Friday, November 17, 2006

On Seeing the Forest for the Tree-Dwellers

Yesterday we were discussing Bion’s PS<-->D, which is the symbol he used to describe the mind’s basic activity in the most abstract terms possible. Specifically, mental activity involves bringing together a mass of particulars (PS) into a coherent whole (D), which in turn reveals their meaning. This is a never-ending process, as the back and forth interplay between PS and D operates along a gradient of meaning that reveals ever “higher” and “deeper” unities and syntheses.

Perhaps you will have noticed that one of the most disturbing aspects of anxiety or depression is that they proceed in the direction D-->PS. In the case of depression, it is as if reality loses its third dimension and one is reduced to a flat and depthless existence. Things that once brought joy, passion, pleasure and meaning are indistinguishable from anything else. In the case of anxiety, one is persecuted by unthought fragments that cannot be tamed or brought together. Suddenly -- as in the case of panic -- one’s psyche is violently rendered into persecutory bits.

This necessitates the introduction of another pair of symbols used by Bion, ♀ and ♂, standing for “container” and “contained,” respectively. When you think about it, we come into the world with virtually no psychological boundaries, or “containment” for our “content.” In fact, this is precisely what makes infancy so terrifying. In the absence of a psychotic episode or a bad LSD trip, it is almost impossible for us to imagine a completely unbound consciousness with no means to limit it. It is equivalent to being suddenly dropped into a zero point of infinite dimensions.

Pascal captured this experience when he wrote of the terror of the eternal silence of these infinite spaces. You might think that the body would serve as a sort of “boundary” against the formless infinite void, but that is not true. It eventually serves that purpose, becoming a sort of “membrane” between infinite nothingness and meaning, but not without first enlisting the services of the (m)othering One.

First of all, in early infancy our bodies are not yet our own. We have almost no control over them. Furthermore, most of the body’s systems are in a state of dysregulation -- or perhaps we might say “pre-regulation.” This is why the baby’s first and only task is to seek out maternal containment in order to down-regulate various bodily functions. And clearly, in the absence of speech -- a way to symbolize, store, and and communicate experience -- the baby is subject to what you might call the ultimate PS, nothing but constant impingement of internal and external phenomena that it must somehow make sense of.

How do we know this? First of all, we can know it by what happens to a child or adult who did not have adequate maternal containment and bears the visible scars of such. We can detect it in any number of ways. For example, I am thinking of a particular patient who happened to be an accomplished medical doctor. And yet, her mind had a sort of “lacunae,” a large, primitive area that could not be symbolized and therefore communicated or contained. As such, every day after work she engaged in the ritual of violently rocking back and forth in a rocking chair for an hour or more at a time. The purpose of the ritual was to contain primitive anxiety, or what you might call “cosmic dread,” a completely persecutory emptiness.

Another patient would cut herself. She would make dozens of small cuts in her arms and legs as a way to contain her anxiety. The physical pain of the cutting was preferable to the psychological pain of infinite and unbound nonexistence -- of her mental contents dispersing endlessly into space. Again, the key is that the person is desperately looking for containment of primitive anxiety that cannot be symbolized and therefore ”thought.” As such, therapy for such an individual involves containing and giving voice to the anxiety so that it may become thought instead of action.

People use all kinds of things for primitive containment: food, thrill seeking, sex, television, work, education, religion, drugs and alcohol. This is why Bion always made a distinction between a mental function or object and the use to which it is put. Take an obvious thing like education. It is possible for two people to have roughly the same education -- the same content, as it were -- but to put it to entirely different uses.

I am thinking, for example, of a very bright man I know, whose education -- which is considerable -- is almost entirely in the service of his aggression and his narcissism. Therefore, although he may say something that is technically true, he does not say it because it is true, which makes all the difference. Instead, the purpose of his knowledge is not Truth, but something far more primitive and aggressive, including the exercise of contempt for an internal object that is projected into his interlocutor, and a kind of omnipotence that actually serves the purpose of containment.

