A book by Guy Murchie called The Music of the Spheres was published in 1961. It’s recommended in one of Kurt Vonnegut’s books. I forget which one now. And yes, I think Vonnegut
It’s little known nowadays and that’s too bad. It’s not that it’s an unambitious endeavor!
From the publisher’s blurb about it:
The first half of the book–Moons of Rock and Suns of Fire–deals with major astronomical phenomena viewed poetically from an imaginary earth satellite. In the second part the realms in which physics holds sway pass in review; the forms and nature of matter, the atom, waves and music, light and color, space and time.
I don’t know about you but I like the second part. Now focus on the last word in that blurb, “time.”
In that book, Murchie posits a fascinating notion. Instead of the past, present, and future all being separate and discreet things not a whole lot related to each other, Murchie says that in terms of physics, the past, the present, and the future are all simultaneously occurring right now as I write this. I know what you’re thinking. There goes Bob with another of his nutty ideas. But hold your horses a second, Hoss, and listen up for a bit.
I think there may actually be something to this and what follows is my version of Murchie’s theory:
The past has the seeds of our present and future within it already, so the present and future are contained in the past. We can say that the past contains the dual tails of the present and future in it. Of course when the past was happening, it had its own past and future embedded in it.
The present was brought here by the past and the future will contain the seeds of the present, so the present contains both the head of the past and the tail of the future in itself.
The future obviously doesn’t even exist. Think about that a bit as most folks don’t realize that. We Americans treat the future as if it’s a sure thing and often as if it will be better than the present. But we are thinking about something that doesn’t even exist yet. But even if it did exist, the future would be literally an outgrowth of the present, which, like it or not, is literally an outgrowth of the past, so the future would contain the heads of the present and future in it. The future of course contains the growth from the seeds of the past and the present, otherwise it wouldn’t even be there.
People are funny when it comes to definitions. You mention some completely abstract concept with no real hard meaning – something that means whatever people say it means- and people dig in their heels and say that the definition of the concept 50 or 100 or 1,000 years ago or yesterday is the only actual meaning of the word, and no other definitions are permitted. Why aren’t new definitions permitted?
Did God divine those definitions for those words? Of course not.
Let’s go lower on the bar.
Did science give us a pretty damn precise definition of those words like science has given us definitions of rocks and trees? Of course not. The Humanities are barely even sciences anyway. Physics envy is a thing and the current replication crisis is not surprising at all and is instead to be expected in any nonscientific enterprise (such as the Social Sciences).
These people seem to be engaging in some sort of magical thinking. They are confusing the words for things with the things themselves. There are words and there are things that the words represent. You can’t blur the boundaries. That’s called magical thinking.
They seem to think there is something special about words and that all words have some sort of ultimate Platonic essence or meaning and that all words can always mean only one thing and never another thing or that meanings of words can never change, as they are set in stone. Heidegger talked about this a lot. Sure, when you say the word rock or tree, you define and actual thing that’s not likely to change a whole lot, if at all.
So those words can’t be messed with – they are what I would call absolute meanings. You can’t decide that the meaning of rock is now tree, and the meaning of tree is now rock. You can, but not in a true philosophical sense. Can we say that the definition of a tree or a rock is whatever people say it is? Not really. I can’t say I’m a rock, and this keyboard is a tree. That’s because those terms have hard and fast meanings or absolute meanings and describe things that aren’t likely to change much if at all.
But what about Communism, socialism, on and on? Those words are not like rocks or trees. There’s no precise definition of what any of those are. Those are just models of political economy that people came up with and defined them by some utterly arbitrary definitions. In other words, those terms have utterly arbitrary meanings (Heidegger goes on about this at length). The meanings of things like this are more like little tags that we put on things to say a this is a this, and a that is a that. We can pull the tags off old concepts and go put them on new concepts all we want to -redefining concepts – because these concepts never had any true or absolute meaning in the first place.
Of course you could decide that communism and socialism now mean quite different models than they used to? Why not? These things are potentially ever-changing, not like rocks or trees.
Looking at it, I believe he is definitely Southern Chinese fore the most part. His father is Hainanese and has a rather distinctive genotype that looks something like his son’s. His mother is a certain type of Malay that dates back to the 1400’s and is significantly mixed with European blood, mostly British and Dutch, as Europeans have a presence in the area dating back centuries. I believe that they are called Pernakans. He also has some female relatives that look very Malay. I do not know who the older man to the right is, but he looks quite Malay to me.
I think my friend ended up looking more Chinese than Malay. The Hainanese are definitely a Chinese type people. Whether they also have a Vietic type SE Asian component is not known as I do not know the history of Hainan.
Although my friend definitely has a strong Southern Chinese look, he also has another component that makes him look, well, different. I’m not going to attempt to describe this element, but it does make him look somewhat “odd,” “interesting,” or “unusual, ” from a Southern Chinese POV. A typical Southern Chinese would say that he looks like a Southern Chinese, but he’s not like us. A Southern Chinese has more of a Modern Mongoloid look. My friend is mostly modern Mongoloid, with some elements of transitional Mongoloid or archaic Mongoloid – this is what the Malays are after all – added in.
The evolution from Negritos to moderns occurred much later in Malaysia, much taking place in only the last 5,000 years. The Senoi are an example of an archaic group that is definitely Australoid yet nevertheless more progressive than the Negritos. These are the “dream people” of psychological and anthropological literature, though modern research has shown that they do not incorporate dreams as much into their waking lives as we previously thought and that the extent to which they do this was much exaggerated.
There are also Negritos (or original Asians) in Malaysia. In fact, there is a group in Malaysia that genes that date back to 72,000 YBP. This is actually before the main Out of Africa event, yet is has now been shown that other small groups went out of Africa before then.
Most of these groups were devastated by the vast Toba volcanic explosion in India 72,000 YBP that exterminated almost all humans in South and Southeast Asia. It is thought that only 1,500 of this group survived the explosion. This means that humans went through a severe genetic bottleneck no doubt accompanied by massive selection pressure and huge genetic effects. Whether this explosion’s effects extended to Central Asia (probably), the Middle East (maybe), or East Africa (unknown) is not known. At any rate, this original group departed from East Africa near Somalia and Djibouti.
The main OOA group left out of here too. No one quite knows what these people looked like but they have appeared somewhat Khoisan. The Khoisan are the most ancient group in Africa with genes dating back 52,000 YBP. Further, their click language to me seems like a good candidate for the original human language. It does seem to be quite primitive. Before that, we clearly used sign language. Neandertals could not speak due to their hyoid bones. The great apes also have this problem. So when Neantertals vocalized, they may have sounded like great apes.
The Sasquatch, which I believe is an archaic hominid related to Heidebergensis which somehow survived, has a very odd speech pattern (it speaks on the inhale, bizarrely enough – try it sometime) and a friend of mine who shot and killed two of them told me that the juveniles were using extensive sign language. They ran half the time on all four and half the time on two legs, which is very odd. Sasquatches can run up to 30 mph on all fours. That must be quite frightening to watch but it can be seen in the Port Edward Island Sasquatch footage. Anyway, enough about Bigfoot for today!
It’s not known how far modern human language dates back. Sergei Starostin feels it cannot date back more than 50,000 because so many cognates remain that we can actually construct a bit of Proto-World. One Proto-World term is “tik” meaning one, to point, index finger, etc. From this comes our word to teach. Imagine a teacher pointing at a blackboard with his index finger. I worked on an Indian language a while back and they had a very archaic word found only in the earliest vocabularies – tik, meaning “the point of a spearhead. I cannot prove it but I believe deep down inside that this is from the same root. I
It’s more of a gut feeling or intuitive thing, and intuitions are often wrong because they overgeneralize, throw out logic altogether, and rely exclusively on notoriously unreliable and subjective (the very word subjective implies emotional response) feelings, especially deep or gut feelings that can be described as “Gestalt.” I’m a birdwatcher and we use something called Gestalt to identify fleeing glimpses of a bird.
All we can see is what philosophers like Heidegger might call “the essence” or essential nature of the bird rather than it’s surface characteristics which are too fleeting to identify. Heidegger discusses surface versus essence interpretations of objects a lot. It seems hard to figure out but it’s easier than you think.
Logic relies on surface or appearance, including the human definition we have given to the object.
Intuition on the other hand pretty much throws out the surface stuff and looks for the “essence of the thing” or the “deep meaning” or “true meaning” of the object. We are getting into Plato here with the concept of “pure objects” that actually do not exist in reality.
An example of Platonic pure objects would be what I call the Masculine and Feminine spirit (see the brilliant and wrongly derided Otto Weininger’s “Sex and Character” for more. And Weininger comes from Nietzsche in my opinion and leads to Heidigger, also in my opinion. He seems to be a sort of a bridge between the two. Note that all were Germans, Weininger an Austrian, but oh well.
The Masculine Spirit and the Feminine Spirit is one way of dividing the universe or world in a binary manner. Not that there are not other binary methods of chopping the world into opposite halves, but this is just one of them.
I would argue that the world is half Masculine principle and half Feminine principle and that neither is better than the other and the marriage of the two opposites creates a whole that is bigger than the sum of its parts, hence the human pair bond where each pair of the male-female couple fills in the missing blanks or parts of the other one, each creating a whole person in the other where only a “half person” had existed before.
We are also getting into Taoism here, but the ancient Chinese were awful damn smart, so you ignore them at your peril in my opinion. Furthermore, the Taoist maxim of how to live your life – “moderation in all things” is an excellent aphorism, not that many of us ever do it. It’s clearly the route to a long lifespan.
To do the opposite is to burn candles at both ends, life fast, die young, and leave a pretty corpse, which sounds very romantic and appealing when young (it did to me) but which sounds increasing idiotic and even suicidal for no good reason with each advancing year past 30. I now find it laughable, pathetic, and openly suicidal and delight in mocking the concept. But I survived another 30 years past the expire date on that concept, so perhaps my new attitude is simply the inevitable product of living out that maxim twice and hence nullifying it.
There are a number of Southern Chinese groups with more of an indigenous look, sometimes prognathous. These date back to the original indigenous elements in Southern China and SE Asia, who all date back to the Negritos. The Montagnards of Vietnam are definitely one of these indigenous types. The indigenous went from
Indigenous (Negrito) -> Proto SE Asian (with Melanesian component) -> modern SE Asian (Modern Mongoloid with archaic components. This effect is quite pronounced in the Vietnamese, who were completely overrun by a Chinese invasion 2,300 years ago after which there was much interbreeding and a huge infusion of Cantonese words, which now make up 70% of Vietnamese vocabulary.
However, the core vocabulary of of Vietnamese remains Austroasiatic (a language family nevertheless with Southern Chinese roots derived from the archaic Mongoloid peoples of the region 5-7,000 YBP, who later moved into SE Asia. This core vocabulary is shared by the Munda branch of Astroasiatic, completely isolated India, particularly Eastern (Mongoloid) India. The fact that Vietic shares a common core vocabulary with the geographically separated Munda proves the existence of Austrasiatic.
In fact, it is the final convincing argument. Anyone who says that Austroasiatic does not exist is a fool.
Further, the evidence for Austroasiatic, a proven family, is no greater than the existence for Altaic, and in fact Altaic may be better proven. The “numerals” argument against Altaic is belied by the 13,000 year old Afroasiatic language, the numerals of which are a complete disaster.
Numerals are more often innovated and replaced than people think. Often the old cognates survive in archaic words or words used for related concepts, but it’s not unusual at all for the main term to be an out and out innovation. Most Altaic numerals are innovated, but there are a few cognates. Further most of the numerals have cognates in related or archaic words.
This is the most archaic layer of Austroasiatic. Some of these peoples are archaic Mongoloids with a strong Australoid component. A branch of these Australoids called Carpenterians went from India to Australia 11,000 YBP and become part of the Aborigines. Another group of archaic Australoids were called Murrayans. They came from Thailand 17,000 YBP and went to Australia. It is not known what Australians looked like before that but no doubt they were quite primitive. It’s long been thought that they have more Erectus component than the rest of us, but I’m not sure that is proven. Certainly their appearance resembles that.
The Murrayans are the core element of the Ainu, who went to the Philippines 16,000 YBP in an unusual, Caucasian appearing type, and then moved to the Southern Japanese islands north into Japan 13,000 YBP, quite possibly replacing an ancient Negrito type already there. This Negrito type definitely existed in Southern China and may well have existed in Korea. Some Australoids or especially Australoid-Mongoloid mixes can have a superficial “Caucasian” appearance, but that’s just parallel development, coincidence or more probably the fact that the possible human phenotypes is only a small subset of the possible ones.
