January 2011

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photo by NASA

They read and think and believe, worship the words of whomever they have chosen to believe. He, she, the one they believe, does that one own knowledge?

I went, yesterday, to an event they called a Conference, but which was more like a pep rally. It was a meeting of those who wanted to know more, of those who already believed or already thought they knew it all, come together to cheer one another and the fact that they were there. The introductory speeches lacked any ideas or questions or sense of inquiry. Instead, it was a celebration of those who controlled the field of the relationships between humans and animals. They were mostly clinicians worried about, concerned about what might go wrong.

They said who they were, who they had studied with, which was the group who would run things, who would own the field. Not who owns the knowledge? But, who owns knowledge?

There are seekers after knowledge who probe the material of our being, to know knowing. Inside the cranium, way behind the fronts of eyes seeing out, there is the thing we call the brain. The brain, the modern elect to be the center of our being that it tells us what is and what we do; and we do not understand how it works.

A finite thing, a contained tissue which lends itself, somehow, to knowing the infinitude, the finite become the imagination. The brain, the mind, a puzzle to boggle the imagination by which we know to ask. The focus on the brain drives itself backward, regressively into the self-caused cause which is called God the creator in other thought arenas.

Here, the steerer, the tiny man or woman within, the bottom line, informs us no more than if we knew nothing. The answer, for there must be an answer, must lie within; but where, but how? Not knowledge enough, yet; but wait. Somewhere, in there, the answer. Not anywhere else. I am certain. But…my life grows short, and I must know knowing ere I depart. To search, to search, where can I go that I can know…knowing?

The material, the brain, yet defines my understanding. I search for the seat of being elsewhere and find it is the last place I look: the dreams of night, that is where; deeply in the knowing beneath the consciousness of being…awake. I drive myself to the seat of being which precedes the emergence of being human and of being who I am.

When computers first hit my life some fifty years ago, the question of leisure time, of being freed of the boredom of repetitive work, was hotly debated. Robots, computers would take over – it was said, and we would all be free. What would we do which was productive and enjoyable when hard work was over and done with, was a question asked frequently, looking forward to some other time in a future which would be…

The problem disappeared, the question of leisure was drowned in a flush of economic growth caused mostly, maybe, by a rush of people growing up, and the concept of leisure fell away. Now the fifty year dream is near the end of its mortgage, robots and computers do much work, and here we are with no one thinking about what to do with all the time. Switch to service jobs; serve the people, serve the computer, take lunch to a robot!

What fills a life that fulfills a life? What is doing which does something which is not work? What is leisure without a notion of work? What is work which is not a doing?

Augustine [“City of God”] thought we are basically lazy, and need prods to be made to work. Now prods, incentives, a problem of management, we are at odds with life, with work, with leisure. What leisure? What meaning?