Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Nonsense & Theidiocy

Ascent you a son, amen for a child's job! That's the New Man, we're just putting him on. When you reach a ribald age, you can grasp the wheel of this broken-down trancebardation. The experdition is nonsensuous (a punway round-trip), so prepare for nonsense and theidiocy. --The Coonifesto

Bob's got a pretty tough hide, but I think this super-smart reader, Xi -- the junior college professor of linguistics and analytic philosophy -- is starting to hurt his feelings a bit. For example, he writes that Dear Leader

"doesn't offer propositions which can even be evaluated. They suffer from excessive vagueness and ambiguity, resulting in them being, quite literally, senseless. The only possible method for assessing their truth or falsity is to simply believe, without support, that Bob is correct since there is no way to understand with any precision [and precision is necessary for understanding] what he is or isn't asserting. This isn't a property of my deficient mind, but of the very language he uses."

Of Petey (SBUH), he has the effrontery to write that he deploys a "kind private or semi-private language with its own rules which you make up as you go along. This is absurd and demonstrably false. Your usage of language is governed by the same necessities and realities as everyone else. Your claim of it being a spiritual exercise is a pretty poor cop out, not to mention its contradicted by the fact that you say that you and your 'coons' already 'know' the things you are writing, which implies that you and they do in fact 'know' them; an issue subject to epistemic investigation, even if you want to pretend it isn't.... Even if others don't see through this phony obfuscation, your intellectual bankruptcy is apparent."

Is this possible? First, let us stipulate that Bob's posts are indeed "made-up," since I have personally witnessed him making them up. But is it really true that all of his 900-some-(or all)-odd posts are just vague, ambiguous, absurd, intellectually bankrupt, and literally senseless, on the grounds that this self-confessed fount of (-n) literally doesn't understand them? Or, to put the blakes on this philosophical gas peddler, is it possible for truth to be told so as to be understood and not believed? Or that our comprehension is inferior to Xi's lack thereof?

Clearly, Xi is disclosing embarrassing details of his banal cognitive autobiography, but nothing about Bob. I'm trying to imagine the world of someone who equates "understanding" with analytic precision, but that's not possible, since the faculty of imagination is a priori imprecise -- or, to be precise, "supra-" or "transprecise," as, for example, in the precise formulations of metaphysics as imaginatively embodied in revelation.

In other worlds, and even this one, the most profound truths must be entered into imaginatively -- they are participatory, as in artistic or musical truth. On this, Xi and I will just have to agree to agree, even if he disagrees that he agrees with me, for he is essentially saying that his philosophical fantasy that the brain is a computer is superior to the commonplace bobservation that it is not.

Anyway, another Sunday exercise in spiritual epissedhimoffogy, just to annoy our lone sophisticated reader. Please note how little sense it makes, which you might say is the whole point of writing in such a way that -- to be precise -- we reverse the usual vector flow of (k)-->O to O-->(n).

Hey, sorry about the length.... maybe I'll make it up to you with no post tomorrow, since I have a long day.

*****

On p. 285 of the Coonifesto there is a footnote which reads, “Perhaps I should emphasize that mind parasites are ultimately ephemeral human creations that operate ‘horizontally’ as long as there are human minds to host them. This is in stark contrast to spiritual entities, which operate vertically (from a higher realm than our own) and preexist the human beings that may open themselves to their influence.”

Now, I realize that even among regular readers, there might be a substantial number who will regard the reference to spiritual entities as “kooky talk,” as Kramer put it. However, as an aside, one thing I have discovered is that, if you are going to truly embrace the vertical, you have to go the whole hog. Initially it is a leap of faith, but in reality, it is not that different from, say, attending a movie. In doing so, we go into a dark place, temporarily suspend memory, desire and understanding, and disenable our “wideawake and cutandry” ego, so as to enter another world and submit to the director's vision.

However, have you ever noticed that a great film, in an odd sort of way, seems more real than real? Even though I done graduated from film school, this is something I have never really thought through or articulated before, but it is as if a great film (or any great work of art, really) is surreal, which literally means “super,” “over,” or “above” real.

Put it this way: art is either real, surreal or sub-real. If you are a Horizontal Man, then it goes without saying that it is merely real or possibly sub-real, since transcendence does not exist. And, as a matter of fact, we have plenty of examples of explicitly horizontal “naturalistic” art that came out of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Interestingly, if you have seen these works, you will notice that in their attempt at realism, they actually fall short of reality, which I think emphasizes a truism I have mentioned in the past: if man does not transcend himself, he falls beneath himself. Most contemporary art has now descended to this level. In draining itself of transcendence, it is mere barbarism by another name.

