Wednesday, May 24, 2023

The RH Child is Father to the LH Goat

Uniqueness is to Generality as One is to Many and Substance is to Form.

I would say Change my mind, but I haven't yet made up my mind. It just kind of popped out. At any rate, 

On the one hand, we need to see [a thing] as unique: nothing that exists is ever the same as anything else. Yet, one aspect of what it really is requires us to see where it fits into the context of everything else; and to see that we need generalities (McGilchrist). 

Take two coins, for example: one coin is not the other, but they are nevertheless both coins. So, what distinguishes them? A Thomist would say their accidents: this one is, say, worn and faded, that one shiny and sharp.  

As a child, the excitement lies in discovering that not everything is unique, but that there are general categories giving shape to the world: "Bunny!," "Doggie!" This gives pattern to experience (ibid.).

Hmm. I wonder if the excitement lies in the other direction for an old goat?

As adults we have become so used to this, that we have to make an effort in the opposite direction: the excitement comes only when we recover the uniqueness of what it is we contemplate (ibid.).

So, is this why the old goat meditates? 

when everything is familiar, time speeds up. When we are young all is new: not so in age. This may be another good reason for practicing mindfulness, which makes everything new once more (ibid.).

Well, we'll stipulate that something makes all things new. 

And now that I think about it, it's the novelty we're after. Not total novelty, because that way lies psychosis, but... a gentle flow, or something: hello, noumena! Remumble when? I do, but how to get back there? Give us this day our daily dawn, when

the real, experienced presence of the mountains and lakes as a child was overwhelming -- they were, in our terms, present "in their very essence" to him, awe-inspiring and unique; when as an adult he could see them only as re-presented, now become the essential Mountain and the essential Lake (ibid.).

The Substantial or Archetypal Mountain or Lake from which all other mountains and lakes are number two, or lower. Which makes you wonder if it was also like this for prelapsarian man, or when man as such was a young goat:

For the man of the golden age to climb a mountain was in truth to approach the Principle. In our day to climb a mountain -- and there is no longer a mountain that is the “center of the world” -- is to “conquer” its summit; the ascent is no longer a spiritual act but a profanation. Man, in his aspect of human animal, makes himself God. The gates of Heaven, mysteriously present in nature, close to him (Schuon).

Bad goat! 

Reminds me of a song:

When the child was a child
It didn't know it was a child
Everything for it was filled with life and all life was one
Saw the horizon without trying to reach it


Gagdad Bob said...

Keynut address at this years APA convention:

On Refusal and Recovery: What Black women teach us about reclaiming our wellness in our work

Black women have a complicated relationship with labor in the U.S. context and beyond. Born out of a legacy of enslavement, Black women's labor dynamics entangle identity, purpose, and survival with the potential to undermine their thriving. And yet, Black women are getting free. Finding deeper, personal meaning in our work, articulating boundaries for rest and restoration, and uncoupling the damage of intergenerational racial trauma from the intersection of racism, sexism, and classism from who we know ourselves to be. In this keynote address, Dr. Wendi Williams explains how Black women's refusal and recovery offer key lessons to positively shape our collective reclamation of wellness in our work lives.

julie said...

I am afraid to try and parse those sentences for meaning; in order to properly understand them, I'm pretty sure one must give up a couple of points of both IQ and sanity.

julie said...

In our day to climb a mountain -- and there is no longer a mountain that is the “center of the world” -- is to “conquer” its summit;

Reminds of all the traffic going up Mt. Everest. On the one hand, yes, they're climbing the mountain and reaching the summit is still dangerous and impressive; on the other, it's the ultimate in vain pursuits for a chance to stand in line at the top (like for a Disney ride) to take a quick selfie.

Gagdad Bob said...

It has always seemed to me that one must be rather literal to need to climb Mt. Everest. Or be shot into space. Have they no imagination?

Gagdad Bob said...

To paraphrase Bo Diddley, I don't need to Climb Mt. Everest. I got you doin' it.

julie said...

On a completely unrelated note, today I learned that it is unnecessarily stigmatizing to refer to people who are high on xylazine (a.k.a. "tranq" or "zombie drug"), staggering around in a state of complete obliviousness and literally necrotizing from the inside out, as "zombies."

Not sure what the preferred nomenclature is, but perhaps "Undead Americans" will suffice.

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