Friday, October 26, 2007

Wandering, Wondering, and Blundering into the Mystery

The very word “man” implies “God,” the very word “relative” implies “Absolute.” --F. Schuon

To know what man can be is to know that God is, which in turn leads to an understanding of what to do about the situation, i.e., meditation, prayer, the cultivation of virtue, and wandering about aimlessly but not omlessly in the desert, each of which is a different mode of faith and worship. In this regard, "Faith is like an ‘existential’ intuition of its ‘intellectual’ object" (Schuon), the pre-conception required to give birth to the seed of God.

First of all, you needn't waste any time trying to prove whether God exists, because man is the evidence you seek, if only you would seek and discover the Real Man behind the mask. It is like leaves trying to prove -- or disprove, as the case may be -- the existence of trees by growing more leaves. Once you walk the plank into God's arbor and your wood beleaf, the coonundrum ends and the Great Mystery begins. And it is a "mystery in motion," otherwise known as an adventure -- the only one that really Is and has ever been: the adventure of consciousness. The melody of your life continues to play, only transposed to a higher key.

Now "mystery," like "worship," is a misunderstood word. Just as "worship" -- or what we were calling (w) -- is the cultivation of an (L) and therefore (K) link between God and man -- or O and (¶) -- mystery is not an absence of knowledge, but a pregnant space where a certain kind of knowledge flows. But to distinguish this from profane, horizontal knowledge (k), we call this latter form (n).

As a brief aside, I feel sorry for anyone who is not able to plunge heart first into the adventure of consciousness and abide in the Great Mystery that is. Having lived in both worlds, I would never return to being a sleepwalking clockjockey down in 4D. To be honest, I never really was. Rather, I made a solemn vow way back in high school that I would never join the conspiracy to rob me of my own slack -- a loss which cannot be quantified because timelessness cannot be measured. Suffice it to say that it is of infinite worth to a man who cares about his spiritual development and the fate of his soul.

I think I was probably a born "pneumatic," as Schuon calls it (although Petey might take issue with this). I can't think of any better explanation. There are just certain people for whom it requires little effort to see that the spiritual world is more real than the conspiracy world, and that the game isn't worth the condle in the latter swindle. Schuon writes that "The pneumatic is a man who identifies a priori with his spiritual substance and thus always remains faithful to himself; he is not a mask unaware of his scope, as is the man enclosed in accidentality."

I don't want to romanticize my past, because it hasn't always been easy being, er, different. One of the reasons is that when the typical neurotic person notices -- but doesn't yet gnotice -- that he is different from the Others, he usually blames himself and tries to conform to the group, thus sacrificing his individuality and aborting the adventure of consciousness (since it is only the individual that can take this trip; there is no group rate). It took quite a while to simply let my freak flag fly without feeling self-conscious about it. To be honest, it was probably only after I started blogging that I really "pulled out all the stops," so to speak.

I mean, even in writing the book, you can see that I "pulled back" from where I am now. This is because when I wrote it, I wasn't sure if there were any other Raccoons out there -- you know, freevangelical pundamentalists, vertical theocons, and neotraditional cosmonauts. Therefore, as odd as the book is, I still had to make some concessions to the conspiracy, since I hadn't yet started the coonspiracy. But now, with the blogging, I don't care. I now have a small audience of Raccoons scurrying about in my head, which is what has stimulated my creativity and allowed me to blog every day.

I'm probably going to get sidetracked here, but this is important. The other day I was reading a talk by Joseph Campbell, about how he took the extreme measure of checking out of the conspiracy back in his day, which in turn became the interior touchstone of his life, since it allowed him to contact his true self and then live from his center from that point onward.

It's really a pretty remarkable story, and I imagine that most Raccoons will relate to it, even if they reject some of Campbell's later new age noodling. He attended Princeton in the mid-1920s, and could have easily taken the traditional path to graduate school and then academia. But during a visit to Europe in 1927-28, he came into contact with all the new trends that were going on at the time -- Jung, Joyce, modern art, etc. -- so that when he returned, he had lost all interest in what academia had to offer:

".... So I said to hell with it. I went up into the woods and spent five years reading.... It was from 1929 to 1934, five years. I went up to a little shack in Woodstock, New York, and just dug in. All I did was read, read, read, and take notes. It was during the Great Depression. I didn't have any money...."

