Wednesday, September 29, 2010

memo to Rilke and others

The themes I want to address soon, relative to the entire idea of my website (an idea that’s not represented anywhere yet), are like focusing on a few plants in a garden that has scattered kinds of plants, but no design (like a pointillism without enough points to make a gestalt). Yet, there’s an implicit philosophical design that I’m confident of, though it’ll emerge gradually. Topical excursions deserve to stand on their own. (Up the road, the website will gain better design. What I have now serves developmental purposes.)

I feel eventual emergence of an inner conversation to be known through synergistic pages, finding the singularity of the Project, discursive and poietic, in a conceptuality that’s evolving, as if the language of philosophy beyond metaphysicalism stands in the topography of Time like a long poem cohering peaks of mind.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

anyway (always open to moving on…)

Intending to background my sense of creative individuation in terms of developing authentic happiness is not about suppressing awareness of our world’s struggles. Relative to that, my interest is implicitly about how progressive contributions by a life may someday arise.

Yet, also it’s valid to simply wander more into understanding the primordial futurity of being human.

stand in

A simple act may echo deeply.

Monday, September 20, 2010


An exploration of senses of ‘self’ on the way to a psychology of self.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

realization vs. actualization

We commonly don’t need a clear difference between these terms. But I wanted to explore some conceptual differences with the terms, which was fun to do—though sometimes difficult to read as a result (not largely).

Bear with me. I’m headed into a more accessible venture. But I want to do some conceptual preliminaries for the sake of terms I later depend on, whose planned use might otherwise seem capricious.

So, today’s excursion is one of only a few in upcoming months that will be difficult (I anticipate).

After all, what kind of authentic happiness is inaccessible to others?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

conceptual gardening as jazz doing 70

interviewer: [Now 70,] Herbie Hancock’s own musical journey began as a boy in Chicago. Classically trained, he was good enough to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at a youth concert at age 11. Turning to jazz, Hancock gained sudden and international fame in his early 20s with his first great collaborator and mentor, Miles Davis. An early lesson came at a concert in Europe. At first, Hancock says, everything was going right.

HH: We had the audience in the palm of our hands. And right as everything was really peaking, and Miles was soloing, I played this chord, and it was completely wrong. [laughter] …And Miles took a breath and then played some notes, and the notes made my chord right…. Somehow, what he chose to play fit my chords to the structure of the music….What I learned from that is that Miles didn’t hear the chord as being wrong. He just heard it as something new that happened. So, he didn’t judge it. I learned the importance of being nonjudgmental, taking what happens and trying to make it work. That’s something you should apply to life, too…. If you’re not judging what happens, then you’re trusting what they’re doing, what you’re playing, and trusting what you’re playing. And it can lead you to other ideas, to something maybe you hadn’t expressed before…. We should keep looking at finding ways to combine, because, I mean, how do you make different colors? You make different colors by combining those colors that already exist…. You know, to me, that’s what makes the world interesting. That’s what makes the world continue to evolve.… And, also, it takes a lot of focus. Doing this musically takes a lot of concentration and being willing to be naked, in a way, being vulnerable. That’s the best place to be in playing jazz and in improvising and reinterpreting.

from an interview today of Herbie Hancock.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

passing time

The days of freedom are too short, too few. Prefacing, intended, gets pushed back by prefacing to that. It’s frustrating enough that a past is preface, being a potential narrative that calls for lots of time, as if the genesis of any life is feasible (as [auto]biography is likely a metonymic gesture). So, a theory of genesis might represent so many untold lives? How a horizoning child may, in a sense, parent the adult is just so long a story. So, a few conceptual touchstones stand for more than they should.

One’s way to a beauty of goodness of truth in finding happiness, no parent can ensure, but at most model and facilitate importances such as open feeling, curiosity, individuation, and creativity. Self-actualization emerges from the life; it can’t be instructed or fully educed. However, we might know what’s most likely fruitful in parenting, though conceptual writing about this can’t be directly useful for parental practice for the sake of raising happiness for the greater good.

So, I thought I’d make a good beginning this weekend, but I’m just too distractible, basically because I’m too eager to mentally travel into the landscape that my interest in good individuation prefaces. The preface inflates into what needs prefacing, and I wonder into happenstances, due to bookstore browsing, one book which sends me to the library, taking a break from hours of play with notes for soon-upcoming pages. Why do I bother so wanting to write?

