Tuesday, December 28, 2010

a manifold sense of self formativity

One might find a philosopher’s obsession with child development rather odd, especially my interplay of phenomenological and psychological stances. Yet, it’s easy to appreciate that somehow the nature of our humanity is ontogenic (actually, evolutionarily developmental). Living beyond eras that took the gods to heart, we can only appreciate ourselves as somehow-natural inquirers cycling a young star in nothingness, lusciously growing and assembling what matters in light of legacies that don’t portend how creatively we may further them, even originating what they could not even imagine.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


My preciously-titled posting yesterday has implicit motives related
to my implicitly prevailing Project. Yet I also had in mind the Christian originality of highlighting the extraordinary child—indeed an extra-ordinariness belonging to human potential as such, symbolized in
an initial possibility of wonderful potential, exemplified (in principle) by every birth.

Strip away all the theocentrically cultic aura and practices, we still have
a universalistic, humanistic valuing of human potential in a gift to one’s world we may presume as the gift of the child.

(That’s about the born and desired child, not a politics of “Life”
that posits theologized humanity in the unviable fetus. We all agree that the born and desired child deserves all our hopes and grants
of opportunity.)

Friday, December 24, 2010

dear diary

It’s not surprising
that clearly-unextraordinary minds
(including myself) might want
to understand clearly-extraordinary minds as well
as one can, dwelling
with their traces (their works)
of peak experience, Moments
in evolving weaves and histories of high
humanity: peaks or points a dweller may
design into novel meshes
for further dwelling
and weaving

Sunday, December 19, 2010

with respect to post-religious spirituality

I’m fond of the California legacy first associated with the “human potential” movement of the ’60s, especially inasmuch as it (or they or one) avoids/avoided (in the ’70s and ’80s) “New Age”y fantasy rhetorics.

My history here is long. I’ll just note that I’m also fond of authentic Jungian views of “individuation” (now an ordinary term in my thinking, but it came into my life from Jungian engagements many years ago, though I would not call myself Jungian). I’m not as enthusiastic about Buddhist views, but I have affection for their studied simplicity. I believe that the Esalen Institute has a fine legacy, and regional resources such as Tassajara, Green Gulch, and Spirit Rock are darling. MindBody interweaving should be integral to health care, and mindfulness is integral to living well.

Friday, December 03, 2010

ontic lightness with an orange

An orange” is one among oranges, including a hue of orange among hues of orange. “Orange,” then, is an emblem for a range of hues whose boundaries might be a matter of taste.

What, after all, is a hue? Life is full of spectra, and we have innumerable emblems for innumerable characters. So, thinking of conceptuality in light of orange might make of its gathering of hues a symbol of conceptuality.

Friday, November 19, 2010

aspects of Saul’s century

This week in The NY Times Book Review, Saul Bellow’s friend Leon Wieseltier (literary editor of The New Republic) reviews the recent publication of a selection of Saul’s letters. Here’s my selection of things from the review:
…and here I must disclose, or confess, or boast, that the volume includes also some gorgeous letters to me, written in the fullness of our friendship decades ago, when we used to worry over metaphysics and the novel as we chopped wood….the poetry of his prose, its force of consciousness, lay always in its fidelity to….the revelatory details.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

a kind of feeling for what happens

Wanting to understand “the” mind—my own apparently-intrinsic philosophicality (?), literary mindedness—is integral to me.
I’m intrinsically curious, which takes me to The Edge, too readily perhaps. I play with transgression because that creatively leads to discoveries (often enough). But I’m a rigorously ethical person,
so I know I’m harmless. And I’m not afraid of falling.

All in all, I trust my intuition. Writing myself through psychological fascinations (via “life world,” etc.) ultimately into some horizonal mystery—be it eventually “literary” or not—expresses a true love, worth avowing. Meanwhile, my near-term excursion into a conceptuality of authentic happiness isn’t a compensatory symptomology. It’ll lead
(I hope) into creatively good work.

Monday, November 15, 2010

where am i?

In my next life, maybe I’ll become a molecular animator.

I guess I’d need a good background in molecular biology to understand the dynamics. But look at this!

The emergence of life from proper function of complex molecules looks like a little self-contained ecology having an intrinsic intelligence.
We project or posit intelligence from proper function. Astoundingly,
life is itself.

Millions of cells make up emergent tissue, of course, and cellularly-huge volumes of tissue make up an emergent organ in a manifold organization of an emergent being who can inhabit so many days to be able to sit here and realize millions of cells….

Sunday, November 07, 2010

an article of faith

We put obviously-gifted kids in special programs, though (but so that)
a very few will actualize their potential in some lasting way. Likewise, we must proffer and facilitate curiosity, imaginative feeling, and creativity everywhere in order for as much talent as possible to be eventually actualized in some lasting way.

