Saturday, April 23, 2011

Prelude to Overwhelming: Before the First Step…

I wish I could tell you why I do what I do.  But I can’t.  It’s an epistemological problem rooted in the inadequacy of language.

While studying philosophy in college I became preoccupied with the axiomatic principles from which everything could be derived.  The stuff buried deeper than Euclid’s five axioms and Riemann’s reduction of geometry to four foundations – those pesky parallel lines meeting after all. 

The substance that makes engraving symbols possible.

I was interested in the existence of 1 and 0.  Something and nothing. The elemental reality that runs my computer and yours.  

It actually runs everything you see and don’t.

For what are all the wonders of calculus without an understanding and explanation of what a number is?  Of what something is as to opposed a nothing (the indefinite article before nothing being a contradiction in and of itself)?

For that matter how can we get to a notion of information or data theory without granting a certain groundwork for existence?  The groundwork for groundwork. 

Kant’s metaphysics and Hegel’s labyrinths’ unravel under the weighty assumptions of their semantic architectures.

In my world everything comes down to:

~(a v ~a)

It is not the case that A can both be A and not be A at the same time.

An object can either be or not be; it can’t be something in-between.  This is the law of the excluded middle.

It’s the nature beneath all mathematics and language.  It’s cemented right into the fabric of your entire phenomenology and empirical existence.

There ensues a chicken and egg question regarding how we evolved to be dependent and interwoven with it

Does reality not have the excluded middle so we can’t see it?  Or do our perceptual frameworks not have the excluded middle so that reality appears not to possess it.  Stalemate ensues.

If we want to have sensible discourse the excluded middle must be left out.  That much is clear.

We really can’t spend much time talking about the banana that is both the banana and not the banana.  Not much get’s done between people speaking in paradoxes.  In nothing but Zen koans. 

That’s why the monasteries are awfully quiet, I’m guessing.

Wittgenstein finished his greatest work with the simple declaration:

"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." („Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen.“)

And I’ll be mum, too.


I’m going to run towards that which we can’t speak of.

That is the overwhelming.

That is the mind bursting tears and laughs simultaneous imbuing your fear and pleasure.  Of wanting to die you’re living so much.  The anxiety and dread of being a self and not being a self.  The pleasure and revelatory glory of being a self and not being a self.

To see and not see.  To step into the river and not be in the river.

Somewhere in the run it happens.  Mile 10?  Mile 45?  Mile 125?.  It doesn’t matter how far.  It can happen on your front porch.

Of course, I can’t tell you about it.  And you can’t tell me about it.

I just want to say that it’s overwhelmingly fucking beautiful to me.

That's why I do what I do.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter.  It's nonsense.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. Axioms - Existence. Identity. Consciousness. Can't prove them without actually using them in your attempt to prove them. Hence, axiomatic. A is A. Existence exists. A is A.