Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Immanence and Virtual Realities

Immanence is in the Natural World and does not appear to be correlative with, nor a corollary of, the virtual or non-material creations of men and women including their philosophizing. I have a sense of divinity in living beings and even in the apparently non-living beings of my natural environs; not in people's thoughts, but in people.

Mathematics, including set-theory, is not only transcendent [a la Immanuel Kant], but RATIO a la William Blake and thus "of the Devil's party".

Monday, October 29, 2007

dumbelldor's purplex itty-bitty

Isn't the blibbering humdinger

neo-postvictorian jabberwacky

for a gibbering blither blather

egregiously higgledy-piggledy

for a giddily blithering idiocy?

punning linguistics in *Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire*

The Japanese seems the best of the Asian translations.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

attending to the unnameable beast

Can modern poems bring to mind "what was lost at the inception of philosophy"?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Teleopathy and disincorporate conscience

"Teleopathy is a mindset that reflects imbalance; in particular, it reflects imbalance in the pursuit
of goals to the detriment of other ends that may have instrumental or moral significance. The symptoms of teleopathy are a fixation on certain goals, a social detachment that permits a singular focus on such goals (regardless of who they adversely affect) and an ability to rationalize or justify this singular focus. There are layers of added complexity here; the tendencies toward fixation, detachment and rationalization are encouraged in corporations that enforce behavioral scripts, provide incentives for short-term thinking and otherwise encourage narrow measures of success, such as profitability, growth in stock price or enhanced competitive position."

hmm, smells like team spirit or Enron, for that matter.

Friday, October 19, 2007


'Fahrt ins blaue' is a German anisomorphism for the

English 'Magical, Mystery Tour' [It's coming to take

me away -- ha, ha! ha, ha! ha, ha! -- coming today!]

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

skipping the flu shot

I'm going to skip the flu shot again this year as I have for the past several.

Epistemology and Ethics of Religious Belief?

Hmm, would it be worth $65.US to find out whether Mr. Bishop looks into the ethics of the Crusade or Jihad in his book?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Knights Templar Septicentennial

Seven hundred years ago today the arrests of the Knights of the Temple began.
The Vatican seems to be commemorating this with the release from the Vatican Secret Archives of the original trial transcripts by the Holy Office of the Inquisition in a limited edition.
Rumor has it that on 25 October 2007, exactly 13 days from the morning of the anniversary, an official document will be released by the Vatican absolving the Knights Templar and confirming their innocence.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Spectre & Shadow in Wm. Blake's "Milton"

 "Blake's Tharmas, while one of the four Zoas, receives little
attention as such outside Vala. In Eden he is perception, or, more
accurately, Man's power to create his world. (There is no
subject-object distinction in Blake's highest realm.) Thus, Tharmas is
the "Parent Power" underlying the workings of the other Zoas. Tharmas
is associated especially with Beulah, the dimension of sensation and
passive experience rather than of creation and conflict. With the
closure of the Western Gate belonging to this Zoa, imaginative control
over the perceptions was lost, and Man came to experience the world of
matter. Tharmas divided into a Spectre and an amorphous residue. The
surviving Zoa becomes the life-force. He begets monsters by
spontaneous generation from chaos, and orders Los to his anvil to forge
a new world of solid forms. As the Zoa who governs the experience of
the unfallen world, Tharmas is also the sense of being happy and knows
when things are wrong. Thus in Vala, after his own fall during the
struggles of Luvah and Urizen, he knocked Luvah from the sky in anger,
and later did the same to Urizen. While he is always expressing his
feelings in some way or other, and thus functions as a sort of chorus,
he does nothing constructive.

"In the later Milton and Jerusalem, the conception of a divided
Tharmas was abandoned, and the Spectre was equated with the Covering
Cherub of Ezekiel. The Spectre of Tharmas is called the False Tongue
itself, because the error of perception is basic. The fallen Man
perceives only a hostile, alien world around him and supposedly thinks
that he must act accordingly. As Tharmas grants perceptions in Eden,
the Cherub causes the natural person to perceive a solid material
world. Tharmas is the vitality that bestows imaginative life in Eden;
the Cherub is the Selfhood's idea of the life-giving spirit. Every
advance in biology has confirmed the view that our species is a product
of a complicated chemical process and is evolved ultimately from a few
types of subatomic particles. As Urizen is the sky-god, the Covering
Cherub is the limiting sky surrounding the world of matter and cutting
off the vision of Eternity. As he is ultimately the fallen person's
whole view of the world, the Covering Cherub's tyranny encompasses all
errors that keep us from enjoying the fellowship of all people, whether
they are political (9:51), "moral", scientific, artistic, or religious
(37:16-8). Satan, the natural heart, falls enfolded by the Cherub as
by a deadly constricting snake (12:46), a classical symbol for matter