The human being is faced with two, and only two, metaphysical choices between a wholly secular and ultimately horizontal world view or a vertical and ultimately religious one. In the final analysis, despite all of the apparent variety, this is the only philosophical choice before you. On the one side, atheism, materialism, existentialism, rationalism, what have you. And on the other side, any form of transcendental realism. Now, importantly, if you choose the former, then the latter is excluded a priori. In other words, if there is only the horizontal world, then the vertical does not and cannot exist. However, if you choose the latter, it is obviously no problem fitting horizontality into the picture as a necessary consequence of the very nature of the Absolute. I have no beef whatsoever with science, whereas the scientistic mind of a Xi can only stare at religion with uncomprehending bovine eyes and ask, "where's the beef?"

Back to my original point: this is why, depending on the choice you make, you should have the courage of your convictions and go the whole hog in embracing the One or the other. If you are an atheist, go for it! Certainly don’t waste your time being a lukewarm agnostic, for the truth is this: if God is even possible in your metaphysical scheme, then a moment’s reflection will prove to you that God is necessary. In other words, do not be fooled into thinking that we are dealing with degrees of possibility. Rather, God -- just like moral certainty, or absolute truth, or objective beauty -- is either possible or impossible.

Now, whatever your particular religion, it will always draw a distinction between the frontal ego, which largely operates horizontally, and the psychic being (which is Sri Aurobindo’s term for the nous, buddhi, or higher intellect), which operates vertically. The former is by definition "fractured" and alienated from its ground, while the latter is a reflection of the Absolute in the relative, and therefore a diversified unity.

Let us stipulate at the outset that, to the extent that the vertical is real, then it is going to be reflected in us and in everything else. Thus follows God's favorite cliché, “as above, so below.” Looking at the world in this way, everything below is going to have its analogue in the above, and vice versa. Therefore, we start with the Absolute. The Absolute reflects itself in our local world as existence, or being, the most general category we can imagine, since everything partakes of it. We would also say that eternity manifests as time, which is its moving image.

Even more generally, time is not just mere duration, but the transforming mode of being. It has cycles and archetypal qualities, which is why we can even speak of “growth” or “evolution.” In this scheme, evolution is a necessary consequence of the Absolute manifesting in time. Ironically, progressive evolution (as opposed to mere change) is something that cannot be explained (because it is inherently vertical) by any purely horizontal metaphysics, which is why so-called “creationists” -- I mean the literal kind -- are even more materialistic than materialists. It is always a mistake to try to reduce metaphysical truth -- those truths which must be true because of the nature of things -- to your narrow creed. Rather, your task is to understand how these timeless truths are reflected in your creed. God did not give you an intellect only to ignore its most lofty capabilities. Please.

To affirm that man is the mirror and image of the Absolute is to remind ourselves that man is the being who can escape his own limits and participate in the eternal, which we only do all the time. But since we are mirrorcles of the Absolute, while it projects itself from eternity into time, our task is to ascend from time to eternity. In fact, when all is unsaid with non-doing, this is the soul task of the spiritual life. This ascension involves reversing figure and ground, so to speak, both spatially and temporally. In other words, we must turn the world upside-down and inside-out.

This is why it is not just a matter of knowing where to look for God, but how to look. You could go to the top of Mount Sinai, or into the the most secret vestibule of the Vatican, or to the mouth of the Ganges, or into L. Ron Hubbard's huge medicine cabinet, but if you don’t know how to look, you’re just going to see a mountain, a building, a river, or a lot of prescriptions for vicodin. On the other hand, if you know how to ascend the mountain, enter a dark cloud of unknowing, crucify your lower mind, and drink from the sacred river, you might just hit the slackpot.

It is not so much a matter of knowing as perceiving. We begin by transforming our vision and developing a spiritual way of “seeing.” As a matter of fact, this is something we routinely do. For example, when you read the words on a page, you actually make the letters “invisible” by looking through and beyond them to the words they spell. Likewise, the words become equally invisible, because you look through them to the meaning they are pointing at. You could undertake a chemical analysis of the ink with which the words are printed, but that would take you no closer to their meaning. Rather, it would take you far in the opposite direction, completely destroying their meaning. Do you get what I'm saying? Good. You just proved the point. Xi, you missed again.

Since God is transcendent, there is no way to see him by simply looking in a conventional way at material or empirical reality. That’s going to take you far away in the wrong direction, that is, unless you somehow look through and beyond the world in a manner analogous to the way we see through words and letters to their higher meaning. This is again why religious fundamentalists are neither religious nor fundamentalist. Rather, they are materialists, in that they act as if the literal words and events of the Bible are more real than that to which they point.

