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libertygrl
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Posted 11/02/07 - 9:51 AM:

"Self lives by getting and forgetting."

--Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Nihil Loc
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Posted 11/02/07 - 4:26 PM:

lib wrote:
"Self lives by getting and forgetting."

--Sri Sathya Sai Baba


This is another ambivalent quote. What does it mean? Do we impress it upon our minds as an aphorism, temporarily weigh its meaning with a scale of consensus, or do we deconstruct it haphazzardly, toss it in a waste bin? Whose needs does it serve and why did it come about?
libertygrl
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Posted 11/02/07 - 5:14 PM:

of course, we can read what we like into it, but for me the sai baba quote speaks of our ability to find new things under the sun through our mechanism of forgetting. patterns repeat but we discover them from new locations (self is location) and in varying combinations.

on ambivalence...

"language contains innumerable ghosts"
--alan watts

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Nihil Loc
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Posted 11/04/07 - 2:35 AM:

lib wrote:
the sai baba quote speaks of our ability to find new things under the sun through our mechanism of forgetting. patterns repeat but we discover them from new locations (self is location) and in varying combinations.


This reminds us of Mircea Eliade's distinction between 'profane' and 'sacred' experiences of time. The latter is something like a "mechanism of forgetting" historical time, a ritual that brings back the time of origins "illud tempus." Enacting a creation myth wouldn't seem to be our modern day experience of history, but our Julian (Gregorian) calendar with its holidays (especially during autumn) show a recurring pattern which establishes a cyclic sense of time.

There is contradiction : what is old is the foundation upon which the new is assimilated -- to reenact a cosmic myth during which the actors become their Gods reestablishes order (imposes cyclic order) which affects the perspective of time. Every 25th day of the 12th month is Christmas, and we can expect to infer the date from environmental cues (settings). Of course every Christmas is different and some are more memorable than others. This same kind of cyclic experience can help illustrate habit, which in the way it orders time or inflects time, is a way of negating it. Nothing is quite new generally but all is new specifically.

How this is significant, I'm not certain. Candy corn sophistry, perhaps.

New and Old deals with duration of phenomena and recurrence. In order to know what is new we have to have some patterned background upon which the "new" is registered. What is new exists aside what is old.

Edited by Nihil Loc on 11/05/07 - 4:42 PM
libertygrl
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Posted 11/04/07 - 1:52 PM:

nihil wrote:
New and Old deals with duration of phenomena and recurrence. In order to know what is new we have to have some patterned background upon which the "new" is registered. What is new exists aside what is old.

this reminds me of the following quote from the mystic spiral, by jill purce:

"In a second, the faintest perfume may send us plummeting to the roots of our being, our whole life verticalized by a fleeting sensation: we have been connected by a mere smell to another place and another time. The amount we have changed in the recognition of this moment - this is the spiral: the path we have followed to reach the same point on another winding.

All our experiences are like that haunting scent: situations recur with almost boring familiarity until we have mastered them in the light of the previous time around. The more we do this, the steeper the gradient, which is the measure of our growth. The spiral we travel round life is the means we have to compare ourselves with ourselves, and discover how much we have changed since we were last in the city, met our brother, our celebrated Christmas. Time itself is cyclic, and by the spiral of its returning seasons we review the progress and growth of our own understanding.

Ours is the spiral house we build to keep us from life's continuous outpouring, from an otherwise unchecked flow into the unknown. Since what is unknown has power over us, we should otherwise be vulnerable as the snail would be if his shell grew long and straight. The familiarity of life's experiences curls round and protects us, creating those mysterious mountain views of half-concealed windings which keep us bright with speculation and anticipation.

The steepness of the straight path is prohibitive for most of us. The mystic calls this the 'short cut', the Path of Illumination; but that which lights the mystic's way blinds the ordinary man, unprepared for the light of full knowledge. For him, unveiled truth is death; instead he must make his gradual ascent, allowing himself the protecting reassurance of its gentle windings."
smokinpristiformis
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Posted 11/05/07 - 6:46 AM:

I would say it means that humans are much more alike than they care to admit. ^^
Nihil Loc
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Posted 11/05/07 - 4:37 PM:

lib's Purce wrote:
Since what is unknown has power over us, we should otherwise be vulnerable as the snail would be if his shell grew long and straight. The familiarity of life's experiences curls round and protects us, creating those mysterious mountain views of half-concealed windings which keep us bright with speculation and anticipation.


lib's Purce wrote:
The steepness of the straight path is prohibitive for most of us. The mystic calls this the 'short cut', the Path of Illumination; but that which lights the mystic's way blinds the ordinary man, unprepared for the light of full knowledge. For him, unveiled truth is death; instead he must make his gradual ascent, allowing himself the protecting reassurance of its gentle windings."


These are exciting quotes.

Just wandered through a few essays by the archetypal psychologist James Hillman about Senex and Puer. He uses the word "verticality" to describe the impulse of the Puer. The child rises in the drive to experience life without due restraint of a historical time, or Senex time (a cyclic grounding in the patterns of objective reality). This flight, like the flight of Icarus or the race of Phaton, is quite dangerous in such the way that Purce intimates: the shortcut of "unveiled truth is death."

It is like an adolescent on top of a big rock attempting to prove his courage in taking a dive: "I have the courage to jump in the face of death." If I don't land safely I will fall and perish.
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