Learning-With, Working In-Between

I found the following paper when cleaning up our dining room table to prepare for dinner:

Ida_Blog

What I learn from the inscriptions of my freshly teenaged/screenaged daughter is this:  POWERFUL WRITING CAN BE ABOUT ANYTHING.  Which inspires me, and supports a potent hunch I’ve been harboring over recent years and studies: that writing that works on or in us, that gnaws at us, strikes or challenges us, perhaps even changes or ‘enlightens’ us, nourishes or crushes us (as the human species we happen to be – capable of participating, communicating, coordinating variously fabricated scales of signification from the organismal, cell-based to communal (‘personal,’ ‘social,’ ‘political’-based) tends to be concocted up out from textures and materials of authentic self-report and confusion or lack [wonder? – our ability to ‘put-into-question’?].

That we make effort, perhaps progress, are sustained or contained, constrained or extended by core curiosity (query, investigation, inquiry, desire) around perceived conundrums, or LACK.

“This in-between feeling”: self-report (authentic within constrained conventions, perception, culture) + confusion, curiosity, a questioning, experimentation, conundrum = an access to the uncertain, the open, the unknown.

“If it is true that there is (in the Chinese language) a written character that means both ‘man’ and ‘two,’ it is easy to recognize in man he who is always himself and the other, the happy duality of dialogue and the possibility of communication. But it is less easy, more important perhaps, to think ‘man,’ that is to say, also ‘two,’ as separation that lacks unity, the leap from 0 to duality, the 1 thus giving itself as the forbidden, the between-the-two [l’entre-deux]”

– Maurice Blanchot, The Step Not Beyond

 

Human scientists, when they’re ‘successful,’ or ‘good’ combine observation / passion / desire / perception (experiment + experience) as authentic self-reports in a conventionalized constraint PLUS putting the conundrum or confusion (joining-with beyond-certainty) into question… open… ‘What Is…?’ ‘What If…?’ WHAT MIGHT MY HUNCHES, TROUBLES, EXPERIENCE, SENSES, DESIRES indicate?  Anything?  No-thing?

The litterateur, artist, therapist, musician – what COM-PELS us (pushes us forward-with-world, with-being) seems to be a kind and variation, repetition and difference of this experience + experiment – attempt at authentic self-report wedded to curiosity/wonder/or the putting-into-question of it.

Some empty set.

So Cantor’s infinity.  Einstein’s relativity.  Godel and undecidability.  Hegel, Husserl, Heidegger’s existentialism or phenomenology, Wittgenstein’s language and forms of life, Beckett, Joyce, Blanchot, Wallace proliferating or desiccating sentences – all seem to be appropriately tied, threaded and submerged in Experience + Lack, Perception + Desire, what we do not, perhaps can not, know.

When William James delivers a cumulative, culminative authentic and conventionalized self-report, a curious address called “Is Life Worth Living?”, or Socrates-Augustine-Leibniz-Nietzsche-Shakespeare-Kierkegaard [substitute names at will – Dante, Darwin, Dostoevsky, Proust, Sartre, Peirce, Melville, Dickens…] inquire “Why is there something rather than nothing?” or “Why is there anything at all?”… Why this!? We’re hovering about a lack – of understanding, apparent meaning, dissatisfaction, perhaps frustration, an emptiness, a hole in things we’re troubling, questioning.

‘Scientists,’ ‘psychologists,’ ‘poets,’ ‘lovers,’ ‘activists,’ ‘parents,’ and ‘priests’ are all pushed forward in these questions… core-conundrums, felt-vacuums, hitches, indications of LACK.

Resulting in remarkable attempts at authentic self-report coupled to curiosity / questioning / doubt.

Inquiry is effort.

In-between: knowing/experiencing and unknowing/confusion – experience and experiment.

“The center…[does] not hold”

Lacks.

We are not-yet-one (self-sufficient) and less-than-two (self and other).  Not an observer or experiencer without something observed/experienced.  Not a language or emotion without a group or felt-with or in-relation-to.  Not a happening without a happening-in, a happening-here, a happening-to.  Not a sound without a hearing.  A cell without surround, a border and environment.  No self without an other and all incomplete, undecidable, in flux and underdetermined.

ALWAYS IN-BETWEEN AND UNCERTAIN

An adolescent is able to capture and confess this…that alone tells me nothing together might do.

No “what if?” without something to work with.  No awareness without awareness-of.