Education is, at best, an extended wager of hope, good faith, and generous “reading” of the early days of others’ journeys. We simply must believe in the implicit presence of creative potential around us.

There is no better faith than this.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

a note on being drawn by intrinsic appeals

Saturday, 10.30 — 9:44 pm

I want to exemplify how the generativity of our evolving through creative and empathic human development can have a philosophically tenable conceptuality.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

“…you hear a feel,…and you really absorb it somehow.”

Keeping a sense of humor in good stead is very wise for mental health. For example, if someone won’t talk about their alienation from me (e.g., someone’s teen self sense resurrected by my presence), I keep a sense of humor about it (or try my best). If their alienation is innocuous (let me call it good faith alienation), they’ll see that teasing them about it is innocent; I just want to understand. If the alienation is in bad faith (e.g., projecting bad feeling into me that isn’t actually mine), then they’ll likely have no tolerance for being teased about their alienation.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

be a partner in my odyssey

Who am I to say that [insert any broad-stroke truth-functional claim
or any apparently-speculative audacity in any of my postings or webpages ]?

I imagine what would happen if one of the Wikipedia police assessed one of my pages, if it was at Wikipedia: There would be many scoldings like “Needs Citation,” “Original Writing Needs Authoritative Reference,” etc.

Friday, October 15, 2010

an Emersonian moment

When Ralph Waldo Emerson was 61 (1864), he wrote in his journal “Within, I do not find wrinkles & used heart, but unspent youth.”

In the current issue of The New York Review of Books, the reviewer of the recent publication by The Library of America of Selected Journals, 1820-1877 (2 vols.) begins by noting that “Emerson’s dominant passion was not to know but to grow. ‘Expression is all we want,’ he wrote in his journals….What must grow, ever anew, day in and day out, is one’s inner genius, which his essay ‘Self-Reliance’ defines thus: ‘To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men—that is genius.’”

Well, not quite—

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 [Jan. 16, 2018: expressed in 2010 as what is now “Cycle 1” of the Project]), are like focusing on a few plants in a garden that has scattered kinds of plants, yet
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.

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….

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.

Friday, September 03, 2010

“God” as Good luck

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....

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.


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 (scary popularity!), 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.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

for anewing play, with true feeling

Creatively speaking, fidelity to one’s development (or art) tends to (wants to—as if the developing has a mind of its own that carries one’s reflectivity in its current) override the importance of relations to non-instrumental others. So, it’s easy to question its ethicality, like a teenage love of transgression. But clearly to me, creative fidelity is not egoism.

But how so, exactly? Though I’ve been familiar with pathogenic narcissism for many years, I didn’t feel I knew enough about it, this past spring; so, I delved into the subject, which led to stunning realizations about narcissism in my life (not me, but—well, we all could stand to admit narcissism in ourselves, especially when seeing egoism easily—too easily?—evident nearby), quite beyond the vanity fair of “sophistication” instanced “everywhere.”

Friday, August 13, 2010

before theorizing authentic happiness

Simplicity, heartfulness, no presumptiveness, no veils, no masking, transparency without question of fidelity because the Flow is me, because I’m where I can be so, letting go, without fear, accepting
what happens, easily laughing about what I should have learned
and learning it—easily crying when that’s happily evinced
(e.g., giving in to a sappy movie—good release)....

But “normal” life doesn’t easily afford unguarded opennes,
so veils defend against veils, veils reflecting veils, appealing to me
for some theory of genuineness in the drama of being “social,”
because I hope
for dissolutions (veil as entrance, prelude) and then happily learning from what happens in the Open of simple presence.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

creative self absorption can also be
quite empathic

I’m not a depressive person. Expressionless serenity may look depressive, but it’s not: Pensiveness, daydreaming, thinking, being in love with self-absorption may “fail” to attend to how I look, but only because I’m not attending to being seen, though I easily can so attend (which can feel vain).

I love sharing what absorbs me. I love absorbing the other into myself, as well as being absorbed by the other—being absorbed by-and-to the other, as well as absorbing the other. This isn’t empathic, but it’s ideally what empathy can educe. (Empathy itself involves understanding the other’s situation through feeling and imagining their point of view or situation as they understand it—which requires asking and talking and seeking to shape understanding with the other of the other’s felt sense of things.)

