Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Stealing Fire

Surely there were a number of men sitting in that circle. The fire was circular to warm as many as possible. 

Those men sitting up late, their wives asleep already, had a dark we cannot imagine easily. There was the fire, lighting up a few trees, but the dark, was beyond description, the picture and fact,  of the unknown.

Somehow this distinction, picture and reality, became something men could leverage. To surmise that man's theft of fire, his acquisition of symbolic cerebral activity, involved several steps, first studying the stars in wonder, seeing patterns of things in the overhead lights, so different from the day,  may suggest pictures came before words. If so, it explains nothing, Just to know what the steps are, does not answer why. The how is not why. 

These men were braver than people today. They measured the edge of the unknown and pushed outward, upward. Jan Cox noted that people now do not look up. (and this was before the cell phones). These men did. And perhaps they saw the stars were similar to their own bright, circular, hearth. They saw patterns in the stars, patterns which at some point became the abstractions we call verbal words. These pictures in the sky were simpler, connecting the dots, white points without  distracting shrubbery.

So when Jan Coix spoke of men "falling upstairs" when they acquired language, the direction may reflect the men looking beyond their fire, exhausted but determined to understand their world with the tools they had. Pictures, then words. They, then, did not confuse words and reality. It was all new. Symbols evaporated and had to be rediscovered, not, as with moderns, forgotten. The stars were  abstractions that became as important as their weapons, their knife edges. Only after many millenia did words become the cement of sleeping awareness. The dreaming which assumes what is known, what is knowable, is all there is. That sleeping which assumes knowing is valid even when it does not involves physical daring. This efficiency did not happen for a long time.

draw picture of campfire-- ask --is this before or after they stole fire-- the real fire-- verbal ability-- that leap [Jan COx called it falling upstairs] ---

tgat fire--- intellectual symbolic ability--- of course it was divine, it was nowhere in the primate lineage--- discontinuous--- 

what could it inspire but stories of gods, of a seeking to understand, itself inpsired by and made possible by----[[[ this symbolic acuity-]]] -- a seeking to understand which always, was self-understanding, pursuing the only valid objective path within its borders. boprder continuously expanded -- the edge always bleeding, leading, avodiing the lead of words by surpassing them---

one assume at first though--- there was no need to surpass this leaden cooling molten, loss of real form into, words---- because at first--- there was no sleeping state, necessitated by the efficiency of evolution---

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

We need rich people

There is no reason to believe what rich people say about their own contributions to the economy, etc. There is an element of truth to their ideas, as there are to most. 
What I would say though, is that we need rich people for the variety.
Variety is good. The binary mind secretly, perhaps, despises variety. The "blooming confusion" William James spoke of, is the source of originality and growth. The binary minds wants nothing so much as to sort, regardless of reality -- just get everything into this or that category. Problem is, these drawers are artificial. 

We need variety. We need rich people. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

War of the words

May I just draw your attention to a strange quality of words. Analysts like to point to denotative and connotative content. What I am trying to focus on is not these things. What I refer to is that words validate themselves, regardless of their meanings.. Their being spoken grabs a certainty. an authenticity, accuracy, and believability, regardless of the content. If  a reader  replies, I wouldn't believe a thing my brother-in-law says, his words are not self-authenticating,  To this I say that we are referring to a brief period after the words are in the air, and you can see this in the current eastern European situation. 
One side says, we did not invade Pretania, and though, there are written accounts, recorded interviews,  and plenty of pictures, of armed troops marching across the border,  there is a split second where you take that seriously, something to turned around in your mind: "They did not invade." And then you think, oh wait, they are Grossnians, of course they would lie. But for a moment the words of the Grossnians, had a sheen of authenticity. 
A strange and amazing quality of words, qua words, is my point. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Seaside scenes

I playfully thought that the positivists, the natural scientists, were like crabs with their binary pinchers. Then the mystic might be a snail,.plodding, and leaving a trail of words. This picture considers the mass of humanity as seaweed swaying back and forth. Cerebral seaside scenes.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Treat or Treat

Why do modern historians consistently label "witchcraft:' as a medieval phenomenon? A brief glance at the dates indicates that what we call witchcraft is a distinctly modern phenomenon parallel with the beginnings of modern science. Prior to the 13th century any claims made about witches having power were regarded as blasphemous or ignorant since god alone had power to control events: any suggestion a mere mortal could cause bad things to happen to another was not a Christian view. The proper attitude toward one claiming the power to harm another through spells or curses, was to pity them.

A fresh interpretation, might point to a deeper similarity between actions leading to the witchcraft trials and the early practitioners of modern science. The simultaneous occurrence of these beliefs is a matter of historical record. Both those accusing others of witchcraft and those making the discoveries that define the early modern era share this: an assignment of human agency. Man was capable of discovering and understanding the world around him. The control over events this suggested is somewhat similar to that those poor people accused of witchcraft were thought to have.

I refer of course to the men and women who suffered dreadfully in the modern era because their neighbors accused them of casting spells, etc. The appearance in the 20th century of those who claimed to be actual witches are confused in a different way. They cling to the idea they are participating in some pagan traditions which are quite old, when actually the contemporary systems involving so-called witches were just made up in the past century and a half.

And certainly the refusal to face the fact a belief in the power of witches is a modern phenomenon, suggests an unwillingness to investigate any questions of psychology seriously. A sober view of the human intellect suggests that the aspects of the world which the human mind has not grasped may be much greater than the portion he assumes he understands. And it could be asked why this is so hard to remember.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Day Five, the Peace Prize.

I was going to spend this space talking about the religious structure of modern scientific ambitions, or maybe about the rant scant science of the fringe, or, the true nature of conspiracy theorists. But, not today, not after the Peace Prize Awardees.

Is it any wonder goodness has a bad name, when such bland, uncontroversial, folk get the prize. Who is FOR not educating women, who is FOR taking advantge of children. NOBODY who is vagauely articulate could be for these things. This is not peace, it is mechanical, and, binary. (Yes you heard that word before, in this week's celebration of the Nobel Awards -- binary, if I forgot to mention this earlier, means everything can be labeled, accurately, as THIS or THAT. Two choices.Reality is always divisible into TWO.)

A big problem with binary is apparent, if you have followed me so far. How could the really good, be so boring. 

Preface---- this blog exists not to just discuss the ideas of Jan Cox. I am actually writing a book right now, that aspires to do that. No, the blog is to embody his guidelines on fresh, original, thought.  Having said that, now I am going to go back to his ideas, and yes, that means, I have no creative, adequate, alternative maps for this. His intellectual constructions are today the point of this blog. 

That is-- Jan's map of  the three flows.  I hope to sketch enough to show what I mean by saying the good, could not be, boring. The three forces/flows, are each necessary for every moment and they determine, all three together, what happens at any moment. A temporary transient labeling, would be , the Creative, the Conservative, and the unexpected or, the Good, the Bad, the irrelevant, or -- the New, the Old, the Surprising. And, yeah, they change into each other constantly. The peace is in knowledge

Peace, is accessible, at each moment, by trying to maintain an awareness, of this complexity. 

Even a bit. And continuing. A simple awareness.