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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Without an Absolute...footnote 43: A. Personal attachments, B. Dreams, C. Beauty

The Platonic Particulars are Meaningless. And there is not a Moment to Lose.

People with time--never too much, tirelessly infinite--on their hands are necessarily confronted with the meaninglessness of their lives. Not life in general, but in particular. We draw three solutions from what others have found:

A. PERSONAL ATTACHMENTS. As gentle as starlight, the twinkling of a hot ball at far remove, there is the comfort of personal attachments. We may be born alone, sharing no limbs, no organs, or even undertanding, and yet, there is no one and nothing "complete". Everything is incomplete. Even Unity is undone. So your life has meaning in its exile from the womb, from its being part of that partition, that multiplication off the introduction of sperm and egg, that contact. And contact continues. As gentle as starlight, however great the remove.

B. DREAMS. The meaning is not only in the twinkling massage of starlight. The consciousness goes to sleep and awakens to its Dreams -- and why is this? Why is Dreaming happening? The meaning of life is bundled with the exilic mass, and sits astride the saddle of the corpus colosum, as a headless horseman holding his head, holding in his hands the meaning of his ride. In our sleep, we work out the route of our purposes. In the tidal cycle of sleep and awakening, one draws out the other, which pushes in turn. This is the hall of mirrors bespoken by poets, the reflection of of the push to pull virtual to virtual, sleep/awakening. The meaning is in the rising and falling, in the reflection of the cycle on itself.

C. BEAUTY. And why does the imagination have the ability, the desire, to appreciate moments of beauty, often so fleeting? The Inuit family trapped in the dark privations of winter, minutes from death, will resort to Art - from child-like giggle songs, to story-told scrimshandering. Beauty is a refuge in difficult times. And so the explanation for the phenomenal impulse of wealthy people to pay millions to other wealthy people to acquire mosaics made by slaves (the Greek decorations displayed in the nonpareil Roman ugly Getty Villa) and the stretched and colored canvas of poverty-ridden painters (Van Gogh). How can beauty be bought? And its accumulation is so mandatory for the powerful, not because they can, for they cannot, but because they must, for they are not living without it.