12.21.2020

Foundation

Rationality is founded on the ego. 

Where the ego cannot go Reason too is unable. 

The highly rational man lives in fear of death, the loss of his ego. He lives in order not to die. 

They will say of him that his arguments are good and sound, yet life eludes him.

12.20.2020

Magic

 Science is an instrument of magic.

The nurse ran the instrument across my wife's abdomen. Back and forth we listened to the crackly whooshing electronic sound. It sounded like a cold wind across empty pampas. There wasn't any heartbeat. There was only the wind. 

The nurse of greater importance arrived and looked inside my wife and quickly turned away. She looked towards the wall and did not say anything. She stood and did not look at us and told the nurse standing at the door to bring another doctor. 

It was a tiny pink-red corpse. The skin was translucent. I did not look at it long. The nurse wrapped it up and put a little white hat on it and a little teddy bear on its chest. It had never breathed my air or seen me. I was not yet its father. The prematurely dead do not have fathers. It was mine I knew but it was not where it was supposed to be. What the nurses had done to it by dressing it up was obscene. It was not supposed to be mine until May of next year and here it was dead in November. We came to the hospital as three and left as two.

12.30.2019

Taking Things Away

Taking things away. To recognize you no longer need certain things eases life. Self-denial also often grows power, forces you onto other more self-sufficient paths. Take exercise. You do not require a gym. You do not require weights at home. The body itself can be lifted and pressed and stretched and pulled. A man once trained for the marathon at the Olympics by running in place in his room while outside a war raged in the streets.

The discipline of taking things away begins with objects and physical things. Prison life teaches this discipline in a profound way. But this extends next to ideas. One realizes he cannot attain the Good. One realizes he cannot define the Good. He cannot see its border with the Non Good. So many borders seem to exist which must be taken away. When the borders have been taken away so our the things. The things did not exist. The things were unnecessary. Though the things are very necessary to those who would exercise control over a man. The things as objects of desire, cars and toys and homes, as well as those things of fame and being Good (or seen by others as good?) are taken away.
The Tao is then the man. The man is Heaven. The man is no longer a branch but the trunk. He is no longer a man, the individual branch. The individual is no more.

THE SELF, THE INDIVIDUAL, SEEMS TO BE THE ONE THING WE ARE SURE OF HAVING ITS BORDERS. BUT THE BORDERS ARE NOT THAT ASSURED AFTER ALL.

The border between a man as individual and others is the last border. The individual is the last thing to be taken away.

So much seeks to make a man an individual, to set his borders: HE feels pain and pleasure. HE has desires and that which repulses him. HE is looked at and given a number by the State and by his bank; a password only he knows for his Gmail account; HE is made out to be uniquely that combination of characteristics. A special snowflake to appear once and never again, for his lifetime is just his and no other's.

But there is much that crosses these borders of a man. He shares his life with others who came before him and who may come after him and he thinks of these others; He is visited in dreams; he can remember and forget and he cannot control what he remembers and forgets. Even his pleasure and pain is not his own for when he is in pain his mother may hurt to see him. His pleasure may inspire another. See how the smiling man makes the others smile. See how the yawning man makes others sleepy. Where would be the border between men if one's pain and pleasure, one's fatigue and joy can be shared so easily? Our these feelings really one's own then?

You say man has a birth and a death. That a life has a span. But what do we say of a man remembered by other men? Has he not lived on in memory? No that is not the man you say. But what of my memories of myself? Am I not that man if even I am the man doing the remembering? If I am not that man, than why cannot another man remember me in the same way? What is being remembered? What then is memory if memory is separate from a man? Where is the border?

A man is a contested place; a contested dream. A place pulling and receding. His borders are never clear and only through his words can he say there are borders--can he say he is a man, an individual.
Self-awareness is the highest forgetfulness. In recognizing a self man forgets the Way.

11.11.2019

Nihilism

"God is dead" and with it the erosion of the Christian godhead. The science that displaced it now is under attack by Left (biology) and Right (climate change, evolution...) and with it will go the second godhead -- the one that replaced the old God.

The corporate state requires legibility and the newest god will be the individual, to curate himself as a divinity. To make of himself his own idol on the approved platforms of legibility: facebook, instagram, etc. It will be a competition of idols as every individual seeks his "likes"

It is the new paganism and it is as shallow as a marketing pitch. The tendency to nihilism going forward will be likely more pronounced.

Reason itself will be broken by worship of the virtual individual. In the virtual world the laws of science and paths of Reason do not hold true. The virtual individual can be his own god. The real world will be beset by nihilism.

Monotheism carries a seed of its own destruction. A single god is more fragile than a panoply of divinities.

The State seeks to become the godhead, as do the corporations (Bezos). The path to this divinity is through a subjugation made possible by legibility. To be watched over and "nudged" to action by the State; a gentle slavery. The corporate state is like the Zeus to the citizens who conceive themselves as individual divinities.

THE TELOS AS ESSENTIAL TO WESTERN GODHEAD. The godhead must exist across narrative time. Some features of the godhead still abide: democracy (as derived from notions of equality born of Christianity). But the definition of equality is being challenged (both its practical/social manifestations in human interaction as well as biologically). Equality of outcome threatens to upend the traditionally defined equality, to place it suddenly on unsteady foundations. It is perhaps similar to Galileos formulations (some speculations entirely) that began to unsteady Scripture and begin the "death of God." In their emphasis on equality and redefinition of it, these young radicals threaten to overturn foundations of democracy and biology thought unassailable by prior generations.

10.14.2019

The "I"

The "I" is a place in the world. A realm. A land with its own unique features. "I" exists in space and in time -- IT IS SPACE AND TIME.

A toothache is felt pain. Pain is not something that I HAVE. That grammar confuses the philospher into attributing pain to someTHING. The "I" is not a thing, but a place in the world. It is a place ever-changing.

The "I" extends out to what is familiar and somewhat familiar and not at all familiar. The "I" is a lineage over time and into the future (perhaps). "I" can remember. "I" can forget.

"I" feel pain from a toothache. "I" also feel pain when my mother dies. The philosophers say one pain is internal the other externally caused. The grammar again is confusing and causes books to be written and bad ideas to be made.

Is it possible for others to share this place called "I"? It would seem that in empathy for "my" pain someone else could share this place with me. Then, these places of "I" overlap. Take the example of the death of a child and the pain felt by the mother and father. THEY SHARE A PLACE OF PAIN.

The dangers of the "I" as conceived philosophically are behaviorism and solipsism.
 
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