Thursday, August 21, 2014

Snicking Suspicions and Absolute Stupidity

For many months now, I've been intending to get back to Hartshorne and to my modified neotraditional vision of his process theology -- since last November, I think. And even as I wrote that sentence, I thought of several other loose strands I need to follow up on. The cosmic area rug is getting a bit ragged along the edges.

Then again, maybe I'm just fooling myself, and it's all as Owen Barfield once said of C.S. Lewis: "somehow what he thought about everything was secretly present in what he said about anything." You know, holo-pneumatic, or a soul fractal.

As an aside, I can't say I remember much of the past 2,500 posts. However, I have noticed that if I encounter even a single sentence of mine, I know instantly that that is ME. If they are someone else's words, I know right away that I wouldn't have expressed it that way. Therefore, "I" am indeed somehow present in the words. Is this true of everyone? I have no idea. But it's analogous to how the immune system, on the material level, distinguishes me from not me. Most of the time.

And now that I think about it, some of you folks have wondered how it is that I plow through so many books. Well, I don't exactly skim, because that implies a value neutral or global approach. It is too broad a description. Rather, it is as if I am "looking for something," and I always recognize it when I find it. I just skim past the things I am not looking for.

However, it's a little more complicated than that, because I don't necessarily know what I'm looking for until I find it. Thus, I am like a lock searching for the key -- the key to myself. When I find it, there is a satisfying sensation that feels like the "snick" of a good stick shift. I suppose it is related to what was said above about recognizing myself in my sentences, except that it's someone else's sentence. That's what it's like with one of Dávila's aphorisms, right? Snick!

I wonder if this means that I cannot actually be wrong or right, only Bob? Well, yes and no. What we are shooting for is the universal in the personal, or universal truth uniquely expressed. Both sides are necessary for the snick of the manuall trancemission.

Here is a beautiful example of something that deeply snicks in me: "The universe is not difficult to read because it is a hermetically sealed text, but because it is a text without punctuation." Thus, "Without the adequate ascending and ascending intonation, its ontological syntax is unintelligible" (Dávila).

The universe is not difficult to read. To the contrary! Any idiot can read it, except they put the punctuation where they please, which messes up the semantics.

To cite a prominent example, materialists place a period after matter. But who says the period goes there, or that that is a complete sentence? Indeed, what if the sentence, like Hebrew, is read right to left, not left to right? Or, more to the point, up to down, not down to up?

That is precisely what a Raccoon believes: that the sentence runs from God to matter, not vice versa.

Similarly, a metaphysical Darwinian has convinced himself that there is a period after life. As such, man is not a new sentence, but rather, just an adjective or footnote appended to an ape.

This is the whole point of the peculiar punctuation of The Book, in that each chapter is both discrete and continuous, particle and wave: the whole book is a wavicle, to be precisely blurry. And the wavicle is me, I guess. One might say that the wave is universal while the particle is singular.

Here is another snicky aphorism that expresses a samething psimilar: "Nothing affects divine transcendence; but human attitudes, in changing, regulate the tides of his immanence." As such, "God infiltrates out to the tips of the branches or recedes back into his empyrean."

What I would say is that the waters of (↓) are always present but that human beings -- both individually and collectively -- may "regulate its tide," so to speak. The left, for example, has built a seawall to keep it out. For them, God has indeed "receded," which may be filed under the heading "be careful what you hope and vote for, dryling."

Back to the first aphorism about the cosmic syntax, and how it is unintelligible without the proper intonation. Obviously, spoken language preceded written language, and spoken language has no punctuation. Rather, meaning is conveyed via emphasis, pauses, musicality, timing, rhythm, etc. The punctuation is not so black-and-white, nor is the speech uniform, like the Steven Hawking voice generator.

All of this is critical to bear in mind if it is true that the Word is God. And if it isn't, then the cosmos truly is a tail wagged by an idiot, full of sound and fury but signifying tenure.

Now, what does this have to do with process theology? Well, let's begin with an implicit commentary on yesterday's post, in particular, the bit about positive knowledge sometimes being a mask for omniscient ignorance.

Let's stipulate that all knowledge is by definition relative. The question is, relative to what? The Raccoon says: relative to reality, moron. But the moron says: relative to language. In other words, words don't reveal -- much less incarnate -- reality; rather, language is absolutely relative to language, in an absurcular snorecase.

Example?

Well, consider all those crazies and savages in Ferguson, up to and including the Attorney Generalismo: to what is their "knowledge" relative? It is certainly not relative to reality, at least as far as we know. Nor is it relative to "nothing"; it's not just "nonsense."

Rather, it is relative to a narrative, or in other words, other words. Thus, this narrative of theirs is not properly relative at all, but rather, absolute. Therefore, words and facts that do not relate to the narrative are sentences about "nothing" -- but really, sentences about racism.

Therefore, all speech about the situation confirms the narrative of white racism. For example, my present line of thought is not about what you think it is, it's about racism. The left's narrative is always unfalsifiable, and certainly not by mere reality!