Sunday, August 08, 2010

note to baby

I had a genuine “Eureka!” experience last weekend, elatedly echoing deep into my belatedly-blooming background feeling for what gives
in a healthy self-absorption, from an accomplished general trustfulness
to a durably purposive life—the hedonic basis of “eudaimonic” humanism!—how infant fascination with surrounds grows into durable love of learning others (potentially beautiful) and landscapes (with their rocky challenges—trOpically speaking)—love of learning that’s the basis of lasting Relationships, born from loves of the day (a grand book
on “positive psychology,” a moment of culinary genius, a Literary mind overwhelming an era of a life) and friends—toward love of eudaimonia, about which I’ll soon have much to say (rather mundanely, in the short run) about a great giving way of time echoing in durable appeals
(after intoxicating elation) sealed in our vitality of engaging sensibility—in the long run for a primordial play, an artistic bearing, deeply
from a textual intimacy that hides from casual entertaining.

So what (I would say to those casual others) that we tend to be alone
in aspiring, beyond archetype, to embody—well, “the” meaning of all humanity through our weaving.

Friday, July 30, 2010

there he goes again: “symphonicity”—laughter

Jeffrey Brown of the PBS News Hour interviews Sting today, who’s touring with parts of the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra:


JB: But is something lost? I mean, as someone who grew up with rock ‘n’ roll, including your music, much of the power of that [to me] is the rawness and the edge.

Sting: Yes.

JB: What happens without that?

Monday, July 26, 2010

one as yet

Originality is difficult, improbable. It’s best to just seek to express what you have to express, let others worry about the originality. Is what you have to show fullfilling?

The road to that may be long. I go through periods of feeling I have nothing to say anymore; also, periods of knowing I have something I deeply want to say, but don’t know what it is. Elated, I write to find out.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

to whom it may concern

Posts may seem arbitrary, as a matter of what purpose the blog serves (“Whatever you choose, evidently”—and why not?), but there is a plan—though little time to carry on.

I sometimes respond to appealing ephemera, you know (e.g., appearance of an appealing book) or to some issue suggested by someone’s presence. Yet, a stable agenda exists.

I have an enduring interest in better understanding creative growth, you know, relative to making good lives, understanding the range of “loves,” and for making good sense of our ultimate condition.

Monday, July 12, 2010

empathy for persons with little empathy

Some people don’t easily empathize, so they may be alienated from those who do easily empathize. The non-empathizer may be ashamed of their lack of empathy, not realizing that empathizers would want to understand the non-empathizer’s lack of empathy and would accept the non-empathizer as they are. This acceptance is very alien to the non-empathizer. It can cause chronic avoidance of others which is misinterpreted by those caring others, because the non-empathizer’s lack of communication leaves others trying to imagine the non-empathizer’s behavior from a common point of view, which may look rude and narcissistic to others, though the non-empathizer is not intending to be rude.

Non-empathic persons can be easily loved, but that’s scary to non-empathic persons: how they could be easily accepted when they don’t understand their own confusions of feeling.

Monday, July 05, 2010

aging is fun

I might regret to inform you that my idea of fun, on a day off from work, is to read some chapters from The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology, but I have no such regret.

Friday, July 02, 2010

a little formidability

“So, you think I’ve got some problem, wanting to research love and intimacy”—as if our narrator is pursuing some absence mirrored in the dance of life, yea!, in the house of some summer night where we were writing our cosmos of poiesis….

So, this is how I look at you


Thursday, July 01, 2010

for a deeper prattle

Today, W.S. Merwin was made Poet Laureate of the U.S.

This is greatly satisfying to me, since he’s been one of my favorite poets for decades—no mere coincidence of private taste, but recognition early on that became part of my mindal fiber. He reads on the PBS News Hour today from The Shadow of Sirius I wanted to swim through in my own narrative way.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

talk about “love”

If one wants to understand love (beyond “love”)—presuming one doesn’t adequately understand it so far (safe bet)—look to a woman rather than a man, right?

“You do not know who I am”

So says Emma Recchi (embodied by Tilda Swinton) to her husband
at one great plot point of “I Am Love,” which I saw last night.

According to a reviewer: The Italian Director/Writer Luca Guadagnino “calls food ‘a tool to express the utter giving that a lover can display to the other without words.’” At an earlier great plot point, Emma dines on glazed prawns (atop ratatouille with sweet and sour sauce)—a sparse-covered plate looking like prototypical California cuisine, a matter of delicate flavors and textures to be savored, not quantity to fill (but it’s genuinely Italian, evidently: inspired by a well-known Milan chef, advisor to the film). She convincingly conveys an erotic experience of the flavors (seriously, not comical; it’s revelatory for her character Emma) “Ms. Swinton herself calls the moment ‘prawn-ography.’”

Friday, June 25, 2010

being here now, there then

More quiet tonight in that high field, wind through the surrounding
forest of eucalyptuses, soothing (if you need soothing), serene.

