Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Transcendent Position and its Three Brains

Let's flesh out this idea that my right brain agrees with the non-evolutionism of Schuon, while my left brain agrees with the cosmic evolutionary view of Aurbobindo/Teilhard. Is there a way to combine the two into a "higher third?" And, if so, might this not be the whole freaking point? For if thine brain be single, thy whole mind shall be full of light.

In the past, I have posted many times on the theories of Ignacio Matte Blanco, who was a major influence on my thinking. Along with Bion, he is probably the most far-reaching psychoanalytic thinker, in such a way that he far transcends psychoanalysis. Among other things, he drew out the implications of the unconscious mind, allowing one to fruitfully think about a number of pesky metaphysical problems in new ways.

I just looked him up on wikipedia and was surprised to see that there is actually a short entry:

"Ignacio Matte Blanco was a Chilean psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who developed a rule-based structure for the unconscious which allows us to make sense of the non-logical aspects of thought. Matte Blanco suggested that our thinking combines conventional logic with a different, symmetrical logic in varying degrees, and he named this combination 'bi-logic.' He studied Freud's five characteristics of the unconscious and deduced that if the unconscious has consistent characteristics it must have rules, or there would be chaos.

"However the nature of the characteristics indicate that the rules differ from conventional logic. In The Unconscious as Infinite Sets, Matte Blanco proposes that the structure of the unconscious can be summarised by the principle of Generalisation and the principle of Symmetry. Under the principle of Generalisation the unconscious perceives individual objects as members of classes or sets which are in turn grouped into more general classes. This is compatible with conventional logic. The discontinuity is introduced by the principle of Symmetry, under which relationships are treated as symmetrical, or reversible. For example an asymmetrical relationship, X is greater than Y, becomes reversible so that Y is simultaneously greater than X.

"The principle of Symmetry is clearly outside of conventional logic, consequently Matte Blanco suggests that this alternative logic be called symmetrical logic."

It is difficult for me to discuss this subject without getting pedantic, which I would like to avoid. Rather, I would prefer to operate in my customary mode of free-wheeling vulgarization. I also hate to repeat myself. Nevertheless let me quickly search the blog for "Matte Blanco," and see if there is anything useful for our present purposes...

Yes. Here is some material that will set the stage; there's so much of it, that this post may end up being something of a review, otherwise it will just get too long.

Matte Blanco begins with Freud's model of the unconscious, which is characterized by 1) eternity (or timelessness), 2) spacelessness, 3) symbolism, 4) non-contradiction, and 5) non-distinction between imagination and reality.

However, Matte Blanco, who was also a mathematician, realized that these characteristics were necessary consequences of the kind of logic employed by the unconscious mind, which is to say, symmetrical logic. You might say that this is the logic of the timeless world of eternity, whereas Aristotelian ("asymmetrical") logic only applies to the more limited temporal world, which is a subset of the former. (Which, now that I think about it, is consistent with Robert Rosen's idea that biology is more general than physics, but that is a subject for a different post.)

For example, in the asymmetrical world, it is not possible for two objects to occupy the same space. But in the unconscious mind? No problemo . There, your husband can be your mother, a government can be a bountiful breast, President Bush can be Hitler, or, as Queeg demonstrates on a daily basis, a good Christian or Jew can be an Islamic terrorist.

Likewise, in the unconscious mind, "time travel" is as easy as falling off a log, or Queeg's blog falling off. One of the most vivid clinical cases I've seen of this involved a man who had been shot in the abdomen in an attempted robbery about a decade before. He thought he had forgotten all about it, until one day at work a couple of coworkers decided to play a practical joke on him. One of them aimed a metal tube at him, as if he were holding a rifle. The other coworker slapped together a couple of two-by-fours, creating a loud cracking noise that happened to sound just like gunfire.

The patient reacted just as if he had been shot. He looked down and literally saw blood flowing from his abdomen. He became agitated, and an ambulance had to be called. He was actually taken to the ER, and only after being given a strong anxiolytic did "the past" recede from the present, like an unconscious wave pulling back from the shore of the conscious mind. But for 30 to 45 minutes, the past and present were completely interpenetrating, pulling him down into an infinite terror.

This is simply a vivid example of what happens to us all on a moment-to-moment basis. The past and present are constantly -- and necessarily -- conflated on a deep unconscious level, which accounts for so much of the richness of being. But it also accounts for virtually all psychopathology, which you might say consists not of unpleasant memories that we recall, but unpleasant memories which recall us. [I might add that mind parasites always partake of symmetrical logic, which is why they are impossible to eliminate with mere reason; they "hide out" in the right brain, something that has actually been empirically confirmed, c.f. the works of Allan Schore.]

I'm sure you've all felt the bottomless and unending nameless dread at some point in your life. When I was younger I used to feel it from time to time in the middle of the night. I'd wake up and feel as if all my familiar psychological landmarks had vanished, so to speak. Instead, I was wrapped -- or "unwrapped," actually -- in the eternal silence of the infinite spaces, as Pascal called it -- "the infinite immensity of spaces of which I know nothing and which know nothing of me."

Naturally, it felt like an "external" space, but it was in internal space merely projected outward. In reality, there is no outer space, only inner space projected. A lot of people who are obsessed with extra-terrestrial life are merely inside-out psychoanalysts, treating fantasized objects as if they come from the outside rather than the inside.