Also -- equally ironically -- there is no philosophy more abstract than atheism, for it superimposes its sterile and dogmatic abstractions over the mystery of being. No one has more fixed opinions about the unknown than proud Horizontal Man, who is half-correct in believing that some things are “too good to be true.” But he neglects the fact that there are necessarily things that are not good enough to be True, atheism among them. And as we all know, some things are just far too beautiful to be untrue.

Imagine if you were a trained meteorologist. Instead of seeing a cloud as an unambiguous white patch against a blue backdrop, you might begin to see the visible cloud as a mere “ripple” against the background of a much more encompassing meteorological process that is largely invisible to the senses. Similarly, before the days of MRI’s and high speed CT scans, an experienced cardiologist could place a stethoscope against your chest, and simply by listening to the sounds, visualize the nature of the problem.

Imagination, in its positive, active sense, is the membrane that makes contact with the higher world. It is dangerous to try to merely understand religious truths, because it reduces them to the known (k) and undermines their function of bypassing the ego and vaulting us out of our conventional way of knowing. Religious truths cannot be comprehended through dogma or through irreligious skepticism, but only through an imaginative engagement with their world. (To be clear: dogma is critical in that it preserves or memorializes these worlds, but it is still our task to imaginatively engage them.)

In short, you must, through your imagination, raise yourself up to religion, not lower religion down to your ego, or you will merely be worshipping your ego.

As I tried to convey in my book, there is only one story. It is the story of an evolving cosmos awakening to itself and becoming conscious. Who could argue with that? It happened. And it is happyning. First there was matter. Then one fine day, life. Then just a short while back, self-consciousness. And most recently, the recognition of, and identification with, Spirit. Matterlifemindspirit. You can insert an arbitrary line dividing one from the other, but at least recognize that you are the one who is creating the abstract dualism. The underlying Oneness of existence knows no such intrinsic demarcations, neither in space nor in time.

Which is to say that matterlifemindspirit is simply the mirror image of Spiritmindlifematter. As above, so below.

We look at a tree reflected in a lake. In its inverse image, we see that its roots are aloft, its branches and leaves down here below. Looking “up,” we see the trunk rising before us, into the roots that cannot be seen. They are invisible. But this is where nourishment enters the tree and moves down the trunk, where life is carried to the periphery.

May we know the tree by its most excellent fruit!

55 Comments:

Anonymous ximeze said...

"Of Petey (SBUH)"

Would that be?
SBUH Santa Barbara Urban Hydrograph (civil engineering)
SBUH Stony Brook University Hospital (Long Island, NY, USA)

Either one would 'splain plenty....
Ok, back to reading

2/17/2008 09:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

"Slack Be Upon Him."

2/17/2008 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Hey: "vague, ambiguous, absurd, intellectually bankrupt, and literally senseless...."

And yet: I continue to extract meaning from it. My bad, I guess.

In some esoteric thinking, "imagination" is the language that finally unifies the heart and the mind.

In very un-esoteric literature, the post reminded me of this:
"As, perchance, we anticipate the end of this day before it is done, close the shutters, and with a cheerless resignation commence the barren evening whose fruitless end we clearly see, we despondingly think that all of life that is left is only this experience repeated a certain number of times. And so it would be, if it were not for the faculty of imagination." (Thoreau)

May Bob be pleased!

2/17/2008 10:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The process of opening oneself up to the influence of the spiritual entities of the vertical sounds like it could quite scary and dangerous. I mean, how do you know that these particular entities have your best interests at heart? What if they are malicious or demonic or just toying with you? How does the novice seeker defend himself? Any basic spiritual judo techniques that you can give us? -Anonymous Ed

2/17/2008 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

The tragedy is, all that beauty likely just bounced right off that overly-thickened rind. Clearly, the fruit-wax of higher education has been overzealously applied to some. It does make them very shiny, though.

Ah, well - to some of us, it was a most excellent repast.

2/17/2008 10:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Cuz, Slack Be Upon Thee

2/17/2008 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

(Anon) "What if they are malicious or demonic or just toying with you? How does the novice seeker defend himself? Any basic spiritual judo techniques that you can give us?"

You could seek to follow Paul's recommendations.

2/17/2008 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Xi said...

Just more straw-man assumptions about what I must think or what kind of person I must be[nearly all wrong] and still not a single attempt to actually address the issue. My favorite incorrect assumption that you made was that I think the brain is a computer. And right before that you made another really great authoritarian move by saying that regardless of what I think I think, you actually know my mind better than I do, despite your nearly complete lack of information or contact.

You all have really made some far out assumptions based on my simple request for clarity[and yes, I acknowledge(since its obvious) that different levels of precision are appropriate to different modes of inquiry], which is just a basic, and necessary, norm of any kind of discourse.