It is this coincidentally “Caucasoid” appearance that led many observers to believe that the Ainu were somehow ancient Caucasians (Norwegians, joked one anthropologist was) that got stranded from the rest of Europoid flock way over on the other side of Asia. In fact, the Ainu are Australoid by skull and Mongoloid by genes. Their language, like the Japanese language, has an ancient Austronesian layer that has led many to falsely conclude that the Altaic Japanese language is actually an Austronesian one. The argument is even better with Ainu, the deeper group of which has not been shown to my satisfaction.
My most recent revelation is that most everything about our psyches, personalities and identities is “made up,” and in that sense, not even real. I mean most of our psyche, personality, identity itself is not biologically based and therefore some real thing that can be identified. Instead all of things things are created or made up if you will. Now sexual orientation, gender identity and some of these things seem to have a biological element.
The hardcore parts of personality – introversion, extroversion, etc. seem to be pretty hardwired in. I’ll simply never be an extreme extrovert as hard as I try. I assume most of the rest of me is more or less made up. I’m heterosexual. I guess that got wired in. I’m relatively masculine or about as masculine as most straight men are.
I have a normal gender identity as a man. Even when I had a strong feminine component, I always felt I was pure man. Yes, I’m intellectual, and the IQ was pretty much wired in. Most of the rest is probably just created by me or frankly “made up.” Yep, I’m making it all up and so are you, him, and everybody else.
Sometimes I think that my dick, my supersonic brain, my aching back and the goddamned hemorrhoid in my ass are the only real and true biological aspects of myself. Hell, maybe my kidneys are created. I’ve never seen them. How do I even know they are there? Says who?
I’ll have more about this in a later post because this is a cool concept I am on here, I think.
As usual, the bond between culture and economics that we were so desperate to break here with the Alt Left remains confirmed.
Once you develop rightwing cultural views, soon you develop rightwing economic views. I have seen so many formerly liberals talk about how they went conservative. It usually starts with understandable disgust with the Cultural Left Freakshow. So they move right on culture. You would think they would stop there, but of course being sheep, they don’t.
They buy the whole rightwing package, economics especially but then usually everything else. It’s so tiresome. You spent all that time on the Left working for progressive, pro-worker economics and then just because you got disgusted with Destin is Amazing the 11 year old drag queen, you went full Ayn Rand. Way to go. You’re really using your brain. You shithead.
The problem here is that people think there are two ideologies, and you are either with one or the other:
And that’s it.
Disgusted with transsexual bathhouses for all ages, the latest outrage in the Cultural Left Freakshow, so you head on over to the Right to see what they have for sale.
If you align with them, they hand you a list of 500 positions and order you to check all of them or they throw you over to the Left. You check only 499 out of 500, and they call you a Communist and throw you over to the Left. Confused, you head over the Left.
“What are you doing here?” the liberals ask
You say: “Well. I thought I was a conservative, but the conservatives said I’m a Communist, so maybe I am. In any case, here I am, good sirs, and how may I be of service to you?”
“Well, let’s see if you fit the qualifications,” the libs say. “We have some pretty strict qualifications, you know. We cancel people all the time for forgetting to cross one liberal t or dot one liberal i. Then their lives are ruined forever LOL.”
The liberals laugh sadistically but self-righteously, seeing themselves pure as Jesus in an all-White robe.
You hand them the list. “They said I’m conservative on 499 things but liberal on one thing, so that makes me a Communist,” you say, confused.
The liberals look at the list and start screaming that you need to be canceled for being a Nazi. They call all their liberal goon private investigators around and order them to the dox you. You can’t run away fast enough.
You’re halfway through life right now, and it’s never been worse.
Politically, you were lost. Stumbling along a road in a darkened wood, you were tired that night and had lost your way, politically and geographically. In the morning, up ahead, where the valley sloped into another hill of life to climb, rays of the sun’s hope appeared. Perhaps there was a way free of this politics of confusion and folly after all. Your fear seemed to settle a bit.
You looked back at the pass of politics and all the people foolishly stranded there who would never make it through the pass to the least bit of enlightenment. They were as lost as you were, but yours was temporary, and theirs was for life.
Then one of the vicious creatures of our partisan politics appeared, frightening you. A wolf? A puma? It moved towards you, demanding that you take a side, any side. Terror filled your futile heart and you were driven back into the silent sun to the east, returning to the depths of politics of confusion from which you came.
What lies ahead?
Is it infernal Hades? Is it Paradise? A Seer to vigilantly show you the way to a politics of reason and logic?
Ahead, two roads of American politics diverged in the yellow forest. One went to the Right and one went the Left. You peered down each one, wanting to take the one less trodden by some superstitious impulse. But the roads were blocked, the well-worn one and the little-used one both. Up ahead you saw people partying down each road, Right and Left, singing, dancing, fucking like no tomorrow, secure in their political homes. You stood there, abandoned, with not a friend in the world, lonely, homeless again, until…until forever. This was your destiny.
Such is the plight of the politically homeless. This is the fate of the Alt Left. Everywhere I go, I never see one Alt Left person. Everyone is either Left or Right. If they’re Left, they’re all the way to the Left, every punctuation mark perfectly placed. If they’re on the Right, they bought the whole package, checked every box on the form.
Every time I try to talk to them, I tell them about my politics, and the response is always, “Ok, so you’re a Martian” or “Sorry, you do not compute.” That’s when it’s not a blast from the liberals: “You are not on the Left! You are a moderate conservative!” or “Guess what? We don’t want you on the Left. Go over there to the Nazis where you belong!” Then they ban me from whatever leftwing sub, bulletin board, or website I was destined to get banned from that day. I get banned from around one leftwing site a day. And I’m a Leftist! What the Hell.
What’s odd is the conservatives always take me in. They’re quite pleasant people, despite their awful politics and on Culture, sadly, nowadays they are more right than wrong. Many conservatives are also very smart. I’m not sure why that is but I like it. They are shockingly open-minded. And they’re tolerant! They listen to my story and accept me. “Well, you are sort of one of us, so have a seat. Can I get you a drink of anything?” They say, “You know, we could make alliance with a Leftie like you. In fact, we should.”
