Monday, December 6, 2010

Much Ado About Nothing: Chapter 2

1.) The Implications of Paradox

The moral of the Manciple's tale is that we should not create new stories because they are bound to offend someone. The Crow's sentence is that he loses the power of speech and among other things is turned black by an amoral god consumed by his own obsessiveness. It is our argument then that This Sentence Is False.

If the moral is more or less the same as the punishment, then we are punishing ourselves out of a certain form fear. Chaucer defers to the clergy after the Manciple's tale and instead of a story about not telling stories, you get a story about how to create your own story. But now it is couched in terms of a Confession. The Priest's story is a mechanism for generating confessions, or as I like to call it, a confession generating mechanism.

This progression echoes the transition from modernism to post-modernism which privileges process over product.

The prevalence and pervasiveness of this progression is what concerns us here. The creator turned into an anti-creator turned into a creator of creators. Sadly, the Chaucerian argument has been neglected largely because it is couched in religious terms and many of us, myself included, become writers to escape the grip the priests have over our expression. 

So the question then becomes: why does the liar paradox sit on the edge of this tradition? What mystery does it hide? 

I don't know if I can provide a satisfactory explanation, so let's wrestle with it and see if we can come to terms. 

From the voice of Sophia, the principality of Wisdom, emanates the Gnostic apocalypse The Thunder, Perfect Mind. The tractate involves the transcendent principle of a paradox, which can be understood as implying a higher hierarchical order than the one we (the author's audience) are currently operating on. Sophia's wisdom is analogous to I am the alpha and the omega. It presupposes a simultaneous state in which the opposites are both true at once. And this is accomplished through a profusion of I am statements.

I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin.

Sophia is a composite of all women, and the echo of her words are true if and only if we are working from a collapsed temporal framework. Also, Wisdom defines herself not negatively, but positively using zero sum expressions. She is the all-mother, every woman at once, a principality of a divided knowledge.

The tradition goes, that Wisdom herself wanted to procreate, being in and of herself feminine and masculine, but did not have the consent of the male portion of her soul. So, when she created, the being that emanated from her Ialtobaoth, was himself unwhole. And we can see here the problem that Jews would have with a philosophy which demonizes their God. 

The reason for the style of speaking in paradox is firstly, it's difficult, secondly it speaks to a transcendent principle which is an "eternal" form, meaning not in time, as opposed to forever.

Let's consider the mathematical argument for a moment. Sin, Cosine, and Tangent are considered transcendental functions because algebra alone can only describe things that are finite series, and the trigonomic functions require an infinite series to be expressed. The functions still work (more or less) in a finite state by approximations. The McLaurin series can estimate the Sin/Cos/Tan with the following equation:

The sum of all x's to nth power over n factorial.

We cannot fully express such an equation unless we have some method for dealing with the infinite. So the articulation implies the need for a new strategy to deal with it. We can roll it open to a logical extreme via the concept of the limit, but until the simultaneous invention of calculus by Leibniz and Newton, we don't have a system to handle the functions that we're working with.

The tradition of paradox is carried in the East as well, sometimes to shut down thinking entirely so that a different sort of knowing, an intuitive apprehension that leads to a unity of personality. In An Inquiry into the Good by Kitaro Nishida, Nishida argues that the highest good is an educated intuition, and this concept is echoed here in The Thunder Perfect Mind. It is not a rejection of reason entirely, it is the desire to not let Reason control the entire show.

The nature of logic is that it can be used to validate almost anything, so unless it stands under some principle it is prone to universal justification. A purely rationalist philosophy is prone to cracking on the lack of any firm foundation. Thus the necessity of paradox, which unsettles the possibility of a true expression.

The magic circle thus traced will also prevent the unconscious from breaking out again, for such an eruption would be the equivalent of psychois.
Carl Jung "Pyschology and Alchemy".

This issue in Jung is tantamount to annihilating the subjective projecting mechanism that is born out of our experiences. It casts its shadow over the objective world. Again, the principle of perception as taught by the Buddhists and Taoists teaches us how to see the surface clearly.

The ability to do this is based on the individual's willingness to embrace their shadow, or in other words, their other.

So what we get in the body of paradoxical tractates is a sense of wholeness that no long impinges upon the external world, no longer casts its shadow on the object, no longer projects the psychic junk that has been absorbed via experience.

2.) The sentence is still false.

Sophia in her utterances is both the subject and the object of her discourse, she seeks to define herself in contraries, at any given time a mother, at any given time a daughter, at any given time a wife, and at any given time a whore. She is no less than a composite of all women through all time at all phases of emotional and spiritual growth. She is no-women, the mother of the God who gave birth to this world. She is the seed of womenhood in the timeless ether that hovers just above the realm of matter and time. The "I" maps to the "this" in "This sentence is false."

But the Gnostic tradition varies greatly in practice, and it is clear that many individuals come to this tradition because feel trapped inside of their own bodies, identifying themselves instead as pneumatikoi, or those of the spirit.

The Gnostics understood that there were three classes of people: the hylics, the psychics, and the pneumatics. The pneumatics were thought to possess a "light spark" which some identified themselves with as being imprisoned in their own bodies. The elitism of the pneumatics is born out their victimhood, their desire to free themselves from their own bodies.

3.) The Name of God

According to Rabbi Noson Guary the I AM affirms this world as an act of creation every solitary moment, creating it with the affirmation of His name. The tetragammetron is the four letter name of God: YHWH. For all intents and purposes we are looking a participial construction of the verb to be, or in other words, being.

Heidegger's bastardization of the name, and his subsequent circular propositional tautology is largely irrelevant to our work, because I can trace my lineage to others without invoking works that I largely despise.

I mention this here because being raised a Catholic, I am imprinted with the legacy, and my job then is to redeem the Catholic by destroying its foundation, and rebuilding it out of what works and is interesting. It is a pretense to Catholicism to destroy Catholicism, and by Catholicism I mean the hierarchical church of masturbatory judges, that seek to damn people as opposed to affirming them.

I would argue that the mechanism that causes "This sentence is false" to generate is the name of God, thus God is unnameable, like an irrational number, it cannot be fully expressed, merely pointed toward and delimited. 

So, the role of paradox is:

#1. Psychic wholeness
#2. To point out the incompleteness of the system
#3. To imply the recursive nature of the real
#4. To imply that our methods of describing and explaining are necessarily reductive
#5. To point out the fractal geometry of the thing referred to

"Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth."
-Alan Watts

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