And so “I,” her progenitor-father, study NOTHING.  The “what if nots?”  Incomprehensible, inexistent, perhaps inconceivable questions… indeterminable, indecipherable, perhaps unexperiencable and irrational.

At breakfast we speak of it.  Curiously, we authentically self-report our wonder, confusion and conundrums – our LACK – of understanding, of method, of language, of expression, experience… our limitations we might call ‘impossibility…’

That nothing is only possible when nothing is NOT.  That if we are able in relation to nothing… ‘we’ can not be there, or ‘be’ at all.  Nothing not even itself, not even an absence… to speak or think of it is to rush it away…

These are things I learn from my children – that our questions go unanswered, are (perhaps) unanswerable, that attempting authentic reportage (communicating) experience coupled to wonder, and putting-it-to-question, with humility, then, in doubt… perhaps drives our systems, our logics, our literatures, arts, sciences, and love… LACK that we do not know, can not (perhaps) know, are participants-at-scale – finite and fragile – and have our limits, open and undecided…

Without which…nothing?

Thank you dear children.

I am comforted almost to imagine you might be driven on…

…by your lack, your honest confusion, unsettledness, and authenticity.

Funny enough, the following short piece arrived in my email the same day…

Buechner_blog

Advertisements

Hyphen & Hymen, Pt. 2

“Philosophy is the hyphen and the hymen of Being, and difference is the trait that cuts across and unites the twofold side of Being [mathematic-genetic / poematic-epiphanic; or in-itself / for-us-in-it]”

– Michel de Beistegui, Truth & Genesis –

“each word, need no more words, we don’t need words about words, each word enough with its excess and insufficiency, proliferation and paucity, problematics and production, each term inevitable blunder and surprise, miscarriage and gratuity”

– N Filbert, journal entry –

Everything that is not linguistic is absurd

– Vilem Flusser, Philosophy of Language –

I have no story.

Wherever I occur in the tangled, incalculable threading we might call “existing” or “being” or “living” I can make out no beginnings nor endings, only enigmatic, complicated “is.”  Slight, partial, imperfect.

I have trouble with memory.

But we needn’t any other words.  Or more words.  Or words about words.  Any word is enough.

There’s no story not made of inadequate and superfluous words.  These words that might tremble any direction of the webbed and indecipherable, indeterminate and knotted operations that co-construct now, or whatever happens to be (for-us, with-us, in-us, with-out).

Stories like struck and resounding tones.

A vibration might seem harmonic or cacophonic, dull or brash.  Violent, vanishing, or barely perceptible in the noise.

There’s no story in this.  But many words, perhaps.

Wiggling, vague, offensive, bold, hardly visible, ephemeral words.  Terms (demands?), language (lingual?), weaving darts between – inventive, fabulating, reductive, constraining – unknown syllables, shapes, referents (irreverent) toward and away from…

Vocables of happening.  In-script-ions.  Tyrannical and uncertain.

Accidents and rules.

My body of words.  Limbs, organs, “hyphen and hymen” of being. My body of words – taste, touch.  What passes un-sign-if-i-cant?

Accidents and rules.

Birdsong.  Heard.  “Bird” “song” “to hear.”  This body of words.  No note without notation.  No recognition without cognition.  Any one word enough enigma.

Grass, caress, event: embodying words, wording embodied.  Tapestries or electrons – flood, immersion, surround within.  Languaging: gesture, groan, gelatinous.  Language.

Say “in-term-in-able.”  Say “de-term-in-ed.”

Hyphen.  Hymen.  Accident.  Rule.  Deceptive measurements.  Siphons, conduits, ex-press-in-g im-press-ions. 

One is enough to sense there’s no story here.

Always more-than-one.  All ways.

Perhaps what is called “experience” [what is it called “experience”? – one word is enough – think “love” or “fact,” “me” or “real,” even “tomato” to be made well aware of difference, ambiguity – of wobbling kinds pressed toward inauthentic and inaccurate generalities.  Uniformity.  Accidents and rules that hardly, so slightly, pertain].

Experience: inexpressible?  In-term-in-able?

What is the story here?  The trial and always (all ways) error.  Errant words.  Insufficient to their purposes (supposed).  Perhaps.

Purpose being?

The questioning.

Our voices and gestures.

Enigma.

Irresolvable, over-determined.  Language.

Systems like molds, scopes of lenses, structuring grids, abstract proofs and theorems:  rules and measures, melodies, diagrams – not mirroring, mirage.

I have no story to tell.