As such, this person cannot actually “learn.” Rather, he can only acquire. He can only pick up another factoid to place in his mental armamentarium to use as a weapon of war. This primitive use of education is quite common -- especially among the educated! -- and it is very easy to tell when one is dealing with such an individual. Con-versation -- which is to say flowing together -- is impossible with such a person.

This is what makes politicians and MSM talking heads so tedious. They are not there to teach, much less to learn. Rather, they are there to use speech as a primitive object with which to paper over reality or to vanquish their adversary. In fact, I am always surprised when I see someone in the MSM who is not doing this. However, what is so frustrating is that a person who does speak truthfully is treated identically to the person who doesn’t. There is a kind of utter cynicism, so that the truth is regarded as nothing but another form of “spin.”

For the thoroughly ironicized secular left (which should always be distinguished from any form of liberalism), there is no truth but no truth. The con artist thinks everyone “has an angle,” and cannot imagine someone who is innocently motivated by an agenda-free love of truth, with no strings attached. This is why you will have noticed that the left is inherently suspicious and paranoid, and therefore habitually attributes motives to positions. Since it is often the case that their positions are actually cynical motives in disguise, they think this is true of everyone.

Therefore, you can’t possibly be against judges tinkering with the basic unit of civilization and redefining marriage. Rather, you are simply using this as a cynical ploy to get more redneck homophobes to go to the polls. You can’t possibly think that racial quotas are bad for blacks. You must be a racist. You can’t actually believe that raising the minimum wage causes unemployment. You just hate poor people. You don’t really think that global jihad is a genuine threat. You just want to frighten people so that you can maintain control over them. You can’t possibly believe that Darwinism is logically self-refuting. You just want to teach Genesis as science and impose a theocracy. You can’t simply believe that Roe vs. Wade represents atrocious legal reasoning veering on judicial tyranny. You just want to “control women’s bodies.” You don’t want to harshly interrogate known terrorists. You just enjoy torturing people. You don’t really want to intercept their phone calls either. You’re just spying on Americans. And of course, if you do not accept all of the dubious speculations of the global warming theorists, you hate the earth.

And on and on and on. Again, Truth is reduced to motive, which represents nothing less than an attack on reality. It reminds me of when I used to enjoy watching wrestling on TV when I was a kid. The bad guy would turn his back to the clueless referee, reach somewhere into his tights, and throw a substance of some kind into his superior opponent’s eyes. Now, instead of “may the best man win,” it was merely two beasts struggling in the dark, as it were.

Likewise, if you can sever the sacred covenant between language and truth, then language is reduced to a battle of wills.

Hmmm. I’m not sure how I got to this point. What does this all have to do with the title of this post? Allow me to explain. Language, as we have said, is a container. But it makes all the difference in the world to discern the use to which the container is being put. For language can serve a range of psychological purposes, both high and low. Someone once said that language was given to man to conceal his thoughts, which is without a doubt one of the uses of language. But it has many other uses as well.

For example, for reasons completely unknowable to the secular mind, language can be a container of great transcendental beauty. Words can somehow be arranged in such a way that they radiate a noetic light that far transcends their literal meaning. Great poetry or prose is a kind of containment and non--containment at the same time, as the beauty radiates from, or “shines through” the container.

At the same time, language can be used to convey ugliness and depravity -- i.e., most contemporary literature -- or to kill thought. Instead of radiating or elevating, it "drags down." Alternatively, it may be used to transmit celestial messages to those with ears to hear them, or to arouse satanic collective energies, as it does in so much of the Islamic world. It may be used to memorialize and communicate self-evident truths, or it may cynically use the Truth to advance the Lie.

We go back to the helpless infant who struggles to find the means to symbolize a reality that is otherwise a bewildering impingement on the smooth surface of being. “Infant” actually comes from the old French en-fant, which literally means incapable of speech. Some babies use speech as a means to grow and colonize reality. Many adults use it as a defense against growth or as a means to paper over psychic damage. In extreme cases, they will see no forest, only trees. In other cases, they will superimpose a fake forest over the real one. How to tell the difference? I’ll have to get into that tomorrow. Suffice it to say that one of the purposes of religion is to see the real forest for the trees (and tree-dwellers).

