Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Hubris of The Doomed

The Darkness is falling! The Darkness is falling!
I hear that a lot lately. A recent commenter deep within a GagDad post, Michael Andreyakovich, recently begaied us all with a 'drunken' lament of Doom and Gloom, and that anyone who is even considering having children today, are just cruel and negligent!

Now, I confess to occasionaly indulging in my own dark forebodings, often brought on by news such as President Bush’s latest comment “If Iran is implicated in harming US Personal, there will be a firm response” – What the hell?! I'd much Rather hear him say “We've vaporized 5 Iranian military bases today, one for each US Soldier we have reason to believe was killed by Iranian backed personnel…” I mean if we don’t stand, surely we must fall?! The word on the street is that we are losing it, we are doomed… and in that thought of doom, there is an implication that It All hasn’t always been in danger of being lost, that WE haven’t always been in imminent danger of losing the light – that there is a NEW thick, deep darkness falling upon us.

First I want to take a look at what this ‘we’re doomed!’ really means and is, how unique to our times it is, and what - if anything - there is for us to do about it.

The Greeks identified one trait unforgivable to the Gods, and certain to invite their Doom, that of Hubris. The human conceit that ‘I know all that needs to be known, no one can tell me anything different, I have no need of further consideration of caution’ and taking ‘Pride’ in such ‘knowledge’; in short, taking upon oneself a surety of knowledge which even the Gods do not possess. This is the false Pride that goeth before a fall. The Greeks knew of it, the Romans were aware of it, the British suspected it of everyone else, the MSM declares it of (Republican) Presidents.

What does saying ‘we’re Doomed!’ mean? Doesn’t it mean that you have surveyed the scene, read the tea-leaves, and have attained to absolute certainty that there is no escape from the future which your crystal ball has foretold? That no one living or to be born can think, do, discover, teach or perform any act or series of acts which you haven’t forseen which could change the course of history, because YOU see that we are DOOMED!? That this Doom is so certain, that other people, deficient in your prescience, daring to have children (Children! The Fools!) are irresponsible in the extreme, that having any hope of a life worth living is just negligent and petty of them in the face of your foreknowledge. Hmm… I smell something burning, but it ain’t the world.

Wake up and smell the Hubris Michael Andreyakovich.

When Have We Not Been Doomed?
Let’s take a closer look at this certain doom, in particular at other times when apparently life was so Good and True as to NOT be doomed. There is much I think that we miss with our surface despair & assurance of having fallen away from previous golden states of security. What are these times that are often looked back upon as being better ones? I suppose that the easier pickings are those of the Founding Fathers, and those of the Greatest Generation, and even the youth of the big-babyboomers.

We can assume that the technological comforts of 21st century life vs 16th, 17,th, 18th, 19th and even 20th century life, medicine, machines, refrigeration etc aren't the focus of their lament – let’s assume that what is being lamented at having been lost from their time to ours, is something other than the eases and creature comforts of our luxuries and those luxuries we consider to be necessities.

Let's look at the Founders time - which part of their times do we think back on as having been free from the threat of Doom, so rosy and sound? True, they showed their sense and courage by rising up against the looming tyranny of Great Britain, well... perhaps a little over a third of them did anyway - but as many or more of them didn't support the revolution. Sure there was Washington, S. & J.Adams, and Jefferson... but there were also large numbers of the populace who were opposed to, or indifferent to revolution, or were sunshine patriots who, like Benedict Arnold, turned when their own weather turned foul - and others of his kind abounded - not a sound and pleasant time in which to live or raise children, surely.

Well, ok, then... still keeping with the Founders time, but lets focus on the period after the revolution. Surely here was a time of Goodness and Truth, and no implacable darkness about to fall upon and engulf them in doom. Er... but wouldn't that be the period where the unity of the colonies was falling apart, where it was actually conceivable that New Jersey would go to war with New York, when all the states sought to shirk their revolutionary debts and agreements... and when during this idyllic period there were rebellions across the land, such as with Shay's Rebellion.... Good times? Steady times?

Well, ok then, after the constitution was written, surely THEN it was a Good time, a True time, a time free of the implacable and impending Doom. Hmm... wouldn't that be the period that saw the whiskey rebellion? Those fine peaceable times when the frenchie-phile incited press was agitating against Washington (the Man, not the city)? Those fine days when half of the states still upheld legal slavery and ensured a coming Civil War? Those fine and inspiring days during which a vice president (Aaron Burr) shot and killed one of the founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton? Good times?


Ok then, forget about the Founders then (silly whigs), how about the Greatest Generation who defeated totalitarianism & imperialism – are also the same ones of The Right Stuff, and Camelot and the Apollo program and landing on the Moon! No Doom there! Um… except that they were also the ones who ushered in a boom in Government Regulatory agencies, saw China lost to the communists, the UN was created (a low of lows)...Mississippi burning, Vietnam, & The Draft, The assassinations of JFK-> MLK->RFK… and was Woodstock really a Good time? The drug culture?

When Have There Ever Been Comfortable Highpoints?
And yet these times, or rather the catch phrases of these times, are so often held up as high points of our heritage. What are the images which sway us into thinking they were so fine? 1776, The Greatest Generation, Camelot, Apollo... Images, Icons, Glamours of times which we think of being peopled with people who had high Ideals. But what you’ll find if you press the matter with someone, is that these impressions of monolithically solidly golden, good & true times invariably crumble.

Looking back at those times, you’ll find that what we see as the High Ideals illuminating the times, in fact were not shared by all, and often not even by a majority. What we do from our vantage point is back date those ideals, associating them with the known outcomes, as Images of good times. The typical wackademic thing to do on discovering this is to gleefully point out that the heroes of the times had feet of clay. I think that that is foolish. In the extreme. There’s nothing to be learned from such a ‘discovery’, there is no history in such history. What is it we look for in history after all, do we focus on particular individuals and times because we expect them to be completely unlike us, perfect in every way, and by virtue of their perfection were able to escape Doom!?


We should expect every person to have weakness’s, faults, imperfect virtues – that’s nothing remarkable, no different than Bob the consultants, nothing to be learned from there. What we look to learn from significant people and times of history is not their faults, but their ability to rise above the common faults shared by you and me, and to prevail over the tide of doom and doomsayers, and accomplish something truly remarkable – focus on their ideals and persevere.

It’s also very much worth noting again, that those ideals which we mistake as being common to the time, were held – even in their highpoint, by a minority. You think you’re bummed because the majority of your countrymen aren’t of your mind, and you see THEM as lacking? Talk to Samuel Adams before James Otis’s speech or the Boston Massacre, for a clearer picture of being in a minority.

Perhaps what is really lacking, is your accepting that our minority status is of any worth or consequence whatsoever, THAT is an impediment. What would be better worth our attention is not the fact that the darkness is threatening to fall upon us, still – as always, but that small minorities of the public have so often prevailed over the more hostile or indifferent majorities in the past. A useful question to ask in our time, might be what did they have, if anything, that we don't? What do we have, if anything, that they did not? And if the balance is in our favor, shouldn’t we be feeling even more optimistic than Samuel Adams did, nearly alone in the belief that this continent could and should host “a new nation dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal…”

Doom Busters
The founders ink hadn't dried on the constitution, before it was being assailed. There is such a thing as entropy in physics, which is the tendency for things to fall apart. Mentally and spiritually, a similar principle applies - if you don't continue to integrate your higher truths, not just in concepts and words, but in action and deeds in time, then their understanding, even their definitions will begin to slip, become fuzzy, and slowly fade away.

Living is an active process. Grasping the Truth is an active process. If you try to hold onto it, tack it statically to the wall, it will dry, wither and crack into pieces, each blade separate and false.

Doom is such a thing. Doom is the attempt to take a barely grasped truth, and tack it to the wall, a talisman against change and against the need for understanding. Buying into the concept of Doom, allows you to pretend to be better than the world, or at least your neighbors, and so by not sullying yourself by interacting with reality, you can lay claim to virtue in the eyes of those who are impressed by your grasp of dry and dead concepts.

