Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Reality: A Spiraling Vertical Space Between Two Infinite Mirrors

Remystification of the world is more of a negative capability than a positive one: you just have to stop pretending, assoul.

Negative capability? That's a term-of-artist Keats came up with to describe

"the capacity of human beings to transcend and revise their contexts." It is "the ability of the individual to perceive, think, and operate beyond any presupposition of a predetermined capacity of the human being. It further captures the rejection of the constraints of any context, and the ability to experience phenomena free from epistemological bounds, as well as to assert one's own will and individuality upon their activity."

In Keats' own words, it is the ability of a man to tolerate "uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason."

How about that: there's even a paragraph about Bion, who really didn't influence me beyond plagiarizing him for all he's worth:

"The twentieth-century British psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion elaborated on Keats's term to illustrate an attitude of openness of mind which he considered of central importance, not only in the psychoanalytic session, but in life itself.

"For Bion, negative capability was the ability to tolerate the pain and confusion of not knowing, rather than imposing ready-made or omnipotent certainties upon an ambiguous situation or emotional challenge."

This is especially important in psychotherapy, where one must tolerate the ambiguity and not foreclose the bipersonal space with mere knowledge, which any "expert" can do, in any field, therefore Pundits.

Rather, some truths -- the humanly important ones -- must be experienced. Indeed, Bion's first book was called Learning From Experience. Where else does one really learn? Let us count the ways!

No, let's not. But let us throw in some gratuitous insultainment, in that Obama's omniscient ignorance is exactly in proportion to a contaminated pool of positive knowledge of which he is nevertheless quite certain. I don't think his narcissism permits any of the negative kind.

Thus the Meltdown into and through the core of reality, as the latter refuses to conform to his knowledge. As Taranto observes, "If it's taken Obama this long to sense that he isn't omnipotent, maybe he isn't omniscient either." Wo. That would be something.

Dávila has an aphorism for the occasion, that "Without philosophy, the sciences do not know what they know" -- let alone what they do not and cannot know. And "Each person sees in the world exactly what he deserves to see." I am sorry to report that Americans deserve to live in the world Obama sees, since they twice elected this ignoranus (which is of course an assoul who has no idea what he doesn't know).

Those rioters and looters in Ferguson -- they too see the world they deserve. They too are ignorant with positive knowledge -- most conspicuously, the knowledge that an innocent young man was gunned down by the police for no reason but his race. Why do people want to believe things that are patently untrue? Might as well ask why people want to be liberal: because it makes the irritating ignorance go away by replacing it with high-density stupidity.

Which is one of the reasons why "The most repulsive spectacle is that of the ascendancy of a living professor over a dead genius," for it always means that higher mystery is being displaced by lowdown fashionable stupidity. There is mystery in great literature, great poetry, great music: indeed, that is a measure of its greatness, that it radiates an inexhaustible mystery, a luminous darkness, so to speak. How does it do that?

I would say that the palpable radiation is actually a kind of shadow of its inwardness. It is the penumbra around its seductive allure; it is soul calling out to soul, or depth to depth. And not only. For in the final unalysis, this is the very structure of reality, which I have attempted to schematize with the pneumaticons O <--> (¶).

Ironically, the idea for these pneumaticons goes back to Bion, who developed an "empty" symbol system to deal with psychological change and development, whereas my purpose is to abstractly outline the complementary ontological confrontation between spirit and cosmos: the least and most we can really say is that there is an inexhaustible "reality," or O, at one end; and the human spirit (¶) at the other: the result is a spiraling vertical space, or worldpool, between two infinite mirrors.

The bad news is that the space goes both up and down. Or just say right and left. Or, in the astringent words of Dávila,

Between the profane world and the divine world there is the sacred world; and God is the region that one who walks forward finally reaches. One who does not walk in circles.

A progressive walks only in circles. If we are lucky.

14 Comments:

Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

"There is mystery in great literature, great poetry, great music: indeed, that is a measure of its greatness, that it radiates an inexhaustible mystery, a luminous darkness, so to speak." ... "It is the penumbra around its seductive allure; it is soul calling out to soul, or depth to depth."

And in great art. What is it about one painting that transports me into the three dimensional reality of the scene where another painting lies flat and uninviting? It's like striking a tuning fork and feeling the vibration when the pitch is just right. The transcendent mystery of beauty.

8/20/2014 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

A progressive walks only in circles. If we are lucky.

I'm reminded of many of the stories I've seen lately about various sects of feminists, many of whom occasionally come to the right conclusion (i.e. that porn is bad for women, or that post-op transexual women are not really women), but for reasons so wrong, it's almost as though they walked backwards to get there, and almost any other conclusions they make based on their first principles are pretty much insane.

8/20/2014 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Paul Griffin said...

Frankly, I cannot imagine an existence more boring and miserable than one in which I knew everything there was to know. What would life be without mystery? It is the promise of more, a fountain we can never exhaust, and a reflection of THE Fountain we can never exhaust. Of course great art (of any flavor) reflects this. Images at which we never tire of looking, books we read over and over, music we hear every time as if it were the first.

Once I feel like I "get" a book (and when I was a teenager, I thought this was the goal of reading literature), it's usually a sign that I am done with it and will probably never read it again. But some authors (Flannery O'Connor is a favorite example) write stories that will never reveal all of their secrets. There will always be more there, waiting to be discovered. This is the joy of mystery.

More thoughts bubbling up, but I can't get them organized right now. Maybe later.

8/20/2014 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Paul, you just reminded me of one of the techniques of composition I learned in art school: breaking the frame. That's when the artist intentionally makes sure that elements of the image go off the canvas, instead of being entirely enclosed within it. This creates the impression that the picture represents a scene from a much greater world, which is necessarily left to the imagination. Not always done well, of course, but when it is it adds levels of depth and mystery that wouldn't be present if the subject were presented entire, with nothing left out.

8/20/2014 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They too are ignorant with positive knowledge -- most conspicuously, the knowledge that an innocent young man was gunned down by the police for no reason but his race.

There wasn't any evidence to back it up in the beginning, and every bit of new evidence seems to contradict it. It seems I'm dumbfounded by just how susceptible some people's perception of reality is to ideology. That has to be hard work. How do they keep it up? I'd be exhausted.

8/20/2014 01:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

I would say with a big assist from Satan, or the Spirit of Deception. The left would be nowhere without it.

8/20/2014 01:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

The Father or Lies is exceeding fertile.

8/20/2014 01:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Hey, I don't even believe in Satan. It's just that he believes in us.

8/20/2014 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yes, I suspect he even has faith in humanity.

8/20/2014 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

I wonder what Satan does to keep busy these days. A subtle nudge here, a minor course correction there, but really, with the self perpetuation of the left, is there anything Satan has to do but sit back and reminisce about the good ole days when he had to battle against truth still found in the public square. I hope he's bored and miserable.

8/20/2014 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Griffin said...

The Father or Lies is exceeding fertile.

Well, any ass can give birth to a lie.

8/20/2014 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Why do people want to believe things that are patently untrue? Might as well ask why people want to be liberal: because it makes the irritating ignorance go away by replacing it with high-density stupidity."

Curing ignorance with high-density stupidity has one helluva psychotic effect.
Sort of like a spiritual LSD. See what you want, man.

8/20/2014 04:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Best troll smackdown ever. I'm envious.

8/20/2014 05:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

I like the cut of Goad's jib!

8/20/2014 06:28:00 PM  

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