Everything Trying

Peter-Trevelyan-10_incompleteness

Kurt Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems

Everything Trying: Practical Philosophy

I’ve been thinking a lot this weekend about a kind of “credo,” or some sort of explicatory description regarding foundational experiencing that informs my perspective on being / world / living.  I.e., what have I experienced in 45 years of surviving as a human organism – as a bookseller, musician, philosopher, father, academic librarian, various conventional-cultural-relationally-roled son / spouse / sibling / friend / coworker / writer; student of multiple disciplines – that comes so close to a similarity or repetition, a near-consistency, that it evinces as near as I can imagine to a belief or pattern, a compiling evidence or seeming-steadiness, structuring a framework for my perception and navigation of being a living thing.

As a bookseller, librarian, and philosopher (“professionally” for nearly two decades) – I find I operate with a kind of conviction (yet to be foiled) – that ANYthing ANYone can concoct or intuit as a query, theory, illusion or idea, dream / hope / fantasy or wondering, can be uncovered pre-existing SOMEwhere in the recorded history of homo sapiens.  I interpret this as indicating boundaries and borders of our specific kind of organism – albeit changing, adapting, extending and diminishing over and throughout time – limits or inherent finitude to our capacities, contextual whelmings, procedural experiencings of being human kind.

Conceptual development, creative expression, technological or theoretical “advance” or novel efforts or elucidations, all seem to come about as recombinations, complex reformulations, convergences or collaborative emergences and collusions of ever-present conundrums.  The sphere of human being bubbles at mysteries and limits, “realities” intrinsic to our kind of existing.  We seem to design and develop varieties of “tools” with which to supposedly plumb and plunder the ever-expanding cosmos of unknowing, but also seem to be simply drilling differing holes into an amorphous void – conjuring observations and explanations, combining fanciful analyses and results – constrained and directed by our “tools” of inquiry (whether conceptual hypotheses, technological apparatus, socio-political experiments, mythico-religious imaginings, practical experiences, and so on).

We are limited beings, with (to our aspect) unlimited potential.  Over millennia, this would not seem to be the ‘case” of the world.  We are limited at every angle and turn – another being alongside many other sorts of beings and organisms, each restrained by our compositions and abilities, our frailties and affordances.

(Apparently) potentially endlessly individuated differings and nuances of activity-in-the-world / also (apparently) insuperably restricted frontiers to our possible activities-with-the-world.  Like any other species (given our “ways-of-inquiry” or “points-of-view/sensing”) we arise or arrive via incredibly (and genuinely unknown) complex processes and will likely desist and depart via incredibly (and genuinely unknown) complex processes.

Given the limitations of our kind of being – with ALL things composing our surround and withins – it would appear:

  1. There is an inherent IRREDUCIBILITY to our existing and its conditions
  2. There is an apparent INEXHAUSTIBILITY to its potential recombinations, convergences, deformations and in-formations, and
  3. These things are essentially UNSAYABLE / INEFFABLE – non-computable, sayable, expressible, conceivable – to the kinds of being we happen to occur as.

Principles we only (it seems to me) slightly comprehend – incompleteness, complexity, irreducibility, relativity, and so forth – whatever these ideas’ standing might be in relation to anything we might posit as “reality” – (only ever from our miniscule, or relatively very limited sphere-of-experiencing) – combine to intimate that:

  1. We are “of the stuff” that any/every-thing else is, and therefore (in the conjectural “scheme-of-things”) are likely to appear and vanish in similar fashion…with any consistency / repetition (or “universal”) occurring as something we might term CHANGE, and…
  2. We are faced with options on a scale of AFFIRMATION / MEANING / SIGNIFICATION or PASSIVISM / NIHILISM / SURVIVALISM / ENDURANCE in regard to our occurrence and election/selection of guiding behaviors, traditions, emotions, sensations, intentions and interpretations of existing.

Innately, as it were, we elect/select these recursions and available gamut-of-human-existing ideas, processes, habits and practices (beliefs, behaviors, relations, stances) – all funded and founded on arbitrary groundings in individuated recombinations and experiencings suited to an effort at survival, that might be characterized (scalarly) on a wave-patterned range of “living” – each variable individuating occurrence (“self”) may characterize from “more-thriving” to “more-surviving” – or roughly resembling individuated differentiations of what we might interpret as experiencings of “pleasure” or “pain” and ever-changing self-selecting imaginings of ends or goals (telos).