Many of you have made the point that you 'get something out of' reading Bob's writing and therefore it must have some sense to it. But this is an inadequate explanation. My whole point is that you get something out of it, and that because you get something out of it that you really enjoy you assume that the things he is saying actually apply to reality.

But this confuses the locutionary aspect of language with the perlocutionary aspect. Simply because reading Bob makes you feel good, or some other effect you like, means nothing about the locutionary content of what he writes.

Its fine if you all find edification by reading these posts, but don't pretend for one minute that it actually has anything to do with the reality it purports to describe.

2/17/2008 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

***** 5 Star slackpost. Keep this up Bob and your slam dunk skills will become legendary among those who hit the slackpot.

2/17/2008 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Xi--

Again, I invite you to write a guest post, so we can properly evaluate your philosophy. How about tomorrow?

2/17/2008 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"Its fine if you all find edification by reading these posts, but don't pretend for one minute that it actually has anything to do with the reality it purports to describe."

Fair enough, Xi. In that case, clearly you do know something about reality. Please, by all means, take Bob up on his offer to write a guest post in which you clarify your perspective. You can explain precisely where you're coming from, thus preventing us from assuming that you see the brain as a computer, for example.

So far, you've spent a lot of time telling us we're wrong. You might make better headway by telling us what is right. What is True? What is Beautiful? And what is Good?

A tall order, I know.

Try it - take today to write a post, give it a thorough editing, and put it up tomorrow. Whatever discussion comes after that, at least we will have a better understanding of your perspective and perhaps a rational dialogue can take place.

2/17/2008 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Xi:

Yes, why not just take the time you would otherwise spend on comments, and present us with an outline of your actual philosophy? Needless to say, you have aroused my curiosity!

2/17/2008 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

xi
I try to resist throwing flameballs, but you just made it impossible. You are a pedantic over educated idiot whose only weapon is a quiver full of big empty words. Everything you say boils right down to this.

"But this is an inadequate explanation."

Busted, dude.

It's the same tired crap we've heard here a zillion times. 'You can't prove to my satisfaction'... (fill in the blank with appropriate nonsense)And you are absolutely correct. Because nothing anyone says will get the ball through your ever shifting goalposts. I'm not going to play. For the rest of the coons: Game's on folks. It's whack-a-troll from this point forward.

JWM

.

2/17/2008 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

A gigantic, loud HOORAH for JWM!!

Wring the polecat's tale and through it in the deep end of the pool!

2/17/2008 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Gecko said...

Indeed, a most excellent repast of nourishing fruit, SBUT.

2/17/2008 01:06:00 PM  
Anonymous coonified said...

I'm pretty sure this is what Xi said:


One more straw-man attempt to insert assumptions in the absence of complete perlocutionary speech coherence. I hereby state that I am an authority and can provide a complete and concise alternative.

I am making some really far out assumptions based on my simple need for people to conform themselves to my narrow mode of clarity.

Many of you seem to think that you are somehow feeling nourished by Bob’s writing, but since I don’t feel satisfied, the fact that you think that you are feeling nourishment must be wrong. Your own feelings are inadequate to explain my lack. [next part makes no sense]

My point is that I’m confused and can’t see past some of the locutionary aspects of the post, and I will keep on pretending that what I’m saying is actually grounded in Reality for all eternity.

Secretly implied therein—“follow me.”


Please, no post Xi. Maybe you should follow the yellow brick road to Oz to get a brain from Mr. Wizard.

2/17/2008 01:21:00 PM  
Anonymous walt whitman said...

Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with linguists and contenders;
I have no mockings or arguments—I witness and wait.

2/17/2008 01:25:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Oh goodie, just luv whack-a-troll fa Sunday dinner!

'Course, past s'perience shows dat usually dere ain't much meat ta trolls, them need'in to keep all slim & flexible, able ta slip 'round easily. More like dem siphonophore thingies.

Humm.... dem thighs look promising.... 'sept dey been built-up climbin endless loops goin nowhere, round & round, like dem morons in dat guy Escher's kewl piturs. Gotta be a bitch ta be trapped inside, move'n constantly, working real hard on doz steps.....guess dey can't see what's obvius when ya stand a step or two away from dem...least-wise, good fur dem ta have company along when dey do somethin useless...

I gets dibs on the head - crunchy on da outside, soft on da inside. Contents bin protected from da sun & kept all mushy by dat asse-hattie on top... yumm

Later on we can bat da empty shell around till we gets bored, like my cats do.

2/17/2008 01:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"My whole point is that you get something out of it, and that because you get something out of it that you really enjoy you assume that the things he is saying actually apply to reality.'

Yes, this is metaphysical correspondence.

and...