Untelling.  Moving back against the words with a “not.”  Unworking.  Unravel.  Erase.

Toward?

Experience: to test, try; to feel, to undergo.  Knowledge gained by repeated trials.  Risk.  Out-of.  Try.  To get handy at.

To undergo.  Gone under.

The Drunken Brain: Ending it all one word at a time.

In-term-in-able trials.  “Everything that what is isn’t” (Jan Zwicky).

“There is yet a way of speaking that leaves room for what can’t be said”

– Jan Zwicky –

Is there?

I’d like to language that way.  Move, sound, gesture, touch.  Word, waver, delete.

Try. 

From the midst.  In the midst of.  Within.  Risk, trying “out,” Feel, undergo.  Words.

I have no story either, no narrative or narrator.  I forget, I re-member, invent.  Wherever, whenever I am (is it “I”?) – multiplicity, indiscretion.  A-static.  No beginning, no ends, -ing, -ing, -ing.  Repeatedly, differently.

I think language pre-tends experience.

What is tried-out, already de-term-in-ed.

Oh to break.

To start.

To begin – become – be.

I have no story.

“I cannot get beyond language by means of language”

– Ludwig Wittgenstein –

Doing Undone

It would have to be fragmentary, partial

perhaps pointing, with hope,

like us, living things,

at any given moment:

 

saying things, not yet said,

ever in the midst of acts,

if there happens to be a real

it must be incomplete and full

of undoing and becoming,

of perhapses and oops

 

I had started out

at some point,

apparently ‘past,’

taking up this pen

and applying it to this

paper,

open screen, unknowable unknown,

had started out toward

an I

in order to write

“I had started out”

 

but all is different now

and now again,

again, again,

 

pointing hope

in fragments

assertions and insertions

of possible reals or facts,

some happenings of actuals

be-fore (in face of, in lieu)

words or some expression

 

impression

It stares out, staring in,

fractured and non-finished,

fetishized with objects

that stand for something else,

 

always something else

than what “is” or which has been,

unable otherwise,

simply is

-ing,

unfinished and hardly calculable,

impossible/compossible

and inexhaustibly exhaustible

perhaps

 

seemingly unfinished

and without beginning

(or we would ‘start’)

 

on a way then, in

midst of,

doing toward undone,

Between the Spheres

sketch by Hallie Linnebur

This is what it looks like, in the one hand

Between the Spheres

I try to wrap my mind around it.

An attempt to connect the two – a keen accomplishment (perhaps unique to all the world of humans) – of right knowing what left is doing, and vice-versa.

Lost along the way.

I describe it as a process – indicating neither beginning nor end-directing goal, but rather recursive procedural motions.  Realm of natural orders?  Reversible time?  Or indifferent to?

Can’t tell one from the other – hypothesize function – track trace with technology.  Pretend data.  Posit interpretation as theory.  Wind up again.

Variously termed reentry.  Autopoiesis.  Self-organization, containment, production.  Ouroborous.  Infinite regress.

Middle is muddle.  Diversely called.  Corpus Callosum.  Hermeneutics.  Subjective objectivity. The observer effect.  Confusion.

Fusion-with.  Heads and tails are absent, or amount to the same.  Keeping an eye (I) on the eye (I), so to speak.  There are no levels of perception, simply additive, truly more of the same.  No stacking, just tangle.  Alongside, underneath, around, beside, below and through, but ever bound by hemispheres.

Imagine dynamo-balls – activated collectives of interdependent energized cells humming, buzzing or otherwise functioning according to their wired connective wholes-in-part.  Betwixt the vibratory masses some buffery twingled transmission zone irrepressibly attempting translation of pulse-sorts, glyph-types, data blips…circuitously globe-to-globe.

I try to wrap my mind around it.

Wrapping, coiling, carrying…sire-wires…another organizational knottage of wattage…behavioral systems, courier-tropes, internal/infernal communications rife with all the residual, syntactical, emergent and scumbling give-and-take, mis-interpretation and noise.

Submarines and warships, encryption and decoding, fuzzily idiosyncratic as love or larger loops.  Chaos all the way down or ‘round.  Patterning bottom’s-up or through.

This is what it looks like, in the one hand.

Boiling it down to words

Scope.  Amount.  Scale.  Weight.  Quantity.  Quality.

Levels.  Layers.  Planes.  Fields.

Discourses.

Genetic.  Neuronal.  Cellular.

Physio- Bio- Psycho- Logical.