For some of us, the very play and experimentation of extending and investigating limits and grounds, via the widest variety of human endeavor and activities we can surmise or imagine (currently) is a sort of curious “thriving” in itself.  I would call this something along the general web of “philosophizing” – but finds its application and practice in ANY human capability.  Whether adventurers, scientists, artists, inventors, warriors, parents, killers, children or politicians – ANY human might be experimenting and investigating, attempting to extend and elucidate (for their particularized occurring) their limits and grounds… what distinguishes what we might think of as philosophy or conceptual-knowledge involves a notable self-illusion-conviction of “reflection” or “recursive inquiry” (something variously nominated “awareness,” “thought,” “wisdom,” “faith,” or “fantasy”).

With the caveat (doubling as a confession of faith) – that the “whole ball of wax” as we are able to conjecture it – is ALWAYS BECOMING – with never a moment of stasis or rest.  There is never a moment to pin down or set grounds or fundamentals on – multi-relational interactive complexities never cease BECOMING other.  So even this “credo” is in flux…and will alter without notice.  Exactly as the living…

Compulsion, I suppose…

par example: https://creativisticphilosophy.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/formalizability-in-the-english-language/

In a word…

Emporia profile

Someone (some voice in my head) recently asked me this question:  “If you had only one word to describe human existence, from your experience, knowledge, and present perspective: what would that word be?”

I heard livingbeingsurvival…I thought – “What I think (I think, at least presently) is that you will never know, or be able to imagine, how you will survive.”  The jobs you will have, the people you will grow close to or far from, the ‘successes’ or ‘failures’ your path will exhibit, struggles or ecstasies you will sustain, what you will achieve or create or ignore or forget…you cannot predict, cannot forecast, how it will actually play out.  Loves, griefs, happinesses, sorrows, places, events, connections, schisms, likes/dislikes, preferences/abhorrences, and so on…

Looking back…one day…attempting to recount, account for, surmise or shape what happened!? in your life/lifetime/process – it will be surprising.  Unpredictable, unaccountable, unREcountable – a lot of “who would have imagined that!?”  Or that that would lead to that with her or him or them, and then that – who could have known?

SURPRISE!

Sure there are tendencies, “natural draws” as it were.  I’ve continually been uncomfortable with authority, laws, sunlight, loud noises and hot weather.  I’ve been consistently upset by imbalances of power, by crowds, by presuppositions and arbitrary assertions.  I’ve always been a touch distressed by the power of emotions and the weakness of will/intentions.  There are characteristics that appear contiguous – I’ve long been drawn to classical music / melodic / spare & melancholic sounds; I’ve always been invigorated by the rain; I’ve noticed a penchant for solitary spaces and human-less environments; a taste for progressive/reflective/informed/ intelligent culture (recognizing each of those as highly contested terms, i.e. – a fascination with communication – language, words, expressions, conventional meanings and gestures; a distaste for popularity & fame / ‘pop culture’/ mass effects; a distrust of temporary desire; an emaciated self-esteem and expansive self-concern; a craving for passion / romance / intensity of human encounter; and so on.  I’ve always moved toward cool colors, particularly in the fields of grey, stormy blue, dusty browns and pine-needle green; always distrusted people who shout, yell or preach – drama, makeup, surface effects.  Hell when we search for things consistent from birth to death, our lists could run quite long…and yet…

How’d we get here?  What if we look at the events, the people, the places, the feelings, interactions and all the ways we recall them (at specific instances, in particular situations)?

What if we look at what we do?  Whether we drink or smoke or not, get angry more or less, the ways we engage strangers / friends / family?  What we read, listen to, pay attention, are distracted by (same thing), are pulled to observe, think about, and why?  How much we touch?  When no one needs us?  When we’re alone?  Or falling to sleep?  Or have slipped out of the stream, have “free time,” traveling, assumed to be otherwise engaged?

