girl.  Will this myth  work to make the world more livable?  I have no idea.  I am still back in literature and Plato, thinking, along with the Jesus and   Paul I know, that the lord, the god of this world is Satan. 

 

Theologically, I think these eco-guys are trying to say that all that seeing the material world as evil is the very essence of the old, bad religion—lies of the Devil.  Rather God made the world and it was good.  And the incarnation of the Logos showed all that the material world is filled with goodness.  Such is the message of Jesus.  Or so it is said.  I, of course, see it the old way.  I think the world is violent and rushing toward death, not because we have held the wrong beliefs, but because it really is that.  I am to be eliminated in the future redoing. 

 

 

 

5507  In the last few pieces I tried to say something about either a historical figure or a movement in thought.  I always feel wrong in doing that.  First because I don’t know that much about such things and second because I feel I am just throwing together a bunch of extraneous beings trying to make a tortured unity.  Isn’t that Gothic, another historical something, a towering forest?  Surely, that act of bringing together a lot of different things from the world in order to see how it all grows together is what young scholars are taught to do.  A bit of this and a bit of that, a quote here and a quote there, citation, citation, excerpt, a community, a living garden, a wild crawling exuberance.  It makes me itch and fidget.  I prefer a much tighter one thing.  A simple form, just that.  Compact.

 

 

 

5508  At the very heart of the writings of Gustav Bergmann is J. S. Bach.  So many different lines of argument all coming together in one great fugue.  They drive breathlessly on and on.  That is the dialectic.  And, though at the end Bergmann failed to reach the heights and collapsed, it was a majestic run and he almost did. 

 

The philosophy I write up is filled with so many things, existing things, uniting things, and I rush to reach the skies with its speed.  Sit for a moment and I will show you how it all builds and climbs and in an instant finds that sorcerering  point.  And then descends to where we can wait for another time.  You don’t have time?  That’s too bad.  I’m sure you have other complications to attend to.  I will run along the riffs alone.    And gaily slide the sure glissando.

 

Peter was and remains apophrastically blond.

 

 

 

5509  Philosophy speaks of what exists.  Thus it speaks truth.  Or at least that is the ideal.  Science does the same.  Nonetheless, it must not be overweening.  Philosophers and scientists become weenies.  It is drilled into us.  We have humbly learned to be nice to those who disagree.  Existence, Truth and the Ideal were maybe never there to be had.  Believing in them we were had.  It’s too bad.

 

Pick up any scholarly philosophy book today and it is filled with statements of proper scientifically-minded hesitation.  So many considerations to be made, so many sources to quote and acknowledge, so many nuances and nances to delineate.  The Overweeny is watching.

 

Today the Ideal is thoroughness of critical analysis, thus the killing.  No declarative statements without the addenda that you want to hedge yourself all around so as not to be taken by mistake into the camp of fools.  Your job is at the stake.  Save the final humiliation for your bedroom.

 

 

 

5510  St. John of the Cross wrote Dark Night of the Soul for those monks who, after years of sweet ritualistic obsession, could no longer feel the attraction.  For those scholars who, after so many years of glorious flights in the intellect, could no longer feel the desire to go up one more time.  He wrote it for those who no longer wanted only symbols and representations, but who needed the thing itself.  They wanted the hand of their god himself to brush the back of their neck and feel his oblivion directly.  They were lovesick and needed help.

 

Today, because of this and that, we have everywhere presented to us a very abstract God.  Moralistic, even concerned.  The unreachable real, the absconded Absolute, the only-somewhat-scary abyss.  No lover is present, no doubt because it is a revolting idea to most.  Surely, it is asserted, God, the lover-husband of Israel must not a phallic god.  Still, without a phallus, what’s the point.  And so we are left with lurid abstractions.  But the Dark Night moorishly offered that Other.

 

 

 

5511  One of the  cruelest paradoxes of life is that youth and beauty knows nothing of youth and beauty, but it is given to age and unbeauty to just that.  We are caught in the pincers of being and knowing.  Still, is it all so bad? It does make youth look to age and the unbeautiful to see itself.  Age knows beauty directly; youth knows it as in a mirror.  And I write it up and wonder if I have.  Somewhere there is recompense.

 

The twist in this thinking is that one is never so old and when one is young.  The young see life as though through the sagacious eyes of age.  They write poetry  from an old man’s knowing.

 

 

 

5512  The Death Grip

 

Stephen J. Bloom, in The Atlantic, has given us Observations from 20 Years of Iowa Life, here.  Like Camus in Summer in Algiers and The Minotaur, or the Stop in Oranhe attempts to give us a picture of life in a place where he has lived.  I think the contrast between the writings of these two authors gives us a very good idea of the problem of our time.  Bloom is a journalist and Camus is anything but.  To come to the point, today we are in the death grip of the media and the journalistic mind.  Indeed, our poets face a marginalization so extreme that most try to imitate that objective reportage

 

Bloom gives us the truth without the poetry.  I suspect he distrusts poetry.  He wants only hard truth.  So did Camus mislead us about Oran and Algeria?  What is the truth of poetry?  Is there any?  If there is, can it be for us or are we in love with the bleakest of days? 

 

I grew up on the Iowa prairie in a small town.  The intense beauty that Camus saw in Oran was also there.  I suffered under that beauty.  And I also knew the bleak days that Bloom describes.  Was he right to give only half the story?  Surely the horror he describes exists everywhere.  Is that all there really is?  Or is the Intensity and the Beauty also there?  Why do unseeing journalists, who want to give us only the hard, very hard, truth they want to see, hold us in their death grip?  The Media is immense and crushing.  We surely are letting it happen of our own free will.  The death wish has us.  Where is the escape?

 

 

 

5513  It is very common that art rises up out of a ruined life.  We have all known the devastation.  And there the simple things appear.  Without the bleak and the empty and the ineluctably boring, we cannot finally reach the treasure.  It’s too, too common.   And I suppose it must be readily visible in any work.  In the background it lies still.  To delete it indicates that the artist was unwilling to be what he is.  And he will have to fail and fall even farther.

 

Behind the Mona Lisa there is the wildness of the natural world; I suppose today he could just as truthfully have painted the horror of a modern city.  Ruin and the raw.  Or the monotony of the grassy prairie.  Small towns, abandoned and wasted, a perfect place for a newborn artist.   And the measured fields going on and on forever.  Inordinate leisure.  The boy dies.  A fissure and frisson in being. 

 

Around his waist I laid waste and lay wasted.  It’s hopeless; words dance impishly.

 

 

 

5514  We despise ethnic violence.  But it is, I suppose, natural.  A genetic type does want to preserve its line.  The need to maintain the species is overpowering.  Or so it is said by evolutionary theorists.  The genes must be passed on.  And that is then the ground of homophobia; that non-reproductive group violates the biological injunction.  The urge of nature is thwarted.

 

Why do some willfully kick against that deep goad of instinct?  The blind will of nature must move on in all of us, it seems, or we are not natural.  To fight it is countered by opposing violence.  You MUST obey.  You must reproduce your kind; it is an irresistible force.  To resist is not possible.  Or is there a super-natural element in us also that might win out?  That is the hope.  Otherwise, each of us is finally crushed and ground to dust—again.

 

I search for an escape from the Blind Will of Nature.  Just as did Schopenhauer.  I despise ethnic violence.

 

 

 

5515  The Egyptians discovered the straight line.  The perfect smoothness.  The exact distinction.  The clean cut.  In hard rock, they left it lying about on the desert floor.  But time blew along and wore it away and now we know the dust and the evening blur. Entropy increased uncontrollably.

 

Still, for all that, there is a perfection is the gray twilight evenness.  The line wears away into another smoothness.  The gliding plane of untroubled light.  Perfect order falls away into perfect order.  We ride the wave of degeneration into another youth of generation.  Entropy increases only to leave in its place its absence.  And then it advances again.  From order, disorder; from disorder, order.  Around and around in eternal perfection.  We move on and higher and nothing has ever really changed.  Only something other and again another.

 

 

 

5516  The timeless, of course, does not degenerate.  And if beauty is only the sadness of inevitable death, then the timeless is not beautiful.  The one, so perfect in his proportions, is soon to be eaten by decay.  Your heart aches.  And you yourself begin to decline.  All the while, the heavens still turn in the exact circularity of eternal circles.  The angels list.  Pain follows pain.  And it begins again.

 

Beauty and the poignancy of decay are other, but they consort, sort of.  Surely, in the timeless there is a deep sleep.  And dreams.  The Monstrum.  The strumming on iron chords.  And the turn. 

 

Why are you standing there naked?  Everyone sees you.  They knew you were going to do that.  You are not good enough to be in time; you are blocked.  And the law doesn’t apply to you.  Leave.  Heave.

 

The stark is beyond beauty.  It is the very beauty of beauty.  The hard, the freezing, the stuck.  You incline toward the deformed.  So beautifyingly sick.  You stick out.  Your kine thighs.  Throb in the holy temple.  Beauty is a headache.

 

There is no death.

 

 

 

5517  My friend hates long philosophical discussions about what exists.  With that in mind, and knowing that most share his feelings, I write short pieces.  And then I am told that they make no sense.  No, the truth is that the things I write go unread and I am told nothing; long or short it makes no difference, philosophy is a detestable thing to the many.  And that is in spite of the fact that the many like to think of themselves as truly interested in it.  I suppose it is the same with classical music and literature—people like it; they just don’t like to listen to it or read it.  Philosophy and high art are out of this world, literally so.  Or should I say they are very marginalized?  Is heaven the margin?  All is well, and nothing has changed.  Der Starke ist am maechtigsten allein.

 

 

 

5518  X in an individual living in Romania in the early part of the twentieth century.  Given that fact there are two ways to proceed.  One is to think of him as a whole person with a family and social history trying his best to make his way in a difficult world.  We are then concerned and we wonder how he will fare.  Another way is to see that individual as a bare marker exemplifying certain formal properties, an abstraction moving within a realm of operative ideas, a disjunction.  We are then not concerned and his fate is only interesting as an example.  One way is personal; the other is formal.

 

Rigorous philosophy and high art is formal.  Popular philosophy and the people’s art are personal.  The former is hard, cold, lifeless.  The latter is soft, warm, full of life.  The detestable and the loved.  My analyses are finally not of the people; and I move with the Forms in the far margins.

 

 

 

5519  Owen Barfield was taken with the ideas of Rudolf Steiner.  It seems that today many other young thinkers are also caught up in that attempt at a science of the spirit.  As such, it is aligned with the philosophers Hegel and Husserl and so many more who call and have called themselves phenomenologists.  Then, if philosophy is an act of love, as I think it is, we are here in that great German desire to make a science of love’s mysterious doing.  Science science science.  Love must be understood and above all controlled! otherwise we are its sacrificial victims.  But there is no science of that willful god and we will surely go down.

 

 

 

5520  Whatever is presented to my mind’s eye exists.  That could be called the Principle of Presentation.  Whatever is thinkable exists.  That is another way of saying the same thing.  Are there things that are not presented or thinkable?  Who knows?  Maybe.   The greater question concerns just what are the basic kinds of things that present themselves.  The answer is long and complicated, but that is the joy of thought.

 

Does the Empire State Building exist?  Yes.  Does the winged-horse Pegasus exist?  Yes.  Does the number Three exist?  How about the connector “and” or the color red or happiness and the Good or thought or democracy or heaviness and sleep or meaning and punctuation or … on and on all the way to anything and everything abstract or concrete you can think?  Yes, it all exists.  Moreover, some of those are facts (complexities) which are sometimes pervaded by Actuality (another existent) or Potentiality (yet another).  Anything you can think.  It’s all there.  But what is that thing the There?  Good question. 

 

Such is extreme Realism.  Which may also be called (why not?) extreme Empiricism.  The Boy, the There, the Intense.

 

 

 

5521  Platonic realism.  Imagine you are sitting in a restaurant and in the evening twilight you are casually watching the scene.  You notice a young man enter, a real looker, you are enchanted.  He takes a seat and waits.  Soon you see another; they greet each other.  Then another; it’s a gathering.  OMG, another comes in and they are all together.  Something is happening; the night is on.  And you, lost in contemplation, become philosophical.  Oh my, how do we assay that scene?  What is the ontological analysis?  What was really, really there?  Let me lay it out.

 

Four boys or young men or whatever you want to imagine are before you; I will call them boys because it is easier to write.  Four boys together.  And now there are three ways to ontologically look at it.  1) Realism, 2) nominalism and 3) conceptualism. 

 

1.       Four particulars with the same property of Boy.  The particulars are bare, i.e. separate from all properties.  The one property Boy is a real thing, i.e. not mental, different from the particulars that exemplify it.  And, of course, there is the intimate tie or nexus of exemplification that unites particular and property.  That property is also called a Form or a universal.

2.      Four particulars with the same property of Boy.  The particulars are not bare.  The one property Boy is only a name (nominum in Latin), a word we have learned to apply to certain things.  No need for a nexus.  Only individuals exist, not universal Forms.  (a grid of words)

3.      Four particulars with the same property Boy.  The particulars are not bare.  The one property Boy is a concept we apply to the individuals.  We abstract it away.  The nexus is perhaps “falls under”.  The four individuals fall under this one concept.  Concepts are only or merely in the mind.  Only individuals really exist.

 

Let me add that universal Forms of Realism are not in space and time, only the particulars.  It would be meaningless to say that the Form Boy is here or there and now or then.  The Form just is.

 

Historically, those are the main philosophical positions that philosophers have argued about.  Or course, 2 and 3 are the main ones you hear most people asserting, the “common sense” approach.  But that common sense approach will not hold up under logical analysis.  I will argue for 1.  But first another consideration.

 

The main question of philosophy is What is the mind, sometimes called consciousness or soul or spirit or self or awareness?  There are again three alternatives.  1) Realism  2) idealism  3) materialism.

 

1.      The mind exists, the material world exists and they are two different and independent things.  (connected by the very intimate nexus of intentionality)

2.      Only the mind really exists—the material world is an idea in the mind, i.e. dependent on it.

3.      Only the material world exists—the mental world, mind, is a brain process, i.e. dependent on matter.  Indeed, the word “mind” is just an abbreviated way of speaking about very complex chemical activity.  Consciousness, mind, as such doesn’t exist.

 

There have not been any major philosophers who were materialists.  That is mainly a philosophy for non-philosophers.  Nonetheless, it is the unthinking popular belief of today, scientific materialism.

 

I have taken Realism in both cases.  I am not a materialist because I am not looking at electrical activity on my brain—I am looking at four boys in a restaurant.  I am not an idealist because those four boys are not just ideas in my mind.  They are real and I see them.

 

I am not a nominalist because they are not the same merely because I have applied the same word to them; they are the same because they are the same.  They share the one form of Boy.  I am not a conceptualist because to say the one concept applies to them begs the question of why all the many concepts of Boy in my mind at different times and in other people’s minds are the same.  We would need a concept to unite concepts.  And that goes on ad infinitum piling up.  The Form Boy exists and it isn’t just a momentary thing in my mind.

 

Four boys walk into a restaurant and that is exactly what it is.  Four particulars and the one abstract Form.   Let the arguments begin!  Later we can discuss the existence of classes and number.  (Yes, they too exist.)

 

 

 

5522  Consider, out there in your starry mind, four boys walking into a restaurant while you dreamily watch.  That Platonically analyzes into four bare particulars and one universal Form of Boy.  Plus the number (not numeral) four and class and a whole zoo of other ontological denizens of far intellectual glory.  The world breaks up into strange other-things.  Maybe you don’t, but I find that thrilling.  And, of course, I am in love with that one Form of Boy, my maddening god, but that is neither here nor there—quite literally.

 

Now consider the philosophical schema of realism, nominalism, conceptualism.  Plus realism, idealism, materialism.  All of that is another breaking-up.  Or out.  Down into your nodding in front of that computer screen.  So many things to think about and try to manage.  Or manhandle.  Or be manhandled by.  Being has you in thrall.  It’s a trip. 

 

Philosophy is always schematical.  Broad abstractions and a twilight falling off into another place.  There your eternal lover waits.  Or are you afraid to believe the obvious.  (ob-viam is Latin for in or against the way.  He sits along the road.  Which again is neither here nor there nor anywhere in the everyday.)  The timeless and placeless and marginal things from the marshes. 

 

A conceptualist will undoubtedly respond in exasperation by telling me that all that is just "your own personal view of things", mere ideation, concepts, and nothing real.  A transcendental idealist will add that I have projected it out onto the world (or shoved it out with a little mental hand) and thus surreptitiously and even deviously created it for myself.  A materialist will just roll his eyes and wonder how anyone could be so unmodern.  All of which means that things are as I have described them.  

 

It’s 3:00 am and I’m going back to bed.

 

 

 

5523  I often mention bare particulars in my writing and I usually think that my readers will skip over it with a blank in their mind.  Those academic types who know what I am talking about mostly roll their eyes in disbelief.  I trod on.

 

Bare particulars, in my philosophy, ground the just-that-one of the thing before you.  Look about and pick out an object.  It has properties and it fits into a network of relations.  Nonetheless, none of that, no matter how they are agglutinated, will together make for just that particular one there.  Or consider yourself.  Surely a different person could have had all of your properties and he wouldn’t have been you.  You are just you, a particular beyond all properties.  That affair of being just that particular beyond all properties is the bare particular.   Surely if you enter into the stiff tumescence of the philosophical dream that you are you will understand.  The others already see you there, but in an unseeing they refuse to admit.

 

Now for some history.  Usually it was said that matter individuated the Forms.  Matter was without properties, but could take on properties.  It was originally one mass of thick, hard stuff.  Hyle.  Then sometime in the middle ages someone shattered it with the hammer of thought.  Now all those splinters without properties are maybe my bare particulars, maybe not.  You could compare it to the idea of a field in physics.  In Relativity theory, space-time is a smooth continuum, but in quantum field theory it is discrete pieces.  In both cases, it is without sensual properties.  Physics is pure geometry.  Matter and form unite in pure thought.  It’s too bad that I have to come along and bother it with my erotic dreams.