39 Comments:

Blogger River Cocytus said...

Ah, Good as always, Mr. Bob. I have been struggling lately to communicate the essential ideas, the upward and inward and onward path, struggling with the containers which I have been given.

The container/contained is an interesting way to look at female/male, as the brutish and often froward perception is that it represents submittor/dominator. It seems that a horizontal (the male/female) has been made into a vertical. The result? Everything falls off the table onto the comsic floor.

Oddly, since the female can be conceived as the container, then this submittor/dominator is a female contortion of the idea of male/female. (focusing on containing.)

The male distortion? Since the male is the contained, he would tend to view it as 'female = weak/indecisive male = strong/decisive'. And to think about it, there are four distortions.

Female centric distortions:
Passive distortion: Submittor/Dominator
Active distortion:
Builder/Destroyer
Male centric distortions:
Passive distortion:
Rebel/Square
Active distortion:
Strong/Weak

The passive distortion is what I think of as 'I'm the victim', and the active distortion is 'I'm superior'.

Does this ring true at all?

11/17/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger dloye said...

I've likely skimmed too fast and lost most of the important threads. Thus forewarned, here I go wandering. What is the relationship between thoughts and words? I pretend no answers here, just have noted that when I get some insight it's rarely one that I can verbalize directly. It requires containment and translation into language. Those rare a-hah moments mostly came when I was young and trying to put together mathematical proofs. Easy didn't require going deep, but insights always sprang from some "preverbal" place. The words, the formal presentation of the proof became the container. I never liked working as hard as all that thinking required. At this point it's just a curious memory.

11/17/2006 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, interestingly, the lower mind is masculine in relation to the world, while the higher intellect is feminine in relation to the Spirit. But a victim has become passive in relation to the world, while false prophets and pseudo-intellectuals are masculine in the realm of Spirit.

11/17/2006 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Words are containers for the "substance" of thought. For any thought above the material plane, the use of words will be a trickier proposition. The philosopher of science Stanly Jaki compares words to a cloud. From a distance, they have sharply defined edges and outlines, but as you approach them, the border disappears and you can no longer even see them. This is one of the reasons why secular philosophy generally goes nowhere. it simply "vaporizes," because it is not grounded in the more sturdy Logos, which is anterior to this or that merely human word.

11/17/2006 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NoMo said...
Ahh, yet another good mind-stretchin'. Today's post sent me in even more directions than usual. Parallels within parallels.

Childrearing and the priority of setting boundaries to support healthy development of "the container" that results in security of mind. So much of today's "mental disorderedness" and "mind parasites" can be traced directly to the insecurity and even self-loathing born out of the "new, no boundaries childrearing" of the 60s, etc.

God as the perfect parental unity and the "eternal security" available from simply believing that superreality.

If there were original, pre-fallen humans, how exactly did they differ from fallen humans? Did the fallenness evolve / devolve over time to become an ever-increasing separation from God?

The Word as both God and the communication of God into a context that even fallen humans can comprehend.

"There is no truth but no truth", habitually attributing motives to positions", Truth reduced to motive", "the attack on reality", and "language reduced to a battle of wills" -- all subjects within themselves worthy of extensive consideration and discussion.

Makes me want to spend more time speculatin' on The Mind of God -- and what finite semblence of that Mind is within our own.

I love this class.

11/17/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Thanks Bob,

I recently had a "run in" with a retailer who sold me defective product. Since it was a "custom" job I guess that the results were open to interpretation in the mind of the retailer, and boy did the rationalizations and accusations against me flow as he rendered his "expert" opinion. None of his arguements had any consistecy as I continued to point out the obvious flaws in the product which he continued to twist into being part of the customization. It became apparent that every motive behind the arguements coming from his end was completely (money making) selfish. Unfortunately for him one of the options he left me was that of getting my money back which, I believe he thought I wouldn't take, projecting that I would be too egotistical. You should have seen the look on his face when I stood up and asked for my money back.
His insistance on spin cost him a several thousand dollar sale as well as a future customer.
Still it left me feeling like I needed to take a shower after I left and it has bothered me all week even though I know I did the right thing.
Thanks for the further explanation of the use knowledge for the wrong motives. I guess the lesson is that I ultimately got my money back and that I can "forgive him for he knows not what he does". I'm feeling a little cleaner as I write this.
Now I hope the check hasn't been cancelled ;)

