Friday, January 26, 2007

Nobody Expects the Coonish Linguisition! (1.17.09)

Again we come back to the Word, or the mystery of language. How to use language to achieve God as opposed to eclipsing God? For one can literally talk of God all naught and deity without actually doing so, whether one is religious or very much so. This is why so much religious talk is precisely meaningless, because it attempts to dip into the ocean of Spirit with containers that are allwetty fool of themselves. Pneumababble!

Almost as mysterious as language's ability to smuggle truth across skin boundaries is its capacity to institutionalize nonsense. One would think that "experts" in language would be immune to this problem, but expertise in any area often comes down to an agreed upon system of high-flown prejudices. It's more of an ideological hackupational gatekeeping system than a mode of truth. This can especially be seen in hindsight. Naturally, materialistic flatlanders enjoy ridiculing certain religious beliefs, but the dogmalogue of bizarre beliefs promulgated by scientific orthodoxy is no less ridiculous.

After all, science changes. It is one human activity in which you know ahead of time that you are wrong. Science deals in hypotheses and tentative conclusions, all built upon a convenient set of assumptions that are methodologically necessary but easily proven to be metaphysically incoherent. By definition these conclusions are bound to change. This is its virtue. In order to even think about reality, science must deal in models of reality, and it is always tempting to reify the abstract model and confuse it with the underlying reality. Real reality will always elude the grasp of science. But this hardly means that it eludes the grasp of man.

By contrast with science, religion deals with the timeless and eternally true. The problem is, how does one employ language in such a way that it does not relativize the absolute and reduce it to a "figure of speech?"

As Schuon wrote, "God likes to shatter and to renew forms or the husks of things; for He wants our hearts and is not content with our actions alone." You might say that God perpetually shatters speech, despite our best efforts to put it back together. Or as Joyce -- someone who knew an itsy bitsy about the allforabit -- put it, "And even if Humpty shell fall frumpty times as awkword again, there'll be iggs for the brekkers come to mournhim, sunny side up with care."

In an essay entitled The Gift of Language, the esteemed Theodore Dalrymple easily dismantles one of the orthodoxies of linguistics, the idea that language can be reduced to genetics. Here is a fine example of how an intelligent outsider with common sense can see straight through the absurdity of this or that reigning dogma or catechism. The absurdity can be seen directly by the intellect, because the intellect is made of truth and for this reason can know a priori nonsense when it sees it.

Dalrymple's experience of performing psychiatric evaluations of certain less articulate souls exactly parallels mine. He writes that,

"With a very limited vocabulary, it is impossible to make, or at least to express, important distinctions and to examine any question with conceptual care. My patients often had no words to describe what they were feeling, except in the crudest possible way, with expostulations, exclamations, and physical displays of emotion. Often, by guesswork and my experience of other patients, I could put things into words for them, words that they grasped at eagerly. Everything was on the tip of their tongue, rarely or never reaching the stage of expression out loud. They struggled even to describe in a consecutive and logical fashion what had happened to them, at least without a great deal of prompting. Complex narrative and most abstractions were closed to them."

I am well familiar with the type of person he is describing. Now, both of us -- the patient and myself -- inhabit the identical reality, do we not? No, we don't. This is another area where multiculturalism crashes against the rocks of reality. As I have said before, mental illness is a private culture, whereas culture is more or less a public mental illness (I oppose culture, which is particular, to civilization, which is universal but can take various forms). Human beings are not the same, because although biology takes each of us to the shore of humanness, it is only language that allows us to stand firmly on dry ground, continue the journey upward and inward, and literally "colonize" more of consciousness.

Consider the patient described above. Like all human beings, he is "conscious" and he possesses "speech." But how much consciousness has he actually conquered with speech? I would suggest that, just like a primitive people, he inhabits a tiny island that he confuses with the whole of reality -- at least until he encounters the wider world. Then he will either remain stupid -- with the assistance of liberals who tell him that his little world is as good as any other -- or he will try to get off the island.

Or sometimes the plantation. This is the vast difference between, say, a Thomas Sowell and a Jesse Jackson. Jackson is a bitter slave living on a tiny plantation, whereas Sowell has long since emancipated himself and hightailed it for the north (the vertical, as it were). Yes, both are "men," but this designation often conceals as much as it reveals. As Aristotle said, "the soul is all that it knows," which is another way of saying that a man is all the consciousness he has colonized.

When it comes to human beings, there are island men, continental men, worldly men, cosmic men, and fully bi-cosmic men, or Raccoons. Naturally, the island man has no way of knowing when he is dealing with one of the others, but the cosmic or bi-cosmic man knows in an instant the boundaries of the person with whom he is dealing.

The old coonerism that "words are not merely words" contradicts all linguistic orthodogmacy (a "coonerism" is something a Raccoon is born knowing -- it is part of his non-genetic "soul inheritance"). Our spacy-age linguistic elites maintain that "every child, save the severely brain-damaged and those with very rare genetic defects, learns his or her native language with perfect facility, adequate to his needs. He does so because the faculty of language is part of human nature, inscribed in man’s physical being, as it were, and almost independent of environment."