The lamenting of being Doomed is an act of Hubris all it's own - the assertion that you know the fate of man, the world and of the God(s). This process of civilizational decay has happened before - and to the biggest and toughest nations of their times, results of which we look back on and back date into a declaration that they were Doomed. Athens led the Western World in the Persian Wars and for 50 years after, before losing theirselves, Rome began a trek down the favorite 'free food! siren call.

But Hubris is a call that can be met with many fitting replies. Anything from Empire, to Something for nothing, to Irrational Greed, to We Know Best!... to We Are Doomed! But the real answer to why they reaped doom, is that those who knew better did nothing, feeling that they were alone in the face of overwhelming opposition – and that those who might have realized their peril, were never alerted either to it, or to the need to speak out, and that they weren’t alone.The biggest new wrinkle in history which I see in our favor, is that this time We DO know it is being done to us, we scattered 'few' are not only able to see it ourselves, but we have ready access to methods of contact and communication and education, which we can use to band together... to do what?

Quite simply, to answer back! Don't concede the equating of Good and True with flat facts and lists of don’t and do's. Don't quietly accept the Politically Correct comment, the dismissive insults from mental and moral munchkins. And don't fall into strident imitation of them, state your peace - clearly and with level head, such quiet strength will shout down their inanity more than shrillness ever could.

We are able to communicate with each other without relying on a few elite mouthpieces to do, or ignore, it all. I think we've got a shot at redirecting the tide of history this time through the cycle. The trick will be to get all the normal people to realize that what it takes is for us to stop letting the Politically Correct comment at the local gathering go unchallenged & unmocked. Stop looking for the big battle and fight the little ones at hand.

When I think of Sam Adams, nearly alone, sitting in a Boston pub writing stories and editorials in an effort to change history, I feel embarrassed at my cushy position in comparison to his. How does his position differ in substance from our own?

Stand up, speak out, call a fool a fool and a good man good, and pay no further heed to the fact that it's going to hell in a hand basket - it always has been - it just needs a few of us to become that vocal minority, even though we all suspect and fear that no one listens to us, to speak up and win the day.

A little bit of Light goes a very long way
It will never be easy. It never has been easy. The night is only pushed back by keeping the fire lit... But look at how much is pushed back by only a small flame? Be a flame, large or small doesn't matter - the dark will hate you equally. Have you ever lit a candle in a dark room? How much darkness is displaced, what kind of radius does that little flame banish? Maybe a 15 of 20 foot radius? One little candle.

Picture the results of lighting one, running several yards out and lighting another and so on - it doesn't take much light to disturb the reign of the darkness, and whats more, it’s mass doesn’t need to be equaled. A little bit of Light goes a very long way. But it does take effort, the match must be struck & held to the wick - and when the old candle burns down, it must be replaced. Just because our fathers & grandfathers pushed back the darkness of totalitarianism and imperialism 60 years ago, did you really expect that to fix the situation?

Leave Doom for the Doomed
Hope always requires engagement; it requires making the effort to defend and spread your thoughts, "Go forth and multiply!”. The thought you grasp, the truth you understand, if you grasp it well enough, you will be able to extract that light from your soul, and without diminishing your own glow in the least (but in fact, enhances it), pass it on to others, who may do the same, and so on and so on...

In the beginning there was The Word, and then there was Light – and That is a miracle.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

What ARE Words For?

So what are words for?

Perhaps better phrased as ‘what are the purposes that words fulfill?’ What arises before the night’s fire, which gives cause for words?

How is it that someone can articulate an idea in words, to which someone else might then say “that’s ‘xactly what I’ve always thought!” without your ever having had those words within their own head?

When we open our eyes, when we move and have the sensation of touching something out there in the world, when we smell a scent in the air, when we taste a morsel… when we interact with the world, impressions of it are written to disc in our heads. Some basic, rudimentary integrations are made by the default actions of our hardware. ‘Water good’, ‘sound of snarling bear behind me – bad’, these things we register and know.

Some integrations of basic observations are made – at this level principles aren’t proper to use, they haven’t even been grasped yet - merely observations of things which are regularly seen to happen together.

When the trousered ape observes a thug more powerful than himself breaking into their apartment and stealing the TV from their living room, they experience fear and anger. When they then see a politician saying on TV (someone elses) “What we need are the Rights of our Citizens to be defended. We need laws in place to allow the police to act against criminals who would steal from our citizens that which is rightly theirs.”, the trousered ape may nod and exclaim ‘tat’s ‘xactly what I’ve always t’ought!” but rest assured, it never was anything that he had ever thought. For when the more powerful policemen bursts in his door to arrest him on assault charges stemming from his arguing with a liquor store owner attempting to stop him from walking out the door without paying for the fifth of gin in his pocket, you can be assured that he never ever had within his head the words – (beyond their mere auditory impressions), let alone the concepts, of ‘Citizen’, ‘Law’, ‘Rights’, ‘Police’.

What did he have? Why the feeling that what someone else is saying is on the tip of his tongue, when it clearly never was?

What he had on the tip of his tongue was vaguely associated generalities, which when evoked through someone elses use of words, he recognizes that his basic “t’oughts” have been strummed by this other person using a bunch of other words. Those same basic “t’oughts” could also just as easily have been strummed by someone saying “What we need to ensure is that those who think that just because they are Rich, that they can keep us from fairly distributing to us our fair share of this countries wealth!” – rest assured that the trousered ape will nod and exclaim ‘tat’s ‘xactly what I’ve always t’ought!”

So what are the purposes which words are suited to fulfilling?

The answer is two fold. One, is they enable us to grasp vast general observations, and communicate them to someone else. The second thing they enable us to do is to finely distinguish minute shades of meaning. Just as the Eskimo supposedly has a multitude of different words to describe distinctions between different types of snow, so language enables to use words to enable us to build a structure of meaning upon which we can ascend to a multitude of variations in describing what is Moral behavior, Individual Rights and Virtue.

Communication vs conveying impressions.

Our fellow who always t’ought what you might have said, doesn’t have a sufficient grasp of language, concepts or civilized distinctions of thought, to communicate in a manner that the Founding Fathers sought to communicate the idea of a constitutional republic to posterity. He is not able to communicate in any meaningful way at all, what he is able to do is to convey vague impressions of commonly felt observations in order to satisfy his needs, urges and whims. But he does not communicate.

Communication is not something that comes naturally to human beings, at most we are only equipped with the natural ability to convey impressions – those that are of a sensory nature, and some rudimentary abstractions arising from them. The types of things that grunting, motioning and facial expressions and gesticulating would be able to convey equally well.

Communication, however, is a vastly different thing. Communication enables a nearly magical transmission of developed thoughts from your consciousness – from your internal grasp of reality – to travel into the mind & soul of another in such a way that assuming an equivalent grasp of language, they will be able to share, think and feel just what you do mean. That life which you are living is able to be shared and experienced and even improved upon through its communication with the mind and spirit of others.

That is something remarkable and magical and rare, and it is not natural, it is not something that one acquires through being taught names and words, it is not something anyone attains to by being exposed to cultural sensitivities or other such nonsense.

Becoming a Human Being, in a non animal sense, is the work and effort of years of attentive parenting, of storytelling, of play, of education (NOT schooling, but education – which may or may not[more likely not] occur in a modern day school) in the fruits of your culture, it’s normative distinctions, history and literature.

For words to attain to their fullest potential, they must be learned in a fashion which integrates them, their meaning, in an hierarchical way. They must make use of our particular ability of conceptual formation, of being able to associate related words into ever more and more complex conceptual structures. They must be built upon wider conceptual platforms, integrating with all others, in an ever expanding pyramidal, or cone shaped fashion.