11/17/2006 11:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

OK - I can't save both OC urls as favorites, one overwrites the other - so at the request of the Grand Pubah, I have saved this one as the fav. If you decide to do away with this at some point, let me know. Don't leave me in the outer dark. ;)

11/17/2006 11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous A troll this way comes said...

Hoarhey's encounter with the salesman points up a crucial aspect of dealings in the world--now matter the angle or spin put on things (i.e, the intention behind using truth or language), the result is always influenced by physical force, actual or implied.
In Hoarhey's case, he asked for his money back, and althogh the retailer would rather not give the refund, he did anyway. The reason for this is that if he had not, he could have been taken to small claims court. Had he lost his case and still didn't pay, he could recieve a contempt of court charge. Should he ignore that, an officer might attempt to arrest him. Should he resist that, he might be beaten. Shoud he resist hard enough, he might be tasered or shot.
It is amazing how much of our culture rests on cops and their nightsticks, pistols and shotguns.
The take home message, in relation to Bob's post, is that "spin" by the securlar left is toothless unless legislated into law. Once anything goes into code, then you have force behind it, and that's that. Might doesn't make right, but it determines what happens.
The implication in what I am saying is that when using language or hearing someone else using it, go ahead and try to note and identify spin or bias (motive) either in yourself and others as you go along, but go further and keep tabs on whether said spin or motive is backable by force (i.e, police or military).
Spin backed by force is the one thing to be reckoned with. All else is window dressing.

Bob's analysis of how truth gets turned into motive is fascinating, I would add. It might be said to be the mother of all spin moves.

11/17/2006 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

A troll--

I think you have it backwards. In a healthy society truth is backed by force. In an unhealthy one it is defined by force. Thus, a healthy society is a function of truth, or the search for truth. If Hoarhey were to resort to the court, it would not be an appeal to force, but an appeal to truth. Destroy the concept of truth, and you are indeed left with nothing but force, otherwise known as hell on earth.

Now, who would want to destroy the concept of Truth in order to seize power?

11/17/2006 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I might add that the leftist culture of victimology is inherently pathological, for victimization is simply a way to disenable the conscience, bypass truth, and seize illicit power. Show me an elite-sanctioned victim and I'll show you a bully.

11/17/2006 12:07:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

"...although he may say something that is technically true, he does not say it because it is true, which makes all the difference. Instead, the purpose of his knowledge is not Truth, but something far more primitive and aggressive..."

I've had an intuition of this as long as I can remember, that the very act of speech is an act, subject to the analysis of action; and that there are 360 degrees (to the n-th power) on the sphere of truth, so the selection of a specific truth, or fact, is eloquent of intention and constitutes the accurate communication.

"It's the truth" or "I only said..." is evasion.

Jesus had a good cautious suggestion for the ordinary course of things. Yes. Or No.

11/17/2006 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

Anon said, "I love this class."

For sure, in fact it should be a required university course for all 4 or 5 years, with a Masters program available thereafter. Let us therefore hereby grant Mr. Gagdad Bob full OCU tenure, irrevocably instated forthwith. So say we all.

It's merely ceremonial, as Bob already has full tenure, but hey, who doesn't enjoy a little pomp and circumstance?

11/17/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

NoMo anon, I am NoMo.

11/17/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Al_Miller said...

I enjoy your posts. I do get the impression that you're circumperambulating John 17. Maybe one of these days you will be sucked into its vortext. :). It will be interesting to see what comes back out...

11/17/2006 05:03:00 PM  
Anonymous A troll this way comes said...

Bob implies that I was wrong about role of force in our society--

"I think you have it backwards. In a healthy society truth is backed by force. In an unhealthy one it is defined by force."

