Archive for September, 2007

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Curious George III

September 28, 2007

George III

 

 

Monarchy can easily be debunked, but watch the faces, mark well the debunkers. These are the men whose taproot in Eden has been cut: whom no rumour of the polyphony, the dance, can reach – men to whom pebbles laid in a row are more beautiful than an arch. Yet even if they desire mere equality they cannot reach it. Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes or film stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison.
C S Lewis.

Monarchy is the one system of government where power is exercised for the good of all.
Aristotle, 322-384 BC.

Disclaimer: The above statement does not imply that all monarchies exercise there power for the good of all, it does imply that monarchies are the only government where such is possible.

People often ask me: “What political party are you?”. That is a hard question to answer for a person who has no inherent interest in party politics, who doesn’t believe the authority given to a leader by voting, who could never feel loyalty to a leader simply because he garnered more votes, and worst of all who is doomed to leave in 8 years. There is no party for those who think a democracy, or even the will of the people, is not a proper or legitimate government. Who do I support in 2008? I throw my entire support behind the Queen Mother herself.

The problem with democrats is that they do not understand politics or history. The problem with republicans is that they do not understand philosophy or ethics. These are the two parties which form the majority of our country. Even those who claim independence from such categories often fall into the same problem. They are either overly idealistic, and as such refuse to recognize the inherent limitations of our political system, or they are overly realistic and fail to grasp the revolution of ideologies in the 20th century. Both of these limitations make an understanding of foreign politics and domestic issues completely impossible, and as such makes for a completely ignorant basis for a voting populace.

A great majority of modern citizens know nothing about democracy as a government. They know about American democracy and the founding fathers, but they know nothing of previous democracies or the inherent problems of a democracy. Our founding fathers picked democracy for a reason, and what little of it was not ideological, was rational and based on the inability of a democracy to progress. A democracy is inherently slow, cumbersome, burdened, argumentative, and completely contradictory. This was the government the founding fathers wanted… and they wrote a constitution to reflect this. Unfortunately for our founding fathers, they knew nothing of 20th century ideologies, international terror, nuclear and biochemical weapons, or most importantly a civilization with ADHD.

Our government no longer has the time to wait. This is the lesson of Pearl Harbor. Technology has outstripped the usefulness of democratic deliberation. Ideology has created the desire of entire countries to obliterate entire cultures and technology has given them the ability to achieve this desire. A government must be built on the ability to keep its citizens safe and that can no longer happen in a slow and deliberative pace.

If our century has not outgrown the usefulness of a slow and deliberate government, our citizens certainly have. If progress is not made immediately then the process is deemed a quagmire and any error or flaw in the plan is immediately uncovered and deemed unethical. A democracy was not designed to operate in these conditions. Freedom of speech itself is designed to be responsible and informed, but we no longer have the time. Media makes more mistake than governments, but has no one to answer too. The end result is a government that cannot make plans or advance because it is too afraid to make mistakes, but at the same time cannot maintain a slow and deliberate pace do to outside control. A democracy in the 20th century is incapable of acting for the good of all, lest it be destroyed by its own people.

In a democracy the government is responsible to the people. In order for it to act for the benefit of all people, then every person needs to know what is good for them. If there is anything more obvious to any studier of ethics, philosophy, or history, it is the FACT that people almost never know what is best for them, especially when they are in large groups. It may be slim that a monarch could ever do this, but it is downright impossible for a democracy to do it. Not only is it impossible but it often leads to crimes of good intention. Wars, depressions, and even downright racism have been enacted out of intentions of safety and progress. This is what a democracy does.

I guess it comes down to who you support. Are you a bush-guy or a kerry-guy. For me Bush is the perfect democratic president. He acted swiftly and got re-elected. He is the reflection of the government that he was elected to serve. Democracies are inherently secretive, judgmental, sporadic, and inefficient. Of course Iraq is a mess. Of course Vietnam was a mess. Democracies cannot wage war because its entire government is doomed to switch after 8 years (max). No war can be won completely in 8 years. Every president knows he will only be responsible for his 8 years (even though the consequences are often much longer lasting) and that their only job is to get re-elected. This is the inherent product of voting and term limits. The people who imposed these constitutional limitations knew this, we do not. So instead of understanding we get angry at a regime who is only doing what a democracy demands they must do.

