Monday, January 31, 2011

The Rite: A Very Brief Film Review


It should be called: The Ruse.  Because it's a Catholic propaganda flick.  It's a piece of horseshit, or, muleshit (if you see it you'll get the reference).  If you must see it (and there's nothing new or unexpected in it), wait for DVD or on-demand or free download or whatever, it'll save you the embarrassment of being seen in the theater watching the piece of tripe.  Anthony Hopkins never disappoints, but it's painful to watch his talent go to such waste.  Michael O'Donoghue and Alice Braga are very easy on the eyes, very, and they brought some beauty to an otherwise ugly, ghastly movie. As the narrative of the story constantly hints that disturbed demons lurk everywhere, the filmmakers should have done some soul-searching before dishing out this kind of quasi-spiritual garbage, and contemplated the intrinsic meaning of the message they were trying to convey.

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field in 3D

Friday, January 28, 2011

That Ol' Time Organized Religion

I remember a dream I had when I was around 19 years old.  I was inside a church building, and the pews were set on top of rails which had mechanisms that made the pews go forward, rotate and come back to their original spot, only to repeat the process again.  It was a mechanized setup like a ride at an amusement park. People were sitting in those pews being shoved forward to the front of the auditorium and then turned back around to where they started, and the same motion would repeat, over and over again.  Televangelist Jim Bakker was there too. That was the entirety of the church service. 








Monday, January 24, 2011

A Category-Theory Dream

Had a dream the other day in which Category-theoretic operations had somehow become three-dimensionalized and actualized into a huge machine of sorts, a wooden box hiding its bells and whistles inside, with an opening on top into which I (or anyone else) could jump inside.  It was assumed in the dream, it seems, that there was an opening on the bottom of the huge box that would give results and answers.  It was assumed in the dream again, that the results and answers would come from the instantaneous churning that this box would provide, and specific details regarding algebraic systems would come to be known, even though what entered the machine could be very general data.  In went the general data (myself) and out came the details, plus new information regarding the general data, their relationships, and structures that were unknown prior to their going into the box, something like a "synthetic a priori" of sorts.  It was supposedly the “Categories” box of functors and morphisms.  I somehow thought of Saunders MacLane in the dream, and about how dreamlike his (co-)invention was. 

Notwithstanding the obvious symbolism in the dream with regard to Categories, the dream reveals something about the nature of formal systems in general in a “Turing machine,” theoretical-machine sort of way.  Formal systems reveal nested hierarchies, the structure of which can be simply generalized into two parts, viz., the combinatoric and the analytic.  This duality of formal systems can be viewed respectively in terms of discrete and continuous, or analog and digital, and so on, and even in terms of hardware and software.  There is also a nested hierarchy of number sets (and their algebras (N, , 0): number set, operation(s), unit element, respectively from the one-generator free monoid of natural numbers to the field of Reals, and finally to the field of Complex numbers) which has its transitions in gradations from discrete to smoother, to smoothest.  The same holds true of methods over these exemplary objects; perhaps it could be said that the strictly combinatoric ends with the set and ring of Rational numbers.      

The dream symbolizes the extrapolation of analytic information from the combinatoric, and I suppose the implication of the dream’s symbolism is that this works both ways, e.g., extrapolating intuitive, Boolean truisms from the Jordan Curve Theorem, extrapolating power sets of transfinite Alephs (א) from the cardinality of Real numbers, and so on. 



A Simple Example of Referential Opacity

It results from correctly applying the product rule: 

Proposition: 6 = 5.
Proof.  

[1] 5 = 2+3
[2] 6 = 2x3
[3] 3 = 2+1
[4] 6 = 2x2+1 (by substitution, result of [3] for part of [2])
[5] 2x2+1 = 4+1 = 5
∴ 6 = 5 QED


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Being and Nuthin'ness

Read today a statement by R. Sheldrake that Darwin thought of nature as dead, i.e., that even his concept of “natural selection” was merely a figure of speech, that his understanding of the entire process of evolution was strictly mechanistic (though Darwin couldn’t quite reconcile himself with the idea). 

What’s significant to me here is that he thought that nature was strictly mechanistic. Perhaps this kind of thinking was an immediate fallout of Newtonian theology, of the universe in which the cosmogonic clockmaker wound it all up to tick on till demiurge-knows-when, until when all heaven-bound Kantians will finally know the answer to the possibility of synthetic a priori propositions. 

I wrote an earlier blog about Steampunk as metaphor for materialism (mechanistic paradigm(s)) in general, and indeed, Frankenstein is its main avatar. Note the proliferation of Zombie flicks, lately (circa 2011, g.c., c.e.). Frankenstein is a Zombie of sorts, and indeed, it all fits like a necrophilic glove, because if nature, i.e., the cosmos, is dead and everything is utterly material and mechanical, then there is no difference between a fucking Zombie and human being. But there’s more to that reflection, a cosmic whisper, that yes, that is where materialism will take you, and servomechanical cybernetics provides no argument to the contrary. There is a difference between strictly mechanistic principles and biotic beings. Ask your heart and not your academic brain, because you know it already, tacitly. 

Here are some other aspects of the fallout. Consider the mechanistic theology of dialectical materialism, and the eventual Butterfly-wing impact of its lifeless field of morphic causation. Another one: consider the idea of Being, a la M. Heidegger. Granted he was starting where Aristotle (and his predecessors Parmenides et al.) left off with respect to the (at-first Husserlian) pursuit of metaphysics, but do recall that Aristotle too provided the Augustinian foundations for the orderly, geocentric universe that provided occidental paradigms with a mechanical framework. Einstein couldn’t shake it off either (“god doesn’t play dice”). But back to Heidegger’s concept of Being. It was perfect that the seminal philosopher of Nazi Germany pondered Being as such with such a preponderant, conspicuous absence of Life. W. Kauffmann correctly designated him a "false prophet." As his acolyte R. Bultmann stripped mythology of all its form-critical superfluity (by way of his Entmythologisierung programme) to get to its so-called Kerygma---that semiotic extrapolation that is the foundation of all Western Ethics hitherto since zippo-B.C.---megalomaniac phenomenologist Heidegger warned contemporaneous theologians to keep their pencil-pushing hands off his non-theological metaphysics; but no, it also happened with P. Tillich, the systematic theologian par excellence, who just couldn’t resist it either. From his three-part series came spinoffs of the “christian atheism” movement and so on (T.J.J. Altizer, H. Cox, et al.). Tillich’s eventual conclusion was that god didn’t exist, because it was a concept in reference to that which was “beyond essence and existence.” 

Indeed, Nietzsche’s prophet was correct, god had died. More so, the cosmic life force had paradigmatically died. Everything had become Frankensteinian, and it’s ironic that it all stems from ideologies founded on artificial theologies of order and theogonic clockmaking, i.e., materialism. In this Procrustean paradigm, the world is a lifeless, non-conscious, Steampunk junkheap. But don’t go clutchin’ onto no creationist and book-religious straws again, because there’s no turning back, because everything hitherto had led to the Steampunk paradigm (of which creationism and book-religion are part). As some guy said in the past, you can’t patch old wineskins with new leather.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Waiting Sentinel

This happened in Atami, Japan, Summer of 1977.  I was visiting Japan at the time, and was invited out to the seaside of Atami, to a vacation home of  a former Kempeitai (憲兵隊 “Law Soldier Corps”) woman.  She was probably in her sixties at the time; the peculiar thing about this woman was that she had served in the Japanese military during WW2 in some kind of higher-ranking leadership capacity in that brutal, fascist-police; she supposedly wasn’t just a cadet (taking into account the sexism of the culture (especially at the time)). 

She was a friend of my dad’s, and although I had (and still have) no idea how they had come to be friends (my dad isn’t Japanese), I acknowledged her as a cordial family friend, and accepted her invitation.  My dad had told me that she was extremely scary in her day, and though the years had mellowed her completely, what he had told me (several times) never left the back burner.  I was sixteen at the time of her invitation, and as a matter of fact didn’t give a shit about what “Kempeitai” was, and never bothered to ask about the details.  I just knew that it was some kind of Gestapo during the war, and that point had been made clear to me by my dad several times over while she was present, and she would smile and make nothing of it.  Well, it so happens that the Kempeitai not only ruthlessly enforced loyalty, they ran prison camps and tortured their prisoners, and are known today for their hellish atrocities and war crimes. 

I was a teenage party animal at the time, and I invited my friend Frank to join me for a trip to the woman’s Atami vacation crib.  Frank and I had just met in Tokyo, we had fast become friends, and had resonated well with each other.  Frank was a genius guitarist and rock aficionado, and for some unknown reason, had brought with him the first album of Black Sabbath, which was stuck in the wrong album cover, “Master of Reality.”  We listened to it over and over again, smoked one cigarette after another, drunk a hell of a lot of beer, and got gassed out of our gourds.  We joshed and laughed our asses off.  My favorite song on the album was the theme song of the group:

What is this that stands before me? 
Figure in black which points at me 
Turn around quick and start to run 
Find out I'm the chosen one, oh nooo! 
Big black shape with eyes of fire 

Telling people their desire 
Satan's sitting there, he's smiling 
Watches those flames get higher and higher 
Oh no, no, please God help me! 
Is it the end, my friend? 

Satan's coming 'round the bend 
People running 'cause they're scared 
The people better go and beware! 
No, no, please, no!


The invitation to Atami was for a night, and I think that she had made the both of us dinner, and pretty much left us alone to our inebriated devices.  After a long evening of boozing and Black Sabbath, we retired to our respective rooms.  She had already gone to her room.  I passed out on the futon on the floor in the upstairs room, looking up at the wooden rafters. 

That night, I dreamed in real-time.  In the dream (or, rather, utter nightmare), I was sleeping on the futon in that room, and was looking up at the rafters.  A frenzied demonic being mainfested, and it swiftly dashed around the room; it jumped up to the rafters, jumped out the window, came back inside, and so on, repeatedly, while screaming, shouting, hollering, and cackling; it was in a fit of absolute rage that had driven it mad, stark, raving, psychotic mad. Its presence pervaded the room.  He (it was male, I think) knew I was in the room, and was letting me know that he was right in there with me.  It disapproved of me, and was letting his fury be known.  When it zipped out the window and stared back at me from the windowsill, I woke up in a startle.  I was frightened out of my toasted wits.  I have no recollection today of what I did afterward, but I probably went to Frank’s room and slept there. 

The morning light was welcome.  As we left her and Atami, I reflected on what my dad had said again, that she had been a Kempeitai officer.  I pondered about the kind of miasmic field that must surround her, and the terrible karmas that were still with her, waiting for their time of reckoning.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

阿弥陀 (Amitabha) (poem circa 1995)

     Standing in the fog
     A stone Kshtigarbha, waiting to protect.

     In the gloom of the darkest night
     A dimly glowing soul-flame
     Of one who recently died.

     Floating purple and blue heads of ghosts
     One of which makes a gesture for silence;
     Bringing to memory, realms
     Of beasts, starvation and hell.

     Further along, a towering body
     And further on, a beautiful diamond statue
     Of Mother Prajnaparamita.

     Suddenly, out of absolute Nowhere
     An appearance of Amitabha Buddha.

     Nam Amida Butsu
     Nam Amida Butsu
     Nam Amida Butsu


不動 (Acala) (poem circa 1995)

     At the terminus of Samsara I sit
     On a large rock where nothing blooms
     Where flames shoot skyward behind me
     Naumaku sanmanda

     The fire has scorched my skin blue-black
     Yet my concentration is clearer than ever
     To liberate all, my only desire
     Naumaku sanmanda

     Deep, deep in concentration
     My eyes have become uneven
     My fangs have grown long
     Naumaku sanmanda

     My right hand wields the Vajra sword
     I slice every illusion
     None will get past, this my task
     Naumaku sanmanda

     There is nothing past this dead rock
     If any insist on going past
     Be assured, my rope will tie them down
     Naumaku sanmanda

     On my lips, the unceasing spell
     Oh the great Bodhi, Nirvana awaits
     I shall be the last to enter
     Naumaku sanmanda

     Ah Vairochana, this is my practice
     None will fall into these eternal flames
     None will get past this point of no return
     Naumaku sanmanda

     Naumaku sanmanda
     Bazara dan sendan
     Makaroshiyada
     Sowataya
     Hum
     Trata Kam Man

     Naumaku sanmanda
     Bazara dan sendan
     Makaroshiyada
     Sowataya
     Hum
     Trata Kam Man

     Naumaku sanmanda
     Bazara dan sendan
     Makaroshiyada
     Sowataya
     Hum
     Trata Kam Man...