Some terms leap out that seem out of place-- "healthy society," "truth," and "defined."

These seem like needless complications to a very simple thing. People spin (any arguments there?) as a general rule.

The only spin that gets expressed as reality is that which is backed by force. You can trace any aspect of our society to the barrel of a squadcar shotgun, if you try.

Let's say I get a job tht I don't like, and so I walk off the job and quit. I'm free to go, because the employer cannot detain/enslave me. He could try, but then he might get shot by police or imprisoned.

Where does "truth" impinge on any of that?

Sure, in our society we don't do slavery, but that's because the slavery destabilizes societies and is not efficient, in addition to the moral proscriptions.

Animals are still slaves to us, because its efficient.

Substitute the word "efficiency" whenever you want to use "truth" and you'll get a more accurate picture of why things are the way they are.

There is no such thing as a healthy or unhealthy society. There are only efficient or inefficient ones.

Efficiency produces biomass--the maximum amount of human tissue per square mile. That is the measure of success.

11/17/2006 05:48:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

I, from the time of purchasing the defective products, was actually willing to take them as is (although they weren't sold as is and in a previous discussion of the problems, he promised to make them right) and fix the problems myself, the deal was that good. I chose a refund of the product because the deceptive (if unconscious) motives and 180 degree turn around of the seller (money over integrity)would always be attached to them.
I think the decision to refund the money was made because during the discussion, I had him spell out in no uncertain terms what my options were. I had many more options according to the law but I made him articulate what he thought my options were. I was always civil and level headed in my arguements and all ranting and accusation came from his direction.
When I chose a refund, he had the modicum of integrity to realize that I had just backed him into a corner and checkmated his ass so he took his thumpin'.

-----------------------------------


attwc said:

"Hoarhey's encounter with the salesman points up a crucial aspect of dealings in the world--now matter the angle or spin put on things (i.e, the intention behind using truth or language), the result is always influenced by physical force, actual or implied."

Which brings up the question as to the threat of reprisals from todays modern P.C. leftist, who, when given power acts more and more like a stifling, mind controling fascist.

11/17/2006 06:00:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

"Spin backed by force is the one thing to be reckoned with. All else is window dressing."

So I suppose being fired from ones job for having a differing viewpoint and not towing the PC line or being labeled a racist or homophobe to shut down any meaningful discussion of the issues is window dressing?
It's happening everyday, everywhere with devastating consequences to the health of this society.

11/17/2006 06:07:00 PM  
Anonymous GLASR said...

"I can’t be sure, but it feels as if another blogging cycle is coming to a close." You're keeping me from the archives, thank you very much.


"troll", not hooked up right.Live in that world?

11/17/2006 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

A troll this way comes:

Correction: a complete idiot this way comes.

11/17/2006 06:40:00 PM  
Anonymous A troll this way comes said...

Hoarhey said, in response to my comments about force:

"So I suppose being fired from ones job for having a differing viewpoint and not towing the PC line or being labeled a racist or homophobe to shut down any meaningful discussion of the issues is window dressing?
It's happening everyday, everywhere with devastating consequences to the health of this society."

Well, Hoarhey, the things you list above are indeed "window dressing," because some viewpoints are protected by the police,and others not; so it depends.
Hate is becoming a crime, and homophobia IS an offense that can get you fired. The take home message: toe the line.

If you don't like it, then get control of some force yourself.

I stand by my position: spin backed by forced is to be feared, all else is still negotiable.

Gain force by creating laws; these are backed by force. And, to prove that something is "unhealthy" for a society, you must prove that the practice reduces the head count (biomass). "Quality of life" is a chimera. People instinctively expand their numbers, and will do whatever it takes to keep doing it.

Nothing you identified above seems especially unhealthy to me; it does not drop the birth rate or tamper with the food supply.

Legislature, which seems bloodless, is actually a combat over who will control the police and what police will act against.

To have effective influence, influence the lawmakers.

11/17/2006 06:50:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Define hate and /or homophobia.