Technology has destroyed the idea of isolationism. Like gunpowder removing the protective nature of the Great Wall, the ability of mass obliteration has demanded that a democracy be internationally active. Unfortunately, a democracy, being slow and inefficient, cannot compete with fascism and terrorism (or any other ideological movement). The only thing that has kept us safe thus far is a giant pond and monarchal support. The advent of nuclear missiles, biological warfare, and terrorism have created an atmosphere where initiative means life or death of the entire system. Democracy will always choose safety over freedom, and equality over prudence. Modernity, on the other hand, demands speed over justice. If you are going to keep your people safe then you must do it fast, and quickness lends itself to error and atrocity. It is either make grievous errors or risk destruction. That is a heavy coin to flip. One that a democratic leader is never prepared to do, and almost always chooses incorrectly. It is the job of the voter to call him out on these errors, I agree, but it isn’t going to help anything.

It is time that we face history and inevitability. The democracy has outgrown its usefulness.

This war would never have come unless, under American and modernizing pressure, we had driven the Habsburgs out of Austria and the Hohenzollerns out of Germany. By making these vacuums we gave the opening for the Hitlerite monster to crawl out of its sewer on to the vacant thrones. No doubt these views are very unfashionable….
Winston Churchill, 8th April 1945.

If the Allies at the peace table at Versailles had allowed a Hohenzollern, a Wittelsbach and a Habsburg to return to their thrones, there would have been no Hitler. A democratic basis of society might have been preserved by a crowned Weimar in contact with the victorious Allies.
Winston Churchill, 26th April 1946.

The Queen’s appearances abroad do more in a day to gain goodwill for Britain than all the politicians and diplomats lumped together could achieve in years.
Sir Alec Douglas-Home (Prime Minister 1963-64).

The Tarquins, meanwhile, had taken refuge at the court of Lars Porsena, the King of Clusium. By every means in their power they tried to win his support, now begging him not to allow fellow Etruscans, men of the same blood as himself, to continue living in penniless exile, now warning him of the dangerous consequences of letting republicanism go unavenged. The expulsion of kings they urged, once it had begun, might well become common practice; liberty was an attractive idea, and unless reigning monarchs defended their thrones as vigorously as states now seemed to be trying to destroy them, all order and subordination would collapse; nothing would be left in any country but flat equality; greatness and eminence would be gone for ever. Monarchy, the noblest thing in heaven or on earth, was nearing its end.
Livy, The History of Rome from its Foundation, Book II.

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The sex you slipped into my coffee

September 26, 2007

“In the world to come, I shall not be asked, “Why were you not Moses?”  I shall be asked, “Why were you not Zusya?” – Rabbi Zusya.

The stranger’ mouth opens and has only one question: “Who are you?”. There is not a harder question, no more frightening inquiry then this assault on one’s being. It demands simplicity, it demands accuracy, and it forces the person to sum all of his actions in one easily defensible statement. The usual response is none of these, it is usually a name. “My name is Jonas”Who are you is not merely one question, it is all questions. To answer it properly one must know what he is, how he is what he is, and most important why he is. The biggest problem with this is that there is no proper response to the question: “who are you?”. There is no possible way, no amount of words that can sum up a human being’s character for in the process of self-assessment one is radically changed. To even begin to ponder the answer to the question “who am I” is to reflect on the very foundation of your soul. What is the thing that you call your self?