When someone is heard to express those thoughts which seem to strum your deepest convictions, it is up to you to grasp at those words, to explore and understand them, to make them fully understood to yourself and truly yours. Then you can say you have partaken in communication, and have benefited from that most wondrous of things – grasping Truth which another has exposed, and then internalizing and integrating it within you – making it yours, and you one with it.

That is what you can do with Words.

And wisdom is had through those who realize it, who never allow the Poetic to be completely separated from the prose. No matter the detail, there is always a general truth and vision of which it is a part – to forget that is to risk disintegration. Those who know this thoroughly, who are wise, are wise not only in their words, but in their every action, for the word is then made flesh, and you can see it in their level heads and steady gaze.

Must minds be built this way? Sadly, no. We are creatures of Free Will, and that means that we can do things correctly, incorrectly or even not at all – by choice, or by avoidance of choice. Our souls are ours to build – as attentively and with as much craftsmanship as we care to, or care not to, engage ourselves in.

A properly constructed mind will have at root a single platform firmly affixed to reality, and upon and through that connection, it will always build upon and seek to develop in a truthful and proper fashion – but that is not necessary.

A person can easily allow several seemingly separate structures to be scattered around their mind, randomly globbing this observation on to that one (‘fair’ with ‘I get as much as they do!”), beliefs can easily be asserted without cohesion, integration or any thorough correspondence to reality.

A person does not need to seek to understand the ideas of what are Good and True and Beautiful, and in not seeking to, banishes himself from experiencing them; having instead to make do with their horizontal perceptions in physical pleasure, getting away with what they can, and fleeting visual skin deep appeal.

A person doesn’t need to seek to understand Individual Rights, a Constitutional Republic, or the Pursuit of Happiness, they can instead settle for the brute risks of might makes right, getting all the goods their pressure group is able to secure from others, and grabbing all the toys and pleasures they can - before dying from them – at least until a Master arises who will tell them what they can and cannot do or acquire and keeps the trains running on time. For awhile. For some.

A Good life is the rarest of things, because the effort required in constructing it from within and without, is so rarely expended, and becoming rarer all the time. What causes that effort to become more or less rare? Words. That is what Words are for, that is the purpose which words serve to fulfill through careful application, construction and integration. Through that most intricate weaving of observation, conceptualization, emotion and Truth – through Poetry, we are able to connect with and establish what is Good and True and Beautiful – to affix our single platform to reality, and upon which an orderly progression of thought and deed can be constructed into a life worth living.

Poetry provides the structural image to be attained to, Reason (not logic chopping, but whole-souled Reason) the method for transmitting it into reality, and Philosophy the means to ensure that you are indeed proceeding according to plan. To be successful, to successfully pursue Happiness, requires that you keep all in tune and harmoniously resonating through not only yourself, but the Reality you are secured to – and that ineffable something which encompasses both.

The attempt to deny hierarchy in Values, to deny the single encompassing unity of Truth, to seek to promote the perceptually easy and thrilling, over the effort of conceptualy grasping and integrating of that which is True; that is what is balkanizing our minds and our souls even as it is balkanizing our political and civic experiences.

That misuse of Words, of Language and of Culture and Meaning has delivered us to the state where a Supreme Court Justice can blithely say that he is considering the necessity of ensuring ‘free and fair’ elections in mandating equal amounts of ‘free speech’, as being behind his interpretation of constitutional law. Cast away are both the concept of a single guiding Truth, and of the finer distinctions necessary for its proper applicaiton in principled law.

We have allowed the philosophers, the progressives, the Politically Correct strident purveyors of license masquerading as liberty, to gain control over the education of our young and of ourselves. We have allowed them to demand that our understanding of Truth and Mythic Poetry compare in quantified measurement with the flattest of factual depictions, making it easy to dispense with such ideas as Truth and Virtue, and soon after that of Duty, Honor and Country and even of any conception of God as well.

And we have allowed them to make those comparisons, the idea that the Vertical dimensions can be stretched out and tacked onto the Horizontal surfaces of their sophistry – and that we allow ourselves to be embarrassed at the inconsistencies they point out - chortling at us – triumphantly pointing out ridges, wrinkles and gaps in the horizontal image inevitably conveyed from an object of spherical depth when it is attempted to be represented and squashed upon the table.

That has been our gravest error, to allow that most uncommon thing, common sense, the seemingly simple conceptions which resulted only from the fruits of three thousand plus years of development of Western Civilization; that process which is the product of our poetry, myths, stories – religion, literature, customs and history being reverently and laboriously communicated from one generation to the next; we have allowed ourselves to risk severing that holy transmission – through the verbal tricks of sophists, charlatans and fools to make us feel embarrassed at seeking to be good and true.

Over not daring to uphold the greater value of a child’s effort and strain in learning what is valuable, over their easy play of smiling and frolicking – as do the imbeciles who tell us the later is more desirable and superior to the former.

Math is difficult? Here’s a NEW math, History is difficult? Here’s social studies, Rhetoric is difficult? Here’s See and Say! Liberty is difficult? Here’s what we’ll call liberty – enjoy it.“What, do mean you really believe that a bearded God in the sky created the universe in SEVEN Days?! You don’t REALLY believe in Truth that is always True, do you? You think this nation is Good?! Don’t you realize that people are starving in Africa, and this country ALLOWS IT! Is that Good?! You really think that All Men are created EQUAL! – some are born RICH and some POOR, WE must MAKE them EQUAL!!!”

All of this damage they have caused, forcing us to turn away from our own marvelous tool of common sense – and with what weapon? What nefarious tool? While they’ve used Philosophy to supply theirs stances with ‘plausible’ reasons and excuses, that hasn’t been their chief tool. What has?

The idea has been culturally sold, that if someone drops a wallet, you’re a sucker for turning it in. If the cashier gives you too much change back, and you discover it as you’re getting in your car – who would not feel at least a moment’s hesitation to tell your friends that you’re going back in to return the extra cash? Not so much whether you would or not, only that we all know that it would be the right thing to do, and we all know that you would be snickered at for doing so, accepting that it is socially geeky to do what is Right.

Note however what I am talking about here, and what I’m not. I’m not talking about the worthiness of the action, only that all present would have thought that it WAS the right thing to do… and accepted that you shouldn’t admit to it.

Think about that.

When President Bush says “Thank you, and may God Bless America” who hasn’t noted the smirk on the faces of the Peter Jennings MSM types? That they do is not nearly so troubling, as that we don’t react in outrage over it. That their power lies in our willingness to feel embarrassment over saying what is good and true in the face of what is accepted as being sophisticated and cool.

That also is what words are for. To spin cultural norms into culturally-legal custom -restraints on social behavior – think of what is behind such customary ‘law’ to prevent people from doing what is Right. There is the existence of true, pure Evil in our midst, words turned against truth, and sold as desirable.

We’ve allowed that the smarter, wiser, cooler thing to posture, believe and say, is the cynical over the Proper. And rather than ignore such ‘cooler’ people, we say nothing, or go along with them – for fear of Embarrassment. Believe it or not, the big fearsome tool wielded against us has been our own fear of Embarrassment.

Truly Pride doth goeth before a fall.

Some of the most important purposes which Words are for, are for grasping a comprehensive vision of what to believe and value – and for those talented, even inspired few, to weave that vision and value into Poetry in order to fire the minds of the culture. Words are also for communicating your grasp of that shared quest with each other. And Words are for enabling you, within yourself, to clearly define what you know, so that you can understand your values, and pursue them. Words are for doing all three, and more, for creating a mind and soul that is known to yourself, and for communicating that soul, for mingling some portion of your values and ideals with those whom you love.

Words are for you to grasp and inspect what you believe to be true – for communicating Truth, or conveying Evil, and it requires you to choose between the two – avoidance of either is just a default and only slightly more roundabout way, of delivering us back to that time 40,000+ years ago before we had Words at all.

Or Humanity.

