Log24

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bach and the Evening Star

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM

This evening's New York Lottery numbers are 770 and 9703.

This suggests a look at post 770 (Hesse and Bach) and at 9/7/03 (Hesse and knights).

See also Hessian.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Evening Star

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:11 PM

The following link was suggested by
this morning's Now Lens and noon's Citizen Julie

The Citizen Kane of Horror.

Related material— Damnation Morning and Punch Line.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Geometry and the Evening Star

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:20 PM

An ancient symbol of Venus, the Evening Star

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101007-EveningStar.jpg

For some background, see Anti-Christmas (June 25), 2008 and The Devil and Wallace Stevens.

A purely mathematical version of the same figure—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101007-KaneReflGps19.gif

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Outer, