Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Symbols, as far as one knows, do not fill themselves with their own intentions.
To say with meaning, “Everything is in flux”, as Heraclitus did anciently, is to say, among other things, that one is in flux too, and that even the meaning imparted to the sentence, “Everything is in flux”, is—in flux. In that case, is not everything not in flux as well?
Prophet Of Humanitas
Among the chimpanzees there appeared a prophet, arrow-eyed and with Florentine fingers. He signed: “Brothers and sisters, Humanitas is written so”—then wrote the following character in the air forwards and backwards, so that the congregation could read it from both points of view, his and their own:
There were grunts of approval among the chimpanzees, many mimicking the character in the air, some signing the strokes forwards, some backwards, some backwards and forwards as if that were the complete form of the character. There was a long round of applause. The prophet of the chimpanzees then added—signing gingerly with mordant fingers—“But a caveat”. There was silence. “It only counts”, continued the prophet, “When you have the upper hand and the humanity you recognize is someone else’s.”
One illumination is becoming conscious of one’s own masks, including the mask of thinking oneself conscious.
Logic is not the application of logic, just as physics is not applied physics. Unless the rules of logic themselves are constantly in flux, then what is true about the future, as Aristotle saw, is that in the future the future will remain quite as conditional as it is in past or present. What this means put as simply as possible is that what was not going to happen the day after tomorrow yesterday is not going to happen tomorrow today.
As Kant saw, the prime duality in regard to the physical world is not what is and what is not, nor changing and unchanging, nor up and down, nor even here and there, but left and right.