Wednesday, March 18, 2015

If This Brain is Rockin', Don't Bother Knockin'

Time only for a brief evocation. You'll have to read between the lines and fill in the details.

Picking up where we ended yesterday -- which was with the affirmation that the "intellect (nous) is itself a revelation, just as revelation is a letter addressed to it."

Therefore, if we're going to be translogical, we would have to conclude that both revelation and intellect share a common substance: let's call it truth. This is really just transposing the Aristotelian view to a higher key. The fact that the soul may "know" means that "the faculties of knowledge and sensation are potentially these objects."

But since the soul cannot literally be identical to the object known, it must mean that the immaterial form is present in us, or that we are able to participate in its form. In the words of Aquinas (in Taylor), "the knowing being is naturally adapted to have also the form of some other thing."

You might say that human beings are adapted to adaptation, adequate to adequation, or conformed to conformation. Which is also why we are evolved to evolve, or to be child-like forever: neoteny rules.

This goes to the trinitarian basis of even the very possibility of knowing. You could say that we are able to get inside the known, or that the known is somehow in us, but either way, there is some heavy interpenetration going on, so if this brain is rockin', don't bother knockin'.

For Taylor, this goes to our poetic nature, in that "it is always the end of poetry to bring us sympathetically inside the experience of reality, always in search of union, fulfilling our innate desire to know."

Shifting gears for a moment, Bollas writes of how we "constantly engage objects crucial to [our] own self experiencing."

This implies a different sort of knowledge embedded in objects, knowledge of ourselves. Or rather, the form of the object resonates with our own form, making explicit what was implicit, or actualizing its latent potential. (And again, in psychoanalytic parlance, "object" includes subjects, i.e., relationships.)

But this management of objects "is part of a complex relation each of us has to ourself," such that "we inherit the tasks of our mothers and fathers." If our parents weren't very good at helping us discover our idiom, then it is likely that we will parent ourselves just as poorly: "The quality of any person's self experiencing will reflect the individual's skill in meeting idiom needs by securing evocatively nourishing objects" (ibid.).

Evocatively nourishing objects. Religion, it seems to me, is very much about contact with evocatively nourishing objects, at least if it works the way it is supposed to. As Bollas puts it, "Some objects (a book, a friend, a concert, a walk) release us into intense inner experiencings which somehow emphasize us" (emphasis mine).

It is as if these objects "lift us into some utterance of self available for deep knowing." While he's not talking about religion per se, this is obviously how religion works on an experiential basis: it "lifts us into some utterance of self available for deep knowing" -- and not available in any other way.

But of course, it is possible to block out this evocative area entirely, otherwise there would be no such thing as atheists. Likewise, it is possible to repress sexuality or any other dimension of the self.

More generally, "Some individuals are reluctant to live in the third area (the intermediate area of experience)..." They impose their own ideas on the vertical, and thus blunt its evocative and transformational possibilities.

I'm out of time this morning, so I'll just conclude by saying don't do that!

6 Comments:

Blogger Van Harvey said...

"For Taylor, this goes to our poetic nature, in that "it is always the end of poetry to bring us sympathetically inside the experience of reality, always in search of union, fulfilling our innate desire to know.""

I was reading his chapter on Descartes last night and this morning. Suffice to say my Idiom was a rockin'. Big time.

3/18/2015 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Or rather, the form of the object resonates with our own form, making explicit what was implicit, or actualizing its latent potential.

Learning what we look like from every angle. This reminds of one of Chesterton's Father Brown stories where (as best I recall) various suspects describe a person they thought they saw at the scene. Father Brown explains that the "suspect" each saw was the witness's own reflection in a mirror. I believe Brown figures it out because he, too, saw his reflection but knew who he was.

3/18/2015 12:29:00 PM  
Anonymous neal said...

Optiks. Time polishes Space.
Of course, when Space reciprocates, they say all the Heavens rejoice. Sometimes the really clear parts are leaking from the edges.

Of course, that is the funny part wherein letting that have its way with whatever you think you are is just perfectly close enough to matter.

First and last day on the job. Being clear sure seems like the part of the camera obscura that does not get much press.

3/18/2015 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

As Bollas puts it, "Some objects (a book, a friend, a concert, a walk) release us into intense inner experiencings which somehow emphasize us" (emphasis mine).

And just so, some things have the opposite effect. I was given cause today to re-member that not every teacher is a good fit for every student.

As to the quality of parenting, thankfully some folks seem to be fortunate enough to be parented from above, even when the earthly parents weren't quite up to the task.

3/18/2015 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

They never are. Which is a blessing.

3/18/2015 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Full hour of Dennis Prager on Glen Beck's BlazeTV last night, worth watching. If you don't subscribe, I think they still offer a week free to eval.

3/19/2015 07:21:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home