Socio-cultural.  Political.  National.  Natural.  Regional.  Personal.  Familial.

Speci-al.

At what, which, and how many – ?

Aesthetic.  Philosophical.  Anthropological.

Spiritual.  Zoological.  Hermeneutical.  Fantastical.  Objective.  Subjective.

Ontological.  Object-oriented.  Linguistic.  Super-natural.  Semantic.

Accounting.  Assessing.  Observing.  Reflecting.

Positing.  Reporting.  Reviewing.  Corroborating.  Demonstrating.  Scrutinizing.

Questioning.  Replying.

to what depth, amount, extent?

Hypothesizing.  Evaluating.  Theorizing.  Validating.

Claiming.  Proving.  Imagining.  Dreaming.  Making.

Inventing.  Fabricating.  Evidencing.  Doing.

Acting.  Thinking.  Being.

Saying.  Becoming.  Asking.

Telling.  Meaning.

Subconsciously.  Unconsciously.  Consciously.  Aware.  Remembering.

Hoping.  Feeling.  Sensing.  Perceiving.  Behaving.  Conjuring. Constructing.

Deconstructing.  Surmising.  Testing.  Forgetting.  Trying.  Grieving.  Pretending.

Wanting.  Wishing.  Loving.  Listening.  Sounding.  Hating.  Dwindling.

Deciphering.

Archaeological.  Historical.  Sociological.  Epistemological.  Scientifically.  Religiously.  Experientially.  Romantically.  Poetically.  Mathematically.  Surreptitiously.

Doubting.  Displaying.  Marking.  Determining.  Undermining.  Mistaking.  Remarking.

Portraying.  Representing.  Creating.  Erasing.  Collaborating.  Emitting.  Evincing.

Eliminating.  Describing.  Exploring.  Inscribing.  Translating.  Transmitting.

Mending.  Lending.  Tending.

how many ways on how many levels?

at what scope, scale, quality, quantity

depth, breadth, value, radius, remainder

quotient, sum, absence, addition

Discipline.  Field.  Behavior.  Practice.  Activity.  Interaction.  Stillness.  Thoroughness.  Modes.

Searching.  Re-searching.  Troubling.  Uncovering.  Accessing.  De-accessioning.  Programming.  Deprogramming.

at what point, proof, progress, prospect, projection

is one’s EXPERIENCE VALIDATED

as GENUINE, AUTHENTIC, REAL?

Aware and acknowledged

Approved

and to whom?  how?  why?

the what?

Inexhaustibility Theorem

Incompleteness Theorem

Uncertainty Theorem

Chaos Theory

Complexity

unbound                              incalculable                        not demonstrable

Begin.

The Joy of Incompleteness

“By Godel’s theorem the following statement is generally meant:

  • In any formal system adequate for number theory there exists and undecidable formula – that is, a formula that is not provable and whose negation is not provable
  • A corollary to the theorem is that the consistency of a formal system adequate for number theory cannot be proved within the system”

Rebecca Goldstein

“…there can be neither a first nor a last meaning; [anything that can be understood] always exists among other meanings as a link in the chain of meaning, which in its totality is the only thing that can be real.  In historical life this chain continues infinitely, and therefore each individual link in it is renewed again and again, as though it were being reborn…”

-M.M. Bakhtin-

“And so the world is interior to our mind, which is inside the world.  Subject and object in this process are constitutive of each other.  This doesn’t lead to a unifying and harmonious vision; we can’t escape from a generalized principle of uncertainty.  In the same way that as in microphysics, the observer disturbs the object, which disturbs the perception, in the same way the notions of object and subject are profoundly disturbed each by the other: each opens a crack in the other.  There is, we will see, a fundamental, ontological, uncertainty in the relation between the subject and the environment…a new conception emerges both from the complex relation between the subject and the object, and the insufficient and incomplete character of the two notions.  The subject must remain open, deprived of all decidability in itself; the object itself must remain open toward the subject and toward its environment, which, in turn, necessarily opens and continues to open beyond the limits of our understanding…

All this incites us toward an open epistemology…Epistemology is not pontifical nor judiciary.  It is the place of both uncertainty and dialogics.  In fact, all the uncertainties we have raised must confront and correct each another; there must be dialogue, without, however, hoping to stop the ultimate crack with an ideological Band-Aid.

“If this gap is recognized, then the gap becomes an opening of one toward the other, opening toward the world, opening toward a possible surmounting of the either/or alternative, toward a possible progress of knowledge…”

Edgar Morin-