Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Mystery Between Mister O and Mister I

Here's another old one that touches on the mystery of time. And when I say "mystery," I mean it in a particular way. First, it is a distinct mode of understanding through which we may know an absent presence and present absence. In other words, mystery has an epistemological sense. God, for example, is encountered through, or in, mystery. The more you heighten your sense of mystery, the more you are open to the transcendent. In my book, I symbolize this be-attitude as (o).

But there is also an implicit ontological sense of the term. As I have mentioned before, I have long suspected that the various fundamental mysteries that confront man are somehow interconnected; you might say that they are diverse manifestations of O.

What I mean is that there are certain things that are fundamentally beyond the horizon of knowability -- at least in the profane or rationalistic sense. No amount of cogitation will ever resolve these riddles, which include Time, Life, People, Self, and other magazines.

Sorry. That was a gag that couldn't help writing itself. These mysteries include Time (in all its modes, but especially the Now), Consciousness, Life, Freedom, and Being, AKA, that window into eternity that says I AM.

In the past I have used the metaphor of a three-dimensional hand passing through a two-dimensional plane. As the grubby fingers break through the plane, they will initially appear as one, then two, eventually five, circles (unless, like Petey, you were involved in a tragic farming accident). But then the circles will blend together at the wrist, if you still have one. You can always learn to use your left hand.

If you want to know what time -- and therefore evolution -- is, that's about as good an image as I can think of at the moment. Remember also what I -- or rather, Captain Kirk -- said the other day about the "circle" that exists when two dimensions meet -- analogous to the narrow passage between the chambers of an hourglass. Put the two images together, and what do we have?

I don't know. Let me think for a moment. A new Star Trek episode? I can't look at the keyboard and deploy my imagination at the same time.... speaking of which, add "imagination" to that list of mysteries above.

Got it. That little passage between the chambers is the "place" of declension, where the three-dimensional hand passes into two-dimensional space; you might say that it is where the Dreamer dreams the dream. It is certainly where free will takes place, not to mention the passage of time. And it is the only place where I AM could be.

The post I am about to edit was one that originally consisted of a purely "free association." You might say that it was an attempt to describe the sand particles as they flowed past. In editing it, I will now attempt to stand back from the hourglass for a wider view. In other words, in this second bite at the apple, I will attempt to contain what initially contained me -- or interpret the dream, so to speak.

It's FREE ASSOCIATION day, in which I, Bob's Unconscious, commandeer the wheel of Cosmic Bus and say whatever pops into his melon. It's a good way for him to discover what he thinks about things of which he knows nothing; or to know about things he has only unThought, and to thereby render this mythterious absence present. Or again, to bring forth some hidden corner of Bobness that should have perhaps remained hidden. At least we'll find out why.

Say, we haven't discussed time in a while, have we? It's always good to meditate on the mystery of time, since it is a modality that opens out to the infinite -- like the haunted house of Existence, the unexpected door into Life, and the miraculous window of Subjectivity.

Perhaps this is too obvious, but I think we can all agree that evolution presupposes time. Or does it? Obviously, there could be no possibility of evolution in the absence of time, time being a measure of change. But perhaps it's the other way around, i.e., that time is a byproduct of evolution. In other words, because things evolve, there is time. After all, if things didn't evolve, there would only be eternity, i.e., atemporal changelessness. As such, there would be no time to do anything, not even dash over to the dry cleaner before they close.

At this moment, I am looking straight ahead at my official Subgenius clock, with Bob Dobb's beaming face looking back at me. Some people suppose that a clock measures time, but that is incorrect. Rather, a clock measures space, as the hand moves from position to position (well, technically, this particular clock measures slack). A few moments ago, the minute hand was at Bob's noble chin. Now it is approaching the majestic pipe which he holds in his perfect teeth. The point is, time and change are thoroughly entangled, so that it is impossible to conceive of one in the absence of the other. Time is change and change is time.

Now, there is a difference between time and mere duration. And there is a kind of duration that is above and a kind of inverse analogy below. That is, God by definition transcends time and is not subject to change. Nevertheless, he obviously "endures." This is the modality of eternity, which is always now: before you spuds were, I YAM.