Importantly, this wasn't just aimless reading, but what someone else once called the "mystery school of individuation." Perhaps you're familiar with the concept. You find one book that speaks directly to your soul, which tips you to another one that does the same. Pretty soon you're embarked on a wild nous chase, not for any "exterior" purpose, but for the purpose of trying to articulate the idiom of your own soul. The end result -- among other things -- is that 1) you know you have a soul, 2) you are aware that your soul is very specifically yours (i.e., it has its own divine clueprint, so to speak), and 3) you don't want to do anything in life that would interfere with the intrinsic joy of living from your soul.

But it takes a lot of courage and persistence to do this: "Actually, there were times when I almost thought -- almost thought -- 'Jeez, I wish someone would tell me what I had to do,' that kind of thing. Freedom involves making decisions, and each decision is a destiny decision. It's very difficult to find in the outside world something that matches what the system inside you is yearning for. My feeling now is that I had a perfect life: what I needed came along just when I needed it. What I needed was life without a job for five years. It was fundamental."

Because he was detached from the conspiracy, Campbell was able to take advantage of the more subtle currents that course through the arteries of the Cosmos: "... there's the idea of bumping into experience and people while you're wandering. You really are experiencing life that way. Nothing is routine, nothing is taken for granted. Everything is standing out on its own, because everything is a possibility, everything is a clue, everything is talking to you.... You are in for wonderful moments when you [live] like that -- for example, my putting up my hand in the Carmel library and finding a book that became a destiny book.... That rambling is a chance to sniff things out and somehow get a sense of where you feel you can settle." (This reminds me of the rabbinic saying that God spends most of his time arranging meetings and marriages.)

I feel sorry for young men and women today who go straight from high school to the university idiot factory and then on to some slackless job, slaving away for the conspiracy. They're missing out on the experience of a lifetime, which is to say, the writing of their own unique lifetome -- which only the individual soul can compose.

I can relate to Campbell's story, because in my case I quit college in my junior year (before they could expel me), and spent the next five or six years wandering, but not idly. Rather, it was a period of intense non-doodling, as if my soul were on fire and I was looking for water. By the time I entered graduate school in 1982, I was an utterly different person than I would have been had I spent all those years in the idiot factory. In short, I never would have become me. Whether it was luck or destiny, I cannot say.

But for the "pneumatic personality" -- which I imagine describes most Raccoons -- "he is born with a state of knowledge which, for other people, would actually be the goal, and not the point of departure; the pneumatic does not 'go forward' towards something 'other than himself'; he stays where he is in order to become fully what he himself is -- namely his archetype -- by ridding himself, one after the other, of veils or outer surfaces, shackles imposed by the ambience or perhaps by heredity. He becomes rid of them by means of ritual supports -- 'sacraments,' one might say -- not forgetting meditation and prayer."

Now back to our irregularly unscheduled program. Schuon agrees that mystery is not an absence of knowledge but the presence of a certain kind of profound knowledge; for it "is the essence of truth which cannot be adequately conveyed through language -- the vehicle of discursive thought -- but which may suddenly be made plain in an illuminating flash through a symbol, such as a key word, a mystic sound, or an image whose suggestive action may be scarcely graspable." Elsewhere he states that "Mystery is as it were the inner infinity of certitude, the latter could never exhaust the former."

Again, it is far from being something vague or fuzzy: "By ‘mystery’ we do not mean something incomprehensible in principle -- unless it be on the purely rational level -- but something which opens on to the Infinite, or which is envisaged in this respect, so that intelligibility becomes limitless and humanly inexhaustible. A mystery is always ‘something of God.’"

Let go into the mystery
Let yourself go

There's a way and a mystic road
You've got to have some faith
To carry on....

You've got to dance and sing
And be alive in the mystery
And be joyous and give thanks
And let yourself go
--Van Morrison, The Mystery

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Irreverence and Other Sacred Cows

Worship. Why worship the Creator?

Webster's tells us that the word comes to us from both Middle English and Middle French, and has to do with worthiness, repute, respect, or reverence paid to a divine being. It is also "an act expressing such reverence." Being that it is about as universal a (pre)conception as there is in the human arsenal, even looked at from a purely anthropological standpoint, there must be something about it that is absolutely intrinsic to being human. Dylan probably nailed it when he sang that you're gonna have to serve somebody, so it might as well be the Absolute.