A name is never enough. Let us take the prime example of a human relationship, that of the lover. Is it enough to know your lover’s name? Does saying her name actually sum up what she is, or why you feel the way you do about her? Does her name in any way actually reflect the thing that she is or is it merely shorthand for all the things that compose her? Let us take it further. Make a top 10 list of attributes which best compose your lover make no shortcuts, have no brevity, and list the top 10. We are left with 10 words, and nothing more. We have come no closer to the understanding of our lover at all; we have only asked more questions.

For each attribute described in words there are 10,000 reasons why we feel our lover represents these traits. Every action we have observed somehow informs the tremendous scale that weighs our heart. Each action is then represented in another word, equally as meaningless, which in futility describes the one we love. So the process continues onto infinity and we are left with only on conclusion – the utter worthlessness of words when it comes to adequately describing the truly beautiful.

What ever makes up a man, it is not words. For instance, more often than not, the response to hearing one’s own name is very different depending on tone and source. When my mother says my name it means an entire list of indescribable feelings that entirely different than the entire list of indescribable feelings I get when a lover says my name. So what’s in a name? Nothing except what you put into it. The concept of identity is one that has long been the bane of mankind. It defines the unearthly schism that tears man’s being in two. Man’s duel nature often causes a great gap between ought and is. Whether through self-reflection or in the eyes of others, mankind is forever trapped in the ‘is’ and aiming at the ‘ought’. Self-reflection is the topic for another discussion, and involves tremendous difficulties. For now we will look through another’s eyes.Whether we like it or not our identity is thrust into public domain every time we leave our home. Whether we like it our not, everyone should and must make judgments on the identity we present. Whether we like it our not light is faster than sound, and as such, people will see us before their ears can hear the defense for our actions. A person’s first insight into the identity of another is almost always the ‘is’ of a person. It removes all future plans, all non-physical traits, and the direction the human being as individual is traveling. The first insight mostly concerns itself with very basic observations which one is forced to make a judgment on.As much as we like to say that a book should never be judged by its cover, the book must be judged by its cover. The cover of the book contains the title on the front and the synopsis on the back, between the two of them is the summary of the entire book. If the title is unclear and the description insufficient one should not pick up the book. Certainly a book shouldn’t be judged merely by its cover, but at the same point, if a book wants to be read it must present itself accordingly. This is the nature of man in the eyes of others. When one enters the world for the first time he is largely defined by how he presents himself physically, whether we like it or not.

The idea of the ‘is’ is very important in modern day because it forces people to take responsibility for how they present themselves. When someone presents themselves physically in public they should take into consideration that this is the first thing people will know about them. The first thing people know about you will effect greatly how the rest of their thoughts about you progress because their idea of your ‘is’ determines how they view your idea on the ‘ought’. Since man almost always turns to the future to determine if the journey is worth the outcome, it is very important for him to attempt to understand how another person views their ‘ought’ or their path. Since the ‘ought’ of a human being, their idea of who they want to become, is often clouded to even the person himself, it cannot be expressed well. Therefore one is left to make assumptions on a person’s ‘ought’ based on what they have presented their ‘is’ as.

A growing problem, especially among teenagers, is extreme vulgarity in how they present themselves. When they even wear fitting attire, which is rarely, it is covered with slogans, words, and signs which are designed to insight three emotions: Sexual arousal, anger, or fear. This is what teenagers and children are presenting as their ‘is’ and we should take it as a sign of their ‘ought’. What I am really interested in talking about is this particular form of presenting the ‘is’ among women my age, but a few quick words for the guys.Modern clothing for men is usually oversized and covered with swears, gang signs, is tattered, or is mobile advertising for their favorite band, sports team, or video game. The former 4 are clearly forms of intimidation and toughness which will either promote fear or anger among viewers. The latter three are ways of alerting the viewer of your likes and dislikes which allows them to understand you better, and in most cases, is fairly harmless. A person’s favorite band printed on their t-shirt can help them find others interested in the same types of music without having to even say a word, which can be useful. But once again, if this is all the person wears, they become merely a stereotype that others can’t relate with unless they know EVERY band for EVERY shirt he wears, which can be bad.

