Friday, September 30, 2011

Scopes of the Monkey Trial

I mentioned 'metalinguistic space' in the article about existence-assertions, so I want to apply the concept concretely to the pathetic Creationism "debate" that's sweeping the religiopolitical arena, as it makes its way into school programs.  Of course this analysis in metalanguage is applicable to all areas of so-called debate. The analysis shows that there really is no debate, because there is nothing that can be debated; both parties are talking past each other, simply because the intersection of both lambdas yield the null set. This is tantamount to saying that there is no basis for argument.

To reiterate, the universes of discourse are the ontologies of paradigms, i.e., the set of admissible objects in paradigms and theories within paradigms.  For example, a paradigm whose universe of discourse is based on the epistemological delimitation of its objects to empirical phenomena might “softly” consign non-empirical phenomena to the domain of conjectural, hypothetical, or inference-based objects, or with respect to a “hard” approach, it might consign such objects to the empty set .  As another example, if the paradigm were to be based on religious authority (or authorities), then its universe of discourse would likewise be delimited, demarcated with respect to the same, and all other objects that do not fall within the scope of its ontology would be equal to .

Hence, if a paradigm θ1’s universe of discourse were Λ1 , then in the case in which a nonempty Λ2 were to intersect with Λ1 and the result is null, then Λ1  - Λ2 = Λ1 inasmuch as relative to Λ1, the nonempty universe of discourse Λ2 has no object(s) in common with Λ1.  Logically speaking, relative to paradigm θ1, the universe of discourse Λ2 is equivalent to the null set, nonempty though it might be.  It is simply “discarded” by θ1, and is outside the scope of its set of admissible objects, in which case the truth-functional valuation of the statement

x [x Λ1..x Λ2]

would always be true in paradigm θ1.  Note that Λ2 will always “tag along” θ1 because the null set is a subset of every set, but it only tags along as that which simply “does not exist” with respect to paradigm θ1, because it has set its parameters to exclude Λ2, and the inflated union Λ1 Λ2 would no longer = Λ1, in which case it would be rejected by paradigm θ1, based on its epistemological selection-process.  (Which, I suppose, could be (in)formally understood in terms of a specific operator ε1 over the set of all possible universes  Λi so that ε1(Λi) = Λ1)

Granted, in most cases there are overlaps of some kind, but the question is to what degree those overlaps are paradigmatically significant.

Which brings us to the metalinguistic analysis.  To define: Let θs be a “soft” empirical paradigm of scientific method.  Let θd be a religious-dogma-based paradigm, and let Λs and Λd be their respective universes of discourse.    

θs consigns elements of Λd to the set of objects belonging in the category of conjectures, hypotheses, and (hitherto) unobservables.  Though θs does not consider the set Λd to be null, the fact remains that Λd Λs is, if not equal to , a set of elements that “sit on the fence,” as it were, and would for the most part be non-definitive with regard to the paradigm in question; i.e., the set ∂(Λd s) would be paradigmatically insignificant. This result, logically, would be the same in the case of a “hard” empirical paradigm with respect to the ontology of Λd.  The same principle holds for θd with respect to Λs .    

If both paradigms were “hardline,” then both would reject the “borderline” set ∂(Λd s) as spurious, as = .  We now apply the analysis concretely to the Evolution - Creationism debate.  A "hard" paradigm which supports the universe of discourse of evolution theory excludes the universe of discourse supported by the hardline paradigm of creationism, and vice versa.  It is only in this metalinguistic space in which it becomes evident that the two paradigms have nothing of ontological value in common (and whatever they do have in common is paradigmatically insignificant).  If there is nothing of significance in common, then there is no ground, there is no basis for debate.  I am not speaking of the tenacity of one’s faith in science or dogma.  I am speaking strictly of the elements of the universes of discourse. 