The expert linguisitors further proclaim that language "is an inherent biological characteristic of mankind rather than a merely cultural artifact. Moreover, language itself is always rule-governed; and the rules that govern it are universally the same, when stripped of certain minor incidentals and contingencies that superficially appear important but in reality are not."

It is this kind of thinking that inevitably leads to the idea that ebonics is as good as the language of Shakespeare. Why not? Who are we to judge? It's just hardware. Like opinions and a**holes, everybody's got one. It's standard issue.

Again, consider how educated one must be to adhere to such nonsense. Only someone very stupid or very educated could possibly believe such a thing. And yet, they do believe it:

"It follows that no language or dialect is superior to any other and that modes of verbal communication cannot be ranked according to complexity, expressiveness, or any other virtue. Thus, attempts to foist alleged grammatical 'correctness' on native speakers of an 'incorrect' dialect are nothing but the unacknowledged and oppressive exercise of social control -- the means by which the elites deprive whole social classes and peoples of self-esteem and keep them in permanent subordination. If they are convinced that they can’t speak their own language properly, how can they possibly feel other than unworthy, humiliated, and disenfranchised? Hence the refusal to teach formal grammar is both in accord with a correct understanding of the nature of language and is politically generous, inasmuch as it confers equal status on all forms of speech and therefore upon all speakers."

Here is a fine example of how leftists, as always, believe they are the magnanimous "liberators" when they are actually the oppressors of mankind. They have the bizarre notion they are somehow "anti-imperialist" or "anti-colonialist," when they are specifically colonizing these poor souls with their parasitic postmodern ideology. By forcing people to live on their little cultural and linguistic islands, they aren't "liberating" anyone. Rather, they are enslaving them. Intellectually and spiritually, a Cornell West or a Harry Belafonte is an abject slave. Likewise, the purpose of an organization such as CAIR is to enslave Muslims, just as the purpose of the NAACP is to enslave blacks, largely through the use of an oppressive and narrow language that sharply limits, defines, and contains reality.

Look at them, a prisoner of the gutter,
Condemned by every syllable they utter.
By law they should be taken out and shot,
For the cold-blooded murder of the minds they rot. --My Unfair Gray Lady

In his essay, Dalrymple proceeds to pick apart one of the world's leading linguists -- and certainly the bestsmelling one -- the ironically named Steven "Stinker" Pinker. Again, he is able to do this because the intellect can know truth directly. It does not require a study or the consensus of expert linguists to do this. I do not believe Dalrymple is a religious man -- after all, he is European. Nevertheless, he is obviously a "Raccoon without portfolio," for he sees directly into the truth of complex subjects in such a way that he is able to bypass the "experts."

Science vs. religion. I ask you: what is more nutty, the statement, "In the Beginning was the Word," or “Language is qualitatively the same in every individual," or "men are as naturally equal in their ability to express themselves as in their ability to stand on two legs," or “once you begin to look at language as a biological adaptation to communicate information, it is no longer as tempting to see language as an insidious shaper of thought.” What is the kookier notion, the idea that man is made of truth because the primordial word is naturally capable of becoming flesh, or the statement that “When it comes to linguistic form, Plato walks with the Macedonian swineherd, Confucius with the head-hunting savage of Assam”?

Experts say that the idea of one form of language being superior to another is "a pernicious illusion.... Trifling differences between the dialect of the mainstream and the dialect of other groups... are dignified as badges of ‘proper grammar.’” To believe otherwise makes you a contemptible linguistic imperialist, no doubt a racist to boot. In fact, standard English is simply "one of those languages that 'is a dialect with an army and a navy.'” In other words -- in keeping with the abiding leftist faith that all relations may ultimately be reduced to blind power -- the grammatically correct schoolmarms to whom Pinker objects "are in fact but the linguistic arm of a colonial power -- the middle class -- oppressing what would otherwise be a much freer and happier populace."

Oh, expert texpert stinking Pinkers, don't you think the joker winks at you? Ho ho ho, he, he he, ha, ha, ha? See how we grin like Coons in a den, see how we smile!

55 Comments:

Blogger Lisa said...

"When it comes to human beings, there are island men, continental men, worldly men, cosmic men, and fully bi-cosmic men, or Raccoons."

Could you please explain what you mean by fully bi-cosmic? I'm not sure that I understand this term because I thought if you were to divide the cosmos, it would have to be infinitely and not just 2. But maybe you mean something else?! Unless you mean sacred and profane, of course(synonmous with Racoon)....did I just answer my question? ;0)

1/26/2007 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger GeorgeD said...

Not for nothing was The Word made flesh. The Left is all about denying The Word.

