Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
I'm not sure i can articulate this very well, but i think maybe it has to with the shift to monotheism, away from creation myths that more closely resembled human interactions, towards a single divine Father who creates without the need for a maternal figure, or even procreativity. So this represents a big advance in abstract thinking - maybe for the first time creativity is symbolised as a name, an abstract concept - God said "let there be light" and there was.

Later God bestows the secondary creative power of naming onto Man, who names all the living creatures, giving order and meaning to the world that God breathed life into with the Word.

So maybe the primacy of the Word as a symbol in the biblical scriptures, rather than a shape or a number, has to do with the power of naming that came about through this historical development in abstract thought.

Does that make sense?

Actually yes, it does, thanks.

I was thinking yesterday about how in some other traditions great importance is also attached to naming, but in a negative sense: it's the act of naming that is considered to destroy the original non-duality - to break the symmetry, in physics terms. So in the Tao Te Ching we read:

"The tao that can be named is not the ultimate Tao. Naming is the mother of ten thousand things."

(Of course, the Tao is called the Tao, but it needs some sort of label to enable people to talk about it at all. I suppose the verb 'to name', in that sentence, could probably also be translated as 'analyze, dissect, contemplate'. But really this is the same idea that you find in the Abrahamic religions, in which the mind of God is 'ineffable', and attempting to work out His reasoning - to psychoanalyze God, as it were - is both impossible and perhaps also blasphemous.)

Then in Judaism you've got YHWH as the ultimate or true name of God, which is a real word that you literally can say, but aren't supposed to:

'In modern Jewish culture, it is accepted as forbidden to pronounce the name with the (consonantal) letters with which it is spelled. In prayers it is pronounced Adonai, and in discussion is usually said as HaShem, meaning "The Name". '

Which I guess renders God a sort of divine tautology?
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
The distinction between the thing-in-itself and the name for the thing has been explored in a secular context too, of course:

MagrittePipe.jpg

I like the idea of a sculpture that's just a real pipe mounted on a little plinth, with a plaque on it saying "Ceci est vraiment une pipe".
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Shame other_life hasn't been active lately. She's well into all this Jewish esoterica and I'm sure would have a few interesting things to say about the Name(s) of God and other stuff we've been discussing here.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Naming things seems to corrupt and fragment them. I've no way of knowing whether what I've learned is a tree is actually the full organism. It could be to something else what a finger is to a hand, but I've been taught that it's an entity in its own right.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
There's also the ongoing argument over naming genres, artistic movements etc. That once you name and codify something, you kill it.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I was reading excerpts from Blood Meridian the other day where The Judge collects and identifies things in a book before destroying them.

Whatever exists, he said. Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent. [...] These anonymous creatures, he said, may seem little or nothing in the world. Yet the smallest crumb can devour us. Any smallest thing beneath yon rock out of men's knowing. Only nature can enslave man and only when the existence of each last entity is routed out and made to stand naked before him will he be properly suzerain of the earth.

[...]

This is my claim, he said. And yet everywhere upon it are pockets of autonomous life. Autonomous. In order for it to be mine nothing must be permitted to occur upon it save by my dispensation.

[...]

The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down. The rain will erode the deeds of his life. But that man who sets himself the task of singling out the thread of order from the tapestry will by the decision alone have taken charge of the world and it is only by such taking charge that he will effect a way to dictate the terms of his own fate.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
The judge all day had made small forays among the rocks of the gorge through which they'd passed and now at the fire he spread part of a wagonsheet on the ground and was sorting out his finds and arranging them before him. In his lap he held the leather ledgerbook and he took up each piece, flint or potsherd or tool of bone, and deftly sketched it into the book. He sketched with a practiced ease and there was no wrinkling of that bald brow or pursing of those oddly childish lips. His fingers traced the impression of old willow wicker on a piece of pottery clay and he put this into his book with nice shadings, an, economy of pencil strokes. He is a draftsman as he is other things, well sufficient to the task. He looks up from time to time at the fire or at his companions in arms or at the night beyond. Lastly he set before him the footpiece from a suit of armor hammered out in a shop in Toledo three centuries before, a small steel tapadero frail and shelled with rot. This the judge sketched in profile and in perspective, citing the dimensions in his neat script, making marginal notes

Glanton watched him. When he had done he took up the little footguard and turned it in his hand and studied it again and then he crushed it into a ball of foil and pitched it into the fire. He gathered up the other artifacts and cast them also into the fire and he shook out the wagonsheet and folded it away among his possibles together with the notebook. Then he sat with his hands cupped in his lap and he seemed much satisfied with the world, as if his counsel had been sought at its creation.

A Tennessean named Webster had been watching him and he asked the judge what he aimed to do with those notes and sketches and the judge smiled and said that it was his intention to expunge them from the memory of man. Webster smiled and the judge laughed. Webster regarded him with one eye asquint and he said: Well you've been a draftsman somewheres and them pictures is like enough the things themselves. But no man can put all the world in a book. No more than everthing drawed in a book is so.

Well said, Marcus, spoke the judge.

But dont draw me, said Webster. For I dont want in your book.

My book or some other book said the judge. What is to be deviates no jot from the book wherein it's writ. How could it? It would be a false book and a false book is no book at all.

You're a formidable riddler and I'll not match words with ye. Only save my crusted mug from out your ledger there for I'd not have it shown about perhaps to strangers.

The judge smiled. Whether in my book or not, every man is tabernacled in every other and he in exchange and so on in an endless complexity of being and witness to the uttermost edge of the world.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
did i see a language is a alien virus thread here? this stuff is a good example of how word and phrase replicate themselves through us. little bits of code we repeat. speak through us.

Corpsey
call me big papa



I remember a few of those things. My parents went through an EastEnders phase.

I was always staunchly Hollyoaks.

luka
Well-known member
Staff member



received opinions. joke formats. turns of phrase. intonations. also things like how we compose our face for the camera. how we arrange our limbs in the chair.



luka
Well-known member
Staff member


how it breaks everything up into a discontinuous sequence of quotations
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
It's been very obvious during the pandemic. Everyone suddenly using terms like "PPE" and "social distancing".
 

catalog

Well-known member
crazy how those terms come in. i was thinking about how social distancing is now what you say, not social media
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
It's like when everyone on Twitter started saying "normalise" as soon as Trump was elected.
 

catalog

Well-known member
it reminds me of how all the different groups talk in the wire, how its good cos the switches shows the language changes
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
It's highly problematic that we're normalizing the weaponization of toxic optics.
 
Top