Finally to the point. Women’s clothes are almost always woefully insufficient at covering their bodies and when they do actually cover something it is skin tight. On top of this grotesque visual prostitution are words printed in giant letters. These words are usually distorted and stretched by the tight fabric it is printed on and begs the viewer to read what they say. This obviously simple ploy is to direct attention to where the slogans are written which is almost always across their chest or across their ass. It looks like these women forgot to dress before they left their house. Some of these girls wear more clothes to bed then they do to the mall, it’s very disheartening.

Lack of clothing breeds an intimacy between an individual and the one viewing it. The more you reveal of your actual self in public affects two things: How other people view you, and how you view yourself. Beginning with the former. Lack of clothing, for instance, increases proximity by allowing someone to know more about you (the physical manifestation of you, that is). By wearing less, in public, you promote the idea that more of you is public. This of course means, less of you is private. When less of something is private it encourages an outside viewer to treat it accordingly. Lack of clothing then is a limitation on an individuals ability to say “this is MY body” because they have presented it so publicly and without shame that others have no choice but to assume “this is her body, which she willingly shares with us”.Tight clothing reveals in a different way. Tight clothing is meant to highlight parts of your natural body without actually revealing the skin that makes it up.

This slight type of modesty only promotes lust in other people. The more one promotes their physical aspect in first insights the more they are viewed as someone who is physically oriented. The viewer is then forced to make the assumption that a women dressed in this manner is driven primarily at physical beauty which tells them how to act around them. This presentation of the self will usually attract people who are only interested in the body. Combined with the former assertion this will attract people who are interested only physical stimulation and feel that their are few boundaries between them and what they want. This is true, with some exceptions, whether we like it, or not.What you wear also says a lot about how you view yourself. Some of this was touched on above. Someone who dresses in scant amounts of tight clothing is obviously proud of their body, not an entirely bad thing. The down side to this is that they view their assets, a good body, as something to be shared with the public. It is good to be proud of your body, but sometimes being proud of something means saving it for the proper viewer. It’s like showing the Venus De Milo to a 16 year old, sure they think its cool to look at a naked woman, but do they really understand its beauty?

Close proximity and increased willingness to be physical combined with the intoxicating hubris of half-naked individuals often leads to increased lustful activity. We have become a society where teenagers are getting pregnant, divorces are becoming prevalent, and children without homes are becoming greater in number and we refuse to see where all of this is coming from. Our society is becoming ever more comfortable with the idea of ‘is’ and would rather not have an ‘ought’. This combined with a subconscious embrace of lustful activities has lead to a rash of poor decisions. These poor decisions stem from a lack of any forward thought because of overwhelming momentary pleasure – a rejection of the ‘ought’.

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Rome Wasn’t Burned in a Day

September 21, 2007

We didn’t start the fire – Billy Joel

Every once and a while you need a forest fire. You have to set things right again, back to the start, bathed in ashes. Aristotle once said that man is the only animal who can be sad after sex. Sex is a reminder than you will die. We must have sex because we must die so we must make replacements for ourselves. It is in this manner that the first sprouts of life first break the thick black ash reminder of a forest fire.

Heraclitus, who believed that the only constant was change, thought that the world was made of fire. Modern science has brought us back to this classical position. It seems that energy is at the bottom of everything. The entire universe is change. We expand, we contract, we live, we die. We see our mortality in the eyes of our children. Those tiny little lanterns carry the fire of the soul onto into the world.

There is an idea out there that our entire history has been a progress. The idea, despite its clear faults, has found tremendous support in the technological age. Medicine allows us to waste twice as much time as any of our ancestors could’ve dreamed of. I ask this: What good is a long life unless you are a Shakespeare? a Michelangelo? We just delay the fire, we set it against the horizon and let the bright neon lights of the city drown out its beautiful purple and pink hues.

Death, that ever present spark, has found ways of reminding us of our frail human lives. Despite our childish invincibility we still watch the undeserving die. We say “they are going to a better place” while we are dressed in the black suits of mourning but we worship Bertrand Russell around the water cooler in our posh suit and tie. Nietzsche smiles, but we blink, and we miss it.