1/26/2007 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Lisa:

I will get to the question of our bi-cosmicality in a future post. Suffice it to say, if there is one there must be two in three, and if there are two there must be three in one.

1/26/2007 08:07:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

Rich subject! A couple of things I've been thinking about...

To speak is always a speech act, an assault for better or worse on the homeostasis of Reality. There is no such thing as "I only said..." There is not even an innocent claim on the attention of a listener.

The famous story-teller Diane Wolkstein is visiting Austin, and that causes me to reflect that stories don't "saturate" so readily as concepts and exhortations, because they summon up their own sensory involvement. Even familiar ones, if we really listen, will yield a renewed experience.

Jesus certainly communicated extensively with parables, "loading every rift with ore" [Barbara Pym's description of the novelist's enterprise].

The Magician chapter of Meditations on the Tarot underscores that truth-telling by analogy, as in parables, is indispensable; but only when one's experience is adequate to accurately locate correspondences. And a number of linguists believe that, at root, all speech is metaphor -- truth-telling [or not] by analogy.

Language is simple only if we are.

1/26/2007 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Wow.

Dilys... that is incredible, and I think, true.

This is the reason why one does not say of one's self lies like "I'll never succeed". Don't not do it because someone tells you, but you must take hold of the spiritual meat of understanding and know what it is you are doing so that you may do it correctly.

P.S. Bob, about language, if we call the words containers, then we get another meaning out of one of Jesus' parables.

Would you put new wine in old wineskins? No... they would break!

Guess who's the living water...

1/26/2007 08:25:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Grammar is the structure of reality. The study of grammar is a metaphysical science. If the grammar is faulty the structure is weakened. It's like using a quarter inch bolt when the machine requires five-sixteenths. Too much of that kind of sloppiness, and the machine breaks down altogether- noamsayin?

JWM

1/26/2007 08:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Hanuman's helper said...

Your argument, which posits a spectrum of intellectual efficacy in language (in other words, certain languages are better suited to intellection, and that the best users of the best languages have the widest consciousness) is interesting but flawed in a couple of ways.

First is your inherent bias in favor of the intellect, which is but a small portion of woman or man, and which does not necessarily translate into spiritual wideness.

Behind and above the intellect, no matter how small or large, is the psychic being and the purusha (the watcher) which control the life movements. These probably do not require intellect to operate freely.

In other words, in the inarticulate person, in the savage, in the idiot, the Lord may ride fully operant. The consciousness may be very wide and deep indeed, although occult to others.

And lastly, a note about Ebonics and other dialects. These commonly cross fertilize the main dialect and inject new words and phrases.

As in music, so in language, there is a frequently profitable hybridization in splinter dialects, so they should be accorded some respect, which you seem to lack.

English has always been an accretive language; it is an amalgam of French, Germanic, Viking and Celtic tongues. It is a strong tongue, good for intellectual excercise, but it is not the most spiritual. Sanskrit has that distinction.

1/26/2007 09:23:00 AM  
Anonymous walt said...

Bob, in today's post you mentioned that "although biology takes each of us to the shore of humanness, it is only language that allows us to stand firmly on dry ground, continue the journey upward and inward, and literally "colonize" more of consciousness."

Just as many conservatives felt that Rush Limbaugh "gave them a voice" on the horizontal, and helped them formulate their political beliefs... so, I gather, you are helping us to "find the words", as we work to grow into the vertical - so that we can actually inhabit what is "potential" for Raccoons?

1/26/2007 09:28:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

And lastly, a note about Ebonics and other dialects. These commonly cross fertilize the main dialect and inject new words and phrases.

But those "new words and phrases" seldom contribute to clarity of expression, and usually provide a means for the inarticulate to cover up imprecise thought with a useless catch phrase; a fad, which will soon go out of style only to be replaced with the next nonsensical cliche. Are you jiggy with that? Noamsain'? Or does it getcha all uptight?

JWM

1/26/2007 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Thank you Hanuman's Helper, but you are not of much assistance to this particular talking monkey. I use the term "intellect" in its traditional sense, as that which is roughly analogous to the psychic being. Furthermore, as you probably know, the psychic being manifests through, for example, overmental poetry (i.e., Savitri). The psychic being has a very direct effect on language, since language ultimately comes from "above," not below. At the very least, language will be infused with a kind of noetic light, even if the outward form remains simple or rustic -- e.g., the parables of Jesus.

And naturally I agree with you about the superiority of "open" languages that incorporate dialects and such. But this just emphasizes my point that some forms of language are superior to others.

1/26/2007 09:49:00 AM  
Anonymous GLASR said...

ASL v EES

1/26/2007 10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Since I've been reading here, my vocabulary has increased.
I 'lost' a lot of the words I used to know, and I'm relearning them and then sum.

But that's not the extent of it, because in addition to learning and knowing, is the realization of language, where the words become a cosmically experience on the spiritual ship of dreams where cluefullness reveils uncharted waters.