And that truly is what Words are for, for furthering, or dismantling, the Humanity that they had such a Promethean hand in instilling into us all those millennia ago.

In the beginning there was the Word… and then there was light… as above, so below.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Charged Thoughts From The Depths

Gagdad Bob was recently talking about how sometimes propositions can seem to set off depth charges with the mind, not so much for what they say, but for what they cause you to begin mulling over within your mind. Speaking of depth charges, yesterday at One Cosmos, in replying to another commenter who seemed to have the idea that I or others only voted for Bush because we liked his church, I said “First, I'm not religious (reverent, but not religious…), not a Christian and belong to no church” And it's been bugging me ever since. This used to be my standard reply to anyone who accused me of being a religious whacko for believing in right and wrong.

Problem is… I'm not certain that it is true any longer. This is odd, very odd for me.

I suppose that technically it is factually true, in that I believe in no copyrighted religion, belong to no church, am not a Christian. I do believe that a proper, fully this worldly, sense of right and wrong, ethics, can be shown to derive from the nature of Man qua Man. And that no law should be derived from anything else. But....there has been an internal… um, space opened up within me, which is difficult – if not impossible – to define, which seems to have connection to all levels of thought and experience, yet defined or limited by none of them. This, on one level, is a problem for me, since to say something is all things, is the same as saying it is no thing. However this … space, this… openness is there, and if not itself contained, seems fully capable of containing all within it. My best stab at it is to identify it as a spiritual “One”, similar to saying that Truth is One – but more so.


While I don't believe in a literal bearded God or Goddess(beard optional) sitting on a throne somewhere micromanaging the fall of sparrows and setting up political races to usher in the apocalypse, I do no longer have the sense that I, my spirit, am separated and hermetically sealed into and off from the universe at large. When I consider scripture, poetry, dogma, myth, consider it deeply, there is a sense of having grasped with the hand of the Soul multiple Truths, or rather portions of One Truth at different levels, sort of like playing a chord on a cosmic guitar that on being strummed, resonate through me and I seem to sense harmonies from somewhere within-that-is-withoutside there...where is the sound chamber it is reverberating through?

Seems as if it is more outside than within (I’ve touched on this here before).


While I am not religious in the copyrighted sense of believing that the bible or any other tome, is the literal word of God, as transmitted to earth directly from the pen of the almighty, the bible (and others) enable me to find much wisdom through poetically interpreting them, through drawing truth perhaps out from within, through it and its dogma. There is much wisdom to be found in their pages, providing that you avoid literal-ly killing it's spirit. That I do revere.

While although I am quite sure that my set of beliefs do not make me a literal Christian (I don't believe that he was THE son of god - in Trinitarian form or otherwise, or literally walked on water, rose (or raised) from the dead…etc), I know of no other religion or myth, and I know a bunch, whose form (together with the Old Testament) is so well suited for prism-ing my intuitions through (the symbolic trinity(Thought, Concept, Word), the need to be reborn from above, Christmas, and of course Santa Claus, etc).

And as far as Church goes, I don’t go & don’t want to go, but the sense I have of it is a meeting place where people of like mind and understanding of the spirit of their beliefs go to consider refractions of Truth through their (perhaps unwitting) poetic interpretations of their text, and commune together – I can say nothing against that. In fact, that is near to what I do at One Cosmos. People, depending on their interest & grasp, find a vehicle for filling their realization of the spiritual vision they have – some do that through church, some in other ways – each in the fashion which clicks with them best. Depending on the intellectual inclinations of the individual; some folk look for mythic story, some for theological interpretation, some for literary content, some for philosophical depth – as long as they aren’t seeking to impose their understanding on others through law, what problem should be had with that? The alternative is a people with no synthesizing vision of what is Right and what is Wrong, and to my mind, the rudderless, arbitrarily self justifying sort (read eco-green-hippie-wackadmeic-leftist) are a far more frightening group of people.

So where does that leave me?

Somehow confused and clear at the same time.

I have an Objectivist inspired belief that to speak of physical & philosophical knowledge, you must have verifiability, bust be able to show it’s foundational trail down to tangible reality, or you are only speculating. And I do believe that - urging someone to act on your unfounded assertions is irrational for both the urger and the urgee(if they act on it), but what is the status of knowledge which has verifiability - but only within your own consciousness? In other words, I can repeat these sensations (i.e. the spiritual strumming of a chord) and such findings within myself - to the extent that it is a known known which, though unknown in source, is not unknown in fact - within my mind. However, absent being able to take someone by the hand and show them this experiment within the anteroom of my mind, I can in no way, in good conscience, say that "This is true, believe me", and in Truth if I were I to, I think that it would kill the truth they might have found, had they went exploring for themselves.

So I am someone who demands objective proof that is verifiable to others, who has discovered truths which are only attainable within myself, and as such not directly verifiable and available to others for examination. I'm a non-religious person, a non-christian user of christian dogma who belongs to no church yet thinks that church is valuable.

Perhaps that depth charge is still going off.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Walking on History

Want to know what else Words are for?
Well, for one thing, This from a warrior poet who does us proud.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Looking Heirarchy and Lowarchy - (REVISED) (And then whittled down some more) What Are Words For Part 3

Sense of something more
Have you ever sat in your living room at night this time of year, all lights off but those of the Christmas Tree? The colored lights put auras about each of them, the ornaments reflecting many, curved and gathered together, and if you lean close you can see your own reflection in them. The smell of the pine tree still in the air, windows reflecting the scene back on you as well, through the windows neighbors lights sparkle up the night air.

The presents are long gone from under the tree and there is a certain emptiness present, but even more so a sense of mission, of deliverance completed, accomplished – marked only by lights and uprightness and a clean scent permeating the air. Breathe the scent in, listen to the fire crackle, snuggle up to your wife, the rain outside is outside, and here there is warmth.

There is something more there in that scene, than what the words describe…. But sometimes it is best to let it percolate, resonate through you, rather than to try and identify it, at least for a while, in this way you gain more than you would by seeking more details. Why this is so, is the point of this post.

Wider Themes don’t always have a single meaning
How is that? As I said in Part 1,
“There is also something missed, however, by those who read meaning into the poetry of the words – the golden thread being truth, Ariadne love and promise, the Father past & destiny lost... there is also a meaning, a spell a magic that lives in the story itself, not in its words alone, but in the poetic imagery as a whole that is contained in the entirety of the tale. “

It is true to say that this meaning is there but it is not true to say that that was the meaning. There is more touched on & released by a myth than you will ever pin down. The reason is that myths and story telling use poetic wonder to access the mental foundations upon which all of our conceptions and integrations rest within our minds.

I'm using Poetic Wonder here in the sense of throwing open of the doors to all your mental foundations within your mind, in effect your mind says either “Look at this! I haven’t seen anything like this before", or "this reaches below all of my available words, where am I in it? Where does it fit in?” When Mother tells a child a story, the Childs life is enfolded within that tale. The poetic truth is One, as our understanding is One, as the Cosmos is One through it.

“We in the West, I, often become so enraptured in Words, that we lose sight of not only what they are for, what they accomplish – but also of what they are not, and what can be accomplished without them, or even with them when used in opposition to their meanings.”

Connecting The Quantity And Quality Of Thoughts
Here’s a test, imagine three dots. Everyone should be able to do that rather well. How about 5? Perhaps. Seven? Ten? Were you able to do that? Bet you weren’t. You disagree? Take a look at the dots in your thoughts, I’ll bet that if you could successfully imagine ten dots… that you had them arranged into groups of three’s and two’s - a few of you high power types might use groups of five, such as to die with the Five sides showing... but then, that's just two rows of three overlaid upon eachother... but either way I bet you didn't see Ten dots arranged in an evenly spaced line.