As we have discussed before, eternity is not time everlasting, but timelessness. However, on the temporal plane, the closest we can come to grasping eternity is through the very old and ancient. This is why we can obtain hints of the eternal in the presence of virgin nature, or a very old cathedral, or perhaps by looking out into the heavens. But these things should not be confused with eternity itself.

Eternity is not necessarily "time standing still." For example, Bob has treated numberless cases of psychological trauma (I didn't say "successfully"), and one of its universal characteristics is the suspension of time while the trauma is occurring. I think this can more or less be explained on Darwinian grounds, as an adaptation we evolved in order to cope with extreme distress. When someone is in the midst of a trauma, it is as if the event is implicitly recognized as being too "large" and full of implications to be able to metabolize and assimilate. As a result, the mind "shuts off," as it were. It continues to register the events as they are occurring, but in a timeless way that prevents us from thinking about them (which would require time). You might say that there is a defense mechanism that "stops time" (unlike progressiveism, which reverses it).

Only after the trauma has ended -- once the person is "safe" -- does the mind then "download" the trauma into time, so to speak, and start thinking about all the implications. Thus, the traumatized person always experiences flashbacks, or involuntary recollections that must be "metabolized" after the fact. Likewise, they will think about all of the many "what ifs," e.g., What if he had pulled the trigger?, or What if I had left my children behind?, or What if I hadn't noticed the stubble on her face? (long story).

Again, it is as if the trauma were a "hyperdimensional object," the implications of which can only be drawn out in time. (A more primitive person won't even be able to think about the trauma, but only act it out in time. In this case, the actions are the recollections. For some people, their whole life is simply the repetitive acting out of trauma; one thinks of the Islamists.)

Just so, an encounter with God can result in a similar kind of process that may take a lifetime to sort out. In other words, one must unpack and explicate all of the implications, which are more or less "infinite." Think of how Paul was "shattered" on the road to Damascus; the rest was just "commentary," so to speak.

I remember Schuon making reference to this in the preface to one of this books.... let me see if I can remember which one....

Here it is, from Survey of Metaphysics and Esoterism: "[T]he Sophia perennis [that's the perennial wisdom for those of you in Reino Ciego] is quite evidently inexhaustible and has no natural limits.... As it is impossible to exhaust all that lends itself to being expressed, and as repetition in metaphysical matters cannot be a mistake -- it being better to be too clear than not clear enough -- we believe that we could return to our usual theses, either to offer things we have not yet said, or to explain in a usefully new way things we have said before."

So if these posts appear tediously repetitive, that's my excuse.

Later Schuon expands upon this in a useful way: "It is indispensable to know at the outset that there are truths inherent in the human spirit that are as if buried in the 'depths of the heart,' which means that they are contained as potentialities or virtualities in the pure Intellect: these are the principial or archetypal truths, those which prefigure and determine all others.... The intelligence of animals is partial, that of man is total; and this totality is explained only by a transcendent reality to which the intelligence is proportioned. Thus, the decisive error of materialism and of agnosticism is to be blind to the fact that material things and the common experiences of our life are immensely beneath the scope of our intelligence.... without the Absolute, the capacity of our conceiving it would have no cause."

Okay, let's break this down. As we have said before, profane thinking, or (k), can never arrive at O, except in the exterior sense; it can conceive it, but being in it is a different matter. Real ontonoetic thinking is a declension from O, i.e., that "transcendent reality to which the intelligence is proportioned." Now, if we were fully "in O," it would be analogous to being "in" the trauma; time stops, and we simply enjoy the divine Slack. There is duration, but no time. Augustine talks about being "taken up into heaven"; likewise, one thinks of Plotinus and so many other mystics down through the ages. Or, as Johan reminds us, it is like when Homer talks about the paradox of the beer being "in us," that we may be "in the beer."

But our day-to-day lives -- no, our life -- consists of unpacking and "assimilating" the "divine trauma" of O. Just like the bad kind of trauma, O shatters and never flatters the ego. The ego cannot possibly assimilate it, for it would be like the drop trying to assimilate the ocean. Rather, it must begin to work through the "flashbacks" of O, which are more like "memoirs of the future" than "predictions of the past," the latter of which are all of the "what ifs" that result from the adverse trauma.