So, dropping a dimension and getting back to the world of language, the debate of Evolution - Creationism is actually a non-debate.  It’s simply shadow-boxing, talking past each other; there will never be an agreement.  There has been compromise for sure with “softer” θd, which I believe is sensible, because they have made the boundaries of Λd “fuzzy” enough to accommodate a universe of discourse Λs’ > ∂(Λd s) (though Λs’  < Λs) in their paradigm.  But with regard to the allowance of more objects into their universe of discourse, that is where the matter ends; the paradigm gets enriched with a larger, more flexible ontology, and there is nothing more to debate.  In fact, that is when the so-called debate has ended. 

As long as paradigms θs and θd are such that their respective Λs and Λd yield ∂(Λd s) ≈ , there is no logical basis for debate.  Unless, of course, one can logically prove that oranges are better than apples.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Forces unpredictable, hitherto unknown, rend the sky, 
Revealing behind the blackness, veins of thunder in a body of nothingness.  
I am the keeper of the vortex, the nexus, the center.  
I have become all the worlds, in great conquest.  

Worlds shatter by the power of my incantation. 
Tapestries unweave because of my spell, beings retch from a vertigo of fear. 
Finally, in space, behold: the silver triangle of Omniscience.  

June 10, 2002

Elenin, the supposedly tetrahedral comet, is Ketu.  Ketu portends.  Hoax, sensationalism, hysteria, flim-flam fly-by-night snake-oil salesmanship, debunkable bunk, mendaciousness, and outright lies: none of those things matter in the field of a collective message, only those who observe the resonances of the world, the Avalokitesvaras, can know what that message is. For truth to be cloaked in shit, nothing can be a more effective shield.  I write this for those who are the El-ite, the El's of the world.  Elohim Essaim, Elohim 一切無 (無=穆 (liberation)).       

From a blog article: Mind Space of Tahquitz Canyon (April 22, 2011):
There is a canyon in the southern California desert named after a dark shaman-wizard, Tahquitz, of the Cahuilla tribe.  Over the course of years, throughout my mid-teens to twenty years of age, I came into occasional contact with the shaman's morphic resonance.  

After a night of partying (I think we were just doing bong hits that night), my friend George and I were walking on Grapevine Street in Palm Desert, around 3:00 in the morning.  We were fifteen years old, so that was in 1976.  As we were walking the dark street (and town, for that matter), it suddenly became as bright as day, for about a second.  It quickly got dark again, and there was another momentary flash of daylight brilliance that illuminated everything.  George turned around and yelled, "Whoah!"  I turned around and saw a streak of fire in the sky, a colossal blaze of fire as the meteor burned up in the atmosphere.  It literally looked as if a part of the sky had caught on fire.  We were both astounded.  From where we were standing, the streak of fire was directly above the San Jacinto Mountains, above the location of Tahquitz Canyon. 

According to ancient Vedic Astrology, the Comet is called Ketu, and its iconography in the esoteric Mandala is that of a screaming, decapitated head.  Like the Tower Card in Tarot, it portends great change.   In the Cahuilla native mythology,  Tahquitz personifies the meteor, or comet, and they say that his rumblings can still be heard today in the Canyon named after him: 

"Even today strange rumblings can be heard in the rocky depths of the San Jacintos, and earthquakes are common there.  Without doubt these are caused by Tahquitz as he stamps about ... Tahquitz sometimes still appears to Cahuilla people as a huge ugly creature with an arrow stuck right though his massive head ... Almost nightly in the midnight sky one can see a flaming meteor - - -old Tahquitz in search of the souls of men and women to sate his horrible appetite" (Harry C. James, The Cahuilla Indians, p.84 (1985 reprint, Malki Museum Press)).

An old friend from Japan, whose whereabouts today I don't know, visited me with his brother and friend in '77, and I took them together with some of my local friends up Tahquitz Canyon in the middle of the night, and we walked all the way up to "First Falls," a rather long trek, especially in the dark of night.  It was a strange chthonic journey that I led.  We were all wasted.  My friend said to me, Are you a demon or something?  He was kidding but not kidding.  He was freaked out.  He made me aware of my behavior.  I was leading all these kids into a treacherous place, only out of my own sense of mystical quest.

In retrospect, we were off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz.  The big Head, and the Head alone: The Ketu-Comet icon, the harbinger of great Change, the symbol of Tahquitz.  Even in the tantric interweaving with the dark resonance of Tahquitz, I had come to realize that this harbinger is an aspect, a Mandalic, fractal aspect that has been a helper, a signpost, an inner guide.

From a blog entry: Lost Horizon (May 30, 2011): 
We recently watched the DVD of the old Frank Capra movie, “The Lost Horizon” (1937).  As we watched, a scene jumped out at me, it was as if I was in a dream, a very familiar anamnesis, a near-déjà vu remembrance.  A sequence was filmed on location at Tahquitz Canyon, at the First Falls.  There it was, the foundational landscape of one of my Mindspaces, right there on the screen, from a black & white movie that’s almost ¾ century old.  I was quite amazed; I Googled the key words after the movie, and sure enough, the scenes were filmed at Tahquitz Canyon’s First Falls.     

It was synchronistic.  When the horizon---the event horizon---is lost, the Singularity is seen, broached, revealed, experienced … and so on.  It is Utopia; according to the host Chang in the story, Shangri la is the place without excesses, it is the place where all calamities are mitigated and averted. 

In this sense of Utopia, there is a parallel to that anomalous, unaccountable non-event in the ontology or domain of discourse of statistical-probabilistic spaces, viz., the object(s) or event(s) that never happened, that got mitigated, averted, thwarted, annulled; empirically speaking, such objects would belong to the ontological trash bin of the empty set ∅, they are even beyond the scope of outliers and non-normal statistical distributions.  But those “non-events” are the very stuff that random processes in general are made of; they simply cannot be accounted for, they cannot be predicted, they cannot be measured or perceived, and yet they belong to the very fabric of being and becoming.  Something did not happen, therefore we have X at time t.  All we can know is X at time t. 

But the realm of Utopia is not about X at time t.  Its domain is that of the lost horizon, the inaccessible, the unreachable; it is beyond speculation, beyond prediction.  I took the synchronicity one step further, playing with the title of the movie with respect to the Singularity, that the horizon gets lost at the Singularity, i.e., it vanishes, at which time Utopia would broach the epistemological domain of X at time t.

- - - - - 
This entry is dedicated to all the Micha-El's I know and have known.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Alison of the Barren Desert

Here’s a little romantic interlude, fundie-preacherboy style.

One Sunday back in them infernal days of SoCal drought in 1980, when I was a nineteen-year old righteous preacher-boy fundie doing his fundie preacher-boy thing, I met a lady who was about eight or nine years’ my senior at a church luncheon after services.  What broke the ice was while we were gathering grub at the buffet, when she voiced her opinion that she had thought other denominations were equally valid, and I had told her that she was wrong, because they were all false churches.  She must’ve been impressed with my forthrightness or something, coupled with my being a spry young bony lad with almost-confrontational intensity, that we had somehow hit it off. 

She told me her name was Alison (I figure since this was thirty-one years ago, the “statute of limitations” is up, so yes, that was her real name), who was visiting with her folks (her folks didn’t do church).  She was all the way from Connecticut, apparently from a wealthy home, and had that Connecticutesque accent and ways of saying things that charmed me.  Her energy was vibrant and warm.  She had long dark hair, brown eyes, and was quite pretty.  And highly educated, intelligent, and articulate; I think she was a school teacher, although I might be remembering that part incorrectly.  She had fit the dark-sister anima mode that I had been seeking, so a connection got made on subtle levels.  We started resonating together right off the bat while we lunched.  She was only staying the weekend, so she and her folks were taking off the next day. 

After lunch she took me to the condominium where they were staying, I met her folks, and we made a date for the evening: a movie and dinner.  Her parents were very happy their daughter had met me, and were excited on her behalf.  Alison looked very happy too, and that made me glad.  Being an empath, I immediately sensed that she had undergone some kind of adversity just recently, but I didn’t ask. 