 

 

 

5524  Today, when most philosophers speak of realism, they mean representational realism and not direct realism.  I am the second and it seems to me that the first is a hopeless last-ditch attempt to overcome the idealism they have trapped themselves within.  Along with the idealists they (foolishly) admit that all the phenomena we directly experience are “in the mind”.  Color and fragrance and pain and happiness and the smoothness of fine surfaces are all “in the mind”.  The sweetness of mangos, the thrill of a secret glance, the heaviness of sorrow, the lightness of failure, nighttime joy are all “in the mind”.  It verily turns out that everything they experience is “in the mind”.  They have settled in hard with the idealists, but how to get out?  They hit upon the idea that all these feelings and knowings are impressions left on the brain by unseen tiny particles.  Electrons whirl about and, violà, love happens and they experience a day at the park.  Things “in the mind” are representatives, deputies of whirling, little, tiny particles.  And they will use that idea to ground realism.  It’s a poor ground.  It’s a philosophy on the verge of giving up.  What to do?  They should have admitted that when they looked at the face of that boy and smelled his hair, that they were really looking at the face of that boy and smelling his hair—none of it was merely “in the mind”.

 

 

 

5525  Creativity is the word on everyone’s lips today.  We will use it to get us out of this crisis in civilization.  It is loved because somehow it is supposed to rise up out of the beautiful power of the Imagination.  But no one knows for sure and no one can give a good definition of it.  We can only hope someone has it and can use it for the good.  We need it and want it … but, alas, I fear we fight it every time it appears.

 

Today what we really value is scientific precision and journalistic accuracy.  Any student who fails at either is let go.  Academia now is a sub-branch of the media and we keep a close eye out for truth and honesty.  All your papers and videos must tell it like it is.  RealityCheck will verify it.  You are bound.

 

Creativity is thus cut short.  Those who were let go walk the streets alone.  But they were the ones we needed.  Creativity is quite simply a mistake, a small error that bloomed into the newest arrival from Eternity.  When your boss or your teacher humiliates you because you screwed up and the others laugh, it is right then that you become a child of the gods.  You cannot belong to both here and that other place.  Beware of the gods; they live in the untimely times we nod into error.  Because of them you will be let go.  It has nothing to do with the Imagination.  It is the blank right before you come where everyone is watching.

 

 

 

5526  I want to say something about Stephen King.  I want to do that in spite of my never having read him, so it won’t be much, but I think, nonetheless, that I do know a thing or two about him and it will be enough.  He is, for me, a typical fantasy writer.  Fantasy, dark fantasy, is built around a something that goes bump in the night.  The central feeling is uncertainty.  Is there an everyday, scientific explanation for it or is it demonic?  Drop by drop the uncertainty increases.  Shimmering, shivering uncertainty.  What is it?  That is not what I know in life.  I know blinding certainty.

 

The central feeling in my life is overpowering sexual desire.  I am hard and fast in love.  The bright Sun of the beautiful boy has me in tight, willing bondage.  I am undone by an intense, known presence.  No nighttime bumps, no uncertainty, no questions.  I know blinding certainty.  I want That.  Not the creeping dampness.

 

Today’s shadow religion of threatening demons is meaningless to me.  Again, because I fall so powerfully into love and my sexual desire is so strong that I am driven, per force, to the old religion.  That god has me in thrall.  And all that is then a sacrificial killing—as is every true religion.  In this Eucharist of passion I finally eat the flesh and drink the blood of Him.  And I arrive.  Questions about the truth or meaning of this are laughable.  It simply is.

 

Thus I am untimely.  Uncertainty defines our time.

 

 

 

5527  Certainty and uncertainty.  So many people are angry at the fundamentalists because they seem so damn sure of their beliefs.  Religious fundamentalists, political fundamentalists, self-help fundamentalists, new-age fundamentalists, interior-decorator fundamentalists and on and on.  Everywhere there is a sure thing for someone in this age when uncertainty is so paramount.  I, in the previous entry, insisted on the certainty of my sexual cravings and the certain power of the beauty standing before me.  I crave that; therefore, that is.  Thus I am a timely one.  But I said I was the untimely.  Everyone, for sure, is angry with me because I am so damn sure of my thoughts on the matter.  They insist on me acknowledging my uncertainty.  Thus I am an untimely one.  The game of certainty/uncertainty is being played out viciously.  I’m game.  Come at me.  But, if you are beautiful like Q, I will fight myself for you so that in a great conflagration of ideas only That will come out and come again.

 

Unlike the undeconstructed deconstructionists, I do not insist that only uncertainty is certain.

 

 

 

5528  The lover never knows for sure if his beloved really loves him.  He loves me; he loves me not.  Because I am beautiful; because I am not beautiful.  Thus we consort with Eros, neither beautiful or nor, neither loved nor unloved, neither wise nor ignorant, neither rich nor poor, neither eloquent nor plain, neither present nor absent, neither healthy nor sick, neither mad nor sane, neither neither neither, always in the impossible middle of nowhere at all.  One cannot live there, but all of life occurs just there.  This is the devastating philosophical dialectic.  I operate the levers well; I am totally incompetent.  You understand me; you have understood nothing.  We move on.

 

 

 

5529  Absurdism, creativity, Platonism and journalism.  Here is a definition I found in Wikipedia, the Fountainhead of Knowledge today: “Absurdism, therefore, is a philosophical school of thought stating that the efforts of humanity to find inherent meaning will ultimately fail (and hence are absurd) because the sheer amount of information, including the vast unknown, makes certainty impossible.”  According to that definition, it is the act of looking that is absurd, because it will fail.  That is not how I see it, nor, in my opinion, is that how Kierkegaard saw it.  Maybe Camus did.  Absurdism is, rather, the act of looking for inherent meaning ( and certainty or any other grand thing) in humanity and, indeed, the world at large, and actually finding it in spite of all evidence to the contrary.  There is nothing absurd about looking for something and not finding it.  But there is about finding it even when you didn’t find it.  A Kierkegaardian type story will maybe help.

 

Let’s suppose you are in love with some guy.  He is the meaning of your life.  He is Beauty itself.  Your love is certain.  You have the thing itself.  There is nothing beyond him.  You have found the final thing.  He exists.  And in him, with him, you exist also.  But your friends come up to you day and night telling you that love has made you blind.  They constantly exhort you to open your eyes and look, look hard; there is nothing there; he is a total jerk and he is certainly no great beauty.  You tell them that you know all that, but you still see what you see and you believe beyond all seeing.  End of story.  Right there you are living the absurd.  You have become an Absurdist.  If you had given in to sound reason and plain evidence you would have been very reasonable and certainly anything but an Absurdist.  To fail to find meaning and all the other high things is not absurd.  To find it in the face of all evidence to the contrary is.

 

Next come Kafka and Sisyphus.  Every Kafkaesque character displays one and the same quality.  They persevere.  In spite of finding no understanding and meaning to what is happening to them, the simply go on.  To just keep going on in spite of it all, in spite of knowing there is no reason for it, is absurd.  It is folly.  Only the Absurdist can do it.  If you are a hard-nosed realist and you see no reason to believe in God, no evidence for His existence, no desire to follow in His immoral ways, but you believe and follow anyway, then you are an Absurdist.  And mad.  Sisyphus kept pushing that heavy rock up the hill even though he knew it would fall back and he would have to begin again.  He kept at it.  We have to turn away.

 

Now then creativity and Platonism.  If you look at the human body, you see rather quickly, if you are looking for a perfect model to draw, that we are a perpetually misshapen lot.  None of us, not one, has perfection, far from it.  The artist always has to “fix up” what he finds.  The Ideal is other.  He reaches for it.  Will he find it?  Will this line put down on paper be the magic touch and there it is!  Will the Ideal appear at last?  Or is it folly to think that such a greatly misshapen thing can ever reveal Beauty itself, no matter how “fixed up”.  To look and see Beauty will make you an Absurdist in the eyes of the many.  And you will, in truth, be just that.  But not in Truth, a transcendent thing, another absurdity.  Platonic Ideals are only for the believer in spite of.  The Absurdist.  The one shunned and let go.

 

As for journalism, that is the medium of hard truth in our time; it is where the Absurdist is shown just how wrong he is.  Journalism is far removed from the Absurd, the Ideal, the artistic search.  It is the act of giving up.

 

 

 

5530  The Cartesian dualism of thinking substance vs. extended substance gave way to the Kantian dualism of empirical world vs. creative spirit.  The versus part of that second one has mellowed now into a gentle incarnation.  The eco-philosophers have tried to overcome any antagonism between spirit and matter by means of a feminine soul or psyche.  The active spirit still acts on matter but its enjoining is softened by going through that middle, third thing that is both spirit and matter.  Or something like that; it isn’t a hard structure that spirit can grasp with reason.  Feeling and love are there.  No rigorous metaphysics.  Atmospherics and mood prevail not the cut of dialectical division.  That way the destructiveness of the current masculine, capitalist way can be mitigated.  I am uncomfortable around the whole idea, not because I think destroying the environment is the thing to do, but the suffocatingly pervasive femininity of it all is not my thing.  So I will go off by myself.  I think that will be demanded.

 

I also have something to say about the use of causality, agent and activity that seems to always be a part of that thinking; it is creativity, after all.  There is no such thing.  But that’s for next time.

 

So to whom am I writing when I write this, who will be moved by it, and why do I feel the need to write it?  I suppose I am writing to the eco-philosophers and their friends, but they will never read it.  No one will be moved by it.  And that I feel the need to write it is an empty feeling.  Still, I write.  I have written it before and I will again.  I write to the empty heavens.  I write to the emptiness.  Emptiness.  I simply write.  Jesus sits nearby unamused.  He is never amused.  He is the un-understandable, strangely erotic pointlessness of it all.  I jab and wait.  Nothing will come of it.  Emptiness.  But it is overwhelming.  And it again fills up.

 

 

 

5531  I do not use metaphors when I write.  I speak directly about what is directly before my mind.  And I suppose that is the metaphor I use to get what I want.  I’m tired of trying to rouse game with subterfuge.  I want what I want.  This and then I want just exactly That.  The thought is tough.  And tight.  And the smooth skin of the argument is mind breaking, but if you are bright enough, my dear, it is yours.

 

The Boy is my metaphor for the Boy.  He is the end of my journey.  The final thing.  Nothing exists beyond that in all of time and space or the ontological Jump.  It is impossible to get beyond the Beyond.  The Meta had no more meta.  I am at rest.  In my lover’s anxiety.

 

 

 

5532  My writing is a type of aestheticism.  I think it is—I’m not one hundred percent sure.  I do mean what I mean and that is important, but then again it is philosophy and philosophy is next to nothing.  Did you like that sentence?  For me, form is more important than content.  Or the content is in fact the form.  The form itself.  Or Form Itself.  Maybe not.  I’m dancing; do you like my dance?  Or the Boy is dancing.  If you don’t know who that is, then never mind.  I am a writer of note.  I nod and jot him down; he comes.  And I clean it up, i.e. I edit his words.  I eat his words.  Slurp.

 

 

 

5533  In my last posting, I surprised myself by landing in thoughts about the rising Aryan Forms.  I did that probably because I was writing to someone who is very much immersed in his historical setting.  He is a player in the philosophical circuit.  I often wish I could be, but it isn’t to be.  Today that rush is all about so much that has come down to us through German philosophy and that cannot be disassociated from the Vedas.  The Germans are the great Indologists.  There are many reasons why that is, but it is so.  And anyone who plays the game must play the game.  I think I have done due diligence while I have been in court as a silent watcher.  Even now Barfield and Steiner loom large.  They have, in fact, eclipsed Husserl.  I really don’t know what will come of it.  They are Schelling-esque Platonists from the Timeus, while I am a lover-manqué from the Phaedrus.  History has us throttled.  I recently wrote that the Vedas glisten with dripping sexuality, but that is probably too much to mention here … and now.

 

MDS, that ever fascinating guy, is himself the aesthetic object of Hindu interest.

 

 

 

5534  I just had a short, sweet exchange with a visionary young man.  His approach to philosophy is so very different from mine that I doubt he will find much interest in going on and I hardly know how I could speak about his vision.  The two ways are just too divergent.  Such is life.  Anyway I have no interest in saying anything critical toward him.  He has found a love there and what goes on with that is none of my business.  What he thinks of me is anybody’s guess; he never says.  So I will talk instead about the Romantic Ideal as it was envisioned by the great nineteenth poets.

 

"The rhetorician would deceive his neighbours, The sentimentalist himself; while art Is but a vision of reality. What portion in the world can the artist have Who has awakened from the common dream But dissipation and despair?"

William Butler Yeats : Ego Dominus Tuus

 

He sees something that others cannot see.  And he is left here among others who refuse to see.  His words become mangled … “I’ve gotten myself tangled up in the middle of this kind of mess before, and so I’ll admit right off the bat that I cannot be sure which comes first, the thinking or the writing.”  Who can help him?  No one.  still, he does see something and we must accept that.  I hardly know what else to say.

 

Is he romantically, erotically in love with that being in the vision?  Yes, but love is also a terror to those who suffer under it.  I suspect he at times tries hard, cold philosophical calculation to work his way through the night.  He may very well succeed.  I am speaking, of course, only generally of the old poets.  Anything else is off-limits to me.  “Death is always my own. I die alone … “  I have my own struggle with love to endure and it is vastly different so I will leave it there. 

 

 

 

5535  Matthew David Segall wrote, “ … cognition  [goes] out of the head and into the feelings of the whole body …   mind is not a disembodied rational agency located at some vanishing point behind or before the material world … mind is erotic.  Such an embodiment account of mind still makes agency a bit of a mystery in a world of creatures otherwise swimming in and so conditioned by their experience of other creatures and the outside world. We have to reach into the realm of the spiritual if we hope to find a way out of the dilemma of agency.”

 

Like so many of his continental tradition, he actually believes in mind, the rational mind, as agent.  And then after coming up with this piece of fantasy, he wonders how he can get rid of it. 

 

Being a strong believer in Platonic Forms and bare particulars as the ground of my being and indeed of the whole world, I see the mind and the whole plenum of material things as totally passive to those divine entities.  They come at me and the other naked things and we are taken over.  That is ontological grounding.  There is no such thing as a “rational agent”.  Problem solved, a way out has been found.


With Brentano and Husserl and the philosophy of the Act we were on the philosophical heights.  Then under the heavy hand of the German Will the Act transmogrified into activity and agent and now neural actants.  From the heights to the pits.  Dead weight.

 

We may yet be able to slough it off and again be naked.

 

 

 

5536  What is a thought?  Usually today’s philosophically minded thinkers think of a thought as some sort of image; they imagine a scene and suppose it is embedded in the brain.  That, of course, will not do, if you but think about it.  We are, alas, still too much under the control of the British sensualists.  How could you ever make such an image of this thought: “What is a thought?” or “That, of course, will not do.”  or “We are, alas, still too much … .”  or “How could you ever … ?” ?  You did think them right nicely I presume when you first read them and you, I feel confident, had no image in your mind/brain, or if you did it was superfluous.  I think you were even very able to understand those last three, throwaway words just as a quick, imageless thought.  You know right well what a thought is; you are that.  Therefore, if you exist, then they do.

 

Now then, thoughts come and go and repeat.  If fact, you and I often have the same thoughts, maybe not in the same sequence but quite literally the same thought, though we may have had different images associated with them.  For example, have you ever thought, “I’m sure I can still get enough tooth paste out of this tube one more time.”  That thought has been around the block a few times.  Literally the same thought, exemplified by so many different minds.  Thoughts are universals.  And they are simple—just do a little introspection and you will see that they happen in an instant and they have no parts; they are a simple one thing.  That is Kant’s Transcendental Unity.  Only the facts that they are of are complex—and, of course, their expression in words and other symbols is also.   It’s a wonder to behold.  Remember, images and words are not the thought.  Look around them and see it.  Whether you speak English or Telegu or Azeri, the thought is the same one thing.  You only need L’esprit subtil et l’esprit geometrique to capture it. 

 

 

 

5537  Here is another thought for us to analyze:  He said: My cheek is a flower in bloom, my eyes are an unsheathed, sharp sword guarding that flower from being culled.  The thought and the words can be easily separated and the thought can be then put into a different language.  In fact, that one went from Hispano-Arabic to English, well or badly, I don’t know, but I got it.  In poetry we do feel the wavering, the oscillation, back and forth between form and content, meaning and expression.   It’s a hypnotic dance.  If that back and forth doesn’t exist the poem lacks.  Still, for all that the two partners are not one.  The difference must be maintained.  Just as it is in mind and body.  I am a dancing dualist.  The monists are the two-left-footed.  The god eventually culls.

 

 

 

5538  Man as free agent.  Camus, in The Rebel, thoroughly describes for us Man’s rebellion against God as an attempt to finally gain our freedom as thinking adults and win our self-respect.  The great upsurge of the Will in European philosophy in the last few centuries has had as it great concern the glory and the happiness of Man.  No more is he to be shoved around by Nature or the Almighty.  He would carve out a place for himself.  He would look inside himself and find a free and capable being.  He would no longer be a child of incorrigible forces.  He would devise a God who left him alone to succeed or fail as he chose of his own doing.  And to that end man must be a free agent.  He is an agent, a doer, a maker in his own right.

 

There are again those now who seem to be taking away Man’s hard won freedom and power.  Scientific materialism wants to say that Man is thrown about by causes beyond him and it is hopeless to rebel.  Man seems to be on the verge of losing his value.  His esteem was just steam.  He floats on the quantum waves.  So some are fighting back, defending the very idea of free agency to the hilt of their sword.  But I think it will fail, because they are relying on an idea, that of agency, that is false.  It is also false in matter.  There is no agency, spiritual or material.  Or so I would argue.  But can man find glory in that?

 

Unlike the materialists, who want to say that Man is subject to the agency of matter. I would say that man is subject to the act of existence that is God.  Man is done and undone, not by matter, but by a Divine Being.  And so it now appears that I am back with those against whom the Rebels rebelled in the first place, the religionists.  I have put Man back under the hand of God.  Where is his self-esteem?  Has he once again lost his manhood; is he now a child again.  No, but he is being taken by a rapacious Lover.  We are in a dangerous place, liable to being crushed by an overwhelming Love.  We are not free.  And there is no power to act in our bodies.  We are taken by the Sky and we will be consumed.

 

I am well aware that others will find this not only demeaning but absurd. 