Gabriel Jasipovici (lovely name) begins his “Introduction” to On Trust: art and the temptations of suspician, 1999, noting “the need to write as something almost physical, like the need to breathe;...[but, in our time,] it is somehow no longer possible to treat writing as a craft and thus often being reduced to feeling it is an indulgence” (1). Jasipovici has just now published a new book, which is what I saw in the bookstore: What Ever Happened to Modernism? Yale UP, 2010. What ever happened to “art coming to consciousness of its own limits and responsibilities”? Placing the book on my “Wish List,” I see note of On Trust, so I sought that book before deciding to buy What Happened. Jasipovici ends his “Introduction” to On Trust by saying:
If the sense of a craft tradition has indeed gone for good in the arts then at least it may be possible to put together a sort of tradition of those who have faced this situation in all its implications....I will be exploring the dangerous but necessary journey every post-Romantic artist has to make, without maps or guides, into the unknown, a journey which will never get under way so long as the artist imagines that he can rely on past traditions, but which will founder if he lacks the trust to go where the forms of language and his instincts take him. (5)
A similar sentiment has been integral to my life.

The back cover of What Happened quotes a praise from a writer I’m not aware of: Miquel De Beistegui, author of The New Heidegger, which seems to me an odd title. (Can there be anything new to say about Heidegger?) So, I find that book at, and I’m surprised by the praise indicated for the book by philosophers I esteem. So, I read the “Introduction,” available in full at Amazon; and I’m very impressed, which becomes the second reason I was off to the library. De Beistegui captures something else integral to my life. Listen:
...[E]very great thinker is an inventor—an inventor of concepts. Why? Not for the sake of inventing concepts (as if this were an easy thing to do), of clouding issues and making things difficult for the reader, but simply because, driven by an inexorable need to take problems further, or in a different direction, the great thinker thinks precisely at the limit of what has been thought up until then, and so at the limit of conceptual language itself.... Heidegger’s prose evolved from the very the (apparently) more ‘literary’.... All this is to say that there is an irreducibly experimental side to any great philosophy, much in the same way that there [was] something experimental in Cézanne or Picasso, Debussy or Joyce. All try to invent a new idiom. This experimental dimension is precisely where thinking at the limit takes place, where the singularity of a given thought is being shaped. (1-2)
So, we take lessons from extraordinary minds, welcome Literary influence (in some high sense of what’s “literary”) and do what we can.

This includes starting all over, as if philosophy is something that died with the end of metaphysicalism, but may be regenerated in terms of our shared lives and world, finding what’s philosophically important emergent from what’s most important to our shared lives.

To prospect conceptual features of child development is not an alienated abstraction from real lives, but an honoring of the basis of philosophy in what spans our developments and joins lives as our shared human being in time—the time of a day, the time of a life, an era, all unwittingly prospecting the emergent nature of our evolving.

Monday, September 06, 2010

a philosopher of human development confesses

So, the point of “‘God’ as Good luck’ is not religious, but conceptual.

Friday, September 03, 2010

“God” as Good luck

expanded, 9.6.10, 9.10.10, and 3.6.11

This is a test: In any situation where someone speaks of “God” (as, it seems, no two persons ever imply the same meaning for the term ‘God’), substitute “luck” or “Good luck” (capping the ‘G’ to express high esteem for goodness). That gives fictional God a proximal connection to realism that better complements the psychology of Faith and the anthropological nature of worship, part of our cultural evolution which is expressive of our ultimately evolving developmentalities....

Thank [Good luck], the storm didn’t come through here.” Actually, there’s a scientific explanation for why storms change paths. When a disasterous result is borne, the so-called “act of God” is actually an abandonment by any goodness of luck, if not a punishment by personified luck (analogously as the notion of royalty is amplified to universal proportions—deemed divine—and “found” to have punished its subjects via exclusive, excommunicative, condescending disdain).

“I pray to [Good luck] that s/he beats the cancer.” But access to leading health care is more relevant.

“In [Good Luck] We Trust.”

A NY Times column last month noted that Abraham Lincoln said that “the Bible is the best gift [Good luck] has ever given to man.” And woman. Actually, the development of the Bible has a very discernible history of cut-and-paste, revision and redaction—a lucky formation, in fact (among texts that didn’t survive, among cultures that didn’t develop writing as well as did luckily-hybriding Mediterranean societies). Like the sedimented character of all great stories, sagas, and wisdom culture, the Bible is a freestanding combine [previous posting here].