We have all heard that "snicking" sound in the mind of a leftist who has succeeded in twisting reality into the shape of his narrative. It's no doubt a satisfying feeling for them, but to call it a snick is an abuse of the term. It's more like the perverse satisfaction Procrustes might have felt when violently lopping off a head or amputating a limb.

But what I really want to emphasize is that knowledge is the most relative thing conceivable, in that it is always relative to a known. A difference between God and man is that God's knowledge is absolutely relative, in the sense that it is always perfectly and infallibly relative to the truth of things.

Thus, the problem with the left's narrative(s) is not that it is too relative. Rather, it is absolute, and permits of no relation to truth and reality.

26 Comments:

Blogger Magister said...

Therefore, "I" am indeed somehow present in the words. Is this true of everyone? I have no idea.

(laughing) Where I work, it's considered ungood to write idiosyncratically. I've written many things with the goal of disappearing into faceless, neutral prose. It's difficult. Like erasing a large chalkboard, you have work for a bit. For some topics and purposes, this is a good thing.

Nevertheless, every time, I come out of that process wanting to write something more personal, with the "me" back in it. This feels wonderfully liberating. Why? Because, I think, the person is fundamental. You can run from it, even cover your tracks, but you can't hide.

Unless you work for the IRS, of course.

8/21/2014 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You're exactly right. Finding my "voice" has been immensely satisfying. It reminds me of the psychoanalyst Christopher Bollas' idea that the self is an idiom of expression, and that expressing our idiom is the "erotics of being."

8/21/2014 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Any idiot can read it, except they put the punctuation where they please, which messes up the semantics.

My boy is learning to read. Depending on how squirrelly he's feeling, he prefers to read everything in his own order. Left to right and top to bottom are just too boring! He's four, so it's no big deal. Much more problematic when someone is twenty-four, or forty.

8/21/2014 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"Without the adequate ascending and ascending intonation, its ontological syntax is unintelligible"

I'm reminded of a variety of puzzle game that I've seen online in a few places. The interface appears to be a random assortment of lines or dots. They make a picture, but only when the image is rotated (usually three-dimensionally) so that it is seen from the right perspective. Any other view and it makes no visual sense.

Just so, the cosmos is only a series of disparate points that don't mesh well to form anything intelligible - unless it is approached and understood from the right direction.

8/21/2014 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

I think more or me comes out when I relate the content to my feelings - in a visceral way more than in an intellectual way. For me a thought resonates more in the gut than the brain. I suppose that implies my intellect has not evolved as highly as others but I can only play the cards I draw. There are times I understand something intellectually but I can't express it very well because I can't seem to make the intellectual-visceral connection. Weird.

8/21/2014 10:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once, I went to an unfamiliar church service. There was a minister, a choir, and only myself in the pews. During the service, I raised my hand, then offered an idea about filling those pews.

The minister then quietly put his hand under the lectern and pushed a button. A trap door opened and I slid down a chute and was deposited outside. I thought, hmmm... Maybe I should’ve said that to him in private?

8/21/2014 11:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

You're assuming he doesn't have a button in his office. But if Bob has one, they must be easy to install.

8/21/2014 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Willfully Obtuse said...

Maybe it was one of those churches that has drifted leftward. I hear they have a problem keeping bodies in the pews these days.

8/21/2014 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Quite true. There is no snick in those churches except vis-a-vis the lower self. But you can get that anywhere.

8/21/2014 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"To cite a prominent example, materialists place a period after matter. But who says the period goes there, or that that is a complete sentence?"

Or howabout the lefties that only have periods? Explains why Paul Krugman is always so hysterical 'cause it's always 'that time of the month' for him.

8/21/2014 12:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it was one of those churches that has drifted leftward

My father the preacher, claims people are abandoning the established neighborhood denominationals for superchurches, the way ma-n-pop corner grocery went Costco. Not sure if Log Cabin Republicans have their own church. Maybe their chute would’ve exited at the indoctrination cellar?

Just curious. Jesus was the ultimate big tent guy. Next to Reagan I suppose.

8/21/2014 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

However, I have noticed that if I encounter even a single sentence of mine, I know instantly that that is ME.

I don't think I'd know, but I'm usually just saying what somebody else said anyway. The typos might give it away.

8/21/2014 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Jesus doesn't have a tent. Just a door -- not a trapdoor, either, though sort of a hidden one.

8/21/2014 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Mushroom, makes me wonder how many of the people who stayed on for a bite to eat of the loaves and fishes were real followers, and how many were just there for free grub and entertainment.

8/21/2014 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Julie said "... how many were just there for free grub and entertainment. "

And with some fellow turning water into wine, you've gotta bet there were bunches of 'em.

:-)

8/21/2014 02:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

"I wonder if this means that I cannot actually be wrong or right, only Bob? Well, yes and no. What we are shooting for is the universal in the personal, or universal truth uniquely expressed. Both sides are necessary for the snick of the manuall trancemission."

Put the pedal to the mentall!