Now, let's see.... what would be the "ultimate" trauma.... let me think.... Well, one trauma would obviously be the Big Bang, an event so brimming with implications that it would take billions of years to sort them out, this morning's post not excepted.

Afterwards, one of the biggest and most unexpected traumas to emerge from the primal explosion was the sudden appearance of Life. Evolution has been tinkering with its implications for the past 3.85 billion years, although Life only became consciously aware of its own implications perhaps 40,000 years ago, when another trauma occurred, the sudden emergence of the human subject. (By the way, for you creationists out there, feel free to translate this into your own terms; a grasp of the principles is the important thing, not a literal reading. In other words, any way you look at it, the awakening to the human state was a traumatic event, a reality memorialized in Genesis.)

Yes, but what would be the ultimate ultimate trauma, something that man could ponder forever and never quite assimilate.... I've got it! How about if the Absolute were to come down into history itself and obliterate all of our categories, even the "false absolute" of Death itself?

Hmmm, it might just work.... It's one thing to send down a book, but we all know what humans can do with books, i.e., "contain" and therefore kill them with their minds....

In an analogy Bob has not used before, probably with good reason, it is as if God dives into the deep end of history, and the resultant waves in the historical pool are still reaching us, because God is just too big for the pond. Imagine Charles Barkley or Rosie O'Donnell doing a cannonball into a wading pool.

Isn't there a scriptural passage to the effect that "death could not contain him?" The point is again that none of our cosmic, existential, scientific, or psychological categories can contain him. He shatters time, death, history, and the human being who allows himself to be traumatized -- or, let us say, crucified -- by this overwhelming event that is always happening.

Well, long day today, and I pretty much have to go where Bob goes, even though he could never contain me, not in a million lifetomes....



(Image yoinked from Vanderleun's sidebar, I don't know, just because it reminds me of this weird dream I once had. Or that once had me.)

67 Comments:

Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

Off topic, before I've even read the post today (holding out knuckles for Van or Cuz to rap):

The Polanski thing seems to be acting as a sort of litmus test for leftists. Some leftists are actually against drugging and raping children. Good for them!

Of course the truly demonic among them aver that what Polanski did wasn't, you know, "rape" rape.

9/30/2009 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It's only rape if a priest does it.

9/30/2009 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

Apparently the Polanski situation is creating another round of recurring trauma for the victim.

I think she wishes that the entire Polanski issue would simply go away so that she doesn't have to relive the trauma of the publicity again.

She apparently thinks that the (recurring) trauma from the public's involvement in her life is worse than the (now far past) trauma from the rape.

9/30/2009 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

And while we aren't on the subject of dream interpretation, I seem to recall an article I read about the dreams of Al Qaeda in 2001.

As I recall, they were having dreams about playing chess with jet fighters.

I don't remember where I read the article or where it might be on the Internet.

9/30/2009 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"That little passage between the chambers is the "place" of declension, where the three-dimensional hand passes into two-dimensional space; you might say that it is where the Dreamer dreams the dream. It is certainly where free will takes place, not to mention the passage of time. And it is the only place where I AM could be. "

There's a thought, that our Choices are the motion of our character passing through the paper of time - that what may seem to be disconnected actions in others, and ourselves, from the viewpoint of our dimensions, in the fullness of time, is revealed to be a fully... fleshed out figure.

9/30/2009 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, I think that's true. Even the "stuff" with which we choose to surround ourselves is an extrusion, or concretization, or localization, of the self.

9/30/2009 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Which, by the way, is why private property truly is sacred, since it is the coontrail of the Self....

9/30/2009 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

Van says:

"There's a thought, that our Choices are the motion of our character passing through the paper of time - that what may seem to be disconnected actions in others, and ourselves, from the viewpoint of our dimensions, in the fullness of time, is revealed to be a fully... fleshed out figure."

Unless you spend your time following the dictates of your vital mind. In which case, you will be spending all of your days playing the slots.

And your choices help you to actually know yourself.

It always helps to go through life actually knowing a little bit about yourself. Makes life more comprehensible.

