Arguments, debates take place in ways which defy my understanding. A current debate on the nature-nurture controversy occurs between an old man who is some sort of turncoat, directed against the work of a now-dead woman, which she had done many years ago when she was very young.

The debate had caught-on, at least for a while, exciting those who want their own arrogance massaged, who suspect that others they do not like are inferior in some natural sense, leaving themselves superior in some natural sense. But why – in this context? Why – about the work of a young girl whose impressions may have been guided by some presumptions about the possibilities of the human condition? Why against M. Mead?

Well, she had become famous, the mother of the world, the oracle of oracles who would address all human problems and keep the lid on the world’s dangers. She did not address problems within a clearly intellective context, and she is easy to attack if the problem is shaped in certain ways, for being something, someone she never claimed.

The debater, an old man now, turned in his own life from her field, to one which seemed to locate itself deeply in nature; to be a lobbyist for the natural world, that it is clear to him what this means. He restudied her work of many years ago, and found it wanting, incorrect, of depicting the human condition in any way he considers to be natural.

She, by now mythic, beyond the legend in her own time, staring back at us from the Great Beyond, not fazed by the man, not afraid to wander into any arena where she could debate, could outshout, out-talk anyone. The great debate, and issue in world politics, fought out between personalities which attract and excite and resonate… [and obscure the issues!]

Between here and there, clear vision.

Nothing to shut out,

not a thing to blur

or to halt our seeing forever and with clarity.

We do not always see what there is.

Put glasses on, take them off, shut eyes, open, listen.

See, hear, feel, sense.

The inner voices obscure,

the day is blunted or celebrated,

and we do not hear.

The ears ring clearly,

music plays from the memory,

stirring voices into hums which ring the aura

which reflects the light reflecting sounds.

Like Plato’s caves, we live chained,

seeing shadows;

or the shadows of shadows.

We want, we don’t want,

what there is, what there should be,

cast into the shapes of things,

The objects of desire and moral suasion

moves our honesty,

recasting streams of being and solidifying factuality.

I fought to see,

to push away the curtains and veils of visions;

I fought to hear, to feel not just my feelings resonating,

but what there is.

I found myself floating

upon the waves of a thousand years’

thousand years of why’s and because’s

blunting the sharpness of outline and of detail.

Entering Heraclitus’ river,

I found it always different,

but always different in the same direction;

upstream and downstream.

It never lay still, but neither did I.

Wanting stillness,

seeking to sleep so my dreams

might tell me what was,

I floated,

and lulled myself into the calms

from which I could look out

and tell that all was as it was, was as it is…

The erosion between our sense of what belongs to life and what belongs to death, of what is life’s and what death’s, is increasingly in our thoughts. Driven by a gathering sense of economic dread, pushed by a government which needs active enemies to distract us from any concern with the living of life, we find it easier and more compelling to wonder why we are here – on earth – to conflate the everyday events of living into all of life…and to think it is all an illusion.

Salvation now! Salvation; once and for all, today is forever. Salvation wipes out, blinds us to the experience of living, of any yesterdays or particular tomorrows. Today and tomorrow become one. Life is not anything in and of itself. As I disappear from my own life, from living, others retreat into the heavenscape, become dim, misty. The occasional joys, the frequent pains of living are reinterpreted in each experiencing from some distancing perspective, as something other than they are…were.

There is no me, there are no others, I have fallen from Heaven into this, this vale of tears and fears. Safe from life. Save me, Oh mystifier of Life! Safe from life…a confusion between what is good and what is evil and whether they account for anything at all as they rob us of the life we are given.

Life-as-death. Who can refute this? Who would want to? What sense a God who would destroy Life as “He” gives it…?

To spite, I think, the arrogance of historiographers that all of progress is dialectic, that one side contradicts another to resolve in some somewhat new synthesis, it does sometimes happen that issues are in some interesting or significant opposition.

Most of the time, however, the process of the world is not oppositional but one side or position passes the other-by…on different trajectories in alternate concepts of what is a space.

But when resolutions occur, when a concept is bombarded, reasonably, in terms of its contradictions, its fading applicability, its historical place no longer, then the issue of process, of a certain sense of historical progress, is – as they say -interesting.

The difficulties include the outlook that all is dialectical, that change and history emerge from opposites, that the temptation, the persuasion of thinkers who want to taste or revel in change, spend their energies constructing theories of what is an opposition, thereby to discover meaning: for themselves? – for meaning’s sake?

But here, meaning and the politics of ideas-in-opposition merge, and it is difficult to distinguish what is meaning from what/who wins or loses.

It is difficult, too, to say that meaning or winning from a dialectic process is, in any real sense, progressive; merely that one occurs later than another, or displaces it. Here the winners claim primacy, virtually because they won, but call it ideological or truth.

Here, too, the claims of prophets tend to outweigh the claims of wisdom.

…and where am I?

Entering into the bureaucratic fray with my self, I thought, on the line, I discovered I did not exactly exist.

“I want,” I cried out into the winds blowing back at me, the spittled sounds thrown back into their esophageal source before they hardly passed the lips hoarsely whispered. “I want,” diminished into an unbearable, unheard, un-I-am.

“You are,” they told me each, who we say you are; a digit, a few numbers in a master main frame which writes checks each pay day, a contract for certain services. “You are,” I didn’t hear at first. “You can’t, cannot have,” grew inaudible at first crossing paths with my own, “I want” – then grew incessantly louder, bigger, encompassing my “I wants,” surging to a gigantism beyond my being.

I sat here licking wounds, my sheepish dog’s tail hanging down, wagging just so slightly to blow away the fumes of self’s fogging disappearance, trying to clear the air so I can see where I am, now, assess the wounds and other damages, and seek the places whose paths have not yet chosen to reveal themselves.

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.

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