"The most famous symbol for Tharmas is the ocean, which is
appropriate for several reasons. Kathleen Raine says a great deal
about water as a Neoplatonic image of matter [4], and Carl Jung found
the sea to be the "commonest symbol for the unconscious" [5], source of
all imaginative perception of the fallen man. As the sea engulfs all
things, it is a fine symbol for the ever-devouring false Tongue; as it
reflects heaven in its quiet moments, it becomes a symbol of the
redeemed Tharmas (M 25:71). Finally, as matter, the Spectre of Tharmas
(like his closest literary relative, Milton's Anarch Chaos), can give
rise to nothing living. Left alone, it will eventually disintegrate
into a "sea of atoms" [6], or, as Blake expresses it:

The Natural Power continually seeks & tends to Destruction
Ending in Death: which would of itself be Eternal Death

-- Milton 26:41-2

"All material things tend to deteriorate into formlessness. Thus
Blake can say that the Covering Cherub, or natural power, pursues
death, a process arrested only by the fixing of the "limits of opacity
and contraction". All Spectres seek the deaths of others out of fear
and jealousy. By remaining unregenerate we are also working toward our
own nonexistence. The image of the gloomy "death" the erring Milton
had chosen for himself in life is called "Milton's Shadow".

"While much has been written to make clear what Blake meant by a
"spectre", less has been said about the quite different conception of a
"shadow". Any shadow is the form of a thing without its substance or
life, appearing opposite the light source. A review of the Felpham
letters and later works shows that Blake often spoke of all material
things and persons as "shadows" of their Eternal beings. The concept
of the shadow must therefore be related to the material reality which
helps or hinders the visionary. In the late strata of The Four Zoas,
the shadows are the female counterparts to the spectres of the Zoas --
pale, static, inconsequential things. They are the soft of emanations
spectres would desire, just as the material shadow seems to "emanate"
from a material man. The invisible, wailing Enion, the lost Ahania,
the laboring Vala, and Orc's silly goddess of purity, white Enitharmon,
are all called "shadows", and are all that remains of their original
forms in Ulro. So is the "Shadowy Female", personification of nature.
Albion's "Shadow" is the idiotic, voiceless creature that arises from
him and to which he prays to forgive his sexual sins (J 43:33-54).

"So the Shadow of Milton is probably the Spectre's version of what
the human being ought to be. It is the pathetic image or parody of the
self-sacrificing and productive Humanity of Milton; it is at once the
roles he invented for himself and the errors that interacted with them.

"Milton's Shadow is "a mournful form", dismal as John Milton was
when "covered" with the earthly body. Being mournful is the loveless
spectrous version of being a solitary prophet speaking against evil.
Blake's heroic Milton, while he is "severe and silent" (38:8), is not
doleful or without hope. As Milton's experience of the fallen world,
the Shadow encompasses all errors, and extends from Beulah through the
twenty-seven heavens (human history) to the earth. This begins the
suggestion that the Shadow, formed of the material of the Covering
Cherub, is the Cherub. Milton enters the gloomy shape, and begins his
voyage as "Milton's Human Shadow" (17:18). As Blake prepares to travel
to Golgonooza, the Shadow separates (20:20-2), flying from the fierce
visionary and going to "brood" over the frozen Milton in Sinai, just as
the Cherub hovers over humankind in general. Blake is punning -- the
dismal Shadow frets over Milton, but it is also "brooding" in the
sense that Milton spoke of the Holy Spirit as a dove brooding to make
chaos fertile (Paradise Lost I, 21). The action of the Shadow is an
impossible parody of regeneration. Again Blake seems to identify
Cherub and Shadow:

For that portion namd the Elect: the Spectrous body of Milton:
Redounding from my left foot into Los's Mundane space,
Brooded over his Body in Horeb against the Resurrection
Preparing it for the Great Consummation; red the Cherub on Sinai
Glow'd; but in terrors folded round his clouds of blood.

-- Milton 20:20-4

"The Shadow appears again, as the Cherub (37:4-12), in definite
form and ready to be cast out by the awakened Milton. Before it is
given this shape, it is compared to a "polypus" (15:8). Readers of
Blake know that this can mean either an octopus or a type of malignant
growth; here both are very appropriate. Error spreads invasively and
grows like cancer, and all of a cancer must be removed before a cure is
effected. An octopus is a shapeless, clinging, soft-bodied sea
creature with many extensions, one that avoids light and obscures
itself in clouds of black ink.

