Tuesday, July 26, 2011

O and ʘ Tattooed Across the Knuckles of My Head

If only I could read my mind.

What a hell that would be! Life is only bearable because we do not and cannot completely know ourselves, or anyone else, for that matter. I love the sound of surprise in the morning. For us it is always Raccoon Day, never Groundhog Day.

Know thyself! But not completely. Leave that to the Creator.

This thoughtlet may have nothing to do with the post that is presently aborning, but it spontaneously popped into one of our brains upon reading the following words (by W. R. Mead) at American Digest:

"Something big and earth shaking is going on around us, but the information we have does not allow us to predict where it all goes. In my view, this is one of the reasons that belief in a transcendent power beyond the human mind is intellectually necessary to grapple successfully with the realities of our time. When the determinist progressives threw God under the bus, they threw away the possibility of an integrated world view that has room both for scientific and rational analysis on the one hand and a honest, unsparing appraisal of the radical uncertainty around us on the other."

You know, left brain, right brain, transcendent brain. The meadle way of the intersubjective third appears to be the *point* of the first two, given the impressive size of the corpus callosum, which is our suspension bridge between the she & hemispheres. This is similar to how man and wife do not constitute marriage, but rather, are a declension from this primordial condition.

Thus, it would be an error to say that the transcendent position is merely a "synthesis" or integration of left and right; rather, the left and right hemispheres are a declension from the "total reality" of the third.

Neither one hemisphere nor the other has the "carrying capacity" to contain the cosmos, which is why the scientist has one piece and the poet another piece of aseity. Still, the poet usually gets more.

Say, just what religion do you profess, Bob?

The religion the Almighty and me worked out betwixt us.

I don't know about you, but we are "composed" of soul and body, or form and substance, but here again, these are a declension from something higher. One might say that time is necessary in order for this higher whatever to disclose itself, which it could never do "all at once," any more than one could perform a symphony in an instant by playing all its notes at once.

Balthasar says something similar in writing that "the spirit is veiled from itself in order that it might seek and find itself, not in itself, but in the infinite spirit that created it and that alone is perfect self-possession." Thus, the seeking is, orthoparadoxically, simultaneously "exterior" to us, and yet, interior.

This goes to what we were saying yesterday about the dialectic of our individualism and social-ism. Note that Jesus' own kenosis, or self-emptying, must represent a kind of analogue of the kenosis represented by creation itself. The kenosis actually "takes place" within the Godhead, as it were, as one gives all to two, and two back to one.

Therefore, as Balthasar notes, "spirit's self-possession is inseparable from the primary self-dispossession, entailed in its dependence upon external objects. Receptivity is thus like a deep, unclosable breach opened up in the closed circle of being-for-itself."

In short, a kind of paradox: "Only by welcoming things from the outside and remaining open to them, only by being given over to the service of what is other than itself, can man's spirit lay claim to a being of its own" (ibid.).

So let's give it up for the Creator!

I hope this isn't sounding too lowdown heideggerical, but what this essentially means is that the "fuel" of the cosmic gyrescape is the "self-dispossession" that seeks completeness via incompleteness, or independence via dependence. Or, in the recreational pharmulation of the Beatles, "The love you take is equal to the love you make," as it were.

Now, we can only be open to one another (i.e., horizontally) if we are first open to God (i.e., vertically), whether we like to think of it that way or not. Again, I do not make the rules. But no matter how "close" we may feel to the other, our solitude is "sealed forever by the incommunicability of spirit."

However, I would qualify this by saying that there can be no true communion with others in the absence of the unifying "higher third" referenced above. Indeed, what is this blog but a site for soirees where we see together with the third eye?

The same goes triple for the transcendent "body of Christ" of which the universal church is composed (including the sheep not of our folderal).

Think of the (admittedly impossible) alternative, of a universe of all-knowing spirits. This would be as boring as a MENSA meeting or as tedious as any Ivy League fatuity lounge.

For one thing, it would be "devoid of mystery," such that "every conversation, every exchange between these freest of entities would be restricted to a communication of something already known and possessed; it would therefore be superfluous" (ibid.).

Yes, but what we all want to know is, how does this affect Bob? Well, I started blogging almost six years ago, in October 2005. By November 2005 it was getting to be a grind, because there was nothing left for me to say. At that point I gave up trying, and simply dispossessed my Self of myself. So you could say that it's been non-stop bullshitting since then, but never say that it hasn't been empty bullshitting.

34 Comments:

Blogger William said...

Smoke another J, Bob. Keep it flowing.

7/26/2011 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

It is a good day for cOOl head tattoos.

