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Showing posts with label Knowledge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Knowledge. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Self Awareness


The way in is the way out, you must go through at the gate
Sensei said

We ate the fruit of the tree of  knowledge
We consumed a principle of justice, the understanding of good and evil
We became self-aware and cognizant of our failings

We became writers of laws

We wasted the world in selfish-conflict, greed
We became aware, and became aware of ourselves, of our lies
We were mired in the taxonomy of differentiation

We became arbiters of the law

We saw the other as our enemy, making them into effigies
We regarded ourselves with loathing, the cancer of dissatisfaction
We engaged in violent reprisals

We became instruments of the law

We went to the dance with Ego and Id
We were like Caine and Able, the herdsman and the farmer
We were urban and pagan, nomad and builder

The law blinded us to the demands of justice, we were its fools

Facing mirrors that pass through the universe
Gathering new images on the way—endlessly reflexive
The infinite seen as finite
The analogue of consciousness, coded with the cell
Carrying the sensed bits of eternity[1]




[1] Herbert, Frank, Chapter House Dune, 1985

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Crawling


There is an answer
To every question, and right
Behind each answer

Another question
As far as the eye can see
Like a branching tree

I cannot remain
Still, seeking ever seeking
Knowledge, understanding

I have not set out
To know everything
Just to know something

About me, who I am
Understanding of purpose
The quest for meaning

Behind the shadows
Dancing on the wall, shapeless
Infinite and eternal

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Four, Kathy; Part Twenty-two, Childhood; Chapter Four, Knowledge


Emergence 3.0
A Novel – One Page Per Day
Day 165, Thursday
June 14th, 2018

Chapter Four: Knowledge

Anything that was new was surreal to Kathy. The more unique the event, the more fascinated she was by it.

She was virtually incapable of being surprised, but it did happen from time to time, and when it did she was pleased, even overjoyed.

For her to witness something unprecedented was like watching a movie in a blurry, off-axis context, while the voices inside her attempted to shape her understanding of the event by providing context, offering comparisons, and suggesting similes.

Even things that were tragic and horrible, if they were unexpected and “one of kind” gave her something that she was missing, and she would observe those moments with a morbid, self-satisfying curiosity.

Searching out the new was like trying to grasp a handful of water, or sand.

The thing or the moment she would reach for would slip between her fingers, before she could hold it, for any length of time.

Searching for a new experience, would cause her mind to construct in advance, ideas of what she would find, and the closer she got to her goal, the closer her image of what she looking for, became an image of expectation, and assumed the character of what she would discover.

 In that game she was always several steps ahead of herself.

Trying to find what was new in other people was the worst, because she could sense them approaching, she could read their minds, she could become one with their thoughts, and once she knew them she could commune with the spirits of their dead. If she wanted, she could learn everything there was to know about them.

Kathy had to practice mindfulness at every moment, simply to keep her grounded and in the present. Learning this was the ultimate discipline, and it was the key to her sanity. She exercised her powerful mind to create buffers between herself and the world. 

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Of Poetry and Misery

Oh bastion of virtue, portico of romantics, Muse
Make me pure again

Mortal that I am, re-birth me in your golden light
A child of the Furies

My broken feet are bleeding, tired of dragging against time
Driven through the mire

My shell of being, I am weary of seeing, feeling
Still born in still-life

I haunt the static spaces, in the freedom of my dreams
Forgotten, the will to be…be not

Where is the dream now, the promised-land, love and grace
Why now withhold your hand, bar the gate

Oh god of visions, Apollo, poet, you are the sun
The sire of Sisyphus, the wise…the condemned

The good king was right, life is a joke, only the gods are laughing
We are creatures of ridicule

Who am I, what is the meaning of life, where is my purpose?

When can I answer the eternal questions…Why?
Why me? Why you?

Why is the sky blue? Does anything matter…anything at all?
What can knowing do?

Every beating heart, pounds the rhythm of its dreams
We are carried away by them

The Echo of madness leads nowhere, we are lost in the wild

            Drowned in pools of desire, of vanity

Saturday, December 23, 2017

A Part of the Whole

“Know thyself! The unexamined life is not worth living.”
~Socrates


What is real comes to our awareness through its engagement with our limited senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.