Bob-
I don't know how many times you say what I know, with new wine that is both familiar and yet embodied in revelation.

I'm talkin' about premium spirits here, not the rotpsyche mad dog 20/20 or that night trainwreck that false prophets peddle.

There is some wisdom to learn from the false prophets of doom and gloom, and that is: Crap is still crap, even if you pay thousands of dollars for it.

Here at One Cosmos there be mirrorcles!
The eyesing on the cake is the mindsweeping comets by my fellow Raccoons of the Bob table!
A big clamshake and 'Coon hug to y'all!

1/26/2007 10:33:00 AM  
Anonymous sehoy said...

I must be a raccoon. A lost, displaced, wandering raccoon, but a raccoon, nonetheless.

Ever since I can remember, from a very early age, I was insisting to my mom and one of my brothers, that "words matter." I have even gotten into a fights about it, because what you say, and how you say it, matters.

And yes, I have felt the limitation of not being able to define something because I did not have the right words to say it.

I've got a collection of Dalrymple's essays. The man is very clear.

My favorite verse in the Bible has always been John 1:1.

I'm off to liberate my mind from the island. And my kids'. I've been doing a really sorry job of it lately.

sehoy

1/26/2007 11:30:00 AM  
Anonymous walt said...

In Dalrymple's essay, he quotes Pinker as claiming that "Language is no more a cultural invention than is upright posture,” and men are as naturally equal in their ability to express themselves as in their ability to stand on two legs."

I wonder what Lisa would say to that? I have a little experience with "the use of the body", but she is a teacher. My thought is that this claim speaks volumes about what Pinker "understands."

1/26/2007 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

Bob said:
Nevertheless, he is obviously a "Raccoon without portfolio," for he sees directly into the truth of complex subjects in such a way that he is able to bypass the "experts."

Aaaah, my beloved Theo/Tony has made it into one of Fearless Leader's posts.

All my Coon buddies can now see why I'm SO IN LUV!

Made the Coonish mistake (before knowing me were one) of sitting down in a bookstore, with a full cup of hot coffee, for my first perusal of his work.

Started reading, took a swig, had the unsuppressable need to laugh out loud hysterically.

(Wasn't it Van & Ben who warned about doing exactly this, when reading OC? Think those incidents also involved bubbles.)

Yup, hot java straight up into & out the nose, spraying white pages.

By good fortune, my Coonish parents had prepared me for the inevitable, by making a practice of tossing me regularly into the ocean, a-la-sink-or-swim, long before I learned to walk.

That ability, to control & redirect liquids taken by mouth, has come in very handy over the years.

Needless to say, felt compelled to buy the book, something I've never regretted. Very fond of those stained pages.

1/26/2007 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

hanuman-- the power of a language is not only measured in how fancy the ideas it can describe are.

Also, with the 'descent' of Revelation: revelation comes through whatever is there. Remember 'Wheels within Wheels'? What was he really seeing? It wasn't wagon wheels.

But his language was not sufficient for describing them more accurately.

Of course, God was okay with that. Unintentionally, (on the part of the prophet) his inept description left what he was talking about more open to metaphor and symbolism.

In that sense there are certain tradeoffs I think with a more complex language; but again complexity itself is no the measure of the quality of a language.

For if we have 200 words for 'snow' it helps in identifying them; but it does not help us if we can not reduce all 200 terms to 'snow' if need be.

And that is part of what is slowly happening to our language.

It's called 'crystallization' in systems; it occurring is indicative that the users of the system can not step outside of it and observe it; they are trapped within. Thus they are inevitably heading from PS->D in which, D represents a language static and dead, complex but irrelevant.

For when the word 'discriminate' can no longer used to mean 'discern between' or cut into 'dis' and 'criminate' freely, the language is becoming a cage.

1/26/2007 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

I have now come to believe that GB may be the mythical 5th Beatle...goo goo gajoob.

1/26/2007 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Ooops. That's "mythtical". Thorry.

1/26/2007 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger dicentra63 said...

I've recently come to understand that at the root of po-mo linguistic theory is the realization that from a purely linguistic point of view, there is no difference between the following pairs of sentences:

• Thou churlish hell-hated bugbear! (Wm Shakespeare)
• You s***-f*** m***f****!

• The sky is blue.
• The sky is green.

Both pairs of sentences are structurally the same, but in the first pair, you have artistic genius vs. vulgarity, and in the second pair one of them is true and the other not.

But the linguistic analysis can't provide a means of distinction, ergo, there is no distinction except one imposed by power structures. (It's always power structures. Leftism is obsessed with who's got power and who doesn't. All else is either reducible to it or it's irrelevant. Reason #1 why I'll never go over to that side.)

It's as if an astronomer had declared that microorganisms couldn't possibly exist because he had never seen one in any of his cutting-edge telescopes. Telescopes powered by the latest in supercomputer analysis, don't you see! So if they can't see it with their tools, it doesn't exist.