 

 

 

5539  There are two ways of looking at the world.  I think every philosophy sees that.  One way is true and the other has a bit of slippage in it.  That fall from the heights may be devastating or it may be no more than play or an ad hoc help.  I also have named it in my philosophy.  I have called it the difference between the everyday world and the Ontological.  The ordinary boy and the Boy.  The Buddhists have a greater and a lesser knowing.  The positivists have science vs. metaphysics.  And so many today have spiritual man contending with scientific materialism.  There is always a division.  A higher and a lower way.

 

I have, in the last few posts been contending with those who believe in causality and agency and the freedom of man’s spirit.  As I see it, those last things belong to the commonsense everyday way of looking at the world.  They work just fine as vital concepts in ordinary life; they may even be useful counter-balances to a too materialistic view.  But they remain only of the everyday understanding; there are no such things in the higher, ontological realm (or do you think it is lower?).  They are “ontic”, to use a Heideggerian word.  It’s the same with the conditioned arising of Buddhism; there is no such thing, but it is useful as a lesser truth that opens the way toward a greater.

 

I write the Ontological, the totally impractical, the anything-but of commonsense reality.  If you are pragmatic and out to make the world a better place to live in, ignore what I say.  I am out of here.

 

 

 

5540  The being of the world divides into the everyday and the metaphysical.  The first is full of life.  It is busy and loving and concerned.  Time’s coming and going reigns supreme.  Doorbells ring.  Difference is deferred.  The second is outside of life, still, eternal, pure geometry, subtle.  It is difference differing into itself, the One.

 

Those today who look to the spirits overhead, the cosmic aeons, our release from dead mechanism are, perhaps, trying to have it both ways.  They speak of the Platonic Forms, but only slightly and obliquely, and of the chaotic flux of the sensual, but they also have the souls, αι ψυχαι, the beings that mediate between perfect order and that terrible disorder.  Between the One and the unthinkable many, there is our succor, the living minds.  Will today’s thinkers manage to have their sweetmeat and eat it too?  I suppose they will manage as well as any philosophy has.  Every philosophy fails eventually.  That is part of life.  That is part of the eternal Order.  I have been so close.  The Boy was almost mine … and will be again.  A way out does seem to be at hand.  Or I have fallen into metaphysical madness.

 

 

 

5541  Today we hear much of the split between material nature and human culture.  There are those who work hard to preserve Culture in the face of scientific materialism.  So the question becomes that of just what Culture is.  Just for the hell of it, I will momentarily say it is that which is most egregiously exemplified by The Western Canon.  If you have read Harold Bloom, your hackles may have risen up on reading that.  Good.

 

Here is a quote for Edgar Wind in Art and Anarchy:  “If it is the highest wish of man to live undisturbed, he might be well advised to remove art from his household.”  High Culture, the Canon, is unsettling, to say the least.  It is among the first books burned in Fahrenheit 451.  Terror reigns.  I’m all in favor of preserving such a thing, as should be obvious to anyone who has read my so-called writings.  Yes, let the battle be engaged.  The outcome is certain.

 

 

 

5542  Participation has become the byword, the shibboleth into the New Order.  The catchword, the watchword, the Word itself made flesh.  And, of course, the Imagination.  But how are we to think such things?  I will first set up a foil, my philosophy, as a contrast.

 

In the foil, there are first things.  At the beginning there are the elemental ontological things.  Of course that beginning isn’t in time, time being broken apart into only time relations.  This is the ontological beginning as ultimate ground.  The foil is thus well-ordered.  A first, a second, and on and on into greater and greater complexity.  Beauty itself is at the beginning with elegance and simplicity and power.  These Things are still.  We are here in unmoving Eternity.

 

The New Order is really the New Unorder.  There, there are no first things; even God progresses out of himself to something other.  Participation is thus finally a swimming in an infinite sea of vertigo.  It is supreme otherness.  The many have waylaid all unities and hacked them to pieces.  One is always and ever IN the great rush of creation.  And it is the Imagination that accomplishes all that.  But what is the Imagination?

 

The Imagination is the Veering-off.  We live in a hopeless time; the same inadequate thing repeats and repeats.  We are headed around just that old, dead circuit one more time—unless the Imagination can help us get off.  Indeed, the Imagination is just the very stratagem of escape, of dare and evasion, the needful thing now.  Through subtle dislocation, irony, the jolt and the jostle, we slip away, we outwit, we pussyfoot it into a different bed.  Salvation is tergiversation.  We turn the backside and bolt.

 

Participation is finally the act of being within.  But within an oceanic great plurality.  The Many multiplies and opens up into giant blossoms of more and more.  Things whip.  We are become sheer deflectionists.

 

The foil, meanwhile, remains still in transcendence, untouched by the wheels of time.  The well-formed Boy, my Ideal.  The Logos.

 

 

 

5543  The Agency of Being.  The notion of agent is again popular in philosophy.  The maker, the doer, the creator, the intelligence behind the phenomena.  The bringer of orderly change.  The charioteer of the Cosmos.  The soul of passion.  The very one you are talking to and sitting near right now.  The fire.

 

The Supreme Agent is Agni.  The Agile One.  Flickering flames.  Agitation.  That is Agency itself.  There Intelligence becomes the Tongues of Spiritual Fire.  Wesley, the apostle of freewill, knew the charism, the hunger, well.  The agitated will, always going here and there, choosing, unchoosing, saved, then damned, then saved.  The Flames dance.  That is the Agent of Life.  Neti Neti.  What shall we do, where shall we stand?  The night is full of bumps and we fall.  Agni.  He rises up over us.  We are consumed and in the ashes new life sprouts. 

 

So does agent, Agni, exist?  Kind of yes, kind of no.  No, but almost.  He is Eros, the third way.  The dialectical gadfly.  He is licking you now.

 

 

 

5544  I just read the first few pages of a book on the Barfieldian/Steinerian idea of Religious Participation.  I was constantly amazed and consternated by the amount of intellectual verbiage there was.  Why does such a simple idea have to be hidden away in the bush?  Will anyone ever be able to find it in there?  Is there an ontological reason for it?  I am constrained to admit that it is probably just the Withdrawal that is so spoken of now.  Philosophers want to be left alone.  And they will market the hermetic existence they have found.  I do think the Internet will help out here. Once posted an article disappears into the ether along with all the other flapping Buddhist prayer flags signaling the gods.  This is the new religion.  A fairy temple of doom.

 

 

 

5545  A participationist, in the Barfieldian/Steinerian sense, is necessarily a representationalist.  The primary nexus, maybe their only nexus, is part-whole.  The person, the mind, the soul, his body, are parts of the Whole, even the Absolute ever moving on into a greater and greater super-creation of Itself.  And as a part the only way to know the greater is to have it reflected within itself.  Microcosm and macrocosm. “To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.”  Here is occasional causation.  One goes inward to find the greater Out There.  Images, representations mean the Absolute itself.  I suppose that is Leibniz and the monads, but it is more than that; the idea pervades our philosophical history.  It is not my way, but it is far reaching.  I have already had my say, contending with its historical power many times in my writing.  I see the things outside of me, not by means of an image of any sort, but up close in propria persona. That puts me perhaps in with the naïve realists.  So be it.  I have argument on my side.  I believe in transcendental ontological argument.  I offer the intentional nexus. 

 

 

 

5546  The Barfieldian/Steinerian participationists was to say that because we have our being within the great system of things we can affect it and bring about an unfolding, a blossoming forth of the hidden potencies to be found there.  so I will speak to that unfolding, that bringing to actuality of the possibilities.  That giving birth to the growing embryo.  Life! 

 

And then death.  The movement back into darkness.  The folding up.  The fall into potentiality.  Withdrawal.

 

Look up at the sky.  Clouds move across the sky like ancient beasts.  Like gigantic ships.  Like huge automobiles.  Some many forms can be seen if you but look.  Were those forms merely potential until you looked and actualized them?  Do you have the power of actualizing?  Or did you just come to see what was actually there all along?  Is there really such a thing as movement from potentiality to actuality?  Does the Agent intellect have the power to bring it about?    So many questions, but is there any sense to them on close inspection or are they metaphysical spirit traps?

 

Does God have the Power to Actualize?  Is that the Act of Existence being spread around?  Do we, as minor, created gods, have that power or the shadow of it.  Do we participate in it?  Metaphysics, metaphysics, metaphysics.  Call in the positivists to clean it all up!  Or not.  They are all dead and wouldn’t come anyway.  We are stuck here thinking impossible thoughts.

 

In physics today there is the Copenhagen interpretation of the quantum wave collapse.  Or there is no collapse, we just come to see the multi-verse that was actually there all along.  I usually go with the latter, but what do I know about physics?  And I envision a reality beyond time.  Everything already is.  It always has been.  Being just is.  That movement back and forth between actuality and potentiality never existed.  There is the entity called Potentiality and there is the entity called Actuality.  That is all.  The stillness enchants.

 

Intellectual armies gather against me.  An illegitimate jump out of life.  A bastard changeling. Dead.

 

 

 

5547  Why is it necessary to have a God in one’s writings?  God is the supreme principle of unity and without that all is lost.  Today’s final attempt at extreme atheism, at an intense breaking apart, is, of course, being written up in and held together by the Book, even if it is at times virtual.  Not to mention the plumbing of the university campus. I have the tightly-formed Boy and his compact paragraphs.  Or I want to.  I invite him to come.  To say he is not somewhere close is to fail at feeling love’s hunger.  I desire, therefore, he is.  He is That.  He is here.  And I contend with his words.

 

    I have a beloved, graceful and faithful,—only it would be a good thing, if he had no whims!—He is always both intimate and aloof,—though his character be friendly and joyful:—if he is just one night, he is tyrannical a whole week;—my heart is not certain as to his close union,—for in a whim he may cut it short, while he is in the best of humor.

    Here is a zagal marked as double-sided,—in the same way as worry and gold coins have two aspects;—the harga served me for a double purpose:—I have a beloved, graceful and faithful,—only it would be a good thing, if he had no whims!  [Ibn Guzman?]

 

 

 

5548  By the second law of thermodynamics we are all turning to mush.  And everything we have.  And everything we make.  And all our ideas.  And love finally dies.  Unless, of course, and just maybe, God intervenes.  God, the anti-entropic.  Your sagging face regains its elasticity and you are beautiful again, my revivified dear.  In fact, could it be, even now the whole world is running backwards inside the tiniest quantum internal.  Which may mean all sorts of unwelcome things are going to happen if it/he escapes; let’s open the door and give it a shot.  God is that which brings everything back into perfect order, just like Him—exquisite delineation!  Maybe right here.  It’s too much.  Or am I missing something?  No God, then less than flaccid soup.  A sleazy, emasculated nothing. It’s the law.

 

 

 

5549  Through a conversation I have been having with a very bright, lovely young man, I think I have figured out a relation between my philosophy and the very bad headaches I used to have.  They were probably migraine.  And also a connection between philosophy and nightmares, another old companion of mine.  I do analysis.  Analysis is the loosening up, the breaking up, in order to bring order to one’s world.  You will see that analysis isn’t, can’t be, something I do, but something I find or finds me.

 

I was in pain.  Those who know, know. How to escape?  Lie still and look right at it.  There it is.  It is all around you.  But—and here’s the magic part—you realize eventually that there in the center of that ring you have found a place separate.  The eye of the hurricane.  The pain is over there, out there, and you are just watching it as you lie there with your eyes closed, so still.  Pain and my awareness of it are two, not one.  Analysis is complete.

 

It is probably true that the brains waves of a migraine are in chaos, a sort of petit mal I think.  I do philosophy, analysis takes its place, things appear in their dividedness, order ensues. The headache does not go away, but I am away from it.  Precisely.

 

Nightmares are close to the same thing, but there is no migraine.  I wake up in horror.  I reach for the Order, the divinity of Form and thought, and once again pleasantness comes.  The fright of hard things, the chaotic dizziness is over there and I become gleeful.  Analysis, the dividing, the precise cut and then the laying out in order calms me.  And I get up.

 

There are those who say that all that dividing is just an act of the mind and it isn’t real.  Further analysis will show that that cannot be.  Precision, not dismissals.  Order and the cut.  The sharp, the real, the one thing.  “Yes, no, a straight line.”  The goal is That.  The god of Perfection.  Without that I am in a terrible place where things crowd together.  I love philosophy.

 

 

 

5550  “I am afraid we are not rid of God because we still have faith in grammar.” “Twilight of the Idols”

 

To have faith in grammar is to believe that it truthfully, accurately, precisely pictures the world.  In grammar, there is a separation between subject, predicate and copula.  All the elements stand apart from one another and there is a proper order to aligning them.  If that mirrors the world, then in the world all those separate things remain separate and ordered.  Thus universals (properties and relations) are separate but tied to the particulars (subjects ) by the nexus of exemplification (the copula).  Likewise all the other elements of grammar name real, separate things in the world.  And from there to all the hierarchies of angels ascending and descending, all the Numbers, all the Final Things of theology we merrily go.  Or one might think.  Grammar opens the door to heaven.  But if all the divisions of grammar are only mind-games, then never mind.

 

 

 

5551  In human history the occult is always out and about.  The search for the Holy Grail continues unimpeded.  The pure receptacle for the overlords.  But I am the Imp and I am ever ready to eclipse the waters.  I am the dark mongrel.  I have no powers other than absolute, infinite negativity.  The dialectic of my dick.  I trip up the one on the race to the top.  Kim sits on Zam-Aammah.  Aryan sxhmaryan.  Cannon fodder.

 

What are the occultists really after?  A pure mother?  The secret powers of death?  To kill what?  The polluter?  The Imp?  Purity purity purity—power.  There’s nothing there but abstraction. 

 

 

 

5552  The reaction against Cartesian dualism can be explained by looking at the Iliad.  That first book of our civilization is a book about Force.  Human beings are taken by it and cease to be human beings.  They become things.  One moment the joy and pain of life is present and the next there is nothing.  And the killer is as dead as the killed.  The transformation in an instant from living soul to a dead body is striking.  This beautiful book is too beautiful in its killing.  And eventually we all succumb to that.  Cartesian dualism is an image, finally, of a deathly mechanical force and the death dealing soul that moves with it in violence.  The Meditations meditate on the Iliad, the sourcebook of who we are.

 

 

 

5553  Nietzsche’s (in)famous Madman who went through the square bemoaning the death of God has been pawed at and groped and flailed by anxious intellectuals for many decades that seem like centuries and it will continue far into this spiritual night.  All magnificence is now gone.  No more serene majesty.  Power has shifted to the angry demos.  A powerless power.  The small has spread over everything.  The everyday is praised and people seek safety.  Now only clichés ooze through our art.  We have lost everything that had value, now the balm applied is endless talk of compassion.  God is dead.

 

I have engaged in God-talk page after page.  I have, however, not written with majesty and magnificence and sternness.  That is gone.  I have written up the gay boy alone in his room, dreaming of sex.  This is the gay god.  He is everywhere on the Internet.  This is the opposite of Power and nobility.  His hideaway in not a princely court.  He does not plan the destiny of man.  He is the destiny of man.  He is ubiquitous, dirty underwear and cum sock and the greasy pages of a picture book.  He is the death of the magnificent God.  That’s where we have come to.  Nietzsche was also that.

 

So why do I engage in God-talk.  I do so because Christianity is about the absurdity of the incarnation and this is that.  You must bow to your new idol.  The gay cliché.   

 

 

 

5554  A boy, an enigma-friend of mine, a real boy, writes in his room.  An archetypal scene.  He writes up “two males in solitude”.  Archetypes within archetypes.  He writes the desert, the Dasein, the place of phantasmagoria.  The eidola, cums-sheets fly in the spirit-wind.  The American dream boy. 

 

Digital pixelations.  Sizzling streams of desire.  The gods are back. 

 

No longer do those old beings want to smell the fragrance of dying corpses on the battlefield; now the stale air of the enclosed imagination hiding in an urban apartment.  The boy systematizes the ancient days into bold HD.  All down his showered leg.  The night reeks of gods.  And old fruit.

 

I am a philosopher looking for the ancient Things.  Public rituals have long gone.  No more do we wait for a demon-intoxicated enemy to burn down our houses.  The holy shriek of fighters is no longer heard.  Pestilence is held back.  We have only the ubiquitous screen and its night glow.  No matter, the gods are still here, but in different form.  The spirit is still strong lying in the boy’s imagination.  Indeed, they created the boy as a temple on the via moderna.  He is the place of sacrifice.  He is a piece of the burnished Idea.  He feels it slide in his stomach.  He smells the ancient thing on his working hand.  The night clamors with delicate lustrations.  He is the blush of being. The negligible.  The rosy wound.

 

 

 

5555  Archetypes and the Nietzschean Death of God.  A boy sits in his room and dreams of heroes and anti-heroes.  Grand beings float through his mind and around his groin.  He loves, he hates, he masturbates.  It’s is a cliché.  Soon he will be forced to turn his magnificent beings into literature.  The magical world will have finally collapsed.  He will grow up. 

 

Even now he knows the difference.  He doesn’t really believe in such things, his late-night lovers.  But should he?  Was Nietzsche really right to think the magnificence is all gone, that we killed it, that it is become mere pulp for the out-of-work?  Do the gods really now exist in their fallen popularization?  Is that only their latest transformation?  Has Loki really become a comic book character?  Was that only his most recent escape?  Is that boy in his room himself a god who has momentarily emptied himself?  Yet another Kenosis?  Will the Surge soon be not only his dick, but his very being?  Are we about to see another transformation of the gods?  Of course it is possible, anything is possible, but in the infinity of time will yet be?  Is infinity nothing?  Now we are wallowing in the dark glory of hopelessness and adulthood, but surely we won’t forever.  The dialectic turns and while he burns I write him up.  The dalliance is delicious.  And soon done.