It’s what our minds do, we use concepts in hierarchies from the most basic on up to those more detailed and defined, to enable us to grasp larger ‘quantities’ of information. It is only by continually combining and integrating such concepts as ‘Quantity’, that name for the concept formed from realizing that there is such a thing as repeated instances of something similar, that we get the idea of One, Two, Three and so on. With the basic concept of Quantity, we then can use it to grasp and combine Three and Two, into Five and Ten and then we can build up to grasping twenty, fifty, a thousand.

Without that sensible integration, your mind collapses under the strain of grasping the ‘separate’ness of many ‘relative truths’.

This same type of progression is how our minds move from “It is” to simultaneously grasping “I see it” to ‘things are what they are’, to “A thing can not be both A and Not A at the same time” to Truth, Value, Ethical Right and Wrong and on up to the "Pursuit of Happiness". Without that sensible hierarchical integration rooted in reality, your mind is in danger of collapsing under the strain of grasping the ‘separate-ness’ of so many disassociated things.

Words are in our minds as parts of a mental hierarchy of meanings. One basic Concept, one basic truth, makes it possible to further delineate further truths within that, or built upon that, and in connection to another truth. Another example can be seen in Aristotle noting that the Sun revolves around the Earth, Ptolemy noting ‘epicycles’ to describe the backward rotations mars seems to make in the night sky, Brahe, Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo, made deeper observations building a foundation for Newton to make integrations never conceived of before.

There is common theme here in the progression from visual appearances to observations, to deeper conceptualizations, common to how our mind operates in all areas. There is a hierarchy there, which must be followed, to be properly learned, an hierarchy which by the way, our schools regularly violate. The wackademics behind and in our schools routinely obliterate this progressive hierarchy by stating that “people used to believe stupid things, here’s the truth we wise moderns know today” as if old and new theories are merely flat isolated facts (as if there can be such things as isolated facts and conclusions) this is anti-hierarchical by its nature. Attempting to, for example, to leap into Physics with Newton’s 3 laws, without covering the history and progression of thought up to that point, IS insane, it is anti-conceptual. Attempting to jump into such pronouncements as “War is BAD”, without covering history and the long train of its uses and mis-uses, is another example of this. Or that we should all “express ourselves”, and “appreciate Art”, “we’re all beautiful”, and the value of “hippie ‘poetry’”, without any knowledge of the history and meaning of Art, Beauty, Poetry or any conception of Virtue or Divinity.

There is a regular tactic of the post-modernist mind, to deny any and all wholes, in favor of promoting isolated facts as ‘Truth’… or, as they will next say, one of many truths. It is an attempt to deny hierarchy and to establish isolated facts as a legitimate possibility in the world.

Sadly, our bio-computer database doesn’t have built in constraints preventing us from mis-integrating words and concepts, or excluding central vital contexts and substance, the only clue we get is a certain unease, an uncertainty, even an anxiety as our subconscious structure senses that we are blithely stepping out onto thin air, where we imagine ourselves standing on solid ground. (more and expanding on this and the process in the next post).

Use and misuse of encompassing imagery
When we use a word, a concept, knowingly or not, we are also putting ourselves into contact with all of the other related meanings in that hierarchy of thought – some words and phrases, by their nature, are super suited to this soaring through the thought structure like a glass walled high-speed elevator, they have a particularly poetic nature that resonates with the rest. In situations of Danger or Excitement, it instantly brings many concepts up for your immediate incarnation in action (“Of easy wind and downy flake”, “lovely, dark and deep”,”Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”, “To Be, or Not To Be”, “Freedom!”, “Ask not what your Country can do for you…” “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country”, “A day that will live in Infamy!”, “I have a Dream!”, “The Eagle has landed”, “Four score and seven years ago….”), they have a particularly poetic nature that resonates with and through the rest.

In story or Oration, this can be wonderful – literally, but in prose, instructive prose, legal prose, this can be disastrous. Again, think of Justice Breyers comments which I started off Part 1 with, particularly about “Free and Fair Elections”. That phrase ties us into the poetic, the hierarchy of structure brings to mind soaring imagery of free peoples heroically battling for their freedoms, opposing tyranny and fighting the eternal battle of might vs. right. This quality is Wonderful for a story, or even with great care, for a history but disastrous for specifics such as law (This is a hint as to What Words Are For), because it can so easily mean anything to any number of people – all assume the speaker is using their interpretation, until it is too late – again here we touch on what words, as specific tools, are for – to be fleshed out in the next post.

This is one reason why Religion's strength has been in ordering the wider truths, but just as disastrous when used to dictate regulation of the populace. Think of the Scarlet S on one hand, Sharia on the other extreme. Religion is the granddaddy of all stories, and underlies, I think, not only stories, but the very structure of our minds. But it’s purpose is to inspire, to lead towards wisdom, to order the soul with reverence for Truth, but the form by its very nature makes it horribly wrong for regulating the sale of liquor in various parts of the county, depending on whether the tourist trade will be affected during peak season.

It is also why with a simple phrase such as "Once upon a time", "In the beginning was the Word" that our concepts manage to so deeply touch our entire life and sense of Values. When we tell a story, if well integrated, it evokes entire mental structures through its theme, such as "Duty, Honor, Country".

Grabbed By The Poetic Fire
To give you an idea about what I mean about the resonate-ability of poetic words, and even more about the conceptual platforms we build our related mental structures upon, consider an example from your own life. Think back to what went through your head when something you expected to happen, counted on to happen – didn’t. Such as your high-school senior going out on New Years Eve, with strict instructions to call you after they decide (against your own better judgment to allow them to) where they’re going to, and then again when they get there – and neither happens. And they don’t answer their cell phone, which they have primarily for you to be able to contact them. The thoughts that go through your head….

As the hour gets later and later and still no word, and other parents have no word either, other thoughts come to mind. That one concept of a call not made runs the resonating high-speed thoughtevator through the hierarchy of possible dangers – and it happens in an instant, you are filled with the full feeling of dread and horror… it is only with dwelled on thought that you begin to isolate the particular concepts and words that could possibly apply: accident, police, hospital….… rural roads, bridges, drainage ditches, morgues. Your mind touches the lowest level, the first and most ‘simple’ concept from which all other thoughts ascend from, the root concept which is integrated into all other thoughts arising above it.

The teenager, not yet mature, not yet (to their absolute disbelief, refusal to believe, inability to realize they are not, because they don’t know what they don’t know yet) adults, doesn’t yet have such a structure, and is under the impression that he only forgot to call. He doesn’t realize, then, that he did more than not call, he opened the gates to parental hell and much gnashing of teeth. The sudden storm of parental wrath on his reappearance serves to begin establishing that structure within him as our horror is made real for him. This isn’t bad, it’s the normal process of widening of concepts, and in some cases is what it takes to establish a new sublevel concept in their minds, vaguely associated with Responsibility and Maturity, upon which other related thoughts will eventually be incorporated into and be stacked upon.

What Does The Brain Do With The World?
Somehow our brains find a way to grow, not only in physical size, but in content, and manipulation of the content, understanding of the world and of our position within it. Animals are born pretty much knowing what they need to know, they’ve got some semblance of the world hardwired into their brains, they don’t need to create their knowledge of it, or how they’ll interact with it – for them it’s all there.

We on the other hand don’t come out fully cooked, and that may be key to what makes us who we are, and why it took so long for us to become us (our bodies have been here in their present form for a couple hundred thousand years, but we’ve only been in them for 40,000 or so years). To get the world into our heads we need to experience it, but to get us into our heads, we need it to be communicated to us, we need others to care for us for years before we can even begin to think that we can handle it on our own. Something in the process of putting the world into our heads is key to our getting out of our heads and into the world and the larger Cosmos as well.

With our every touch, scent, image and sound, something basic and fundamental is passed into our heads – prior to our having words to label new thoughts with, I think they are ‘stamped’ on entry to our minds with perhaps a timestamp, emotional impact and associations with other items in our awareness, and of course the characteristics of the thing in itself which we observe as parts within the thing, and parts of things such as a Door, door panels, door hinges, door knob, etc.