Walking back, a car with loud music passes: rhythm of voice
and sound texture a hybrid of reggae and hiphop. What intensely-practiced performance-spontaneity pop music is.

Flow of play in true spontaneity—unwitting self expression
(shameless incrimination)—bricolagic, impromptu, ad hoc truth
of presence doesn’t resort to such terms as “unwitting self expression”
or et ceterationalities.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

welcome, summer

I didn't’t start the day intending to write a long letter that I didn’t send. But the presumption early on that I’d send a short email flowered into—what the hell—a long email that would surely be sent soon (actual intent to send draws it all on). I was indeed enjoying myself. Paragraphs became pages.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

days go by.2

Fermenting, gestating—synergistic liminalities—fission…. Flow again would be a good topic for writing to these luscious early days of summer so filling me with things to say. I want to revel in the pleasure.

I love the phrase “halcyon days,” though mine’s not yet Walt Whitman’s sense of life waning (link to his poem is upcoming).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Happy birthday to me.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

carrot love

In 2007, Michael Pollan, the culinary journalist, was being interviewed by the NYTimes when he blurted “But who knows what the hell else is going on deep in the soul of a carrot?” This became the epigram, on a page all its own, at the beginning of Strange Concepts and the Stories They Make Possible: cognition, culture, narrative, by Lisa Zunshine, Johns Hopkins U.Press, 2008.

I could relate. Some time ago, I found a carrot with a violet soul—
the color, it so happened, of my years-old “gary e. davisheader
abandoned header, still cherished color.

Though I prefer the word ‘amethyst’ to ‘violet’, it’s a royal violet I like—still standing for ideas I love, and for influence made lasting in light
of findings.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

work finely made may be never finally done

version 1

Thanks to this medium, there is, when needed, rebirth. Elations of solitude bearing sketches among sketches, merged into a singular piece, pieces among pieces composing a clear horizon can inspire distant transforms returning to have been destined for somewhere else.

It was only literary psychology, aspects of a tropical mind.

Monday, May 31, 2010

serial affairs

Wandering through a beautiful array of books in a nearby store (not Moe’s) on a perfect spring afternoon, I purchased—well, [insert extended narrative of literary prattle proving allegorical the passage of his days] imagine writing 700+ pages (small font) on how all Literature tends toward The Seven Basic Plots: overcoming the monster, rags to riches. the quest, voyage and return, comedy, tragedy, and rebirth.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

romancing conceptuality

Monday, 5.24 — 9:30 pm

Twelve days without posting...

One day included a short romance with Edward Slingerland’s desire to shape a new sense of “consilience.”

Thursday, 5.27 — 12:50 pm

So, my sense of Flourishing—Flow of bricolagic days, elations of solitude, intimacies, joyful and beautiful living, finding fulfillment and happiness—lives somewhere between good enough days—warmheartedly, wholeheartedly embodied—and such romancing.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

living fruitfully

Now done, this longest part of the “conceptuality...” project highlights aspects of living fruitfully, biased toward what I want to dwell with later. Indeed, the entire project feels like a preface (which I say in the discussions too often, maybe).

Friday, May 07, 2010

telic appeal

Yes, “living fruitfully,” where a nectarine of license may weave into a narrative sorbet.

Yet, that’s an ever-arriving futurity, not the thereby ever-distancing past, as making life a working “art” is an aspirational importance of ever-anewing potential in things (and quote marks, a sign of humility, as well as ever-present questioning).

Thursday, May 06, 2010

night note

Standing “under” the stars, at a jogging track carved into a hill
above the university, surrounded by Berkeley, next to the black Bay waters, and the pointillistic carpet of San Francisco lights in the black distance—so many lights, each for the little surround below each, for its street. Only the likes of me and airliners see the metro array. It all

Saturday, May 01, 2010

“From this I reach…philosophy”

from Virginia Woolf, Moments of Being:

“The shock-receiving capacity is what makes me a writer. I hazard the explanation that a shock is at once in my case followed by the desire to explain it. I feel that I have had a blow, but it is not, as I thought as a child, simply a blow from an enemy hidden behind the cotton wool of daily life; it is or will become a revelation of some order; it is a token

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I’m most certainly no masochist, but I get warm fuzzies from a put-down by someone who has clear warmheartedness with me, such that the tease might seem otherwise (to someone just entering the room) dismissive or coldhearted. I love being teased by a friend.