That evening I drove to their condo; I chatted briefly with her parents and we were off to town (Palm Springs).  We went and saw Martin Scorcese’s Raging Bull of all movies, a rather macho flick, but we both liked it.  We then went to a restaurant that was on the restaurant row, a cozy place with its back turned toward the San Jacinto Mountains, toward mystical Tahquitz Canyon; we said a prayer before our dinner, not giving a shit about what other smirking diners thought.  We conversed non-stop.  The conversation was sometimes light, sometimes not.  She had told me that she suffered a nervous breakdown, and that she was recovering.  I sensed no heaviness from Alison the whole time we were together, even when she spoke of her breakdown.  I sensed the residual stuff more from her parents than Alison herself.

We went to my apartment that night.  I don’t remember how that happened, but it did, and I had thought that I had made a mistake.  I was a righteous preacher-evangelist boy, so I didn’t do premarital sex (any more) … I wasn’t afraid of my self-control, but I became aware that I might have inadvertently led Alison on.  Alison was attractive and I was very fond of her, and it was obvious she felt the same way about me.  And when the crucial moment came, we were standing in the kitchen when she spoke of wanting intimacy, and had said that she was too afraid to initiate it.  I remember the following words she spoke, verbatim: “I feel so inhibited.”  She stared into my eyes.  I stared into her eyes.  We stood that way, silent, for several minutes.  I just stood.  Like stone.  Didn’t budge.  Didn’t even lift a finger, literally, to comfort her.  Nothing.  I might as well have been a statue of St. Francis of Assisi. 

I drove Alison back to her parents’; she was quiet, and her energy had dropped.  She was dejected, and I had let her down.  When she opened the truck door to leave, she moved toward me and kissed me on my lips.  I didn’t flinch.  She said goodbye, and I think I did as much.  I never saw Alison again.  She wrote me a postcard from Connecticut a month or so later, and it made me glad; I wrote her back, I think, and that was pretty much the end of it. 

I recall this with my current understanding.  I had thought that I was strong, of strong faith, and so forth so on.  I was authentic, yeah, I was the real deal.  But was I able to comfort Alison, this delicate, lonesome person who had been recovering from a breakdown, who reached out for my affection, wanting some warmth, some kindness, some basic, healing, physical contact?  Was I strong enough to do that?  No, I wasn’t. My so-called "faith" was far too fragile for that, so I tenaciously grasped onto my staunch, dogmatic convictions, shut out everything and everyone else, thinking that I was saving my soul and hers’, all the while not realizing that I was still lost, and yet to be found. 

Dedicated to Alison     


Saturday, September 17, 2011

On Assertions of Existence in General

Ontologies of paradigms θi (Quine would say theories, but I'm taking a broader view) are their domains of discourse, also referred to as universes of discourse Λn.  They have admissible and inadmissible objects with respect to their epistemic scope.  Paradigms can be compartmentalized, in which case we would be justified in speaking of universes (in the plural) of discourse Λn with respect to a singular paradigm.  

x [xΛ1] or its logical equivalent ~(x) [x Λ1] is an assertion that x = ∅ with respect to Λi (it is suggestive that x would thus be a subset of Λ1, for all x).  It is also suggestive that if there is even one Λi (say, Λ1) in which x = ∅, then   
∀x [Λi θ1 .. x  i(i = 1, 2, …)Λi]

regardless of the fact that even if the statement that x  Λi in which i ≠ 1 holds true for all Λi, there will always be reason to doubt the veracity of the assertion, if θ1 were the paradigm with universes of discourse Λi (i = 1, 2, ... ), that (x) [x  paradigm θ1]. 

Note that this is not the same as making a general statement that "there is no x," i.e., that x does not exist.  x is consigned to the null set relative to or with respect to lambda, so x does not exist in lambda, the paradigmatic universe of discourse.  Nothing else is being stated.    