This is so horrible. All my life we on the Left have been the nice and kind ones, the educated and erudite, the open-minded and open to new ideas, and of course the tolerant. We were proud of these things because conservatives were the opposite: Hostile, mean, stupid and ignorant, closed-minded and subject to prejudicial thinking, closed to anything but their own narrow, backwards ideology, and of course utterly intolerant, their worst tendency of all.
Good God can you see what has happened. We liberals have turned into the conservatives of old, the ones we hated so much. We now embody many of the psychological attributes we hated about them, that made them such monsters that we considered the essence of conservatism. And those backwards hillbilly redneck conservatives with a blade of grass between their teeth have in turn embraced all of the psychological attributes that we prided ourselves and that we thought of as the essence of liberalism.
We turned into our worst enemies. And our enemies turned into our glorious beknighted selves of yesteryear, stealing our pride and putting its crown on their head. I don’t think anything makes me more angry than that we turned into the hated conservatives of old and they turned into the beloved liberals of old. It makes me sad, angry, frustrated, hopeless, and mostly just utterly baffled. It’s horrible. We turned into the monsters that we hated so much. Congratulations my fellow libs.
The best things in life are mixtures. You hardly see a recipe with a single ingredient. Too much of a single ingredient ruins the stew.
Pure lines tend to die out. Hybrid vigor, mixing a bit of the opposite in, increases health and vigor.
The sages all say that variety is the spice of life. It’s even coded into Nature, where opposites attract to balance each other out as Nature demands. Imbalance wrecks ecosystems, but only for awhile, until Nature balances the scale once again.
The way of the Dao says only, “Moderation in all things.” In your views, your tea, your work, your play, your everything, and your nothing. Excess kills. Judiciousness keeps us on two legs.
Some day, perhaps, the cancer of American ultra-partisan politics, one of the most insipid trends in recent US history, will slither away, having done its damage. It will leave us with the wreckage of the destruction and idiocy that it brought. But I am not optimistic. Partisan thinking after all is just more Black and Whiting, and Black and Whiting is just what folks do.
People complain about black and white thinking a lot. It’s listed as a pathology. It’s a symptom of Borderline Personality Disorder. It’s a primitive defense, the defense of a small child, not even five yet. Sure, some people like BPD’s do it way too much, dividing the world into pure villains and pure heroes, each switching roles with the other in perfect chaos.
But really we all black and white. This is what I finally figured out. It’s a problem because black and white thinking is crap. It’s lousy thinking. Furthermore, it’s simply wrong. When you black and white, it’s worse than pulling a lever in Vegas. At least in Vegas you stand a chance. When you black and white, every answer you get is wrong. That’s a hell of a way to run a life, a culture, or a society. And yet we somehow muddle through anyway, as the British say.
I’m discouraged because I’m one of those grey area assholes everyone loves to despise, which is probably why I get banned from most every forum or website I comment on. Gradations are evil. Shades are criminal. Grey means dangerous. Relativism means you need to call a cop. There’s danger and incomprehension there, and all you can do is lash out and try to destroy every grey area you see. After all, grey areas are evil.
Incidentally this is how I want you commenters to think. My original idea for this site was try to stir you all up, to make all of you challenge every belief you have. I want to throw your beliefs at you, show you how they are lies, and see how you respond. This site is supposed to make you uncomfortable. I’m not writing it to make you happy. I’m writing it to piss you off. A lot of the stuff you believe is crap, no matter where your head is at. I’m as guilty as anyone. I think it’s stupid to walk around believing a bunch of lies, so I want to point out your false beliefs and throw them in your face and see what you do.
The original subtitle of this site was, “If I’m Not Making You Mad, I’m Not Doing My Job.” It didn’t mean I am a provocateur, though obviously that’s one of my hats. It means I’m trying to provoke you. I’m trying to make you look at every damned thing you believe and wonder whether it’s true or not. And ultimately, I want to challenge your views so brutally that you even change your mind now and then. If you do, you’re better than most.
That’s why I write about disturbing things on here. Disturbing things are part of life. They go on being part of life while we put our hands over our eyes and ears. That doesn’t make the upsetting things go away. It just blinds you to them. They carry on existing in the real world. Disturbing and upsetting things are part of our world. There’s no harm in examining the world we live in. Looking in the dark where we fear to look is how we confront our fears.
We think we can run from our fears, but we can’t. You run and run and run for miles and you stop, exhausted, panting. You look behind you. There comes your fear with a huge grin on its face, saying, “I’m baaaack.” Sure you can run from your fears, for a bit. But every time you stop and turn around, there it is again. It’s a temporary fix, like dope. And like dope, it ultimately doesn’t work and never fixes the problem. All you do is escape and escape until escaping itself becomes your main problem and runs you into the ground. The opiate epidemic. And so many other things.
There’s little to nothing in the world not worthy of examination. One could make a case that the most disturbing and upsetting things are the things we should be focused on more than any others because they tend to have profound effects. The awful things continue because everyone plugs their ears and closes their eyes to the evils while Satan carries on and the bodies pile up. We didn’t fix anything. All we did is allow the atrocity exhibition to stay open another day. Congratulations on the perpetuation of evil.
Black and whiting is how they we it. It’s how we think. In what? In everything. Probably because it’s easier and brains are lazy and don’t like to work too much, always preferring the fastest route, preferring the neural freeways over the sodden and bumpy back roads.
It’s sad, really, because if you gain any wisdom at all in life, you figure out that most everything in the universe is continual. That is, it is part of a continuum. So the universe or the world could be seen as an endless series of continua of this, that, and whatever, nothing much pure and hard, everything a gradation, a shade, or a point of view. The world ultimately is more subjective than objective.If it were objective, most everything would not be an undefinable grey area, and everything is, ultimately.
So instead of the world existing as a series of solid facts like science insists, instead it exists more as an endless variety of points of view, of nuances, of measured judgements. We are getting into postmodern fuzziness here with its contempt for science, but those princes of vagueness and incoherence were onto something, that there is no truth.
Not that each of our truths is equally valid, although that makes sense at the individual level. Sure, every truth each individual has is true for them, as the deconstructionists say. But that’s a trivial notion.