Isn’t it strange how every person believes that the time they live in is the best. Everything around them is the greatest (in evil or good). It is the best of times it is the worst of times. Nobody is ready to admit that they condition they live in is actually bland and normal. Every condition is unique and peculiar. Every trial is harrowing, every achievement is the greatest. Tradition and history have been outstripped by progress.

An Example:

Verizon’s slogan “progress every day”. We are driven. We are going forward but not in any direction. Progress means something different to everyone yet everyone believes we are making it. Progress means abandoning the things you have, the past, the history, the tradition. Progress carries an automatic validation that does not allow for question. Things are labeled as progress before their results can truly be seen. Unfortunately progress is seen in past tense. Like a child looking through the back seat of a Volkswagen, or a man watching the sun set behind New York City, or a man dressed in ill-fitting uncomfortable cotton linens in a hospital bed who has finally made the choice to throw in the towel. Tell the dead and dying about progress and the silence will laugh the loudest.

We can now turn ashes into diamonds. A cremated loved one can now be a piece of jewelry. The once mysterious rebirth of a phoenix has a price tag. Ashes were once part of vital Native American ceremonies and Catholic dogmatic practice. Now they are sold to the highest bidder. Try growing a tree in a pit of diamonds and it will die. The circle is being interrupted. Everyone wants eternity, immortality, irresponsibility. 

Thought: Morality is inherently tied to Mortality – Read Hans Jonas.

Who are we to be? Prometheus? Nero? Billy Joel? Perhaps even Guy Montag? Has the problem grown out of our control? Are we little children setting ants on fire with a magnifying glass? Or are we the ants? No answers this time around. Only more questions

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Moving Toward A Metaphorical Ontology

September 20, 2007

“Be that as it may, an angel of great beauty and strength turned against the incomprehensible Unity, for he uttered the word “I,” which meant separation” – Cheslaw Milosz – Second Space

 The incomprehensible unity of the entire universe was rent from its perfection when the first thing passed into being. ‘To be’ means autonomy. For something as simple and mindless as matter has separation. Existing means able to be defined and recognized as a separate unit. No longer is the unit an accident of another, nor is it enslaved to the will of another, it is not a thought attached to a mind, it is a thing. This thingness demands a separation, and of course, a freedom.This separation, this autonomy, is manifest in the word I.

The separation and freedom of matter has little effect, but the separation and autonomy of man has been at the center of philosophy for the past 100 years. Millions of years of growing complexities have rendered us more free, and yet more needy. Life, the pinnacle of freedom, also needs tremendously. Life, in fact, is enslaved by its needs. Hence creation, to act of creating (ex nihilo), is an act that not only brings something from nothing but it also grants it a freedom and neediness. To create, to bring into being, means to set something apart from you. To set something apart means to no longer enslave it to your will. The object created is no longer an extension of the creator but a thing unto itself.Language brings thought into reality. Language allows for abstract ideas to exist. Suddenly, with the advent of communication, man can talk about things that do not manifest themselves in a physical way.

The ability to insert any available word with any available meaning into a series of grammatical laws makes possible the contemplation of abstract ideas. “Where is the fruit tree?” is very different than “Where is justice?”, even though they utilize the same grammar. Hence we bring concepts like the location of justice into the same arena as the location of the fruit tree. The same applies to the answers: “In the center of the garden” is very different than “In the mind of the creator” for instance. Even though both declare a location they differ very greatly in principle. This brings me to an important point.The second response: “In the heart of the creator” is a metaphor. If there is a creator, he certainly doesn’t have a heart, as such. If he did have a heart, it would no contain justice, but blood. That is, after all, what hearts do.