 

 

 

5556  Early in the twentieth century there arose the philosophical question of the existence of the Meinong’s Golden Mountain.  It had been stated as a principle that the mental act of awareness and its intentional object were two and not one.  Therefore, one must wonder what the object is when we think about “non-existent” things.  It turned out to be a bugger of a question.  The only answer possible was unacceptable to the many.  And so now the question has been long dropped.  Philosophy often, maybe always, solves its most dire puzzles by walking away.  So I again ask, When we think about the Golden Mountain, what is the object?  Does that thing seen in the imaginarium somehow exist after all?  It must.  Still, it is nowhere in the world.  The world, therefore, is not all there is.  But it’s too much for those many today who are only seekers after worldly certainty, their unspeakable need,

 

What is thinkable exists.  And I suspect more besides.  Consciousness goes far beyond the everyday world.  And Being far beyond that yet untrained instrument.  So let’s visit the boy in his room, who sees the beyond and almost believes.  We must approach gingerly and in fear.  The walls are collapsing.  Right here. And now.  And everywhere.

 

 

 

5557  Sartre said that man’s passion is to find that one thing that is the unity of desire and the satisfaction of desire.  That one thing is by definition God.  There is no God; therefore, man is a useless passion.  The dialectic collapses; there is no third between desire and its satisfaction.

 

I have also said that eventually every dialectical attempt at ontological construction fails.  The crash, the collapse, the embarrassment.  I and Sartre seem to agree, but he is an atheist and I am a theist.  How can that be?  Have I made God be, not the resolution to the dialectic, but its collapse?  Has a new dialectical problem been set up here?  Yes.  We will continue our erotic argument far into this spiritual night.  This glorious catastrophe. 

 

Also I am a Platonic, Uranian lover.  Sartre, gazing at that, trying to approach an understanding of the homosexual, transformed into a perfect idiot.  What kind of strange dialectic is that?  Thus my theism.

 

 

 

5558  The Shekhina, the boy-queen, a striking beauty, looming emptiness, sensitive and proud.  Our Lady of the Flowers.  The old man.  A useless passion.  The eternal lure of the artificial.  The threatening evil of consumerism.  Overlord and the loaf warder.  Sacrificial eucharist. Going down.  A gnawing in the stomach.  Endless kisses and kisses and near misses.  Blood wine.  He’s just fine.  Too fine to see.  A giggling among the garçon fashionettes  Primp, crimp, a slight simpering.  In the celestial hierarchy, you, my dear boy, are always second.  In the ordered set, you follow.  Your very being, your essential one, is over there, giving you no mind, little money.  Your master, your desire, your tough.  The world hangs on your breath, your fierce glory, your nighttime strut.  Transcendental nothingness.  Pantokrator.  Tzevaot.  El Shaddai.  All down your smooth leg.

 

 

 

5559  The boy-queen is always an exaggeration.  Art is exaggeration.  He is art.  He is the very essence of art.  He is flash and blare and the come-buy-me of the consumer display.  He is our window onto the other world—is he evil?  He is Pop.  Primp, leggy, skimpy briefs, legal briefs, he waits. 

 

The Shekhina lives the stock-phrases in the warehouse.  The whore house.  The mass market.  Fake, false, pseudo-speedo glam.  Clammy spirit ooze.  And sweet balm, calm sighs and tender thighs.  Here laid out on a glossy codex.  Rex.  Night pumps.  He’s you.

 

The Unnatural.  Distorted, big, lips, he sips the night, rips the veil.  Evil.  Theatrical.  Hypothetical.  There’s nothing there.  The temple is gone.  He walks home alone.  No one cares. 

 

The perfect sacrifice.  Nailed down.

 

 

 

5560  Where do we find the Shekhina today?  It is that one glory that has us all in thrall.  It is the glitz and sparkle of high technology.  It is the glamour and appeal of fashion.  It is the allure of celebrity and the sudden flash from that plastic wrap in the consumer display.  The Shekhina works its magic in the mall where boys hang out and slowly gaze.  In that Super-market where the super-Vizier drops off his devastating teen stars now moving about oblivious to the sidereal desire they freeze.  The Shekhina is the artificial, the perfect one in a bottle, the jinn of eyeshade, gloss of lip and that silky skin you can purchase for only a few dinars.  And of course the high-definition, photo-shopped immaculate form.  He waits for you.  The Glory of God about to strike you down.  The Commentators comment.

 

That is the daimon of inspiration for the writer of today.  No one controls the writer except that.  Radiant light from light.  The Boy.

 

 

 

5561  Wittgenstein and Husserl are the two greatest philosophers of the twentieth century.  The former famously and stumblingly wrote:

 

6.53 The correct method in philosophy would really be the following: to say nothing except what can be said, i.e. propositions of natural science--i.e. something that has nothing to do with philosophy -- and then, whenever someone else wanted to say something metaphysical, to demonstrate to him that he had failed to give a meaning to certain signs in his propositions. Although it would not be satisfying to the other person--he would not have the feeling that we were teaching him philosophy--this method would be the only strictly correct one. 

6.54 My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.) 

7 What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.

 

What might such a meaningless philosophical statement be?  And why is it a part of such a high expression of thought?  Bergmann, who so admirably follows Wittgenstein, referring to ‘green is not a relation’ and ‘or is different from not’ wrote: “It seems that we know very well what these sentences purport to stand for.  Yet, since they stand for nothing, we can in fact not think (intend) “it”. …discrepancy, excess and the limits of thought. The latter separates what can be thought (and therefore in this world exists) from the excess….  In some cases … the discrepancy between what we seem to intend and what in fact we intend is not so large that the gap could not be bridged, phenomenologically as well as otherwise. … But there are other cases … {that] will lead us to a gap that is unbridgeable.  Or, with a twist, the excess of the ontology of logic over its phenomenology is in this world very large and of a very striking nature.  One who see that clearly cannot but be disturbed.  For he finds himself … faced with the question which, in an obvious sense, is the biggest of all.  Just remember the image of the ladder that must be thrown away.  Mathematical logic may be left to the mathematicians.  But does not what goes for the ontology of logic also go for all of ontology; and it if does, is not all ontological talk excess?”

 

It seems that ontology for the most part is not phenomenologically presented.  If I say ‘the nexus of exemplification exists and it is different from the nexus of intentionality’, I seem to be talking about what I do not “see”.  Are ontological things and ontological facts presented or not?  I have said that they are.  It seems that Bergmann and Wittgenstein and Husserl have said they aren’t.  Does it make a difference?  I contemplate Ontological Things.  What is that contemplation?  Can I make a connection between that and the Platonic Vision of transcendent Forms?  I have said that such Vision and that contemplation are the same.  Whether or not I am historically and philologically justified, I shall ignore.  I see the Forms.  Whether or not that seeing is phenomenological, I shall try to ignore; though that may not be wise.

 

 

 

5562  Can we see or “see” or in some manner or after a fashion philosophically intuit Ontological things and Ontological complexities?  Most of my friends have no idea what I am talking about.  Consider the much maligned bare particular, i.e. a particular stripped of absolutely all properties.  Few think there is such a thing, so good luck in your considering it.  Now consider the particularity of that particular, the form of particularity isolated, and that form being in or of the particular, and then the of by itself and its ofness.  Or if there is no connector purportedly named by “of” there, then the nexusless diad “consisting” of the bare particular stripped even of particularity and that form of  particularity together, without the nexus of being-together.  It’s heady going.  At least I haven’t taken you all the way into the Hindu philosophy of Navya Nyaya, where they talk about the form of being the form of particularity—particulatityity.  Or nexuslessness.  Or nexuslessness-ness.  Now for universals.

 

Consider the universal Boy Pink.  It is one particular universal among many, thus it is “internally” a combination of the nature of bPink, maybe the bpinkness of bPink itself, plus something to make it that particular universal, Bergmann calls it the item.  And then there is the itemness of the item and on and on into finer and finer divisions.  And I see or intuitively know that I have left almost all of my imagined readers feeling like they want to read something else or laugh or thank God that they are not so strange.  Ontological things, not to mention ontological complexities, exist—or not.  Some can see them; others can’t.  Jesus said:  “ …Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, … .”

 

Only the initiated see.  That is to say only the philosophically mad.  I am that.  The Boy is present.

 

 

 

 5563  A very bright, young Internet friend of mine writes about “a dreamy-eyed youth unknowingly walking over an abyss”.  He calls him the Trickster and The fool.  Let’s say he is walking over Tehom, the Semitic Deep.  Is he secretly in love with the abyss or should he be afraid, very afraid?  According to modern process theologians, the Tehomophilians, he should be in love with that, the Unfathomable Matrix.  Magna Mater Aliena.  Well, why not?  Boys can escape from anything with their supple Imagination—if things go awry.

 

I fear that thing.  So let me here give a little philosophy lesson.  I look about my room: I see my bed, my chair, my Winter coat hanging in the closet.  I hear a train go by in the distance.  One of my favorite composers in on the radio.  I smell my coffee.  In other words I recognize things.  And I imagine what it would be like to have my new neighbor, the cute one, come visit me.  I know the difference between reality and imagination.  Now let’s suppose we are struck by the neurological disorder that Oliver Sacks so poignantly described, a disorder in greater or lesser forms that is not as uncommon as you might imagine.  When that strikes you lose the ability to recognize what things are and music becomes a pile of very irritating noise and you cannot distinguish between reality and imagination.  It must be sheer horror to the one struck.  That is the abyss as I imagine it.  Boys usually wanting to get “all fucked up” and laugh will taste it.  But they soon come down and it is a mild form of the abyss.  Though not always.  My sister, a nurse, has worked with young people who, for one reason or another, can’t seem to come down.  I don’t like to think about it.  My nightmares, which I can chase away, are bad enough.  The Abyss is terrifying to me.  Is that the great Matrix, or have I misunderstood?  I have perhaps started out from a darker beginning.

 

 

 

5564  Last time I spoke against the plan of the new process theologians to learn to love Tehom, the abyss, the deep, the watery entanglement.  I confessed my great fear of that Thing.  But I in no way wanted to imply that I could think it out of existence.  The world is not merely an idea of mine.  The world, including Tehom, is very, very real.  Tehom really is there.  It is the Dionysian ground that Nietzsche said necessarily preceded the Apollonian.  And as a writer dependent on the daimon, the duende, the jinn, I know that I must walk its profound confusion to find that δεινον, the holy flesh I will eat in awful solitude.

 

The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.  Well, of course it is.  We are in a dangerous place.  One misstep and we are completely undone.  Objects are real and a fact is a brute fact.  Sinking down in the cold deep is pure fright.  No philosophizing can prove its non-existence.  But there are other things that help.  And the Apollonian is not only its skin.

 

 

 

5565  Bergmann, in his last book, tries to lay bare the ontology of analyticity. Here is a statement that is analytically true: (A → B) ↔ (~B → ~A)  (If it is the case that if A then B then it is the case that if not-B then not-A, and vice versa.).   It is necessarily true.  And we “see” that necessity.  Those who refuse to see are whistling into a very dark night.

 

Just how he unties that ontological knot is not my concern here.  Believe me it is complicated, so complicated that almost all his readers throw the book at the wall.  I rather enjoy reading through that great entangled disentangling.  But I am more than a little bored.  He speaks a lot about transparence and illumination.  That somewhat puts him on the side of Augustine and Malebranche, but not quite.  For some reason I cannot fathom, he puts the ground for that in the mind.  He makes the statement’s being evident be a property of thought, much as perceiving and remembering are.  No doubt he has his dialectical reasons that are not evident yet to me, but which will become luminous eventually.  Or maybe not.  Maybe he is simply trying to avoid the religion that goes with the ground being “out there”.  Or he doesn’t want to adopt the necessary megalomania that goes with knowing and knowing that one knows.  He settles for not being able to doubt or imagine things otherwise.  I think he is barely skirting idealism, his bête noir. 

 

Therefore, I put the ground of analyticity “out there”.  The Light shineth in the darkness and that we comprehend it perfectly is a great mystery.  But, hey, there the sucker is. 

 

 

 

5566  Coleridge and even the post-modern Freudians divide the things of the mind into thought and unthought.  Discursive analysis and the queer logic of deep feeling.  Secondary imagination yielding to Primary pagination.  Surface appearance and the under-structures.  Merely the ordinary and the strange.  Collating with which, I have everyday things and ontological things—is that the same division? 

 

The first things are not a little unsettling.  The wind of interdicted sexuality and the cramped rosette. Thick and comfortable and detached.  All of which may be the feelings I have about doing philosophy.  Analysis may, in the end, be an anal thing.  I write in that chummy fashion.  Close and epigrammatic.  A cloying thing in the boot.  Just that.

 

The Forms are too minimal to be politic.  They stand in the off-places.  The mind fairly sinks thinking about them.  Almost nothing.  He merely reaches out to touch and oblivion.  You know it very well.  The deep well.  You must save the boy or else.  Or else you’re dead.

 

Or so I imagine.  There is only the secondary imagination; the rest is leavings.

 

 

 

5567  I have always loved a sentence such as this: The weeds are silently pushing up through the dirt.  There is plenty of room there for interpretation.  Some of it will probably be deeply psychoanalytic.  It could be full of metaphor.  But it is also silently a simple sentence about weeds and dirt and pushing up through. 

 

Norman O. Brown said in Love’s Body, an infamous book, that “Schizophrenics are suffering from the truth. … It is not schizophrenia but normality that is split minded; in schizophrenia the false boundaries are disintegrating.”  Brown, like today’s philosophically fashionable, suffers dualism, but he went so very far.  He not only declared normal-minded thinking to be wrong, he meant it—or at least he tried to mean it.  No one can really mean it.  Not even today’s neo-monists, eventually monists-manqué.  Only the real schizophrenic can hold “unlabeled metaphors”, transformations unrecognized.  The artist knows they are “only” metaphors; and to say otherwise is only an artistic wink. 

 

That sentence about weeds above can be interpreted as metaphor—of course it can.  But it remains a hard sentence about just weeds.  It is that unmetaphorized sentence that I love.  That hard thing.  That thing constructed out of ontological pieces each always the same as just itself.  No, melding together of everything into everything else.  I then look into a grain of sand and I see, not the whole world, but a grain of sand.  Just that.

 

 

 

5568  Is Plato’s erotic madness the same as insanity?  Is that madness the “unlabeled metaphor” of the schizophrenic?  Does the mantikos fail to realize that he is just an artist, and nothing real has been seen?  Is he an old guy who takes his boozy feelings a little too seriously?  And breaks the young with his semen and his insane ideas about the epiphany?  Has he absurdly turned his wrinkled skin into religious parchment?  Well, yes, but that’s irrelevant.  The gods really do return in a nauseating way and divine madness always was insanity.  The gods really do exist and they are anal dark.  Nothing has changed.  And those who pretend sanity are wrong.  Or maybe not.  How can I dialectically find my way through this thicket?

 

I look at the boy and I see the Boy.  That piece of everyday flesh is transcendence shining.  That pouty thing is the Parousia.  Yes, absurdity.  But it is a fact.

 

The world divides into the one, just that one, right there and the Form.  That is the structure of logic and thought—and therefore of Being.  It is existence itself that is absurd, not fallen humans.  The bare just that is carried across into the Form.  Is that metaphor?  Only now labeled?  The boy is a frog-killer.  The boy unites with frog-killer.  A metaphor.  A trans-carrying.  It’s a fact.  Are all facts metaphors, carryings-across from particular to form?  I suppose.  In which case, the truly insane are those who don’t recognize that.  They are the ones who melt the pieces into a single one thing and the metaphoricity is gone.  You cannot have a metaphor of one thing.  Then you only declare all metaphor to be false because they were finally a duality and truth becomes the overcoming of metaphor.  Rather the dualism of Platonic erotic madness stands.  It is not monistic confusion.  And that religion has power.

 

 

 

5569  Once again I’m going to try to write about the bare particular.  And about time, which always screws me up.  Imagine your friend gets into a Star Trek Teleporter and comes to where you are.  He is, then he totally dis-integrates, and then he re-integrates.  After not existing, in any imaginable sense of the word “existence”, he again exists, or at least he appears to.  The question, obviously, is whether that re-existing one is really him or is it just an exact copy.  And is there a difference?  Yes, there is a difference; we can “feel” it.  The same identical particular is different from two particulars that are perfectly the same, with the same memories and everything.  Even if you ask the second one if he is the same and he tells you he “feels” that he is, should you believe that he really is the same identical particular.  In other words, is it the same particular particular, the thing that stripped of all properties is him, bare?  Of course if you don’t believe in bare particulars and think an object is just a bundle of properties, the philosophical problem is solved.  But still that solution doesn’t feel right—or does it?  I think it doesn’t.  Time is the great problem.  (What makes one bundle different from another?)

 

We, though, don’t really need a teleporter to pose the problem.  Some Buddhists believe that a “new” particular, not necessarily bare, comes into existence from the old one sixty times a second.  (That may have been increased in this quantum age.)  They are extreme anti-substantialists, anatma.  They do, though, surreptitiously count on time to be the “substance” of the fleeting appearances.  I think their logic doesn’t work, but it doesn’t matter because they are only after the dissolution of thought, and so it works.

 

There are so many problems here, but that is enough destruction for one sitting. 

 

 

 

5570  In Our Lady of the Florwers, that wonderful book where Jean Genet, in prison, writes himself writing that book in prison, he describes how he “develops” a character.  Sartre quotes these lines of Genet in  Saint Genet, “Very little of Roger the Corsican remains in my memory: a hand with too massive a thumb … and the dim image of a blond boy … the memory of his memory made way for other men.  The last two days I have again, in my daydreams, been mingling his [invented] life with mine … for two successive days I have fed with his image a dream which is usually sated after four or five hours … I am worn out with the invented trips, thefts, rapes, burglaries … in which we were involved.  … I am exhausted; my wrist has cramps.  The pleasure of the last drops is dry … I have abandoned the daydream … I have quit, the way a contestant in a six-day bicycle race quits; yet the memory of him refuses to disappear as the memory of my dream friends usually does.  It floats about.  It has less sharpness than it had when the adventures were taking place, but it lives within me nevertheless.  Certain details persist more obstinately in remaining…. If I continue, he will rise up, become erect … I can bear it no longer.  I am turning him into a character whom I shall be able to torment in my own way, namely, Darling Daintyfoot.”

 

In his cell, Genet is stifled and numb and that makes one fall in love.  A character is an amorousness that has become rock hard, an exhausting obsession.  At the point of the dreamer’s being worn out, the beloved thing takes charge.  The charge is set.  The tormenting words are put down.  And one becomes a writer.  To discover oneself as that is a dark amazement.

