Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Strawberry Walrus Never Knows

As I've mentioned in the past, one of the influences on the One Cosmos method -- Method? I don't see any method at all, sir.

Ahem. One of the influences on the One Cosmos method (not content) was the free-ranging fertile egghead and stoned philosopher, Terence McKenna, whose peculiar late-night riffing first alerted me to the centrality of language to transdimensional communication, while I was otherwise occupied stocking shelves on the graveyard shift at Malibu Market Basket, store 81.

The above -- "language is central to transdimensional communication" -- is a tautology, of course, like saying that language is important to language. Nevertheless. We live in so many different intelligible worlds, that it's easy to forget -- or to imagine that just one type of language is sufficient to cover the waterfront and back, both inside and out.

There is more or less horizontal, person-to-person communication, which can be exterior and superficial, or which can take on degrees of interiority, depth, and intimacy.

Then there is scientific communication, say, of what goes on down there in the micro world of atomic and subatomic reality, or the language of DNA. There is artistic communication, either in word, sound, or image, "body language," even just good or bad vibes.

And yet, it's all word in some form or fashion, i.e., something transmitted and received, something intelligible to intelligence.

McKenna often spoke of the development of what he called a "more perfect logos." I just googled the phrase, and in this talk, he says that

"the world arrives at the surface of our skin as a seamless body of electromagnetic and acoustical and pheromonal data. It’s just that our eyes, our nostrils, our ears, our skin, we break up this incoming flow of data. And now we’re close to McLuhan country here: I think what this hints at is that print skewed our perceptual apparatus, our style of parsing perceptual data, toward the acoustic space. So that for us, thought became a voice… you know? And very early in the Western tradition, this is so. Jehovah is a voice in the Old Testament; the Logos is a voice. In Hellenistic philosophy, we are the People of the Voice. But apparently, you know, there is a passage in Philo Judaeus where he talks about the etymology of the word Israel, and he says “Israel means He who sees God” -- he who sees God. And then he poses the question to himself: “What is the more perfect Logos?” And then he says, “The more perfect Logos is that Logos which goes from being heard to being seen, without ever passing over a moment of noticeable transition.”

Elsewhere in the talk he speaks of encountering "linguistic objects" during his chemical adventures, which he compares to "three- and four- and five-dimensional puns. And you know how the pleasure of a pun lies in the fact that it is… it’s not that the meaning flickers from A to B; it’s that it’s simultaneously A and B, and when the pun is really funny it’s an A, B, C, D pun; and it’s simultaneously all these things… well, that quality, which in our experience can only occur to an acoustical output or a glyph which stands for an acoustical output -- in other words, a printed pun -- in the DMT world, objects can do this. Objects can simultaneously manifest more than one nature at once. And, something like a pun, the result is always funny. It’s amusing! You cannot help but be delighted by this thing doing this thing."

So if you want to trace the origin of our annoying freevangelical pundamentalism, McKenna would be it (although he in turn was greatly influenced by Finnegans Wake). However, he and I parted ways with his reliance upon chemistry to develop the method of 5-D linguistics. I, on the other hand, not only wanted to see if it might be possible for a punformational techgnosistry to be accomplished on the natch, but wanted to, in a manner of speaking, transmit a kind of "contact high" via my exalted and hopped up wranting.

I mean, what are they going to say, man, when he's gone, huh? Because he dies, when it dies, man, when it dies, he dies. What are they going to say about him? What, are they going to say, he was a kind man, he was a wise man, he had plans, he had wisdom? Bullshit, man! Am I going to be the one, that's going to set them straight? Look at me: wrong! You! You were the one!

Weird, I know, but there it is. Another big influence was John Lennon, who was uniquely capable of translating his chemical adventures into word and sound, at least in 1966 and 1967, e.g., Tomorrow Never Knows, Strawberry Fields, and I Am the Walrus.

Just as it is possible to consider the evolution of science as the evolution of language, so too is it possible to regard the evolution of Spirit in this manner.

