Friday, January 25, 2013

Clear Spheres & Rubish Cubes

"When two or more independent insights cross," wrote Henri Bergson, "a new philosophy is born."

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:

31 Comments:

Blogger Skorpion said...

All this talk of curves and angles reminds me of this classic horror-SF tale.

1/25/2013 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

All this talk of curves reminds me of my theory of geometric computation, wherein instead of 1's and 0's, we would use squiggly lines, so to speak.

1/25/2013 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

The Newtonian worldview only uses half a brain, then.

1/25/2013 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

"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."

I'm pretty sure that this was laid out in the Star Trek episode where Q wanted to kill himself because life was round in a Nietzschean way.

1/25/2013 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Bad infinity.

1/25/2013 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0011 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1/25/2013 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Circling the Brain. Good title for a book.

1/25/2013 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I assume there must be such a thing as "too right-brained". Was that Van Gogh's problem, or part of it?

1/25/2013 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Speaking of Parmenides (previous thread), he describes Being as like "the mass of a rounded sphere, equally distant from the centre at every point."

1/25/2013 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

"I assume there must be such a thing as "too right-brained". Was that Van Gogh's problem, or part of it?"

I'm pretty sure that there is.

However, I don't think that cultures can be too right brained in the same way that people can because the lack of linear though quickly loses to anybody else who has any.

1/25/2013 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Dont miss this new
Mamet

1/25/2013 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

This is probably tangential, but I just discovered there is such as a thing as the Finnegan's Wiki...

1/26/2013 04:25:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

What's the firstest perfectest circle of roundedness of [all] our lives?? Obvious: the Sun

1/26/2013 05:41:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0011 said...

That was an awful crack I said about Van Gogh - and he didn't deserve it: A tormented soul who painted some very nice paintings.

Though he was loved, its a shame that no one could reach him. :(

1/26/2013 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

hmmmm, a newish amazon MOT review I coulda almost writ [regulars'll see why]:

"I am a mystic-philosopher and writer. Over the past forty years, I have read well over a thousand texts from the various spiritual traditions, both East and West. In my opinion, Meditations on the Tarot ranks as one of the finest esoteric spiritual texts ever and as must reading for serious mystics, Christian or otherwise. The book is not only is a treasure trove of profound insights into mystical and occult Dharma, it is also a delightful read thanks to the soaring yet intimate prose of its "anonymous" author, Valentin Tomberg.

Although I don't share Tomberg's parochial view that esoteric Christianity alone represents the highest or ultimate spiritual Dharma, I do share his view that the Eucharist, the practice of Holy, or Divine, Communion is the highest or ultimate spiritual practice. But this practice is not unique to Christianity, and my one major criticism of this text is Tomberg's failure to identify this practice in other spiritual traditions. For example, Tibetan Dzogchen is simply the Eucharist in a nondualistic framework.

Without all the nuggets I gleaned from Tomberg's text, my knowledge base of Christian Hermeticism (the integration of mysticism, gnosis, magic, and philosophy) would not be what it is. Hence, I am forever grateful to my Dear Unknown Friend, Valentin Tomberg, for posthumously gracing the world with this marvelous text."

I note that just below it among the reviews is a pretty scathing & LONG negative assessment by a reviewer NJP who writes very good reviews of Tibetan Buddhist stuff--- Go figya!

http://tinyurl.com/bfmslll

1/26/2013 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

The Great One had something to say about this:

The Nature of Reality Itself can be said to be Spherical, without center or bounds.
It is not elsewhere. It is not a point. It is not separate.
The "ego" versus "object" - mind - is a mental fiction. It is not a description of Reality Itself, not a description of what experiencing is in any moment.
Experience is not based on "point" and separation.
There are no "points".
There are no "centers".
There is infinite association.
Boundless Touch.
Centerless Being.
Everything is organized in the manner of spheres - NOT points. What appears to be a point is an apparent conjunction of spheres.
There is no point, no center, no finality, no dilemma, no ego.
All difficulty can be transcended, because everything is a Sphere - Boundless, Centerless Being, "Bright".
The Root of the body, the Root of the mind, the Root of emotion, the Root of breath must be Realized.

1/26/2013 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Cond0011 said...

Fred-

I really, really try to take you seriously, but ... I get nothing out of your last comment: The entire thing cancels itself completely out.

Its appears you've told us nothing.

So, tell me, what point are you driving at, here? Sincerely, whats your point?

1/26/2013 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Actual street
in the Apple: Please manually blow it up to see!