However, it is impossible for justice to be located in a purely physical way, otherwise we would be able to see it, or touch it, or smell it, but we can’t. Hence we utilize metaphor in order to discuss those concepts and ideas that reach further than our senses. A metaphor is the creation of a relationship between two concepts that are not ordinarily in relation in physical world. It is most often utilized by poets and authors for describing an every day experience by adding the subtext of the event.

Human beings know that actions are often connected to something deeper than the merely sensible. Emotions, habits, virtues and vices all exist in a way that is not immediately observable but are clearly there. To capture this sub context of being and action, the poet and author use metaphors. When Milosz says, “Everything that creeps, runs, flies, and dies is an argument against the divinity of man” he is saying something comprehendible but also deeper. These creeping crawlers don’t actually have arguments against man, the arguments are within man himself, but find their basis in the natural world, and in death.In this way, a relationship is a state of being. To be in a relationship with something else is to be in a different state of being. Something as simple as the proximity of my desk to my bed is a state of being, though a highly malleable state of being. Bigness, quickness, heaviness, and hardness are all qualities of a thing that can be said to exist although in the most limited sense. It is very easy to make the big small, the quick slow, the heavy light, and the hard soft which makes the state of being very ephemeral but it is still there.

It is important to keep this distinction in mind, as it is ignored by modern philosophy. Speech allows us to understand the non-sensible ideas. These ideas are far more important, and are closer to the actual reality of things than the sensible. The first cause is one of these ideas. The sensible merely tells us the causes without which the cause could not be a cause, the necessary but not sufficient causes of our existence. Matter is corruptible and not eternal unless in a form. The eternal truths are never material, can never be sensed, and are the sole matters of mind and language.

Hence words, via speech and writing, bring complex abstract ideas into the world of physical observation. By seeing or hearing a word I can understand the idea behind it because of the gifts of my mind. This is the concept of definition or meaning of a word. Yet a new phenomenon occurs, one described above, and that phenomenon is a metaphor.

Metaphors enter words into relationships. These relationships are completely new to the world of things. Speech allows the non-sensible to be sensed and enters the grand ideas into relationship with the low material causes. The result is a symbol or image that carries the weight of these tremendous ideas in the shallow habitat of the common object. As such, a good metaphor will reveal to us the grand idea by using the common object. This ability to teach us the grand idea lets us know more about our reality than is present in the common object. It is because of this relationship and its tremendous benefits that such arts as poetry, theology, and philosophy favor the tool of metaphor. The creation of relationship, however, while bringing something into existence that never did before, also sets its apart. The image or symbol becomes detached from its creator and becomes free to be observed. By putting grand ideas in relation with the sensible you also make them prone to the same corruption and taint that cohabitates with all the virtues of material existence. To allow something to be observed is to put faith in the receiver of the image to understand it in its fullness. Because grand ideas are hardly ever grasped in this fullness it leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation and corruption. Equal to the love in which we approach good symbols is the hate in which we approach bad symbols. This is the price of bringing the abstract into material reality and this is why the job of the poet, theologian, and philosopher to decipher these symbols properly and to create new ones to guide and teach man is never complete.

The best example I can give of both good and bad symbols is revealed to us in art. Perhaps some of the most profound imagery (a painted metaphor), some of the most transcendent beauty, some of the thoughts closest and grandest, have appeared in art. Perhaps the height of man’s intellectual symbol making is present in Renaissance art. Yet, how far we have fallen in our vanity, to the lows of modernity. Upside down urinals designed to mimic a waterfall is not a good symbol. It does not aim us toward anything high, it aims at confusion, at defamation of the symbol; it aims at the perversity of the artist himself who attempts to push the boundaries of symbol, of art, of image. Such pushing attempts to place the artist above the art, to enslave the art, to confine it’s meaning to a personal understanding rather than a universal. Such art does not allow for freedom, it does not bring something into being, it pushes it under subjective understanding which is forever imprisoned in the human mind, and can never escape to the world of things.

