So, different things grab different people -- it takes all kinds to make a world, and vice versa. What is indeed so surprising is how specific the attractors can be. It is by no means obvious why the world should be built in this way. But it is strictly impossible to understand this absolutely vital phenomenon within the standard scientific paradigm.
And when I say "absolutely vital," I'm again being literal, because in a certain way, this attraction is our whole life. This thing moves us. That thing leaves us cold. This person excites. That person bores. This writer expands. That one contracts. Etc.
For example, when I think of the four great "B"s of large scale orchestral music -- Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and Barry -- I have to say, I truly only "get" Barry. The others are too vulgar for me. More generally -- as you all know by now -- everything Bob does has got to be funky. Obvious when you think about it, but why?
Alexander gives the example of a particular painting. The painting attracts us. Thus, there is a relatedness that occurs between you and the painting. What is the nature of this mysterious "between?"
In the past I have discussed this in terms of "links" -- e.g., of love (L), or hate (H), or knowledge (K) -- but what are the links made of? And how did they get here?
Let's say we're particularly attracted to the blue hill in the painting. Alexander suggests that we "do not, I think, experience the bit of blue as if it were your self."
Rather, "you experience something stretching between yourself and the blue hill, something that seems to mobilize your self, stretch it out toward the bit of blue, connect with it."
Again, it's a relationship, in which the painting reaches out to us, and vice versa: "stretching between you and the blue hill, something comes into existence."
And it's not just our everyday, mundane self that is tickled. Rather, "It is as if the eternal you, the eternal part of you, your eternal self, is somehow being mobilized..."
Whatever the case may be, that's exactly what it feels like. And no theory that ignores such a central feature of our existence can be adequate. Several aphorisms come to mind:
Any theory is false that seeks to characterize as delusion what one day affected us nobly.
There is evidence that disappears along with those who deserve to perceive it.
We have reached such an extreme of ineptitude that we only believe to be real what would persist if the arts were abolished.
Each of these aphorisms goes to the idea that our (constant) experience not only doesn't deceive us, but mirrors the very structure of reality.
Yesterday we spoke of how experiences within this space -- which Winnicott called the "transitional space" -- incarnate or potentiate the substance of our being, as we assimilate them. From the article:
"Winnicott related the concept of transitional object to a more general one, transitional phenomena, which he considered to be the basis of science, religion and all of culture. Transitional objects and phenomena, he said, are neither subjective nor objective but partake of both" (emphasis mine).
Here is how Grotstein describes it: "Where Winnicott truly surpasses is in his delineation of potential or transitional space, the domain of the intermediate, the area sacred to [ortho]paradox." It "seems to correspond to the metaphor of a post-natal umbilicus, the imaginary yet concrete experienced connection between mother and infant..."
"One can picture this connection as a Moebius Strip of connected disconnectedness or of a 'Siamese twinship' in which there are two heads connected to one body. In one perspective they are invisibly connected; in another they are separate."
In the past I have in fact used the Moebius Strip or the Klein Bottle as models of reality. Why is that? Because in each case the object conveys the paradoxical idea that the inside is the outside, and the outside is the inside. This way one can preserve unity -- each object has only one side -- and yet duality -- each has two sides.
It seems to me that it is the same with the cosmos, which is why the subject is in the object, and vice versa. Yes, the Klein Bottle is a metaphor, but it is only a metaphor because metaphor is possible. And metaphor is only possible because the Cosmos is something like a Klein Bottle, in which interior and exterior, subject and object, are reflections of the same underlying reality. (BTW, it also explains why parables not only work but may be unsurpassed in their ability to link worlds.)
Posts will be shorter and shallower until this remodel business is over.... "