9/30/2009 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

And I still want to define individual personalites as distinctive geometries.

Everybody is a different 6-dimensional Calabi-Yau manifold. So to speak.

9/30/2009 08:52:00 AM  
Anonymous slackosopher said...

NB-

I see that according to CNN Woody Allen has signed the online petition against the arrest of Roman Polanski.

Impeccable.

9/30/2009 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

JP said "It always helps to go through life actually knowing a little bit about yourself. Makes life more comprehensible."

To flog the image the hand of character passing through the paper of time once more, living a life where you 'know' yourself only from the exterior view of the image passing through the paper, would illustrate the vital minds disintegrated, 'doin' dis and then doin' dat' level of self awareness.

Where as the person who makes an effort to gno themselves, access the additional perspectives of not only the timeless vertical, but of the interior view, a more complete awareness in deeper dimensions, and where the choices don't just happen as random movements popping up here and there, but the exterior images (of choices passing through time) provide containment to the interior understanding, and serve to pull yOu through, and presumably the 'separate' fingers more quickly blending into wholeness.

9/30/2009 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

NB said "holding out knuckles for Van or Cuz to rap"

rrrRAPPPP!!!

(not because you deserved it or anything... just because... well... you offered... and... well... there you go)

9/30/2009 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Gagdad Bob said "It's only rape if a priest does it."

Oh! Does that ever sum it up!

9/30/2009 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

JP said "you will be spending all of your days playing the slots"

Hmmm... you do have a fascinatin with Vegas, don't you?

Might want to be careful, with the Homer quote in mind, 'what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas' sorta takes on a whole nother meaning.

;-)

9/30/2009 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Woody Allen is just defending his class interests. That would be kindergarten class.

9/30/2009 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Besides, he of all people can't condemn Polanski without getting some of that tar on his own self. He's not defending Polanski, he's covering his own ass by proxy.

Don't know what it says about the rest of them, though.

Talk about choices as the motion of character...

9/30/2009 09:26:00 AM  
Anonymous slackosopher said...

Whoopi Goldberg's "defense" is bizarre. How does someone get to the point of even *trying* to defend this? It's one thing to pretend we don't "have all the facts" but this is unbelievable:

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/bighollywood/2009/09/28/whoopi-defends-polanski-it-wasnt-rape-rape/

9/30/2009 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Barack said...

I don't have all the facts, but I think we can all agree that the little girl behaved stupidly.

9/30/2009 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of traumas being relived, this is an interesting story:

"A historian's reported discovery of the wreckage of an Air Force jet lost at sea 54 years ago off the Southern California coast brought an unexpected surge of emotions for the pilot's brother, who found himself grieving all over again."

Also,
Nero turned while Rome burned? (I couldn't resist)

I wonder what that would do to your sense of time, to be in a room that rotates in sync with the earth?

9/30/2009 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

"Gagdad Bob said "It's only rape if a priest does it."

Correction: Then it's 'rape-rape'.

9/30/2009 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

But here again, a different kind of timelessness when a Polish man meets a helpless thirteen-year-old girl. (TW - the Anchoress)

9/30/2009 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Speaking of The Anchoress, she linked to someone yesterday who asked a good question. Are the petition-signers protecting the artist, or their own pedophilia? (past, present, future)

9/30/2009 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Back to the post…

“Rather, a clock measures space…”

So the doomsday clock can be used to measure the size of government and/or Obie’s mouth after all. Multiuse.

I guess you’d have to set the way-back machine pretty far to find the first doe-doe who thought every day may be the same length of time. Whatever that is. And how he proved he wasn’t in fact late for supper. It just felt that way.

9/30/2009 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I saw that Anchoress article yesterday, along with the pertinent observation (at Althouse) that an awful lot of acclaimed movies lately have had themes of pedophilia:

I’m seeing all the well-reviewed year-end movies, and there’s an awful lot of wrong-age sex. “Doubt” is about a priest accused of molesting children. “Benjamin Button,” with its backwards aging character, had scenes of an old man in love with a young girl and an old woman in love with a toddler. “The Reader” had a 36-year-old woman seducing a 15-year-old boy. “Milk” had a man in his 40s pursuing relationships with much younger (and more fragile) men. “Slumdog Millionaire” shows a young teenage girl being sold for sex. I say that Hollywood is delivering pedophiliac titillation with the deniability of artistic pretension.