This is modern art. Modern art is the last man standing at the top of the mountain screaming “I….I….I”. Thus man is the only creation endowed with the ability to create. The only other example, given to all animals, is the act of birth. Birth however most certainly involves forces outside of man. Speech alone gives birth to relationships of ideas. Such relationships, which foster in the human mind, can be brought into reality through this precious and divine gift. To speak is to create, to set an idea free, and to place it at the mercy of its recipient. Such creation should be done with very careful means. It has the power to destroy nations, the ruin lives, and to bring great evil and suffering into the world. Yet it also has the power to elevate man closer, inch-by-inch, to the truth.

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I have come to a stark conclusion

September 18, 2007

“Tell me whom you love and I will tell you who you are.” Houssaye

I have come to the stark conclusion, despite the reservations of my better half, that the human race, as a series of individuals, rather than a whole entity, desires the complete obliteration of individuality. It is obvious that by the light of day man claims utter loyalty to concept of extreme individuality, of freedom, of radical selfhood as opposed to otherness. It is certain that man wants to put his name on every piece of paper, on every statue erected, and to say it after every act accomplished. Yet, in the darkness, at night in the silence of stars dying man wishes for completeness, wholeness, and the strength that comes with the absolute, unquestioning, complete forfeit of the self into the slavery that is humanness.

The claim to selfhood is an egotistical claim. It is the claim of a madman, awash in a sea of bodies, the dead and the living alike, who share a name, a face, a common bond yet he screams “Me, Me, Me”. This is the same man who claims ownership of things, taking them into his self and saying “My, My, My”. Is this the happy man? Is this humanity?

If you claim to be an individual, then you have not loved. If you claim to be free, then you have never been human. If you think that you heart, brain, and body have a name, then you do not know them. For in the darkest times, in the pit of crisis, in the void doubt and loathing, who do we turn to? When the complete neediness of mankind wracks us whose name do we call? Surely the man who calls his own name is lost, surely he is damned.

Salvation lies in the becoming of another. Blessed is transformation, is unity. To become another is both paradox and common sense. Who is themself all the time? The stagnant, the heretic, the fanatic, not the human. What is true education? The becoming of another. Whoever acts the same when they fall in love as they did when they were alone is a soulless snake whose tongue says one thing but heart desires another. (“Love makes mutes of those who habitually speak most fluently.”) Yet is not love, is not education, is not change what desire most? Is this not within us? This drive to sacrifice our self to the other.

It is from love that we make the voyage into the other. And from this voyage we gain only love. Like Father, like Son. Yet love is also reciprocal, and demands two separate entities. What is union between one thing and itself? Cohesion? We care not for union of one with self, but one with one. Yet here we arrive at individuality again. In order to enter in union we must be separate, yet in order to be happy we must be in communion with the other. Through it all love hangs between us as a third ambiguous entity as both cause and end. It binds us and drives us to be bound yet once bound we can no longer love.

It is from this paradox that arises a three pronged universe. The is, the meaning of is, and the ought of the is. The is is becoming while it is ceasing to be. Yet it maintains its meaning (Or identity in the case of mankind). While having a meaning it also maintains an ought which dictates the current meaning is not correct and demands a new meaning without embracing a new is. All three are the same object, they share the same physical space, they are all part of the thingness of the thing, yet they are three separate things. A man as he is, is not as he ought, and the man as he ought or as he is, is not his meaning. The meaning of a man is entirely incorporeal, where clearly a man is corporeal. Both the is and the ought are partially corporeal but only the is exists within time. The ought exists only outside of time governing the is, without ever knowing the burden of temporality.