"different levels of precision are appropriate to different modes of inquiry]..."

and since we are talking about metaphysics (that is beyond the physical), rigid analytical and materialistic definitions/constraints do not and cannot apply, as those characteristics apply to the horizontal rather than the vertical.

That is Bob's message. Get it Xi?

2/17/2008 02:25:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>> . . have you ever noticed that a great film, in an odd sort of way, seems more real than real?<<

Aye, very much like dreams, to which films are often compared - dark theater, projection of the so-called" unreal on the screen of consciousness, etc.

Dreams of a certain sort are "hyper-real" - the emotions experienced in dreams seem to have an elemental power usually not found in waking life, save for transcendent experiences of course.

2/17/2008 02:30:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>you get something out of it, and that because you get something out of it that you really enjoy you assume that the things he is saying actually apply to reality<<

Xi, Bob writes in a kind of poetic shorthand, which is necessary to convey the metaphysical. Whether one "gets" it or not depends on one's general level of consciousness.

Certainly I enjoy Bob's writing because I comprehend the truth of it. You assume that because you don't find any meaning to it, it therefore is meaningless, and those who claim to find meaning and truth in it are deluding themselves. This is quite obnoxious on your part. Very ignorant, too.

Now I can't speak for anyone in here but myself, but , , the truth is - and you find this meaningless, as well - is that you simply lack the level of awareness, the level of consciousness that would allow you to comprehend what Bob conveys.

Put another way, you lack the perception that would allow you an understanding of metaphysics.

And now it's time for me to (again) trot out my Village of the Blind analogy - in a village where everyone is born blind from birth, one person develops eye sight. How does this person describe the color blue - or any color - to the other villagers? It surely exists, the newly sighted person now perceives, but since this person has no word for colors, he can only describe it to the blind villagers in terms of things they can relate to in some way . . . it's "heavy" . . it's like heat or cold, etc. . .

And no doubt the other villagers would think this nonsense. Not until another villager gained eye sight, could a newly invented vocabulary account for colors - and still the blind villagers would think that nonsense . . . because they lack the perception of eye sight.

Bob writes for the sighted villagers. You're still blind, Xi.

Trust me on this (or not, I don't care) - you are literally lacking the level of awareness/perception that would allow you to comprehend Bob's poetry.

2/17/2008 03:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

more on the horizontal/vertical axes...

the three primary colors of light (not pigment) are red, green and blue. Looking at the wavelengths of these light colors, red is the longest wavelength (lowest frequency), blue is the shortest wavelength (highest frequency) and green is intermediate between the two. Now, as you follow the red wavelength to its extreme it approaches a flat line, that is the horizontal and, as you follow the blue wavelength to its extreme, it approaches a vertical line. The point of intersection (middle ground) is that of the cross (El Christo). Also note that red and blue spectrum are beyond the limits of our visual detection, whereas that which lies in between (the green primary color) represents the visual spectrum.

It is no accident that the primary colors are trinitarian. Following the principle of metaphysical correspondence (or as above, so below), the red (horizontal) corresponds to the Spirit (think immanence and timeline, as in "he has spoken through the prophets") and the blue (vertical) as the Father who is beyond (think transcendent, depths of the ocean, blue skies, deep space, the Father is greater than I). Both of these persons of the Trinity are "unseen", whereas the Green (think intersection, cross, middle) is the visible person of the trinity, El Christo.

Coonfused? Look at picture of the spectrum and you will "see".

Messages:

1. God is present with us, even in the horizontal.

2. The metaphysical has its expression in the physical.

3. To use Bob symbolism: Spirit (bidirectional horizontal arrow)and Father (bidirectional vertical arrow)= intersection = christ to be found

4. The arithmetic expression of number three above is 1+1+1= 1.


Now, Xi, how is that for precision!!!!

2/17/2008 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"...another Sunday exercise in spiritual epissedhimoffogy..."

That's a goodun.

2/17/2008 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

xi, I left you a comment at the end of yesterday. Didn't dawn on me until now that there might be a new post today - these darn unpredictable authoritarian epissedhimoffogists - just can't tell when they will or won't post.

2/17/2008 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

xi said "Just more straw-man assumptions about what I must think or what kind of person I must be[nearly all wrong] and still not a single attempt to actually address the issue."

Wow. Just who or what is xi? Must be an international man(?) of mystery.

And assuming that you do are familiar with Strawman arguments, how about spelling out for us slow folks, just what the straw position was in todays post, and what the real issue he's attempting to avoid confronting, is?

2/17/2008 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Ximeze, the troll must look a bit like this.
Not much more than a nibble, but it is sometimes funny to watch'em run :)

2/17/2008 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Xi,
I could be wrong, but you don’t sound all that different than some who turn up here or so different than me back when I was a teenage-know-it-all. You sound just as desperate. Anyway, when I say “you” in the following, I’m not necessarily talking about you specifically, but those who show up here or ones I’ve met who sound an awful lot like you, again. You know who you are. If it doesn’t apply, then pay no attention.

