Thursday, July 24, 2014
6834 Scholars today think the Hebrew Bible was composed by an elite group battling folk paganism. They cite the presence of archeological evidence as proof that the folk worshipped many gods and goddesses. The problem is that those other deities were themselves the work of elites in other ethnic groups. Everywhere we have elites battling elites. Some scholars even say they can detect internal strife inside each elite group.
It turns out that these elite groups, separated from the common man, closely resembles the position of today's scholars themselves. What are we to think of the very idea of an elite with its secret knowledge? Jesus too seemed to separate those who knew from those who didn't. And of course there were and are initiation ceremonies.
Behind every revelation there is a deeper revelation. And revolution is always the battle to bring out the truth. One group of elites seeks to destroy another. So do the folk really exist? No, the word "folk" is just a work used to denigrate the followers of another elite priesthood. There are no folk, only elite. The battle is ever on.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
6633 What is the ground for my belief in God and the gods? It can only be my being presented with such entities. They appear, in some sort of appearing, before my mind's eye. That is the Principle of Presentation. I am a radical empiricist. All that means that if I rummage about in the everyday world of things, then I am not going to find any such thing. Our ordinary science sees no such things. That I do see them must be counted, therefore, as a miracle.
Consider the color Pink and Triangularity. Does physics know any such things? No, it knows only other things that associate with them. So what grounds our knowing them if they are not a part of physics? The thing Pink grounds our knowing pink just as Triangularity grounds our knowing triangularity. And then, of course, Knowing grounds our knowing. Philosophy doesn't deal in causes, only the ground of what is presented to the mind. And then the Ground that grounds grounding. But I iterate.
Just this morning as I walked about I was amazed at how youth at a certain point so resembles the gods. The ground of that godlikeness is The Thing Itself. The gods momentarily appear. And then flee. The flash is blinding. And irritating. The Ideal importunes. The Form of Form graphically digs in. I am a defeated graven thing, but I manage.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
6832 Right from the beginning I have made Philosophy be a thing. I know many will object to that cold, rational, dead word. He is not a human filled with hope and longing and desire. With worry and frustration and despair. He is a thing. The bare x of logic. The bare universal just as a universal. The bare nexus. Stripped down existence itself. Just that. So why do I not just leave the words lie still and go no farther?
As they are those words lend themselves to being no more than human conceptualizing. I'm looking for the encounter. Where do I find the thing itself? Where must I walk to meet him? On what dark street? Surely I must travel alone. The crowd, the human crowd, is my enemy. And his. I walk through the winding alleys of sentential texts. He is in the words. The Words. Syntax will corral him. Or that is my human hope in finding the non-human.
I am corralled. The canon, the law, the form of syntax is my bondage too. I struggle to have a look. But seeing is seen and never-ending.
I give up and go to bed. Soon the expected hypnagogia. The incubus paralyzes me. I dream philosophy. He lies on me hard. Tension. Horrible dreams. Twisted unlogic. Here is there and nowhere. Incommensurable dimensions, broken architecture, flat walls. He's a robot. The Work. Twilight eyes. We've been here before. Too many times. It will never end. The last thing. His wings are stiff and hurt. The dirt, the grime, the thingness of thought. He glides. I am constrained in writing. The graphos, the digging in. That Thing.
Monday, July 21, 2014
6831 How does philosophy with its most abstract abstractions fit into language? Is it that words name those things and we then glance away toward something outside language? Perhaps, but there is also the rhythm of language that I think captures the thing itself more than your look away. In the rise and fall, the expansion and the contraction, the Same and the Different are there present in propria persona. The most abstract is the sweet song of utterance. The Oracle. You must feel philosophy in the back of your throat and on your tongue. And as the other speaks you see lips and eye in silent collusion moving. Eternal Forms glide over the face and philosophy is.
6830 Ontological existence vs. ordinary existence. High abstraction vs. material presence. Usually we think that the former exists only in the text of language. What kind of existence is that? Do these transcendental gods exist only in utterance? Must that language be similar to human language? Can those rarefied things exist on their own aside from linguistic expression? And what about these questions? Is there a questioning in Being that is never uttered?
In religious ritual we speak holy beings into existence. Or perhaps holy beings slide into our heads through words repeated repeated repeated. If I look and see that my friend is not present at our usual rendezvous, does my seeing that negative fact require that I speak it to myself silently? Or are negative facts there to be seen even without utterance? I know that for me that fact fuses tightly with the words, but can it also exist without language and can be seen by those animals without language – if indeed there are such things?
As I see it high abstractions, some of which are negative, exist aside from language and human thought. That is my extreme realism. Philosophy himself prowls.
6829 The mystery of negation. The essence of mind is that we can think what doesn't exist. The Ideal transcends everything here. I have mentioned Kenneth Clark's ideas about the Naked and the Nude quite a few times and you can easily search them out in that little search box down to the right. His idea is that we somehow "know" the ideal form and we then know that that thing in front of us definitely ain't it. The Platonic Form is the well-proportioned. And not just moderately so. It is perfect. A thing we dimly know. From which all the things here fall short. Which causes many to wave it off as sour grapes.
How can we think what doesn't present itself vividly. Or presents itself too vividly. What is that "too" in it's just too much to think? The excess. It is a thing close to negation. Mysterious things. At the heart of mind.
Ontology searches out existence, but that existence seems to be the opposite of ordinary existence, a thing that has no opposite. I casually write and ask my reader to think ontological existence. Can it really be done? In a perfectly understandable sense ontological things, the Forms, do not exist. And to say they do is madness. Still, ontology is the charming part of thought. We think right nicely what doesn't exist. Dostoyevsky granted that two plus two equaling four is an excellent, even imperious thing; nonetheless, two plus two equaling five is a charming thing. I write up the charm. The canto.
The mind thinks ontology right nicely, but the super-ego of thought prevents it.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
6828 Formalism vs. ontology. The former looks for the formal meta-structures of logic and the rules for their manipulation. The latter looks for the existents that ground those forms. A strict formalist does not believe in such existents or things. He thinks the form is nothing other than the formed. I am an ontologist.
Consider the ontological fact that a simple existent is different from the complex of which it is a constituent. Yellow is different from a yellow sun. Does that ontological fact exist? A formalist says no. Some ontologists might also say no, if ontological facts are not on their list of existents. Let's call those who say they exist extreme or radical realists. I am one of those.
So am I presented with that ontological fact. Does it loom up before my contemplative eye? I say yes. Is it separate from ordinary things and other ontological things? "Separation from" is another ontological thing. As I ontologically look about I see that they are indeed separate. They are thus transcendent.
Let's call those ontologists who believe that ontological things exist but that they are located "in" ordinary things o