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Solution de continuité - Who Put The Benzedrine In Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?

Mar. 5th, 2006

03:41 pm - Solution de continuité

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I’ve long asserted that miscommunication is the rule rather than the exception. I won’t posit that a single example could “prove” my premise, but this excerpt from a discussion is just too damn hilarious to not be entered into my Miscommunication is Really the Norm filing cabinet:

Debater 1: The rest of your argument is based on an anthropocentric presupposition. You are assuming that the characteristics of human languages and human reasoning are necessarily the characteristics of reality, that because the human mind cannot grasp contradiction that it cannot exist. Prove it.

Debater 2: All contradiction invalidates the statement. For instance, the notion of a square-circle, that is to say, a shape which is simulteneously both a square and a circle, in the same manner that a square and a circle are respectively eachother, as well as being such at the same time, is an impossibility. To just pick out one of the contradictions: A square has four corners; a circle has no corners. To have both at the same time is -impossible- and this must be so throughout the universe, because it is demonstratably false.


Lolercoaster

The discussion was another flowering of the perennial “Should logic obtain in every situation and does it yield ultimate Truth” debate. You can guess where I stand on this issue. Logic (and the ability to form concepts, generally) is an evolutionary survival tool, like having a hard shell or being able to run really fast. No one says that having a protective shell is an advantage in every situation (birds couldn’t fly if they had big, cumbersome turtle shells) and nobody asserts the same about being able to run fast (it’s useless under water). So why should we assume that our evolutionary mental advantages are the best tools for every situation?

Few people say that butterflies are capable of comprehending, even of seeking, the ultimate “Truth,” so—assuming that such truth exists, (and that truth must necessarily be non-conceptual because anything otherwise puts you right back into the social construction of reality, which logicians erroneously believe they transcend)—why should we assume that humanity is vastly more capable of understanding than are other species?...especially considering that “After 6.5 [million] years of separate evolution, the differences between chimpanzee and human are just 10 times greater than those between two unrelated people and 10 times less than those between rats and mice.” (Quotation from Wiki article: Human)

I’m not saying that “10 times” isn’t significant, but it isn’t a preternaturally exponential leap, either.


The Mystery is always with us. The advances of science have only slightly shifted its parameters, not eliminated it. In another age the causes of disease were relegated to the Mystery, now we know something more about them; but we still don’t know much about black holes.

It is my intuition (and only illusory Time can prove me right or wrong) that the telos of scientific progress is the indication of that which human reason cannot penetrate because of the sheer limitations of our cognitive (biologically-defined) capacity itself. Science can only point and say “There it is! There is the longed-for Wholly Other.” The end result of science is literally its end.

My intuition is that we aren’t as far from this point as we think. Pure mathematics is already exploring realities that we may never have access to experientially, and quantum physics yields information that no living person actually understands. (To know vs. to understand: It is one thing to be well-versed in the literature, to understand the theory, and to comprehend the mathematics, but it is quite another to truly understand light’s seeming dual property of being both a wave and composed of particles. That is not logical. Nobody understands what the hell a singularity is, as it is beyond comprehension and therefore beyond logical analysis. [Although that’s a given, because quiddity is always beyond the scope of logic].)


Instead of saying all that, I should have just quoted Wei Wu Wei:

You cannot reach non-duality by means of a logical syllogism: you can bring the interdependent counterparts into correlation, but there will always remain a gap that cannot logically be bridged, for logic is based on dualistic thinking. Duality and non-duality belong to different modes. The jump is from this to the other shore: it is the paramita, the going beyond.

Logical thinking can only lead to the brink, and that surely is its most precious function.

Comments:

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From:strangedivine
Date:March 5th, 2006 09:50 pm (UTC)
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I subscribed about two weeks ago but I haven't read it since perhaps last Wednesday.
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From:purplezart
Date:March 29th, 2006 04:22 am (UTC)
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i can't believe i missed this.
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