7/26/2011 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Well, that is a flat strange cooncidence. Not to mention the fact that the butterfly is my favorite animal, and that it has a lot personal significance for me. Whenever I see one pass by, I feel as if I've received a little cosmic benediction.

7/26/2011 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of Night of the Hunter, it's available for streaming on Amazon, if anybody's innerested...

Only by welcoming things from the outside and remaining open to them, only by being given over to the service of what is other than itself, can man's spirit lay claim to a being of its own

To serve is to love...

7/26/2011 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

This is probably just asking for trouble, but I can't help wondering what Billy's objection is today. I mean, I know he knows himself all the time, but does he really think he knows himself? Is that the problem? Or does he disagree that it takes to halves to make a whole lot more than one?

Regardless, I unironically agree with his comment: do keep imbibing those spirits, and keep it flowing...

7/26/2011 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

it takes two halves; pimf

7/26/2011 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

...rather, the left and right hemispheres are a declension from the "total reality" of the third.

This is a good summation of what I've been getting from your last few posts. It has been sounding the gong consistently.

As Lincoln might say, send a bale of whatever he's smoking to rest of us.

7/26/2011 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Dougman said...

"At that point I gave up trying, and simply dispossessed my Self of myself."

That's the sticking point for me.
I can't seem to get beyond myself to find my Self.
I thought I had at one time, and maybe I did, and then found my lower self along with "seven spirits stronger than myself."

At any rate, I feel "locked up" inside an inability to articulate much of anything.

wv:billymou- Sorry, wrong number WV.

7/26/2011 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

For be it from me to offer advice in this area, but since you mentioned "seven spirits", I believe Jesus was suggesting there that the approach of legalism and self-discipline is generally not particularly fruitful.

Did you ever watch Mickey's "Sorcerer's Apprentice" bit in "Fantasia"? Mickey is sort of like myself. He can't really control the power that he can be given. He's an adequate apprentice but far worse than worthless -- truly destructive, as a master.

(Proof again that most of my knowledge has been gained from cartoons.)

7/26/2011 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Works for me, Mushroom - everything I ever needed to know about trolls I learned from Bugs Bunny ;)

7/26/2011 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Dougman said...

Or maybe I just have a case of writers block.

Mushroom:
I'm probably in the wrong context with the spirits thing.

7/26/2011 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"What a hell that would be! Life is only bearable because we do not and cannot completely know ourselves, or anyone else, for that matter. I love the sound of surprise in the morning.

Know thyself! But not completely. Leave that to the Creator."

Ha-ha! Perfect. No wonder willian ran right to the comments... must of felt like fingernails scraping down his slackbored.

run...run... run....

7/26/2011 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"At any rate, I feel "locked up" inside an inability to articulate much of anything."

I know it's not much consolation Dougman but I feel the same way more often than I care to admit (to myself).

Whenever I hatch a plan to escape from allthatjazz it may work, but is the swamp better? In a way it's like prison but bigger and boggier.

Of course the swamp does have better music (swamp music is much better than the hoosegow hodown, IMO) so there is that.
And crawdads.

Some might say the swamp is akin to the desert (but wetter n' muddier). There may be somethin' to that.

I reckon the Jews thought of the desert as a prison of sorts. Several even wanted to return to Egypt and their former chains which leads me to believe that the desert (or swamp) ain't all fun n' games and really does feel like prison or worse in some ways.

It often feels that way anyhow.
Particularly since the pain we don't know is always more scarier than the pain we do know.
Mystery can be awesome but it can also be very frightening.

I suppose knowing the difference and faith is what keeps us from going back to those same, familiar chains...at least for long.

But I would be lyin' if I said it feels easier to be a prisoner on the outside than a prisoner on the inside.

"If only I could read my mind.

What a hell that would be! Life is only bearable because we do not and cannot completely know ourselves, or anyone else, for that matter."

I concur with Bob who says it much better than I ever could.
Time to embrace the surprise spirit O the day and trudge on to the beat of that swamp music.

7/26/2011 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Some might say the swamp is akin to the desert (but wetter n' muddier).

:D

I'll be finding that one out within the year, depending on how far inland we end up...

7/26/2011 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"You know, left brain, right brain, transcendent brain. The meadle way of the intersubjective third appears to be the *point* of the first two, given the impressive size of the corpus callosum, which is our suspension bridge between the she & hemispheres."

My wife was just sayin' the other day: "men are lucky they don't have shemispheres" (edited for relavence-ed).

Which is no doubt true. Sure, they would would be fun to play with but we would never get anything else done.

OTOH, women are lucky they don't have hemispheres (so are babies)!
Imagine breastfeeding with these little boogers.
Okay, don't really imagine it. That's sick!