The worst part about that Slumdog Millionaire one is the father of the little girl in the movie may have actually tried to sell her.

People are f'ed up all over.

9/30/2009 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

Ricky says:

"Speaking of The Anchoress, she linked to someone yesterday who asked a good question. Are the petition-signers protecting the artist, or their own pedophilia? (past, present, future)"

They aren't protecting anything.

They are simply telling us who they really are.

It's a statment of self-identification. And we should believe them.

9/30/2009 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

JP,
You make it sound as if we disagree.

9/30/2009 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Thanks, Julie. I forgot about that one.
I liked Ben Button though. Mostly because I liked the Old Man character and the tug boat attack on the sub. If the message was that "age is not important" they sure went to a lot of trouble and beautiful imagery just to say that. Not saying that wasn't the message..

9/30/2009 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

I'm willing to accept that we are both right, Ricky.

9/30/2009 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

BTW, did Whoopie explain what she meant by rape-rape? All I can figure is she thought that rape-rape was a worse kind than what that monster did to the little girl.
I mean, I know she’s crazy. But what did she think she meant?

9/30/2009 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

JP,
Deal.
:-)

9/30/2009 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Gerard said...

Ring Nebula. You didn't dream it, you went there. Welcome back Klotter.

9/30/2009 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Going back to the imagery of the hourglass, I was just thinking how similar it is to UF's diamond shape, but just ⧖ instead of ⟠. Either way, the middle is where the action is, but it's almost like they're tangential or perpendicular concepts.

9/30/2009 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

Julie said...

"Going back to the imagery of the hourglass..."

It reminded me of the pyramid or cones metaphor, but a slightly different parallel, since the the cones have a mix of matter (black) at one end and the mix of light at the other with the colors in the middle, rather than the poles of earthly dispersal and spiritual. The middle part of the cones (the colors) would be the earthly dispersal of the hour glass. So I'm not sure they relate. It just reminded me of it.

9/30/2009 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

It just occurred to me that UF'f diamond shape might be the thing I just described. If so, then please pardon the complete redundancy! I was (possibly erroneously) thinking the cones were OC-issued, so it was different, but it might have been the one Julie mentioned.

9/30/2009 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Johan's Homer quote (Simpson, the other Homer), has really been rattling around the noggin today.

"...the paradox of the beer being "in us," that we may be "in the beer.""

What does that say about all our other activities, vices especially? You put it's spirits into you, so that you can enter in to it?

I wonder if, when tempted with our foibles and failings, how it might affect our next choices if we were to imagine not the tempting activitiy... or even trying to 'overcome' it, or imagine how sorry we'll be afterwards; but instead if you imagined yourself not only putting that activity into you, but with the result that you can enter in to it?, become one with it..? imagine attaining and becoming that gutter sludge buzz....

Imagine not that it is something you are doing, or have done... but are becoming, entering into, becoming permanently intoxicated with...drink, drug, gambling or [fill in you favorite vice here].

Maybe rereading some Dante would help with the visualizations.

9/30/2009 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yes, that's what I meant.

Not exactly the same, but you have the heavenly realm/ white point at the top and the world/ black point at the bottom. Whereas the hourglass represents time and the middle is the present, with UF the middle represents dispersal/ diversity, etc., still it must all happen in the present.

Different facets reflecting different points of focus, nonetheless the same reality.

Or I could just be speaking authentic frontier gibberish again :)

9/30/2009 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

"God by definition transcends time and is not subject to change."

I wonder if that is why some people resist personal change - they want (or have an identified internal impulse) to 'be like God' rather than humble themselves and submit to a process of change. ...Being proud and idolatrous, or sometimes just a little stubborn which is something grace is good at dealing with. This might be an obvious point. But there are people who seem to stay the same rigidly and those who fluctuate fluidly as they go along. The former would then see sameness as a deification.

But then, are celestial beings (angels) static? This has probably come up here before. If they are, then would change be an earthly-creation thing?