In hindsight, it is also obvious to me now how my very first heartbreak at 17 reasonated in an infinite way with the loss of Eden that Robin was discussing the other day. I wasn't just alone, but infintely so. Furthermore, I always would be. Thank God for Joseph Coors, who was there when I needed him.

Usually, the deeper the emotion, the more it partakes of symmetrical logic (what would love be if it weren't "forever and ever, amen"?). For example, Matte Blanco noticed that a large part of the pain of psychosis is that emotions are raised to a kind of infinite fever pitch. Imagine my little night-terror occurring 24/7, with no way to stop it. Each moment is a calamitous novelty, completely beyond your control. Even if you've had a single panic attack, you can get a sense of this "bad infinite," which is boundless and unending. This is why some psychiatric patients slash themselves or put cigarette burns into their skin -- anything to end the nameless dread and bring them back into contact with the boundaries of time and space. Finite physical pain is far preferable to infinite emotional pain. (BTW, I also notice this with my son, whom I love so much "I can't stand it"; perhaps I should try burning some cigarets on my arm.)

The logic of the symmetrical unconscious helps explains the angry left. To anyone who is not participating in their group fantasy, one can see how absurdly overblown their fears are, whether it is global warming hysteria, "civil rights," or Queeg's fear of Christians and Jews. But it all makes sense in the deep unconscious. Because of its symmetrical nature, that which you deeply hate is deeply frightening. The more you hate or fear it, the more powerful it becomes, until it is equated with the all-powerful and all-evil. (Might this not be the deeper meaning of "turn the other cheek"?)

The conscious mind, because of its asymmetry, is able to discern sharp differences, whereas the unconscious mind ignores -- or transcends -- distinctions and sees deep similarities. Obviously this has an important function that is vital to psychological health and happiness. But both processes can go haywire. For example, Queeg notices that Islamists and Christians or Jews all believe in some form of Creation, therefore on an unconscious level they are identical. Only the "sameness" is seen, not the vast and irreconcilable differences. Or, it is possible to enforce conscious distinctions in an illogical way, for example, between the nature of our fascist enemies in WWII and our fascist enemies today. There the left sees distinctions where it should see the similarities.

It is easy to see how asymmetrical logic can go awry, as demonstrated on a daily basis by our scientistic mascot. In one sense, yes, science is "true." But from the standpoint of total reality, it obviously cannot possibly be true. Rather, it is merely a left-brain abstraction from the totality of being, the latter of which may only be known by the right brain, since it has access to a mode of thinking that is much deeper than mere language. You might say that science, if wrenched from the mystery of being, automatically becomes a perversion. Just so, scripture reduced to a left-brain narrative can also become a perversion.

In the past, I've posted on the book The Symmetry of God by Rodney Bomford, which applies Matte Blanco's ideas to God and religion. I can't say that I recommend this book without reservation, first because it is kind of expensive for a relatively short book, and second, because the author is a bit too liberal for my tastes. That is, he comes very close to reducing scripture only to a sort of allegorical or mythological language that is understood by the right brain, a la Jung.

That is definitely not what I am saying. Rather, I am saying that scripture reveals deeper realities that can only be decoded and understood by symmetrical logic. Bomford might say that things like scripture and poetry exist because we happen to have a right brain. I am saying the opposite: that we have a right brain because man is a microcosmos who mirrors the totality, and in order to accomplish that, we must possess both modes functioning "to the hilt" in a harmoniously interacting manner. As we shall see later, my whole point is that there is a "transcendent position" that arises from the dialectic between left and right brains, or more to the point, a higher synthesis of symmetrical and assymetrical logic.

With that caveat in mind, I found that Bomford had some incredibly useful things to say about symmetrical logic and its relation to God, and about how we may meaningfully communicate about something that vastly exceeds the limits of language. The book attempts to resolve the issue of literalism vs. reductionism. That is to say, it is for someone who "neither clings rigidly to the literal truth of every word of the Bible, nor on the other hand reduces the faith by rejecting most of what the past has believed to be central." This interdisciplinary spirit allows one to be a believer and still engage with the same world as those outside the faith. In fact, without this engagement, one will inevitably create a sort of intellectual ghetto for oneself. But there is no reason whatsoever that one cannot build sturdy and robust bridges between religion and any other discipline, which was obviously the whole point of my own book. There should be no intrinsic barrier between religion and the most up-to-date science.

As mankind has evolved, we have become increasingly aware of the internal world of consciousness itself. Religion has followed this trend, which is why the further back in history you travel, the more religion tends to be dominated by an externalizing tendency (of course, there have always been individual exceptions). Today, if you ask the average person where God is encountered, they will likely respond "within myself." In other words, they do not believe that they are literally going to visit God in the church or temple -- although our consciousness of God is surely "focussed," so to speak, in certain proscribed areas and rituals. But when we attend a service, engage in a ritual, meditate, pray, or purchase an indulgence from Petey, we are obviously attempting to heighten our consciousness of God, are we not?

But what do we know about consciousness? What is it? Or, to put it another way, what can consciousness know of itself?

Bomford begins with what amounts to a truism, that our conscious self -- or ego -- is situated in a much larger area of consciousness as such, much of which goes by the name "unconscious." This is a misleading term, since the unconscious is not unconscious, just not fully available to the ego; obviously, the totality of consciousness cannot be circumscribed by the little ego.

