Friday, August 22, 2014

Epistemologic is a Bitch

Epistemologic is a Bitch.

To know is to ignore—can’t see for seeing, hear for hearing. 
My plans occlude possibilities my focus ignores. Partiality
reinforces itself  necessarily & generates my good & evil,
correct & incorrect, right & wrong—tangents & errors, my
crimes against the WHOLE. No wonder I feel the guilt I have
with me all ways.


IF: you are interested in cultivating  systemic awareness –
the nature of WHOLES as  distinct from their parts of
which they are always more than the sum and can not be
reduced to partial representation without violence…

THEN: suspend bad guys/ good guys thinking. Practice
being Beyond Good & Evil. Consider  yourself Jane Goodall,

say—loving the chimps  no matter what they do. "Ah," you
 say,  "how  interesting, how very interesting." Sacrifice
team spirit and cheer leading mentality, No rah rah  can be
tolerated as it eclipses if not occludes the ability to see
descriptively (aesthetically) and  condemns me to what
Mark Twain called “that damned moral sense.”



    Rex Murphy strikes again. Euphemisms.

  2. Here is an insightful and introspective article by a Muslim. Well done.

  3. Apparently not. Scheherazade takes on a new dimension. So does the Mozart opera I have cited you another time.

  4. I read an Emerson poem. Why do you think he writes: "as free as an Arab". Does he mean wandering Bedouins, or something else? Is he talking about the rejection of systematized doctrine, more or less? He wants to live according to his loves and passion, and "Arab" somehow encapsulates this?

  5. I don't know that poem, but your response makes sense. (wandering) Emerson's ongoing theme is the tension between individuality and the collective culture, custom, convention.

  6. Give all to love;
    Obey thy heart;
    Friends, kindred, days,
    Estate, good-fame,
    Plans, credit, and the Muse,-
    Nothing refuse.
    'Tis a brave master;
    Let it have scope:
    Follow it utterly,
    Hope beyond hope:
    High and more high
    It dives into noon,
    With wing unspent,
    Untold intent;
    But it is a god,
    Knows its own path,
    And the outlets of the sky.
    It was not for the mean;
    It requireth courage stout,
    Souls above doubt,
    Valor unbending;
    It will reward,-
    They shall return
    More than they were,
    And ever ascending.
    Leave all for love;
    Yet, hear me, yet,
    One word more thy heart behoved,
    One pulse more of firm endeavor,-
    Keep thee today,
    To-morrow, forever,
    Free as an Arab
    Of thy beloved.
    Cling with life to the maid;
    But when the surprise,
    First vague shadow of surmise
    Flits across her bosom young
    Of a joy apart from thee,
    Free be she, fancy-free;
    Nor thou detain her vesture's hem,
    Nor the palest rose she flung
    From her summer diadem.

  7. What is that "yet" and the business with the maid and setting her free? It is about the muse. Let the thing run with you, but when it has run its course, let it go.

    One could say: flash in the pan, or uncommitted. A certain lack of stick-to-it-ness. Or your borderland, crossing here and there, and trying this and that, finding things at random. The Bedouin roams, wanders.

    1. Flash in the pan and uncommitted is a negative way to frame it--but if that suits you hold to it. (if at some point, a vague shadow to you surmise flits across your bosom--well -- let it go...)

  8. I think you are right about the arab.

  9. But it remains a problem with the Koran ; it is a roaming, rambling document that let's a variety of passions run wild.

  10. I bought my husband Hemmingway's short stories for his birthday and read one. I have never read him before. Very sparse, terse. I read it twice and got it. Good stuff.

  11. That's exactly how Hemingway is characterized--what you say. Is Old Man and the Sea included?

  12. No, there is "Old Man at the Bridge". I think I read that about him about the "sparse and terse" and was prejudiced that way, but indeed, the sentences are very short and bare. I read Alpine Idyll, at random. The poor man in the hut up on the mountain had to keep his wife's stiff body for 6 months until the snow melted.

  13. Did you read it? They say online that it is a neglected story and some critics despised it. I think it is genial. I love it. I think I will adore him for his honesty and realism, as far as I can tell after three pages. I have myself handled a dead body after several days in storage. I stroked the limp, greasy hair... And no one really knows how to deal with the bereaved. Talking about it does not work but can't be avoided. It turns out to be about the story-telling and the gossip. Implied is a criticism of the artistic process, which really is the callous end of it. Absolutely magnificent.

  14. The media is the message, not the message. Marshal McLuhan--Canadian About the telling, not the told

  15. He says in the introduction that the finest imagination is too rarified to be any good, if it is not put to the "grindstone" of real life. He wants to live long enough to tell several more stories. He means not only that he needs more time to write them, but also to live them. Then he says that he already knows the stories. Hmm. Maybe that's that calcul (cool design, the callousness) of the writer. He walks through life, experiencing it, yes, but ever seeing as substance only The Story. A kind of accidental design. A paradoxical life.

  16. Something like the suicide bomber. He knows already that he will be a martyr.

  17. Like the photographer at the wedding. He knows there is a wedding. He will produce the story through art by his presence and absence at the event, not really able to participate.

  18. Epistemologically bitchy situation?

  19. Living it is one thing (a whole). Telling it is a violent reduction of the experience, flat landing a sphere. A criminal rip-off so to speak. The experiene and the representation are (favorite word) incommensurate and yet complementary. Suffers in translation: to die for. Epistemologically bitchy. We tend to take the map for the territory without a sense of crime.

  20. And yet, a snapshot, or a part, can make the whole memory flood back.

  21. Interesting too, is the fact that he hangs the lamp on the dead woman's mouth. He loved her "fine". One gets accustomed to a corpse after a while. It can be the snapshot of the relationship. And the mouth: eating, feeding, speaking, scolding, kissing, etc. our most basic and profound interactions. The nurturing a woman can give to a man. Without much design and few or many words. His love for her was different, as men and women differ. More practical, like hanging up lamps and chopping wood.

    There is something no man can ever know: a woman on woman relationship, alma mater to alma mater. It does not even make much sense to talk about it. You have to live it. The best he can do is to hang a lamp from her. Knowing men, it is not so outrageous.

    1. Robt Frost's "Home Burial" - the diffence between masc and fem

  22. A bottomless dialectic, and still a union.

    1. Yes. Exactly. Dialectic is the practice of sustaining (not eliminating) the opposition so that the union relationship is revealed. (Other wise: King of the Hill and dominant / submission.)

  23. We learn to submit to the Lord, since we cannot beat each other into submission. Trust is the only way forward.

    "And if a man prevail against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes.

  24. A woman wrote me yesterday to the blog about a hymn I had translated. A decent but copyrighted translation is also in the hymnbook. This is what she said:

    "I lost my Mum on Wednesday this week. She was from Pommerania - her beloved Stettin. I was looking for a hymn that would be meaningful and I found it - thanks to you. I had never heard of this hymn before and it is so very perfect. As you say people of our parents generation who lived through the war and became refugees and emigrated knew many dark nights. I am sure my Mum knew this hymn and that she was comforted by its message many times and its message seems exactly right at this moment to me ."

  25. Imagine if we were all as good as our words.

  26. Woman to woman communication, as you see.