Confucianism: String Thoery and the Net LO22626
Tue, 7 Sep 1999 12:11:46 EDT

Confusionism: String Theory and the Net

Dear Learners,

This message is about 10,000 words short...

(Confucius was descended from warrior lineage and his father became a
refugee as a result of military defeat. Confucius' older brother was born
a cripple with a skin disease, which meant he could not hold high office,
so another son became an imperative. Confucius' father died when he was
three. He grew up in poverty. This it is said fitted him to learn from
both low and high. He died in the fourth month of his seventieth year. He
was, like his grandfather, born in the month immediately after an eclipse.
Confucius had one son, he named him Li "Carp" or Bwo-yw "Fish" in response
to the gift of a fish sent to him as a mark of caring 'concern' from
Jau-gung, to whom he was both a guard and an escort. His son pre-deceased

I have had the privilege to serve at two related institutions that; if you
added their ages together, would come to nearly a millennium and a half.

Half way back to Confucius and two thirds back to Christ.

Both were quintessentially midwives and 'learning organisations'.

How long is a piece of string?

Confucius offered this piece of wisdom.

Sz, you regard me as one who has studies a lot and remembers it, do you
not? He replied, Yes. Is that wrong? He said, It is wrong. I have one
thing by which I string it all together.

Hmmm, I wonder what that 'one' thing was?

Some of us like it made simple. And, when we get it simple do we keep it

Some of us like it complex. And, when we get it complex do we keep it

Perhaps it is all simply too complex?

Consider; aloft you are any-man, any-woman, every-man, every-woman.

Grounded you are trapped in 'you'. Ego. A good place, a bad place,
swinging to and fro'? Alone you search gradually for others, when with
others you gradually search for solitude. You can have both, each and
every way.

There are many people who walk in crowds and are alone, there are those I
know who are alone when among others.

In my 'reading' Confucian wisdom guides to the understanding that
'virtue'- love, agape, friendship and leadership for that matter, issues
from outward from inwardness. It was born out of Confucius' own personal
struggles with early disappointment and personal deprivation. This lends
it a quality of controlled emotion. It was born out of a warrior ethos in
which reciprocity of support between the One to Many and vice versa was
the only credible cohering nature. A leader in battle without the support
of those he leads is ludicrous; knowing this creates a great 'two way' or
'twin track' coherence. His need and desire as I sense it, was through
imparting of classical learning mediated through his experience of the
world he provided the basis for a ONE to MANY CARE that would FIT not only
his time but all times, such was the breadth and depth of his SPHERIC
vision. Seeing the 'point' of Confucius is to 'miss' the 'point' (360
degrees) of Confucianism.

A friend and mentor who used sit to 'face to face' disarming huge
explosive devices in N Ireland confirms through close attention most
Confucian principles for me in practising the art of leading in the round.
No room for manoeuvre, you see^you walk up to 'death', you sit next to
him and consider his complex nature and his unblinking, patient and
unpredictable way and you make the choices you can. This is virtue
PRACTICED as an ART. I would like to say it is VIRTUOSITY, could we say he
is a VIRTUOSO? Could we say he is an ARTIST? And when his 'pupils' (lower
ranks attending) see the 'Master' at work they surround him closely and
learn without blinking, so that when they work in the dark they do not
fall. The learning like the light is inside them. (St John) And listening
is attentive too since, 'listening is vision'

Though virtue (rvn) comes from personal courage it is supposed an "at
large" (Brooks and Brooks) virtue it is refined in the 'twin tracks' of
hearts and minds, ONE to MANY.

It is amorphous in my vision of it, appearing simple and yet being
complex, like a mist in a field. It knows when to persist, it knows when
to rise and when to fall, and it knows when to evaporate and condense.

It knows to yield to progress. It has many incarnations.

Is this a very difficult concept?

Consider water's qualities. While it has 'fluxus' it has capacity for
'force' also. One very effective way to un-arm a complex bomb is to force
at massive pressure a volume of water into the device, this 'fluidity
become solidity' via tremendous speed enables the water to destroy and
dismember every linking and working part in a microsecond owing to it's
dynamical properties.

Master, may I ask how long it takes? Yes, How long have you got?

If we desire the poise of 'stability in change' (order in chaos) then the
concept has a certain utility, since through the 'force' of/in 'yielding'
we become able to re-gather certain qualities. We also learn about
ourselves and the world, even in failing, perhaps most in failing because
it is the nature of life that we get to return, renewed and inwardly
changed by what one might understand as a form of 'self cultivation'.

As Confucianism teaches, To make a mistake and not to change, ah, now that
is what I call making a mistake.

It is human to make mistakes. It is human to want to know the five
conditions of those mistakes. They can fascinate us. We seem to innately
know the difference between 'right and wrong' even down to the subtlest

It is humane to know that right is better than wrong, not just different.