From this trinity arises three ways of understanding the world. Man can understand things as they are, or how they appear. He can also understand things as they ought, according to his understanding. Or he can understand the meaning or gravity of an object as it relates to the whole of existence. In this way we arrive at common sense, the arts and sciences, and philosophy. This is also why common sense, although it appeals to us as we are, often falls short of understanding a thing, and why our senses often fool us. Likewise the arts and sciences, while they can tell us how things ought to be, often fail to understand the simple and common phenomena of human existence, like love. Finally we arrive at philosophy whose job, as it tries to know the whole, is also to reconcile common sense knowledge with the knowledge of the arts and sciences. Since it attempts to unite two others into one unity (as it also attempts to unite all of existence into one unity, called truth) it is rightly called ‘love’. Yet in combining the two it finds only how they disagree without any actual ability to mediate. To put it simply, in making the two into one it doesn’t respect the individual assumptions from which both are based. The mind is not the body. Thinking (or rationalizing) does not always agree with what is sensed. Joining the two into one does not take this simple fact into consideration and hence we arrive at the falling off of philosophy.

It is precisely for this reason that the dialectic fails to solve the problem of philosophy. Thesis and anti-thesis combine to form synthesis but still leave both thesis and anti-thesis. Like residue from an experiment the thesis and anti-thesis remain to claim autonomy from the synthesis, and rightly so. What is a man without his senses? Yet what is a man without reason? Yet the man who tries to use both perfectly with end only in confusion. Thus the thesis and anti-thesis, despite their shared destiny to unite in synthesis, will always be separate. Despite the fact that synthesis gives meaning to both thesis and anti-thesis, it calls for there meager existence to sacrifice itself for a better, it can never claim them entirely. For a whole is always defined by its parts – and parts are always defined as ‘not wholes’.

It is certain that all parts, so much as they can, desire to be a whole. Wholeness combines is, ought, and meaning into one. It is also what we call truth, that principle which makes a whole of everything. In human terms, we call this desire, the greatest of all desires, love. Yet the love of something is not love itself, nor is it love as it ought to be. Hence now, even as we get closer to understanding, the same problem arises. Is there a thing which is as it ought to be as well as meaning itself? Furthermore what qualities would be necessary for such a being to exist?

Such a thing must be non-physical (since matter is prone to falling into disorder), it must be eternal (since time is a measurement of change, and the ought, if it is, cannot change), and it must give meaning (since meaning, if it has a meaning, gives meaning to itself and hence gives it to all). Lastly this thing must be a whole without parts (since as we have already stated that wholes that contain parts necessarily maintain the individuality of its parts). Surely I say to you that a being of this type and quality cannot exist, and if it did, it would certainly not be good.

The reason for this lies in the ability to give meaning. Such a giver recognizes the other and gives them meaning in accordance with it’s is and ought. Such recognition of the is and ought as it gives meaning also mandates an entering into time and space. Such entering into time and space would shatter the being into parts: the eternal, and the temporal; the physical, and the immaterial. Such a break would necessitate a new relationship between these two wholes: that which gives meaning and that which is as it ought in all ways. This relationship, according to the assumption set forth previously, would desire a wholeness with each other, and hence love each other. This love would then exist as a third entity which is neither the is as it ought nor is the meaning of all things but is rather the desire for the is and the ought to be one with the meaning of all things. Hence the pattern of the order of the universe reflects itself in man and the way man understand the universe and furthermore, man’s love is a reflection of the universe’s love for wholeness. It is only when time and space do not exist that this structure and order dissolves and true wholeness is possible.

Our constant reminders of temporality and physicality is what chains us from eternal love. Yet it is also in the bonds of love that we forget temporality and physicality, even if only for a moment. Inevitably we will fall again, out of unity, out of wholeness, and into the individuality of time and space. Our only hope would be a place outside of time and space where our meaning resides without time and space and that perhaps one day our is and ought will rejoin it and all other meanings as a true whole. Until that time we must mimic the cycle that the universe has given us, a three pronged understanding for a triple layered universe, where all things are three things but only in so much as they are one thing. All the while both our sense and our reason will tell us this impossible, but when the darkness of night rolls in, and the stars invade the sky, while we lay next to our lover, we will know it is true, because for a moment, we will be immortal.

“Love vanquishes time. To lovers, a moment can be eternity, eternity can be the tick of a clock.” Mary Parrish

“If I know what love is, it is because of you.” – Herman Hesse