My point is...my...point...is...darn, I lost my train of thought.

"Hey there Honey."

Sorry, gotta go. It's time to explore those shemispheres. :^)

7/26/2011 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Apropos,

"Men are less free than they imagine; ah, far less free. The freest are perhaps least free."

Ben, :)

7/26/2011 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Julie!

There be swamps in Arizona? Or do you mean past Arizona to the swamps?

Good luck on your move!

7/26/2011 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Alas! The shemispheres are eclipsed this mornin'. :^(

7/26/2011 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger vanderleun said...

If I could only read my mind's 0
What a tail my oughts could spell
Just like an old time doobie
Smoked by hosts that from heaven fell
In a city park with a flasher's schlong
Whose pains lie inside his tweet
You know that host is twee
And one never will be three
As long as there's a face on toast that you can't see.

7/26/2011 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Skully sez: D.H. was one funny wise guy.

7/26/2011 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Vanderleun: Ha ha! Excellent! :^)

7/26/2011 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Skully sez: Shemispheres...is there anything they can't do?

7/26/2011 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

OK NOW! JUST HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU PEOPLE THINK A KEYBOARD CAN BE WIPED DOWN BEFORE IT FRIES OUT!!!


Sheesh.


wv: sheste
Ben, I think that one's for you

7/26/2011 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Ben - assuming things go as intended, we're heading to someplace near Miami. I doubt beachfront property is within our range, though, which pretty much leaves the swamp...

7/26/2011 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Van! Thanks!

You know, I would be happy to send you a custom made keyboard splash guard free of charge!*

*Nominal shipping and handling fee applies.**

**If you act NOW I'll include a free drawing of a raccoon (Patti says it looks like a manatee but she don't know good art).

7/26/2011 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Julie: Cool beans! I lived in Hollywood for a few years (suburb of Miami) when I was a kid.

It's a veritable paradise for boys since the bugs n' reptiles are all big.
Of course, there are some snakes there boys ain't meant to play with.
I picked up a coral snake once but thankfully, it didn't bite me.
My stepdad freaked out!

It was the only venomous snake I ever found though, and believe me, I looked. So it is rather rare except in the everglades.
BTW, take an airboat into the glades when you get there.
It's awesome!

I hope you get a chance to meet Joan! :^)

7/26/2011 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Cool! I'm less concerned about the poisonous snakes than the imported pythons. Having seen my share of slitherers out here, even those don't bother me much. I do think it'll be a great place for L to grow up. There's so much to explore out there :)

7/26/2011 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Indeed, what is this blog but a site for soirees where we see together with the third eye?"

Skully sez: And a third aye to boot!

7/26/2011 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger Skorpion said...

Interesting that you referred to The Night of the Hunter in today's post. I've always considered the Robert Mitchum and Lillian Gish to be personifications of Negative and Positive Verticality, respectively.

7/26/2011 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, good point, especially as they relate to children. One of my favorite films. Although I wouldn't call it perfectly realized, some of the scenes and images are unforgettable.

7/26/2011 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And in case anyone cares, the title of today's post is a reference to the Clash's reference to the film in Death or Glory.

7/26/2011 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"... just another story"

7/26/2011 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Thanks for bringing up The Night Hunters today - I finally watched it, thanks to streaming video. I can see why you like it.

***

One might say that time is necessary in order for this higher whatever to disclose itself, which it could never do "all at once," any more than one could perform a symphony in an instant by playing all its notes at once.

Someone, probably Vanderleun, posted the following quote recently (paraphrased):

"We are not pushed by the past, but pulled by the future."

On the one hand, that's true, but still it is the totality that matters, not just the climactic ending. Just as the entire Symphony can't be played at once, it is equally impossible to have a symphony that is only its final chords, or even its final measure. Even if, sometimes, the whole can be recognized by hearing one of its parts. For instance, the opening chord to A Hard Day's Night: while iconic, it is still impossible for anyone familiar with the song to hear it without instantly hearing what comes after.

7/26/2011 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger Cond0010 said...

"By November 2005 it was getting to be a grind, because there was nothing left for me to say. At that point I gave up trying, and simply dispossessed my Self of myself. So you could say that it's been non-stop bullshitting since then, but never say that it hasn't been empty bullshitting. "

As Gerard Van Der Luen said of Sippican Cottage earlier, it is Riffing, Bob.

http://americandigest.org/mt-archives/critical_mass/the_natural_1.php

So... Keep with the improvisation solo's, Bob.

Keep Riffing. :)

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Riff

7/27/2011 12:19:00 AM  

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