Everything Must Go
I hope everyone is having a fine Boxing Day. In my case, in the course of moving some boxes from the garage back to the slackatoreum, I discovered a cache of early church documents. I wonder what's in them? The oldest ones seem to go back about thirty years. Will they prove embarrassing to the Lodge? Do they fill in some of the gaps in our sometimes frankly mythological understanding of Raccoon history? More importantly, wouldn't it be nice to extract any worthwhile nuggets, so I can toss this dusty pile into the recycling?
There is way too much for a single post, unless I exercise the strictest self-indulgence.
Now, this is a little weird, because a loose page on top of the pile speaks to our recent discussion of what happens when inside and outside are conflated. It is undated, but I'm pretty sure it's from the '80s (more often than not the notes are incomplete sentences, but the meaning is clear): "Apparatus for perception is split into minute fragments and expelled -- leaves him in a state which is neither alive nor dead."
This is a key principle, because when a person conflates inside and outside, perception obviously becomes distorted. It is more like apperception, whereby the person makes "sense of an idea by assimilating it to the body of ideas he or she already possesses." We all do this to a certain extent, but the pathological version is characterized more by a forced expulsion of the unwanted psychic fragments into the outer world, which then causes the person to feel persecuted by them:
"Perception becomes impossible -- imprisoned by menacing presence of expelled fragments [which] lead independent and uncontrolled existence outside him."
Then what? "Each particle is contained by or engulfs a real external object." It is as if the mental process is reversed, and instead of objects becoming ideas, ideas become external objects. The nicest thing we can say about it is that inductive reasoning is rendered impossible, because the person will generalize from his own systematic misperceptions.
So, I think we can toss that page in the trash. Only about a thousand more to go.
This is from a paper I seem to have written around the same time, with a real typewriter. It shows how some people never change: "As opposed to the horizontal accumulation of unconnected facts taking place in time -- something which western science does par excellence -- this is a vertical process, a way of connecting ourselves with the primordial reality that is now." However, it would take many years for Bob to explain how such diffuse pneumababble is any different from merely deepaking the chopra.
Here is another one that goes back to our current subject: "It is possible to be in a language, but for the language to not be connected to reality." Or, in a word, tenure. So "Be quiet! God is not done talking!"
The "first human crisis is consciousness itself; the next crisis is leisure, prosperity, affluence..." I still think this is true: that human beings are still adapting to this new and strange state of being self-conscious, and that when people have affluence and leisure -- AKA slack -- they don't generally know what to do with it. Often they find that the space is populated by persecutory mind parasites, which I think is largely what animates the left. I mean, when you're reduced to scanning the world in search of microaggressions, that is a hint that you have no real problems -- or that you are projecting your internal persecutors into the world as a way to manage and cope with them.
Here are some notes concerning theoretical biologist Robert Rosen: "Organisms are not a special case but an indication that the laws of physics are profoundly incomplete. The universe described by these laws is an extremely impoverished one in which life cannot exist."
Or in other words, there is no way with the existing laws of physics to get to biology: "biology is unreachable by physics," so we end up "looking at a universe in which we cannot exist." D'oh! Physics is a necessary but not sufficient cause of life. The sufficient cause is vertical.
"Where does the genotype end and the phenotype begin?" ("An organism's genotype is the set of genes that it carries. An organism’s phenotype is all of its observable characteristics...") Now, all the characteristics that define us as truly human are phenotypic. A merely genetic human would not really be human at all, because, among other reasons, humanness is intrinsically relational, or takes place in a phenotypic space between genotypes. To put it crudely.
"Our model is not identical to the thing modeled." If we forget this, we may "create worlds with no external referent." This is a more subtle instance of the more primitive apperception alluded to above, because everything outside the model is subsumed into it. Like Marxism, for example. What is Marxism -- or leftism in general -- but an all-encompassing way to misperceive and misunderstand human nature and the world more generally?
Some things cannot be simulated -- economies, for example. Or human minds. Of course, we can reduce anything to number. But there are some things that, if reduced to number, are denuded of meaning. For example, you could say that a human being is 97% water, or $3.52 worth of minerals, or a member of the 99%, but this tells us less than nothing, because it obliterates the deeper and higher truth.
In short, "The physics of color can be just as well understood by the color blind." Indeed, even Stevie Wonder knows that leaves are green / They only change to brown when autumn comes around. The question is, could a place like this exist so beautiful / Or do we have to find our wings and fly away / To the vision in our mind?. Yes. The latter, so long as it is connected to reality.
Rosen felt that biology needed to readmit teleology if it was to provide an intelligible basis for life: "final causation is simply describing something in terms of what it entails rather than exclusively what entails it."
This is especially relevant for human beings, who are able to consciously initiate causes. In other words, we are not merely caused, but cause -- a truth which Marxism again denies, since it says that we are essentially the consequence of our class. We are materially determined, and have no soul-essence that may freely determine our future. Or else!
"Is time the process of pulling the objective into the subjective?" I would say so. In other words, of we go back, say, 4 billion years ago, there is only an "objective" world, since there are not yet any subjects in it, no points of view (we will exclude God from this discussion). The first itsy bitsy teensy weensy bit of matter that wrapped around itself and decided to go on being is like a huge tear in the fabric of objectivity. Suddenly there is a hole in the cosmos -- the very rabbit hole through which life jumps in.
Cosmic evolution blah blah yada yada, what is human knowledge but the interiorization of the exterior, or a pulling of the object(ive) into the subject?