“Is it True, or is it Just a Myth?” from a documentary narrator regarding Alexander The Great cutting the Gordian knot.
“...do you really believe that he changed Water into Wine?!”choose your source, many to pick from“...
“Truth is irrelevant, these are facts”Select any institute of higher learning as your choice for this source
Why do statements like these come about?
Where from comes the idea that you can establish a fact that doesn’t associate with truth, or that Truth is nothing more than a low level fact, the idea that you could speak of a Myth qua myth, as somehow incompatible with Truth, as if Truth on that contextual level is comprised of nothing more than catalogs of descriptive physical facts?
Beneath our words and follies and organized thoughts, are Truths deeper and more substantial than all of our thoughts, and it is these Truths, apparent in everything we say and do - yet respected by few, reviled by many, and unheard of to the rest - that give form and substance to our every thoughtful moment. Every thought you think reinforces them, whether or not you recognize them. They have power, power that can free you, if you but submit to them; and in submitting to them you can become a Free Man, gaining freedom that the wild human being(primitive or modernist) can never conceive of. Within them is the power to defeat those who would divide us – if we but look. As with the Gods though, they require respect, and if ignored… well they are jealous gods, and will send their progeny to aid in our destruction.
Our Words do more than identify small, isolated physical facts. There is in fact no such thing as an isolated fact. The Universe is One – in fact without us, it is no-thing, only an undifferentiated, seamless lump of stuff. It is only with we conscious, living creatures, and especially those conceptual beings of Free Will, that the universe can be seen as being divided into ‘parts’, and it is only with the existence of Free Will, that there can be true and false, good and bad, right and wrong; and all of it depends on our ability to get it wrong – without the possibility of error, there is no possibility of being correct.
Those boobs seeking Artificial Intelligence would do better to seek to create machines that can err, than can ones that will get it right. Truth is, however, that both approaches are participants in the great divide, they drop the essential context, they ignore what we bring to the equation: Awareness. Conscious Awareness. Without that, nothing but elaborate calculators will be created, and to calculators there is no right or wrong, only results, only stuff.
Let’s review for a moment, what it means to be human, and to bring this Universe into existence within a Human understanding.
At the root of Mankind, as opposed to mere human beings, is The Techne, Language. Language enables us to hold our thoughts before us, to examine them, to reflect upon and improve them, and to affect actions upon ourselves - across time. To behave as if past, present and future, were a single entity with which we can project our self creation upon.
It is through Language's most visible mechanism, Words, that we acknowledge reality, reveal identity and discover consciousness. The act of doing so in a manner that contextually relates and integrates reality, identity and consciousness in a factual manner, is the process that reveals Truth; the degree to which our integrations don’t reflect reality, is the degree to which Truth will be obscured to us through a haze of falsehood and error.
To make a diligent effort to consciously conduct these contextual integrations accurately, and to criticaly reflect upon them, is to engage in the pursuit Truth. Applying this action of truth seeking to areas of human activity – action, decision, behavior, defense, make up the Virtues of Justice, Prudence, Temperance, and Courage. Studying and teaching this process is the occupation of those who love wisdom, Philosophers.
The conscious and active intent to deny truth, to purposefully mis-integrate reality, is vice, to intentionally mislead another for the purpose of shearing them away, Dividing them, from the bosom of reality, is Evil.
Interesting to note that this process of divisiveness and deception reveals a familiarity with the structure of Truth which few honest people are conscious of; few honest people know truth as a liar does – a liar knows it’s anatomy, what it relies upon for its very existence, and resents that knowledge as if it were a hateful venomous poison. Through a malevolent misdirective glamour, they turn the eyes of the naïve away from the lifeblood of truth – and Truth itself wounds both the blinders and the blinded for their shortened sight. Studying and teaching this process is the occupation of those who disdain wisdom, and their names are legion – modernists, post modernists, progressives and leftists are enough of them for our purposes here. This practice of divorcing fact and truth from ethics and the Good is what liars and modernists do.