9/30/2009 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Julie said...

"...an awful lot of acclaimed movies lately have had themes of pedophilia..."

Not to mention real life trauma-drama. In Portland there has been the mayoral scandal of Sam Adams and his 'friendonly-before-eighteen' Beau Breedlove, an aid/assistant before becoming mayor. And I just saw an interview in a Portland NW Film Center publication with a 30-something local filmmaker who had his first 'encounter'/relationship with a middle aged man while in high school and he has now made a semi-autobiographical movie about it. Gross, or what??!! So... anyway.

9/30/2009 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

I s'pose I meant local trauma-drama, as the Polanski episode is also real life. In Portland it's been local and in the news on the news ...great. News you don't even want to watch or read about - and the mayor.

9/30/2009 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

:D
There's a reason why I almost never watch local news, no matter where I'm at. It's almost always either total fluff or overblown drama.

Re. celestial beings, my understanding is that being pure verts they are indeed changeless. I don't know that static is the right word, but lacking the element of time they don't grow. (At least, I seem to recall Petey saying something along those lines).

With people who refuse to change, you're right in a way. Often it's an element of pride (confusing man with god, either elevating the self or falsely envisioning the Divine as being fallible), but also it's that kind of crystallization of sin that came up a couple weeks back. Which of course I now can't find anywhere, but if you think of UF's tower, it's a similar concept (again, just going by memory).

9/30/2009 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Oops... I meant to write -

"...and it's the mayor."

Julie,

Yeah, and you can imagine the "you can't make this stuff up" wave when the guy's name hit the airwaves - Beau Breedlove.


"Verts"... I like it. :)
Yeah static might the wrong way to put it. I had originally written 'do not change' but then quickly picked a word in the affirmative. My curiosity was that God is not the only one who is not subject to change, excepting the specifics of fallen once-angels. That was possibly a change of some kind.

9/30/2009 03:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

Lileks is on my Twitter feed.

The guy cracks me up at least 5 times a day. 1 minute ago:


A very skankily attired woman in tight clothes and heels just offered me money to drive her three blocks. Must be a trainee.

9/30/2009 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Anna said...

But then, are celestial beings (angels) static? This has probably come up here before. If they are, then would change be an earthly-creation thing?"

Good question. They do have choices, so perhaps they ain't static static.

9/30/2009 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Looks like Dupree owes me a six-pack. As if he can afford it....

9/30/2009 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Apropos of nothing, this is kind of neat for anyone who has a kid learning to ride a bike this Christmas.

9/30/2009 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

If that study is right, though, it doesn't bode well for the spiritual men out there...

9/30/2009 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Only the ones who don't know about this study.

9/30/2009 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob,
You mention often how you almost don't recognize your posts when digging through the archive. Has it ever crossed your mind, considering the timeless from which the posts were birthed, that you are not qualified to edit or improve on them? I mean, are you the same Bob you were then or rather, is it the same O.
Maybe this question is better directed to Bob's U.

9/30/2009 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Re: the sex study...I don't get how you separate religion from "spirituality." I guess ladies who are loosey-goosey theologically also tend to be, ahem, loose in other areas as well?

And what about factoring in mawiage? I guar-on-tee married "religious" folks are better off in that area. ;)

9/30/2009 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Nice blog post from a homeschooling mom... http://www.aholyexperience.com/2009/09/priorities-things-unseen.html (Turn down speakers if you don't want piano music...nice mellow music, though.)

9/30/2009 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Susannah,

I don't get how you separate religion from "spirituality."

Thanks to the Oprahfication of America, there's a whole generation or two of women who consider themselves "spiritual, but not religious." AKA "free spirits." They tend to pay a lot of attention to Deepak & pals, at least in my experience. Obviously, they're all about the happy molecules...

9/30/2009 07:54:00 PM  
Anonymous prophet666 said...

Roman Polanski is not different from anyone else,let the law take its own course.

9/30/2009 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yes, by all means let him be treated according to the law.

9/30/2009 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Rick:

As far as I can tell, the posts don't suffer from my giving them a second look. After all, editing is the key to good writing. Unless you're Jack Kerouac, in which case the writing is already so perfectly bad that it can't possibly be made worse.

