Monday, May 12, 2014


Once again I have little time for a post. So, why bother? Just a habit, I suppose. I've been doing this for almost ten years now, and old school Raccoons will recall that it used to be every day. I used to occasionally mix in the odd repost, which I haven't done lately. Why not? I don't know. I have the idea of a ceasefire at the ten year mark in order to finally look down there, see what we have, and maybe try to organize it into book form. Of course, it would have to be multiple books. Should I do it by year? By subject? Or -- my preference -- to somehow intuit the nonlocal organizing principle behind the whole thing and then put it together around that? However, suppose we find the center. Then what? Is it a spatial center? A temporal one? Must be both. In fact, we have to begin with the principle that the cosmic center is God, or O. Or better, the metacosmic -- or macrocosmic -- center is God, while the intracosmic -- or microcosmic -- center is man. Which reminds me. One of the most foolish cliches of the left is that modernity somehow displaced man from the center of things. You know the drill: first heliocentrism. OH NO! Then geology: the HORROR! Then Darwin: MAKE IT STOP! But do you know anyone who is freaked out by these things? Yes, the sun doesn't revolve around the world, earth isn't 6,000 years old, and animals are subject to natural selection. This is a purely quantitative view of reality, so it presupposes what it would attempt to prove, which is the usual cosmic nothingbuttery, as in, existence, history, and man are NOTHING BUT whatever. However, religion, if it is about anything, is about qualities, and no amount of quantity adds up to a single quanlity, not even "lots," because that adjective would require the comparison of one quantity to another. So, what is the nature of this presumptuous speck of tenure who pronounces on the nature of ultimate reality? Isn't the statement I AM NOT THE CENTER a little like the statement ALL CRETANS ARE LIARS? In other words, in order to characterize the nature of reality, one must haver a commanding view of everything, and such a view is only possible from the center out and top down. Otherwise, one is just looking at things from the terminal point of a two-dimensional line, or from the end back. To rise above that line is to be at the center of a new perspective. Animals cannot do this. Imagine a frog at the bottom of a well. He will assure us that reality is a little bright disc surrounded by darkness which alternatively appears and disappears. If man is nothing but a contingent animal produced by accidental forces and pressures, then he is no more able than a frog to characterize the nature of reality. God is the name we give to ultimate reality, and not even the smartest frog knows anything about God, so take that, Descartes.


Blogger julie said...

I have the idea of a ceasefire at the ten year mark in order to finally look down there, see what we have, and maybe try to organize it into book form.

Awesome. If you need any help, you know where to find us :)

5/12/2014 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, I do need help. Specifically, what was this all about? One is always arguing or thinking either from or toward first principles. So I guess the question is, what are the principles toward or from which I have been arguing? Or, the three-D picture that organizes all the two-D dot-posts?

5/12/2014 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

absolutist = from
evolutionary = towards

Maybe we are born in the middle. You gots lots to work with!

5/12/2014 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Tricky question, Bob. They almost all aim toward or around The first principle, but from an assortment of angles. If the blog could be visualized or sculpted, I suspect it would look like a massive fractal pattern.

Weird question: If your first book were to be pollinated by other authors and cast out seeds, what would the resulting plants look like? In a sense, the blog posts are those offspring.

You could try organizing by Matter/ Life/ Life/ Mind/ Spirit, but I'm not sure how well that would work out - my guess is there would be a lot more in the Mind/ Spirit sections than the first two, and of course most of the posts are a blending of those categories, in varying quantities.

Another that comes to mind is either the Ten Commandments, or maybe the Arc of Salvation.


5/12/2014 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger katzxy said...

Julie @9:34 Ditto.

Bob @9:45 An improvisational exploration of the question of God the absolute and his relation to creation. And the take downs of the those public pieties that are upside down.

Since it's sometimes easier to criticize than to come up with something new I offer the following suggestion for rejection: start with the decalog and the cardinal virtues, pair with the apposite sin and weave the themes out of that thread. The point is to help the perplexed unstop their own ears and hear God's call.

The above is offered as a target; the criticism will likely be better than what I've written.


5/12/2014 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

That Adrian Pabst Metaphysics: he Creation of Hierarchy book looks interesting. I found a free pdf version on his website for those that may want to have a peak.

5/12/2014 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

These are all helpful suggestions. But I'm at work right now, so no time....

One important point is that the idiom must be different -- something that can't be compared to anything else, otherwise there's no real point in doing it. The substance is universal, while the form should be unique, certainly not to the point of Finnegans Wake-like inaccessibility, but analogous to a new school of painting, or as bop is to swing. There's no purpose in trying to out-Schuon Schuon or out-Wilber Wilber, nor is there any point in making up some new crap a la L. Ron or Deepak or even Gurdjieff. The real purpose is to present the Primordial Truth in an arresting new way attuned to the very modern sensibilities that usually close it off. We need to outsmart modernity, or deploy metaphysical ju jitsu to use it against itself.

5/12/2014 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Maybe I should start with those golden plates buried in the backyard that Petey told me about, since pretty much everything I write has been cribbed from those...

5/12/2014 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Magister said...

Just be sure to call your chapters "suras."

Why not start, like MOTT, with images? We're an imagistic culture now, with attention spans the width of mere captions.

Here's a kid reaching for O -- or is he?

I'm glad you're thinking of a new book.

5/12/2014 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Magister said...