Traditionally, psychoanlaysts have imagined a sort of horizontal line, with the ego above and the unconscious below. But I believe a more accurate mental image would be an island surrounded by water on all sides, or like a point within a sphere (which is itself multidimensional). I would also argue that consciousness is not linear but holographically structured, so that the unconscious is not spatially above or below, but within consciousness (somewhat analogous to God, who is both immanent and transcendent, the deepest within and the furthest beyond of any "thing" that partakes of Being).

Furthermore, we must abandon the idea that the unconscious is merely an uncivilized repository of repressed mind parasites and other troubling forces and entities. That is surely part of the picture, but only part. For example, Grotstein writes of the unconscious as a sort of alter-ego, or “stranger within” that shadows our existence in a most intimate, creative, and mysterious way. Far from being “primitive and impersonal” (although it obviously includes primitive, lower vertical elements as well), it is “subjective and ultra-personal,” a “mystical, preternatural, numinous second self” characterized by “a loftiness, sophistication, versatility, profundity, virtuosity, and brilliance that utterly dwarf the conscious aspects of the ego.” (In other words, it is more like an analogue of O; if I could reproduce the symbol, it would be a small o within O, or "uh oh.")

The production of a dream, for example, "is a unique and mysterious event, an undertaking that requires an ability to think and to create that is beyond the capacity of conscious human beings.... [D]reams are, at the very least, complex cinematographic productions requiring consummate artistry, technology, and aesthetic decision making.... [D]reams are dramatic plays that are written, cast, plotted, directed, and produced and require the help of scenic designers and location scouts, along with other experts.... I am really proposing the existence of a profound preturnatural presence whose other name is the Ineffable Subject of Being, which itself is a part of a larger holographic entity, the Supraordinate Subject of Being and Agency."

Now, this is what I meant when I referred to Kepler's songs appealing to my right brain, as they might more accurately be described as "Kepler's Dreams" -- which can be said of any "prophet." In my view, a real prophet is simply someone who has truly mastered the "transcendent position," and can speak the rich and resonant language of the higher third.

Oy, this post is getting entirely too long, isn't it? A little bit more:

Religion provides an extremely sophisticated language through which we may speak of the Absolute, the eternal, the immutable. Remember, eternity is not time everlasting, but timelessness. As I explained in my book, time is a function of eternity. In fact, the two are dialectically related, and one is not possible without the other. However, our surface ego, or frontal personality, gives us the illusion that only time exists.

Yet, we always have intuitions of the eternal ground from which the events of time perpetually arise and return. Religion is a way of acknowledging and talking about this, of giving form and substance to this more primary ground of timelessness. It is where we came from before birth and where we are headed after death, only it is present in every now. In fact, now is the only place eternity is or has ever been.

Recall that when God reveals his name to Moses, he says that it is, "I AM THAT I AM." Not I was, or I will be, but I AM. When you think about it, there is something very mysterious about this "I" and this "AM." As a matter of fact, there is no science or philosophy that can even begin to account for them or explain what they actually are. They are ultimate categories of thought that mere conventional logic can never penetrate. As it so happens, this "I" and "AM" are the slots in the cosmos where eternity comes pouring into time consciously.

Similarly, what did Jesus say? "Before Abraham was, I AM." Also, the Upanishads speak of this in many ways: "aham asmi" (I AM), or "so ham asmi" ("I am he"). The Tao Te Ching too: "Since before time and space were, the Tao is. It is beyond is and is not. How do I know this is true? I look inside myself and see."

Or, in Petey's thirdspeak: Cut me down to sighs. Too old, older than Abraham, too young, young as a babe's I AM. Brahmasmi the Truth. The whole Truth. Nothing but the Truth. So ham, me God.

Again I apologize for all this dreary review, but we do have a number of new regulars, so it might be worthwhile to get them up to speed on some of the Raccoon basics.

83 Comments:

Blogger James said...

Awesome

7/31/2008 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Bob, re-view in the coonosphere has never yet been dreary; quite the opposite. Actually, after the comments of the last couple of days, it feels like I need to get up to speed, so by all means, review away.

(I noted that in the sidebar, it says we have to read and assimilate those books before commenting. Um. Hm. Does this mean I have to go to the back of the classroom?)

7/31/2008 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger QP said...

Intriguing and, true to life, I'm left feeling largely suspended -but in a good way.

7/31/2008 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

B'ob,

Not sure why you're always referring to yourself as "unorthodox". At least as regards scriptural interpretation, you seem to me to be very orthodox indeed. (Which is probably why you recognize B16 as a fellow Coon - he's not really a Coon at all, just a Christian who correctly understands his faith.) The only caveat I might make is that you seem to largely play down and/or ignore the literal and historical aspects of scripture, which are just as important (at least in Christianity) as the metaphorical and myth-tical aspects.

"they do not believe that they are literally going to visit God in the church"

How sad. If I didn't believe this, I wouldn't bother going. We have lost something absolutely crucial, it seems, through our religious "evolution".

7/31/2008 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Warren:

Not much time here -- I understand what you're saying, and if you give me time, I think you'll find that we essentially agree. I would just say that the literal is a declension, or projection, of the nonliteral, somewhat analogous to what Magnus was saying yesterday about the miracles, which are of no use unless they are also signs. Otherwise, they are mere magic.

Here is a cooncidence: my son just came in, gave me a hug, and said I love you tooooooo much.

7/31/2008 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Ha ha! That's a great example, Bob!

