The Big Questions

I Think, I Think I Am Therefore I Am, I Think


At The Farm
Nov. ’70

I was going back to school. I still didn’t have a clue as to what I
wanted to do with my education. All I knew was that I liked school
more than I liked dividing my time between Carole Sue, work, and
getting stoned at the farm. At school, I could usually count on at
least one good class a semester. It’s the only place I’ve ever found
inspiration. Money has always been a problem, though. This time, my parents were going to help—without it, school would be out of the question.

Actually, when I think about it, I haven’t really been without
inspiration. I can thank Paul for that. He turned me on to a
couple of books plus Segovia (actually it was the work of interior
house painting that turned me on to Segovia, a homeowner loved
his music). One of the books, In Search Of The Miraculous A Key To The Enigmas Of The World – Fragments Of An Unknown Teaching (1949), I borrowed, and the other, Tertium Organum – I went out and bought. On the front cover of the first book it read: “Ouspensky combines the logic of a mathematician with the vision of a mystic in his quest for solutions to the problems of Man and the Universe.” On the back cover, the Saturday Review calls the work, “A very provocative book that can lead to a complete reassessment of what a reader takes to be his knowledge.”

I will not attempt to summarize what has been going on in my head
since I’ve read these books (I couldn’t if I wanted to). This
passage from the book gives at least a sense of the kind of stuff
that the author deals with:

“…And when the question was asked how the consciousness of this
divine sonship could ever have been lost, the answer given by
Christianity was, by sin, the answer given by the `Upanishads’ was,
by avidya, nescience. This marks the similarity, and at the same
time the characteristic difference between these two religions. The
question how nescience laid hold of the human soul, and made it
imagine that it could live or move or have a true being anywhere but in Brahman, remains as unanswerable in Hindu philosophy as in
Christianity the question how sin first came into the world…

Both philosophies, that of the East and that of the West, start from
a common point, namely from the conviction that our ordinary
knowledge is uncertain, if not altogether wrong. This revolt of the
human mind against itself is the first step in all philosophy…

In our own philosophical language we might express the same question by asking, how did the real become phenomenal and how can the phenomenal become real again; or, in other words, how was the infinite changed into the finite, how was the eternal changed into the temporal, and how can the temporal regain its eternal nature; or, to put it into more familiar language, how was this world
created, and how can it be uncreated again.” (Tertium Organum, p.
231)

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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One Response to The Big Questions

  1. bwinwnbwi says:

    Here’s my answer to “how the eternal and the finite coexist and perhaps my answer to the rest of the “big questions.” Inherent in both matter (~~b) and self-consciousness (b~b~bb) we witness the “affirmative ideal.” Soul, if that’s what one wants to call “life after death,” has no place to go outside the affirmative ideal! I am not going to argue that there is life after death; but, I will argue that death is a necessary structural condition of human consciousness and hence a condition that implies something like life after death exists. In other words, because self-existent reality—the affirmative ideal—is wedded to what we call reality, I am free to know the world in its worldliness, spatiality, quantity, temporality, and instrumentality because (like blood flowing through veins) a higher reality circulates within all that gets called reality. Short story here: The same logic/structure (b~b~bb) that separates/connects the person I am to the person I become, also separates/connects particles to waves (~~b), i.e., connects the particle/wave to the affirmative ideal. In terms of metaphor, the logic that separates/connects reaches around (the double slit experiment in quantum physics) and bites its own “tail”—the indeterminate Wholeness of the Cosmos (b~b~bb)!

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