That's a little unclear, Bob, because what's the distinction between "living in language" and being "embodied in narratives"?
Fair question. My editor should have caught that. In order to explain what I mean, I think I will briefly reintroduce a little pedagogic device developed by Bion, which he simply called the "grid":
We've discussed the grid before. Let's see if I said anything helpful to our present concerns. "Basically, the vertical axis has to do with the evolution of thought, while the horizontal axis has to do with the uses to which the thought is put."
I'll just continue quoting from yesterBob until he outwrites his usefulness:
"Thus, for example, it is indeed possible to treat ideas as rocks, as the left proves every day. On the grid, the 'rock idea' would be at the intersection of 'concept' on the vertical axis and 'action' on the horizontal."
Note that the idea of a rock is naturally more evolved than the idea as a rock -- although it needs to be added that liberal elites consciously manipulate the language in this manner so as to influence their hordes of media-academic (and lower) LoFos into outrage and action -- or passion and bullying. An Obama or Clinton are masters at this, and pretty much nothing else. But where do they fall on the grid?
Notice the second column, Psi (Ψ). It essentially stands for the Lie, that is, "false formulations that are known to be false with the intention of counteracting the formulations which can generate anxiety or the developments which imply catastrophic change" (Grinberg, et al).
The first thing we need to notice is that the Lie exists on a separate axis from its potential evolution. Critically, the Lie is not necessarily on the stupid/intelligent continuum (although it can be).
Rather, the most brilliant person in the world can elaborate the Lie to the ends of thought, ad infinitum -- although in so doing, if the person were intellectually honest, he would realize that he has ended in a self-refuting absurdity, if you follow me, because the lie cannot go on "forever."
Doing so would represent an infinite regress, or a naughty infinity, which metaphysics will not allow. Thus, in the opinion of the Raccoon elders, the vertical axis not only ends in O, but everything prior to it is leading to -- or being attracted by -- O. That is indeed why thought "evolves" to begin with.
Recall what I said about rock-throwing leftists. A sincerely concerned reader has advised me to cut out the liberal bashing, because it instantly turns off readers who otherwise might benefit from the blog. He says that he has directed a number of liberal friends here, but that they were put off by what they would no doubt regard as my own primitive rock throwing.
But is that really what it is? Well, yes and no. We first need to ask whether the rocks are true or false. If they are true, then if you are hurt by one, then it is your own fault, because it is exposing a column 2 lie. What's the old saying about throwing a rock into a pigpen? The one who squeals is the one you hit. You have touched a nerve, as it were.
More to the point, if you've ever taken the trouble to read the masthead of the blog, it says right there LEFTWING RIDICULISM. And if you read ABOUT ME in the snidebar, it says that we take delight in providing fine insultainment for the ridicure of assouls.
Now, what is politics but the organization of hatreds? Problems only occur when there is organized hatred that has ventured into a parallel psiworld.
To render this extremely concrete, let's apply this principle to the Benghazi fiasco, about which the regime has been systematically lying for the past 16 months. Now, why would they want to lie about it, and pretend it was just a movie review taking place on column 6 of the grid, action? See above: in order to counteract formulations which imply catastrophic change -- i.e., losing the forthcoming election. Yes, Obama promised change, but that was then. Now, like any entrenched power toker, he wants to prevent it.
And when we see comically evasive mouthpiece Jim Carney either dancing around the subject or expressing anger at reporters who bring it up, we are of course witnessing the attempt to counteract "formulations which can generate anxiety." Anxiety itself can easily transform into -- or mask itself via -- anger, petulance, impatience, irritability, self-righteousness -- you know, finger-wagging I did not have sexual relations with that woman, or the pseudo-detached At this point, what difference does it make?
Which brings up another important point about politics. There's nothing wrong with passion, so long as it is in the service of truth. But too many people -- both left and right, but especially on the left -- are just addicted to the passion of self-righteousness. People always receive a secret charge when their self-righteousness is provoked, and this can take on a life of its own, entirely separate from question of truth or falsehood. People like to be in this fired up state, as it is preferable to feeling bored and empty.
Now, back to the question at hand -- about how the space between ape and man is filled by myth. Note that on the grid, this appears in row 3, "dream thoughts, dreams, myths." This stage of thought comes after what Bion calls "alpha elements" and "beta elements," and before preconceptions, conceptions, scientific deductive systems, etc.
Some of our most important -- if not the most important -- myths appear in Genesis. Again, at the horizon of history is myth. This is inevitable, since there is only so far conceptual thought can go before hitting a wall. Think of how physics doesn't really account for creation. Rather, it simply hits a wall at the end of its equations.
Any five year-old can (and will) ask what happened before the big bang, to which we can only sensibly respond with myth -- and the operational word here is sensibly, for this is where myth is infused with a truth that surpasses our ability to exhaust it conceptually. When we hear it, it bangs an interior gong, at least if we are still living in a place where truth is embodied and not just entertained in the head.
Which means that God is not a concept -- although God can of course be expressed conceptually. Again, I would situate God at the extreme end of the vertical axis, always drawing us toward him in thought, action, and passion-emotion. There is a kind of metabolism that goes on, which is grounded in the first two rows, beta and alpha elements.
In the book, I talked about that very first bit of matter that wrapped around itself and decided to go on being, and how every development subsequent to this is built upon that first outrageous act of rebellion.
For Bion, it is the same with the development of thought. He distinguishes thoughts from the thinker. Clearly, thoughts must have preceded the first man who started thinking them, instead of thoughts thinking him; instead of being subject to thoughts, he became the subject of them, AKA a thinker.
In other words, imagine what it must be like for an animal. Thoughts come and thoughts go, but there is no thinker to organize and reflect upon them. To do this requires what Bion calls "alpha function," which you might think of as the metabolism of thought.
Which brings us back to how we got started on this whole discussion, the practice of communion, which seems to be a concrete expression of metabolizing O -- of being nourished by logos-language and embodied in the God-given narrative.