Consider the language spoken by the biosphere. According to standard Darwinism, what really "evolves" is just the genetic code, which speaks new and different organisms. Thus, a human being is just a more complicated sentence. In one sense this is surely true, since it obviously takes a lot more time and trouble to speak a man than a worm.

Likewise, the physical world speaks to us in mathematical equations, or the periodic table of elements. Here it is difficult to know which is more shocking, the communication or the comprehension, but the truth is that the one cannot exist in the absence of the other.

The evolution of science itself can be seen as the evolution of language, which gradually penetrates more deeply into phenomena. For example, the language of quantum physics proceeds deeper than the language of Newtonian physics, but no one pretends that we have reached the end of the line. For one thing, physicists haven't yet discovered a meta-language that unifies the languages of relativity and quantum theories, or macro with micro.

But as soon as one thinks about it, nor is there -- supposedly -- any language that unifies, say, the interior and exterior worlds, the worlds of quantity and quality, the subject and the object. Or is there?

Revelation, for example, is supposedly a language that reconciles Absolute and relative, Creator and creation, God and man. Now, irrespective of one's personal opinion of this or that scripture, the interesting question -- as far as we are concerned -- is whether this kind of language is possible. For if it is possible, then we have to do something about it! And this blog, of course, is my best shot.

Another way of saying it is that if this type of language is possible, then it is necessary. In other words, if it didn't exist, then we'd have to invent it, if only to maintain our sanity. And that is precisely what our secular sophisticates tell us: that we simply make this s*it up. So smoke another J, Bob. Keep it flowing.

There are two main sections of the bʘʘk in which I attempt to develop a better logos, one of them "saturatedly unsaturated," the other "unsaturatedly saturated." In other words, in both cases there is an intentional dialectic between symbols and suprasensible things. The former applies to the Cosmogenesis and Cosmobliteration sections, in which we are attempting to go where words cannot (supposedly) take us, which is to say, "before" and "after" language, into the Word itself.

The latter applies to subsection 4.2, Building a Better Logos: Insert Your Deity Here. This is because the abstract symbols are "empty categories," emphasis on both empty and category. In other words, their purpose is to clear a space where suprasensible meaning is then free to coalesce. But this is not just "any old meaning," as in the case of, say, existentialism. Rather, this is the space of "vertical recollection," in which we receive a memoir of the future or premonition of the past.

Now, if we consider the world from the vertical perspective, and posit a kind of spectrum from infraconscious Ø to ultraconscious O, then the question of whether there are discontinuities will depend upon our point of view. Looked at from the bottom up, then there are indeed a number of shocking discontinuities, for example, from matter to life, or life to mind.

But considered from the top down, these discontinuities not only disappear, but the diverse degrees of being are necessary implications of having a manifestation at all. In other words, since the cosmos is not the Absolute, but a reflection thereof, it necessarily includes every degree of being, from the lowest to highest.

Just as there are (obviously) beings that exist between matter and man, there are beings who exist between man and God. We call these "angels," but if that term disturbs you, we can call them archetypes, or Platonic ideas, or universals.

However, if you agree with the premise that the source of Life is at the top, not bottom, of the cosmos, then it is no great leap to infer that they are "alive." Rather, it would require some sort of discontinuous leap to explain how the archetypes can be there at all, can interact with us, and yet, be "dead." How did these nonlocal attractors get there? And why are they so compelling? Why do they order our lives, even if we try to escape them?

In Theo-Logic, Balthasar discusses these entities, which, in our opinion, must exist in any full-employment cosmos. He writes that "An angel's word must be like the work of an earthly artist, which rises above every convention of its expressive medium and bears on its brow the sign of creative uniqueness. Just as this symphony can be only by Haydn or Mozart, so too an angelic word can be spoken only be this angel."

Here we begin to converge upon the mysterious source of our own cosmic uniqueness and individuality, which, again, cannot come from "below," but only above. It is another way of saying that each person is an absolutely unique word -- or sentence, or paragraph, or novel -- that is both spoken and heard (which are again two sides of the same complementarity).

Balthasar continues: "Corresponding to the freedom to speak there is a freedom to hear that we must bear in mind: the attitude of self-surrender on the part of the speaker presupposes a corresponding attitude of surrender in the listener. Without an element of confident faith that relies upon the truth, it is inconceivable that even a pure spirit could hear and listen."

