I am animated by distrust of all high guesses. . .
[George Santayana, from Skepticism and Animal Faith]
Adept Lu said: “If the Lord of Wei wanted you to govern his country, what would you put first in importance?”
“The rectification of names,” replied the Master. “Without a doubt.”
“That’s crazy!” countered Lu. “What does rectification of names have to do with anything?”
“You’re such an uncivil slob,” said the Master. “When the noble-minded can’t understand something, they remain silent.
Listen. If names aren’t rectified, speech doesn’t follow from reality. If speech doesn’t follow from reality, endeavors never come to fruition. If endeavors never come to fruition, then Ritual and music cannot flourish. If Ritual and music cannot flourish, punishments don’t fit the crime. If punishments don’t fit the crime, people can’t put their hands and feet anywhere without fear of losing them.
“Naming enables the noble-minded to speak, and speech enables the noble-minded to act. Therefore, the noble-minded are anything but careless in speech.” . . . The Master said: “Once you have rectified yourself, you can serve in government without difficulty. But if you haven’t rectified yourself, how can you rectify the people?” [Analects XIII]
From: The Four Chinese Classics: Tao Te Ching, Analects, Chuang Tzu, Mencius (Trans. David Hinton)
[V.] From Apollonius, [I learned] true liberty, and invariable steadfastness, and not to regard anything at all, though never so little, but right and reason: and always, whether in the sharpest pains, or after the loss of a child, or in long diseases, to be still the same man. . . .
When I think about time now, what with all my dreams, hallucinations & instances of deja vu, I can only conclude that everything that has ever happened is happening right now, in the present moment.
A hot pink dawn over the river this morning only lasted about thirty seconds, but highly intense. Some perceptions have to be caught on the fly, others can be savored. Perception is neutral, a register of input, to borrow an ugly term from electronics. It’s what one makes of the input–the phenomenological spark–that creates a meaning. I don’t know how. (Weather & atmospheric phenomena continue to be my master metaphors.) Light from the sun shining across the river / taste of the first sip of coffee. The adventure of what happens.
Note: First thing in the mornings, while Carole is making coffee, I often have the feeling that the various systems & subsystems of my body are coordinating with each other & coming into coherent functioning. That’s what’s supposed to happen. It’s bad news when “systems” are glitchy, but that has not been happening so much recently. Things going relatively smoothly–I almost said “booting up,” demonstrating how hard it can be to keep domains of metaphor separate, though I think it’s important to be able to do so.
I have been reading the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy‘s article on Process Philosophy & am finding it quite useful, especially in terms of vocabulary & context. That is, the article provides a vocabulary & a context for using that vocabulary as it applies to Whitehead & those thinkers who have been touched by his work.
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