A better way to work with postmodernism is to say there are a serious of “truths” or explanations for every set of facts, a variety of persons each having their own truths of course. But the way out of this tangled wood is that some of those facts make a lot more sense than the others, some of which are pure lies and psychological defenses, castles of sand smashed by the first tide of evidence. They’re not even truths. They’re just fortresses for the ego, which are always trivial, pointless, laughable, and worthless for the rest of us.That’s the problem with SJWism. SJWism says let’s listen to people’s defenses and the lies they made up to not face the hard truths about themselves, and let’s call these lies facts so we don’t hurt people’s feelings and egos. If it hurts an ego of a protected class, it’s not only a lie but it’s evil. Truth and falsehood are based on feelings. If it makes those good people feel bad, it’s false and you need to be destroyed for pointing out hate facts.
We look at the various “truth statements” given to explain any set up facts, often not even clearly described themselves (see the Rashomon effect) and, using the scientific method, weak and unsatisfying, yet all we have, we test each one out, hopefully in the clear light of emotionless logic and see how well it explains the facts.
Some truths work a lot better than others. Often not one truth is the best answer but instead several of the truths combine to give us the best answer. We stumble towards the best way out of the woods of uncertainty, and in many cases, the truth must be decided by each of us because there’s no consensus on the truth. As issues get more tangled up in logic-destroying emotion, consensus is increasingly unclear or openly false as truth is subject to the manipulations of politics, mores, and social organization.
I think the notion that everything is a grey area leaves people cold. More than that, it’s just confusing, and the mind likes shortcuts and despises long Sunday drives. Your mind is like a New York sidewalk at rush hour.
If everything is a grey area, things are not solid anymore. Truths vanish. Good and evil fade from harsh colors to murky shades that are hard to make out.
This is confusing. And mostly, it causes anxiety because we don’t know the answer. We want to know what is right and wrong, up and down, this way or that. Saying everything is vague means we can’t be sure of anything. Of course that’s the case in life, but no one wants to believe it. Instead we need comfortable illusions and pretty lies or the fear sets in and fear starts to tremble.
Fear of what? Fear of not knowing the answer, having no way forward, no signposts or maps to guide the way, everything mysterious and uncertain and therefore scary. We want to be sure in life. Nothing is sure in life, but we can’t believe that or the fear sets in. The fear of uncertainty, of not knowing what is ahead, of being unable to predict the future or even make much sense out of the world leaves us with a terror that is ultimately what Sartre was getting it with his “existential angst.”
You end up stuck in a world where everything is a mystery, and that’s a scary place to be. You never know what’s lurking around that next corner. Ultimately, we don’t really want reality. We prefer our illusions and lies just to get us through the day.Nobody wants to “face reality” and probably hardly anybody does, which is why it’s dumb advice. We only need to choose the lies that work better than the others. Otherwise we might never get up out of bed.
RL: And the sad thing about gay men is that gay men are most attracted to masculine men – IOW straight men, but straight men won’t have them. They’re not really into the other effeminate men they hook up with. So maybe that is why their lives tend to be rather sad. Lesbians also have a reputation for leading sad lives. “The Well of Loneliness” is a lesbian classic from the 1930’s.
I’ve wondered why gays and lesbians are not as happy and seem to be more mentally ill than straights. They are finding this even in cultures where discrimination is about zero. So it seems there is something inherent in homosexuality that makes people nutty, unhappy, and possibly unfulfilled.
My theory is that they violating Natural Law. They’re going against Nature. And things that go against Nature don’t really work. And people who go against Nature are often not very happy. Mother Nature bats last. Nature wants us to live our lives in certain ways, and when we don’t live our lives as nature dictates, we violate Nature and hence are unhappy because we are going against our “programming.”
To which Polar Bear responds:
You can’t fight Nature.
Lesbians with their fake dicks can only really have oral sex.
A gay will never give birth from his ass.
Transgenders, male to female, are likely more mentally ill but often less annoying than a flaming queer cis male. Of course, the ones that split their banana most always regret it – still not a pussy. Female to male dicks are even less realistic.
The happiness of these groups is a glimmer. The passable trannies’ passability, the twinks’ twinkle, the lesbian couples’ sex, etc. all fade fast. A straight couple has more natural permanence. While the old gay homo sucks the life out of some bum in a dark alley like a mohel, the sun shines on the straight couple sipping lemonade and holding hands while watching their great grand-kids play.
I really like Polar Bear’s comments. They’re almost poetic.
I am sort of a Commie. I am definitely a Socialist. Commie, not sure. Sort of almost kind of just about barely maybe a Commie. I still believe in market. I actually think that what the Chinese are doing is the best implementation of Communism or Socialism or whatever you wish to call it that has ever been done. And there are quite a few Marxists and open Communists out there who support what the Chinese are doing very much. I think any future implementation of Communism or Socialism will have to have some sort of a market. There are a lot of us out there who call ourselves Market Socialists. We don’t want the state running everything. We want a market also.
Communism or Socialism themselves are words that don’t have much meaning. They mean whatever meaning we humans decide to give to them. They have no inherent meaning in and of themselves. Check out Heidegger if you do not believe me. He makes it quite clear that the real meaning of objects is whatever we humans have decided are the meaning of those objects.
Words don’t mean much. They are just sort of “tags” that we stick on objects when we try to explain and give meaning to them. So there is no real meaning of any object. Any object means whatever you, I and the rest of us say it means. Meanings of objects are created by man. A search for the real meaning of objects will lead you down a rabbit hole you will never emerge from because you are looking for something that is not even there. You can’t find something that’s not there in the first place.
Anyway, enough philosophy.
Commentary: The world’s ingredients can only be matter and antimatter, no? What else do you need?
The force of the world is energy and nothing else. Other than energy, there is no force at all.
The force manifests as electric current, magnetic pull and especially bonding of elements. Like Einstein said, everything’s a force field.
The purposes of the force are creation/progression (hierarchical evolution), attachment (bonding), scattering (chaos), and annihilation (disintegration).
Casting all distraction aside and boiling what’s left all down, the underlying rule of existence seems to be thermodynamics. Getting down to brass tacks, what else do you need other than thermodynamics? It’s the base law of them all. Strip it all way, and only thermodynamics remains. All else is dross.
Now that we have solved some of the major problems of the universe, I think I will go lie down for a bit.
You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird…So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing – that’s what counts.
– Richard Feynman
Sounds like Feynman is channeling Heidegger here. Heidegger is pretty damn hard to understand, but I do understand some of his ideas.