If Mormons came to your door and asked “Do you believe in God?”  And you, after shuffling your feet, considering your day, pondering whether you wanted to spend part of it talking with religious strangers, checking in with your dependents (in this case, 4 children that are your human charge & devotion), zipping the past through your education, upbringing, familial ties & traditions, behaviors, relationships, responsibilities, concerns, and so forth, responded “No, no, I do not find myself believing in God.”  And then these polite young men said – “Well then, what do you believe in, if you don’t mind us asking?”

SURPRISE!

More shuffling, pondering, internal argument and gentleness, patience, consideration, critical inquiry…(i.e. politeness)…and “hmmmm!  I haven’t been asked that directly in quite some time!”  (Is it that no one wants to hear?  Know?  That I divert it?  Don’t know? Is “care” involved?).  I said something in the order of Meaning.  Something to the tune of – “Well, pardon me, but I guess I must believe/think (in Wittgenstein these are inseparable), that from our atoms & cells to our bodies, relationships, labor, behaviors, emotions, environment, world, ‘cosmos’ – trying to know as much as I can about each aspect of my being a human being – I think/believe that perhaps we each try to assemble, account for, respond, act, engage, construct experiences that give a shape to, a confluence, a medium, rationale, tone that feels satisfactory to our breathing, being, seeing, feeling, happening…making meaning, I guess.  Including, but oddly outstripping, simply surviving.  Much that seems unnecessary (tastes, preferences, selections, refusals).  Religions, philosophies, teams, employment, families, nations, entertainments, cultures and interests – all these might provide some larger structuring for our shaping, and all, no doubt, influence how we piece it together, make a kind of sense, provide potential “fits” for our choices, responses, activities and emotions…but we each also fashion all this living, this experiencing, this acting and being in apparently very idiosyncratic ways…”

“I guess I believe that this is the sort of thing we do.  I guess I think/believe that…at this moment.”

???

I think when these considerate young men return, and to the voice in my head that constantly interviews me…next time I might just respond:

SURPRISE!

I believe that life is surprising.  Unbelievable, astonishing, revelatory, frightening, sometimes shocking and amazing, astounding, uncanny and a pain/joy/ache/pleasure/exhaustion/stimulus to be wondered at.

My answer today, in one word…

Life is – surprise.

happy profile

“Whereof one cannot speak…” More Writings Unearthed

this repeated event of searching for blank pages only to find potential fertility in those already filled…

entries uncovered from March 2015

silencio

“WHEREOF ONE CANNOT SPEAK, THEREOF ONE MUST BE SILENT”

-Ludwig Wittgenstein-

HO SCIENCES, LOGICS, TECHNO-LOGICS AND MATHEMATICIANS!

PROGRAMMERS, DOCTORS, PHILOSOPHERS & ANALYSTS!

You have your discourses and discoveries, practices and spheres of operability!

You designate your domains through terms and definitions –

What is allowed and disallowed.

Vowed and disavowed.

Then silence.

EXPERIENCE

Whoever’s drawing lines of this and that, of here or there, of yes and no.

Whomever feeds the fuel of contradiction, against the singing speaking styles.

Whoever revels in dichotomy, clarity and divisions –

DIVERGE and then stay silent.

In complexity you must not speak,

on recursion and convergences be still,

traversing intersects and margins,

knotting nexuses and networks,

these zones your symbols will not call,

fringes disciplined discourses unable to name, locate, determine (undermine?)

WE UNDERLINE

AND HIGHLIGHT

HERE

REVEAL in complex approach – our work of ambiguity – perplexing and puzzling, unfathomable and obscure – in-determinate we sing, in language hard to cipher, discourse discomposing and dispossessed, polyphonious and multi-vocal, holding harmonies in dissonance

sing-speaking over/under/with

**********************************

Whereof can I speak?

I speak of pie.  Fruit pies.  My mother’s.  Yet I cannot speak, for I have never figured out how they can be the way they are.

I sing to love.  Great love.  Experiences and events so totalizing in kind that one fears one will not survive them.  And then does.  Yet I cannot speak to it because I am unable to account for it, explain it, or…

WRITING MEANS CLIMBING THE STEPS OF OUR LACK

-Edmond Jabes-

as if the aim of writing were to use what is already written as launching pad for reading the writing to come