Saturday, July 19, 2003
world knot found
'Imagination is the true fire, stolen from Heaven, to animate the cold creature of clay'.
A �maybe� state of mind
A regular study group meets at Wilson's house to discuss his two favorite authors, James Joyce and Ezra Pound about whom he is currently writing a book "Tale of the Tribe."
"They're very important writers for our times," he said. "They were both writing multiculturally, and we really need that. Everywhere you go are people with the same dumb superstitions and the same urge to transcend them."
Committee for Surrealist Investigation of Claims of the Normal
"No normalist has yet produced even a totally normal dog, an average cat, or even an ordinary chickadee. Attempts to find an average Bird of Paradise, an ordinary haiku or even a normal cardiologist have floundered pathetically. The normal, the average, the ordinary, even the typical, exist only in statistics, i.e. the human mathematical mindscape. They never appear in external space-time, which consists only and always of nonnormal events in nonnormal series."
Robert Anton Wilson
Answer to the mystery of life is four
" ... the heart of every mammal beats roughly the same number of times in its average lifetime - around 1.5 billion times - regardless of whether it is a dog or a human, a mouse or an elephant."
Mind, Brain and the Quantum - David Pearce reviews Michael Lockwood's book
"Does introspection grant us privileged insight into the intrinsic nature of the stuff of the world? Michael Lockwood's startling answer is yes. Quantum mechanics may indeed supply a mathematically complete formal description of the universe. Yet what "breathes fire into" the quantum-theoretic equations, it transpires, isn't physical in the traditional sense at all."
Occulture Festival 2003 - Brighton occult and esoteric festival - Performance
The New York City Tattoo Convention
"To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself."
Everything is illuminated - Painted Labyrinth
" ... the Celtic wheel cross, the most obvious symbol of Celtic Christianity, has recently been shown to have been a Coptic invention ..."
Jo Nash reviews 'Cognitive Models and Spiritual Maps'
"If we can explain eventually the cause and development of spiritual experiences neuropsychologically, then will we be able to call them 'spiritual' in future? My answer would be yes ... "
separation of state and science - [frogcircus]
I ran across an interesting quote this morning while reading Paul Feyerabend's Against Method:
"Such a balanced presentation of the evidence may even convince us that the time is overdue for adding the separation of state and science to the by now quite customary separation of state and church. Science is only one of the many instruments people invented to cope with their surroundings. It is not the only one, it is not infallible and it has become too powerful, too pushy, and too dangerous to be left on its own."
An Interview with Amory Lovins
" ... as Edwin Land (inventor of the Polaroid camera) said, in order to have a new idea we need to stop having an old idea ... "
Unsnarling the World-Knot
The mind-body problem, which Schopenhauer called the "world-knot," has been a central problem for philosophy since the time of Descartes. Among realists - those who accept the reality of the physical world - the two dominant approaches have been dualism and materialism, but there is a growing consensus that, if we are ever to understand how mind and body are related, a radically new approach is required.
David Ray Griffin develops a third form of realism, one that resolves the basic problem (common to dualism and materialism) of the continued acceptance of the Cartesian view of matter.
Nature Has a Mind of Its Own
"Award-winning novelist Daniel Quinn once said that we don�t just tell our stories, we enact them. In other words, we live our stories, and we change the world accordingly."
Christian de Quincey
Problems and Prospects of World Governance at the Beginning of the XXI Century
Deep and thorough social transformations, such as the ones occurring in the age of globalization, nurture the need for new concepts, new theories, and new narratives. In the XVII and XVIII centuries, a scientific revolution took place alongside the economic and political revolutions, first in the physical and natural sciences and then in the social sciences. Today, the speed of scientific and technological innovations and the scope of social changes have not been matched by a parallel development of new paradigms and theories of the social world. Some think that the main cause of this state of affairs is the fragmentation of knowledge, while others focus on the lack of confidence in the interpretative capacity of social scientists themselves. The result is that the sociological imagination often gives the impression of lagging behind and being inadequate to confront the scope of transformation. Beck exaggerates in pointing out that most contemporary sociologists work with "zombie-concepts", but it is true that we have to modify our perspective and follow Rabelais' Gargantua's advice to avoid "the building of the new with dead stones."
Lone cells reflect mind's eye
New research has shown ... that a significant proportion of the same neurones fire when people recall objects, faces, patterns and so on, as fire when people actually see these things. For vision, as for recall, different neurones fire depending on what is being processed - a face, or a map, say.
sympathy for the kernel
"It is us he inhabits, not the underworld, nor the stars in the sky. The spirit who lives in us makes those." Agrippa von Nettesheim, Epist. V
The Role of The Humanities in Global Culture: Questions and Hypotheses - Mikhail Epstein
Interrogo ergo cogito
Is that a fly in your pants, or are you just happy to see me - Metafilter
Not with a bang but a whimper
Mistah Kurtz�s New Job
"There were no practical hints to interrupt the magic current of phrases, unless a kind of note at the foot of the last page, scrawled evidently much later, in an unsteady hand, may be regarded as the exposition of a method. It was very simple, and at the end of that moving appeal to every altruistic sentiment it blazed at you, luminous and terrifying, like a flash of lightning in a serene sky ... "
Preparing for War, Stumbling to Peace - via Best of the Blogs
The military's sprint to Baghdad initially vindicated Rumsfeld's prime directive to transform the U.S. armed forces into a lighter, more mobile force. It shortened the war, probably prevented many of the disasters the Pentagon had been planning for and saved lives during the takeover of Iraq. One senior Central Command official said the still-classified battle plan called for as many as 125 days of combat. Baghdad fell in just 20.