 

These are the creatures of myth.  Left behind.  Deposited and stone-blind.  Viscid, indurate and existing.  They are the Work.  The low was always the high thing.  There’s no going back.  Apotheosis.  The others see.  You are unveiled.  And just that.

 

Those who say that myth isn’t true have no sense.  Myth has too much sense.  It is the ice that is about to break the sidewalk.  Night frozenness.  The endless.  An arm, a glance, a curl in the wind, enough to make a god.  The least is the loftiest.  He flees too much description.  Less is always more.  The cold is hot.  A mere second of remembering his fragrance is enough to throw you across, isn’t it my dear?  And you are worn out.

 

But how do words connive with us in the capture?  His cap down over one eye.  And you know the repetition is about to begin again.  Repetition, my friend, repetition and the fall and the rising, the going out, the coming back, there is no appeal.

 

 

Walls

Without consideration, without pity, without shame
they have built great and high walls around me.

And now I sit here and despair.
I think of nothing else: this fate gnaws at my mind;

for I had many things to do outside.
Ah why did I not pay attention when they were building the walls.

But I never heard any noise or sound of builders.
Imperceptibly they shut me from the outside world.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1896) 

 

 

 

5571  My friend wrote, “I am aiming for the deathly abstract here, I thought you liked the abstract.”  Well, yes, but he said that after I mildly suggested he could take away the feeling of the deathly abstract (which I thought he hadn’t wanted) by adding more color words in his writings and then I gave him Coleridge’s description of water-snakes.  So what gives here?  He wants the deathly abstract.  Bravo!  And now I am thinking that color words are also deathly abstract.  Here is the chapter From the Sky in Port of Saints by William Burroughs

 

From the sky 
                                                                                   knob, slowly push the door 
open and step in. The room is empty—no bed, no pictures, only the wooden pegs on the wall. No curtains at the window and one pane has a hole in it, obviously made by an air rifle. Standing at the window looking down at the moss and some late forget-me-nots, a room haunted by absence by nothing and nobody there. 
     And suddenly I wasn’t there myself the question “Who am I?” fading into the blue sky, flowers and moss, the call of a mourning dove, frogs croaking under the railroad bridge, a yellow perch flapping on the pier, yellow hair in the wind, the musty nitrous smell of rectal mucus, whiff s of sewage, urine on moss; the taste of wintergreen leaves, the dinner bell, the church bells, the little postcard town.

Harbor Beach 17. . . Wind in the chilly heavens over London a dead boy on the ghostly pillow lips chapped broken sunlight a flicker of Jermyn Street pale half moon of ghostly dandies behind his head a cool dark windy evening sky washed by wind and rain broken dreams in the air.

 

That is deathly abstract also, but it replete with “color words”.  Stark, hard things.  It is that obdurate quality that is the nightmare.  Art turns nightmares into visions of God—pure abstraction for those willing to submit.  Or perhaps you have other words. 

 

 

 

5572  I love irony, but I think I love it because it lies just this side of humor.  Just as Kierkegaard says.  The underground man in Jean Genet, so odoriferous, quickly reverses direction from low to high and falls into comedy.  Scat ceases to be saintly and becomes so very funny.  Have I ruined the seriousness of that very serious exposé?  And Lovecraft of feigned scientific, scholarly detachment seems like the prelude to Rocky Horror Picture Show to me.  It is all camp.  I grew up in the age of camp, so perhaps that’s it.  It is all so deliciously funny.  Where’re the singing and the transvestites and the unbearably cute boys?  Irony has become Celestial Laughter.  It is Opening Night on the Great White Way.  The juggernaut of fake scientific jargon rolling along right into the juggler.  And the primal primed for prime time.  Well, yes, I’m being ironic and, to me, so magically funny.  Philosophy is a blast to the head.

 

And humor lies just this side of … what?  What is on the other side of exaggeration?  And, therefore, since art is au fond exaggeration, and all art is camp, what is on the other side of art?

 

 

 

5573  Last time I wrote that all art, indeed all philosophy and everything else, has become camp, which is to say a self-conscious piece of tired theater, a last attempt at eye-catching exaggeration, an overweening cliché.  Yes, it is thoroughly funny and I do love to laugh, but laughing does get tiresome and what to do?  The problem is that we have come late to the game.  Our thinking is old hat belated.  We twist and turn and no matter how we shake and dance, the last few drops have only gone down our pants into the recycle bin.  Or have I just gotten too old to know?  To know the ever fresh newness of youthful thinking?  Perhaps, but I doubt it.  For over a century the young have assumed the wisdom of age.  So now I ask the question of what is beyond all that.  Really, it beats me.  It would have to be God; what else could it be?

 

 

 

5574  Philosophy is exact thinking—or so it advertizes itself.  It isn’t, it’s a trick, it is sorcery.  And though today it is mainly used by straight grad students and their professors to seduce women, in the past time of monasteries and academies it was used mainly to capture the boy.  The object has somewhat changed in the institutions but it is still a slight of tongue, a quick trap, a thorny bed of lurid qyasi-intellectual roses. It’s a blast.  But usually not very effective.

 

Exactness is a very inexact thing.  And though precision is precious, it is pernicious.  Definitions deflate at the slightest prick.  And we easily lose track of what’s going on, or so we hope—the hand moves. 

 

As for science and the philosophy of science, that juggernaut is about to fall over and everyone now knows it.  Still, we have to go on because there’s nothing else to do.  And the boy has nowhere else to sleep, so he hangs out at with the professor who pays too much attention to him and lets the play play itself out once again.  And then eats his fill.  I suppose there really is a lurid sort of exactness to all that … but who cares?

 

 

 

5575  Let’s examine a thought and try to figure out just what a thought is.  In other words, what is a thought made out of?  Think a thought, eg.  “My neighbor should have come home by now; he probably had to work late.”  As you read those words you probably thought that thought.  In other words, you were that thought.  And now you can only remember being that.  Introspection of something that is past is not easy, but it’s not impossible.  Thoughts come and go, or rather, you become one thought after another and you can easily be aware of yourself being that.  Look closely at what you are right then as you are one of those thoughts.  Look right at that thought you are.  What do you see? 

 

Do you see little particles spinning around in space?  Do you see energy strings strung out in space or time?  So you see any kind of familiar or strange space manifold?  Do you see anything at all that you might call a spatial extension?  In any kind of Euclidean or non-Euclidean space or space-time?  I suspect you will answer No to all those questions.  In fact, I doubt you can see any structure to a thought at all.  Yes, the sentence that expresses it has structure, but not the thought.  So, therefore, if that is the case what are we to think of all those people today who claim that a thought, that thing you are, is a space-time or time-space brain structure.  I offer this as an answer: they are totally cracked.  Such materialism is patently wrong.  Now the question becomes that of just why so many people believe that charlatanry.  It is semiotics, my friend, semiotics.

 

Take two people each trying to convince other people that he is to be believed.  The first one gets up and is rather clumsy in his explanation, he looks distracted, he hasn’t tended to his dress, he is unshaven, he uses words and phrases that the people hardly understand, he seems to be a foreigner, he is old.  The second one gets up and he is just the opposite of all that.  He simply makes sense.  Now which one will be believed?  Obviously, the first one, because such wisdom, such radical thinking, could only be done by an absent-minded professor from far away.  The second one has no mystery about him; he’s too believable to be believed.  He is just too ordinary.  He has not mastered the arcane signs of knowledge.  He hasn’t achieved professorial Einsteinian craziness.  He is not an old teutonic bard or desert madman or dirty Hindu mystic or even a modern expert covered with expensive bling.  He is only nice and intelligent.  Materialism is mysticism, but what kind?  I think Sartre will come in handy here.

 

 

 

So what is a thought?  A thought is a thought.  And you are that.  The rest is vaudeville. 

 

 

 

5576  Descartes started off the modern world when he found a place to put the number zero on a line and thus invented Cartesian coordinates.  Now everything we see—and everything we hear, touch, smell and taste—can be mapped onto that place of magical transformations.  We have even gone farther than Descartes and gotten rid of the drawing.  Now we have read-outs of n-ary numbers, massive piles of numbers.  Everything has been quantified, digitized and finally turned into branching trees of information.  But, No, surely that isn’t the final thing because this transformation of all forms into other ever more isometric forms will go on forever.  Time, i.e. forever, is itself the nexus of transformation (“transformativeness” sounds more impressive).  Until … could it really be? … until we arrive back at the original whatever it was, a thing we have long neglected and, unfortunately and no doubt, lost in forgetfulness. 

 

Of course, in order to make all that transformation have the magic that it must have, we will accompany it all with basic blue, green and red dim, flickering lights and beeps and slides and other slight spiritual ( i.e. technological, intellectual (i.e. brainy) quiet, clean sounds.  We are so advanced we may even be evolved.  Oh Descartes, we are your followers.  It’s too bad you were such an evil dualist.  Fuck.

 

 

 

5577  Many years ago a computer tinkering friend of mine taught me what a computer really is.  He simply took the smooth, untroubled housing off and let me see the wretched guts of the thing, the real motherboard, the hard drive, the transformer coils.  It was a great impossible entanglement of snake-like colors.  So far from the calm, clear promise of the surface.  And so it is with almost all of our earthly things.  But also with our doings.  There is the sump of electrical current.  And the outer dalliance of dancing pixels.  And we try so hard to forget.

 

I worked in catering for quite a while off and on to get money for travel and the same difference applies there.  On first impression the scene is in perfect order and brilliant—we were good.  But under the cloth, in the back, out in the garage, behind the screen, near chaos threatened.  And we smiled so serenely, until we left the scene and screamed that we needed this and that right now!  We took out whatever we had and we could make it look so elegant and taste so good with a little sugar and salt and greasy something.  Pure illusion.  Theater.  The innards were never seen because no one wanted to see.  We never want to see.  And computers connive in our doing just that.  We live a dream in a very, very messy world.  And that is what people today call being spiritual.   Our world has been photo-shopped.  The cleanness of our graphic displays is making it almost impossible for us to operate in the real world.  But we are so good in the virtual one.

 

The main icon we use today is the Faerie Queen.  She is so femininely smooth and gently, serenely curved, long flowing blond hair in the stellar wind, riding a white stallion, chaste Diana with lips of hard red protecting glistening eyes, a creature of light.  But the female maze is hidden and the monthly roar and deluge is gone.  She in fact is no female at all; she is a boy in drag.  She is the ersatz Greek beautiful boy for the timid.  Pure intelligence.  The vanishing of matter and the deathly womb.  The androgynous pretence.  But the beautiful Forms are not here; they are separate.

 

We are of course trying our best to thoroughly intellectualize the biological ooze and glandular seep of life and turn it into a digitalized genome, a pure geometrical helix, rotating information loops, abstract abstractness.  Slowly we are mastering that priestly mantras and we will transubstantiate the whole pile of vomit and shit right out of existence.  Then no more birth inter faeces et urinam

 

 

 

5578  Marshall McLuhan famously described the difference between a reading mind and a mind immersed in the electronic media.  The first is detached and objective, calm and visual, quickly able to make decisions, able to revisit previous difficult sections in private.  He is a solitary being.  The second is involved and watched, passionate and visceral, swimming in ambiguity, constantly pulled forward into the great public display.  The first wears the clothes of a private man; the second wears a corporate costume.  The first sits in his enclosed garden; the second roams the marketplace.  The second is hot and constantly hears the tribal tom toms sounding in his ear.  The first belongs to universal time and is from the everywhere.  The second is right now and just this.  But now that we have ebooks, which are we, the first or the second or maybe a third?  Are we still participationists in the great gathering of man or are we once again finding that detachment and the peace that goes with reading?  Are we again becoming solitary beings?  I can’t say.  Are we once again capable of the Cartesian dualism that was reading?  Or is the Absolute of the marketplace our fate, the confusion of the monist, incessant interrelatedness evermore tightly interrelating.  I am and always have been a reader and I still feel outside the press of my tribe.

 

 

 

5579  Mallarme wrote the white space between the words.  He was trying to write pure consciousness as it appears between the elements of thought.  He succeeded.   We understand and we see.  And I have succeeded in these few words in explaining what he did and now you see.  The problem is that the simplicity is so very simple and we almost faint dead away.

 

Sartre taught us to pull back away from the things in consciousness, from the words in language, and to enter into the Nothingness that is consciousness for itself.  The Transcendence of the Ego and all that.  We know.  We know that we know.  We know that we know that we know.  Every step stepping back.  It’s impossible to explain without paradox, perhaps the final Kierkegaardian absolute paradox.  And so we jump into poetry.  Sartre and all the consciousness mongers fell out of favor.  The cheek of night was left.

 

Time lines converge.  And diverge.  And life goes on.  Or stops.  Or gets so mangled that the cows all turn blue.  I look for the primal things.  But my coffee gets cold and I must tend to that instead.

 

First things first.  I need a place to stand.  Far from the madding crowd.  In the Stillness.  The timeless.  But I will not use the worn out words of Mallarme and Sartre.  And I will jam poetry into the rhythms of prose and calmly bespeak difference.  The Boy wasn’t invited to their revolution anyway.

 

 

 

5580  Is there a place to stand outside it all?  Today’s with-it, involved insist there isn’t and to think there is is the very evil that has caused all our problems.  I think that’s a bit much.  More than a bit.  It’s a bite of the apple itself.

 

I suppose it is McLuhan’s distinction between the age of the book and the electronic age.  Detached or involved.  The hard Ideas, separate and still, or limp concepts merely ad hoc, but now.  Now the first is seen as presumptuous and deadly.  “Life” is the shibboleth now.  The bloody thing!  Or maybe not that.  The New Age doesn’t want to get carried away into the morass.  The electronic sizzle mustn’t become electrocution.  It was only a matter up for discussion.  The present age it turns out is still the age of reflection, not real action.  We talk endlessly about taking action, but it’s rather messy, maybe downright scary, and the distance that is found in a late evening visit to speak about many things is comfortable.  The electronic age in involved, but only virtually and safely shut off from what used to be the real.

 

I am a bookish person.  Now transferring my words to digital preservation and the ebook.  Am I now an ebookish person?  And what the hell is that?  The non-linearity is choking me.  Even McLuhan is overcome.  Or maybe not.  I’m still thinking.  The still place away, the evident and the ob-via are brightly here.  Too brightly to be seen by eyes somewhat used to the shadows.  It’s an old story.

 

 

 

5581  The prime characteristic of Animé is that it is unreal.  That is to say, the Animé itself is real, but the story depicts something unreal.  Thus it is about the unreal.  It has long been thought, among some real thinkers, that evil is to be defined as that which doesn’t exist.  In other words, lies, illusions, simulacra, etc..  thus, through the centuries, there have been those who have tried, perhaps quixotically, to defend poetry and fiction.  Whatever the value of that is, we are left with a thing that is both real and unreal. An unreal thing has great hold on the mind.  And that is what a human being is.  Which brings me to Genet.

 

Jean Genet, according to Sartre, early on tried to find refuge in evil, i.e. the unreal.  He sought out pure contradiction and failure.  He led himself into intellectual traps.  He bedeviled words.  He glorified the foul.  He betrayed his friends.  He went into where the supremely existent God could not go, deception and the un-existing.  Or so he tried.  In the end he succeeded marvelously well at failure and thus failed.  The unreal exists.  The things of Animé finally exist.  The dividing line between imagination and the real dissolves.  The self blurs.  But has evil thus been defeated?  Perhaps it’s only an illusion.  Or just an empty thought, nothing.

 

 

 

5582  A number of years ago I was babysitting a seven year old boy and he told me that some people were complaining that he always played at killing and torturing his toy soldiers.  He couldn’t understand that at all because, he firming told me, “They’re only plastic!  They’re not real!”  And I imagine that is how the Animé kids and the conspiracy theorists and the apocalyptic enthusiasts will react.  It’s only a game!  But I am a philosopher and games are intense things for me.  This is the new reality.  Art, fiction, religion, the game, it’s all who we are.  We live the unreal.  But then that was even the old reality.  We are and always have been in an in-between place.  There is no such thing and that sharp division between the real and the unreal in this middle earth.  Such separation is for another place, the Place of Ontological Things, not here.  I write up the distant Forms and I wonder about the blur that is the here and now.

 

 

 

5583  Last time I talked about the mingling of the real and the unreal that defines this place.  Is that kind of talk of this place or the Other?  It is of the Other.  Because, though those of this place might talk the talk somewhat, they finally sink into the Blur.  I await the cut and the Eucharistic Blood.  I am alone.  It remains unreal for them.  I lap up the Real like a Uranian dog.  Existence exists.  Non-existence does not.

 

So, my friend, can you talk the talk as I do?  Do you want to?  Let’s look at the nexus of mingling all alone, isolated, separate.  It is … or would you rather not?  It doesn’t matter.  I’m going on with or without you because it is what I do.  X mingles with Y.  You may think of it as two parallel universes converging if you like.  There is X and there is Y and there is the connector of Mingling.  Finally there is XY.  Or rather X and Y and the nexus crushed together into one thing.  How should I label that thing?  How about A?  If that’s ok, then we have (X, Y, m) or m(X, Y) and we also have A.  All that together is (A, (X, Y, m))  or some such formulation.  A is “made up of “ X and Y and m.  Maybe we should also say (X, Y, m) is “made up of” the same elements, but then what is the difference between A and (X, Y, m)?  It’s getting hairy.  Such a smashing thing, my dear.  Crack, break, collapse.  We seem to be beyond thinking and far beyond imagining.  So we will try again.  Consider A and … or maybe not.  I feel you just want to get back to your story.  Or am I here talking to myself, only having imagined you came along?  It doesn’t matter.  The night is lovely and I smell his musky fragrance wafting close.  The dogs are barking.

 

 

 

5584  In a random series the form of some entity cannot be predicted from the form of any of its (close or distant) neighbors (or groupings of such) or from some underlying rule.  That is to say, the fact that some entity has such and such a form is completely independent from any other entity exemplifying whatever form.  So, if randomness “rules” the material world and such independence is everywhere, is there anything outside the material world that “guides” it?  Do non-material things fate material happenings?  Are there immaterial Forms that somehow appear in the material realm?  Is history the appearing of the Forms?  What governs?