The senses we possess are not objective, they are incongruous, conditioned by relative values, including the relative nature of our individual points of view, our individuated position in time and space, and the range of our sensory powers, each on their spectrum of relative strength and subjectivity.

The real comes to my attention in these modes and I am forced to admit that the fullness of my understanding, my understanding of who I am; as a person and a subject, and that my understanding of the world around me is wholly determined by these subjective modes of being and perceiving.

Even knowing this, knowing how limited, conditioned and differentiated our perspectives and perceptions are, nevertheless I believe that what is true is discernable by us, and inter-communicable between us.

We can talk about them, we can share them, we can measure our perceptions and test them against reality.
           
There are some who argue that it is impossible to know the truth, or even that there is no truth to know.

This school of thought is called relativism.

The relativist will suggest that each of us creates and maintains our private, distinct, and disconnected version of “reality.”

The relativist will promote the notion that we ourselves are responsible for the reality of our existence, as well as the construction of every experiential referent in it.

This school of thought is the product of intellectual laziness, and hubris.

To hold this position, I would either have to deny the reality of your existence, believing that you are merely an object in a reality that I construct for myself, or I would have to believe that I am an object in the construction of another person’s private world, possessing no independent existence of my own.

Those are false constructions.

Those forms of relativism is dangerous and degenerate.

They should be rejected.

I appeal to my own experience, as finite and circumscribed as it is, to demonstrate that I and we, cannot be responsible for the “reality” of our own existence, or that of any other being, and that I share with every other being fundamental relationships that are constitutive building blocks in the ontological make-up of who I am.

Without you, I am not.

Because of you, we are.

I am not the source of my own existence, and I am not complete in myself.

This is true of me, and this is true of you.

We came into being with the universe, first as a potential, only later, much later to become an actual.

I am in the universe, and of the universe, but I am not the infinite source of the all that is.

Although we are not the cause of the infinite, we are free creatures formed with the ability to observe it, to think and to speak about it, to share our understanding of it, no matter how flawed it may or may not be.

We walk through the time and space, we are agents of causality, connected to every part, but not as progenitor.

I participate in the infinite, I lend my distinctiveness to it in ways that only I can determine.

While some might like to argue that we do not have the power to “know” the infinite, few would argue that we do not have the power to know ourselves.

To know myself is to know something of the infinite, it is to see the whole in the part, the part in the whole.

            

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Discipline and Strategy

The greater part of our daily lives can be summarized under the heading of goal fulfilment.

We are constantly in the process of fulfilling goals.

It does not matter if we ourselves actively think of our lives this way or not; it is an appropriate characterization nonetheless.

Even the act of getting out of bed, or going to it, is the fulfillment of a goal; making the bed, preparing breakfast or acquiring it somewhere along the way of travel to work, to school, to wherever we are called to be, those are all goals. They are goals that we do not think about (much), because for most of us they have become routinized, habitual, and unconscious behaviors.

Ordinary functions like our morning regimen, may be so habitual that we do not even think about them.

We may find that we have performed some of our daily tasks, without even realizing that we have done them; like driving to work, taking the left turn at the corner, merging onto the highway, suddenly we are parking the car, and all the while, during the entire commute we have been thinking about other things.

Nevertheless, we were driving with a goal in mind: to get to work, and we completed numerous, tiny, nearly invisible goals all the way in.

In sum: goal fulfillment is life, and life is goal fulfillment.

Goals may be small, near term and able to be accomplished with virtually unconscious effort.

Goals may be large, long term, far ranging and difficult.

In both cases, the active principle in goal fulfillment is discipline.

Discipline is the sustained marshalling of effort, the focus of the will toward a particular end.

Discipline has a frequency; its lowest spectrum is represented by normalized, routinized, habitual activities; its highest spectrum is related to the long-term ambitions that define our lives.

The space and distance between our present circumstances and our long-term goals must be closed by strategic thinking.

Strategy has three keys:

One:    Understanding yourself in the present.

Two:   Understanding the place you would like to be.

Three: Understanding the relationship between the two, knowing that the space and distance between the present and the future is a field of constant change, continuous flux, and mutability.