This know-it-all phase lasted till I was forty-something. It can last a lot longer. Except I didn’t spend so much time chasing the precision ball or the proof ball, just all my energy when I spent it there. I never had this luxury I see many people seem to have. It’s such a large forest, you know. Don’t waste your time in the crevasse of the bark of one tree. You will only find more evidence of more crevasses and certainly never find the forest there, or how a man is like a tree or not or why he should be looking there for this proof to begin with. And you sound like you’re looking very hard. That part’s probably good. But you’re just getting farther away as Bob says.

Am I assuming too much too? Well it doesn’t seem so to me. And so far only two paragraphs. Besides, you got to say what was on your mind. You may find it helpful though to know (Bob said this by the way, so I’m just borrowing it) that, “You can’t talk us out of, what we were never talked into.” So you may as well save your energy trying to convince us we’re pretending. I’m telling you, it won’t work. It’s just unfortunate, for you, that what we talk about here, we simple can’t be more precise about than we already aren’t. It is a mystery that is beyond Man’s capabilities to describe completely, never mind precisely. We are trying, but not in order to please you. Yet it is clearly there, what ever you’d like to call it, or not, and even not talk about at all. Be your own guest. If you want to call it nothing, then that is your loss for now, unfortunately for you. Your attitude toward it doesn’t change it in the slightest. Just as my lack of ability to precisely describe that which I know exists has no effect on its existence. I’m not offended by what you say because I know what you are trying to do and I know you are wrong.

I’ll tell you though, when you begin at the beginning, or the top, which is the realization that God exists, all the rest of what Bob points to makes perfect sense. It can’t without it. It won’t without it. You can’t subtract God from what Bob talks about and still have it work. It would be like ignoring the sun in climate prediction equations. And you will get only more inaccurate the farther out you go, no matter how precise or faithful you are to the effort which are incomplete equations.

The Bible includes all the precision and specifics and generalities Man could ever want. This is from the end of the Gospel of John, John 21:25 to be precise, of the New Testament:

“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”

This statement, I think indicates, among all the other things it “says” to me, and not nearly only me, which is precisely my point, that the Bible can’t apply to you specifically and everyone else at the same time, if it were written any other way. If it were any more precise, which it will be to you as soon as you allow it to be, it would not have application to anyone else at any time else; which is to say, it would not have eternal application to Man “properly understood,” as Bob says. And if it were precise to your standards and include all the things you will need to think about, you couldn’t lift it. Its lack of specifics, so to speak, those parts I talk about, such as the precisely spoken parables of Jesus, I think, intend to include you, yes, even you, in the Bible, among all the other real people mentioned specifically, precisely and generally. The Bible in this way can and will explain the Cosmos to you and to anyone’s satisfaction (if you allow it) and just as the Cosmos does, includes you within it. Am I saying you are in the Bible? Yes, in a certain sense. You know who you are. Go look. Just you and the book. If you give up before you find him, that’s not the Bible’s fault. I made that mistake a number of times.

2/17/2008 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

xibro said "Many of you have made the point that you 'get something out of' reading Bob's writing and therefore it must have some sense to it. But this is an inadequate explanation."

Oh no! Failed to meet your expectations again!

"but don't pretend for one minute that it actually has anything to do with the reality it purports to describe."

Yikes! Don't taze me bro!

2/17/2008 03:41:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

primary colors anonymous -

Precision or lack thereof isn't the problem re: getting through to Xi the flatlander.

Actually, I don't think Bob could be more precise in his expressions. but that's another topic all together.

People like Xi who lack higher perception fall into a kind of horizontal default mode, which is over-reliance on horizontal precision or horizontal logic - then they assume that if it doesn't fall into their perceptive field, it can't possibly be there.

2/17/2008 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Van asked, "Just who or what is xi?"

How soon we forget!

Think back, you guys: no memory of Qi, and the sinologist Zi?

There must be a gaggle roaming somewhere.

2/17/2008 03:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will

The comment was as much for those interested (the onecosmos devotees)as it was for Xi (x-man international).

Enjoy all the same.

Primary Color Anonymous.

2/17/2008 04:01:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Primary Colors Anonymous -

OK then. Kudos, that was cool.

2/17/2008 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"But this confuses the locutionary aspect of language with the perlocutionary aspect."

