I apologise

I apologise, in advance, for what I am about to do.

I address you, in the fond and flaccid hope that I might share a topology, but a topology cannot be shared. We can skateboard over the surface to feel the contours and the cuts. We can walk, roll, stumble together on a manifold, and together get a sense for the curvatures and inclinations. But in words, a topology cannot be shared. This is a poor way to address a person.

The topological figure of thought is formally a mathematical inversion, nothing more radical than that. When performed in the service of catching lions in the Sahara, it works like this: Construct a cage. Lock yourself inside. Perform an inversion with respect to yourself and the exterior. Now the lions of the Sahara are inside the cage and you without.  Delightful, practical, and clean.

The inversion requires you to have a position. You must, of course, be inside the cage before the flip. As a person, you are distributed across space and time, you are enfolded in data, history, relations, memories, and reputation. Those are not here addressed. So it is an impoverished you that I address. I wish to turn the screws on that impoverishment. There is no malice intended, but your annihilation is possible.  So note, please, your position.

And your moment of observation.

Those coordinates locate what?

Let’s play a first game: Breathe out. Think of the coordinates as picking out your person, as related to that point in 4D narrative space. Assume everything is real. Look at how grand you are. You have capacities, memories, hopes, and a reputation. And feelings. And debts. But they are not all here, right now, indexed to those coordinates. The more you look, the less there is of your god-like existence than its scattered, discontinuous distribution elsewhere. These coordinates don’t really suffice to pin you down.

Let’s play a second: Breathe in. Invert. Those coordinates now serve to position everything else with respect to those coordinates (and nothing else).  Those coordinates are arguably the centre of the known and knowing universe.  But they are entirely impersonal. They reveal nothing but the Cartesian fabric of Maya that would have reality both inside and outside you.  There is nothing personal about this. You are irrelevant in this instance.

This Geometry is well known. It is the characterisation of the ineffable ground of being as the circle with centre everywhere and circumference nowhere. But that is absurdly platonic, geometric, smooth, continuous.

Let’s add a third: Dance. We may not find your bank account, your history or your reputation at those coordinates. But we find your body. We incontrovertibly find your body. Breathe out and you solipsistically lay claim to all. Breathe in and you find yourself as dimensionless, irrelevant, without feature.

Finding your body, we understand, slowly, how this breath works. Neither the confident intellect of the first, nor the inanimate expanse of the second (perhaps you think of them differently) can account for the fabric of the immanent present. That has colour, shape, form, and indubitability.

Having turned ourselves inside out (one at a time, please!), we return to the point of inversion and find a body that moves, animated by many currents. It dances to many tunes.

Trost and Instruction

I am, what I am not

  • You are not excused from the paradox at the heart of knowing
  • You are not responsible for the paradox at the heart of being

The act of description must appear difficult for one who is in media res.

Scripture is fine

Scripture, done well, provides axioms. The problem is not scripture. The problem is the canon. Which becomes indubitable?  Where are the boundaries?  We can probe for the boundaries, with ever expanding horizons, through our collective activity.

One way to read the P-H framework

Hilbert’s 6th problem is “Can physics be axiomatized?”

Within P-H we approach this to provide a local solution, rather than a global one. We then seek to maximise the local. Unifying the visions of Parmenides and Heraclitus would achieve that in the (unreachable) limit.

Given the role of embodied discussion, we posit axioms as indubitable, renewable Eigenforms.

Unknown God

Unknown God is the name of my new band. You only come across it where Gods are numerous and local. You find it with saints too. Usually, attribution in pictures or statues is pretty confident. This is Saint Jerome. Often there are obvious reasons. The cardinal’s hat, the eyes on a plate, the hair shirt, these identify for a large community. But often the Gods and saints are less well known. But they are identified with confidence. This is Adanimuprkupshal, the vengeful, this is Saint Cadwallader, and so on. Furthermore, once there is a name, there are often stock anecdotes, little aphorisms, or merely gee-gaws and trinkets, that are trotted out, because this is how these figures, these identities have survived over centuries.

So what survives over millennia? What coarse strokes, what low frequencies, what framings?

Genitum, Non Factum

In articulating the P-H framework, and in extending that to consideration of symbolisation and the relation of M2 embedding, with its attendant contact theory, to M3 mediation, with its attendant representational theory, we have a useful stance for discussing questions frequently dubbed theological, rather than philosophical. The old Genitum, Non Factum, can be seen as such a shift, so that one urgently asks, with what and whom am I continuous?

Communion and communication

Now, it is my thesis that communication is superficial to communion, and without communion, there is no communication, really, at all. .. The more perfect the fit on the communion level, the less needs to be communicated, the more that can be crossed from one being to another in fewer actual communicated acts. (George Spencer-Brown, transcript of the AUM conference, part 3)

Communion and communication. Joint speech is a form of communion, and it takes place within communal frameworks that bring about a common grounding. It is the neglected side of language, which has been treated as if it were simply a business of message passing. In joint speech, no message is passed, but instead we find the active foundation of a common order. When we share common ground, then communication is possible. If there has been no communion, if we are truly strangers, no communication at all is possible. Genocide then becomes a possibility.

Literal truth

Writing gave birth to the notion that facts could assert themselves, independent of any speaker. A mind independent world became a possibility.

Projective images gave birth to the notion that the world could be seen as it is, geometrically and quantitatively, and thus mind-independently.

Before projective images and writing, the very notion of a mind independent world made no sense. Now we are so immersed in texts and images that we doubt the reality of living.