"Why did Milton enter the Shadow to return to the material world?
The Shadow is the material reality with which the personality of Milton
dealt in life. Being twenty-seven-fold, extending through Ulro, and
being likened to a polypus indicates that it is the unregenerated world
which Milton perceived while on earth. However, since every person's
way of looking at the world is distinctive to the person, the shadow is
properly the Tharmic portion of one's personality. Because it is part
subject, part object, it is "hermaphroditic; male and female / In one
wonderful body" (14:37-8), just like Tharmas. Even though it is a body
of error, the Shadow must be rejoined if the errors committed in the
body are to be redeemed. Until the apocalypse, anyone who wishes to
act in the time-and-space world needs to have some view of it. Milton
travels in his Shadow until he joins Blake. Then the Shadow is
discarded and John Milton can see the world with fresh eyes. 4. Luvah: Milton as Orc

Rintrah roars & shakes his fires in the burdend air;
Hungry clouds swag on the deep

Once meek, and in a perilous path,
The just man kept his course along
The vale of death.
Roses are planted where thorns grow.
And on the barren heath
Sing the honey bees.

Then the perilous path was planted:
And a river, and a spring
On every cliff and tomb;
And on the bleached bones
Red clay brought forth.

Till the villain left the paths of ease,
To walk in perilous paths, and drive
The just man into barren climes.

Now the sneaking serpent walks
In mild humility.
And the just man rages in the wilds
Where lions roam.

Rintrah roars & shakes his fires in the burdend air;
Hungry clouds swag on the deep

-- The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 2"


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Tennyson and Homer

Was the 'strong-winged music' of Homer too much for Tennyson?

Homer and war:

Tennyson and war:

Bully for you!

Medea and the Suffragettes

Suffragettes protesting with quotes from *Medea*? Awesome!

Harvest Mooning with Mr. Ed and a band of Swedes

Harvest Mooning with Mr. Ed and a band of Swedes!

Ronald Firbank's "Oddette"

"Odette" -- a fairytale by Ronald Firbank, illustrated by Albert Buhrer:

online at

Ronald Firbank (1886-1926), known for his short stories and red nails, hung with a
social set that included the Sitwells, Aldous Huxley, Wyndham Lewis,
Gwen Otter, Alfred Lord Douglas, Aleister Crowley, and Katherine Mansfield.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

some favorite buddha-isms

"First there is a mountain
then there is no mountain
then there is" -- Donovan

Buddha's Flower Sermon!

Two Chan (Chinese Zen) monks were going to cross a river. They met a woman who was not able to get across by herself. The first monk decided to carry her across. After crossing the river, the monk let her down and they went on their separate ways. After walking for a while, the second monk expressed his unhappiness over the first monk for carrying the woman. Their beliefs forbid them to come into body contact with women. The first monk said, "Why are you complaining? I have already set her down. You are the one that is still carrying her around."

"Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine," Shunryu Suzuki, *Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind*

"The Buddha called his teaching a Raft. To cross a turbulent river we may need to build a raft. When built, we single-mindedly and with great energy make our way across. Once across we don't need to cart the raft around with us. In other words don't cling to anything including the teachings. However, make sure you use them before you let them go. It's no use knowing everything about the raft and not getting on. The teachings are tools not dogma. The teachings are Upaya, which means skillful means or expedient method. It is fingers pointing at the moon - don't confuse the finger for the moon."

Huzun and Orhan Pamuk's *Istanbul*

"According to Orhan Pamuk, the melancholy of Istanbul is huzun, a Turkish word whose Arabic root (it appears five times in the Koran) denotes a feeling of deep spiritual loss but also a hopeful way of looking at life, 'a state of mind that is ultimately as life-affirming as it is negating.' For the Sufis, huzun is the spiritual anguish one feels at not being close enough to God; for Saint John of the Cross, this anguish causes the sufferer to plummet so far down that his soul will, as a result, soar to its divine desire. Huzun is therefore a sought-after state, and it is the absence, not the presence, of huzun that causes the sufferer distress. 'It is the failure to experience huzun,' Pamuk says, 'that leads him to feel it.' According to Pamuk, moreover, huzun is not a singular preoccupation but a communal emotion, not the melancholy of an individual but the black mood shared by millions. 'What I am trying to explain,' he writes in this delightful, profound, marvelously original book, 'is the huzun of an entire city: of Istanbul.' ...There is a past tense in Turkish -- it does not exist in English -- that allows the writer to distinguish between hearsay and what he has seen with his own eyes. "When we are relating dreams, fairy tales, or past events we could not have witnessed, we use this tense," Pamuk explains. This is the tense in which his book seems to be written, in a voice on the edge of reality, halfway between what he knows has happened and what he believes imaginatively to be true. This voice, this tone, this tense, is perfectly suited to describing melancholy."

Orhan Pamik won the Nobel Prize for Literature just a year ago.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Aien Aristeuein

There is a world other than that of 'political correctness',

a world where self-discipline, virtue, and excellence rule.

Thursday, October 04, 2007