If you’ve ever watched a graphics program break a picture down, it begins isolating lines, cubes, curves etc into isolated objects, and with time entire pictures begin to be seen as combinations of smaller pictures, shapes, shapes within shapes, we do the same, adding to the associations things such as movement, sight, sounds, scents and other sensations that go with the present movements, from our first exposure to the world and on, the process is the same: Whole ->Parts->Integrated Whole, and around back to the start again by having One seamless Whole.

Our minds have this one method of working, a pattern which is applied to all information processing, be it visual, auditory or kinesthetic It grasps a whole, analyzes it then synthesizes it back into a whole of parts, and then finally One Whole again.

Input, Stayput and Output
Watch a babies eyes, they are open bowls scooping up the world chunk by chunk, differentiating as they go – watch them quiver and coo as they notice a new object within an object, as they notice new connections between attributes; “the spoon disappears when you let go of it… it falls… I can find it each time it does by looking down… those parental guidance units pick it up and give it back to me… again… again… again… oh-oh, they aren’t doing that pleasant face twist thing anymore….”

Somehow these observations, sensations, reactions are finding a place within the babies brain, and eventually they learn from them, they inspect what is IN there, to determine what they should do OUT there.

The visual wholes are being taken in with the Thought wholes and the auditory, kinesthetic, emotional response – and somewhere in the midst of each of these sub-wholes there are central integrating points which may be words, sounds, or even unlabled,, and together they all make up one whole, and central to the entire whole there is also an integration point which can access the entire scene by being referenced. We’ve all had moments when whole scenes such as this can rush back into consciousness with sudden vividness at catching a whiff of a dish that was cooking in the background, or a tune someone was whistling in the background. This process undoubtedly occurred with our animal-cestors at the dawn of man. It was useful for hunting, eating, procreating. It made for a clever animal. But not for Human Beings.

The Mother that hugs and feeds her child, that tells her child stories using the ‘small’ words of poetic quicksilver, Hugs and feeding, and diapers changing, and being helped to stand, helped to walk, it is participating in something which is very different from the physical capabilities of our animal nature. Something in her actions help to build foundations and content in the brain that do more than develop mere synaptic cleverness and a proficiency with tools. There is something in the Mothering, and particularly in the traditional Western style of mothering, which allows other stacks of thoughts to be built than just those for hefting an ax and throwing a spear.

“Very Good!”, “No! Don’t touch - That’s HOT”,”Here you go, Thank You!” “Now you see me, now you Don’t!”, “Where is Thumbo”,

How is such a collection of thoughts, images, impressions and sensations ever given order within the mind? I think that one key method is through another type of sensory input, one which used to be accompanied (appropriately for the myth of Prometheus), by the light of the family Fire. “Hansel and Gretel were lost in the Dark Woods”, “The Wicked Witch gave Snow White the poisoned Apple”,“In the Beginning was the Word…”, “The Big Bad WOLF huffed! And he Puffed! And he BLEW the house down!”, “Good Arthur drew the Sword Excalibur from the stone!” Stories.

This is not to comment on the nature or reality of the stories, but on the integrating content and order that stories, poems and songs bring into and create within a child’s mind, the differentiations and the integrations that are built up within their mind, body and soul. This is the method with which reality enters into your mind, and how your mind relates back to reality. A good story begins with an all encompassing theme, then a whole is grasped through character, setting, problem, then is analyzed and resolved, and the encompassing theme is seen to tie into a central point of the resolved climax – all into one and back into all.

A familiar pattern; all -> parts ->parts in a whole ->wholeness once again. But with stories, you, your internal sense of self, your imagination – that interior spark of virtual divinity, is woven into and through the stories, and become part of the world withinwithout.

When Humanity transitioned from bipedal animals to Human Beings some 40,000 years ago, the explosion began with Art, and I bet that those cave art paintings were accompanied with stories.

Reality is conveyed into our minds through our senses doing the biologically equivalent action of digitally encoding it into our brains, together with associated links to time, simultaneous impressions, conceptual and emotional relations in thought. But during the process it is reality that we are in contact with, our thoughts are built of the combining of sensations, perceptions, concepts and complex conceptions and that we experience as our Reasoning consciousness.

Our minds file information under wider more encapsulating concepts, ever wider. For every subset of information, there are supersets which contain them, and beneath them all, there is one all encompassing Set – Existence exists out there. And as we realize that the undifferentiated whole of existence is passed into our minds and analyzed, and synthesized back into a reasoned and demarcated whole, there is that nagging sensation there that The Whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

That is the mechanics of the operation as best as I can see it. It is our grasping of reality that our mind mechanically accomplishes, but it is our grasping of ourselves through imaginative poetry upon which our lives and mind and soul depend. (There is much here, again, next post).

But there is also something else happening here, something that might be best indicated through a common phrase we often hear used towards someone who has eloquently stated an idea: “You put into words what I’ve been thinking for years!” I don’t know about you, but I find myself saying it fairly often, Gagdad at One Cosmos brings this phrase out of me routinely, and you hear at speeches and on talk shows all of the time. It causes me to ask one question; How? How do we have thoughts without the precise words to express them? Thoughts are apparently somehow being formed, even fervently held, without being put into words. In some cases perhaps, even pre-conceptual impressions are being formed and held prior to concepts and words, and may even be foundational to their being formed.

Conceptual Stacks Platforms And Pyramids.
There are basic thoughts that underlie all our concepts, just as there are basic shapes which underlie all visual perceptions – lines, curves, squares, triangles, circles – and variations of these that we can build and describe all of reality with. Think of this foundational Thought as that mental apprehension which is formed in our minds just prior to grasping that similar things, when repeated, form a ‘Quantity’, and then at some point we learn of the name for this Thought, ‘Quantity’, and we find it underlies all our mental activities which use words such as ‘One’, ‘Forty-Two’, ‘Many’ and ‘Aladdin was given three wishes’ – beneath them all is that mental abstraction integrated and referenced with the label ‘Quantity’, and it is implicitly related and integrated with any and all uses of quantities.

With the mind we have no choice whether or not we will relate information, but above the level of the basic conceptions, we have a layer of connections made by volitional choice over what we will connect to what, what integrations we agree to establish, or forbid – and what meaning we shall wring from them. However, the basic ideas, concepts ‘archetypes’ perhaps, often escape our ability to define them, they are defined by the process of the mind functioning, learning, growing, developing into the adolescent and (with some luck) an adult brain.

During the developing time before we had words to label concepts with, they were undoubtedly still labeled within our minds. Labeled with associations of time, of emotional states, of temperature and awe, of parental comfort – or lack, but the foundational concepts were there, are there, and we build our understanding of reality upon them. And behind our direct consciousness, we still have these associations.

Parents, Tasks, Quests, Comfort, Quantity, Danger, Alone, Yearning, Satisfaction, Accomplishment, Hunger, Satiety, Pleasure and Pain. We have associations to these as infants, as Toddlers, as Children, as Adolescents, as Adults. At each level we build our relevant narratives, always with links through these supersets. The healthy mental narratives will build logically upwards, always integrating with other areas. Ideally the default connections the mind mechanically forms will be complementary to the volitional connections that we choose to form, but the more non-reality based connections you make, the more your wires are going to bet crossed. The unhealthy mind will fix its own associations based on either mistaken relations, or on obstinate selections in spite of observable sensibilities. As this happens, their structures will not rise steadily, but out of shape, unbalanced, unsteady – scattered.

As a visual image of this conceptual process, picture the common child’s toys of numerous discs ranging from tiny to large, each with a hole through the center, half being circular, half square, and numerous round & squared posts. The natural progression in the developing mind of any child is for it to attempt to arrange these shapes in a flow, an hierarchy which conforms to size, style and form. This is an external reflection, of the conceptual process occurring within the child’s mind.