For example, I say: “I didn’t know the software could do that,” and my friend replies: “There’s lots of things you don’t know.” I get a good laugh.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

thinking of excellent ontogeny without egoism

What is the developmental basis of a very good sense of self, independent yet easily empathic? A well-enabled sense of self avoids habitual and extreme egoism. Egoism expresses, ironically, disabled self sense. How goes developmental avoidance of egoistic personality, resulting in strong, constructive self efficacy with very good empathy?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

midland days

I make notes offline to a variably larger extent than writing online (let us hope). I sometimes put here what interests me during the day to have online (daynotes), and postings are part of a piecemeal journal toward actualizing a large-scale project (or Project) already largely realized, yet

a serene elation of wealth

X amount of force in a depth of water may cause a serene flow where that same amount of force in shallow water causes a frenzied flow (same energy; less space for it to flow in). The frenzied energy of a young mind (having a relative thinness of neural connectivity for given available energy) may be serene in later years, as the older mind (so rich in density of associativity) is actually doing more with given energy than the younger mind can, but far less overtly, maybe appearing passive to youth. The attention span of the young mind may be very episodic; its listening shallow, where the much-older mind may seem passive (even inattentive) when such a mind is deeply receptive.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

life as literary psychology

Thursday morning, 4/1

The New York Times reports on recent interest in bridging cognitive psychology and literary studies, something that’s been going on for many years. But commonly in interdomainal inquiry, there are new vistas to explore. I think it’s a can of worms, but I wouldn’t want less for my leading edges. The Times article has many aspects that are valuable to me, so I’m going to use themes from the article for a series of five postings.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

irt: in relation to—or better: in relation with

‘irt’ means “in relating to.” It’s easier to keystroke than ‘vis-à-vis.’

Yet, I understand with as the basis for “…to”: being in relation with, thus in relation to. I want to understand being-with as the basis for a sense of being in relation to, relating. That’s not always apt, as in simply asserting a semantic connection, yet we’re always doing things with words, enacting a relation that can be reflectively regarded as relating to.

[Nov. 13, 2011: Excuse my linking to this posting so often
from other pages, if that has become tedious for you.]

I think so much vis-à-vis things being vis-à-vis that I always use ‘irt’
in my notes. I might as well use it online, and have this little posting.

Besides, I don’t do French, so ‘vis-à-vis’ feels unduly pretentious,
even though it’s now common for English (and I commonly have
no compunction about being pretentious).

Basically, though, ‘irt’’s a time saver for someone obsessed
with interfacing, interplay, interality, inter-intering (recursive potential), and so on.

[revised April 9, 2019 and June 4, 2024.]

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

reading time: between simulacrum
and literary legacy

Monday, 3/29

The simulacral condition of hyperNetted textuality has become vertiginous, though still a kind of lowland (and very “noisy,” in the info sense). “Literary” textuality is very different, involving complex appreciation, giving time to reading, solitude.

Monday, March 29, 2010

memo from the library

If you publish something, you want it read. You want to be influential.

There is so much published, and they all sought to be influential. Some lasted. Indeed, so much lasted, one might think that nearly everything that can be said about life, world, humanity, is said, waiting to be influential again, to be brought into another centripetal appreciation of legacies; or more, advancing what might last beyond our bones.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

philosophy pre- and post-quake

Long back in this posting trek, I quoted philosopher Philippa Foot quoting philosopher Normal Malcolm quoting his mentor Ludwig Wittgenstein on the latter’s deathbed, Ludwig saying he’d had a “good life”— not difficult when one comes from a wealthy family and has
the leisure to wander Cambridge, go away into the heights to write Philosophical Investigations, come back when he pleases.

a topologist in flatland

The day can feel defined by a sense of living in two separate worlds
at once, where others, in casual relations, have apparently no idea of
the possibility, so we interact in common sense, with common sense, as if that’s everything. The other’s comfort may depend (I feel) on an unrealized common-sense attitude that wouldn’t know what that is as such (it seems to me), because there’s just “the” day, the world
in common. The notion of common-sense attitude only makes sense
(as such) relative to there being a different way of understanding
that becomes, relatively speaking, an “uncommon” attitude (the issue
of eccentricity again).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

individuational writing on individuation

Well, finally, the “individuation” section of the “conceptuality...” project is done. It’s intended to be read as is, without some background explanation. But I can’t let well enough alone, I guess. I’ve posted a background explanation.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Self-reflectivity ultimately becomes a play of the world, the way that being in the world or inWorldness happens, worlds (verb), Self worlding, self-worlding in the play of things in reflection. The horizoning child is ultimately phenomenological. The artist plays, improvises, sketches, stands back to see whom she is now, changes his mind, plays more.

Self-reflectivity proximally may seem withdrawing, abstractive,
yet flowers into its self-horizoning.

