the five activities

We can talk about left and right brain activities: the left being mostly logical and structured, the domain of mathematics and language, as compared to the right brain which is abstract and artistic, the realm of metaphor and vision. Conversely we can also talk about whether we are consuming meaning, or creating it. This gives us four distinct activities, which are almost always done together, fast-switching as it were. But, depending on our mood or present capacity, we can decide to focus on the one that might be best at that present time: creating meaning or consuming meaning (engineering, law, philosophy), creating abstraction or consuming abstraction (music, poetry, dance).

But there is also a fifth activity, that of stillness and simple empty sentience, which neither consumes nor creates, and is neither concrete nor abstract. The wellspring that balances and obliterates all others yet unborn.

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Science is yet another fairy tale we tell ourselves, a coral reef of complicities we live within. But it’s testable and reproducible, you argue, with predictable accuracy, unlike metaphysical nonsense. Yes, and those are precisely the definitions required within its consistency; which inestimable value should never be underestimated. But there is room enough for other metaphors, too. Some that are imprecise, and mystical. Vaguely pointing to realizations that, on fortunate occasions, can break the pen.

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Wittgenstein found the wall, white and endless, and explained that there was only silence on the other side. We have silence on this side too, someone argued. And so he hung a plain white painting on the white wall and explained that this might be what you would see if there were a window, except… Continue reading