Cherokee Magick: On the Power of Incantation in General

The following material from Jack Frederick Kilpatrick & Anna Gritts Kilpatrick, Run Toward the Nightland: Magic of the Oklahoma Cherokee (1967) Southern Methodist University Press, Dallas, Texas (second printing 1977, ISBN 0-87074-084-9) (also see "Muskogean Charm Songs Among the Oklahoma Cherokees" by the same authors in our Resources Library). I find to be particularly insightful, pertinent, apropos and readily applicable universally (not just to Cherokee magick) with respect to all esoteric-magickal incantatory practices---mantra recitations, seed-syllable intonations-visualizations, sound-based/vibrational-energy healing practices (musical, intonations, etc.), all forms of sacred supplication (i.e., prayer), and all ritual praxis of  incantation (invocation, liturgy, chanting, etc.).  I hope that you’ll get as much from it as I have!

“For well over a hundred years the Oklahoma Cherokees have been writing down their magic by means of  the Sequoyah syllabary in manuscript books that vary in size from tiny pocket notebooks to huge ledgers, and upon odd scraps of paper …

“Both magic and medicine are almost certain to be found commingled in a manuscript that the Cherokees refer to by the general term nv:wo:dhi digo:hwe:li (“medicine book [or papers]”), but also to be seen there are such typical oddments as family demography, scriptural references and extracts, drafts of letters, addresses, grocery lists in Sequoyan and phonetic English, and a considerable amount of mathematical doodling for which the Cherokees have a passion that long ago ought to have attracted competent psychological investigation.  Side by side with an incantation to discomfit a demon may be a set of figures that attest to the comforting fact that the Lord’s work is prospering in the Baptist Church nearby.

“Any layman may decide to preserve in writing that magic for which he has use and which is readily available to his social class: fishing charms, a little something to protect him in an emergency, and the like.

“Most Cherokee magical rituals consist of something that says (or merely thinks) or sings, called the i:gawe:sdi (“to say, one”) and recommended physical procedures, called the igv:n(e)dhi (“to do, one”) … The published literature on Cherokee magic does not recognize a fundamental truth: in any magical ritual all generative power resides in thought, and the i:gawe:sdi, which focuses and directs that thought, alone is inviolate.

“…one might get the impression that a particular i:gawe:sdi is usable for but one highly specific purpose, whereas in actuality any i:gawe:sdi is serviceable for any number of purposes for which its wording qualifies it.  What is more, a master dida:hnvwi:sg(i) is at perfect liberty to improvise a text if the spirit moves him to do so.  A text that has descended to him through tradition he will not knowingly alter, though he may not fully understand what he is saying, but upon occasion he may elect to use only part of it.

“Much of the vaulting nobility of the phraseology of the magical idi:gawe:sdi appears to transfer in translation, but the passionate life that throbs through those long and sinuous verb-forms that leap upon and joyously wrap themselves around raw thought-material that emerges timidly from the mind is little in evidence.

“The masters of the Cherokee language who conceived the magical idi:gawe:sdi created like great composers with elements of demonic force, surpassing plasticity.  What in English are dreary little walls of word-bricks, “the Seven Clans,” “not to climb over me,” and the like, in Cherokee are sheer soarings of the human spirit, infinitely varied.

“One can well understand why a magical i:gawe:sdi, if not delivered in the language in which it was created, is devoid of all power of enchantment.”

Now! Kingfisher!
You are a great Wizard.
Now You have just come to “remake” the White Tobacco.
You were a great Wizard.
You and I have just come to clutch it at the same time.
Now! We shall make our souls into one forever.
Now! You and I will be great Wizards.


Timewave as a Fractcal


Just some fanciful stuff regarding the Timewave as a “strong” fractal:

Concerning the fractal nature of the Timewave: at first glance and for all practical purposes, the Timewave looks like a graph y = f(t), no fractal or iterative aspect is evident.

The question is whether the term ‘fractal’ is loosely used as a reference to its “density” in R^2 (i.e., if  it were a graph proper of a function per se) or merely in terms of “weak” statistical self-similarity, i.e., assuming for now the definition of ‘fractal’ as that which entails recursion and self-similarity (on some scale).

The Quantum TW:  Going beyond the TW as something like a mere R^2 graph with non-differentiable spikes here and there, we can informally view it as a strongly iterative fractal that is everywhere self-similar.  “Telescoping” into any area of the TW would yield its own self-similar TW, and so on ad infinitum, or until we set the “time limit” as a unit of Planck time whose “vibration” is the TW itself.  In this sense, every moment of time entails cosmogony and eschaton as each pulsating, discrete Planck unit of time entails incursion of absolute Novelty.