Knowledge, at its very root, I contend is an Ethical concept - all of Ethics can be derived from a single statement, or even something as simple as a grain of sand – examined in its full context. What you take to be True, defines all for your life from there on out. To say that something IS, is to acknowledge Existence, and not just a portion of it but all the wide One Cosmos, it also implies that in some mysterious way you somehow stand outside it, while yet remaining within it, this unique thing called conscious awareness is the faculty that enables us to identifies parts of the Whole. Examining the ever widening context of even a 'single Truth', is how we Colonize our minds and expand our Souls. The more profitable expansions will be upward into the Vertical, which will in turn extend your colonization ever wider, and so on and on and on.
To Divide And Conquer
The great divider, or maybe better termed the great flattener, is a tactic which any school kid knows to use when trying to convince a parent he should be able to do something he shouldn’t, or when he is trying to convince another child to do what they both know they shouldn’t “What is it going to hurt if we do X?” The trick is to discard the realm of any Vertical conception at the outset. Pretend any moral considerations aren’t worth considering, that “Reality” consists only of what you can touch. The Liar instinctively seeks after some horizontal measure that can be used to reduce all Vertical considerations to. Once that’s done, it’s all just a matter of nibbling comparisons and negotiations.
Once you separate the normative, the Vertical, Moral, Ethical, Spiritual – call it what you will, once that is separated from your actions, total ‘victory’ over Man is achieved, and the mere human being is cut loose to run wild - not free, that is lost, just wild. In doing this, the deeper Truths are spat upon and discarded, all that is wholly within you is cast down, all they created is open to be used as tools of chaos and destruction, and chaos and destruction can not be escaped – this is the oversight which all who seek to live a lie “just this once” so bitterly come to discover and embody.
The attempt to divorce our words from the wider reality containing us all, is a farce, a fools errand. The attempt to deny Free Will is cowardice and the evident desire to shirk responsibility for your life and the choices that have gone into its development. Your colonization of the interior of your spiritual continent abandoned, you cling to the ribbon of surf encircling the land mass and mistake it for completion - its interior mountains and valleys never charted, its vast lakes and streams never discovered.
Seeking a status prior to Truth, you artificially separate facts and answers from the One, and a thin moisture is all that there will be left to satisfy your spiritual thirst. It is only through the recognization of the inseparability of fact and value, the fermenting of thought, the drawing of facts into relation with the whole, that your thirst can be slaked, the thin moisture deepened into water and turned into Wine, that most intoxicating Wine of the Gods – Beauty, Truth and Goodness.
What are these deeper truths?
There are deeper Truths which underly all of our thinking, are deeper and more substantial than all of our thoughts, and is that which our thoughts must bow to in order for us to think even a single thought to begin with. They are the self-evident truths upon which all that we know or can say stands, they are the very root of Epistemology (the study of knowledge), and the portals through which any thoughts of Metaphysics must pass, the inescapable Axioms.
An axiom is a self-evident truth upon which any further knowledge and explanations must rest. An Axiom is something you can't avoid referring to, in an attempt to define it, and at the root of all we know or can ever know, there lies that most mystical of numbers, Three, a trinity of unity.
The first Axiom, is that existence exists. You can't even attempt a definition of existence, reality, etc, without referring to existence or something derived from it. It is the Philosophic equivalent of attempting to lift yourself up by your own bootstraps. Can't be done, and you look damn silly trying to.
The next axiom that hits you over the head is a two-parter. The first part is that to be able to say that existence exists, means that someone exists and perceives it. The second part is that the process of the perceiver perceiving existence means that the perceiver has a faculty which makes that possible, that which we call consciousness, awareness. The process of perceiving can only be done by a conscious entity.
And the last fundamental Axiom is that that thing being perceived is some-one-thing, and it can't be at the same time and in the same way, be something else.
