Clear Spheres & Rubish Cubes
That little gem was plucked from Gilson's Thomist Realism and the Critique of Knowledge, which I would like to transfer from the cerebral inbox to the blogging outbox so as to move on to the next subject, which will likely be Meditations on the Tarot. But probably not Monday, since I'm going in for a nuclear treadmill early that morning. (It's my tri-annual Immortality Reassurance Tour.)
I can't say that I would commend TR & the C of K to your noggin, since it has an awful lot of inside beanball, meaning that he responds to critics of his Methodical Realism by chucking some chapter-length verbal heat right under those wagging chins.
However, history has already knocked these mediocretins off the plate by consigning them to the great Bin of Irrelevance, so it's like throwing chin music to Mario Mendoza. Why bother? Let Clio even the score. She's like Greg Maddux: looks easy to hit, but few thinkers can get it past the infield.
Now, that quote at the top goes to what we've been saying about the R --> L --> R --> L --> R brain-to-brain spiral movement. We routinely find ourselves in the position of harboring a couple of independent insights in the left brain. But how to reconcircle them?
Seems to me that it can only by accompliced via the right, which, according to McGilchrist, can take the left into consideration, while the left cannot reciprocate.
This is because the left brain is more linear, while the right is more spherical, so to speak, and you can fit any number of lines into that sphere (which, we should point out, is not a closed sphere, but open, so that its center is everywhere even while its circumference is nowhere, man).
Indeed, this is one of the reasons why O looks like an O, why my book is shaped the way it is, and why the slang term for the non-raccoon is "cube" -- as in "Richard Dawkins. What a cube!"
Conversely, some famous spheres -- in addition to Thelonious -- would be Pseudo Dionysius, or Maximus, or Eriugena, or Eckhart. Each of these men is quite spherical, and a couple of them got into some real trouble with the religious (and musical) cubes of their day.
Eckhart: "Being is God's circle, and in this circle all creatures exist." Or "In my flowing-out I entered creation. In my Breakthrough I re-enter God."
Similarly, Ruusbroec speaks of how "giving birth and flowing back into unity is the work of the Trinity"; or Eriugena of "the unexhausted diffusion" of the Godhead "from itself in itself back to itself."
Bernard "Bernie Mac" McGinn, Mr. 2000 Years of Christian Mysticism: "In the circle of love that forms the Dionysian universe we have a God who becomes ecstatic in procession and a universe whose ecstasy is realized in reversion."
I could go on and on, and would like to, but I'm starting to run out of linear time. Let me conclude with McGilchrist's circular argument for a commodius vicus of cosmic recirculation:
"The left hemisphere loves straight lines, not curves or circles."
In contrast, "the processing of the right hemisphere is that of the circle, and its movement is characteristically 'in the round,' the phrase we use to describe something that is seen as a whole, and in depth.... There are strong affinities between the idea of wholeness and roundedness."
Also, "the images of movement within stasis and of stasis within movement, are reflected in the circle, as they are in the movement of water, ever flowing, and ever reflected in the circle..."
Van Gogh: "life is probably round."
Yeah, probably. But not in a Nietzschean way, which he may not have realized, or else he wouldn't have tried to end it.
A musical dream of Thelonious Sphere: