"What we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence."
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus
-- Dear Ludwig, sometimes I read your ideas and in the formidability of your
mind I hear the voice of Zen, you said for example that,"-even when all
possible scientific questions have been answered, the problems of life remain
completely untouched. - The solution of the problem of life is seen in the
vanishing of the problem."
So what do you mean by that then, -that we all sit around with eyes closed
and ears covered as our problems settle into some sort of oblivion?
At de Lange wrote eloquently in ending a very recent mail evoking many more
doors to open in your 'caring' mindful journeys having only just covered, -
to me anyway, an epic journey of thoughts around [P(2) - P(1)] x /_\V > 0
Now At' and others, you have already given me and I imagine others here and
not so here so to speak more than enough to think about, perhaps more than in
all previous lifetimes put together, and so I sometimes feel completely
intimidated by the scale of it (the task of 'open' learning) put forth to me
via all the writings here.
What can I do to alleviate this feeling of an impending inner deluge, chaos,
and infinite re/searching?
I can just let it go, can't I?
I have stopped trying to 'understand' you! ;-)
I was reading the other day that Sigmund Freud felt that quintessential to
the 'human condition in happiness' was the deep desire to 'die on one's own
terms'. To do this then it seems relatively "< " the case that we must now
learn how to live life 'on our own terms' ;-)
Now I ask you Leo, publicly and at a distance so to speak. You have
sensibility and artistic sensitivity, I will not say it is 'infinite', but it
may be so. We probably both have stood for more than a while before the Both
spare And rich' pictures of Piet Mondrian? Here, I have sketched a
Mondrianesque ocean for you all!
___ | _ _ | -|_--- | _- -____ -- _ __
|--__| __---|_|- -|_--------_____----||__--|_ __|___----|_---_____
__----__| __--- --| --- ___ ___| ----| ___-----| --|---| _ __ __
_---__-|--|_----_|---|----___ __-_---__| ---__| |---__-| --_-- --- | --
| ---- | -- -- __| --- _-----| -- | ----___- --_-- -- --| -- |
--__ __| - ---- --__---
_ --- ---___-| ---- | ---|--------___| | __ -- -__--- ----| -- - -
- --___--_---| |
----__ _|---|------___-| | ----___-| ---__-_--| __- --- |
| ------__ _|-- __--- --- ||_---|-___----|__---- -| _-----___
|--___-| ---|----_------___----| ---__-_-_-_-_--| __--------|----
|---_-__-_ _-|-_-_ --_ | --_-__-| ----_ | _---|_--
----| --- --__-___--| ---| -- |-__--_--
And we have both probably wondered 'why?' 'how?', 'where?', 'when?' he puts
down those black 'gridded lines' over the sparkling 'silence' of the white
But PERHAPS we have 'seen' or 'felt' something else Leo?
We have seen in the vibrations of his 'silences', the trace of 'drifts'
manipulated over each successive surface as he searches to 'find' just so,
'c'est ca, n'est pas?' He articulates the space of the virtual vacuum by
impositions of line upon line, we sense the 'remaining' oscillation. We know
they 'sing out of and onward bound into the void'. We have perhaps too,
looked upon the 'tilted' or lozenge hung square canvases and wondered, "What
if we extended those finite lines into the surrounding of infinite space as
they point to some seeming 'over the edge' of domain?"
Well, if you do that literally you find that the pattern simply increases
into new relations, unbounded they rebound into infinite relations, square
upon spare and 'golden section' upon 'golden section'. These extensions seem
to be able to go on infinitely complexifying as they do so. Even within that
modulated white, pure 'ground' of pigment we see how time and entropy combine
to cause little fissures of fine crackles, little fingering rivers of dancing
chaotic complexifying change running through the spaces, like so many streams
running to an ocean somewhere off stage, in the void? And my mind is
'wheeled' back into the deep mystery that At de Lange keeps mapping,
pen-less. Wheeled back upon the lemniscate?
The symbol for the infinite that in my poor mind is also indefiniteness,
inconceivability, and loss at a cascade of number and equations > in Hebrew I
am caste upon 'alef',which is
in Hebrew the Cabalistic symbol 'X'.
"Infinity inspires awe, futility and fear." Mmm.
Well, soon enough some reference to mathematics, but for now Pascal joins
life and mathematics apprehending the confusion of the implied infinite.
"When considered, the small span of life -- of my life absorbed in the
eternity of all time, or the small part of space which I can touch or see
(is) engulfed by the infinite immensity of spaces that I know not and know me
not, (so that) I am frightened and astonished to see myself here rather than
there -- now instead of then."
Now I have had good reason during the last few years to attempt to recapture
my earliest childhood experiences of learning. The furthermost I can go has
me left alone by my mother in the enclosure of the school grounds, during
what must have been a September morning break for refreshments, I am laid on
my back simply in unfocused gaze at pure azure sky. Maybe clouds and maybe
not. 'sky/ground and sky/bound'.
Now I have got used to that lovely paradox.
The Greek word for infinity was "apeiron", which means unbounded, indefinite
and undefined. It was then a negative, pejorative term. The original 'chaos'
out of which the world was formed was "apeiron". An arbitrary crooked line
was "apeiron". A dirty crumpled handkerchief was "apeiron". This infinity of
my apprehending childhood comforting vision of infinite freedom has deep
collusion with its opposite, the totally disordered, disheveled, loss of all
that might be or is our conscious determination.
In the one hand, limitless and in the other limit.
Aristotle himself said it this way, " being infinite is a privation, not a
perfection (but) the absence of a limit."
Leo, what DOES the artist like Mondrian master of order DO with the 'pure
unlimited horizon of the field of his virtual depth perception' i.e. the
blank chaotic ground of canvas? He immediately throws pigment upon it,
unthinking, unplanning, he 'dives' headlong ;-) in a state of chaos into the
very river-ground of chaos itself and therefrom wrestles his hoped for
meanings. Not so unlike the cavemen who like Another God breathed life into
the inanimate material of cosmos and brought forth what? New life - breath,
worded, spat onto rock in the hope of piercing through surface meaning.
It seems that when we might scribble something worthy of a press on the
'send' button we all share one human feeling. However slight. Fear.
In a most recent mail I think it was Jan who spoke about 'real time'
performing artists being more whole and thereby more capable of joy in work
among people. I have heard anecdotally from the likes of Sir Alec Guinness on
how he would literally 'throw up' with fear prior to any stage performance.
I could write reams on the depth psychology of fear and destruction of 'self'
in deep creativity in the visual arts. Loss of coherent sense is one of the
greatest underlying themes in all culture.
I was this morning thinking how I might write more about becoming a bird, but
another event overtook me. Even so I must write these words.
The Blue Jay Will Come Right into Your Heart.
All right, what have I been saying?
Maybe I have been saying this, " Today We May Be Very Happy, and the Next Day
we Don't Know What Will Happen to Us."
That is Zen.
This is also Zen; "The universal rain moistens all creatures."
When the bird flies in his sky he is in the sky as surely as the sky is in
him. He has no 'knowledge' of personal limit; he alone is unlimited and sky.
When the fish swims in his stream his stream is all one ocean, connected and
infinite. Completed commutational repose? Four dimensional commutation?
We learn all the time and we change all the time, our thoughts modulated
beyond belief, into new beliefs, our cells die and regenerate many times in a
lifetime, so what remains? Perhaps At knows? Some say despite all this our
essentiality (essence) remains. At 'gut' level I agree to that. I say "Amen"
What connects though? The single thought expressed as "I am" connects the
self of now to the young self on his back, looking skyward. I am right now
content with that.
Is that I wonder, how YOU express it too Leo? "I am me, I exist."
Is that the echo?
If that is so then as Hegel pointed out it expresses, "-- the divine nature
of language, --", which means that we as the collective 'many' say the same
thing to express ourselves as the 'one' does. If we share the same
expression, uttered as "I am" then isn't it possible that there is only 'one'
collected consciousness that expresses itself disparately via the 'Many' as
the momentary monadic 'One'?
I seem to have led myself to something, a topic that At de Lange wrote about
earlier last year, 'One to Many Mapping' and 'Set Theory'. As a 'distance
student' Open University style of 'bent cucumber' I am not sure I am fitting
to follow this line of thought. >>>>>>>
So I shall.
But backward first. Remember the 'finger pointing at the moon?'
Well, imagine a set of crosses or dots upon this page, perhaps you might
think of stars in an indigo sky if you are artistically inclined :-) and you
'see' patterns emerge, a square, a circle, this and that, maybe a tennis
racquet. You settle upon the latter, it satisfies your organising principle.
Hence in this perhaps improper example, "A set is a many which allows itself
to be thought of as a one."
Kurt Godel, [SET THEORY] "An Example of a New Type of Cosmological Solution
of Einstein's Field of Equations of Gravitation,"
That sounds Zen to me so I am going to risk your patience and scribe it again.
" A set is a Many which allows itself to be thought of as a One." Mmm.
Could be a description of a living commutating protoLO?