Think of the wooden base as being a platform, the central rod as being a Thought, and the discs as being related concepts. Each base is able to interlock with another base, and has a notch in the bottom to be able to stack upon another stacks central rod. The only impetus to put these pieces together, to build meaning, is the grasp that they can and should form a whole, that they can be done so correctly, and incorrectly, and that something in that correctness aligns itself with Truth, Value and is worthwhile. Watch a baby go through the process of putting such toys together – there is frustration with error, elation with success.

When we tell a tale, a story, that story may be well integrated, or it may be scattered, but even the most bizarre of postmodernists can only tell one tale at a time – they may subdivide it into many vignettes, but it is still one story. That One is still there, supporting your thoughts. That sense of One provides an ordering, a urge to seek for the proper way of acting, of doing right and well. The mind that has imbibed imagination into its reality, will seek always to be the one who draws the sword from the stone, even when the only objects in reality before it are Office conduct and Ethics.

A person bereft of this One imagination might seek short cuts, to leap across from midway up the conceptual stack on one archetypal platform over to another stack as if they were unrelated and had no pathways between them – the desire for success, and the spying or stealing of a secret that will bring success being seen as isolated structures, perfectly efficient and successful, but somewhere along the way they’ve lost that fire it took us nearly two hundred thousand years to grasp.

Far better off is the person who has those same goals, but mentally dismisses such an ‘easy shortcut’ leap as a fools errand, and instead follows the spiritual path through the base hierarchy of true thought, in seeking after right conduct and behavior, and accomplishment uses their imagination to arrive at that same destination with infinitely more solid ground beneath their cognitive feet, and a success which lives within them, not just their bank account.

It is in taking that mental pathway, seeking the ordered and central truths through your thoughts, the hierarchical ordering, which takes you all the way down to the foundations, grounding you in the common One support, by directing all of your attention to the supporting root platform or Table of Reality, of One Cosmos, and then up to the concept to be connected and integrated to, which forms a Human Life inside and out.

What the short-cutter, the stack leaper misses, lacking central truths in their mental systems, anything you say evokes a correspondence to reality, real or imagined. Even as assertion of a falsehood as truth, reinforces the One, it is an appeal to inclusion in the all encompassing Truth, even though it does not belong to it with the meaning you assert, it still has a place as the misrepresentation of reality that exists. It becomes part of the truth even in its opposition to it.

If that sense of One is attained to with integrity within yourself, then the foundation for a contemplation of the wider One would seem to be a natural next step, the hitch for the incidental leaper, is that the step must be found by looking not only upwards but at the same time by seeking towards foundations, and inwardly seeking outwards, of integrating before grasping.

It is in fighting this flow of the integrations, of the commonality of thought from its roots in reality, all the way up to ethical behavior and even on to something like the music you prefer, that fractures the minds of those who reject central truths.

By refusing to acknowledge the existence of a One Reality, a One Cosmos, from which all of the finer distinctions and conceptions flow from, you create separated structures of thought in your mind – where one lends little or no support and strength to another. And there is a limit to how many items you can successfully retain within your mind at one time. Remember, without that boon of rational integration, your mind collapses under the strain of grasping the ‘separate’ness of many ‘relative truths’.

These conceptual platforms which support our many thoughts and truths, contain integrating relations and provide access to the many thoughts and truths, which are so central to wonder and wider truths, it is through this process of grasping, analyzing and synthesizing truths central to our thoughts, that we are able to self reflect, it is through these structures that something like a remembered song or scent gives us an instantaneous access to floods of information that rush our brains in times of need or stress - but this same advantage of hierarchical poetics, are dreadfully ineffective, even dangerous when used for particular meanings. When we use wider poetics in speech about specifics, those specifics are misread and lost, and much harm is caused ( See the quote from Justice Breyer at the start of from part1 of this series of posts) – again here we touch on what words, as specific tools, are for – to be fleshed out in the next post.

When we tell a tale of Myth or of God, it is a grasping of that foundational and guiding Oneness that all is a part of, and yet cannot not be of. It is an ordering, a tale well told, is a shuffling, ordering, and smoothening of related integrations. A tale properly told sets our mental house in order, affirms relations, rights and wrongs, tunes our soul to the order contained within the one truth. Visually you might imagine putting a deck of cards back into suit order, but also straightening and smoothening the sides so that it is back into a nice even stack. Platform touches platform, thought stacks are righted and re-organized all ideas are touched upon – disorder is put right and truth resonates through the entire hierarchical structure.

As our minds can grasp only a few details at once without the benefit of concepts (3,5,7,10...), so too our mind can only deal effectively with a certain number of base concepts and sub-structures.

By refusing to acknowledge the existence of a One Reality, this limitation is magnified. With a properly conceived Hierarchy, we can conceptually grasp near infinite amounts of ideas and particulars you can approach even the universe, but without a One Cosmos, from which all of the finer distinctions and conceptions find support upon and flow from, you create only separated structures of thought within your mind – one lends little or no support and strength to another, and only a few at a time are able to be compassed with thought. And there is a limit to how many items you can successfully retain within your mind at one time. Without hierarchical truth – you are left with some schizophrenic conception of Truth as are the leftist mockery of ‘Absolute and Relative truth’s’, and your conceptual grasp will be splintered.

It is in denying a unifying structure, in fighting wide ranging integrations that a 'postmodernist' disintegrates the commonality of thought from its roots in reality, each stack is seen as separate from each other. In fact, there is little or no reason to stack your concepts at all, isolated facts become the focus, rather than integrated structures. Each stands on its own, and denies any concept of unity. Those adhering to these philosophies underlie what politically expresses itself as those we call leftists. They fundamentally seek to leap from Present-desire to Desire Fulfilled, without traversing the intervening conceptions, actions and realities which exist between them.

It has been often commented on the ugliness of post-modernist philosophy – think of the hideous ‘art’ of Jackson Pollack and ‘Piss Christ’ ‘sculptures’. No truths, no order, no integrations or even mis-integrations, wonder or meaning (meaning being integrations of reality, thoughts, steps to understanding) it is a flat and arid wasteland of impressions, and within it there are no landmarks or stars to chart by, only arbitrary rules backed with muscle and fist.

No specifics, all airy faery foolishness and brittle rules.

Poetic Quicksilver and Imagery
Of the Arts, I think it is Poetry (verbal and to some extent musical) that is the heart and soul of transmitting and experiencing those wider truths central to our (communal and individual) grasping of Value and Truth.

Poetry, through the use of tone and imagery, has a way of sounding a conceptual note that rings and resonates through huge swaths of what we consider beautiful, worthy, inspiring (themselves central keystones of your values), and it accomplishes this by way of the whole poem. A Poem enters your mind complete, then we begin to hone in on its imagery which evokes many of our labeled or unlabeled foundational thoughts – it often resonates with our inner self in a most striking and undefinable way ‘it affected me in a way that I just couldn’t put it into words’ is a phrase often used.

Once internalized, our more focused attention allows us to take the whole-imagery and break it into prose in order to dwell on the particulars. But you have to let the poem work through you to reach that wider goal, and then bring yourself to bear on bringing home the wider conceptual meanings to your personal understanding.

Take for example, a favorite of mine by Robert Frost,

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening :
Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer,
To stop without a farmhouse near,
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake,
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep,
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

I’ve seen a lot of different interpretations of this poem, some think it is flirting with, even longing for death. Some see irrationality and temptation and the horse being his conscience prodding him to be sensible.

My personal take on the poem is that it's about someone who's been questioning upon the darkest evening of the soul and/or the year, being the Solstice or Christmas, who and what God is, does he live only in a white clapboard Church in town, or is this wood more true to him? The god of the clapboard wouldn't see him in the woods...and yet... hmm. These things the Vertical thinker thinks, but the dweller of the horizontal (the horse) thinks it strange to seemingly stop for no visible reason, thinking about something as useless as the unknown and what we know only surface deep. For me, it brings in mystery, life to be lived but with ending death ever present and whispering in the wind, purity, horizontal vs vertical tensions, God, rebirth/Christmas and whether the religious spirit can be conveyed only through a church, or as well through God's handiwork.