In Being and Time, he talks a lot about meanings. He differentiates between surface meanings and deep meanings.
Surface meanings are like those 6,000 words for the bird. As a good general rule, the name or names of a thing (what we call it) tells us little or nothing about that thing. Imagine that we had no language, but we were as smart as we are now. We would see birds flying about and doing their thing all the time. We would observe those birds and we would form a lot of ideas about what that bird is and what it does. We would do this even if we had no word for the bird whatsoever. Follow?
So what we call the bird or object does not mean a whole lot or even tell us much if anything about what the object is. The name of the bird is the surface meaning of the object that is that bird. Surface meanings, as I mentioned, don’t mean a whole lot. They are more a means of classifying objects in our brains so we can think about them more easily and quickly and so we can communicate about them with other humans.
Many objects have more than one name and actually have many different definitions. Some of the definitions that we have of objects not only don’t tell us much important about the object, but in some sense, while they are technically correct, they are often wrong because they sort of give a false meaning to the object and distract us from the meaning that makes them important. There is a difference between objects and what I call essences. Often we think of things not in terms of the names or (often lousy) definitions of them but instead we think of these objects in terms of what the essence of the object is. The true meaning of an object lies in its essence, not in any surface definition we give to it, which in a lot of cases is no more important than a “tag.”
We have objects that we can “tag” in all sorts of different ways according to whatever definitions the object has. But those definitions are just tags and some are even contradictory as an object can be two contradictory things at once when it has a surface definition or tag of one meaning but has a deep meaning or essence of the opposite meaning.
This is why definitions are inherently problematic. We studied Semantics a bit in my Linguistics studies. One of the main principles of Semantics is that the definitions we give to words are in many cases incomplete. In other words, it is often impossible to give a full definition of a word that describes the meaning of the word perfectly.
Getting back to Feynman here, all of those words for that bird probably do not tell us a whole lot about the bird. They are just “tags” or surface meanings so to speak that we use to categorize that bird in our brains so we can store information about that bird in our brains better. In other words, Feynman says, who cares what the damn bird is called! It’s got 6,000 different names all over the world world! As I noted, objects can have more than one surface meaning or tag. In the case of this bird, it has 6,000 different tags on it, none of which tell us much about the bird!
If we wish to understand the bird, Feynman notes, we forget about whatever it is called (its surface meaning) and instead focus on what it is doing – let’s observe the behavior of the bird. By observing the actions of the bird, we can come to understand it better by uncovering its deep meaning, or essence. This is what the bird really means and what it is really all about.
This seems a bit long-winded, but this is very important to know. Don’t pay a whole lot of attention to what something is named. Particularly in politics, things are often given names that are the exact opposite of what they are. Forget about what surface definitions people give to objects, actions or events because they are often misleading and even flat-out wrong. Instead, pretend that you have no word for the object, action or event and try to understand the deep meaning or essence or what something is or what happened. If you put these Deep Meaning googles on, the world starts to look like a very different place, and you can think about the world in a completely different, and better way.
I will have a bit more on this later on. This should be plenty for now. This was a bit of a mouthful here.
You will often see in mythology various things centered around the number four – four of this, four of that, four times four, etc.
Carl Jung states that the nucleus of the Psyche or Self works as a fourfold structure. We will looks at this structure first as it relates to personal development and then as it relates to love.
Four Levels of the Psyche
Psyche Level 1: Purely instinctive and biological relations – man as an animal, the Id.
Psyche Level 2: Romantic or aesthetic pleasure, the appreciation of beauty and the higher senses.
Psyche Level 3: The spiritual level, man as a spiritual animal, the appreciation of the ineffable or indeterminate.
Psyche Level 4: A super-wisdom transcending even the most holy and pure. This is something like the state of satori that the Zen monks talk about. It can also be seen in higher states of consciousness by Indian yogis accessed via yoga and whatnot. This may refer to what Nietzsche was talking about when he discussed the Ubermensch, the man who has transcended all base and earthly passions and has risen above it all.
I am thinking that most people in the West never reach Psyche Level 4 in their lives.
Now we will look at the same structure as it refers to love:
Four Levels of Love
Love Level 1: Sexual love. Pure sex and animalism, sex without love, a biological and primitive yet enjoyable act.
Love Level 2: Romantic love. A step above pure sexual love in that it rises above to the level of romance and passion to where one actually feels an almost religious-like devotion to the other person. However, this is still considered to be “tainted” somewhat by base and primitive passion, as there is usually still quite a bit of animalistic sexual passion here.
Love Level 3: Spiritual love. Here we see love at one of its highest levels – the love of God or the spiritual realm. This rises above even romantic love; it is more all-encompassing, and it is not even grounded on the Earth or in one other person as romantic love is. It can extend to the love of many or all and to love beyond the simple Earthly plane.
Love Level 4: Love raised to its highest level, even beyond spiritual love. Here we are dealing with a type of “Love” or “Passion” that may better be termed something like “Wisdom” that transcends even the most holy and pure spiritual love. In this sense, “wisdom” is the ultimate form of love or passion.
As with Psyche Level 4, I believe that most people in the West never reach Love Level 4 in their lives.
The Japanese Samurai Miyamoto Musashi acknowledged a number of influences on Japanese thought, chief among which were Confucianism and Buddhism. Yet not once does he directly mention the Old Master whose philosophy is so entrenched in the martial arts that the Samurai once pursued with inexhaustible zeal. Yet despite this seeming negligence, Mushashi’s epic martial arts treatise, “A Book of 5 Rings“, is laden with Taoist ideas and analogies. Indeed the very nature of the Japanese martial arts has been shaped and molded by Taoist thinking.
In the interest of brevity one can sum up Taoist thought as being primarily concerned with conforming to nature by finding “the way.” According to the very first verse of the Tao te Ching (the poem attributed to Lao Tzu): “The Tao (way) that can be described is not the real Tao.” Indeed, Lao Tzu devoted considerable energy into conveying the indescribable nature of the way. One could not describe the way, one merely walked it or one didn’t. Could one verbally instruct another on how to ride a bicycle? One either knew how to or didn’t.
Philosopher Arthur Danto astutely observed that the Taoists had a deep mistrust of prepositional knowledge, or what one would refer to as the discursive intellect. Taoism isn’t concerned with the knowledge of the scholar, but rather, with what we would refer to as “intuitive knowledge.” Those that knew the way were able to execute the perfect brush stroke or carve a pumpkin with exceptional ability.