And while your at it do a little study on the mind control manipulation techniques employed by such as Soviet Russia or Communist China and then tell me "toe the line" is healthy.
You see nothing wrong with what is being pushed by the PC "progressive" crowd in this society, fact is it's slowly crumbling the foundations of a Republic built on healthy debate and at some point is coming to a home near you. Problem is this country will look like an unrecognizable zoo by the time you wake up.

---------

"And, to prove that something is "unhealthy" for a society, you must prove that the practice reduces the head count (biomass). "Quality of life" is a chimera. People instinctively expand their numbers, and will do whatever it takes to keep doing it.
"

By your definition, wouldn't gay marriage reduce population expansion and thus be unhealthy ?
Couldn't your definition of a healthy society be described as homophobic, thus hate?

Also, do you include yourself in the bovine herd you describe above or are you one of the "enlightened"?

11/17/2006 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Attwc... you miss the point. Yes what you are saying is true. But there is something much deeper to it all, a particular 'mean' to which law, given a democratic process, time and virtuous people, would approximate to.

The fact that the only laws which matter are those ultimately backed by force is obvious. Do not belabour the point-- we all understand it.

The point Bob was making was, from what I can tell, that we should use force to back up the truth, and not just whatever we want. That is the way to a healthy society.

Just because it can be abused does not make abuse the only way.

Existentialism is so... 1920.

Yes, the force is there because, people are going to try to break the law.

11/17/2006 08:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Jacob C. said...

Built to Spill's album ANCIENT MELODIES OF THE FUTURE always seems to work for me as an artistic expression of the uneasy balance between Vertical and Horizontal.

take it all and take it over
taking as much as you receive
I can almost think about it but
I can't arrange for you to see

didn't know what I'm afraid of
I had to learn it from a dream
there's a light that never goes out
it's burning a hole inside of me

keep your lamps all trimmed and burning
you might be alarmed at what you see
I've agreed to always love you but
it's never enough to set you free

11/17/2006 10:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Jacob C. said...

I haven't had half a hand
in half of what I am
I haven't heard of half the things
that happened in the past
haven't given half the time
to half the people or half the things I'd planned
you don't have to be so cruel
'cause what I'm doing's a little less than all I can

happiness will only
happen when it can
happiness will only
happen when it can

haven't had the half a mind it takes
to start to make a stand
haven't held on half as long as I had hoped
as I had hoped or planned
I haven't missed half the shit
that they said I had to have to have a chance
well you don't have to be so cruel
'cause what I'm doing's a little less than all I can

happiness will only
happen when it can
happiness will only
happen when it can

--Built to Spill

11/17/2006 10:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Jacob C. Who Really Doesn't Mean To Spam said...

Dammit, why am I so convinced I've discovered some kind of key to the weirdness of the universe? Or maybe I'm just evangelizing the source of my own Ah Ha experience to everyone else - the lyrics are really nothing without the music.
----

this strange plan is random at best
this strange how much more can I take
this strange change in atmosphere
and in gravity too and in severity
this strange day is almost over
I'd just started to
get sick of it

yeah it's strange but nothing's all that strange
yeah it's strange but what's so strange about that?
yeah it's strange but what isn't strange?
yeah it's strange but oh well

this strange plan is random at best
this strange how much more can I take
this strange sound you said and I said
you're not listening or I'm not saying it right
this strange war of promises
let's call us a truce
we'll call it the truth

yeah it's strange but nothing's all that strange
yeah it's strange but what's so strange about that?
yeah it's strange but what isn't strange?
yeah it's strange but oh well

11/17/2006 10:31:00 PM  
Anonymous a troll this way comes said...

Hoarhey asks the troll:

"Also, do you include yourself in the bovine herd you describe above or are you one of the "enlightened"?

Unlike many lefties, I am not a cynical cat. The herd is not really so "bovine." People love people, want people to expand and thrive. I'm no exception.

The lefties like gay marriage because we want gay people to be happy; its really that simple.

The love principle drives conservatives too; they associate commerce with thriving families and with reproductive success and so are geared towards providing a commerce-friendly environment.