Atheists imagine they don't worship anything or anyone, but this is pure naivete. If we strip the word "worship" of certain saturated images and ideas, they're just like everyone else. To put it another way, if you don't respect and revere what is absolutely worthy of such, you're just not human. The impulse to worship comes from such a deep unconscious wellspring, that it is naive to imagine that you could somehow bypass it. To the extent that you try, you will simply replace the absolute with the relative, which is idolatry, or rebel against the absolute, which is satanism.

Could it be that worship simply has to do with Darwinian survival, as sociobiologists and evolutionary psychologists maintain? I doubt it, because so many forms of worship are so utterly non-adaptive and damaging to the survival prospects of both individuals and groups. Take the Aztec, for example. They worshipped a god who required a constant diet of sacrificial victims. Clearly, they were simply worshipping a psychological projection of their own bloodthirsty mind parasites, as do our contemporary Islamist monsters of depravity. In these cases, the "worship function" -- let's just call it (w), to avoid saturation -- is appropriated by psychopathological elements with their own agenda.

As I mentioned in the Coonifesto, mind parasites operate in a manner that exactly parallels their viral or bacterial cousins in the material world, that is, by taking over the machinery of the host and using it to reproduce themselves. Our minds, just like our bodies, have certain "functions" with which the parasite can interfere.

For example, one of the most important functions of the mind is its epistemophilic instinct. If this instinct is not guided by a love of truth, it can easily be commandeered by other factors and thereby go astray. Indeed, human history is littered with knowledge that wasn't really knowledge because it was serving purposes other than truth.

You might think that this is only a problem that afflicted primitive peoples, but you'd be wrong. To cite one obvious example, the reason why leftist universities have become such "bullshit factories" is that the epistemophilic instinct is given free reign to worship anything but truth, for example, diversity. Being that truth exists on a vector that tends toward unity, the worship of diversity institutionalizes the Lie.

In the metaphysics of Vedanta, there is the idea of the three gunas, which are qualities or modes that permeate all of creation. These are sattwa, or the upward tendency; rajas, the expansive or "passional" tendency"; and tamas, the downward or inertial quality. Each human being is a combination of all three, although one tends to dominate. (The gunas have other implications, but we'll ignore those for now.)

As Schuon, explains, this implies three general modes of living; in the case of sattva it is "conformity to the Principle"; in the case of rajas, it is "the expansive affirmation of possibilities, hence 'horizontal' -- or, if one prefers, 'passional' -- existence; while tamas would imply "non-conformity to the Principle," that is, "the illusory movement in the direction of a 'nothingness' that is inexistent, obviously, but that is possible as a negative and subversive point of reference." It is the movement from the cosmic center to the periphery.

You might say that the sattvic person worships the Absolute, while the rajasic person worships the world -- which will be a good or bad thing depending upon the degree of sattvas or tamas (in other words, it is obviously possible to appropriately love the world). The tamasic person, as Schuon suggests, is at best "floating" or "drifting" away from the Absolute. But add a little rajasic passion to the mix, and you have someone who is actively doing so, which is what the psychospiritual left is all about: a passion for godlessness, or religious fervor in the absence of its appropriate object.

This is why the Democrat party doesn't need religion, since it already is one. You will notice how stiff and awkward they sound when trying to mimic real religion (except for the satanically passionate ones, e.g., Sharpton and Jackson). They just don't get it. But this is not to say that they have no (w), which they obviously do. It is just oriented in the wrong direction. Among other sins, they inappropriately love the world (and many of its most unlovable inhabitants, for that matter).

Now, one of the ways Bion revolutionized psychoanalysis was by focussing on the link between two objects, as opposed to the impersonal discharge of an instinct. To greatly oversimplify, Freud would say that love merely rides piggypack on the sex instinct, whereas Bion would say that sex is a link between objects characterized by love, hate, or knowledge, or (L), (H), or (K). For example, for a person with a perversion, the sex instinct has become an (H) or (-L) link between the two objects (who, by the way, are actually subjects, properly speaking; the word "object" is a holdover from the old instinctual model).

You will note that Genesis is very astute in this regard, for it says that Adam knew Eve, which is to emphasize how different humans are from animals when it comes to the sexual instinct. Obviously, animal sex has no (K) link; nor any (L) or (H) link, for that matter. On the other hand, human sex without a (K) or (L) link is not properly human. It is something less, closer to animal sex (but actually lower, since animals are not violating their own nature by engaging in animal sex). Only man can sink beneath himself, and therefore, other animals. The fact that he can be lower than an animal is what separates him from them.