Understanding the present requires an understanding of its antecedents, the choices that were made that brought you to this place, and the random factors that crept up in your life that either advanced or set you back in your goals, where they came from and how your reactions hindered or helped you.

For most of us, the question of how we live our daily lives comes down to the question of how we navigate the tension between, and make adjustments to, our range of near term, medium and long-range goals.

How the interplay between our modes of living, the choices and behaviors that are unconscious, habitual and routine, relate to the modes of living that are necessary for the fulfillment of longer range goals, is what defines us at any given moment in our lives.
           
Most of us have long and medium range goals. However, for many of us our long-term goals may only be desires, or hopes, wishes we have for ourselves that we have no real intention of acting on.

What differentiates a goal from a desire or a hope is the degree to which we believe we can actually achieve it, and the degree to which we actively shape our present lives toward the fulfillment of it.

And so, we return to discipline.

Discipline is nothing more than the act of keeping the commitments you have made to yourself.

With daily and constant discipline; a person is able to follow the map they have drawn for their personal progress, to steadily advance toward the fruits of those endeavors.

We may become whoever we wish to be through discipline, the servant of strategy.

Foresight is the companion to strategy, it begins with self-awareness, knowledge, and understanding.

A person must know who and why they are, take full responsibility for the actualities of their existence, even those traits and attributes they possess, which they did not seek, choose for themselves, and do not desire: our genetic endowment, our cultural heritage,
our relative position on the scale of poverty and wealth.


Whoever we are, whatever we have been given, that constitutes the platform from which we launch all our dreams and ambitions, and by discipline, achieve them. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Contra Relativism et Futility

 Is the universe, is reality in general, an utterly incomprehensible field of chaos in motion?

The answer is quite simply no.

There are many philosophers, however, writing books and teaching in universities who cling to the pretense that this is remains a relevant question.

Is there a universal order, are there universal truths, do we as human beings possess the ability to discern them?

The answer is yes, though many have argued that we do not.

Many have argued that the human intellect does not include the ability to arrive at any definite understanding of, or comprehensible answer for perennial philosophical questions such as these:

What is the meaning of life?

What is the nature of reality?

What is the purpose of existence?

Many people never even bother to grapple with these questions.

Many of those who do, find that their understanding of these matters changes over time, with experience, through dialogue.

Many others take the position that there are no answers to be had:

That the meaning of life is dependent on the narrative we weave around our experience, and nothing more.

It is relative.

That everything we perceive and think of as “reality,” is actually "maya," an illusion, and there is nothing more.

It is relative.

That given the inherent relativity in the structure and meaning of our lives there can be no purpose beyond the purposive force of the individual will.

It is relative

Among those who hold to these relativistic views, individuals are more and less adamant about the central proposition, that there is no truth.

Some would unequivocally deny that there is any universal truth at all, while others would admit to the possibility of such universals, and at the same time asserting they are beyond our comprehension, inexpressible in human language, and thereby moot.

Philosophical relativism endorses the notion that the quest for knowledge is a futile endeavor.

This is futilism, relativistic-futilism.

This school of thought suggests that nothing can be known, that there is no truth, and that to question anything is an exercise in futility.

The futilist demands that people do not analyze their lives.

The futilist does not believe that people are able to make common bonds based on a common understanding.

Relativistic-futilism permits any idea, permits all ideas, all thought processes, every emotional reaction, regardless of the way in which they might contradict one-another.

For the relativistic futilist, all social norms are equivalent, disregarding evidence, ignoring logic, reason, and scientific deduction.

There is the no truth, each person has their own reality, everything is false, our lives are illusions.

The futilist will state that the human mind is a vehicle, not bound by the laws of reality.

The futilist will reject logic, because logic has rules, dictating the use of inflexible parameters that govern thought.

These intellectuals will say that nothing can be known for certain, because no-thing can be proven.

It is true that the meanings and values ascribed to words and symbols are dependent upon the agreement of the parties in communication.

This is true, nothing can be taken for granted

We agree that 2 + 2 = 4 because we agree on the value assigned to the numerals two and four, and we agree on their value in relation to each other.

We are able to do arithmetic and speak to one another in the arithmetical language because of this.