The point I've been trying to make, vis a vis Bob's editorial statement--
"For the thoroughly ironicized secular left (which should always be distinguished from any form of liberalism), there is no truth but no truth."

is that he's right, but that being said,sacrificing truth is allowable. Yes, motive and expedience ARE all that matters. What matters if something is true as long as it does not serve humanity?

People content, expanding, families with children (often more than two)are what everyone wants. Whatever it takes to get there is whatever it takes, truth be damned.

Give up on the truth; it will lead you into a mental and pysical desert.

11/17/2006 11:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I understand Troll. For him truth is that which makes people happy or leads to more "friendliness." For him the "love principle" is the absence of suffering. For him untruth therefore means, "that which makes people feel offended or unfriendly" or "that which leads to suffering." By his standard, truth is determined by how we feel, not by anything beyond oneself. Narcissism thy friend is troll. Don't get "stuck on force" troll, it leads to the pits.

11/18/2006 12:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

The only thing more tedious than a troll is a young troll. You can't really rip his throat out because he's too young to appreciate the gesture, he'll just keep on mewling while his ideas flow out of his throbbing neck a little while longer. Messy and non-satisfying.

Sweet troll, it's all been said before. Even been lightly portrayed in song and dance long before you were born.

Sorry to sound so long-in-the-tooth, but ATTWC's entire "deep" philosophy was nicely vanquished in a very popular musical many, many years ago; King Arthur's moral awakening in Camelot. He all of a sudden pulls an entire continent out of the Dark Ages with a single thought that hadn't occured to the dark-dwelling masses:

Not, "Might Makes Right" but,
"Might For Right!"

Cue the song...

There was no negation of the idea of Might, no argument about it being the backbone of their so-called civilization, just the glorious realization that it wasn't "civilized" to do things just because you could. The courage to stand up to Might with a mere Idea was, and is every day, a staggering moment in any history, real or imagined.

It was such a powerful notion that JFK's administration was named after Camelot, and we journeyed out of the scientific Dark Ages and onto the moon.

Leftists like Nancy Pelosi prefer the luxurious ignorance of allowing the rest of the world to remain oppressed by that dark ugliness of, Might Makes Right, while accusing their own country of a duplicity of purpose that is so wildly complex only "special" people can see it.

Even the lowest conciousness of self-interest is better served when the Idea of Freedom is vigilantly nurtured: "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom." -Milton FriedmanR.I.P.

11/18/2006 06:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truth always serves humanity; it is the lie that is the monster undoer neath the bed.

Cindi

11/18/2006 07:09:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

"The lefties like gay marriage because we want gay people to be happy; its really that simple."

The lefties want everyone to be "happy" only they won't ever look at the unintended consequences of that "happiness", as the civilization comes crumbling down. The very vehicle which allowed their decadence has been destroyed by their ignorance of truth.
License, which is a lack of enlightened self restraint, is not liberty, which is, and it never will be.

11/18/2006 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Troll. You're stuck on the 'Love' level.

In Buddhism, I believe Enlightenment is what is sought to be attained. But that is an assumption. That is, that enlightenment is the top.

But Christ himself said: "Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and all these things shall be added unto you."

Its not empty words, it is a promise.

In Godel, Escher, Bach by Hofstader (I think that's his last name) he has a interesting story. Obviously, every hard chapter is prefaced by a light and humorous one to try to prepare the mind for the ideas.

I will skip the details. The trick is this. Either Achilles or the Tortoise (I forget which) summons a djinn but wants to ask a question about allowable wishes. But the Djinn is not the authority on wishes, so he has to contact God.

God, that is,
God Over Djinn.

So he pulls out a lamp and summons a djinn, twice as fast as he was summoned. Who in turn does the same thing. In twice the time, God is contacted, and the chain enravels back down to the original Djinn. The answer was, of course...

You can't wish for unlimited wishes.

That aside, the path is straighter and narrower the higher you go. But we are eminently capable of walking it.

In fact, that is the reason why we exist.

To believe otherwise is to be truly lost to the divine.

Or that is what I would say.