I'm starting to run out of time, but what I would like to suggest is that (w) is a critical link between God and man, or, of you prefer, O and (¶), as I put it in the book. In other words, it is not merely a mode of subservience, but of knowledge and love, and therefore union. To put it another way, to spontaneously worship the Creator is to already confess knowledge of him.

Well, I'd better get to work. To be continued.....

The whole order of relations among the various worlds may be conceived in images of intimate engagement, a kind of sexual contact between one world and another, between one level of being and another. --Adin Steinsaltz, The Thirteen Petalled Rose

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

O You're Vine, Mr. Finn! (10.08.10)

Just as today's armies are equipped only to win yesterday's wars, we cannot expect contemporary physics to successfully cope with problems other than those with which it has already coped. --Robert Rosen, Life Itself

As we were discussing yesterday, it is very unlikely -- impossible, really -- that the cosmos is analogous to a machine. Rather, it is much more like an organism or even a mind than it is a machine. And once we understand this, it makes the appearances of life and mind much less problematic, based upon the principle "as above, so below."

Coonversely, if we begin with the scientistic principle "as below, so above," we really can't ever leave the cosmic eschatolator. It is a world intrinsically devoid of values, progress, hierarchy, or even evolution (as opposed to mere change).

Based upon the proper application of reason, it is easy to understand how someone could arrive at the logical necessity of God. To put it another way, I have never heard any version of atheism that isn't shot through with unjustified premises, illogical conclusions, and metaphysical cul-de-sacs.

However, to merely prove the existence of a creator tells us nothing about what this creator is like, for example, whether he is even good or worthy of worship. Indeed, how did this idea of "worship" slip in, anyway? Supposing physicists eventually discover a mathematical "theory of everything." It is highly unlikely that they will worship it, even if it is their ultimate scientific icon. So why should we worship our Ultimate Principle? We'll get to that later.

If the Creator exists, it necessarily follows that he is "like us," without being limited to being like us. This is true of any level in the cosmic hierarchy. For example, life is "like matter," without being limited to it. Likewise, human beings are "like primates" without being limited to that. Or, to put it another way, if we turn the cosmos right side up, and begin at the top, we can see that each level of reality is a diminution, until we reach the realm of dense matter.

And in fact, all esoteric cosmologies continue down beyond matter, which makes perfect sense, since the "ray of creation" proceeds from the cosmic center (or top, if you like), and continues on "forever," so to speak, to the threshold of nihilism, or nothingness. In this regard, we can see that matter is superior, say, to the nihilists of dailykos, even though we cannot treat them as such, out of respect for their still human potential.

I realize that some readers think Schuon is difficult or obscure, but really, the following cannot be said with any more adamantine precision. The difficulty probably results from trying to read what he is saying while standing upside down. Basically you're out of your tree. Once you properly orient yourself to reality, feet firmly in the air -- roots aloft, branches down below -- it makes perfect sense:

"The diverse manifestations of the Good in the world clearly have their source in a principial and archetypal diversity, whose root is situated in the Supreme Principle itself, and which pertains not only to the Divine Qualities, from which our virtues are derived, but also -- in another respect -- to aspects of the Divine Personality, from which our faculties are derived" (emphasis mine).

Recall Jesus' ironic and amazingly soph-aware remark, "Why do you call Me good? There is none good but one, that is, God." What this means is that if we begin "at the top" -- which is to say, with the Absoluteness of God -- then we must conclude that only God is absolutely good: "He alone possesses, for example, the quality of beauty; compared to the divine Beauty, the beauty of a creature is nothing, just as existence itself is nothing next to the Divine Being" (Schuon).

But God, being absolute, is necessarily infinite. As such, his absolute transcendence is matched by his infinite immanence that extends everywhere and into every thing -- and which ultimately is another form of transcendence! It is why, for example, God is intuited in the very large, i.e., infinite, and the very small, i.e., the infinitesimal. And it is why "every hair on your head is counted," more on which later.

Because of the immanence of the Absolute, it can be said that "the beauty of a creature -- being beauty and not its contrary -- is necessarily that of God, since there is no other; and the same is true for all the other qualities, without forgetting, at their basis, the miracle of existence." Therefore, if we turn Jesus' statement around and consider it from the standpoint of immanence instead of transcendence, it would be something like "You folks call me good because there is none good but one, that is, God, and we are necessarily not-two."