7/31/2008 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

"The more you hate or fear it, the more powerful it becomes, until it is equated with the all-powerful and all-evil."

Like hating/fearing "the Left", to apply some symmetrical logic. :->

7/31/2008 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Which is why I admonish Raccoons to mock rather than revile you.

7/31/2008 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

NIce little response to atheists at NRO.

7/31/2008 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Warren-
I think a lot of folks misunderstand Bob, instead of mythunderstanding him. :^)

I know I used to think the same thing to a lesser degree, but thankfully, I gave bob a chance.

Personally, it seems to me that Bob spends most of his time goin' deeper because the literal is so obvious.

Then there is Literal and there is literally symbolic, but even the big L "Literal" has deeper meanings than the actual words.

I'm sure we all do and will have different interpretations about some scriptures (sometimes I do within myself).
Heck, more than a few of my ideas have changed over the last 3-4 years.

I should say that the Truth has never changed, but as I grow, as I transcend from where I was to where I Am, I must.
Not certain principles or the self evident Truth's but rather my understanding, by deeper realization and actualization of those Truth's.

Now, back to readin' Bob's post. :^)

7/31/2008 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

A smiley, Ray? Ah, there's that sparkling sense of humor again. You are so funny!

7/31/2008 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Julie - Computer types have a saying: ha ha only serious.

7/31/2008 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Yes, those same computer types that are dragged down by the glory of their wondrous intellects. I've known them myself.

7/31/2008 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

So, this confuses me.

This is a good thing, right, oil prices dropping?

...

Oh look my misplaced periods

7/31/2008 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

From the link Bob gave:

"Lopez: Can you teach morality without religion? Does it work without religion?

Fr. Williams: Morality can be taught without religion, but experience shows that it rarely takes hold. Our nation’s Founders were convinced that morality without religious belief and practice is destined to fail, and this seems to be the case historically. But the important question isn’t so much whether morality is possible (in rare cases) without religion. A much better question is whether religion bolsters morality or undermines it. Here, the answer is patently clear: religion sustains and fortifies a moral citizenry by providing an ethical code, divine sanction, a standard for conduct, and the assurance of eternal justice."

Excellent interview! Father Williams gnos his stuff.

7/31/2008 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"It is difficult for me to discuss this subject without getting pedantic, which I would like to avoid. Rather, I would prefer to operate in my customary mode of free-wheeling vulgarization."

It's always more interesting when you in-provise from the vulgate.
It's what made Bob in-famous. :^)

7/31/2008 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

"I would just say that the literal is a declension, or projection, of the nonliteral"

Agreed. (My comment was not intended as a criticism, BTW, just a bobservation.)

Ben,

No worries about me "giving B'ob a chance". Although I've only recently started shooting my mouth off, I've been reading the blog daily for years (and even the infamous Coonifesto).

7/31/2008 10:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Stu said...

I am reminded of Unknown Friend's discourse on the Arcanum of Temperance.

He talks about the Christian Hermetic practice of "constant prayer." The equivalent practice in Kaballah would be "devekut," or constant, effortless "clinging to God."

Now obviously, constant prayer is not a possibility for the conscious mind. The rational mind, by design, must pay attention to matters of the world. Because we ARE in the world and we MUST act.

But, as Unknown Friend points out, constant prayer is a very real possibility for the vital and astral self (i.e. the emotional and psychic bodies). The unconscious mind CAN be in constant contact with the LORD, as it was before the Fall. It is the ultimate fruition of human ascent through purification, illumination and union and Divine descent through Grace.

This partnership between God and the human intellect/will/spirit is the source of the silent, immovable, uncreated core at the center of our being.

And a profund key to the human Mystery is that the entire Creation is a PARTNERSHIP. The "God Principle" can not be reduced to the "Human Principle." Nor can the two principles be conflated without distinction. Rather, they must be "synthesized above and within" -- unified BY God IN the heart of Man. Man, the container of competing dualities, who processes them into a unified whole.

Conscious and unconscious mind, effortlessly flowing back and forth in service of the Divine will. Uninterrupted, unmediated Divine-Human respiration. This is the meaning revealed by Unknown Friend in the Arcanum of Temperance.

And it is a profound subtext of today's discussion on the different modalities of the conscious and unconscious mind.

7/31/2008 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Hey now! Very good.

7/31/2008 11:00:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

"Here is a cooncidence: my son just came in, gave me a hug, and said I love you tooooooo much."

This calls for an updated photo of Future Leader, NOW!

7/31/2008 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Stu!
It's good to hear from you! :^)

7/31/2008 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Stu, your comment is reminiscent of a link River left at Walt's yesterday: The Orthodox Way of Life".

7/31/2008 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Stu said...

Same to you, Ben! And thanks for saying hi. :)

Time to re-lurk...

7/31/2008 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"The conscious mind, because of its asymmetry, is able to discern sharp differences, whereas the unconscious mind ignores -- or transcends -- distinctions and sees deep similarities. Obviously this has an important function that is vital to psychological health and happiness."

IRT the asymmetrical logic, this would explain why my wife, during moments of experiencing past trauma in the present, doesn't know who I am but does recognize that I'm a man. But literally, it's as if I'm with a completely different person.
Thankfully, this hasn't happened for awhile and when it has it only lasts half a day at most.

It's astonishing how powerful these experiences can be!

7/31/2008 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Church attendance seems to me to serve two purposes -- sometimes equally, sometimes not.