11/18/2006 09:07:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

"Unlike many lefties, I am not a cynical cat."

"Give up on the truth; it will lead you into a mental and pysical desert."

Man, you're toooo easy.

11/18/2006 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

He may not be cynical. perhaps he is just cyclical.

11/18/2006 09:26:00 AM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

Jenny - actually you can save both of Bob's sites as favorites - just rename one of them. I call this one One Cosmos and I call the other one One Cosmos 2.

11/18/2006 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

Troll, you sound like a twisted synthesis of Hobbes, Machiavelli amd Nietche,with some anarchist mixed in.

11/18/2006 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger AngloAmerican said...

I get where "a Troll.." is coming from. Truth is meaningless if there is no practical application. The search for Truth can lead to a barren desert - the further up that mountain you climb the colder and more lifeless it becomes. Nothing grows close to the peak. Best to stay just below the cloud cover where the best view of the expanding horizon can be appreciated. Enter into the cloud cover and you are likely to become lost. Best to take the oxygen of doubt with you too if you must ascend further.

What is to be gained by finding the Truth? Is it its own reward or is there something specal waiting for the cosmonaut? Salvation, eternal life, Nirvana?

11/18/2006 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

very open minded article..good job looking at the different point of views.
Ivana

11/18/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

dloye said... "What is the relationship between thoughts and words? "

I think Words essence is threefold - partly they are like marks we use to keep track of thoughts, partly they are like fingers which we use to grasp and manipulate thoughts, and partly they serve like flesh to house them. But they are not the same as thoughts - they are like our bodies, they make it possible for thoughts to live and breathe, but they are not themselves thought - the sprit of words are Thought.

Thought comes prior to the word, but they aren't made visible to us, until given the flesh of words to populate our minds. Words, when used as vehicles of Truth, are wondrous tools, they live on their own, they ring True. Words used as stuffed animals, gutted of their meaning and spirit, merely arranged like still life displays, are the mark of the sophist Trolls seeking to entice unsuspecting window shoppers into the lair of the liar.

If so, what are Thoughts? What is Life? Thought and life may be one and the same "and the word was made flesh". The question may be too axiomatic to be explainable - since all explanation relies on them to be explain itself, like attempting to lift yourself by grabbing your feet and yanking them upwards, you succeed in nothing other than possibly dumping yourself on your derriere.

AngloAmerican said...
"What is to be gained by finding the Truth? Is it its own reward or is there something specal waiting for the cosmonaut? Salvation, eternal life, Nirvana? "

What is to be gained by finding Truth? Uhm, Truth. You'd do better to ask what is lost by finding the Truth, and the answer is your illusions, your spin, your attempts to contort the world to fit your preconceptions (what a very Good word), and with grasping Truth comes Understanding, where the You that is truly You is able to merge with Truth, and that is very much it's own reward.

Troll said "... but that being said, sacrificing truth is allowable. Yes, motive and expedience ARE all that matters. What matters if something is true as long as it does not serve humanity?

There is nothing that is True that does not serve humanity, only those trying to 'live' falsely are in conflict with Truth.

Troll said "Whatever it takes to get there is whatever it takes, truth be damned. "
This would be better and Truer to be stated as "Whatever it takes to fake our 'lives' is what we seek, and in truth we are damned".

Troll said "Give up on the truth; it will lead you into a mental and pysical desert."
Give up on the Truth, and you ARE in a mental and physical desert.

11/18/2006 11:11:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad said... "Show me an elite-sanctioned victim and I'll show you a bully. "

Nailed it!

Troll said..."
Efficiency produces biomass--the maximum amount of human tissue per square mile. That is the measure of success. "

No, that is the measure of a Pound of Flesh, and somehow you mistake it for life. So sad.

Joan of Arghh said..."And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom." -Milton Friedman R.I.P. "

I'll second that. "...Don't let it be forgot / That once there was a spot / For one brief shining moment / That was known as Camelot!"

==

NoMo said... NoMo anon, I am NoMo.
And yet after seing it, annonymous still ;-)

11/19/2006 12:18:00 AM  

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