Indeed. There’s no transcript of what the rabbi named Jesus said. Writers with agendas made versions for decades before a council decided on what versions to accept (and ordered other versions destroyed throughout their kingdoms). “Jesus” is as much a hybrid figure—a literary formation!—as is any sense of “the” singularity of “God.” The well-known, now-very-senior Biblical scholar James Robinson went looking for the best case for what the composite rabbi was saying and caps his (Robinson’s) career with a report on his “historical search.” The message of Jesus is: “[T]rust [Good luck] to look out for you by providing people who will care for you, and listen to [Good luck] when [Good luck] calls on you to provide for them....This radical trust in and responsiveness to [Good luck] is what makes society function as [Good luck’s] society” (viii). The “reign of [Good luck]” is a humanistic union (“kingdom”) of Good luck.

“In the beginning, [Good luck] created the heavens and the Earth.” Indeed, theoretical physics now commonly toys with notions of multiple universes and the great improbability of one in which matter prevails over anti-matter (or vice versa) at its Big Bang, such that there arises an expansive universe (that doesn’t annihilate itself at inception). We are—the universe is one that improbably happened. We reconcile ourselves to the incomprehensibility that we Are by writing stories about resulting from Intentional Design (enough of which we hope for our lives—that they last long). The tiny number of us with exceptionally good luck explain their status as essentially linked to the Good luck of there being anything As If they are ultimately intended, too, thus deserving of their improbability as some special—Yea, specie-al—entitlement.

But increasingly likely, the happy mix of factors that resulted in Earth (life and intelligent life) may be replicated countlessly in inaccessible star systems among the greatly larger array of star systems with bad luck in this universe.

freestanding combine

Musing. Amusing myself with free association, like hunting aimlessly through an antique show. Or wandering from Web page to page.

On my desktop, what an odd array of things (icons metonymic of things) have resulted from recent days, including URL icons of things to be read in the next few days (indexically reaching into the planetary ether), merely belonging in what they have: shared location in a life advancing some proximally incongruous array of interests—interests that are not primordially incongruous (I claim).

Take a gathering of ideas, points, calling for an unfound coherence, like a Rauschenbergian heir on his studio floor before a thing is concerted out of the mess that looks like a child’s playroom.

Another week, another life, a temporal point of a species that forgets most everything, a sign of our finitude, at best (or primal vacuity, at worst). Limited in intelligence and time for understanding, one archives, anticipating a role for understanding the next thing in a future architecture.

And we can only bear so much that we grant deserves to be understood, someday. Otherwise, one lets go, lets die, not feeling guilty about the necessity.

Leading notes (emergent from The Inestimable) gravitate into leading pages, projects in a sense of going on that’s just relative to my own desire, curiosity, love of provocation, portending some numinous hybridity, fissions, synergies amid an inestimable array of promising things.

One might regard Rauschenberg as a cliché now, though he’s really monumental in the conceptual evolution of art.

You’ve seen a photo of his 1950s goat with a tire around its middle: “Monogram,” 1955-59. Four years in the genesis?—during which surely much other work was completed, in development, and still developing, when the thing was deemed done.

On the montagial surface on which the tired goat stands, things were emplaced and removed over the years until, finally he lets go: It is that concept of a bricolagic incongruity of his time embodied finally by the thing that is a trace of the work, like appreciating the standing of the goat’s enabling of Greek-to-Western civilization is a trace of what we became, a work (like any work?) expressing an estimable mental archive of things pretending to belong to the world intruding on mediality, variably asserted by the artist to belong, as deserving of Art’s pretense as any other happenstantial assemblage called natural or proffered by design—Intended, the artist proclaims, like gods intended as we intend them, released as work Done, emblemized by the trace of the sojourn: the thing called the work of art that’s really the metonymn, the allegory of the working that is the real art, no longer the gravity of his play, like one’s child grown into its ownmost futurity, releasing hiermself into unknown days of which sense is to be made in light of vintage conceptions, though, hopefully, way beyond.


A NY Times headline reads “Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime.” It’s the busyness—so much “necessity”—of extrinsic life.

Once upon a time, long ago and far away... The literary reader is rapt in lingering through a story, like true friends in a garden, absorbing shared solitude—like willows in slight breeze.

Stories are free to presume what makes totally no sense to literal days, like outrageous improvising.

There, vulnerable candor is immune to distrust.