Yesterday we were discussing how these principles may be applied to life, not just biological life, but to life as such, of which biological organisms are a reflection. For clearly, as I mentioned in the Coonifesto, God is obviously alive; but just as obviously, not a biological organism. In fact, if animals could speak to biologists, they might say something like, "Why do you call me alive? There is none alive but one, that is, God." Then again, animals say this all the time. But in order to gnotice it, you must be an animal lover, for love is the "link" or "channel" for such information. That or beauty.

Rosen -- who was a "hard" scientist, and, to my knowledge, not a religious man -- wanted to know "what it is about organisms that confers upon them their magical characteristics, what it is that sets life apart from all other material phenomena in the universe. That is indeed the question of questions: What is life? What is it that enables living things, apparently so moist, fragile, and evanescent, to persist while towering mountains dissolve into dust, and the very continents and oceans dance into oblivion and back?"

Of course, he looked for (and found) a scientific answer, but it is an answer that ultimately "must be," for the very same reason that the Creator must be. Rosen provides a hint of the reason for this in the Prolegomena of the book, where he observes that, "Ironically, the idea that life requires an explanation is a relatively new one. To the ancients, life simply was; it was a given; a first principle, in terms of which other things were explained."

But life "vanished as an explanatory principle with the rise of mechanics," even though machines -- which are created for a purpose -- are much more "like life" than life is "like a machine." It is as if scientists abstracted some quality from life, and then re-projected the abstraction onto the concrete reality, thus conflating the two. Frankly, they do this all the time, which is why one must make a conscious effort to escape the influence of the crimped models of reality proffered to us by science.

One thing atheists and other materialists habitually do is to naively take their abstractions for the reality. The genome is not a map, the brain is not a computer, mountains are not triangles, and love is not a baseball game. But I am a Raccoon, a true son of Herman Hildebrand, a mystery for you to ponder until I pick up this thread tomorrow.

Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in Me. --John 15:4

Monday, October 22, 2007

Looking for the World, Finding the Creator (10.07.10)

Atheism is not a philosophy. It is not even a view of the world. It is simply an admission of the obvious…. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs. --Sam Harris, Unscientist and Nonphilosopher

Science is and must be exciting, since it relies on largely unspecifiable clues which can be sensed, mobilized and integrated only by a passionate response to their hidden meaning.... This is the unaccountable element which enters into science at its source and vitally participates throughout, even in its final result. In science this element has been called intuition. --Michael Polanyi, Scientist and Philosopher

Continuing our little raiding party on the wild godhead, Schuon writes that on the natural plane -- i.e., the horizontal world of empirical reality -- it is sufficient "to have at one's disposal the necessary data and then to reason correctly."

As it so happens, the same rules apply to the suprasensable world, with one important difference, "that the object of thought then requires the intervention of intellection, which is an inner illumination" (emphasis mine). However, the difference is not really as stark as one might suppose, for as Schuon adds, "if natural things may require a certain intuition independent of reasoning as such, then supernatural things will a fortiori require intuition of a superior order, since they do not fall within the reach of the senses."

You will notice that in my list of book raccoomendations in the sidebar of the blog, I don't place too many philosophers there, mainly Michael Polanyi (there is no perfect introduction, but this is probably the best one), one reason being that he most adequately expressed this idea of "lower intuition," so to speak, being critical to the evolution of scientific understanding and therefore progress into the great unKnown. It's not so much that the "intuition" is lower, only that science applies (and arbitrarily limits it) to a lower order of reality, i.e., the material/horizontal world. But to point out that the material world cannot be understood in the absence of intuition is to simultaneously affirm the obvious fact that the world is not material.

Theists often argue that most of the world's greatest scientists have been religious, but in the end, that is neither here nor there. More importantly, science itself cannot operate without certain functions that most people would regard as spiritual or quasi-religious, certainly not "mechanical" or empirical. Even to digest the most alimentary fact, "reason requires data in order to function, otherwise it operates in the void." Therefore, something transcending reason must supply the material for it to operate on, or else you are truly trapped in an absurcular universe from which there is no escape -- not even into knowledge.