Sheesh, and you accuse me of name dropping - better that than needless impressive-word-dropping, which in this context practically assures the conveyance of no information at all, in fact the only affect that could reasonably be expected to follow from your choice of words, as with most of your other comments, is the equivalent of linguistic intimidation. Why else insert into a non-technical discussion, amongst people you have no reason to believe would be familiar with your technical verbiage, technical terms where such technicalities are in no way being discussed, especially when words like or of Rhetoric or Poetic's would not only be recognized, but have a much better chance of conveying meaning? Or was that your own perlocutionary technique? Talk about authoritarianism.

Here’s a book you are in dire need of Less than words can say, you'll learn far more about language and thought from it, than all of your linguistic silliness combined. And fortunately for you, it’s free online. Not that I'm making any assumptions about you or your current state of affairs.

2/17/2008 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Walt said "memory of Qi,"

THANK YOU!!! Damn! I knew it was a two letter name ending in 'i'... but I couldn't place the time... remember he tried the same schtick, but coming from his immense knowledge of oriental philosophy.

The more things change...

2/17/2008 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Van -

Yes ... eerily similar, in its way.

But as I recall, there were two. And they caused the last truly great rant from JWM.

I could be wrong, though. Maybe I'm just a little ... well, un-realistic these days ....

2/17/2008 04:35:00 PM  
Anonymous the drive-by poet said...

I think it's time to get back to the numinous...

Here's a selection by Arseniy Tarkovsky (Andrei Tarkovsky's father) as presented in the film Stalker

Now summer has passed,
As if it had never been.
It is warm in the sun.
But this isn't enough.

All that might have been,
Like a five-cornered leaf
Fell right into my hands,
But this isn't enough.

Neither evil nor good
Had vanished in vain,
It all burnt with white light,
But this isn't enough.

Life took me under its wing,
Preserved and protected,
Indeed I have been lucky.
But this isn't enough.

Not a leaf had been scorched,
Not a branch broken off. . .
The day wiped clean as clear glass,
But this isn't enough.

(translated by Maria Pearse)

I just finished watching Andrei Rublev for the third time, and for the first time the bells are ringing loud and clear, but it took a vow of silence for me to ultimately hear them. This is a hint for our \over/locutionary friend, Xi.

2/17/2008 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Walt,
Yep, zi and Dr_Qi! from April and May of last year, see if this one rings any bells zi,

Dr_Qi said...
The litany of ignorance continues;
...
As opaque and doublethink as anything Derrida ever wrote...
Are you sure you went to college? ... I have to assume you never took anything resembling linguistics or philosophy of language. Perhaps you should check it out.


Lol!

2/17/2008 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

xi in lower case
is random variables
upper no change state

2/17/2008 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

This is Robin's fault:

Dr_Qi Zi and Xi
litany of ignorance
great entertainment

2/17/2008 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

Aye Walt. You know OC is no clip joint when the weasels . . .
Oh never mind. I just want my comment to be No. 40 on the hit parade. Oh the pressure...

2/17/2008 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

Dang! My latest egoistic nonsense caused me to miss the first 12 minutes of Chesterton on EWTN. Anyway to paraphase GKC: Each soul has to work out its own incarnation.

2/17/2008 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

There once was a doctor named xi,
Whose qizi an ziqi were wi,
The more that he grew,
The less that he gnew,
Till he shrank to the size of a pi.


nite all

2/17/2008 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Ummm...Robin O'Starfish made me do it?

2/17/2008 08:59:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

The primary colors analogy was superb.

JWM

2/17/2008 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger Smoov said...

Xi:

You may or may not believe that the brain is a computer, however you sound uncannily like a computer. I worked at MIT for a while, and I could swear you are the product of some advanced AI experiment. You sound almost human.

However you present the intellectual equivalent of the uncanny valley and thus reading your posts creates an almost violent sense of vertigo.

I spent much of my early life exposed to people like you. I was like you for many years. You do not know what you do not know -- furthermore at this stage you cannot know this.

You're contributing nothing here -- indeed there is nothing you could conceivably contribute. Your repeated demands for "clarity" and "precision" serve only to reinforce for us the extreme poverty of your mind (at this stage in your life -- there is hope for almost everyone) and the pointlessness of "debate" with someone who is spiritually encased in thick ice.

Yes these are ad hominem attacks. I thank God people launched broadsides against me 10 years ago and successfully broke the materialist spell under which I fruitlessly labored.

If I were you I'd go away for 5 or 10 years and make an attempt to break out of your cold prison. If you stay here you must know that you are VASTLY outmatched by Bob. He seems opaque to you because he long ago left your "level" and has forgotten how to be so stupid, as have most of us here.

2/18/2008 04:07:00 AM  
Anonymous xi said...

'Yes these are ad hominem attacks.'

Thanks for conceding the obvious.

'Your repeated demands for "clarity" and "precision" serve only to reinforce for us the extreme poverty of your mind (at this stage in your life -- there is hope for almost everyone) and the pointlessness of "debate" with someone who is spiritually encased in thick ice.'