Our minds, working through these axioms, is enabled to grasp the properties of these “something's” out there, and these identities are able to be grasped in increasing combinations and layers of complexity - line, circle, sphere, moisture, water, steam, clouds, snow, Ice. This is a trail leading from basic perceptual details, leading into a three dimensional item in four dimensional space (height, width, depth and existence in time), the properties of these particular items determine its characteristics amidst different circumstances and quantities, and its value, or threat, to your life.
Taking note of those characteristics, in this case Water, its properties and the circumstances which alter them, taking note of how they can benefit or threaten your life, how you may be able to control them through a better understanding of them - this is the process of Reasoning.
The process of Reasoning relies on factually identifying these things as they are within given contexts, and it is hindered by any misidentifications you might make. This is the ultimate structure of Truth, and Falsehood.
It is important that you do not fall into the trick of horizontalizing your reasoning faculty - attempting to limit it to three dimensional space, that you not attempt to exclude your consciousness, that which grasps and encompasses all of these dimensions, from your Reasoning - that road is what leads towards the notion that things simply are, that they can be thought of as flatly three dimensional and free from error - the possibility of error is what ties YOU into the context.
Without the possibility of error, there would be no possibility of being right, there would be not only no room for, but no possibility of, Free Will. The physical universe is one big flowing, dynamic unfolding of One ultimate matter. Though we may never be able to grasp them in full, the universe operates under laws of Physics, which are but expressions of its properties, its nature. Knowledge of that set of laws, that nature in Total, knowing the Physics of the One Matter unfolding in the universe, would bestow knowing every-thing that has happened, or ever will happen.
Everything that is, except for Us.
We are that which can not be predicted with absolute certainty, because by our natures, we are aware and capable of exercising Free Will. It is tempting to speculate that Life itself, from the lowest amoeba to the highest conceptual being, is an expression of this quality of undeterminable action(in any perfect projection), conscious, aware,– each with some conception of free will. Tempting, but a speculation.
In any case, it is by Reasoning, by factually identifying these things as they are within given contexts, that we come to grasp Truth. The word in that last sentence, which is most often neglected and sometimes even under outright attack, is Context. Forgetting or discarding the immediate context is a common error and an even more common deception. We are part of the context of factually identifying these things as they are – as they are in the Universe, as grasped by, and in relation to, Man.
To sum up, something that is what it is, is there, it takes someone to perceive it, and the process of perceiving it is the basic process of consciousness. Everything we do, every observation we make, every thought we think, involves all three. The liar and the modernist seek to separate all aspects relating to consciousness from the equation. It is foolish, beyond wrong, and destructive beyond all grasp. Their ultimate goal is to ignore and exclude the possibility of error from 'life', of 'discovering' a fully deterministic Secret to the universe. They seek a shortcut to perfection, a way of shirking responsibility for their lives, choices and the dread of making decisions.
The Dividers and Determinists designs can not be put over without repudiating these three fundamental axioms. After all, the sacred tenents of modernism, and Post-Modernism in particular, are that Existence does not exist, that we don't know it, and that nothing is what it seems, and no thing can ever be truly known. If you ever want to have a deliciously nasty spat of fun, engage a post-modernist in conversation, and ask them to express those beliefs, that these axioms do not exist - without resorting to using them in their refutation. If they were honest (something they deny the possibility of), they would have to stop even using words at all ("why do you use that word? you use it as if it means something?"), curl up and die.
The Unprovable Proof - It IS, I Am, You Are
Another source of nasty glee can be had by asking someone newly discovering axioms, to prove they are axioms. It is something which usually drives most of us mad for a period, an Axiom can not be proven. Any proof would be circular in that it must necessarily refer to itself in order prove it. Axioms are not provable, they are not beyond Proof, they are before proof. They are that which are, and must be accepted as being. They are inescapable. They just are… in a clear headed sense, you might say that they must be taken on faith. You might want to take a moment and think that over. It IS. You Know it. In Knowing IT to BE, you are Experienced. And there is no proof possible for it, it is self evident. That You ARE, and can not prove it, IS ‘Proof’ that you are above it. You are an Axiom of the Universe.
