Friday, October 20, 2006

Thoughts from TSOB

As you can tell from my most recent posts I’m reading the Story of B. It’s so good. It gets better every time I read it.

I’m going to post a few passages out of it that I really like. Plus, I can feel a letter to the editor coming on talking about The Law of Life and the Taker Vision.

The letter may start out like this: “If you don’t believe that humans are animals that are subject to the same biological laws that nonhumans are then it doesn’t pay for you to read any further.”

B talking about religious thought: “The linguist and I must both practice bricolage, which is the craft of building with whatever comes to hand, It comes from the French bricoler, to putter about. We must putter about in this strange borderland inhabited bay almost-human on one side and truly-humans on the other.”

“So you assume being human means being religious, just as the linguist assumes that being human means being lingual.”

“Being a bricoleur, I don’t do anything as well defined as that, Jared, I poke around. I wonder if there’s a dimension of thought that is inherently religious. I say to myself that perhaps thought is like musical tone, which in nature is never a single, pure tone but is always a composite of many harmonics—overtones and undertones. And I say to myself that perhaps, when mental process became human thought, it began to resound with one harmonic that corresponds to what we call religion, or, more fundamentally, awareness of the sacred. In other words, I wonder if awareness of the sacred is not much a separate concept as it is an overtone of human thought itself. A conjecture of this sort can yield scientia, knowledge, but since it isn’t falsifiable, it can’t yield science in the modern sense. A work of bricolage is never science, Jared, but it still can astound, make sense and stimulate thought. It can still impress with its veracity, validity, soundness, and cogency.” Pg 130

I’m trying to understand how B ties The Community of Life, Animism and The Law of Life.

“The fossil represents the community of life.” I told her. “Animism is bound up with that community and resonates with it. The Law of Life, represented by the pen, is written in the community of life, and animism reads this law, as does science in its own way.” Pg. 147

Animism isn’t a religion. It’s a worldview:

What is animism Jared?

“I’m less and less sure as time goes on. As I understand it right now, it’s a vision. I suppose you mean a worldview, and weltanshauung.”

“Yes, but I think I’ll stick with vision. This what we’re about here: two visions, one vision that enabled us to live well and in harmony with the earth through millions of years, and another vision that has brought us to the verge of extinction and made us the enemy of all life on this planet in just ten thousand years.” Pg.150

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