The first purpose is to help focus one's attention on the vertical, to live the metaphor -- kind of like the ritual of water baptism which is a physical demonstration of a spiritual reality. This is the more prominent purpose in, say, a Catholic mass.

The second purpose is to express God's love in the horizontal -- to pray for one another, support and encourage one another -- the more prominent purpose in some evangelical churches and smaller community churches of various denominations.

As someone more involved in the latter, I used to tell people the only way you could be sure God would show up at church was to bring Him in with you.

7/31/2008 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hmmm...actually, I'm probably wrong, unless PTSD is somehow related to assymetrical logic.
For one thing, my wife never recalls these experiences.

Then again, it's no doubt a lot more complicated than that.

7/31/2008 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Ben:

You're absolutely right about the PTSD and its relationship to symmetrical logic. Suddenly, any man can be like a lens into which the evil of another man is focussed; all mankind can become one man, or one man can become all mankind. Think of how Hitler became the focus for the unconscious energies of Germans, just as Obama is the lens for the moonbats, who obviously inflate him into something ridiculously beyond his meager gifts.

And to turn it upside down, what does it mean for the word to become flesh? It means that the "supraconscious," so to speak, is focused on this plane in a single person.

7/31/2008 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I wonder if this symmetrical/asymmetrical gap could also be seen as a consequence of man being an intellect that knows material things (the old anthropology that was obvious to everyone until eighty years ago). Material things seem to follow asymmetrical/ left brain rules, at least on the phenomenal level. But any attempt to understand the things proper to intellect demands negation and symmetry: a common noun is both this particular thing and everything of the kind; the universal is one and many; it is changeless, but of the changeable; it is immaterial, but of the material; as a good it is contained by the true and as the truth it is contained by the good; the will cannot act without intellect, but the intellect cannot act without will; we move ourselves and yet are moved by the Absolute, etc.

If we see the symmetrical as wisdom, man seems to descend from the symmetrical unknowingly to the asymmetrical (I'm thinking of childhood brain development, but also the symmetrical seems to have a grounding function) but if he follows up the asymmetrical, he ascends back to the "illumined symmetrical". To the one in a middle state, who sees the half-finished circle as complete, the symmetry is "language games" or "primitive thinking" or some such thing. He might even have a point, since there is a kind of childhood in symmetrical thinking.

7/31/2008 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Jessica:

Very good. You are definitely on the right track, using these concepts to think things through on your own.

7/31/2008 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"And to turn it upside down, what does it mean for the word to become flesh? It means that the "supraconscious," so to speak, is focused on this plane in a single person."

Thanks, Bob! That cooncept is like a newclear explosion in my soul!

7/31/2008 12:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Niggardly Phil said...

Thanks for reviewing the basics.


FYI, I studied under Fr Williams in Rome! small world.

7/31/2008 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Bang!
master blueprint for
the arc of the covenant
alpha omega

7/31/2008 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Good point. Bomford explains in the book that the idea that someone could be "alpha and omega," the "beginning and end," can only be understood outside time, from the standpoint of symmetrical logic, whereby the beginning is in the end and vice versa.

7/31/2008 01:01:00 PM  
Anonymous alan said...

Escher triangle
Simulating vertical
yet flatlanding, blue

7/31/2008 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Or, in Petey's thirdspeak: Cut me down to sighs. Too old, older than Abraham, too young, young as a babe's I AM. Brahmasmi the Truth. The whole Truth. Nothing but the Truth. So ham, me God."

With cheese! :^)

7/31/2008 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

The Man with three brains!

Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr: Ladies and gentlemen, I can envision a day when the brains of brilliant men can be kept alive in the bodies of dumb people.

7/31/2008 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Obama on his role as receptacle for symmetrical thinking:

"This is the moment that the world is waiting for.... I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions."

In short, the whole world is breathlessly waiting for the "one man" who simultaneously embodies all of what is good about America.

7/31/2008 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

The audacity of asses.

7/31/2008 01:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr said...

I don't know if I was interested so much in the science as I was in the slime that goes along with it.

7/31/2008 01:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Kepler Sings said...

I wish I had more time to comment, but alas work calls. This is such excellent stuff. Now just quickly I will relate that I think God has/is dealing with the Human Race in many respects as if it is one whole organism existing through time.

Certainly the Biblical doctrine of original sin points to such a reality (We were all in Adam in the Garden) We can all be in Christ in death, and Resurrection. Now it is my opinion that if you survey the progression of humanity though history you see three distinct trends. Earliest human history was on the physical.

If you had enemies, they could be giants, you had to kill them with swords and stones. As history unfolds you see the intellect, the "soul" of man coming into focus.

You go from the rigorous physical accomplishments of the Egyptians (Pyramid building, perfection of agriculture, domestication of animals etc.) To the Greek, with the development of philosophy and intellectual pursuits. Not to say there is not overlap between the physical ages and the age of soul.

Christ comes and acts as a hinge on all human history and you have the Church age, the approach to God via the soul. Intellect, emotions, pageantry, developed doctrines, arguments over the actual makeup of God, of angels, of the spirit world itself.

But now we are transitioning again to the very core of what a human being is, the eternal organ, the God aware part, our spirits. And it is cumbersome indeed to try to explain spirit, via the language of soul. But one thing I think is happening as that just as the centuries of the contemplation of the Divine, set up the environment for the Renaissance and the first scientists. (Western Civilization). This time just past had prepared this organism of humanity for the next step.