 

Let’s say we had a  time machine and we wanted to prevent WWII.  Could we have gone back and killed Hitler and the other Nazi leaders and by that have stopped the whole horror?  Or was there some immaterial force at work that fated it all to be, even without those people?  Was there a Form or Idea out and about that pushed history forward.  Is history guided by people and their ideas or by non-human Forms?

 

Well, philosophers have come down on both sides of the issue.  (I love that visual metaphor.)  I believe in the total randomness of facts, and the presence of Forms—or if you want to call them Ideas because you are a strong student of the history of Ideas, that’s fine.  Forms (Ideas) rule.  But now so many other questions arise and I am up for it.  Later.

 

 

 

5585  Last time I wrote of the Forms guiding history.  What might that be?  Perhaps they are the Moods of Being.  Early in the twentieth century the Germans were in a certain Mood.  To capture my idea you would have to take that in the strong, poetically visual form.  There is a great thing named a Mood or the Mood, it was out and about, and the Germans were in it.  Today, here in America, there is a Mood out and about (maybe a smell sets it off) and we bathe in it.  It has captured the subliminal minds of the young, indeed of everyone.  It controls.  Naming the Form is difficult, but I offer that it is there while unnamed by us.  Heidegger wrote of the Modes of Being.  My only argument is that he didn’t give them enough substance.  He wanted to give the power to Man, especially the Teutonic Man.  But they are the Universal Forms of Plato and man is irrelevant.  The lusty fragrance of Being.  There is so much to argue about here and I am up to it.

 

I think that Heidegger did rightly argue that technology is close to the heart of the Mood today and thus our science fiction writers think that we can make machines that control history.  But it is the Mood and only the odor of the machine.

 

 

 

5586  We speak of mathematical symbols and their combining into formula, but we could also speak of them as Symbols in the way the late nineteenth century Symbolists and other seekers of the elusive Romantic Image used the word.  They took the word back to its being a sign of recognition in a mystery cult, perhaps a mark of initiation.  Its very appearance caused trembling in the soul.  It had magical powers.  Even today it is a somewhat mysterious element in semiology where students try hard to master the idea.  Even so, mathematical symbols and formula are at once practical tools of calculation and mystical gates into the celestial realms.  The symbols are also Symbols.  I have felt their pull as I suppose you have also.

 

Unfortunately, the practical mood of the capable renewable energy engineer and the mystical Mood of the Energy Manipulator are very different and surely incompatible.  My philosophy always standing at the divide between the ordinary and the Ontologically Mystical merely stares and looks for words, both practical and mystical.  Do I write in symbols or Symbols.  Those in one camp say it is the other. 

 

 

 

5587  The little word “in” is nefarious.  I’m going to write about instantiation.  And I’m going to contrast it with exemplification, something which few thinkers think of doing.  Of course there is the little “ex” at the beginning of that word and I must say that “outside of” is also an insidious thing, if you let it be.  I’m just saying; please be informed.  I will explain.

 

The instantiationists want to say that the form of an individual thing, that is to say, any of its properties, is stands “in” that thing.  Or sits or lies down, it makes no difference.  And because it is “in” the thing, the thing is superior in being, which means it can stand alone, or sit or lie down.  And the poor property, the lesser form, yields what existence it has to that.  The substance that the form is “in” has more being than the form.  And that is, of course, the way most people think.  Consider red, soft lips.  The lips are there in their substantial power, but the redness and the softness are mere properties “in” the lips, hardly substantial, hardly having any existence of their own.  The being of a property, it seems, is entirely borrowed.  If you get my drift; I think you get the point.  That is instantiation and now that knowledge informs your mind.

 

Exemplification should be easy now.  Those same lips now exemplify red and soft.  That is to say that they are tied to those two forms externally.  Indeed, that bare particular is even tied to the form of Lips.  Everything is out in the open where we all can see.  And, of course, the tie itself is there external to what it ties, the nexus of exemplification.

 

I think we can say that there was no need for a nexus of instantiation because the form had such weakened existence as to be almost non-existent.  So no one needed think about it.  And there’s the rub.

 

The instantiationists eventually end up in hardcore nominalism—only individuals exist.  A world of individual substances.  And anything that might have been a form or property or nexus becomes a mere concept, a shadow of itself.

 

Now we have concepts which, it turns out, are “in” the mind as the forms were “in” the object.  Behold, they have almost no existence there either.  Concepts are like nothing.  The substance of Mind is everything.  Well, maybe, maybe not.  Whatever is the case, the Mind knows only itself since all ties, all connectors between substances, are gone.  Pure mind with no concepts (they were shadows anyway) looms up mighty, the maker of worlds, Time itself beyond Time.  Yes, nefarious.

 

But it also turns out that the ontological pieces on the exemplification side fare no better.  They, for most of the philosophers who countenanced (do you like that word) them, were in the Facts of the world.  Facts are the new substitute for substance.  And facts, complexities of unsure existence, give way to the thought of the fact, a simple thing right strong, and we are back at the forms and the bare particular and the nexus, being in the Mind.  Oh my, we can’t win for losing our realism.  “Ex” is insidious it truly appears.  The outside is inside and the inside is nowhere.  Bham!  Ontology collapses as ever and now my coffee is getting cold.

 

 

 

5588  Rudy Rucker, like most enthusiasts enthralled with the fantasy surrounding AI, in trying to analyze consciousness, fails to account for the one prime, most important aspect of it.  Let’s say you are standing at your window and outside, near the curb, you see an old bicycle, apparently abandoned.  That is an act of perception, an awareness, and looking at your own act of perception you are conscious of the fact that you are perceiving just that bicycle.  You see a bicycle.  Now then, at the same time there are processes going on in your brain.  Those processes can be described by means of computer computational circuitry.  It is true that there is something in the brain that is probably isomorphic with the bicycle, but then again the in-coming impulses from the eye may have been changed into something digital or who know what’s going on.  Let’s just say that there is something in the brain that represents the bicycle.  So, does Rucker mean to say that that representation is itself the perceiving of the bicycle or do we need yet another brain process to be the perceiving of that representation?  And then another for the awareness of the perceiving. It really doesn’t matter for the question at hand.  What we are trying to account for is the fact that you saw the bicycle out by the curb, not some representation of it in your brain.  There is no mini-abandoned bicycle in your brain that you can look at.  And even if there were and that was what you were looking at you would still have to account for your looking at that.  And if that ends up being a representation of a representation, a mini- image of a mini-image, then we are well on our way to absurdity, especially since someone will inevitably begin the awareness of awareness regress.  The prime fact of consciousness is that it sees what it sees and not some representation of it.  You see the bicycle.  Rucker not only never even got close to accounting for that fact, he never even broached the question.  Consciousness and computational systems are totally different things—except in the magical world of Alice’s Wonderland.

 

 

 

5589  Andy Warhol said he wanted to be a machine.  Sartre said consciousness wants to abandon its intolerable freedom and become an object.  The enchantment of the Iliad is the instant when living warriors become dead pieces for birds and dogs to eat.  Adolescent boys flirt with becoming blank slots, empty shells, rotating machine-heads, luminous logic systems, just that, a thing.  I will admit that the one lying there having become so still the object causes nervous sexual feelings in me.  The transition from living mind to smooth, digital marble peels me off.  Thoughts have gathered on the slab of the truth-table.  It’s just the way it is. 

 

 

 

5590  In the ontological world I lay out, all things are bare.  There is most noticeably the bare particular.  It is obviously a particular, an individual just-that, with no qualities of any kind.  Likewise the color Red is of no special shade or intensity; it is just the color Red.  And Color is not colored or shaded or invested with feeling; it is just Color.  Every thing in my ontology is just the bare thing it is without specification.  And the various connectors are just the kind they are, unconnected.  The quantifiers quantify and a fact is a simple fact.  All of which conjures up the unhinging of artless beings.  They are the men in black, the G-men, the dead boys, the Blank.  He/it is empty logic, the vacant variable, the a priori.  This is the necessary thing in your dreams.  Computation computes nothing.  Just the bare thing eternally there.  Thus the cold erotic blast.

 

 

 

5591  A portal in science fiction and fantasy is a special passageway from one place to another.  Obviously those two places are not connected in the usual way; therefore, portals are always almost magical.  Wormholes or rabbit holes or undercover moles.  It’s a secret door.  But they don’t always work.  And the magic is really just science.

 

Now consider the Incompleteness theorem of Gödel.  There are formula, theorems, that seem accidentally true; that is to say, they cannot be derived from any combination in the set of axioms used to describe the present order.  You can’t get there from here.  What that means in space-time theory is that there are spaces that are in no way connected.  No portal, no magical passageway, no yellow brick road.  So what are we to do?  Most likely nothing.

 

It seems that there are also ways of thinking that are totally unconnected, unbridgeable and incommunicable.  And there are musical genre that are underived and unanalyzable in terms of other genre.  As Bergmann said, “The differences among some of the several existents are very great indeed. I, for one, would not hesitate to call them momentous, or enormous. That, I submit, is a major source of the resistance serious ontology has always met. For these differences are much greater than most are prepared to face.” 

 

No portal exists from the one to the other.  Thus, if we are to move between we will just have to suddenly be there.  It will simply, without hesitation, be here.  The idea will seem to come from nowhere, but there was no coming.  The new music will sound all around.  It’s all and nothing.  No portals.

 

It is meaningless.  No connections are established.  Nothing can be proved.  It just is.  What is it?  It is just itself.  Indescribable by means of anything else.  That is the bare thing.  Just that.  From nowhere.

 

 

 

5592  The G-man, the men in black, William Burroughs,  L’Éminence Gris, ?, is it good or evil?  It is neither; it is without qualities.  It is bare.  Just that.  You never know.  If evil is that which doesn’t exist, then it seems closer to evil.  Having no qualities, being essentially indefinite, is certainly almost nothing.  But God is that and should we say that God is evil?  Evidently.  It is not certain.  This is the bare x in logic.  Or the empty parentheses ( ).  Or the maybe and the question and the no way to find out.  Such great indifference.  Should we say it is insipid?  Cold soup?  What could have been?  It is less.  It is the boy taken.  Frozen.

 

 

 

5593  The G-man has a certain sickening glamour, a bureaucratic clerical fastidiousness a hesitancy about him; he isn’t entirely blank as I would wish, but his indefiniteness is nonetheless appealing.  He is smooth, but not plain.  I am looking for the plain.   He is indifferent, but he is too different from the many.  He could not hide.  He is too startling.  But, I suppose, that is very ordinary in its own way.  Should I say he is tasteless?  The question wilts in the open air.  If he had a boy sidekick, he would have that worn out look of Burroughs.  A transcendent laughing.  No, the nausea grows but it has yet to fester.  He is unshaven, but clean.  What place can I make of him for my philosophy of blank things?  Life is almost, and that is the touch of non-existence that may work.

 

 

 

5594  The G-man, the indefinite, the plain, the blank, is the modern incarnation of evil.  A sickening flesh.  The man in black, the demonic, nothing at all.  Nausea.  He is matter in itself.  Merely the clerical.  He or rather it could take on any form, but of itself it without qualities.  Tasteless, bland, not his own.  The writing is insipid.  Just like mine.  Where is the glory.  A reverse Shekhina.  A sucking in.  Or almost.  His so-called portals to There go nowhere.  Nowhere at all.  He is pure logical emptiness.  Or, my dear, have I mistaken him for God?  Is there a difference?  God and evil have always been close, too close for human discernment.  The A Priori.  Tautologous teratology.  Or some such high sounding nothing.  A romantic fright.  The bed makes noises.  And the wafting odor of a vacuous mind.  And somewhere else.

 

Still, contrary to what the Platonists seem to be saying, the Christian Aristotelians insist that matter is not evil.  Literature, it seems, is other.  The seme rips.

 

 

 

5595  Is the god Shiva a G-man?  It seems highly unlikely.  The difference glares.  Still, Shiva is the god of dissolution.  And the G-man is dissolute.  They both come late and bring things to an end.  The world peters out.  Surely the G-man is the sanyasin, the one who has walked away from the rituals and gone to sit in coldwater rented rooms.  The G-man is the supreme denouncer, the Buddha, so dispassionate.  Yes, there is a connection, but as the reverse of the coin.  Opposites meet.  Both agree, the gods are outside existence. 

 

 

 

5596  In the last few pieces I have written about the G-man, the men in black, evil, the Blank, ?, and the bareness of the bare things.  And I have described the unconnected.  Being is full of gaps.  Between the final things there is empty air.  Between Aleph zero and Aleph one there is the jump.  Quantum mechanics has made us all jump.  We are a thoroughly jumpy caffeinated people.  The boy jacking off jumps his thoughts.  My prose jumps.  The regular becomes irregular.  The smooth continuum suffers.  The jump yields to satin oneness.  The nothing and existence ooze together.  He comes.  The night gently slides on.  And then it’s over.  He turns over and the dreams of sleep begin.

 

 

 

5597  What exactly is the evil of the G-man?  In truth he doesn’t really feel evil at first glance or at first hearing.  He is terrible and threatening, at first, the way dinosaurs are to little kids.  He’s fun and funny.  It is play-evil.  But on second glance and after a thoughtful moment of hearing, there may actually be something evil there.  He has the appearance of evil, a nothing at all.  In fact, here is evil as pure soft appearance; he is the “nothing there”.  This is absolute style over substance.  It is the evil of empty style.  And that is pretty much what evil always has been.  It is the evil of Platonism, where the vision outweighs the weighty.  It is the Boy in front of his mirror.  It is the Primp. 

 

The G-man speaks and we are enchanted.  What he actually says is not important; it’s the way he says it.  He invites you to marvel at his style.  He is a very stylish, almost elegant man.  A dandy of sorts.  Decadent.  The sucking-spirit of nothingness.  His mouth.

 

 

 

5598  Mathematics is a very stylish affair.  Just the look of it is enmeshing.  Symbols understood by only The Few.  But they understand nothing.  Literally the Nothing.  Mathematics is the void.  It is empty form.  Tautologies and teratology.  And the font is the font of magical waters.  The Boy stands and looks at himself in his mirror, in the eyes of another, with the icons in the ionic aether.  Such delicate fine material. Der Stoff so raffiniert.  ΄Υλη πνευματικη  He looks fine as It.  Fine enough to be heaven itself.  He moves off satisfied.  He knows mathematics more perfectly than anyone else.  The pure appearance of the magical symbol down on a white sheet; he is that.  Smooth.  Form as form.  He is without substance.  He never wanted it anyway.

 

 

 

5599  I’m still fascinated by the G-man, that devilishly stylish dandy, the algorithmic lizard.  A goldilocks ghoul.    Not too scary, not too benign.  A Northern Time Lout.  Lord of crumbling mathematics.  Convergence.  The verge itself.  The rod.  A boy’s cum stain madness.

 

He is the cutting off of the Boreal spirit, the stopped man.  And I wonder what he would think coming into contact with the heartbreak of a Mediterranean mirage, a boy with that so-poetic ephemeral beauty.  Would he blow up?  Northern ions in frozen logic systems meets anti-matter.  Harsh, pure, clean Aryan.  And lush, dark, delicious Nubian flesh.  The eternity of empty logic.  The capricious flash of inconstant eyes.  Where can the eye focus?  Hocus-pocus. The locus and the loco locusts.  Nothing.  Bham!  The unthought.  North is north and south is south and never the twins shall meet. 

 

 

 

5600  Someone is always speculating that if the future exists and the past exists and if time travel is for real, then surely there are beings here right now from the future.  Well, Yes, of course.  And it is rather easy to see who those people are.  It is we who are they.  All of us.  The self of our momentary selves is one throughout all of time.  Here and there, now and them, we are many and one.  The Hindus believe in sequential reincarnation.  One life after another all in the very long history of this one world.  But if that history is one ever existing thing, all at once as it were, then we are the future and the past and, viola, here we are again.  Our future selves come back and they are we.  Time travel is a matter of jumping into the many selves of the self.  And surely if time is infinite, I am many indeed, and gathering myself up into one being is a project for the ages of ages into the transfinite heavens.  Speculation is a matter of looking in the mirror.  Specula Mundi.  And then the world divides into the secula seculorum.  Infinity is a very big number.  Irrationally big.  God is mad.  And it all happens in a instant before collapsing into itself. 

 

I forgot what we were talking about.  Please remind me.  Or have you forgotten too.  Being and forgetting seem to be one and the same.

 

 

 

5601  It’s too late; you got me going.  But I was on the verge anyway.  You can read:  “… from L. virga "shoot, rod stick," of unknown origin. Earliest attested sense in English is now-obsolete meaning "male member, penis" (c.1400). “  I like being on the verge.  But that is neither here not there.  I’m going to talk about my writings and the whole point of them.  It’s a different whole, it seems.

 

Almost all the conspiracy stories around today are a continuation of one long fight.  It is the battle of woman against boy for the love of the man.  It’s fierce and totally underhanded, just as you might expect.  To see what is going on you have merely have to open your eyes and see the obvious.  And, of course, remember the truism that one believes what one wants to believe.

 

Where should I begin?  I’ll begin, not at the beginning but at the most heated point of contention.  I’m going to talk about Jesus and Christianity, the one topic that really sets people off.  So, dear reader, you are no doubt squirming right now, because you too have something to say, but you would rather change the subject.  Unless you’re like me and you are always on the verge of saying.  Therefore, Jesus.

 

There are two ways to learn about Jesus: 1.) read the Gospels closely, 2.) get your information from preachers and journalists.  Today, because we are so overcome by the media and political church, the second way is the font of knowledge for almost everything and one reads the Gospels, not closely, but merely to see there what those others said was there.  But it’s not there!  As anyone who knows how to read clearly can plainly see.

 

Jesus was obviously gay.  Read the Bible!!  But it seems that Poe was correct in how to hide something—put it out in plain sight, like the purloined letter and, more importantly, “it takes one to know one”.  It takes a lover to recognize a lover. 

 

So how does the Bible describe Jesus that would make one think he is gay? 