“once you begin to look at language as a biological adaptation to communicate information, it is no longer as tempting to see language as an insidious shaper of thought.”

This idea must be after my time at grad school. I seem to remember that the lit crits had declared that all cognition was mediated by language, which of course means that the linguists are the High Priests over What Is Real.

Or are these two different thoughts that look the same?

1/26/2007 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Whether or not you believe the Biblical account of creation, there is no greater statement about the power of language. Why didn’t God just imagine the universe into being, or clap His hands together, or blink His eyes? He certainly no more has a mouth to speak than eyes to blink. But, He said, “Let there be…”

1/26/2007 01:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Words will always fall short in their ability to communicate information that is beyond the realm of words.

Emotions and ideas and thoughts can be so easily expressed through words.

But it is not so in regards to "higher things."

But the product of intellection - the direct, true knowledge that is more than thought and idea - cannot be put into words.

And trying to do so inevitably deflates the true grandeur of the pure form itself.

Words are meant to communicate about the reflections of the pure acts and the pure forms.

But they cannot penetrate or shed meaning on the pure objects themselves.

The higher vertical is not accessible via words. TRying to do so "dumbs it down," so to speak.

But we live in the finite realm of words.

So what are we to do?

I've long hoped for a "higher" mode of communication. A direct transmission of pure O. An unmediated method for communicating about unmediated ground reality - Truth.

Does this mode of communication exist? How might we use it as a community?

What picks up where words leave off?

1/26/2007 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

If my oldest does decide to go to college, and for his 2 yr degree came away with an understanding of these two lines:

"Human beings are not the same, because although biology takes each of us to the shore of humanness, it is only language that allows us to stand firmly on dry ground, continue the journey upward and inward, and literally "colonize" more of consciousness. "

, and,

"Yes, both are "men," but this designation often conceals as much as it reveals. As Aristotle said, "the soul is all that it knows," which is another way of saying that a man is all the consciousness he has colonized. "

I would consider it $30,000 ("...Froemers college on pennies a day!") well spent. That he would more likely complete the two year, and perhaps even a four year degree without ever approaching such ideas, is why I'd rather he started investing that money, start earning his own, and spend the rest of the time in my library. And here.

Excellent post today Bob. Truly.

1/26/2007 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Van - great way of stating it.

1) If a man were to colonize all his consciousness, would he still be a man?

2) Does understanding those two lines include acting on them, or can one truly understand and still choose not to act?

1/26/2007 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

dicentra63 said...
"... ergo, there is no distinction except one imposed by power structures... Leftism is obsessed with who's got power and who doesn't."

Without the Values of the Vertical, all there is is power.

“once you begin to look at language as a biological adaptation to communicate information, it is no longer as tempting to see language as an insidious shaper of thought.”

This idea must be after my time at grad school. I seem to remember that the lit crits had declared that all cognition was mediated by language, which of course means that the linguists are the High Priests over What Is Real. Or are these two different thoughts that look the same?"

The same thought looked at differently. Having detached language from both reality and the Vertical, it is but a plaything for decorating books or enforcing whims.

In Gagdad's book, he makes a point that (Books upstairs... too far to walk... words to the effect of) "...DNA provided a mobile mainframe for storing and retreiving a Human Being". These people are intent on nothing less than uninstalling a Human Being.

1/26/2007 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Nomo said "...Does understanding those two lines include acting on them, or can one truly understand and still choose not to act?"

Nomo, there's no determinism, not even the 'good' kind. The idea that you can "raise awareness" which by virtue of doing so, presto-chango you will be changed for the better, is what underlies all Socrates's errors through to PoMo's horrors.

Free will requires the effort of intellectual action and choice - unless you choose to DO what you understand you should do, your consciousness is certain to be at least that much short of being fully colonized.

1/26/2007 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Anonymous said... "Words will always fall short in their ability to communicate information that is beyond the realm of words. What are we to do?"

Seems like the ideas and truths you're after are necessarily broad, and can not be properly expressed in specific words, because the specific words are speaking about specific things, not general truths. That is the difference between Poetry and Prose - two different modes for two very different purposes.

Just as a flat paper map, can not exactly represent a globe, careful, precisely thought out, planned and drawn maps like a Mercator, is a far better representation of the globe, than a plain flat map, and a sinusoidal (?)(the orange peel look) projection does a better job, but both necessarily introduce distortions in one area in an effort to make another area clearer.

As with words, the greater the precision of map making will be appreciated in any lengthy trip taken to get from here to there. The reader must understand, however, that between the empty spaces of the 'orange peel' like sections of the map, there is not emptiness in Truth, only in it's approximation.

"Does this mode of communication exist? How might we use it as a community?"

Within, but not without.

"What picks up where words leave off? "

You. And Truth. And that inwardly-outward something that is both.

1/26/2007 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

JWM, I be jiggy wid dat!