An aside: Informally viewing the TW as a quantum wave-function, the singularity f(t) = 0 implies its wave-function collapse.  Speaking in terms of traditional metaphysics, it would be the actualization of pure potential, in this case the actualization of all history hitherto. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Nature of Ontologies

I recently read in a book a statement that quantum theory is not concerned with the question of what exists, and neither is science. It immediately reminded me of the “early” Quine’s dictum, “to be is to be a value of a variable” from his seminal paper “On What There is” of old, back in the days when he’d wield Ockham’s nominalist Razor with ontological fervor. It’s my opinion that there was an irony about this, because what was intended to keep the population of the universe of discourse under control backfired to proliferate theoretical tickets of admission to anything articulable. That’s fine by me, but it’s also no wonder that Quine eventually modified his nominalism, rather drastically.

He came to call it “ontological relativity,” which is to say, simply, that theory θ1’s nonempty universe of discourse Λ has its set of quantifiable objects as does theory θ2 (also nonempty universe Λ ≠ ∅), but operators and quantifiers over θ1’s universe, which are formal apparatuses universally applicable (“covariant”) across the board to all universes of discourse (even to the set of all sets and to the empty set), can potentially yield differing ontologies of quantifiable objects, viz., that what exists for θ1 need not exist for θ2, and vice versa, and so on ad infinitum. This is rather radical, because it does away with the idea of asserting existence or non-existence in general; it looks to paradigms as the foundation of ontology, instead of the classical approach to ontology, viz., of imposing an acceptable universe of discourse to all paradigms in general. Hence θn is in general ontologically answerable solely with respect to its own universe of discourse Λn, and no other. Ontologically speaking, this even implies paradigmatic relativity, and is an elegant argument in its favor.

An example is, say the universe of discourse of a many-worlds interpretation of quantum theory and an e-prime interpretation of quantum theory. The theory is the same (quantum theory based on quantum mechanics) in terms of its subject matter (quanta), but the paradigms vastly differ with respect to ontology, i.e., universe of discourse. There is no homomorphism between the two theories either, as the former is inflated and the latter is stripped bare, down to specifically structured propositions that do not presuppose the realist correlation of assertions to their objects. There is no foundation but Consciousness; all ontologies are comprised of castles in the sky, floating in mid-air, free-falling in the space of Mind.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cosmic Chreode(s)

Consider chaotic bifurcations---attractors---as an "ordering" principle underlying randomness; stretch it out even down to the quantum level. Consider the transmigratory whorl, the vortex of phenomenal existence and its teleological terminus, viz., the concrescence of being. Karmas and consciousnesses, egos and individuations collide with each other as they spiral toward the center, first in slow cycles, gradually increasing speed with each cycle; there are ricocheting effects, some get bounced back to where they started, some bounce about here and there randomly in the Brownian funnel of transmigration. The Center is the Attractor in the future, pulling all beings of the Six Destinations of birth-death toward "it."

Chreode

Coin-funnel often seen in malls, etc., as metaphor

Monday, January 3, 2011

The 2011 Calendric Spiral


"Follow the white rabbit."  So went the instruction from the inductor in the beginning of the old flick "The Matrix."  The adventure in Wonderland begins for Alice as she goes down the Rabbit Hole.  This is the year of the Rabbit (or Hare), the fourth sign of the Sinojapanese Zodiac, and in terms of the Sexegenary Cycle, this year's conjoining is with Kanoto, the eighth of the Ten Terrestrial Branches; this is the 28th year of the 60-year cycle: 辛卯 .  

Teilhard de Chardin spoke of evolution as a temporal-spiral (teleological) process toward the Ω Point, the locus of concrescence, the convergence of all confluent chreodes of all morphic fields.  The Rabbit-Hole concept has already entered the collective repository of thought, and thus it's not too much of a leap, so to speak, to attribute the entering of the current year of the Rabbit as the official entry of the collective into the Rabbit-Hole, the spiral toward concrescence.  The Event Horizon as such is not yet, as of this writing, but the date of Timewave Zero is December 21, 2012 (Gregorian), the time is 11:11:11 AM (UTC).