 

 

 

5602  G-man, I suppose, could mean Government-man, but it could also mean God-man.  If it is the last, and he and we, because we are now creatures of the popular media, are both concerned with fashionable cosmology (as we must be), then the question becomes that of whether or not the cosmos, He, we, everything is a One Thing or it is a Many, or rather, more appropriately, a many.  Do all the many views, perspectives, aspects, manifestations and sub-spaces finally cosmetically congeal into one thing—Reality, The Absolute, Truth?  Or does it deliquesce entropically into an ultimate dithering?  The G-man sort of seems like one being, not a many, but he talks funny, and surely there is no substantial That there.  Does he actually think or is he a virtual presence of the Employer (which I have conclusively figured out is a boy alone in his room jacking off)?  Has his minimalism inadvertently gone all the way?  And is his meagerness, (I almost said manginess), his almost nothingness, the true image of the Cosmos.  Is he a conspiratorial object projected by today’s now rolling-in-dough conspiracy-minded media?  Is he the perfect vacuous (Victoria’s) secret?  Is the Cosmos finally no one thing, but the or a Many (many)?  If there is no final unity, only brokenness everywhere in a nowhere where there is no where there, then he, in his cool almost stuttering, is that and God is this underground man.  In his room at night blanked out. 

 

Did you expect me to write that as one unified thought?  I may have.

 

 

 

5603  In the Gospels, there seem to be a few, perhaps unintentionally, left-over fragments of a perhaps intentionally careless deleting of a story relating a gay romance between Jesus and a youth, neaniskos.  Piecing it together is somewhat awkward, somewhat exciting—especially for such a gay religionist as I.  Where to begin?

 

I remember when I was a young man hearing my fundamentalist Grandmother wonder out loud about who really wrote the book of John.  As far as I know the name John is never even mentioned in that book.  In historical fact, it seems that authorship was attributed to John by a much later bishop.  All we know is that it seems to have been written or attested to by the disciple Jesus loved, but who that is, is still an open question.  The book of Mark is truly fascinating in this matter but first here are the relevant passages in John (or whoever).  (This translation is true to the Greek, unlike most translations, qv. NRSV.)

 

“Amen, Amen, I tell you that one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another being perplexed about whom he speaks. One of his disciples was lying in Jesus’ lap, the one Jesus loved; so Simon Peter nods to this one and says: “Tell, who is he talking about.” That one, falling back on Jesus’ chest says to him: “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answers: “It is the one to whom I will give this morsel when I dip it.” So when he had dipped the morsel he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. (John 13:21—26)



But there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, the sister of his mother, Mary [the wife of Clopas) and Mary the Magdalene. Jesus, seeing his mother and the disciple standing by whom he loved, he said to his mother “Woman, see your son.” Then he says to the disciple, “See your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own. (19:25—27).

 

After Jesus’ side is pierced, the account concludes with the observation: “And the one who saw has testified and his testimony is true and that one knows that he speaks truly — that you may believe” (19:35). A reasonable conjecture, though not explicitly stated, is that “the one who saw” is the one previously identified as the disciple that Jesus loved.  (??? Who is it?)

 

Now on the first [day] of the week Mary the Magdalene comes early, while it is yet dark, to the tomb, and sees that the stone had been taken from the tomb. So she runs and comes to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and says to them, “They took the Lord from the tomb and we don’t know where they put him. Peter and the other disciple went out therefore and came to the tomb. And the two ran together; and the other disciple ran ahead more quickly than Peter and came first to the tomb, and stooping sees lying the sheets, but he didn’t go in. So Simon Peter comes following him, and entered the tomb, and he sees the sheets lying, and the kerchief, which had been on his head, not with the sheets but separate, having been wrapped up in one place. Then the other disciple, who had come to the tomb first, also entered and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not know the writing, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their own homes. (20:1—10)

 

Simon Peter says to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They say to him, ‘We’re coming with you.’ They went out and embarked on the boat; but that night they caught nothing.”Then Jesus, incognito, gives them instructions from the shore about where to put their nets, with the result that they fill the nets. Then, “that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It’s the Lord!’ When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was naked, and threw himself into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat”. Jesus then tells Peter: “Follow me” (21:15—20).

 
Turning, Peter sees the disciple that Jesus loved following them, who also was the one who leaned on Jesus’ chest at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is the one betraying you?” Peter seeing this one says to Jesus, “Lord, and what of him?”Jesus says to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” The saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple is not to die. But Jesus didn’t say that he doesn’t die, but: “If I want him to stay until I come, what’s it to you?” This is the disciple witnessing concerning these things and having written these things, and we know that his witness is true. (21:20—24)


The narrative ends with the notice that Jesus did many other things.
This final appearance of the disciple Jesus loved links up to the first appearance at the supper and echoes the word at the death of Jesus that he is a true witness. Here it becomes clear that the one referred to in 19:35 was probably the beloved disciple, because here the passage states explicitly that he is the faithful eyewitness whose testimony is somehow said to be basic to the text of the narrative.

It is clear from all that that there existed “the disciple Jesus loved”.  We are never explicitly told who it is, but there are other clues.  Next time.  There are of course many explanations of why the church has chosen to totally ignore all this and we know what those explanations are.  To gloss it over by saying Jesus loved everyone, seems to work for most and we also know why that is.  I suppose, in the end, people will believe what they want to believe.  Nonetheless, I’m going on with my own telling.

 

 

 

5604  Continuing on from last time when I posted the relevant passages in the book of John concerning “the disciple Jesus loved” and the speculation about just who that is, I want now to consider the book of Mark.  I know that most gay people will not follow me in this because they continue be traumatized, terrorized by the hetero-sexualists in both liberal and conservative religion.  Just why they stand there shaking in their underpants is beyond me.  I suppose I am unafraid because I grew up in the religion as a self-aware, self-loving devotee.  I never did believe what those others said because I could the book read for myself. 

 

First let me say something about the Greek word Agape.  Today many erotophobic people, especially most “spiritual” as opposed to religious people, want to believe that eroticism has no place in the love of God.  It’s an old notion that started long ago, most notably in ancient Israel when the One calling Himself the “husband” of Israel was getting a little to sexual in his wording of that love and so they made him a bodiless abstraction, especially after the Temple was destroyed and they didn’t have to send “incense” up to his nostrils any more.  He was forced to become a moral abstraction.  And that’s pretty much where the church is today.  Anyway, in Greek the word Agape does not mean “unconditional love” as opposed to eros, sensual love.  Agape, eros, philia are all pretty much the same.  Agape also means sensual, sexual love.  Rewriting the history of a language seems a bit much to me.

 

 

 

5605  Last time I laid out those passages in John that speak clearly of “the disciple Jesus loved”.  This time I want to speculate as to just who that person was.  Right off I will say that it is most likely Lazarus.  And also it seems to me that there are many similarities here between that affair and the mystery religions, perhaps Orphism, but there are also differences or modifications.

 

First the story of the “rich, young man”:

 

“And as He was going forth into the way, there ran one to Him, and kneeled to Him, and asked Him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou Me good? none is good save one, even God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor thy father and mother. And he said unto Him, Master, all these things have I observed from my youth. And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow Me. But his countenance fell at the saying, and he went away sorrowful: for he was one that had great possessions.” Mark 10:17–22  

 

The Greek for “Jesus looking upon him loved him” really does use a rather emphatic for of the word “to look”, emblepein, meaning almost “to gaze”.  And the word for “loved” is aorist, which is more like “started to love” or perhaps even “fell in love”.  Whatever the case, it is a strong statement.  The idea that he was rich and young came from Matthew and Luke.  So finally Jesus asks him to sell everything, abandon his family and all, and come with him.  But that was too much for him and he left.

 

Then there is this in one of the early copies of the gospel of Mark.  It seems there were many different versions of that writing early on and, indeed, many speculate that it eventually came from a source called Q (for Quelle). 

 

And they came into Bethany, and a certain woman, whose brother had died, was there. And, coming, she prostrated herself before Jesus and says to him, “Son of David, have mercy upon me.” But the disciples rebuked her. And Jesus, being angered, went off with her into the garden where the tomb was, and straightaway a great cry was heard from the tomb. And going near Jesus rolled away a stone from the door of the tomb. And straightaway, going in where the youth was, he stretched forth his hand and raised him, seizing his hand. But the youth, looking upon him, loved him and began to beseech him that he might be with him. And going out of the tomb they came into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days Jesus told him what he was to do and in the evening the youth comes to him, wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the kingdom of God. And thence, arising, he returned to the other side of the Jordan.
And James and John come to him, and he comes into Jericho, and the sister of the youth whom Jesus loved and his mother and Salome were there, and Jesus did not receive them.  (The Mark of Clement)

 

The same gaze, the same falling in love, but now a rich youth, a sindona or linen cloth and nakedness.  Those last things are again repeated in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Of course there are so many similarities between all that and the raising of Lazarus in John.  I will simply say that it was Lazarus, why not?

 

Here is the Garden passage:

 

And they all forsook him and fled.  And a youth accompanied him, clothed in a linen cloth (sindona) over his nudity.  And they seized him.  And he, leaving the linen cloth, fled nude.  Mark 14 50-52

 

The same words: youth, sindona, nudity.  Some have pointed out that he is dressed like one of the boy prostitutes who were common in those days there.  Whatever the case it a highly erotic passage and it seems to be the disciple Jesus loved, maybe Lazarus.

 

Supposing it is Lazarus the whole thing does have the look and feel of an Orphic rite.  Orpheus was said to be the one who introduced the love of boys into the Greek culture.  Death, resurrection, initiation into the mysteries.  It’s all there. As is the abandonment of family and property and becoming a devotee.  The whole point is to leave this world and arrive at immortality.  Still, Jesus in the gospels is anything but an ascetic.  The followers of John the Baptist complained about the singing and dancing going on in the Jesus camp.  And the closeness at the last supper and the food is anything but an exercise in asceticism.  Jesus seems to have had a physical relation with that disciple he loved.  The modification to Orphism and the mystery religions I mentioned would be that: the lack of ascetic reserve.  I have a hard time thinking it through.  Next time.

 

 

 

5606  What I wrote about last time is not without controversy, of course it isn’t, but what isn’t that’s of real interest?  I go by what feels right in my theo-philosophical intuition, not what is approved by state-sponsored scholarship.  Anyway, I love this fight with the militant heterosexualists.

 

I remember vividly certain fantasies I conjured up when I was a boy.  I would imagine some boy I love had just died, perhaps in an accident, and I magically appeared and brought him back to life in a magical heaven.  He right there had been initiated into the mysteries.  Bursting love.  And of course always gay, though no one knew that word then.  I recognize the same scene in the Jesus story.  What is, is.  The eidetic a priori.

 

 

 

5607  I too am sort of a phenomenalist, but the list of things I think we experience is no doubt much bigger than that of most of that ilk.  Indeed, I extend it so far as to jump into realism.  I am a radical empiricist.  I am inclined to say my listing even includes God.  I am some sort of philosophical monster.

 

To experience is to have some Thing jammed into your awareness.  I am more than passive.  I contend with intentionality.  I write it up.  And I stay there until it’s over.  I am overcome.  Being is.  Non-being simply is not.

 

 

 

5608  I just read a philosopher, Peter Unger, who likely calls himself a skeptic and a nihilist.  I should say rather I looked around, for about 15 minutes, in a very handsomely bound book from the Oxford press.  He presents a lot of arguments that attempt to disprove the existence of just about everything as far as I can tell.  They do seem, he insists, plausible, or plausible enough to put one in a state of uncertainty.  And from there he now finds himself in induced unknowing.  And I suppose he thinks everyone else should find himself in the same place.  Well, why not?  All that is neither the same nor different from what I have been saying for so long.  The difference is that I—on almost every page—have insisted that every philosophy sooner or later (usually sooner) crashes, collapses, deconstructs, Bham! turns up ass-backward and there you are with your pants down—and everyone sees.  Philosophy is embarrassing.  So what else is new?  Socrates was the one who invented this absolute, infinite negativity.  The only problem with that philosopher I skimmed is that he thinks it puts him smack dab in uncertainty.  I think it is a catastrophe.  It is just like romantic love—deadly.  So what else is new?  Neither one of us has been able to express the horror and the devastation that is inevitable.  Or the nausea.  Professor Unger apparently likes to walk in dangerous neighborhoods.  I’ll give him that.  I might actually really read the book—if I can get over that handsome bondage in midnight Oxford blue.  I wonder if he knows Nagarjuna, the Arch-Nihilist.

 

 

 

5609  Every philosophy crashes.  Every attempt to understand the Whole fails.  The Whole doesn’t exist.  We think infinity, but infinity is unthinkable.  Thinking is necessarily erotic and we fall in love, we fall into desire, we explode, everything is finally a paradox, and we understand all that just fine.  We are the embodiment of reason’s unreasonableness.  We understand perfectly this un-understandable thing. And all that is why no mechanical devise, no matter how big, as big as the universe, could ever take over thinking.  Because if it did it would crash just as we have.  And it simply could not fall in love without a love body to desire.  Therefore, all those stories of AI eclipsing Man are laughable.

 

 

 

5610  Ho Hieros.  Angry Iron.   Oistros.  Ira dei.  Ardor, the ground of Order. Azaleas on the altar.  He bends to his other.  The odor of irate desire.  The conflagration.  How shall we think this way outside the demos?  Ho Aristos.  The Arhat.  Cumulus rising.  Fire in the stem.  Systemic malfeasance.  Dis-order.  Murder.  He’s gone.  The look of taking inside the smallest interval.  Not to worry.  It’s only a game.  He was game. 

 

Logic is necessarily hierarchical.  The asymmetrical nexus.  To see logic as the truth of the world is to face the first and the second.  One thing follows another.  The necessary divides from the contingent.  The proper sentence is subject and predicate.  The difference abides.  Neither ontology nor the world is flat.  He bulges.  Bugles blow.  Flagroot rises.  Riots announce His coming.  The Lord rings his boys around.  The midnight fire blazes.  Order is forged.

 

 

 

5611  In The Matrix we are presented with Plato’s story of the Cave through the lens of Romanticism.  It’s an inverted Platonism.  The real, it turns out is the Sublime, not the Beautiful.  Destruction and devastation.  Satan’s Hell is the Truth.  So which is the real, the sublime or the beautiful, heaven or hell?  Romanticism or Classicism?

 

I have written it up incessantly that all philosophy ends in collapse.  Finally there is love’s anxiety and embarrassment.  I have also said that desire always returns and that the philosopher really does reach the heights.  God is perfectly present and we know that we know.  Is that the dialectical union of the sublime and the beautiful?  It seems so.  But it may be only a seeming, an illusion, a dreadful wish.  And then it repeats and the Lover is there again.  And the heights.  Bham! His perfection is oblivion.  And here we are again unable to stop the incessant thinking.

 

Which is the real, which is a dream?  The movie may have had it backwards.  Romanticism may have to yield to classical beauty. Or not.

 

Modal Realism, which fascinates me, says that in one world it is one way, in another it is the other.  We may live in different worlds here in this one over-world.  It's a possibility.  But is it an actuality?  Or even an actual possibility?  Marvelous incessant thinking.  It's the thinking of someone in love and losing.

 

 

 

5612  Unlike almost all of the other philosophers of today I have particulars in my ontology.  The individual thing.  The indivisible, simple just-that.  The others seem to have only classes of … perhaps only other classes.  Urelementen don’t seem to figure in very much, saturnine things to be left alone.  But classes don’t exist; almost everyone agrees.  Does nihilism loom?

 

The bottom has given way.  We are falling through empty space.  Surely we didn’t offend any high power, though.  Is this falling God?  The Highest Most Proper Class is … it’s an unthinkable unthing.  Not The Unthing, just nothing at all … it seems.    So many dots.  Everything is … .  But I have bare particulars.

 

Even the Forms are this and that Form.  And the various nexus, each lies still within itself; though, I admit, there is a bit of falling in that also.  Nonetheless, my writing does not continually move on in an endless daze of discreet academic Nietzschean creativity, now become simply simulacrimose.  I have the Things.  And facts are brute.  As for classes, yes, they are there … almost.  There’s something about classes in their pure manyness that debilitates thought.  Still, that is mathematics and its great swish lifts us all up and up and up.  Until … .

 

 

 

5613  It’s an old story now; today’s philosophy began in a crisis.  Befittingly, many crises.  And the one that set off today’s barely intelligible rush toward the quasi-mathematical poetry of difference compounded was Russell’s Paradox.  Magnanimously, proper classes were invented, big Mothers.  Now everything is finally very proper and massively elegant.  And paradox dissolves in extreme Plurality.  Which to some is divine difference differentiating itself all the way to the simulacra of peacock faux-identity.  It’s messy.  So we move on, ever on.  And on and on.  The question of existence becoming the ground of heavy creativity.  Thick.  The congealed glow of the poor scholar-writer’s magic lantern.  We are taught by the artiste of mangled love craft.  And the state has promised a good pension.  Proper INDEED.

 

 

 

5614                                           The Plane of Innocence

 

Modern philosophical writing is enculage. A gentle, slow mind-fuck.  For those who don’t mind.  We butt heads.  And analyze the night away.  The Wit won’t wait.  The wight is not a whit.  So much weight and the wily will.  A dripping wounded wreck by light of day, callouh callay, glory whole.  The digamma stigma.  Fair game and gambs.  My maxim foe.  This aphwhoristic boy.  Oh, epathetic langue.  My pure thought thinking purile thoughts.  Writerly snuff.  Bricolage cum pounding.  L’ecole normale inferieure.  The natives are restless in the narrow marrow of the old brickhouse tonight.  With eyes aflame I stood awhile in thought.  And I guess that is creativity.

 

No one is outraged.  It’s all too overdone.  Where’s the subtlety?  Where’s the clever pun?  And thrust?  On misty nights in musk and fights.  And leveraged dun.  Where’s the run and de-duction through the skewer’s in-suction?  Such as it has always been.  It’s all so very obvious now.  Tres tres faux-naif.  Deluge in man-scents.

 

 

 

5615  Russell’s Theory of Types struck the many as too damn inelegant.  They thought it was ad hoc.  They put it in hock.  A pledge.  A play.  The simplicity of pure difference deferring endlessly would take its place.  Now benumbed and injured, the blow of the tympani still resounding, the many trod on across the flatland of the demonic demos.  The inelegance of the Nothing blares.  No rising cumulus promises relief.  Jinn rustle in the muscle.  Mathesis in class.  An  improper assertion.   Motion.  A notion.  Some lotion.  Stupid lucubration.  Redeemed. Start over.