But the quick victory also created what Franks called "catastrophic success."
Soldiers Stuck in Baghdad Feel Let Down
U.S. civilians are weak link in Iraq reconstruction effort
via The liberal bias media
No flies on Bush
"My distinguished former colleague, the dean of Canadian columnists David Warren, brilliantly characterised what�s going on in Iraq as 'carefully hung flypaper'. In other words, the US occupation of Iraq is bringing Saudis and other Islamonutters out of the surrounding swamps - and that�s a good thing. If they�re really so eager to strike at the Great Satan, better they attack its soldiers in Iraq than its commuters on the Golden Gate Bridge."
Mark Steyn - probably wrote this at home
"The flattened dome of the sky and the hundred other visible things underneath, including the brain itself - in short, the entire world - exist, for each of us, only as part of our consciousness, and they perish with it. This enigma wrapped within a mystery of how subjective experience relates to certain objectively describable events is what Arthur Schopenhauer brilliantly called the "world knot."
Gerald M. Edelman & Giulio Tononi - 'Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination'
(Penguin, 2001, page 2)
Mind Games - Gerald Edelman and Giulio Tononi dodge the question of free will
What [Schopenhauer] calls the "world knot", in 'On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason', is "the identity of the subject of willing with that of knowing".
Enthusiasm Re-enacting Easter Rising
"Today, it is almost impossible for us to realise what the old Greeks meant by god, or theos. Everything was theos; but even so, not at the same moment. At the moment, whatever struck you was god. If it was a pool of water, the very watery pool might strike you: then that was god; or the blue gleam might suddenly occupy your consciousness: then that was god; or a faint vapour at evening rising might catch the imagination: then that was theos; or thirst might overcome you at the sight of the water: then the thirst itself was god; or you drank, and the delicious and indescribable slaking of thirst was the god; or you felt the sudden chill of the water as you touched it: and then another god came into being, "the cold": and this was not a quality, it was an existing entity, almost a creature, certainly a theos: the cold; or again, on the dry lips something suddenly alighted: it was "the moist", and again a god. Even to the early scientists or philosophers, "the cold", "the moist", "the hot", "the dry" were things in themselves, realities, gods, theoi. And they did things.
With the coming of Socrates and "the spirit", the cosmos died. For two thousand years man has been living in a dead or dying cosmos, hoping for a heaven hereafter. And all the religions have been religions of the dead body and the postponed reward ... "
D.H.Lawrence - Apocalypse (Penguin, 1995, pages 95 - 96)
The Teachings of Iamblichus
Minotaur & Sniggle Theory
"There is an active imagination in the mind, of which figuration is a part, by means of which we create the world of our experiences. We have for so long buried it under our rational, intellective faculties that we have fooled ourselves into thinking it does not exist, but it continues to flourish, with or without our notice. Goethe was acutely aware of it and sought to make it the basis of science as well as art. Coleridge placed it at the core of his whole philosophy. Rudolph Steiner put it into practice in a radical new approach to medicine, agriculture, education, and spiritual enlightenment. Einstein felt it in the very creation of a new science. Nor is it the exclusive possession of the genius, nor the private property of the individual. Our creative, intuitive imagination is something we all share and through which we collectively project our reality."
Roger S. Jones - Physics as Metaphor (Abacus, 1983, page 202)
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time - The Apocalypse
Our understanding of history itself owes much to the apocalyptic way of thinking.
Daddy of DNA bids to unlock mysteries of the brain - Deborah Smith
The man responsible for the most important scientific discovery last century has no doubts about the biggest challenge in this one.
"If I was 19 again my focus would be on the brain," said James Watson, the Nobel Laureate who helped work out the double helix structure of DNA 50 years ago. "It's a wonderful puzzle."
Final frontier to be conquered this century
The final frontier of genetic science, understanding what makes the human mind tick, will be conquered by the end of the century, one of the founding fathers of genetics predicted yesterday.
Nobel prize-winning scientist Sir John Sulston led the project to sequence the entire human genome, which was finalised in April and is one of the star attractions at the Melbourne congress.
Sir John said he disagreed that deconstructing the "I" of the human mind was impossible and destructive. "Some say that this is impossible, that there is no way a thinking machine can understand itself," he said.
"In my own personal homespun philosophy I rather doubt that. I think actually we will be capable of understanding it - perhaps not grasping it as a whole but certainly understanding how each part interacts. At some point, very likely during this coming century, we're going to say, 'Yeah, now I see how thought works, now I understand what consciousness is'. "
"This division of art and science is temporary. It didn't exist in the past, and there's no reason why it should go on in the future. Just as art consists not simply of works of art but of an attitude, the artistic spirit, so does science consist not in accumulation of knowledge but in the creation of fresh modes of perception. The ability to perceive or think differently is more important than the knowledge gained".
posted by Andrew 7/19/2003 03:42:00 PM