For me, THIS is where Water is changed into Wine, and on entering the Blood… intoxicating.
Beneath all words and organized thought, are these three Axioms, and there in lies the defeat of the Dividers, those who seek to separate us from reality, who seek to deify the horizontal and deny and discard the Vertical – if we but recognize it. These are also such things, these Axioms, that if ignored, disrespected… well they are like jealous gods, and will send their progeny, our own thoughts opposed to Truth, to act in our destruction. It can not be otherwise. To ignore them is to put yourself in opposition to reality. They demand but Respect; Respect for Reality – All of it, which if given, will enable our thoughts to grasp the world, but if ignored, will destroy our world once again.
Things are what they are, to attempt to convince yourself or others that something is something other than what it is, is to practice evil in it's most elemental form - to resent things as they are, to desire something to be other than it is by means of your desiring it alone, is to reject the universe in total, to put yourself at odds with reality, Truth & God.
Coming back again to my earlier speculation, I think that it is the implicit awareness of these three axioms which makes our consciousness possible, even in ignorance or opposition to them, they are at once the source and the door through which our expression of life, consciousness and Free Will passes through and into the universe. And that sense that something must be behind them, provable, is the thread that draws us inwardly outwards towards seeking after God. I have no proof of that, we are given no proof of it, but to each of us at some time in our lives, it seems as if it simply is so... you might even say self evident. Perhaps this is another source for the modernist's assaults upon the three axioms.
The quality of intent we exhibit throughout our lives, our actions and thoughts, our culture, they are the mark of our Free Will. Seeing this page, reading this word, is to see not only mere fact, but the Horizontal stuff lifted into the Vertical heights of the Gods by way of your conscious spark, the divine fire. We stand at the intersection of the Horizontal and the Vertical; human life perhaps being the sparks which fly from their contact.
Whether or not you believe your soul lives on, it lives now, and to identify something as what it is, is to imply not only the necessity of doing so, but the value and purpose for doing so - sustaining your life, and doing so for a purpose. By identifying A as being A and not B, you assert the value of truth, and that error or falsehood is counter to a proper life.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was Good. The Word identified reality, not just some aspect of reality, but reality in its totality. To say that this IS a particular thing, is to say that something is True or it is False, and from that we can build to all of epistemology, all of philosophy, all of Ethics... I Am that I AM.
This is the chain of Morality.
Seeing the Three in The 300
With all the preceding in mind, I saw "The 300" today with my oldest boy – 18 yrs old, his younger brother, 14 yrs old, was at a friends, or I would’ve brought him along as well. I was tipped off to this movie by an article by Victor Davis Hanson last year. My eldest’s high school mascot is the Spartan’s, so he and his schoolmates were eager to see it for that reason alone, I on the other hand was expecting something a bit more worthwhile to be present, and a review by a primitive NewYorkTimesmen (a creature by the name of A.O. Scott) tipped me off that I would find what I was looking for in the movie. The reviewer was a pitiful specimen typical of his tribe, in “The 300” he saw only a “Manly” movie, “a bombastic spectacle of honor and betrayal”, suitable only for mocking, particularly for engaging in that supreme folly – believing in Right and Wrong, the Human Spirit, Freedom and our need to defend it. What could be more ludicrous to such a one?
“The Persians, pioneers in the art of facial piercing, have vastly greater numbers — including ninjas, dervishes, elephants, a charging rhino and an angry bald giant — but the Spartans clearly have superior health clubs and electrolysis facilities” To this flattest example of the finest in horizontal-centric primitive NewYorkTimesmen, realism is all, and imagination is nonexistent. He wouldn’t recognize a poetic truth if it flamed up in his own heart – a fear I’m sure he need not fear.
