Sunday, August 16, 2009

More Journaling

I'll be presenting the Oversight Report in Meeting for Business this morning, going over new memberships, transfers, some death minutes. A Quaker enterprise keeps a "ship's log" in the form of minutes coming in from many watch points. Oversight, as is clear from the name, provides some overview perspective, like "from the bridge".

In the meantime, I'm journaling in my Quaker journals, these days known as "blogs" (web logs). I've been trying my hand at Biblical exegesis lately, thinking about how when Jesus said "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them" that connotes either a triangle or tetrahedron.

Also, "Is the Pope Catholic?" is often proffered as a somewhat nonsensical question because the answer is "by definition" rather than empirical (one wouldn't run a blood test). However, the question "was Jesus a Christian?" is far less nonsensical, with "no" probably the most meaningful answer (he was Jewish, duh).

Finally, on the Wittgenstein list, I offer an interpretation of what he meant about bringing us a sword of compassion (inward weapon) and seeming to preach hatred of one's own family, a perennially troublesome passage, used to this day as ammo by those wanting to cast the guy as a crackpot. Here's a quote from that list:
This'd be my interpretation of Jesus's teaching to hate your own mother (Matthew 10:34-37): if you wanna grow in the Light (Quaker talk), then experience your projections (world) as suffocating, come to hate them, your projections around mom a great place to gain traction (doesn't mean you treat her shabbily -- this is your inward jihad, not hers (she's got her own cross to bear [e.g. she has you to put up with (ed.)])).

You need to hate yourself to save yourself, but "yourself" and "your world" are misconceived as two different animals at the bottom of the ladder [TLP allusion (ed.)] -- so hate the world on purpose and see what that gets ya (to a new world?).
However, mostly when I focus on the Bible I go back to the old testament stories about the Garden of Eden and Tower of Babel. These have become somewhat interwoven in my thinking as in both cases the problem was humans trying too hard to rise above their station and experiencing the consequences.

At least in the Tower case, the sin was hubris. In the Eden case, you have a way of blaming women for Man's problems which bespeaks of an immature patriarchy at the helm. One might look to Tetrascroll as a counter myth, taking the Genesis-embedded "talking snake" to represent a yet older wisdom tradition predating anything Middle Eastern and using the dragon for branding. Of course this borders on heresy and takes some geeks out of the Christian namespace all together, though perhaps closer to Jesus.

Speaking of triangles, I was explaining to a busy MVP about my triangle: Wittgenstein's writings, especially the later stuff, connecting to Fuller's Synergetics, connecting to Pythonic mathematics and the concept of namespaces per Zen of Python (import this). My Synergetics Dictionary, a gift from CIA's E.J. Applewhite (Operation Mockingbird etc.), is a compilation of "use cases" giving traction to our "meaning as use" operationalism in Wittgenstein's neighboring philosophy talk.

How could a namespace as remote as Synergetics generate so many cool inventions and innovations? The waxing and waning of the world is what Wittgenstein associated with "judgment day", an eternal novent outside of time, not some dramatic climax (or "cosmic wimp out" as the case may be) to the historical soap opera at "the end of time" (i.e. it has nothing to do with apocalyptic Hollywood-style disaster flicks).

Fuller, in committing to serve omni-humanity, enjoyed a lot of bandwidth as a result (cite I Seem to Be a Verb). If you get really selfish and hunker down, a lot of that bandwidth goes away. Even a non-specialist will see how "God's will" might feature in this model, aka tao in Confucianism.

My chauffeuring work has me driving a Chevy Malibu these days. Sometimes that includes transporting musical instruments, not just people. I'm not allowed to drive pets or other non-humans however (sorry Sarah) as this car belongs to a company fleet and comes with stipulations, not unlike a bizmo in that respect.


One of the more interesting questions to arise at Meeting for Business arose from a Property Committee report regarding the hearthkeeper position. Lots of groups want to rent space in our building for meetings, sometimes espousing wacky conspiracy theories focusing hatred in perculiar ways. There's a chance Quakers could be misperceived as endorsing these theories, simply for having rented the space.

Certainly we're not required to accept money from just any group that comes knocking and have the right to completely disavow any affiliation with inimical groups that sneak in under the radar to preach their nefarious and twisted dogmas from within our inner sanctum. Mistakes happen. Live and learn.

That being said, we're not hell bent on always feeling "comfortable" with what every group says, e.g. don't want to turn away all future teachers who might be challenging us in our complacency with subversive teachings. John Woolman was a subversive after all, as was James Nayler. As liberal Friends, we have a soft spot for heretics.