1/26/2013 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

:D
I like how it says "circle" at the bottom. It's almost redundant...

1/26/2013 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

--The Nature of Reality Itself can be said to be Spherical, without center or bounds.

Close, but I would say toroidal.

--It is not elsewhere. It is not a point. It is not separate.

That qualifies as a banality and a straw man argument. Who ever said "the nature of reality is elsewhere?"

--The "ego" versus "object" - mind - is a mental fiction.

Actually, you could never even make an intelligible statement about anything in the absence of such a distinction. If everything is everything else, than nothing is anything.

--It is not a description of Reality Itself, not a description of what experiencing is in any moment.

--Straw man. Who confuses the description with the reality?

--Experience is not based on "point" and separation.

This is absurd. Experience is of the now, a point which is separate from the past and future.

--There are no "points".

In that case, there are no non-points.

--There are no "centers".

In that case there is are no peripheries.

--There is infinite association.

Whatever that means.

--Boundless Touch.

Stay back, pervert!

--Centerless Being.

Try boundless nonsense.

--Everything is organized in the manner of spheres

But spheres have centers,

--All difficulty can be transcended, because everything is a Sphere - Boundless, Centerless Being, "Bright".

Also because you die.




1/26/2013 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The truth of the matter is that you must be extremely precise in discussing these subtle realities, whereas folks like Bubba and Deepak rely upon a kind of gauzy bloviating that is always incoherent and contradictory, and is ultimately an appeal to authority. I should think that a legitimate spokesperson for O always appeals to the inner authority of his listener or reader, i.e., the divine intellect.

1/26/2013 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I guess I would trust Bubba more if he'd ever had an actual job, or if he had had to obtain food, or maybe run a farm. He'd wise up pretty quickly if he hadn't been supported by all those people who, unlike him, had boundaries.

1/26/2013 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

"I should think that a legitimate spokesperson for O always appeals to the inner authority of his listener or reader, i.e., the divine intellect."

Indeed. One of the very useful things I learned from the Christian mystics who taught me in my youth (back when I did not understand them), was this: No matter how competent you are at explaining and convincing, and no matter how much of your soul you put into your speech, it is still no match for simple words that get the testimony of the Holy Spirit. For the listener will forget, but the Holy Spirit will remind them when the time is right.

Well, that is a specifically Christian wording, I admit, but it works.

1/27/2013 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger Cond0011 said...

"I guess I would trust Bubba more if he'd ever had an actual job, or if he had had to obtain food, or maybe run a farm. "

Wealth without work is kinda like a mothers womb - fantastic for a dependent infant just waking up to the world, not so good for an adult who needs to maintain his Personal Responsibility to his equals as an equal.

It is also corrupting as labor is a Law of life (and one of our very important tethers to reality).

http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/bong.htm

Thanks for clearing things up (and in a very entertaining way), Bob.

Ora et Labora.

1/27/2013 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

So... I'm going to go out on a limb and guess... no post today?

1/28/2013 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Well, I just got back from ye olde nuclear treadmill, and at this late hour, the day has slipped through my fingers. Just now having my first cup of coffee, and soon enough it will be beer o'clock and time for Monday Night Raw, the boy's new passion. For some reason my favorite wrestler is the pompous and condescending Damian Sandow, Intellectual Savior of the Masses.

1/28/2013 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

Looks very erudite and wise. Could be a raccoon of sorts.

1/28/2013 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Bob-- you might Turn your kid onto Ronda Rousey the MMA/Olympic Judo medalist marvel [her mom was the first US Judo medalist...]

UFC debut/title bout is 2/23 prob'ly not far from you...
she's cute, had a tragic youth, w/ a dadly suicide when she was about Tristan's age!, but is the supastar of martial arts world at the moment!
+ great generous laugh, & smile
[OK i'm in love!]
http://www.rondamma.com/

1/28/2013 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Ah, forgot about the nukes.

Maybe he could use them in the ring?

1/28/2013 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Wow, he was trained by Killer Kowalski too. I saw him when I was a kid.

BTW, I liked this sphere fishing post.


1/28/2013 11:27:00 PM  
Blogger Cond0011 said...

"Bob-- you might Turn your kid onto Ronda Rousey the MMA/Olympic Judo medalist marvel [her mom was the first US Judo medalist...]"

Not to mention some great Dance Moves with his GF when he comes of age... :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvBN3C2wepY

1/29/2013 01:10:00 PM  

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