:-)

1/26/2007 04:24:00 PM  
Anonymous The Most Poisonous Creature In the Universe said...

In essence, human society is no different from a beehive or ant colony. In a beehive the queen is simply pumping out eggs. And the other bees are "designed", in the grid-pattern of that particular species, to have their particualar functions. Each type of bee has its own genetic and chemical triggers, causing it to have a certain appearance and to function in a certain matter. Every bee unconsciously fulfills its PRE-PATTERNED role--including its participation in the necessary procedures of replication--and every bee eventually becomes obsolete, post-replication, in a pre-determined period of however many days or weeks.

Human society functions in EXACTLY the same manner. There is a necessary biological replication-process, by which replacement organisms are made--and also a process of REPLICATING STATES OF MIND AND EMOTION--and then you (the temporary link) become obsolete and drop dead. What you always cling to as "you" is eventually shed, without a moment's hesitation--like excrement.

Altogether the universe is completely indifferent to the survival or pleasure of all forms, human, biological or otherwise.

Believing in mumbo-jumbo "jesus" makes no different at all when the terrible klik-klak machine inevitably snufffs you out.

1/26/2007 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Jwm said... "Grammar is the structure of reality. The study of grammar is a metaphysical science."

Can't say enough about Richard Mitchell, "The Underground Grammarian" (a Racoon if there ever was one) in general, he's entertaining and profound, and particularly pertenent to this topic Less Than Words Can Say . This links to a full (and authorized) pdf version of his book. From the 'dust cover':
Richard Mitchell is trying to stay awake. What’s putting him, and all of us to sleep? “Insubstantial words, hazy and disembodied, [that] have fled utterly from things and ideas.”

1/26/2007 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

The Most Poisonous Creature In the Universe...

"--and then you (the temporary link) become obsolete and drop dead. What you always cling to as "you" is eventually shed, without a moment's hesitation--like excrement."

Why wait? Get some Charmin & go for it!

How well named you are.

1/26/2007 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ximeze "Yup, hot java straight up into & out the nose, spraying white pages."

Yup, I think Ben & I have both commented on the public health hazard's of Racoon RWI (reading while imbibing).

I'm afraid my copy of One Cosmos is so marked, but I do treasure it even more for it. Can't say the same about my dual 17" LCD panels with the permanent dim spots across the screen though.

Got to be careful how you sneak in the OC at work.

1/26/2007 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

I get to flush!

1/26/2007 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Last link. Mark at WitNit posted this a couple years ago, and recently built a blognovel around it. It's about 20 paragraphs of pure scathing fun at the expense of those who don't understand that "...it is only language that allows us to stand firmly on dry ground, continue the journey upward and inward..."

Imagine Prof. Kingsfield replying to a eubonics speaker about why Shakespeare has nothing to teach 'im & you get the idea. Scroll down an inch or two to January 01, 2005 post "Why Is Shakespeare Great?"

1/26/2007 05:28:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Van:
Just came back from witnit. Fun stuff! Who doesn't have a secret fantasy about delivering that kind of smackdown? (just waiting for someone to jump on the humility highhorse and say they don't, they never did, and wouldn't dream of it...)

JWM

1/26/2007 06:10:00 PM  
Anonymous old man stickety said...

Most Poisonous Creature:

As far as existentialism/absurdism goes, your post isn't a half bad example of the genre.

The sad truth is, no matter how gung-ho we god-lovers get, there IS always that teeeeny weeeeeny frisson at the back of our necks regarding "the indifferent universe" that just might--just might-- snuff us out mechanically, klik-klack as you say.

But then again, there's that nebulous data from the organs that detect God, and a strange inner certainty of His (Its?) existence, and these sensations and thoughts tend to cancel that frisson of fear out.

Between the two stimuli, the God-stimulus seems to be the stronger. In my case, unmistakably so.

We'll all know upon our demise. In some ways, I look forward to mine. I'm damn curious.

1/26/2007 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

MPCIU:

Very paltry effort on your part.

Not worth even a nibble.

1/26/2007 06:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

My favorite misuse of the English Language comes from Dogberry:

"Dost thou not suspect my place? dost thou not suspect my years? O that he were here to write me down an
ass!
But, masters, remember that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass. No, thou villain, thou art full of piety, as shall be proved upon thee by good witness. I am a wise fellow, and, which is more, an officer, and, which is more, a householder, and, which is more, as pretty a piece of flesh as any is in Messina, and one that knows the law, go to; and a rich fellow enough, go to; and a fellow that hath had losses, and one that hath two gowns and every thing handsome about him. Bring him away. O that I had been writ down an ass!"

1/26/2007 06:50:00 PM  
Anonymous debass said...

Most Poisonous,

Proving once again, "you don't know shit."

1/26/2007 07:24:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

I like to think of language in all its aspects as actually being our actualizing of Creation - it's a part of our role in bringing Creation to fulfillment, an infinitely ongoing process, of course.