So it goes—will go—beyond my discussion of individuation
for the “conceptuality...” project in its ending sense of flourishing.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

holding time in being held

Persons make their own way by way of actualizing potential based within herself/himself, inasmuch as s/he’s true to his/her own venturing.

Unsightly slashes for a language lacking gender-neutral indicators.

Why not coin some neologisms: ‘hiers’ for “her/his”; ‘hiermself’ for “her/himself”? Is etymogeny malleable or what?

If individuation seeks gender balance—which was the Jungian-archetypal idea of Anima/Animus Shadowing on the way to one’s ownmost humanity in “the second half of life”—how are we to denote that female and male may each embody a balance of feminine and masculine?

At least, one may need the question for intimacies feeling all those so-gendered complementarities of Literature and psychology as ours, recountable in some singular way, as if in one name.

December 10, 2019

OK, so ‘they’ gets to be Merriam-Webster’s “Word of the Year” as non-gendered option. One can get used to that.

“Persons make their own way by way of actualizing potential based within themself, inasmuch as they are true to their own venturing.”

But my point above had been about gynandry (or androgyny): acknowledging gender balance in oneself, not washing away gender.
I wouldn’t say of you that I love them.

Of course, it’s very odd to highlight your gynandry by saying of you that I love hierm.

wondering a way

Friday, 3/19 — 6:41 am

Merriam-Webster’s “Word of the Day”: wanderlust

My way into spring will be magniloquent.

Friday / Saturday

Idealism is good. But it doesn’t presume actuality of the ideal.
It’s not a given by which others are evaluated. My idealism is
aspirational for myself, so I don’t regard myself as some exemplar
of ideality actualized. I want to be influential, but I don’t expect it.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

value of individuation

I don’t regularly go back in my blogs’ recent archives looking for threads, though I know I’ll find some when I do.

Friday, March 05, 2010

empathy through individuation

This complements last month’s posting on genuineness in learning from the experience of others, as well as briefly addressing—one could argue (as I would)—the basis of caring about and desiring to care for others,
in parenting, teaching, and ethical life.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

some points of philosophical corroboration

Speaking of philosophical work, I’m really not quite so odd as I self-effacingly say. Joseph Margolis (a senior member of America’s philosophical community, author of 30 books, it’s said) has just published Pragmatism’s Advantage, evidently the culminating work of his life, which seeks no less than to prospect and recommend a sense of philosophy as such for the 21st century—and I’m beyond him!—though I’m the only one who knows that, and I lack his erudition (which will be useful for me to appropriate—with all due credit), which is not especially important, by his own argument, for scoping a sense of the future of philosophy, where we’re all girl/boy scouts.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Fascination with the diverse scale of the days, making a fine-grained incohering of labyrinthine times a sign of some fantastic artistry in our evolving, a wealth of a library that interests a few, so much good reason for happy conversation—and serenely fruitful solitude.

self-reflectivity: where learning never ends

Genuineness is one mode of validity, which is also about realism/factuality and appropriateness/exemplarity, including a welcoming of critique as a chance to grow.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

a note on “philosophical work”

6:51 am

Question for today: Why does—might—philosophical work matter?

2:27 pm

I asked that morning question because...hmmm, I forget. The question is about a kind of work, not: Why does...philosophy matter? That question pertains to lecturing about philosophical topics; but is such lecturing philosophical work? Is “doing” philosophy the same as presenting well-organized explications of philosophical material, i.e., themes, arguments, ideas, taken from standardly “philosophical” works? What can be distinctively said about a kind of work, appropriately called “philosophical”? Why does that matter?

Monday, February 22, 2010

words of love from a mind being disembodied

“…remember Rilke's admonition: love consists in leaving the loved one space to be themselves while providing the security within which that self may flourish…,” Tony Judt, ”Historian’s Progress,” The New York Review of Books, March 11 issue.

Maybe Salinger read Rilke.

Judt is an esteemed intellectual historian who has written for the NYRB for years. He’s writing a lot these days, and each of his articles have the narrative smoothness and lucidity one might expect of NYRB. His present one is on love of trains. There’s no hint of the growing ALS “imprisonment,” which he recently wrote about matter-of-factly.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

good sense of holistic well-being

I’m enjoying myself. One person’s inappropriateness might be
another’s good conscience. Inquiring minds are open on the matter.

Some persons might think me callous; others, that I need adult supervision. Or I’m essentially and inconsiderately obtuse.

No, I care. But life has to be fun, and I make mine conceptual.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Searching for Signs of Intelligent Life
in the Universe

Catching up on news of the day online—“Whose news?” is a relevant question—can be like traipsing through a mall: so much busyness graphically casting for eyeballs, be it a leading site (e.g., The New York Times) or partisan streetlife (e.g., The Huffington Post, from which I stay away)—isn’t it mindboggling?