Yes, how impoverished I must be. I can discuss and understand quantum mechanics, calculus, shakespeare, symbolic logic, Thomas Aquinas, the Buddha, and a pretty much all of the greatest human intellectual[and yes, spiritual] discoveries and inventions, but somehow I lack the capacity to understand the great Bob.

This whole idea that I am spiritually deficient is not only false, but it is what my original critique was concerning. It is simply, by any standard, not adequate for discourse about reality. You say I am too spiritually impoverished to see the truth of Bob's statements. Of course, you can give no demonstration of this. I can utilize the same epistemic non-methodology; You all are too spiritually impoverished, encased in think ice, to see how Bob is wrong, only reflecting his own limited, low level. When you get to my level, which from your level looks like a low level, you will see how advanced I am. Of course, I could not demonstrate any of this, but you have to simply accept it because I say so.

See, the reason this is a non-method and epistemic madness is because there is no way to evaluate the claim from either side.

And don't resort to your canard that you 'know them by their fruits', since I have already pointed out that reading Bob may have a significant perlocutionary effect for you but that this has no bearing on the correctness or meaningfulness of the locutionary aspect of what he writes.

Just accept that this blog is a madhouse where the inmates find therapeutic value in talking nonsense with each other. There is nothing wrong with this, but you should be aware of it, since if you try to apply any of your supposed insights about the world out in the real world you will find it doesn't work anything like you pretend it does.

2/18/2008 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Xi stated,
"...this is a non-method and epistemic madness is because there is no way to evaluate the claim from either side."

If this is so, then there is no reason to pay any attention to what you say.

And, Xi mentioned,
"...this blog is a madhouse where the inmates find therapeutic value in talking nonsense with each other."

Hey: it's all part of my Entertainment Program, okay?

2/18/2008 08:55:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Xi,
Talk to us about the "real world" from your cloistered ivory tower. I'm getting a chill up my leg just thing about it.

2/18/2008 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Xi:

It's a little difficult to take you seriously until you take me up on my offer to write a guest post about your philosophy, so that we may better understand where you're coming from. So far, nothing you've said makes any coherent sense, although it certainly has a narrow consistency, which is to be expected in a man of your caste. But perhaps you will surprise us.

2/18/2008 09:49:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

You can begin with how your own initiation of the ad hominem attack is just pointing out the obvious depravity of the inmates imprisoned here.
Why the investment?

2/18/2008 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I just had to jump in even if the thread is dead...

Hey xi-

"I know you are but what am I?"

;p

Plus your false sense of hubris and arrogance is indeed misplaced. In my experience, what little it is, generally the more talented and gifted people of a certain field are often the nicest and most compassionate. They have no need to belittle others to make themselves seem greater. You should try it sometime if you are really as smart and gifted as you think you are...

I, too, am interested in your line of thinking and cosmology. Do share.

2/18/2008 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous xi said...

bob- I don't have a 'philosophy' or metaphysical system. All such a system results in is self-referential blathering and confirmation bias.

The discussion going on today is a perfect example of this. All the talk about colors and their meanings is an even more pathetic version of numerology. Are you really so unaware of the capacity for the mind to deceive itself and see patterns where none exist to think that such nonsense actually pertains to anything real?

2/18/2008 02:17:00 PM  
Anonymous gotashot said...

Xi said:

"Are you really so unaware of the capacity for the mind to deceive itself and see patterns where none exist to think that such nonsense actually pertains to anything real?"

Xi, so you're arguing about nothing. Okay. Fine. The question is, why?

2/18/2008 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

For example, when you read the words on a page, you actually make the letters “invisible” by looking through and beyond them to the words they spell. Likewise, the words become equally invisible, because you look through them to the meaning they are pointing at.


I realize I'm late to the party but this was just so good I had to comment and thank you. I read it and said, Wow, we look through the Word to see the Reality. How cool.

I've been reading posts here for several months and really getting a lot out of it. I am looking forward to picking up copies of One Cosmos and Keys of Gnosis.

Thanks so much for what you do, all of you.

2/19/2008 05:03:00 PM  
Anonymous sergey said...

Metaphysical is not necessary spiritual, it means only not sensual and refering to something beyond everyday experience of average person already reflected in common language. Mathematics, especially an advanced one, is an exellent example. Try to explain it to a layman using his limited vocabulary! You will have to use metaphors, parables and lame parables, and still it will not be precise and convicting. Nevertheless, a precise language for these high-level abstractions exists, but it out of his grasp, and it will take 15 years to learn it (because this language and its subject are virtually the same - mathematics IS a language!).

2/21/2008 07:34:00 AM  

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