Although I add new stuff, I don't make a lot of radical changes to the existing material. However, I almost always notice something that could be expressed more clearly, or a gag that isn't as funny as I thought it was, or wordplay that goes too far, or an inside joke that's just a little too inside. I like the idea of "jazz theology" -- first take, last take -- but not for its own sake.

I am reminded of Schopenhauer, who wrote only one main book, but kept revising and adding to it for the rest of his life....

9/30/2009 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

One more comparison on the news of the day: A Tale of Two Oscars

9/30/2009 10:21:00 PM  
OpenID kaffepaus said...

"I am reminded of Schopenhauer, who wrote only one main book, but kept revising and adding to it for the rest of his life...."

I like this idea very much. It's like how you add to one's own "book of life", so to speak. And I think this blog is the way you add to the Big Manifest0.

/Johan

10/01/2009 03:11:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Thanks, Bob.
You just considered it from about every angle. I appreciate that. And that you weren’t offended. It wasn’t to suggest someone else was more qualified. More like, can there be an O of the same quality. And I have to say, I think the posts are better too.
Definitely not about “typos” and such.
More like you said, “jazz – first take, last take” maybe.
Or, here’s an example, on Monday morning you are all about apple having just enjoyed one. Friday you are eating an orange while trying to remember the apple. There’s an expiration date on apple. You were better qualifilled on Monday night to know about what you were getting at that morning. Friday, you just think you are.
Here’s another, some people say they see different things than what I thought I was getting at when I write something. If I wasn’t aware of it then…
However, I don't think I'm trying to talk you out of editing your posts. Because you may find something no one saw while doing this.

10/01/2009 04:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You raise a good point. What if I'm an actual prophet, like Muhammed, and I'm just supposed to just dictate what comes down from Petey-Gabriel?

All gagging aside, Bion made the identical point, that since O was in the moment, it was "unrecoverable." This was his objection to most psychoanalytic papers, which contain clinical examples that are just abstract representations of things that are long gone.

I heard Robert Spencer yesterday on Medved, and it occurred to me how fundamentally different Christianity is from Islam, because the Koran is this inerrant body of instruction, whereas Christianity is mainly an event to be meditated upon in the present. At the moment I don't have time to lay out all of the implications that occurred to me, but it made me realize why the Islamic world is so hamstrung by their theology. There's no freedom of vertical movement, so to speak, whereas the event-nature of Christianity guarantees that O is protected. It cannot be reduced to a few instructions, a book of instructions, or even "all the books in the world." In contrast, Islam is in that one book. What a difference!

10/01/2009 06:03:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

New word: Downloafing

Or we can call this topic: Applegate.

(That was a good joke the other morning)

10/01/2009 06:13:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Here's another angle. Just now I looked into the arkive, and the very first one I pulled up caught my attention. It's over two years old, and it was again like reading it for the first time -- it's like a whole new O experience. The thing is, that's actually what I'm always aiming for in my writing, that is, provoking an experience in O. The fact that it works on me is very.... interesting.

The problem is, if I just keep piling on new posts, I'll never have time to read the old ones, which I find quite enjoyable. It's like editing someone else's work -- you know, "perhaps you might put it this way," or "I think you can cut that part out," etc. Of course, I have to be very gentle with the author, who is notoriously sensitive...

10/01/2009 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

One more point about Christianity -- it is an "event" but also a relationship. Both are full of implications....

10/01/2009 06:18:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Try to imagine it without the event.

10/01/2009 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

I love that, Bob...an event and a relationship--with the Living Word.

10/01/2009 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

Bob says:

"The fact that it works on me is very.... interesting."

It means that your posts have actual value.

But I think you knew that already.

And now you know that you can use your posts to.... generate even more valuable posts.

It's all very iterative.

Now, if you would just stop destroying your old posts...

10/01/2009 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Iterative, I like that. They're ALIVE!, like reverse mind parasites.

10/01/2009 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

The fact that it works on me is very.... interesting.

In a way, it gives you a chance to see what we see.

10/01/2009 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, I can see mysoph in the mirror.

10/01/2009 08:00:00 AM  

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