I cope by relying on Google News’s sense of “Top Stories.”

Here, this blog, is a quiet place, a “green world.”

Friday, February 19, 2010

semantic compression of developmentality

I know I don’t write plainly sometimes. But that’s not because I can’t. Writing can be the sharing of an exploration, not just conveyance.

Yet, my choices—semantic compressions?—can serve me well for orientation to open-minded, improvised dailiness.

That’s not to say that I’m always satisfied the next day or the next week with what I’ve done. But eventually, things get to a form that stays (compressed and not), though sometimes the staying expresses a developmental period. I’m big on developmentality, you know.

All of that occurred to me this afternoon as I was midstream with some paragraphs of “living brightly,” which I just uploaded.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

one’s [your?] projections may not be
the other’s [my?] unconsciousness

I’m deliberately avoiding allusion to philosophical views that come easily to mind when I do my discursive sketches, because I’m gradually setting up a perspective that would be the basis for traditional philosophical engagements.

Monday, February 15, 2010

conceptuality of a good life

Sunday, 2/14 — 11:47 pm

Extended free time exposes the suppressed reality that my circadian rhythm doesn’t gel with the turn of the Earth. I want 27 hour days. I want to not need sleep.

Monday, 11:03 am

The day’s so pretty for you.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

a note on discursive reading

11:53 am

A philosophical book review can be a useful occasion for discursive inquiry apart from depending on its reading of the book reviewed (having no pretense of letting the review substitute for the richness and detail of the book). Here’s how the story goes.

Friday, February 12, 2010

fielding resonant feeling

I may seem foolish by seeking a resonant sense of living relationship with textuality—ambivalence of reading, a marrying of genres, fiction and realism mirroring each other. I want characterization that provides a site for fielding narratology, for gardening inwordness, down the road.
If I have to seem foolish in the process, so be it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

an unsynoptably-complex feeling for what happens

revised Friday, 2/12

Each day has too many interesting advents in the news for me to put time into noting that here. So, the archiving process in the morning is comforting: All those things are gradually, aggregatedly shaping the uncounted topics (limited in number, though) that are “self-assembling,” in that sense.

I’m enthusiastic about Michael Slote’s Moral Sentimentalism, 2010, for many reasons, but especially as excursion into a sense of “natural virtue” that would (I hope) accord significantly with Philipa Foot’s sense of “natural goodness” (which I’ve fleshed out, offline).

Monday, February 08, 2010

ethical art, artful living: discursive homemaking

E.M. Dadlez argues her book title that David Hume and Jane Austen are “Mirrors to One Another.” What a darling idea.

You think I’m some kind of Romantic, wanting to marry philosophical and literary value. But wanting a mirrorplay of sensibility figured in
an idealized venue of human Relationship is not itself Romantic.
Dadlez, in effect, proves that through her example.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

recollective prospecting

Recapitulation may reorient, recall, and be an appealing, a gathering,
for better intent—granting more promise (potential for constructiveness), thus durability (maybe).

I periodically go back through recent postings and pages to gather up appealing themes that become implicit in the upcoming agenda. I want to do that again soon. But I’m going to shelve that desire for awhile (which causes unwanted repetition).

you and me and everyone we know

A creative writer may have an interpretive plight unlike a reader with text in hand: the writer “reading” the invisible audience, if not living with an audacity of anticipating a specific character of mind.

Here we are, where I must trust in your graciousness toward our presence.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

a note on phenomenology

I’m writing here. There’s writing here. Here in the writing, with the action, it’s there for reading, to myself as reader. One reads what’s there. I’m here with what’s there. You’re “here” (for yourself) for what’s there. For me, you’re there for what’s here.

Friday, January 29, 2010

all the world as high school

notes in honor of Holden Caulfield

For example: adding insult to injury. A typical injury by teens is
to excommunicate a “friend.” The insult is to play clueless that
the excommunication happened. “O, what could you be talking about?” But the exclusiveness continues, as if the scene denying it never
took place.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

being With, inwordly

Reveling in the sensuous, Keats, in an 1819 letter, writes: “Talking of Pleasure, ... holding to my Mouth a Nectarine—Good God how fine. It went down soft pulpy, slushy, oozy—all its delicious embonpoint melted down my throat like a large beatified Strawberry.”

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

“...a scientist by early inclination...”