To further illustrate this point, Chuang Tzu narrates the story of the old wheel maker. The latter approached a King and told him that reading his book was a waste of time. He explained to the King that true knowledge couldn’t be expressed in words but could only be grasped. He illustrated this point by describing his own trade as thus:
The other secret of my trade has to do with the roundness of the wheel. If I chisel away at the wheel too quickly, I may be able to complete the work in a short time, but the wheel won’t be perfectly round. Even though it may look quite acceptable upon casual inspection, in actual usage it will cause excessive shaking of the carriage…In order to create the best wheels possible in a timely manner, I must chisel at just the right speed – not too fast and not too slow. This speed is also guided by a feeling, which again can only be acquired through many years of experience.
He then concluded his lesson with the following observation:
Your Majesty, the ancient sages possessed the feelings that were at the heart of their mastery. Using words, they could set down the mechanics of their mastery in the form of books, but just as it is impossible for me to pass on my experience to anyone else, it is equally impossible for them to transmit their essence of wisdom to you. Their feelings died when they passed away. The only things they left behind were their words. This is why I said Your Majesty was reading the leftovers of a dead man.
Karate is taught via instruction and perfected through rigorous practice. Form, movement, and balance can be learned by executing a sequence of gestures and movements known as Kata. The master guides the student to the way but the student is tasked with walking on it and not deviating from it. In the first Karate Kid film Mr Miyagi scoffs at Daniel Larusso’s attempt to “learn Karate from book.” Musashi similarly stated in his treatise that “Language does not extend to explaining the Way in detail, but it can be grasped intuitively,” (Water Book).
But what is the difference between those men that follow the way and those that don’t? Those that follow the way properly are able to execute actions with minimal effort. But while effort is minimized the outcome of their actions is maximized.
This is known as the principle of WuWei (literally non doing). WuWei is also often understood as carefully calibrated action. Consider for example, a perfectly executed Karate shoulder throw. By using a lunging opponents force against him, one can disable an opponent with a shoulder throw; a move that would ordinarily require considerable effort to execute. Actions become effortless for those that know the way.
Musashi’s duels typically lasted only a few seconds. Consider his duel with Kojiro for example. He charged at his opponent and provoked Kojiro into making the first attack. Musashi effortlessly dodged the attack and decisively struck his opponent on the head killing him in a single blow. Musashi almost echoes Lao Tzu when he urges martial artists to be like water which is gentle yet destructive. It is the principle of WuWei that gives the Japanese martial arts their characteristic finesse that many have come to admire. The ancient masters would be repulsed by the drawn out UFC slug fests and would dismiss these fighters as not truly knowing the way.
The Japanese word for way is michi, which literally refers to a path through the Cosmos. The Way has no destination, and simply finding the way is an end in itself. Since Taoism is primarily concerned with each pursuing his own way, it stands to reason that every one of us is (potentially) a wanderer. The wanderer is also a common motif in Taoist art – he who walks a path without apparent destination.
I must point out that many of Japan’s cherished heroes were wanderers too, such as Musashi and Yagyu Jubei. Both of these individuals refused to hang up their swords and become artisans during the largely peaceful Tokugawa Period of Japanese history. They wandered the countryside (the Samurai had no restrictions on travel) and dueled several opponents that crossed their paths.
Musashi is said to have won 80 duels during his lifetime. So entrenched is the image of the wandering martial artist that it has left its imprint on contemporary Japanese pop culture as well. The characters Ryu and Akuma of the Street Fighter franchise are wanderers pursuing the way of the martial artist. In a statement saturated with Taoist overtones Akuma proclaims: “For some, it is the path, not the goal,” (Street Fighter Alpha 1).
Ultimately, while the spirit of the Japanese martial arts is obviously Japanese, their character is clearly Chinese.
Most places mentioned in old poetry can never be exactly located. Mountains crumble through time, landslides change the river’s course, floods wash out roads, hardly anything remains where it was for long. Thus faced with this monument of nearly a thousand years, I felt such a powerful link with the past, so connected at the heart with men of old, I forgot the aches and pains of the journey, and, in gratitude for such a traveler’s blessing, wept for joy.
Matsuo Bashō, The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Oku no Hosomichi)
Well, there is one definition for you.
By the way, the Japanese work above, written around Shakespeare’s time in the late 1600’s, is one of the greatest books ever written by anyone anywhere in the last 500 years.
“Science has found that nothing can disappear without a trace. Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation…” Werner Von Braun (Nichols 1962).
“This entire globe, this star, not being subject to death, and dissolution and annihilation being impossible anywhere in Nature, from time to time renews itself by changing and altering all its parts.” Giordano Bruno.
“It never starts it never stops it just goes it never zeroes.” Robert Lindsay, 1979, from an unpublished work of fiction.
As you can see, the notion of beginnings and endings, of births and deaths, is illusory. As something may not come out of nothing (story of my life), yet something may not turn into nothing either. Nothingness may not birth any something, and something may not turn into nothing. It seems that this is occurring all the time, but this is mere illusion.
Instead births or beginnings are simply one form of energy and matter transforming into other, usually more salient one. Endings, deaths, dissolutions, are nothing of the sort. Something has merely transformed into something else, as we saw with beginnings.
Bruno, burned at the stake for heresy by the Inquisition in 1600 as a martyr to science, in part for upholding Copernican astronomy, was ahead of his time. The universe was infinite, as he put it, “many worlds.” All matter was made of atoms. Our world was not the center of the universe or of anything but that it only seems that way.
No position, not up or down or this way or that, is set, as all is relative to the positions of other entities. Life was probably not unique here, and had probably sprung up in many other places in the universe. Comets were the remains of stars, not messages from the Gods. In a sense, everything is connected to everything, prefiguring particle physics. Space was infinite (Bruno is almost the father of infinity) and if Space was infinite, than so must be Time.
And logically, if all of this is true, then Christianity is “wholly false.”
Although he did believe in God, it was a diminished God. This from a Dominican friar who spent most of his time in monasteries!
For the logical cul de sac in italics above, he burned with fire. 13 years later, Galileo barely saved his own skin from similar holy heat.
If space is infinite, then so must be time.
