I am back to actively conceiving chaos as too many simultaneous orders.
Those orders are there to be selected or filtered, recognized or discognized, to be systematized or articulated or relegated to background noise.
Every enworldment includes and excludes, project, rejects, models, compares.
Here is some chaos…
Weeks ago, I read a passage that referred to a nightingale’s song. I realized that I had no experience of that song to recall, and that this idea was incomplete. Sadly, all I could connect it to was a passage for Voegelin I read years ago and loved, but which did not move me to listen:
The nightingale still sings its heart-rending, throat-filled song against Death. The significance a musical composition has for me is determined by the degree to which it brings back again this sweet state of anguish between Death and Life.
I found a three-hour video of nightingale song and left it playing for two hours.
Now, I find I’ve lost my ability to tune our birdsong. It is constant and it fills the air with alien intelligence.
This reminds me of an old reflection on participating in Torah study:
In Torah Study, the personalities gathered in the room sparkle against the ground of the text. Insight by insight, the flat black sky deepens into limitless space as it fills up with stars.
Space flooded, saturated with radiant points of intelligibility.
(My friend Callen said that this dispersal of alien intelligence is what pulled him into obsessive birding. I connected this with the memory of an anole, emerald with alarm, skiddling across the road in front of my bike, and wondering about that anole’s intention and experience. Birds multiply these points of intention and experience, and scatter them into the depths of the air, audibly present or absent, whenever we listen out for them.)
This conception makes me feel the inconceivable potentiality of God much more immediately than other more traditional religious notions, but I feel sure that the faith behind this conception is the same — and I want it to be.
Why? I do not want to be alone, neither here nor now.
If you think yourself far enough into isolation, you will want to think yourself back to communion. Because you are human.
Human beings need to share faith. Sharing faith puts our roots in the soil.
We do not need to share beliefs.
A striving to agree on beliefs can break commonality of faith.
Worship is a matter of faith, and theology is a matter of beliefs.
Let’s stop calling religions “belief systems”.
Let’s stop theorizing about what theory can never comprehend.
Rather, let’s take our place in infinitude and see how much commonality we can radiate.
The glory of shared faith is the efflorescence of divergent ideas, ideas that can feel themselves emanating from something shared — in the overlapping harmonizing and intriguingly cacophonizing interpretations of something revered together as transcendent to any one mind.
I think I might leave my headphones at home next time I ride my bicycle, and instead bring binoculars.
Facts cannot nourish us. Facts about facts about facts positively starve us. Consumer politics, personal politics, the craving for political righteousness is soul pica.
This desperation to feel ourselves to be good people… why? For a time I tried not being a good person. I wanted others to stop finding it so easy to trust me. And I learned from that.
Peter Brook, via Jan Zwicky:
When Ted Hughes first came to Paris to a session of our work. we improvised for him on random syllables, then on a piece by Aeschylus. He at once began his own experiments, searching to create first of all roots of language and then what he described as “great blocks of sound.”
From here to Orghast was of course a long and intricate journey. But in taking on the incredible task of inventing a phonetic language, in an odd way Ted Hughes was doing what poets do all the time. Every poet works through several semi-conscious levels – let’s call them A to Z. At level Z energies are boiling mside hun, but they are completely out of the range of his perceptions. At level A they have been captured and shaped into a series of words on paper. In between, at levels from B to Y, the poet is half-hearing, half-makmg syllables that drop in and out of swirls of inner movement. Sometimes, he perceives these prewords and preconcepts as moving forms, sometmies as murmurs, as patterns of sound that are on the brink of words, sometimes as musical values that are becoming recognizable and precise. But in fact, they are not strangers to him — he lives with them all the time. The great originality and daring of Ted Hughes lay in working openly in an area that gained a control and freedom that makes the subsequent Orghast impossible to separate into sense and sound.
So many of us live here.
We can think in the nebulous reality of unformatted ideas.
We can also assemble formatted ideas into new shapes, and there is novelty here, too.
But I am both tormented and intrigued by the ideas that are unrecognized, because they haven’t even yet been cognized — inaccessible even to metaphor, because there is not yet a distinct This to liken to That.
We know cities by strands of road. Alongside the road are homes and buildings, each with an interior. My job has brought me to some interiors, where I have been taught new ways to understand by occupants of these secret spaces. I never once heard the birdsong in the yards, but now it is there.
There are worlds within the world
Within the world there are worlds
The situation is the universe of man
As the measure of all things
Understand that you are another world in miniature
And that in you there are the sun, the moon and also stars
Man as the messenger of being
By analogy flesh and bones of man derive from earth
His bloody from water, his breath from air
And body heat from fire.
The first time I sat in meditation, my mind was filled with random babble.
From time to time, a sound would snap into morphemic recognition, and then roll into a word, a thought, a memory, and then I was no longer observing my breath.
One faintly reminded me of some Star Trek and a vivid image of the U.S.S Enterprise flying through space jolted me back to attention,
Truth comes pre-formatted. Truth must be encased in the concepts and logic of the time.
If you do not adopt the format, your nonsense will fall on deaf ears and deafening arguments.
The format is the colosseum. Arm yourself, and prepare for battle. You will die by your confusion.
I really, really hate argument. I hate doing it. I hate reading it.
I want to live more “indexically”, as Garfinkel put it.
Stop fighting. It is ok to have been wrong. We don’t have to be good. Share faith.