8/21/2014 02:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

grub and entertainment

That's it. Megachurches offer more stuff. I know of one where they do baptisms in their own swimming pool. It's next to their own gym. Got an IT staff even. Gays in churches offer the discomfort of political correctness.

It's either big tent materialism or gay pride forgiveness.

8/21/2014 09:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus doesn't have a tent. Just a door -- not a trapdoor, either, though sort of a hidden one.

Jesus wanted everybody. That's why he kept it simple. Check this out.

If Jesus was the personality of God, then you are the personality of what?

8/21/2014 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yes, Jesus does want everybody. Nevertheless, he recognized that he would not have everybody. That is the price of free will, and he certainly had no qualms about saying that some are his and others are not.

Though I believe it's the orthodox hope that in the end, all shall be redeemed. I like that idea - it means even I might eventually make it to the pearly gates.

Jesus was so big, he didn't bother with a tent. Just invited people to listen while he talked from hilltops. He said a lot of things that probably made people feel bad about themselves, too. But I'll bet most of the folks found it good fun to see their neighbors skewered, just before their own oxes were gored. And it's nice to know the meek are getting something, they've had a hell of a time.

More broadly, I wonder what your particular point is? Bob, it apparently must be said, is not Jesus, and this isn't a church in any conventional sense. So far as I know there aren't any particular plans to fill the pews - to intentionally appeal to a wider audience. Of course it can be done - it's not all that hard, I think, for a writer of any skill to gain a bigger following if he's willing to push the right buttons. All you have to do is throw some chum in the water, and know how to feed your audience to keep them in their preferred style of frenzy. But that would defeat the purpose of the blog.

What is the complaint? That Bob is not nicer? Or not tolerant enough?

Or am I just wasting time, feeding the old hole troll? That trapdoor was installed for a very good reason.

8/22/2014 12:47:00 AM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

Yay Julie!

Most detractors of Christianity use the fallibility of the church (humans) to judge the infallibility of God and inevitably find what they were predisposed to find. They are not seekers of truth, they are far too lazy for that.

8/22/2014 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

Clarification: Jesus IS God (not "was the personality of God).

8/22/2014 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

Clarification #2: Jesus didn't "keep it simple" as if He employed a marketing technique. Jesus kept it true and in fact it was not "simple" insofar that his listeners easily understood the message.

8/22/2014 08:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julie,
You’re right. Bob is none of my business. It seems that for many years (the moniker Gagdad Bob implies at least since Saddam’s heyday) he’s been refining the same theme, and playing with the same other themes. He flushes commentors when they become a nuisance, not uncommon in the blogosphere. I’m going to assume he’s quite happy to call it a hobby and has no need to quit the day job.

My friend is different. He takes this stuff very seriously. He’s going to start a website to ‘change the world’. He believes the secular left is slowly ruining life as we Americans know it – not the most original theme. But also common, while he speaks ‘truths’ of which he and his circle repetitively repeat, he comes across like Archie Bunker. Taken objectively, his opinions are often conflicting and materialistic, usually angry and dogmatic.

He wants me to contribute and I’d really like to help him. But I’m conflicted as my own religious and political beliefs are quite unique and can run counter to “CW” dogma. I have a need to have everything jibe. Too many people out there want to judge first ask questions later. I like debate. It is one thing which helps get me in touch with my spiritual self.

8/22/2014 09:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clarification: Jesus IS God (not "was the personality of God).

That's where it gets tricky. Think Einsteinian relativity. To a material being Jesus died long ago. To a spiritual being Jesus is always alive. Where this relates to this blog, is spiritual connectivity. If you’re connected to your spiritual self, Jesus is always alive. I don’t have time to explain all this. A hint: a spiritual being is not bound by the laws of space/time. We (and the physical contents of our consciousness) are, to us.

I figured this out while observing an argument about intelligent design. The basic premises of all involved bothered me. I realized this was because a 'theoretical' spiritual being is going to be, by physical law believed by our own scientists, 'everywhere all the time'. Things do not have to always come about in a cause-effect sequential way for such beings, as they do for us.

8/22/2014 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

I think "tricky" is a poor choice of word (giving you the benefit of the doubt)because it implies deception. I would use the word mystery.

8/22/2014 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Anon,

I have a need to have everything jibe. Too many people out there want to judge first ask questions later. I like debate. It is one thing which helps get me in touch with my spiritual self.

Sounds like if you do posts for your friends blog, there will be plenty of room for debate. And that really is (potentially) a good thing. The key to comments sections is setting the tone - make it clear what your parameters are, and don't feel bad about setting consequences for bad behavior. Then, as best as possible, make sure those consequences come down on everybody, not just your opposition. It really is possible to have polite debate on blogs, but it takes effort, and the bigger the blog, the harder it can be.

As to the Archie Bunker mentality, there's a lot of that going around. With good reason. We live in interesting times, and the news seems to get uglier by the day. Even so, it is up to each person to decide how to respond. If your friend is looking to "change the world," well, good luck with that. I find it challenging enough to work on myself.

8/22/2014 10:47:00 AM  

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