In a way, this mirrors the philosophical problem of the ontological status of mathematics. That is, the most perfect mathematical account of the cosmos will never account for two things, 1) the mysterious existence of its own invariant mathematical operations, and 2) the "substance" to which the mathematical equations apply (in other words, no mathematical equation can create reality, only provide an abstract description of it).

In reality -- which is where we want to be in -- the data required by reason can only come from four sources, 1) the world, which is objective, 2) experience, which is obviously subjective, 3), "Revelation, which like the world is objective since it comes to us from without," and 4) "intellection, which is subjective since it is produced within ourselves" (Schuon).

In a gnotshul: exterior world, interior experience, exterior revelation, and interior intellection.

But it is the work of a moment to see that each of these implies and even "contains" its opposite. For example, the fact that we may comprehend the "inner workings" of the exterior world indeed suggests that it has an interior, as Whitehead understood almost a century ago, based upon the (then) new findings of quantum physics. Likewise, the fact that we may objectively understand reality must mean that there is something of the unwavering object inside the human subject. And revelation, save for the most dull-witted literalist (who may be a theist or atheist, it doesn't matter) is like a veritable interior cathedral that ultimately discloses the mind of the Creator (not completely, of course, any more than any text could exhaust the mind of its author).

Reason and experience: both are far more mysterious than the weak secularized mind can appreciate (which is why it is so easily secularized). Back to Michael Polanyi. In an essay entitled The Unaccountable Element in Science, he explains how it is impossible in the practice of science to replace unspecifiable acts of personal judgment -- AKA, intuition -- with the operation of explicit reasoning, as if our minds operated like machines. This applies not only to scientific discovery, but to "the very holding of scientific knowledge."

He begins by citing Kant, who acknowledged that "into all acts of judgment there enters, and must enter, a personal decision which cannot be accounted for by any rules." In other words, "no system of rules can prescribe the procedure by which the rules themselves are to be applied." This is particularly obvious in my own racket of psychology. You cannot unambiguously convey to another person the "rules" for apprehending the unconscious mind. Rather, this ability can only be gained through experience, even though it is "rule bound."

To bring it down to a more mundane (or sophisticated, depending on your point of view) level, when John Madden and I watch a football game, we "see" entirely different realities. What may look like mere "noise" to me, will constitute a field of extremely significant "facts" to Madden. And what looks important to me, may be just noise to him -- a sort of diversion that obscures the real action.

So, BOOM, right away, we can see that one of the indispensable skills of the scientist -- or, shall we say, the expert in any field, from football to theology -- is to distinguish between noise and information. The expert is able to convert what is foreground to the untrained eye into background, so as to attend to hidden clues that only the expert can intuit -- which is to say, appreciate as clues. In psychoanalysis it is called "listening with the third ear," but every discipline or field of study must have something similar, whether it is quantum physics, wine tasting, or biblical exegesis:

"This gift of seeing things where others see nothing is indeed the mark of the scientific genius." Atheistic flatlanders such as Sam Harris see easy solutions everywhere. In contrast, what the genius or superior Man of Achievement sees is a problem where others don't: "All research starts by a process of collecting clues that intrigue the enquiring mind.... The knowledge of a true problem is indeed a paradigm of all knowing. For knowing is always a tension alerted by largely unspecifiable clues and directed by them towards a focus at which we sense the presence of a thing -- a thing that, like a problem, embodies the clues on which we rely for attending to it."

So don't give me this "God is just an intuition" business. For reality itself is nothing but an intuition. And atheism is indeed "nothing more than the noises (merely) reasonable people make in the presence of (their own) unjustified (ir)religious beliefs."

Or, to put it another way, God is not the solution. He is the problem. But only if you can give up your false solutions and are sophisticated enough to intuit the clues within the noise. In short, to see God, you must quiet the noise and get a clue. Otherwise you'll be stuck down in the realm where truth lies -- or where "the answer is the disease that kills curiosity."

Why, on what lines will you look, Socrates, for a thing of whose nature you know nothing at all? Pray, what sort of thing, amongst those you know not, will you treat us to as the object of your search? Or even supposing, at the best, that you hit upon it, how will you know it is the thing you did not know? --Plato, Meno

Now -- if you haven't got an answer
Then you haven't got a question
And if you never had a question
Then you'd never have a problem
But if you never had a problem
Well, everyone would be happy
But if everyone was happy
There'd never be a love song
--Harry Nilsson, Joy

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