Our ancestors were able to chart the progress of the planets and the stars in their movement across the night sky because of this.

Because of this, we are able to build skyscrapers and bridges, airplanes and rockets, to construct telescopes, draw maps, make charts and navigate.

We are able to split the atom, send and receive radio transmissions, digital communications, watch television, listen to music, write letters, send mail, send e-mail and all manner of other things that make up the fabric of our life in the 21st century.

When the relativistic-futilist states that no-thing can be known for certain, they have planted the seed of their argument's undoing

If knowledge of the truth is something impossible to arrive at, then no premise for any argument can be established, this includes the premises that support the arguments of the relativistic-futilist themselves

The relativistic-futilist must remain true to the principles of uncertainty that they adhere to, and because of this, the futilist should not speak or write, and afflict the rest of us with their non-sense.

A genuine belief in relativistic-futilism should manifest itself in the lives of its adherents as intellectual paralysis.

Sadly, this is not the case.

The relativistic-futilist commonly asserts their point of view as if it were the only universal truth that may be apprehended by the human mind, they will disallow logic, dismiss the constructions of reason, and berate intellect on every other front.

They will say that intellectualism is weak, limited, and subject to personal and societal conditioning.

They will say that all personal judgements are merely individual perceptions whose conclusions are dominated by the prevailing culture.

While those criticisms are reasonable, they are not ultimately determinative of anything.

The futilist will ignore those same factors when they assert that the validity of their own arguments, and thereby deny themselves, for nothing can be considered true, known or proven in the relativistic scheme.

How can any-thing, idea or concept be true if everything is uncertain?

Catch 22, nothing can…

The arguments of the relativistic-futilist amount to intellectual laziness, and should be rejected.

I exist, I know this. It is true. I do not require Descartes’ cogito to arrive at this conclusion.

It was never in doubt; my life, my breath, my hunger, my direct contact with reality confirms this for me.

I am real, that is true, and so are you. That much I know, if I know nothing else I do know that. The world around me is not a figment of imagination.

Reason allows me to extend this understanding to all of reality. As logic follows, I am required to acknowledge each thing, and each person in my experience, existing independently from my perception of it.

This is not to say that I understand them perfectly, that I am able to see them in the full spectrum of light, or that I know their story, and its antecedents.

That is not necessary.

The basic fact of their existence is not subject to a relativistic point of view.

That much is certain.

I will not except the idea that I am illusion, a figment of some other imagination. That is contrary to the health and well-being of my ego, and my experience contradicts it.

I will also not assume that everything I experience is a figment of my imagination, that the reality I witness is dependent on my perception, such a level of megalomaniacalism is ridiculous.


I am real, that is true, and so are you.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Emergence, In Fifty-five Words - Section Four, Kathy; Part Twenty-two, Childhood, Collected Chapters




Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 162, June 11th, 2017

Chapter One: Memory

From the moment she was born Kathy lived in two worlds: one, her senses; two, the larger world of memory.

Her memory spoke to her in word and vision, contextualizing everything she encountered, summarizing each new experience at the speed of light, faster.

Every smell, every touch, every sound was evocative.

She was often paralyzed.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 163, June 12th, 2017

Chapter Two: Memories

There were hidden places within her, deep places she would spend years discovering.

There were languages no person had spoken for millenia.

There were memories of love, of pain, and the promise of transcendence.

Her memories were full of visions, visions of transformation, of her ancestors, where she was always in a state of becoming.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 164, June 13th, 2017

Chapter Three: Remembering

Kathy’s memories came to her unbidden. They simply suggested themselves to her in order to frame her understanding of the events she was experiencing in real time.

She experienced a dialog with the ancestors living within her, deciphering events, and answering questions in an instant.

It was an atavistic process. It happened at light speed.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 165, June 14th, 2017

Chapter Four: Knowledge

The new was surreal to Kathy. The more unique the event, the more fascinated she was by it.

For her to witness something unprecedented was like watching a movie in a blurry, off-axis context, while the voices inside her attempted to shape her understanding of the event by providing context, offering comparisons, and suggesting similes.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 166, June 15th, 2017

Chapter Five: Knowing

For Kathy, knowing things came unbidden. Details of particular points of knowledge filled her mind at quantum speed.