Indeed you can see the stark contrast in the earth in that some nations are still stuck in the physical age, some are just coming into the soul age, and some are just getting ready to step into the age of spirit.

A review of the changes in technology in the last 50 years are a good indicator of this change. They say we are now in the information age. Biologists are resisting Darwin's theory because they are seeing that life has complex specific encoded instructions (Information) Right now I think we are seeing the first spiritual scientists.

I think Bob is one, so are others here. And wait until the math is worked out and the understanding is gained of that realm...then the lion will lay down with the lamb. Nature itself we be changed. Got to go later all.

7/31/2008 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Kepler, you probably missed this thought-provoking piece by Ricky, way back when, but it seems relevant.

7/31/2008 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Good examples of statements that make perfect sense in a context of bi-logic:

"We were [are] all in Adam in the Garden."

"We can all be in Christ in death, and Resurrection."

7/31/2008 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Alan, to make you happy I'll note that the concept of "symmetrical logic" is an interesting idea for how we conceptualize and process the world, and from an experiential perspective it seems a powerful way to look at things. I'm not quite so sanguine about its prospects as embodying an actual external reality, though. That kinda seems like "treating fantasized objects as if they come from the outside rather than the inside."

(Feel free to mock me as Bob asks, though. I can abide to be mocked. :-> )

7/31/2008 02:27:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

GBob, yes, exactly. Thanks for Blanco. I did not know of this resource.

Eliade made a career of discussing the "other time" before time. It is a strong nearly universal and primitive experience that there must be a time before this one. He felt it to be a primary source of creation myths. When you add in the unconscious as Jung did and Blanco mathematized, then time loses definition, and should in these matters. Experience becomes symmetrical and revealed for what it is.

This also shows up dramatically at the quantum level, or for that matter when we try to make sense of black holes, dark energy, dark matter. Get too big or too small and inner space becomes more important than outer space. This is a matter of finite limits to horizontal consciousness while the vertical remains indeterminate if not infinite. Paradoxes manifest.

I very much like the mathematizing of the unconscious with the mathematics of the infinite. You may recall I have used this mathematics in talking about God in several posts.

7/31/2008 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Ray Worshipping Ray

triangle treadmill
no alpha or omega
empty concession

7/31/2008 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Just read a good quote from Eckhart which applies to today's post:

"As long as one clings to time, space, number and quantity, that person is on the wrong track and God is strange and far away."

7/31/2008 02:42:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Ray,
I never would have believed the creativity you've brought forth here.
Admit it, that is some funny haiku.

And for those interested, a new book is out on Obama documenting every Commie, Domestic Terrorist, Corrupt Businesman, Islamic Radical, etc. at whose feet he has studied and who have shaped his worldview.
It's titled "The Obama Nation' and is written by Jerome R Corsi, the coauthor of 'Unfit For Command', the book about Kerry's escapades in Vietnam and its aftermath.
Make sure to click through Bobs site if buying on line.

7/31/2008 03:27:00 PM  
Anonymous son of a preacher man said...

Between today's post and
this:
And to turn it upside down, what does it mean for the word to become flesh? It means that the "supraconscious," so to speak, is focused on this plane in a single person.

just gave this:
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
- Gen 3:5

A deeper and scarier meaning.

Thanks Bob

7/31/2008 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger erasmus said...

Christopher says:

"I very much like the mathematizing of the unconscious with the mathematics of the infinite."

And Kepler Sings says:

"Biologists are resisting Darwin's theory because they are seeing that life has complex specific encoded instructions (Information)"

I very much like the idea of mathematizing (in a geometric way) individual personalities, which I could certainly see as having "specific encoded instructions". Form ever follows function, I say.

I can't begin to apply this to the concept of the unconscious. I don't know where to begin.

Christopher, if you want to get to the infinite mathematically, just divide by O.

7/31/2008 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Possibly no post tomorrow, as blogger informs us that we have "been identified as a potential spam blog," and will be unable to publish posts while the situation is under review.

Odd.

7/31/2008 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

I'm surprised Bob, with his talk of "microcosms", hasn't pointed out that one of the definitions for "infinity" in mathematics is "a set that can be mapped onto a proper subset of itself". If you want to see what that means "in practice", see here.

7/31/2008 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Interesting that Blogger's artificial intelligence could not tell that this blog is the product of human intelligence...

7/31/2008 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Sounds like the work of some paranerd liztards.

7/31/2008 06:45:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

Must have touched a nerve.

7/31/2008 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

That, or Google has figured out that you're not a leftist. I seem to recall not too long ago there were a bunch of conservative Google-related blogs that also got the spam treatment.

I hope it's resolved quickly!

7/31/2008 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Bob, I have something I want you to look at. It disturbs me, so much that I deleted my posts in response to it on facebook. It's a postmodern 'critique' of Dark Knight that makes Joker the hero because he 'tears down all of the false things' to reveal what really is. I don't know where to start with dismantling it, but I think it's critical flaw is that it takes a postmodern framing, and dismisses real points against it because they seem 'small'.

Anyway, I'll email it to you, since it is long.

7/31/2008 07:16:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Bob,

It's extremely easy for any yahoo to 'Report as Spam' any Blogger URL - right off the 'Help' page & they don't even need a Blogger account.