This is merely simple fact and indisputable, as it is almost tautologically obvious.  What a marvelous fact it is, friends; reflect for a moment.  It means that if you want to argue a point ethically, scientifically, and correctly, you must remain true to your paradigm's inherent delimitations and horizons of epistemological demarcation.  And as such, the correct attitude, perhaps to employ an E-Prime sort of idea and the logic of belief, would be to preface or append: 'according to my paradigm' to all ontologically based assertions.

This is the problem with fundamentalist thinking with respect to paradigms.  A person A who embraces paradigm θ1 and person B who embraces paradigm θ2 of which x [x θ1θ2] cannot absolutely assert the existence or non-existence of x in terms of universal quantification; x exists or does not exist only relative to a Λn ⊂ [θ1 ∨ θ2]. In short, what is bullshit in one paradigm could be truth in another, and the twain can only meet in metalinguistic space that transcends both paradigms.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Demon Days

In demon days, it's cold inside
You don't get nobody, people sigh
It's so bad, lasting far, but love yourself
Hiding in a hole in there
All the glasses are too big
Bring it back, got to hold it back
To let you do that yet you don't want me back
Before it fall down, falling down falling down
Falling out to go far from the soul (ah)

In these demon days
It's so cold inside
So hard for a good soul to survive
You can't even trust the air you breathe
Because mother earth wants us all to leave
When lies become reality
You numb yourself with drugs and T.V.
So pick yourself up, it's a brand new day
So turn yourself round
Don't burn yourself, turn youself
Turn yourself around
To the sun!

To the sun, to the sun...
To the sun, to the sun...

(Gorillaz, Demon Days, 2005)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

An Earthquake Premonition Gestalt

Artistic creativity has been, for me since I was in my teens, a divinatory tool of automatic-writing kind of consonance that channeled rippling events in the near future into the immediate present, encapsulated into stream-of-consciousness writing, poetry, fictional writing, illustrations,  paintings, and so on. 

Three days before the big Northridge quake (magnitude 6.7) of January 17, 1994, I was living in Westlake Village, approximately 20 miles away. I made the following painting (since this blog is G-rated, I had to blot out two images from it):

I thought nothing of it until someone pointed out that the local Chumash natives mythologically explained earthquakes as being caused by giant subterranean snakes moving (shifting fault lines), and it was also pointed out that the trident in the painting is the implement of Sea God Poseidon, known as the "Earth Shaker."  The third eye "saw" the big quake coming. 

That morning around 4:40 A.M PST., when all the lights of the city had blacked out, the stars in the dark sky shone sparkling like I had never seen in the area; I saw a white meteor in the sky, with a very long trail, toward the west, streak from right to left. I saw it as an omen of change, and my father passed away a couple of days later (he was elderly, and suffering terribly).

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hubris Issue

In the past, I have seen cases in which people have "fallen" from "higher ground."  The "fallen angel" idea is a very apt metaphor for such cases.  The story is a familiar one.  A sublime being becomes egoistically inflated with spiritual virtues, becomes overcome with hubris, attributes spiritual virtues to their own inherent ego-based characteristic, and they stumble.    

Thaumaturges will know this, as will shamans and practitioners, that personal ascent (call it sublimation, transmutation, evolution, involution, etc.) is a bi-product of their consistent self-application toward consonance with universal Telos.  They will reach states of being which are sustained, until fully and completely assimilated, by consonant practice, by constant resonance.  When they reach these levels, the temptation occurs of attributing themselves with high virtues and powers.  They conflate ego with these newly achieved states, and hubris creeps in.  The next phase usually is complacency, and the resonance stops.  It's better to be a lowly aspirant instead of a hubris-ridden adept.  As an Asian saying says, as one's status in life rises higher, the head must bow lower.  There is such a thing as false humility too, though, a paradoxical kind of hubris.  It gets subtle and rarified, so constant vigilance is needed to check the wiles of ego.