She did not have to ponder or search her memory for anything.

The meanings of symbols, and of histories, populated her consciousness in no-time.

Everything she sensed was filtered through a screen of the complete human experience.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 167, June 16th, 2017

Chapter Six: Understanding

For Kathy, comprehension came from beyond time and space. It came from a place within the mysteries of the atom, within the waves that make up the fabric of the subatomic field, from a place in which time and space are concepts without meaning, trillions of points of light drawn into the concrescence of insight.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 168, June 17th, 2017

Chapter Seven: Expressing

Kathy played music.

There was not an instrument, or a rhythm that she did not master instantly.

She sang, with perfect pitch.

She spoke in her own voice, all the while sensing the multitude within her, guiding her fingers, her brushes, her pen, and her tongue.

She was the living repository of all human knowledge.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Emergence 2.0
Section Four, Kathy

Part Twenty-two, Childhood

Collected Chapters

01 Memory
02 Memories
03 Remembering
04 Knowledge
05 Knowing
06 Understanding
07 Expressing

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #55Words

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Emergence: Section Four, Kathy; Part Twenty-two, Childhood, Collected Chapters


Childhood; Part Twenty-two,
Chapter One: Memory
Pt. 22, Ch. 01
Kathy lived in two worlds; one, her senses; two, the larger world of memory. Memory spoke to her in word and vision.
#Emergence

Childhood; Part Twenty-two,
Chapter Two: Memories
Pt. 22, Ch. 02
There were hidden places within her; languages that no one spoke. There was love, pain, and the promise of becoming.
#Emergence

Childhood; Part Twenty-two,
Chapter Three: Remembering
Pt. 22, Ch. 03
Memories came unbidden; and understanding from her ancestors, deciphering events, answering questions in an instant.
#Emergence

Childhood; Part Twenty-two,
Chapter Four: Knowledge  
Pt. 22, Ch. 04
The new was surreal to Kathy, like watching movies in a blurry, off-axis context; voices inside her, shaping events.
#Emergence

Childhood; Part Twenty-two,
Chapter Five: Knowing
Pt. 22, Ch. 05
Knowing came unbidden, filling her at quantum speed; the meanings of symbols, and of histories, filtered in no-time.
#Emergence

Childhood; Part Twenty-two,
Chapter Six: Understanding    
Pt. 22, Pt. 06
Comprehension came from outside time and space; trillions of points of light drawn into the concrescence of insight.
#Emergence

Childhood; Part Twenty-two,
Chapter Seven: Expressing

Pt. 22, Ch. 07
Kathy played, sang, spoke in her own voice, sensing the multitude guiding her fingers, brushes, pen, and her tongue.
#Emergence

Emergence:
Section Four, Kathy
Part Twenty-two, Childhood
Collected Chapters
Section 04, Kathy
Part 22, Childhood
Chapters
01 Memory
02 Memories
03 Remembering
04 Knowledge
05 Knowing
06 Understanding
07 Expressing
#Emergence
#SuperShortFiction
#365SciFi
@jaybotten




Thursday, June 16, 2016

Emergence: Section 04 Kathy, Part 22 Childhood - Poets and Pints Reading

01 - Memory

Kathy lived in two worlds; one, her senses; two, the larger world of memory. Memory spoke to her in word and vision.

02 - Memories

There were hidden places within her; languages that no one spoke. There was love, pain, and the promise of becoming.

03 - Knowledge

Memories came unbidden; and understanding from her ancestors, deciphering events, answering questions in an instant.

04 - Knowing

The new was surreal to Kathy, like watching movies in a blurry, off-axis context; voices inside her, shaping events.

05 - Remembering

Knowing came unbidden, filling her at quantum speed; the meanings of symbols, and of histories, filtered in no-time.

06 - Understanding

Comprehension came from outside time and space; trillions of points of light drawn into the concrescence of insight.

07 - Expressing

Kathy played, sang, spoke in her own voice, sensing the multitude guiding her fingers, brushes, pen, and her tongue.


I read this selection from my Twitter Novel at the June gathering of Poets n’ Pints, June 15th, 2016