From 'Blogger Help' page, under 'Terms of Service', there's a 'Report Abuse' selection. By choosing 'How can I report spam blogs?' you get:

"Blogger strongly disapproves of spam and we appreciate your taking the time to report this abuse to us so we can remove it accordingly. To report spam, please click here."

hmmm, 'report abuse so we can remove it accordingly'. Or at least hinder posting while it's 'under investigation'.

IMO this has the reek of Queeg & Co all over it - just his style, as he's always so proud about how he tracks-down & wrecks havoc on 'hate message' URLs sent to his site.

You completely tagged his BS. Think he won't try to get even? He can't touch you in the noggin-department, but can easily be an obstructor.

You're his Moby babe.

7/31/2008 07:34:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

sign... wreaks havoc

7/31/2008 07:45:00 PM  
Anonymous slim pickens said...

Well, shoot I ain't never but a day late and a dollar short. I been up in the high country all day and just got back. I'm plumb tuckered out. But I took time to catch up on yesterday's little chat.

By the way, you boys best watch out about takin' ol' Slim's name in vain. I ain't no sock puppet.

I read little ol' Ray's attempt at repartee: "Slim: If'n there weren't people sayin' things I know ain't so, 'cause I seen 'em, I'd kindly be more inclined to take their word for it on the other stuff. But when these over-edjimicated types tell me a steer cain't live off o' just feed & water, it's gotta be chowin' on some meat somewhere, well, pull the other one."

Don't you just know that feller's about 5'5" by 5'5" -- a little ball a'lard -- couldn't mend a fence 'er do five pushups if his life depended on it. But I regress.

So, let me transmigrate what the little feller is saying: If a man who don't claim no particular expertise about a subject gets some of it wrong, why, then ol' Ray says that means he's wrong about the stuff he does claim to be an expert on.

I reckon if a feller cain't think no better than that he might as well not mind bein' mocked.

7/31/2008 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Slim, you are awesome.

7/31/2008 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"For example, in the asymmetrical world, it is not possible for two objects to occupy the same space. But in the unconscious mind? No problemo . There, your husband can be your mother, a government can be a bountiful breast, President Bush can be Hitler, or, as Queeg demonstrates on a daily basis, a good Christian or Jew can be an Islamic terrorist. "

Lots to take from and think on in today's post, I've had time here and there to read it, and comments today, but no time to comment, but I'll say it again, the next big breakthrough in Philosophy and Psychology is going to come from someone with a strong understanding of Object Oriented Programming and Relational Database theory.

This symmetrical/asymmetrical has always had the ring of database queries made based upon incomplete, or improper key relations - even a Cartesian query in the more severe cases. I can't go much into it without sounding like a super primo geeky pedantic ...Argh... can't do even that tonight, gotta get to bed. Maybe some of you other fellow geeks out there... River? (shudder)Ray? For those who don't mind clubbing their eyes with reams of words, I did a series of posts on it last year (caveat: I was still on more of the BOmford view, than the Gagdad view then).

(Hey Stu!)

7/31/2008 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Slim - always like your movies. Here's an idea for accent heaven - you and Chill Wills with 20 pages of dialog each. Now that'd be entertainment!

G'Night

;-)

7/31/2008 08:38:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I would post at the Wordpress Onecosmos, but I forgot my password....

7/31/2008 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't remember my user name either... I'll see if I can figure it out.

7/31/2008 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Well, that was easy enough. If I haven't been cleared by the authorities by tomorrow morning, the post will appear at onecosmos.wordpress.

7/31/2008 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Question:

If I import the whole kit and kaboodle over to wordpress, does it also stay here at blogger, or will it only be at wordpress?

7/31/2008 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And Ben:

Do you still need your old posts over there, or can I delete them?

7/31/2008 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Slim, I love you man. Sure wish ya hadn't got all blowed up a ridin' that nuke down on the russkies. Beautiful scene, though. I love the bomb! (and Peter Sellers)

Yeeeee Haaaaa!!!!!

7/31/2008 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Bob, I think you can basically back up the entire site over at Wordpress without doing any harm to this incarnation (but it's always best to read the fine print; and of course, I've never done it myself, so take that for what it's worth).

Siggy has a system going where there are two versions, one blogspot and one Wordpress site (the mirror site). It may be set up so that whatever posts at the blogspot site automatically posts at the Wordpress site, but the comments don't seem to get copied.

7/31/2008 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

No problemo, Bob.
You know, Google did the sam,e thing to me awhile back, and Babbazee before that.

What pissed me off the most is that anyone can anonymously complain and even though I'm cleared now (as far as I know) Google never tells me who complained or even what the complaint was about.

The system is very easy to exploit with no checks and balances.
I'm barely computer literate and I can figure that out.
Very disturbing but not unexpected I reckon.
There is no honor among leftists or Queeglings.

7/31/2008 11:11:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Here's an interesting interview at Dirty Harry's with JD Johannes, a former Marine who is now making documentaries of our Heroes in Iraq that also happen to be honest, for a refreshing change:

Dirty Harry

An excerpt: "What I liked most about the way you went about showing us around Iraq is that you take a warts-and-all approach, but unlike the media you don’t forget the “and all.” Any fair minded person with an IQ above room temperature can look at the media’s Iraq coverage and immediately sense that what’s missing is the all important context of the story. You can have facts without context, but you can’t have truth without context…

Iraq is big. Iraq is complex.