If you have followed me this far, then you now understand why it is necessary for us to surrender to the one who is speaking us, in order to receive and comprehend the message, or unpack his presence.

That is all. You can exhale now, neighbor.

30 Comments:

Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Don't tempt me into buying Balthasar too. I know you are cherrypicking quotes that even a genius can understand. Fool me five times, shame on me!

But yeah, spiritual offroad recycling does get more fun as one gets more fluent in it, somewhat like playing an instrument or speaking a language.

wv:rayinese - OK, perhaps not that language.

7/27/2011 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I'm pretty sure you're the only person who could throw together Terence McKenna, John Lennon, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Dennis Hopper, and come up with such perfect nonsense. Keep it flowing.

***

the world arrives at the surface of our skin as a seamless body of electromagnetic and acoustical and pheromonal data. It’s just that our eyes, our nostrils, our ears, our skin, we break up this incoming flow of data.

Ah ha - the terminal moraine of the senses...

7/27/2011 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Magnus - HvB's big books Theo-Logic, Theo-Drama, etc. - can be pretty dense. You might try Heart of the World, which is a much more experiential sort of reading...

7/27/2011 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Julie:

That is indeed part of the point, that, whether one likes it or hates it, no one else could have written this post, and yet, I want it to convey universal meaning. The ultimate case of the unification of absolute and particular is, of course, the Incarnation.

7/27/2011 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

...and yet, I want it to convey universal meaning.

Works for me, but of course I'm only a particular.

As to the verbal contact high, of course it's a real thing. The right words have the ability to open doors in the mind of another in a way that, I suspect, is far more powerful than any mere chemical experience. In fact, it is chemical, since the word must become meaning in the mind of the hearer, and once taken in (and either understood or misunderstood) the brain responds physically. Heck, just think of the reaction one has upon hearing the words "I love you." Depending on the speaker and the context, all sorts of crazy things happen physically, which can cause everything from euphoria to dread.

And when words help to open one's mind to the Absolute, there truly is a contact high - not because of the words themselves, but because of the greater proximity to that which Is.

7/27/2011 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"Heck, just think of the reaction one has upon hearing the words "I love you." Depending on the speaker and the context, all sorts of crazy things happen physically, which can cause everything from euphoria to dread.."

..to a mighty big matzo ball hanging out there.

Bet know one's ever said that before!

7/27/2011 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

In Raccoon-0-sphere, you don't smoke J; J smokes you.

7/27/2011 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

As an aside, Magnus, I just wanted you to know that we have been praying for you and Norway.

7/27/2011 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

The reality of the angelic has always been something I have struggled even -- maybe, especially as a Christian. I can intellectually acknowledge the existence of both unfallen and fallen but that's about it. Living archetype may help me -- which is not that different than how Lewis depicted them in particular in his Space Trilogy.

7/27/2011 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Same hear, Mush.
But they're getting better at me.

7/27/2011 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Really good J at 10:00am, btw.

7/27/2011 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Was hearing my middle brother talk to me the other day about his concern that he wasn't leaving anything behind. Legacy. Doesn't have any kids of his own and wants to leave something to my son. I told him how my son already thinks the world of him. And of how you say, Bob, that Jesus never even wrote anything down. Just words is what he left us. But today's post hears that a little bit clearer. He didn't leave words, He left received words.

7/27/2011 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"The evolution of science itself can be seen as the evolution of language, which gradually penetrates more deeply into phenomena."

I like that a lot. I've long thought that our senses should include our language, for it's only through language that we can know what is beyond the apparent.

Hume, couldn't 'see' causality, so he figured it either didn't exist or couldn't be known to exist. But had he paid attention to the knowledge his language enabled him to learn, understand... and ignore, he could have grasped and understood causality and not helped to cause the madness of modernity.

Argh.

" ♫ ♪ ♬ What are words for, when no one listens anymore ♬ ♪ ♫"

wv: putor
(It's begining to know itself!)