At this point I have a tremendous creative (self-destructive) ;-) urge to
become a 'singing Jay'. I will resist it. But, please, will someone take a
compassionate view and ask me sometime to write about the 'singing Jay' in
relation to 'Set Theory', 'One to Many Mapping' and the 'field theories' of
Einstein and also of the ancient I Ching in another contribution;-)
In yet another recent contribution I spoke of the 'ether of reality', at that
time I had not come upon the work of Benjamin Paul Blood. He wrote something
very interesting about what happen when taking self applied ether upon a
"Sanity is not the basic quality of intelligence, but is a mere condition
which is variable, and like the humming of a wheel, goes up or down the
musical gamut according to a physical activity; and that only in sanity is
formal or contrasting thought, while the naked life is realized outside of
sanity altogether and it is the instant contrast of this, 'tasteless water of
souls' (ether), with formal thought as we 'come to', that leaves in (the
patient) an astonishment that the awful mystery of Life is at last but a
homely and a common thing, and that aside from mere formality the majestic
and the absurd are of equal dignity".
What Blood alludes to has been in another arena called the 'Satari' a
momentary union between perception of self as 'BOTH one AND many'. A kind of
union within the infinity of chaotically intuited 'everything else'.
Zen teaches us that "--Pranja is intuitive immediate knowledge of the world,
what we might call a mystical grasping of the world in its unity -- a feature
of it is that it avoids distinguishing between the knower and the known, the
subject and object --pranja knowledge is not taught, it is communicated. It
grasps reality from the inside"
On the other hand there is, " -- Vijnana, it is discursive, analytical
knowledge of the world, stands apart results from the subject examining the
object resulting in knowledge that can be written down and learned -- but it
can never reach for infinity." The idea given is that one is not superior to
the other, both have great value and inevitably all men and women will walk,
oscillate, dance if you will between these two states of knowing,
apprehending. It is truly a way (becoming) then and not a destination, a
process more than structure, and an art not a science --maybe I pushed my
luck with the last one?
Reflecting intuitively on Maturana I hear these words, " --Moving from many
to one tends to be gradual process, the result of some kind of calming of the
mind. The passage from One to Many is usually sudden. At a given instant you
may become sunk in into a complete union with the world and then in the next
instant you are out there talking about the experience, standing outside of
yourself, making distinctions."
The art of this per/form/ance seems to be to catch oneself at the trembling
state of both/and -- between -- either/or.
In Zen this is called "Satori".
"The oneness dividing itself (as monad) into BOTH subject AND object and yet
retaining its oneness at the very moment that there is awakening of a
consciousness- this is satori."
Fleeting but not rare. Not unlike awakening from sleep is it? A 'slipping
Now you might like to see this "satori" thing as a 'blue Jay' bird?
Perhaps the whole world is a singing blue bird?
Interface of One to Many is now moving back and forth through time. Memory.
Harmonic oscillations? It is not though a particular experience though like
others in our daily life since it is not of particular chopped up events and
experiences in time.
"Satori experience is the one that runs through the many."
That is quite, quite beautiful.
"Satori experience is the one that runs through the many."
I have just right now and through my own learning and writing here recovered
a childhood memory. '-- I lift myself up, my back is now off of the ground
and my feet are running me into the playground, to make friends with all the
other possible children under the infinite blue shell above that goes, so
like my life, streaming on and on, frightening me into activity.'
In the words of another, - "The One and the Many run about together in and
out of every word ever uttered."
Wow! Talk about Maturana and 'living in languaging!'
At' don't you remember? The colours that issued from the infinitely dark
stain, numberless in their infinitely graded beauty and mystery. My world,
our world, all worlds in a grain of ink. Commuting in Chromatography?
"The mother is the blue mountain
and the children are the white clouds.
All day long they are together,
yet they do not know
who is the mother and who are the children."
That is how it was, is, can be.
"You want to know your lord's meaning in what I have done? Know it well, love
was his meaning. Who reveals it to you? Love. What did he reveal to you?
Love. Why does he reveal it to you" For love" This is God speaking to Dame
Julian when she asked why God created the world.
Such affinity brings insight to the finity and allays fears in a universe
beheld as infinite.
Yet this is that which the mystic may see as " -a little thing, the size of a
hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand." Or a painting, or a hat, or a face,
or an eye or an angel or maybe a desert 'succulent' plant of a thousand years
The problems for me of mathematics and perhaps for all others in numerous
other things may resolve itself finally in and through 'feelings'.
I am going to 'feel' rather than discursively 'think' my way through and
around the chaos and complexity and hope to leave in the traces some images
for contemplation like the one shaped like an oval above to assist others who
maybe are feeling equally stupid and bereft in a cleverer world.
"Only someone who can 'feel' what the solution to a problem might be like is
in a position to develop the language to describe a further step in the right
'God is an intelligible sphere, whose centre is everywhere and whose
circumference is nowhere'
Just felt a large circle enclose me - I have to name it, 'Womb of creation'.
Love and Best wishes,
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