“...[So many] reasons, and many more relating the simile to its place in the Sonnet, must all combine to give the line its beauty,...not knowing which of them to hold most clearly in mind,....and the machinations of ambiguity are among the very roots of poetry” (Wm. Empson, in Seven Types of Ambiguity, on line 4 of Shakespeare’s 73rd Sonnet, quoted by Jonathan Raban, “Summer with Empson,” London Review of Books, 31:21, 5 Nov ‘09).

Saturday, January 23, 2010

some educive growths by a sidewalk, picked for replanting

It’s not that city life is chaotic. So much is happening, no order can be discerned before the inestimable assemblage of events have transposed into another question of order. The ecology is change by change within change within change, levels of cycles and process, our evolving humanity easily seeming like some eternal recurrence. Another day.

one life to live

You can rightly regard yesterday’s “for a higher quality…” as an expression of guilt about absorption in self-formative interests,
relative to decades of engagement with political-philosophical issues.
I wanted to reaffirm a sense of continuity, such that self-formative interests are generally complementary and—given the greater importance of our shared humanity, relative to one life—supplementary: Self-formative interests, relative to our humanity, are supplementary to our shared interest in human progress.

Integral to my self-identity is easy feelings of guilt for pursuing self-formative interests. So, in going my own way, I hope for something useful for others in writing about it. I hope, at best, for something exemplary.

But I’ll “have to” update my posting on the issue of unleashed corporatist license. An expanded page will eventually become a part of my long-standing interest in U.S. democracy.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Enough of that depressive position this morning:

1/18 — 8:53 am

I say I’m a “news junkie,” but that trivializes my desire to understand details of how we, humanity, are evolving—to understand particulars (often tedious) in “how it goes.”

So, I risk depression in the face of catastrophe’s narrative.
(Thank goodness, I’m not living the quake[—Jan. 2018: in Haiti.])

The weekend before last (Sunday, 1/9), I happily intended to write something by yesterday that might be creative and satisfying. But I didn’t.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

what goes without saying

I’m not a moralist, and I dislike didactic tones. But, on the one hand, our rightly busy lives do tend to marginalize (if not forget) what supposedly “goes without saying,” the so-called “needless to say.” If you accept
the chaoticness of daily life or, in my case, would promote a license
of harmless play, it’s important to not occlude what’s central to anchoring good lives, central to good sense—for prudence, lest we forget (not just marginalize) what really matters.

“the common humanity that we all share”

At the moment (Friday, 1/15), officials say that the earthquake may have killed two hundred thousand. “This is a time when we are reminded of the common humanity that we all share,” President Obama said Wednesday morning.

But a reminder is soon forgotten, because our attention has to be centered on managing our own lives. Time, energy, and resources are probably already fully encumbered, because the world works with little slack, especially in recessionary times.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

creative play

Playfully, I declare my right to write obtusely! Taking time to offer ideas while more or less in the middle of doing other things has its downside.

Monday, for example, which began nicely enough—until the second paragraph (which I’ll clarify)....

Saturday, January 09, 2010

anticipatory departing

Friday, 1/8 — 9:29 am

So—to follow up further from near the end of “free association”—why care whether or not poetic thinking can be rigorous?

Poetics can “yield [something importantly] reliable in our evolving reality...after humanity’s self-undermining of Godly metaphysicalism.”

So, again, why? And why care?

Thursday, January 07, 2010

boy seeks genuine fun

About “vacuous dailiness” (near the end of “free association”): Realize, please, that I wasn’t positing some equivalence between dailiness and vacuousness! I had in mind the pro forma chat or phony pretense of rapport that expresses, among other things, a common anxiety about the other’s presence. People so habitually miss chances to just be serenely silent together—or even to say something one’s listener remembers for a while; something thoughtful? something thoughtfully funny? I know a persiflager who’s brilliant at this (when she feels like it). In an affectionate sense, I want to strangle people who are habitually dismissive or who talk as if it’s really about their presence.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


A recognizably figurative work—not Frankenthaler’s “Westwind”—might be imagined to have begun by the artist’s sketching forms, maybe pencil or charcoal whisps emerging from white space.

But with abstraction, the color areas emerge such that any pattern on the canvas (as set of color areas, at least—counterpoints and complements, etc.) implies the imaginable brush stroking that gives “form” in the first place to each area. There’s no substructure, apparently, as the color structure of the space apparently has emerged from the imaginable brushing, rather than the brushing fleshing out

Monday, January 04, 2010

free association

A recent orchestral composer who won a Pulitzer Prize for his work recounted how he spent so much of his time apparently doing nothing, gazing out the window of his study.

A well-known poet reports, before reading his poem on video, that
the short poem took 3 years to finish, because he would come back to it and come back to it—presumably until it had just the elements that let him feel the poem was complete enough at last in the details enough
that its conception was full enough.