7/27/2011 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

That's a good point. Hume and his intellectual progeny exhibit what you could almost call retardation, except it looks strangely willful.

7/27/2011 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I second it.

7/27/2011 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Rick - I'm out & about so can't link just now, but this song just came up and resonated with your comment: "Silent House" by Crowded House. Look it up if you can, but you might want some Kleenex handy; lots of chemistry in that one...

7/27/2011 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"We live in so many different intelligible worlds, that it's We live in so many different intelligible worlds, that it's easy to forget -- or to imagine that just one type of language is sufficient to cover the waterfront and back, both inside and out."

"Stella!"

Act yada, scene yada
In/On The Waterfront

"Stellar!"

Act yada, seen yada
In/On The One Cosmos

Skully, Thespeein Extraordinare

7/27/2011 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And Stella is related to stellar, star, and celestial, while Stanley is related to stone....

7/27/2011 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Thanks so much, Julie. There's a great live version hear.

Middle brother is a big fan of Crowded House, if I remember.

7/27/2011 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie, nice one at 9:34.

Also, about the language (which re-presents the concepts), and Hume, modern autistics and the George Carlinesque withdrawn & biter cynics mentioned the other day.

It seems like failing to trust reality, withdraws and narrows the available scenery for you to (with a flavoring of HVB) inter-act with. Failing to trust your language to enable you to fully experience the world outside of yourself ("your outside is in, your inside is out..."), is going to enclose you in a box of your own projected perceptions.

How could anybody know anything at all, when placed under such severe restrictions? You couldn't possibly trust even (and especially) yourself as far as you could throw you... the only option open when you can't Know, is the cheap knock-off counterfeit of the cynic's No.

* you no the possibility of anything existing,
* you no you could know it even if it did,
* you no that however others seem to be, they can only be what you fear them to be.

Talk about a recipe for withdrawing your involvement from life, severing your connection to, and possibility of integrating with anyone or anything - what a closed, cramped... restricted life that must be to 'live' in.

If the only alternative to knowing, is no-ing, what option do they leave themselves open to, other than bitterness?

I suppose willian's driven 'choice' is about it... run.

7/27/2011 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Rick - re. the song, thanks. I hadn't seen that version.

7/27/2011 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Jeannette said...

"it obviously takes a lot more time and trouble to speak a worm than a man. " ?
Did you mean vice versa ?

7/27/2011 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes. Just wanted to make sure you were paying attention.

7/27/2011 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger Jason T. said...

Interesting. Am currently on page 89 of "True Hallucinations" from our dear friend Terrence. Loving it by the way. He just elaborated on the possibility of a "translinguistic hyper-fluid" which, in cooperation with the sound waves produced by vocalization, can create raw physical material. Tasty.

Here, have a toke of this:

Fuck it.
I’m gonna play the part of a prophet
Wandering the land hands to heart
And head to sky.
Empty of religion, overcome with love
And naturally high.

For those of you that don’t know
That means my pineal gland,
Sometimes referred to as the third-eye,
Will secrete small doses of dimethyltryptamine
Upon a concentrated act of will,
Thereby granting visionary experiences
And preparing me to die.

‘Cause sometimes the dream needs to be de-materialized.
As when the desensitized masses are starved for a fast,
An altered state of mind induced by devotion
To something larger than oneself.

Then, when I’m ready,
I’m gonna swing from the night on a summer breeze
And land on mountain flats;
Dance around the planet with stars under my arms
And moons in my hands;
Ring Saturn with nightmares and rip space in half;
Trade punches with the living and play spades with the dead;
Because I see what no one else sees,
From the eyes of a sinner that can only be named Me.

And who am I?
I am Apocalypse turning back.
I am a whirlwind of devotion dedicated to self-evolution
And future family man.
I am sun-dried leaves on a gusty afternoon
Roaming the streets like bare-footed children
Of a war-torn country.
I am dreamer extraordinaire.
I’m at least ninety-seven percent monkey
And one percent alien.
I am Spirit and Light, Flesh and Blood,
Earth and Water, Air and Fire.
I am King, Warrior, Magician, Lover.
I am the all-singing all-dancing crap of the world.
I am demon, Devil, and Mara,
Shiva, Jesus, and Buddha,
And I am brother, son, friend, and stranger.