That pic was snapped 10 years before Charles Murray's watershed 1963.

5/12/2014 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I used to have some of those plates -- they were from the Book of Bourbon.

One Cosmos, the Musical.

5/12/2014 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

How about J.R. "Bob" Dobbs + Bob "Petey" Godwin create a new version the Book of the SubGenius?

5/12/2014 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

It might be accessible to people -- something you've done all along but made explicit lately -- if you were to use politics and the family as an entry.

Like, why does a family work better as a patriarchy while paternalistic governments always fail spectacularly?

I'm really just being selfish. I always get lost when you all launch into discussions of Real Philosophy™.

5/12/2014 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Anybody know what happened to Ace's website today?
My browser says "Never hoid of 'im".

5/12/2014 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

"Yes, I do need help. Specifically, what was this all about?"

It's book club for people who like book clubs like this one.

5/12/2014 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

"Why not start, like MOTT, with images? We're an imagistic culture now, with attention spans the width of mere captions."


That's not really Bob's thing.

5/12/2014 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

The Cosmic hunt for Reality

5/12/2014 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

... seems sort of self organizing from that point.

But maybe that's just me.

5/12/2014 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...


I love all of it, but the one thing that has stopped me in my tracks is the idea of a God who is unafraid to let His creation co-create with Him. You could dwell--or act-- on that for eternity, so you might want to get started already.

5/12/2014 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

True story.
I thought once and then all the time that it might be nice to someday translate your book for the non-coon (or just for my Pop).
Like a "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Cosmic Bus Drivers".

5/12/2014 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger Kurt said...

I would suggest personalizing your next book in such a way that the Perennial Truth is reflected through the lens of your own life - a unique story that also tells, in part, the One Story. You could describe the changes in your interior life as you grew and matured, identifying the major influence(s) on your thinking/feeling at given stages in your life with as much circumstantial detail required to add life, warmth and color. From what I know of you, it looks like you passed through at least three major interior 'epochs' and it appears that you ain't done growing just yet! What a tale that could be, given the breadth of your reading and reflection, Bob! And in the end none of us can answer all the questions, since, as you suggest, the questions change over time as we grow, as we see more clearly, pushing forward that wonderful horizon of being! I think the best we can do in our lives and with our words is to indicate a direction of travel, a general orientation and openness towards Truth, Beauty and Good. And that is what I have found in your writing, so I am guessing that is what is in your heart. Share your heart, Bob. And those with eyes to see it will be blessed...and the rest, well, maybe someday...I once was blind myself...

5/12/2014 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Mornin', Bob. I like Joan's idea.

Re. your concern about not being a lesser Schuon or Wilber, Deepak or Gurdjieff, I think there is little danger of that. You are far too much yourself to be anyone else. Don't worry about those guys, except to borrow them for mirroring purposes from time to time (as you have done all along).

And yes, I think those golden plates are a good place to start. You'll probably want to skip the part about polygamy, though...

5/13/2014 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

This morning the idea of numbers popped into my head, as in, off the top of my head:

One: the absolute
Two: complementarity, relativity
Three: Trinity, intersubjectivity, theological virtues
Four: cardinal virtues
Five: man and incarnation, I guess
Six: creation, completion
Seven: the gap, the transitional space
Eight: Resurrection, renewal
Nine: something something
Ten: commandments

Or something like that...

5/13/2014 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Yes, I think you're on to something there.

5/13/2014 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

I'm still going through the math... have been for about a year now I guess. It's a little tough going weeding out the numerologistic garbage, but our entire view of Math was drastically changed beginning around the late 1700's. The view of Math which enabled Issac Newton to do with numbers what he did, is nowhere to be found in our understanding of it today.

The switch away from having a strong awareness of the very real Qualities of numbers, such as those you noted above (and 'Seven: the gap, the transitional space' is apt), to sheer quantitative calculative acrobatics, has for all intents and purposes removed the possibility of anyone developing any kind of a sense of numerical imagination. And the elimination of the imaginative (as distinct from what is often substituted for it: the odd or unexpected or jarring), is the mark of the Pro-Regressive in Education.

And, shocker, it doesn't seem to matter whether your parents are rich or college 'educated' as well.

5/13/2014 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Van, that's no surprise. Common core seems to be specifically designed to make everyone mediocre. And even if it weren't, standards seem to have been steadily dropping pretty much everywhere, for at least a couple of decades. All of the people I knew in college who were studying to be teachers were almost frighteningly stupid, and had no idea.

5/13/2014 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

BTW, something that frustrates me when delving into Numbers, is what both the Number Mystics and the enthusiastic Quantifiers tend to forget about Numbers - they don't exist.

Really important to realize that when we note the interesting things about numbers, such as that the number One is the only one that produces a greater quantity when added to itself, than when multiplied by itself; and that is that that isn't something that is interesting about the Number One (which doesn't exist), but is actually a fascinating property of All of Reality, in quantities of One.

Just as the numeral '1' is a reference for the number One, the concept of One, is a conceptual means of referring to a single quantity of anything at all..

Get too wrapped up in the amazing truths about reality that Numbers can reveal, and you might miss out on the more amazing truth that the magic of numbers is not about 'Numbers', but about the truly magical nature of all of Reality all around us, the One Cosmos, that we are present within all of the time.

5/14/2014 07:39:00 AM  

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