One of the problems is that on any given day there are more reporters covering Kansas City than there are reporters from U.S. news organizations covering Iraq. In the Trilogy I am showing Iraq as I saw it through a camera lens. The good–markets opening up in Baghdad. The bad–corrupt cops. And the good again–a Company Commander who will not let the cops get away with it.

I have become a student of war. One of my mentors appears in the documentaries, Colonel G.I. Wilson who gave me a reading list back in 2005. Those studies included the commentaries of Caeser, the writings of Brigadier Richard Clutterbuck, the work of John Boyd, T.X. Hammes, John Poole, Gibbon, the Histories of al-Tabari. In Cormac McCarthy’s, book Blood Meridian a vile character, the Judge, says, “‘It makes no difference what men think of war’, said the judge. ‘War endures. As well ask men what they think of stone. War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner. That is the way it was and will be. That way and not some other way.’”

I try to put a little of that historical context into the documentaries and it informs they way I assemble them. I do not see war as an aberration. I do not judge the present against some arbitrary construct of the way things ’should be.’ (What makes an event news is that the event is the opposite of what the editor thinks should be. And in war, what should be? If you study war, you realize war is a series of calamities many driven by what Caesar referred to as ‘fortunes.’ Clauswitz called them ‘chance.’ Wilson calls them ‘fleeting opportunities.’)

The major media’s approach is not neutral. When have you ever seen the headline “Al Qaida Attack on U.S. Outpost Fails”? Never. The headline is always, “Al Qaida Attacks U.S. Outpost 8 Wounded” How about this headline, “Shia Militias Fail to Hold Basra.” The ’should’ standard is always applied to the coalition forces, never to the enemy. A truly neutral media would hold the enemy to the same ’should’ standard. That is a very subtle bias which infects the major media’s coverage of Iraq and Afghanistan."

Good stuff! It's good to know that there are guys like Mr. Johannes who are watchin' out for our Heroes! :^)

8/01/2008 12:17:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Slim: "If a man who don't claim no particular expertise about a subject gets some of it wrong, why, then ol' Ray says that means he's wrong about the stuff he does claim to be an expert on."

So, lemme make sure I got this straight. Even if a feller's all hat an' no cattle at one thing, doesn't mean he ain't good enough to make a rabbit spit in a bulldog's face at somethin' else, right?

Seems kindly catty whompus to hear a feller say that, when that same feller frets so 'bout my fence-mendin' skills. But that's no never-mind.

No, my bother's with folks who say they got it all figured out, but their figures don't line up with what's in my plain sight. Ain't always easy to tell what right, but I reckon it don't take but one screw-up to tell what's wrong. Not when it's supposed to have it all covered, anyways.

8/01/2008 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

I used to have "plain sight" too, Ray. Then I upgraded...what a view!

8/01/2008 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"No, my bother's with folks who say they got it all figured out, but their figures don't line up with what's in my plain sight."

That's cuz you keep trying to look at those magic eye pictures with one I closed; you'll never find the hologram that way, but you will see a lot of irrelevant dots.

8/01/2008 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Back to the blog-spamming thing, apparently it's not just you, Bob.

8/01/2008 07:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Niggardly Phil said...

Fifth Ennead, First Tractate:

What can it be that has brought the souls to forget the father, God, and, though members of the Divine and entirely of that world, to ignore at once themselves and It?

-Plotinus

8/01/2008 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Sorry, for the off topic, but this just in…

Let me see if I get "this" straight.

1. Take the evil oilmen’s money (that’s, “TAKE”)
2. Use the money to pay for the oil because we’re not criminals, for God’s sake.

I’m confused…if where all about conservation of energy and efficiency, wouldn’t it be easier and faster if we just took the oil from the evil oilmen?

8/01/2008 07:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Niggardly Phil said...

Fifth Ennead, first tractate

The evil that has overtaken them has its source in self-will, in the entry into the sphere of process, and in the primal differentiation with the desire for self-ownership. They conceived a pleasure in this freedom and largely indulged their own motion; thus they were hurried down the wrong path, and in the end, drifting down further and further, they came to lose even the thought of their origin in the Divine.

-Plotinus



"Non serviam"

8/01/2008 07:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Niggardly Phil said...

RR,

It's weird: they want to socialize housing losses, and socialize oil profits, maybe so they even out? Isn't there a reason we're not socialist?

8/01/2008 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Rick - it's retarded ideas like that which have me concerned about the state of our economy should the stuttering prick get elected. Is it beer o'clock yet?

On another unrelated note, it's really astounding that Queeg can, with a straight face, lump Jews and Christians in with this kind of thinking. Key excerpt:

"“The second (female-launched) attack occurred inside a tent that provided shade and rest for female marchers. The female bomber walked into the tent, sat down and, according to a police official, Abu Ali, read the Koran with the women sitting inside. When she exited the tent, she left a bag behind, and moments later, it exploded. ”

The woman sat down and prayed with them and then sent them to their deaths."

Sick.

8/01/2008 07:49:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Don't get how a blog like OC can be 'spamming' if they don't 'send out' anything. Spam, by definition, is 'outgoing', so what is Bob sending-out?

I'm sticking with the 'blog tagged as spam on purpose by would-be obstuctors' until somebody can explain this little discrepancy.

8/01/2008 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Julie, I can see the sailboat in the stereogram just fine. I don't think I can sail off in it, though...

8/01/2008 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Yep, and that's why literalism will only take you so far ;)

8/01/2008 08:21:00 AM  

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