Here we look to the early Jewish Kabbalists, studying in the 1300s-1400s. After centuries of study, they determined that God was “endless bright White Light, extending as far as one can see in every direction.” Or infinitival White Light. Furthermore, God is “that which cannot be known.” Going beyond that, God was “that thought of which man may not even properly entertain.” In other words, God is beyond our mental grasp. He is the Inconceivable.
It is now the hour for a brief discussion about Time. I haven’t read Kant yet, and maybe I can’t, but we will dabble anyway.
First of all, the future simply does not exist. You are all aware of this, right? Quit shaking your heads. The. Future. Does. Not. Exist. Say it until you are blue in the face. What is fascinating about the future is that we all know it doesn’t exist, yet we spend all of our lives pretending that it does exist.
Tomorrow I will…In the future I will…Pretty soon I’m going to…I have an appointment on the…I will be graduating on the…I’ll meet you at the restaurant at two…I’m looking forward to the future.
For something that doesn’t exist, we sure spend a lot of time thinking and talking about it! Worst of all, we prepare for it!
Now we have hopefully established the nonexistence of the future. At some point, sure, the future will exist. For instance, it will probably be 11 PM here in 31 minutes, assuming the world does not blow up. But at exactly that moment 31 minutes from now that the future supposedly exists, it won’t even be the future anymore! It will be another present moment. Follow? Of course you do.
What follows after the end of the last paragraph is that the present does indeed exist. You’d be hard to find a philosopher to disagree with that statement. A poststructuralist might, but they disagree with everything. Ah, so the present exists! But the future does not? Surely not. So we are left with only half of time. Every present moment, plus all of the past.
The next thing we need to ask is if the past exists. This is a very important question. I always figured it did, but a friend told me recently that the past does not exist. It used to exist, but it doesn’t anymore! But of course. He must be correct, no? At one time the past existed, but now it no longer does. How does it exist?
In memories, movies, books, etc. Which are merely objects in the present that made recordings of the past when the past was happening. Now we have eliminated the other half of time, and all we have left are second hands slamming on the clock, beginning and ending so quickly, nearly simultaneously, that we can scarcely put our finger on any moment and call it NOW.
Which now brings us to a rather carpe diem moment, eh? To live logically, we should all act like 80 IQ ghetto types, living for each second and nothing before or after existing. Thank God we don’t all think like philosophers.
There is another view, which is also very present-centric. This one holds once again that the present moment is salient, but that the past and future both exist, but they only exist as part of the present and of each other.
In other words, what has brought us to this present moment? Think about it. The entirety of the weight of the past, tumbling onto our hour like a rock slide, has brought us here, to this most auspicious of bright moments. The past made the present, so it is here with us as the vehicle that brought us here and also as the sculptor which made the present moment what it is.
As the future will in part be determined by the present, and hence also the past, the future also exists in the present, as a potentiality. The past also exists in the future, as the past and present vehicles drive towards the future and create it. Whether or not the present or future exist in the past is more problematic, but perhaps they do, as the earlier seeds that grew the trees of today and tomorrow.
One notion, popularized by Time Theorist Guy Murchie, is that all of the past that has already happened and all of the future that will occur, is, at this moment, all simultaneously present in this, our present moment. The Eternal Now. That’s a bit hard to swallow, but I like the mouth feel.
And that will be it for now, as we are out of Time.
Saw them at UCLA in February 1979 at the beginning of the punk explosion, when punk was truly cutting edge. The Talking Heads were the shit then. No one had heard of them, and anyone who had was hip.
They did “Psycho Killer” and it brought down the house, except it was outdoors.
There were UCLA students in the crowd. Some sat behind us. Guys who looked stoned and were already feminized and pacified, warm, floppy shells of men, though feminism was hardly even born yet, but they were students, and college will turn the best of men to school pusses.
The women were sort of masculine, as they must be when the males are feminized, otherwise you have a half-filled whole, and nature abhors a vacuum. To complete the circle, the female must become masculine to the very degree that the male has become feminine.
A guy named Lao Tzu figured this out 2000 years before, but even he was too late. It’s so obvious. It’s the way of the circle. A half is never whole. The male and the female are each halves, broken humans. Only through linkage can we fill in the colors and make the circle whole to set the wheel spinning so the cycle can go on. A male is empty without a female, and vice versa. Joined, each is made whole and the emptiness is filled in again.
Heard this in a coffee shop the other day, Starfucks. Well, at least they play good music.
The guys working there were feminized, as they always are in such places. The chicks dig the feminized guys, but the probably never fuck them, the danger necessary for sex that the female requires being lacking. Once again, an unfilled whole. Feminine plus feminine doesn’t fill in the circle with the Number 2 pencil. It just makes a half moon.
I was listening to the song. I was sure I’d heard it before. Some guy my age was in there bobbing his head, along with his daughter. She couldn’t have been much more than 13 or 14, but she was looking at me in that way, half hate, half stare can’t stop, so I knew she was a woman-in-girl, true girls having no sexual world. The guy was a square, but he was bobbing his head. I was moving to where the sound was coming from, where they lurked. We were all bobbing our heads to the music, but no one said a word.
I thought it was Talking Heads, but I wasn’t sure.
Googled it and there it was. 1985, a bad year, but there was lots of sex and tons of drugs, so really, no matter how fucked of a year it was, the palliatives always alchemize it somehow golden, which is all you can do to a shitty year. 1985, in three years David Byrne’s band would break up, true genius being a flash in the pan of youth, as Weininger notes.
The real geniuses are always young, and the greatest bands flash and burn Roman candle-like and smash to bits pretty quick, the Super Collider Reactor of multiple geniuses being too much for the temporal universe of flesh and blood, so they go out in fire not ice, but they are kind enough to leave us the greatness flashes, like those human images burned into walls after Hiroshima, daguerreotypes of genius before they go.
We’re on the road to nowhere, says the song. Well sure we are.
David Byrne says its meaningless and silly, the song.
Like Hell it is. Bout as vapid as the trails of life. Where do they lead? To the bones, or increasingly, the urn and if you’re lucky, a hole in a rock.
We’re on the road to nowhere.
Where are we headed? To nowhere, to death, to a personal Black Hole sucking away whole universes in a pinpoint, at Warp Speed, faster than light.
Well, of course.
Meaningless, my ass, David.
What’s left to do? All there is to do is dance. Get up and dance to the music, fools. For too soon we drop our last.