The bomb maker builds believing the vision that he serves is the 'right
cause of others'. The bomb dismantler believes the vision that he serves
is the 'right cause of others'.

God loves the sinner and hates the sin.

The bomb dismantler concentrates not on right and wrong, not on the vision
but on the work at hand. To fail there, now, is an outcome of rvn; to
succeed here, now is an outcome of rvn. It is like the water, it takes
many forms. Rvn, like virtue in my understanding is any mans servant, not
his master. It facilitates beyond the maxims and rules that can enslave
us. It is something to be found every day if you can.

It is not like a shortcut; it is like a long road.

"The road is life." Anon

Up and down.

Watch a farmer plough a field, up and down, up and down, the sower and the
reaper, up and down the furrows making the field FIT for the harvest. The
writing of ages, up and down. The reading of ages, up and down, the waking
and sleeping of ages, up and down, the suns and moons of ages, up and
down, up and down. The invisible loops of the life of the river, up and
down, up and down. The course of one's very life is ups and downs. We all
want 'up' but we cannot have it without 'down' and pretty much in relative
'equal' measure.

Confucianism presided in part over the initial transitions of the Chinese
transformation from a military code to a civic code of behaviour. Rvn is
apparently homophonous with the Chinese word (^) "man". Recent scholarship
suggests that the term 'manliness' from idealised qualities like strength;
courage; steadfastness in crisis; consideration for others; and a capacity
for self sacrifice and hence linkage to terms in the west like 'honour'
all give clues to the original meaning that became adapted through the
vicissitudes of 'creative time', during which, rather like my
understanding of 'entropy production' on the 'twin track' of 'force-flux'
'becoming' through 'chaos' and 'deep creativity' to 'emergent learning'
evolving and involving utilities or 'beings' of and on the 'central
string' of a threaded theme for our collective 'digestive' consideration;
like a proto-string form of the content, 'seven essentialities'?

A funny thing, is string? You may make/take it into just about anything.

It is perhaps intimidating to think and speak at loud about virtue as we
find it in our lives. It takes courage because it reveals not only
strength but also weakness, it means to admit one is human, all too human

But really, for now what else is there to become?

Creation Myths

The most ancient creation myths I am aware of from my own European
culture, are about the 'creation of the world', they speak of an old man
who is torn apart, whose reconstituted parts are re-made to fashion the
world, the analysis of the word would support the same mythology, The old
English word weorold: wer -"man" and ald (old) - "full grown" or "big".

While we may at any time enter into ourselves to discover there what we
may find there, (Dante's Dark Wood) we are always attended by our ancient
myths, whether conscious of them or not. Inward reflection recalls the
transformation of entering the world of the labyrinth, the way in and the
way out are not clear and it is a place fraught with confusion, complexity
and danger. The inward-bound journey tends us toward possible
fragmentation. The outward-bound journey is one of possible reintegration.

It is the journey that changes us, not so much what we find there.

-It is the man that broadens the way, not the way that broadens the man.

Mythology teaches us to enter a maze or labyrinth with a ball of string.

Maybe it has something to do with knots and tangles that, when so
disordered, become nets with which to fish in rivers and oceans. Oh, and
so like being born, issued in waters from a dark cave on the end of a bit
of string sustaining of life in one mode that, once knotted must make me
and you proceed on an entirely different journey, the 'door' being closed
behind to open a different world, for a while.

How long will I be here? How long is a bit of string?

Have I departed an old labyrinth or entered a new one?

What is this 'string' quality that is so prized? Where is the 'quality' of
string? Surely, it is an illusion that string as 'stuff' has quality
(content) when it has only quantity (form). But sit down with it, play
with it, and create what you will, what you can, what you desire, what is
even beyond conscious desire and need and let others judge the virtue you
bring out from the string into the world. Illusion played 'right' becomes
vision and while 'vision is what vision does', vision does what vision is.

Some anthropologists think that the ancient creative technologies
associated with spinning and weaving were developed by, specifically,
women. Women, story tellers, educators, midwives among each other, giving
birth, tying knots, knitting, spinning yarns. SPINNING YARNS? That means
telling a story. I've already said that. (I must go talk more with women)


Best wishes,
Andrew Campbell

If you desire one useful cross cultural 'golden rule' from Confucianism there
is this,

Dz-gung asked, is there one saying that one can put into practice in all
circumstances? The Master said, That would be empathy would it not? What
he himself does not want, let him not do it to others.

This is given the name 'Shu' also rendered 'reciprocity'.
(Empathy-"projecting and so fully /comprehending the object of
contemplation". OED).

Not so very different from "Do as you would be done unto."

Same (like) difference runs river (like) through all things ALIKE.

Fields that yield yield more fields.

Let's plough?


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