6/19/14

Live Without Violence

Harm is the very definition of conscious evil from minor to major. Our evil is real. It is more real now because it is measurable.

But we do not acknowledge this and we are mired in binary either-or thinking which gives rise to fighting and wars and fiction  that cannot move past protagonists and antagonists.

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The Slow as Molasses Press

The CIA has run rings around Congress for years

The CIA has run rings around Congress for years. It is time to end secrecy as a formula for safety. It is the opposite. A recipe for doom.

Rooted in the predestinarian, binary suspicion of the Dulles Brothers, the CIA has been a threat to our Constitutional governance since its inception. The Senate has only recently and under great provocation, bestirred itself to curb the behemoth.

The US has been tacky in dealing with the world, preferring brute force to the subtlety we attribute to Sherlock Holmes. Had we chosen the Holmes route, reason might have prevailed, But that would be expecting too much in a society where entertainment remains king.






The Slow as Molasses Press

"No amount of speculation can take the place of experience." - Charles Sanders Peirce

"No amount of speculation can take the place of experience." - Charles Sanders Peirce (CP 1.653)

A man brought low by immense inner failings and what seems, as we look back, by the hand of destiny, took Episcopal communion at the age of 52 and was utterly changed. He had already said, from the well of his genius speculations, much of what became a body of work that rocks the world 100 years after his death, things that intellectually parsed with this experience. But he had never felt reality taking control of him. He had never experienced the frightening and redemptive hand of grace. He had never fallen to a speculation so outlandish that it is to millions a laughing stock in this time, The experience of the real does not come up  much in the discussions of Peirce that I see. It is less secure territory than reflection on the nuances of one, two and three and what goes where. I note this statement of Peirce because, on its face, it is the pragmaticist maxim in a nutshell. Three times in my life I have felt and known this grip of the real. What is uncanny is that the third time it came following an enervating nonstop time in which I helped a young woman through her separation from a friend. It occurred during an Episcopal communion. Its palpable effects - a sense of freedom beyond anything I have known before or since - lasted through the summer. There was one difference worth noting. For Peirce this experience did not lead him into church life but rather into the knowledge that he would bear a cross outside the camp, as it were. So in 1892, after already enduring the humiliations resulting from his collisions with the university, with the government and with the culture of bourgeois censure, he received assurance that, even in this seemingly predestined exile, he would be given the strength to prevail. And like Nietzsche, prevail he did, as a posthumous author, powered by the actual reality of transubstantiation, the very reality which physics now contemplates as it considers the  prospect that at some point there was nothing.




The Slow as Molasses Press

There is no separation between us and reality

In Law of Mind Peirce describes his synechistic philosophy as follows: "first a logical realism of the most pronounced type; second, objective idealism; third, tychism, with its consequent thoroughgoing evolutionism." While I have indeed seen pragmaticism as linked to what I think and do, I have been scrupulous in the obvious rejection of the notion that I am qualified to or have a desire to, represent Peirce as a scholar might seek to do. Precisely because I see us as involved in an evolutionary process I assume that the reality of which we in any conscious sense are a part is bound by a beginning and that it is likely to be bound by an end.  If anything I have said suggests that reality can be separated from that process or that it does not contain it, I reject it. Reality and us is a unity and to say it circumscribes us is to say what within that unity we are an event,  endowed with the capacity to understand ourselves as part and parcel of all that is. Triadic Philosophy is principally a method. It is a means of using memorial maxims to improve one's life. There is plenty in Peirce to suggest the usefulness of such an effort and plenty to discuss regarding the veracity of its underlying premises. But it seems to me that the notion that us and reality are somehow separated within triadic philosophy is simply not the case. 




The Slow as Molasses Press

Peirce offers a context for his theology

In a few words, Peirce offers a context for his "theology" (from "Pragmatism In Retrospect - A Last Formulation." "I, for one, heartily admit that a Humanism that does not pretend to be a science, but only an instinct, like a bird's power of flight, but purified by meditation, is the most precious contribution that has been made to  philosophy for ages." What more need be said? 



The Slow as Molasses Press

Jesus only taught one prayer

The Lord's Prayer is the only prayer Jesus commended to his disciples and is widely used if not heeded. It begins Our Father which in Aramaic is Abba which is a shockingly familiar mode of suggesting this friendly assumption. I think we can infer from what we know of nature or reality or whatever we call what we are in, that this friendliness is present. I cannot conclude anything other than that Peirce did the same. He was more inclined to the tenor of the Lord's Prayer than the devolved elocutions of the author of Revelation. If one wishes to maintain that the universe, or reality, is neutral, that is fine. But it leaves us in just the same place. As persons who live in a penumbra that is more mystery than not even with our semi-conductors and formulae. 


The Slow as Molasses Press

Graceful Security

The Slow as Molasses Press