Creation is the transformation of the Primordial One into the Multiplicity - and through language, by naming, we become more conscious of the Multiplicity, and by doing so, we help in the actualizing, in bringing the potential to full manifestation.

All trees are, in a sense, the same, there is an amorphous "tree-ness" to them. However, when we begin to name distinct trees - elms, maples, etc. - they are no longer amorphous; their "tree-ness" becomes more distinct, they fully become trees. This sounds a bit counterintuitive, but in our becoming more conscious of the trees by naming them, I think not only do we become more conscious, but the trees themselves become more "conscious" of their identity as trees.

In this way, I think, language underscores our role as creative co-partners with the Deity.

1/26/2007 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Will said "This sounds a bit counterintuitive, but in our becoming more conscious of the trees by naming them, I think not only do we become more conscious, but the trees themselves become more "conscious" of their identity as trees."

Harold Bloom said of Shakespeare's Juliet, that prior to her character in literature there were no female roles of such depth of character, courage, sweetness, beauty and virtue (I don't know how true the claim, but for the point it's good), but afterwards, all the West has been aware of her like. His point, I think, being that though in real life, since people becoming Human, there must have been scores at least, if not multitudes to match her - but prior to Shakespeare elevating her qualities to Art, no one noticed - like old furniture & knick knacks that you see daily, but aren't conscious of. One of the powers of Art is to draw the highest and best in us into our consciousness so that it not only exists, but Inspires us by its light breathed into our conscience.

old man stickety said... "The sad truth is, no matter how gung-ho we god-lovers get, there IS always that teeeeny weeeeeny frisson at the back of our necks regarding "the indifferent universe" that just might--just might-- snuff us out mechanically, klik-klack as you say."

Before shedding tears for that sad truth, we might want to wonder how could free will function in us if we were certain of continuing consciousness? Could we have Hope, could we choose it, without nagging doubt and despair? The possibility of error, the existense of uncertainty, is a entwined requirement, a necessity of their even being the possibility of certainty or the ability to choose it.

To paraphrase Addison's Cato - "We can't guarantee a Heaven, but we can do something better, we can deserve it!"

1/26/2007 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

wow, read that link, the WitNit one. Yeah, I would love to give that scathing return-- so long as it was not done with bitterness. I'm kind of excitable-- you know, "Give me Liberty or Give me Death!"

Maybe its my inner coon-ness, but I've always had a fascination with basically everything. People ask me why I know various things; I just remember them. Why? Because the knowledge is important (at least to me...)

Its almost like we invented a whole new cadre of words just so we could use just them, instead of all of our wonderful, powerful words. Return of the primitive, indeed. Vertical Barbarians, indeed.

PoMo is all about repackaging the things we already know -- and calling them absolute. Its really the study not of being unlearned, but of making unlearnedness studiousness. It is the art of undoing all things good just to see it happen.

The relative becoming the absolute is embodied in nature, so far as I know, in one place fully; the black hole. For this one point of the relative universe suddenly can contain anything--

Including light...

I shudder to think of the metaphors that could arise from that connection.

Language is, I think I see what you're saying, the 'as above so below' way in which as God actualized the creation (or instantiated it, maybe? ahhahah. Ok...) we actualize it by 'colonizing' it with words; like the meanings are the minerals in the soil and air and we open a new gate every day to plant a new garden of it.

I think that if you truly believe something, and it is something that involves action, than your faith will result in that action. To claim that we believe that Christ is the Son of God but to not live the things it declares of us displays the limits of our faith.

PS... Only the left would consent to be called 'left'. For to them, words have become all so specific, relative and irrelevant that they do not understand the curses they speak of themselves and others every day.

But then again, what is truly, truly is. Some things need no elucidation.

1/26/2007 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Jwm,
I'm afraid that that's one highhorse which if I tried to climb upon, would rear up, throw me down and gallop away in a full lather!

1/26/2007 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

River Cocytus said "...or instantiated it, maybe? ahhahah. Ok..."

[non-computer geeks may want to click on by this one]

I wonder - Ok, lets see how weird I really am... RC, Smoov and all you other programmer geeks out there... did anyone else find philosophical/metaphysical/spiritual lights dawning on them through such things as Classes and their being instantiated into objects, Class Inheritance and needing to implement an interface to have access to those properties of the Object?

I may be the lone wacko on this, but I like the irony of the ultimate materialist gizmo lending itself so well to such spiritual analogies.

1/26/2007 09:35:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

(oops, sorry on the typo River)

1/26/2007 09:35:00 PM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Will-
Ergo the infamous question by Barbera Walters to Katherine Hepburn:
"If you were a tree, what type of tree would you be?"

My apologies. I...don't know...what urged me to write this peculiar perspective.
Okay, yes I do. You left the forest gate open on that comment Will.
Heh!
Sorry! I did it again.