These things and many more you can find within yourself through the vehicle of the Poem, but if you only let such a poem bring to you the image of some guy sitting in the snow in the woods that some city guy owns and no more, you've turned yourself into a conceptual anorexic.

The real point is that such poetic imagery puts us into contact with our foundational thoughts, Mystery, God, Values, Death, Reverence… those and more which underlie vast amounts of conceptual hierarchies within each of us, the continent below the mountain range. Which peak you are drawn to choose to climb is a choice of near limitless possibilities– but choosing to pretend that there are not mountains, not looking up to see the forbidding peaks, is cowardice and foolishness – and dangerous as well, since that enforced ignorance will blind you to many a rock, cliff and chasm in your path.

The Necessary Identification of An Unidentifiable All Encompassing Set
Our minds, our consciousness is contained within the Cosmos, it is not capable even with the most finely tuned hierarchies, of actually grasping the entirety of all. For our minds, to define something, is to differentiate it from something else. For the One Cosmos, there is nothing to differentiate it from, it being all – and to say that something is everything, for us, is to actually say nothing at all. Without resort to a wider encompassing concept, or more precisely, the thought behind and below and throughout such a concept – which contains everything, and yet can’t itself be identified as everything, we fashion Myth to stand in as a graspable thing, in place of all.

Without it there will be no approach to a uniting vision – and without that, the people will feel their souls perish in random disintegrated collisions of unmatched thoughts and opposing goals, even amidst all of their Splendor. And if the myth that they have is one that does not fit within their time, then it may be even worse than having none at all. It is imperfect, and implausible and indispensable. It does remain for us, however, to recall that it is a conceptual tool for grasping that which can not be grasped – to point towards the Thought, the “I AM” of which all is but a part of.

Without such a Vision, and stories to crystallize aspects of it in application here on earth, the people do perish... and without truth, they won't fight against it or even recognize that they are perishing. We in the West have been undone by a slow substitution of data for Truth, realism for Virtuousness, calculation for Wisdom. It's been done to us by a rejection of the One Truth in favor of a disintegrated many, of being told that the profound meaning of "The pursuit of Happiness" means only "He who has the most toys wins" - and as first Philosophy and then Education were corrupted, it has been easily accomplished. We have been told that our hierarchical structures are elitist and primitive – a ‘thought’ which comes unbidden into our midst from those bipedal animals who wore our forms prior to 40,000 + years ago before the light of Art dawned in the caves, and led us towards the Fire.

When there is no encompassing hierarchy, then necessarily you fall into a hedonistic “if id don’t hurt, do id”, that is so typical of, so definitive, of the typical leftist outlook. Where the Classical Liberal will want to stack his concepts hierarchically, large on the bottom ranging up to the top, with a central Thought serving as an axle through their center, the leftist will tend to want to arrange their conceptual discs flat, perhaps by color & central hole style – spread out on display, each independent of the other.

The post-modernist sees that stacking as rigid and dogmatic, the conservative sees the leftists flat arrangments as random and chaotic. Both styles are subject to problems, perhaps the conservative over stacks his discs, but he retains a central meaning, a closeness between discs, and pyramidal shapes formed from their stacks that the leftist will never see. The leftist is able to perhaps see more of the discs surfaces, more color, more shape, but he loses nearly all relational meaning between the discs - all is separate, unintegrated, quantities without Quantity over qualities, perceptual sensations over conceptual depth.

The literature & myths of conservatives, of Classical Liberals, tends towards integrations, towards arranging the discs by natural flow of shape, size and form. The leftist postmodernist towards differences, randomness, dis- or mis-integrations. If you’ve built your structures of thought upon some schizophrenic conception of Truth as is the post-modernist mockery of ‘Absolute and Relative truth’s’, such Leftie thought, by nature of first denying an overall truth, splinters your ability to grasp your mental content as a whole. Each conceptual platform is full of low or single stacks, Truths being denied, hierarchy is too, so we get a lowerarchy of thought. The leftie thinks that this is an advantage. I do not. The One of inspired imagination cannot live in such a scattering of perceptual sizzle, it is a creature of the depths, requiring room to soar, to resonate and catch fire – the kind of depths it took 160,000 or so years for our animal-cestors to dig into their stone-axe lives before their smoldering mental tinder’s would burst into light.

Juggling Reality
Here’s a visual from a different perspective to help imagine the disintegrated glitz of leftist utopias: picture a supper dexterous and talented juggler, with multiple plates spinning balanced upon rods on their nose, their forehead, shoulders, elbows & palms, even knees and toes. They holler to you “Look at me!”, enrapt in their dazzling display of dexterity, their eyes darting back intently, keeping them all spinning – barely able to walk, wholly unable to see the steps – up or down – before them… inching towards them nonetheless. “You can do this too! All you need to do put the plates on one rod, and spin them! Try it!” and as we shake our heads walking by with our plates neatly stacked, and comfortably in hand, “You’re chicken! You just… whoaaaa…!” as one foot finds an unexpected step in his path, the imbalance spreading upwards. We try to cover our ears with our freehand to protect our ears from the coming clatter of shattering plates.

Such philosophies based on divided ‘truths’, will have difficulty seeing the benefit of a single Truth, their Many deposes and becomes God in place of the cast out and ‘improved’ on one. Such belief systems will tend to scoff at, or have fewer, less intense, less long lasting scenes such as the one that opened this post. They will tend to be more drenched in perceptual sensations – artificially enhanced wherever possible with gadgets or chemicals. The Vertical Depths conveyed in such scenes are the province of a single structure, not of a divided set of values.

Such scenes, whether romantic or heroic, soak our senses with poetic Thought-evators which connect to and massively integrate entire structures of our brains, of our knowledge, our beliefs and values by way of reaching and touching our base concepts. The deeper and more vertical the hierarchy, the more resonance and coherence between platforms for all beliefs rising above them – it’s a non-verbal electric resonance, that starts from the base of our body, mind and soul, and slowly rises up into our verbal senses and emotional responses – it is deeply integrating, a making whole of us, through recognizing the whole of our world and values & truths we hold dear – assuming of course your thoughts and values are integrated, and more are available if they are integrated through an overall instantiation of a single guiding vision of Truth – simply put there’s more depth available in a single ‘V’ than divided in a ‘w’.

Through a central guiding vision you are better able to reach into those deeper integrations which your understanding can make or evoke, and through the process of making these integrations, of making our whole larger, an even larger whole is sensed.

It is through participating in the larger integrations imparted by a mythos that we experience a sense of Wonder, and a sense of an encompassing life, because only then is that indefinable All invoked through underlying principle, and upwards through the whole of your understanding – and through it we experience a sense of wholeness calling to a more complete intuition of All - encompassing, but never closed, never fully defined or reached – it exists at your source, spreads throughout all you are or can be aware of.

We are able to experience that whole only by passing through it and making our wider value integrations. The integrations are always open, never complete, but still extending your sense of God - and that is where it MUST exist – it must exist in your estimation, your putting the pieces together, your grasping for completion – never met, and always there – wondrous alive a circuit unclosed, unsealed, undefined – always and forever alive within us, a living yearning which passes the unclosed loop of integrations back to us, to be ever open and applied in our lives, as our lives, for our lives.

As above, so below
Perfect this is, New Years Day, New Years Eve – the closing and opening that’s marked in motion, never still, to a recognition where we celebrate the going and the coming – but we don’t ever, never will, really grasp it, look at it and say ‘ oh that’s it”, for that would be a completion, a finality, and All will never be experienced in that way in the herebelow. It is this time of the year that we celebrate the motion in passing as life, as wonder, ever unclosed ever drawing us on, and ever encompassing all the One Cosmos.