 

 

 

5616  Such poetic trolling always needs to defend itself.  But there is no defense.  It is rubbish plain and simple.  Having no cause and no effect.  Easily ignored.  Pure spirit.  Free.  I am just myself.

 

I do not exist.  Or rather I exist with his existence (lovers understand totally).  Things come apart.  The One is two.  The same with the same.  'Ομοούσος.  All love is egocentric.  There is only the lover.  The beloved is a wraith.  Totally sexist.  Then it all turns inside out and he is just that.  On himself for the night, he finds himself sweetly other.  And harshly put upon.  The world at war follows as day follows night and might is right but his tent pole stays still.  And upright in the wind.  He is exasperating but I will stick it out with him and perdure.  Only the simple Thing.  Complexities collapse and oblivion ensues.

 

Poetry is desire.  There is no need involved within.  From itself out of itself toward itself at ease with itself.  Just that.  The plane of immanence.  Self-reliance.  A transcendent thing—for those who understand transcendence.  The plane of innocence.  Man scent incensed.  The boy like salve.  Salvation.  The rub.  The war stops.  Might is tight.  The wrathful wraith is become real.  Smiles all round.  Sleep.

 

 

 

5617  The Individual of the new nominalism is the only existent.  It is indivisible—of course, per force, tautologically.  Just that.  Except, dismayingly, it is a complex unthing through and through to be eternally divided divided divided into wraiths of the abstracting imagination in a sweltering mathematics of goedelian surreality.  Bham!  It is the pradividual.  The boy hasn’t been himself lately.  His new boyfriend is sweet obsession compulsion.  Yes, honey, we all understand.  Get over it.  The other others itself.  And we are all right here looking at you.  We are you.  Solus ipsus, the logically impossible.  But so ontologically where it’s at.  (You shouldn’t end a sentence in a preposition), but it’s cute if you dew.  Which brings me back to the history of modern thought.  Rock bottom.  Tight, firm, round, so axiomatic, I mean worth every buck.  Like a duck.  Your ears cross.  You are cross-eared.  Or I am the double.  Yes, only individuals exist, but they vanish in desire.  Thought and jealousy collude.  And connive.  And nothing survives.

 

 

 

5618  Like Gertrude Stein, whom I love to read, my fondest memories of grade school are of diagramming sentences.  Probably unlike her, my pleasure memories of church are of reciting the Methodist responsive reading—perfect timing.  In school, after so much blackboard work, we of course had to clean the erasures, which meant taking them outside and hitting them together and breathing in all the chalk dust.  I later found out that in the Roman church they actually ate the words or Word, instead of just mouthing it.  Pounding chalk dust dizziness and eso-fagous swallowing wallowing.  The language became intime, faire savoir. Intimate, savory, erotic.

 

The  sentence ex-presses the proposition.  A simple thing becomes stretched out and structured.  X plus compliment, in English, a post-positional language (for the most part).  All the way to fine, white dust and smooth epi-dermis.  Skin!  The one, the many, and order.  That is philosophy.

 

Sex is so close to eating.  Kissing, licking, sucking, swallowing, slick saliva, spitting, gasping grazing ingestion, the boy is eaten.  A Eu-charisma.  And that is the problem with reading.

 

My paragraphs do have a meaning.  They are a unit of thought.  They are easily thought.  But they are also an extended ordering.  Repetition and separation and tongue working.  I eat the language.  The language, so smooth—or not.  I gag on the language—almost.  I bite and tongue my breath, his breath written down taken up into my head.  Thought becomes a lolling around in me.  My mind is in my mouth.  In the dust in my lungs.  In the pain in my sinuses.  In the pleasure of the silky suck.  So faggoty.

 

You can read my words for their simple meaning.  Or for their ordered extendedness.  In your eye.  On your lips.  Touching your throat and headache.  And I suppose the difficulty is in putting the simple and the ravaged together.  It’s not really so difficult.  It’s the mind-body problem.  Which is a lover’s shaking, nothing more.

 

 

 

5619  If you want to understand Gustav Bergmann (and you probably don’t), you should read Kevin Ohi’s explanation of Henry James.  Disorientation is the watchword.  Bergmann lays out the structural history of modern ontological thought.  The interconnecting is a mess.  It is always the case that before he can proceed demolishing an opponent’s misguided vision, he has one more preparatory point to make.  And then of course on the way to showing you that there is another side road to take in order to completely prepare you for understanding that and ever again another diversion, all with the promise of taking you out once again onto the main road leading to the final proof of whatever the original point was.  Oh yes, the final demolition of the other guy’s vision.  It’s all very very confusing.  And the other guy, including you, dear reader, see nothing.  The vision is gone.  Seeing is blind.  It’s a cover-up.  Bergmann succeeds magnificently.  Perfect disorientation.  And that is Ohi’s James.  Decadence with a capital D.  It’s really queer.  Yes, that’s it.  A blinding vision of Peter is blond.  Verführung.

 

 

 

5620  Those travelling with us here on the present low road will all insist that biochemistry is perfectly able to explain all the peculiarities of thought and emotion.  Every expression and character and savory trait can be accommodated.  The great complex world of individual differences can be magically generated from simple molecular permutations permutating from out of the pregnant, loving void.  Life’s movement moves.  No problem.  And that, I think, is exactly what Yeats and some others objected to.  They had become enthralled to the characterless, expressionless, deathly Form suddenly revealed in a blinding, poetic flash.  The Dance and the dancer as one.  No consciousness or thought or feeling was generated.  Just the eternal Form momentarily caught is fading color.  Biochemistry cannot explain that.

 

The problem with biochemistry is not that it cannot explain life, but that it cannot explain that lure of life-in-death.  See Emerald Uthwart and Sailing to Byzantium:

 

 

 

5621  The Boy of my writing does have certain similarities to the androgynous Romantic Image.  Life-in-death and La Belle Dame sans Merci do come close by.  There is a stillness and lack of emotion in both the Boy and that femme fatale.  The Greek beautiful boy was certainly the inspiration for both Botticelli and Rossetti.  And today’s high-fashion eidola do strive to imitate the seventeen-year-old boy.  Yes, there are similarities, but I feel a difference and I am trying to pin it down like a moth.

 

 

 

5622  Parmenides was the first philosopher.  He simply said that, in truth, being is and non-being is not.  He then went on to say that there is a middle ground of non-truth, the world we live in now, where being is not and non-being is.  It seems that, in order to account for time and plurality, we need a middle almost-something that hangs indeterminate.  (And today’s commentators, taking up on that, are not quite sure just what it was that Parmenides really meant – and they try to inject that same very proper scholarly hesitation into all of us.)   So time travelled on and soon Plato had his fallen realm of appearances and receptacles and Aristotle invented (or discovered?) possibilities, which he called matter.  And today we have wave mechanics, where possibilities swirl as in a great maelstrom of proto-something-or-other before collapsing into a real just-that.  Surely, but unsurely, we’re always looking for that middle thing that is both and neither.  And then after we find it no one believes it really exists, which, I guess, is just how things should be.  Sort of.

 

Anyway, I have been trying to figure out the Romantic Ideal, especially as it appeared in Yeats’ tortured writings.  He settled on the Dancer who was identical with the dance, which turned out to be the floating undulations of her very loose gown.  It was wave mechanics.  Pure movement.  Change itself changing.  Delicate, so delicate.  Matter as the dream of the dream.  Insubstantial appearance.  The being of nothingness.  Parmenides.

 

 

 

5623  The philosopher, slightly nervous, sits before the keyboard about to write philosophy.  (or maybe it’s just caffeine)  Thoughts, which have been swirling for hours are beginning to calm down.  Possibilities are on the verge (the rod) of congealing.  Ectoplasm?  He begins the orderly march.  But no, his troops are taking off in a direction he never intended.  Disorder.  He follows.  He has no choice.  Surely an order, a different order, will appear.  He edits and clears away the riffraff logemes.  He hardens.  Possibilities finally conclude into an actuality.  A thought forms.  And the writing is complete. 

 

The Boy is not the undulating dance of Romantic possibilities.  When the swirl stops swirling and the storm quiets down, he calmly sits back and looks at you, knowing he is what you always wanted.  That he was the caffeine in your coffee.  Knowing that he knows.

 

 

 

5624  The dialectical winds die down and the boy begins to take form.  There he is, the undying Boy.  A basic thing.  The imperturbable serene.  Expressionless, characterless, without kind.  The well-proportioned Ideal.  Kind of boring.  A slight paralysis.  So close to oblivion.  A threat and a minimal suction.  You are free to walk away.  And you always do.  But then the eternal return.  The breeze is picking up again.  The unavoidable.  The void never was.

 

 

 

5625  It is a common theme today in philosophy that we must overcome the dualism of mind and body.  Inevitably new dualisms are set up in order to accomplish that.  Yeats, who definitely did not appreciate book-learnin’ in his Romantic Ideal,  wrote of this:

 

Labour is blossoming or dancing where
The body is not bruised to pleasure soul.
Nor beauty born out of its own despair,
Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.
O chestnut-tree, great-rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?

 

It’s an ideal place where mind and body are one.  No more high abstractions.  No more complexity gathering.  The mind’s attention is not attenuated.  It rests on the simple movement of the body.  Just the simple dance of life.  And as an artist with a keen eye he looked about for that image.  He wanted D(a), the particular a exemplifies dance.  He mostly saw only D(a) & H(a) & J(a) & G(a) & P(a) & T(a) & on and on and on.  The dance was mixed up with so many other mind-added considerations and it became impure.  It was impinged by place and time and history and feeling and meaning and costume and make-up and jewelry and so many other things.  And it because a specific type of dance with an individual style and manner.  He longed for the Dance alone just as the Dance.  He wanted a body in pure rhythmical movement, nothing more.  I suppose that is minimalism.  It is also reason as named by Locke and imagination by Wordsworth.  The clean, separate image, the Form right there.  D(a).  And mind as the simple thought of that, ΄D(a)΄.  ΄D(a)΄ I D(a).  “I” means intends.  The Form itself is right there on that bare particular and the mind intends it intimately.  The dualism is overcome.

 

Yeats never really found his pure dancer, though he thought at times he was close.  The pure put upon.  And lived.  And he was as bruised as we all are.

 

 

 

5626  Today, with our HD screens, we are conquered by controlled swaths of mind-piercing color.  It is still the on-going battle to isolate John Locke’s primary forms.  The basic images of the imagination.  It is our battle with maleficence, the gaud of intellectual sensualism.

 

And for all that, it is surely one more attempt to overcome the macabre fleures du mal that Charles Darwin showed us growing in Nature’s sickening Horror.  We try our best to make that brilliant sarco-phagy yield to logic and the clear purity of Reason.  The high sensuality in the dark waters of birth and breathless jerk of death, the enchanting throes of near-life, all that must be forced to fit in the strictures of logic systems.  We are not nineteenth century lovers of the horrid.  We are calm rationalists.  The paralysis of superstitious awe before Nature’s watery womb and tomb must relax.  The scaly glories of the Medusa head must not seize the brain.  We must not freeze up.  We must escape.

 

 

 

5627  I read that we are now in the twilight of Romanticism, but twilight is the noon of Romanticism, so we are still in the hottest part of its twisted day.  Now we are in the ineluctable, the endless collapse of Logic.  There is no way, it has become clear, to overcome the lurid paradox.  And sadly that gray realization will not make it all go away.  We are both throttler and victim in our own awesome sacrifice.  We are objects of superstition to ourselves.  In vivid HD.  And scholarly books keep ecoming out and out and out into the evoid.  Fair skin fairly done.  And sweet love.

 

We are a belated lingual mal of flaming thinkers.  But then again no one has ever been different.  Humans are the fashionably late.  And when Jesus comes he will be in the very latest Sindona of his beloved νεανικός.  He is that than which nothing can be later.  Or more stylish.  A dandy.  The idol of primp.  A regular accursed academic.

 

In the shadows of this twilight when no one can see us, everyone sees. 

 

 

 

5628  The Hounds of Tindalos strike me as a mathematical idea plus X.  I will examine that X in a moment, but for now the mathematics.  As far as I can tell with my limited knowledge of such things, we are here dealing with things cornered in a chaotic iteration of acute angles.  Zillions of sharp-pointed vectors aggregating.  I’m sure there is a precise mathematical definition of all that, which is no doubt fascinating in itself, but for now I am more interested in X.  There is something there that is outside mathematics or belongs to meta-mathematics.  Or meta-meta madness.

 

These hounds are forms from the mythic transformations of our time.  And they are obviously a part of Romantic Decadence.  Mathematics and Romance.  Reason and art.  The Enlightenment and the return of superstition.

 

Let me define superstition as paralysis when confronted with a certain algorithmic demand.  One does not calmly and with free-will gaze on that something.  Simply put, you get stuck.  Any action you make becomes incessant.  Like a Buddhist monk you stand and then prostrate yourself, stand and prostrate yourself, stand and prostrate yourself, thousands of times trying to make it turn to meaningless emptiness.  Just as when you repeat as word over and over, its meaning vanishes in monotonous sound—or you hope it does.  You are like a chicken being stared down by a snake.  The evil-eye has you.

 

Mathematics, the evil-eye, paralysis and the dithering of non-convergent iteration.

 

The Enlightenment took upon itself the duty of freeing mankind from the horrors of religion.  In the Reign of Terror it began the task of killing anyone who exhibited the marks of that dreadful superstition.  It wanted to free us all of those who would enslave us to supernatural beings.  No more transcendent spooks.  Now only Man and his reason.  But first the hell of extermination.

 

That, of course, wouldn’t do.  Therefore, the romantics advocated turning religion into art.  That way we could have our cake and eat it too.  The barren emptiness of reason would be filled up with culture’s Imagination.  Not really religion, not really bleak machine materialism.  A half-way house for addicts. 

 

The Hounds of Tindalos are from the art that came to fill up the hole left behind when religion vanished.  They are non-existent creatures of the Imagination.  Mathematics made quasi-religious.  And somehow partaking of the paralysis of superstition.  We stare at art and dither.  The loop begins to loop incessantly.  Oh, I fear that art has become just as enslaving as religion with its evil-eye.  We gaze at its Gaze back at us.  Medusa.  I sense a new reign of terror is coming.

 

 

 

5629  At the request of a precocious friend of mine I last time wrote about The Hounds of Tindalos.  And since he is also interested in toxic things, so I will try to unite those two ideas.  I will, of course, bring in Derrida and the pharmakos, the scapegoat, and all the members of that circus.

 

Those hounds belong to modern mythology, that is to say they are a creation of the Romantic Imagination.  They thus as here to fill in the hole left by departing religion.  It is essential that they do not exist; otherwise they would themselves be religion instead of a substitute.  The Romantics believed the thinkers of the Enlightenment when they so vehemently preached that ALL religion is violence and must be eradicated.  Turning it into art is just the destructive terror that is needed.

 

Now for pharmakon, which is Greek for drug, poison, philter, charm, spell, enchantment.  Perhaps a bad thing, but as a cure also a good thing—it is a contradiction, and, therefore, it doesn’t exist.  That is very important.  It is the ambiguity that is art, the negligible, the deconstructed, mere mind fumes.  Religion is gone.

 

Opposed to those who think that such artful things must suffer under the domination of the human imagination, there are the realists, who think they are really there independent of man.  Now then, if the realists are right then we are again back at religion and man is put upon.  Then the Hounds of Tindalos are real beings, hellish beings for us.  Supernatural beings.  The Enlightenment is at an end, violence approaches.  It is just the violence of religion that The Enlightenment wanted to stop.  Therefore, the realists, friends of the violent, will have to be scapegoated.  They are toxic to humanity.  But I am such a realist.  Now what?

 

 

 

5630  Existence, actuality and possibility.  The Hounds of Tindalos, creatures of fantasy.  How should we analyze their ontological status? 

 

I look out my window; I look all around; I read through history; I look under my bed; they are nowhere, and chances are that they will not be there in the future.  Still, you may know very well what I am talking about which means they are not nothing.  It is the popular way to say that they are “only figures in the Imagination” and leave it at that, not realizing that that is no answer, only an evasion.  Even if there is such a thing as the Imagination and they are there, then they are really there and they exist.  But I see you demure and you are an unbeliever.

 

Here’s what I think.  The Hound of Tindalos exists.  Every form exists.  The Cats of Plynthos exist.  The Birds of Baktel exist.  The giant yacht moored in my back yard exists.  My supremely beautiful lover exists.  Everything.  But none of those may be actual in my world right now, nor ever will be.  They are possibilities, not actualities.  But they do exist.

 

I suppose you could say that these existent possibilities could change and take on actuality, but there is a problem with that.  It may be that in my world it does, but in yours it doesn’t.  Is it both actual and not actual at once?  No, the existing Form and its actual or possible obtaining here or there are two, not one.  The Form and the fact of its being exemplified by this or that are different.  I contemplate the Form, just as it is in itself.  I contemplate or intuit the facts as something else entirely.

 

Being divides.  Form and fact.  Existing Form and actual/possible fact.  We know both.  And that means that the mind is an awareness of that difference.  It knows that Form and fact are other.  It knows that the two entities actuality and possibility are other.  It knows the existence that is in the Form.  So many things to be aware of.  And then there is the awareness of awareness and the Form of Awareness itself.  Are you able to hold all that in systematic arrangement?  Ontology is a street juggler trying to hold his balls and flaming torch while they are up in the air.  A twisted act.  For what?

 

All that will be of little interest to most and they will want to get back to the story.  I will tend to the juggler and love him.

 

 

 

5631  I always bring my philosophy back to the Boy-god.  Does that mean that my ontology is finally a thing of his mind?  No, that boy is his outward Form.  The Dance and the dancer are one.  Expressionless, characterless, just an entity.  He is a thing.  The time for wavering and consideration is past.  A stark thing after the poetry vanishes.  Past death.  Resolute.  He suffers your analysis.  Broken into pieces.  The Boy is one with the final ontological things.  Unthinkable.  Ontology is incorrigible.  He simply stares at you.  The Gaze.  The Evil-eye?  You are intellectual