Now come hold my hand and walk with me to a new land
Where the center is felt in every touch,
Tasted in every kiss, and beheld in every moment.
Where a constellation of spirits
Swirl in galactic rotations
As an enterprise of selfless action.
Where Time stands still upon command.
Where dominion is regarded as the greatest responsibility
Of Humanity.
Where all are free to see the prophecy emanating
Eternally from the first Word
And we give birth to new worlds with every generation.

Call me madman
I don’t give a damn,
‘Cause from where I stand impossible is nothing,
And UFOs travel in the light of the sun.

7/27/2011 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Cond0010 said...

"And that is precisely what our secular sophisticates tell us: that we simply make this s*it up. So smoke another J, Bob. Keep it flowing."

...and yet he keeps coming for more servings of your 'gibberish'. Hmmm... his duality is most interesting.

Perhaps it is like the fixation of John Claggart's hatred of Billy Budd.

Hmmmm.... hmmm....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Budd

7/28/2011 01:08:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0010 said...

"An angel's word must be like the work of an earthly artist, which rises above every convention of its expressive medium and bears on its brow the sign of creative uniqueness. Just as this symphony can be only by Haydn or Mozart, so too an angelic word can be spoken only be this angel." - Balthasar

Whoa.

http://celebs.icanhascheezburger.com/2008/12/04/celebrity-pictures-frankenstein-good-sht/

ah... to become a living archtype... quite difficult, I would say.

It's simple to make things complex, its complex to make things simple.

Simple enough to be one... word?

"Then he raised up both his hands, and in one chord, deeper than the Abyss, higher than the Firmament, piercing as the light of the eye of Ilúvatar, the Music ceased."

http://a.da.mek.sweb.cz/tolkien.jrr/ainulind.htm

Would that one word be our true (and unique) name, Bob?

7/28/2011 01:13:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

Ann C. fact-checkmates Xtian bashing NYT:
http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2011-07-27.html

7/28/2011 04:09:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Cond0010, thanks for the link to The Music of the Ainur, I'd no idea any of that was online.

Do you know how many times I've tried holding the book in one hand while pecking sections of it out with the other?

Sheesh.

7/28/2011 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger David R. Graham said...

My (1943) Terence McKenna was John Cage. But that was only the beginning.

"… it’s not that the meaning flickers from A to B; it’s that it’s simultaneously A and B, and when the pun is really funny it’s an A, B, C, D pun; and it’s simultaneously all these things… "

Simultaneity as best expressed in sound and grasped aurally (OM) compelled Cage. Opened my world, broke me off from my generation and those that followed, who looked, sounded and smelled thereafter puny and prissy to me.

Concur, "boomers" are a blight. I support death panels for that reason, and they would delete me as well.

Only quibble with your temporal demarcation of boomers is that they started with their parents in the 20s and especially 30s and hatched in the 40s and 50s fully grown meanies. MO is right about that, though tart that she is she joined their game to beat them at it.

The boomers are mean because they have never other than tried to beat the world at its own game. Like their parents, boomers laughed at and mocked renunciation and detachment. They still do. They have produced fine airplanes and wines and combat assets -- their parents (ARPA-DARPA produced the internet -- but they failed to produce the world-historical utopia they hoped to produce from 1968, that being the core of their self-description.

Boomers are a failed generation, in their own terms of what they claimed to be about. They are a successful generation, so far, in what they really were about, namely, self-centeredness. Love is not in the boomer generation, only extraction.

Few Americans have experienced a mother's love. That is the fault of the boomers, who should have improved upon the plate they were handed by their parents, through renunciation and detachment. Now they are facing elimination by their own selfishness. I have no sympathy for them and am willing to succumb to the death panels because they will also take down that very bad lot. Our younger generations will be blessed to have the boomers tucked six feet under or strewn on the hills and waters.

7/28/2011 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Cond0010 said...

Van - Heh.

7/28/2011 09:20:00 PM  

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