1/26/2007 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Speaking of Shakespeare, here is today's coonquizzical:

Cue the music...and start the clock --

What connection does the following have with today's post?

From King Lear, Act Four, Scene 6:

Oswald: Slave, thou hast slain me. Villain, take my purse. If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body
and give the letters which you find'st about me to Edmund, Earl of Gloucester. Seek him out upon the English party. O, untimely death!
Death! [He dies]

Edgar: I know thee well: a serviceable villain,
As duteous to the vices of thy mistress as badness would desire.

Gloucester: What, is he dead?

Edgar: Sit you down, father. Rest you. [Gloucester sits.]

tick...tick...tick...

1/26/2007 09:51:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Nomo:
GooGoo Catchoo. (sp?)

JWM

1/26/2007 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

And the answer is...(hope it wasn't too obvious):

"Oh, expert texpert stinking Pinkers, don't you think the joker winks at you? Ho ho ho, he, he he, ha, ha, ha? See how we grin like Coons in a den, see how we smile!"

Bob's coon version of a verse from The Beatles' "I Am the Walrus", at the end of which can be heard those lines from King Lear.

The synchronicity is deafening!

1/26/2007 10:27:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Hey, I got it! Despite my cryptic, and too clever by half response (you know- the refrain, I am the walrus goo goo catchoo). Do I get a metaphysical trivia prize?

JWM

1/26/2007 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Nomo-
JWM did win! I'm a witness and I saw the the entire episode, sans commercials.

So...you know, time to pony up with the prize.

P.S. I am not getting a cut.
I just happened to be here.
Pure chance really.

1/27/2007 01:34:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Ximeze-
I rate blogs by their humor quotient.

At least at the moment I do.

One Cosmos gets a 5 out of 5 nose sprays!

However, it's possible to have say...7, 12, or more out of 5 as well!

Some nose spray language gets repeat nose sprays when realized from another angle, or poispective.

Safety note: NEVER eat poi while reading the OC.
That should be self-evident, but we get some bonafide humortards here sometimes.

1/27/2007 01:47:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

van: I know what you are saying (I'm pretty sure what line you're referring to)

I can tell you, it is a horse well worth riding if you're willing to abide the rough road and stinging wind.

Scrypturally its kind of like this:

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

From faith through grace unto works. That part remarkably is not complicated. (The other parts though...)

1/27/2007 05:08:00 AM  
Anonymous tillUrDizzy said...

van... re:computer geek analogies

I find computer programming to be intensely satisfying. It's a world in which contradictions are not allowed. GIGO. No forgiveness. Every aspect must work in perfect unison will all others. If it does not, it will eventually be discovered and called a "bug", tracked down and corrected. Minor bugs may go unnoticed, and not be disruptive enough to matter, but it's still a bug (i.e. parasite).
Another observation about programming is there are always compromises. Different operating systems, different browsers, different CPU speeds, color depth, monitor size etc. So you can't just haul off and program the latest, greatest anything you can dream up software. The many different machines they play back on have to be taken into consideration, and many compromises (or trade-offs) have to be made between what you can imagine and what can be realistically implemented.

So, its a pure system in which contradictions are not allowed and trade-offs are inevitable. Two truths which also apply to our real world, and of which lefties are completely incapable of grasping.

I'm always amazed how lefties can hold so many contradictory positions at the same time. It's like their thoughts are all locked in little black boxes and one box is never allowed to consult with another, nor make allowances for reality. The economy is doing great will never be allowed into the Bush Sucks box.

I once had a correspondence with a leftist over the rich and taxes. I sent IRS statistics, charts, graphs, studies, and articles. I spent days putting all this data together, which included a lengthy quote from Stephen Moore at the Club for Growth.

The response I got back? Two sentences. "Who's Stephen Moore? Never heard of him."

1/27/2007 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Nomo, and here I thought you were talking about Edgar's rouse of words that rebirth'd Gloucester.
Goo goo gajoom indeed.
;;
(winks)

1/27/2007 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

tillUrDizzy said... "It's like their thoughts are all locked in little black boxes and one box is never allowed to consult with another"

That's because they are. Lefties don't have a foundational concept of Truth, so their is no hierarchical structure to their thought, each subject stands alone, no higher or lower than another and with no structural relationship between them.

While I agree on the programming features you mention, I was thinking more along the metaphysical line, for instance, where Gagdad has mentioned before that (forgive the early [hey, if 11:30 FEELS early, it is early] morning haven’t finished my coffee yet summation) in order to “Get” religion, you first must receive it.

This struck me as within an Application, there may be several objects with a restricted amount of methods and properties, and a programmer may, if he’s not familiar with the application, expend huge amounts of effort creating a new method, when it, and more, already existed in the parent application object – all he had to do was instantiate it through the correct interface and access it’s methods and properties with the simplest of ease.

How did I go from cool band guy to such a GEEEK?!

Coffee calls….

1/27/2007 09:45:00 AM  

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