The movies dialog ‘he’(?) finds especially open for ridicule, in phrases such as Leonidas’s wife saying “Come home with your shield or on it,”; apparently he's unaware of its being historically accurate, a common refrain of Spartan mothers and wives to their men leaving for battle. When later she observes that “freedom is not free.”, he considers that to be trite and empty. The Greeks response to the assertion that the Persians arrows will be so numerous as to blot out the sun, “Then we will fight in the shade!” to be merely overblown rhetoric “…themes, conveyed with more nuance and irony, in a Pokémon cartoon.” He seems to be aware that the Persian Wars did in fact take place, but he either ignored the existence of Herodotus’s account of them, or was ignorant of it – amounts to the same. This isn’t surprising of course, for a flatland horizontal-centric primitive NewYorkTimesmen, what is not ‘realistic’ (read pathetic and decadent examples of human misery and pointlessness), is unimaginable and worthless.
What I saw in the movie was the spirit of The Iliad & the Odyssey come to life, that spirit which modernists of all stripes have been seeking to obliterate from education and public discourse for 150 years.
The idea that Man is alive, and that living requires more than breathing. That Beauty and Truth are values supreme. That freedom is not free, that those who recognize this and defend it not only Live, but live for all time – those who oppose it are monstrous, living but not alive, errors to be corrected, discarded and forgotten.
Western Civilization (the fusion of Greco/Roman and Judeo/Christian philosophy), that which was begun with the Greeks, is the only civilization built upon this understanding of the unity and indivisibility of the world and the spirit. And their achievement was in every way Heroic.
The primitive NewYorkTimesmen sees reality as something to be divided, divided into the horizontal… and the excess verticality to be discarded. To them, there is no Vertical, and to them there is no Art, no Poetry, no Truth that is truer than fact. To them there is nothing at all to quaint notions of Heroic Spartans or Water being changed to Wine. Imagination that doesn’t stick to degraded realities, is but childish illusion and unworthy of any serious consideration. Aristotle’s observation that Poetry tells not just what was, but what should have been and ought to be, is completely lost on such a flatlander.
I’m well aware of the historical inconsistencies and unrealistic aspects of "The 300", but they are insignificant in the face of what the movie encompasses and projects. History as it should and ought to have been sums it up well. There is nudity in this movie and the violence is extensive, yet I wouldn’t bat an eye at having my 14 yr old see it, possibly even my 7 yr old (though my wife would probably share some violence with me if I tried!). To my mind, there is no comparison, no relation whatsoever between the graphic nature of this movie, and anything of the sort of filth that ‘Quentin Tarrentino’ type modernists tout. That sort is pornographic to me in its every frame, word and action.
To me, the graphic scenes, nudity and violence, found in The 300, are almost reverent.
Take the Dividers dictum, the great Flattener “What will it hurt?” and turn it on it’s head, “What will it achieve?” and you begin to see what the primitive NewYorkTimesmen fears. This movie, and all the Virtuous (‘Manly’ in latin, actions worthy of a Good Man) literature of Western Civilization stirs the spirit of free men and woman, it awakens us to the idea that WE ARE and I AM, that the world is and that We are in it, entwined and fused, a fusion of the Horizontal and the Vertical. The flatlanders fear these movies and literature, because with just one line, such as “Freedom is not free, sometimes it must be paid for with blood.”, it invokes and acknowledges our Three Axioms, and portends total and complete destruction of the modernist progressive ‘message’, the message that we are all just physical flesh trapped in a pointless horizontal plane, determinist fodder tossed about on the faddish waves of economic ‘culture’.
Every frame of this movie gives the lie to that message, and drives a stake into its heart.
If this movie has an unseen theme, it is that the world of shear existence can not be divided from Man, that you should not seek life without Living, that Existence exists and We, the fusion of Horizontal AND Vertical, are a part of it, and death is to be preferred to rejecting any part of that.
I Loved it.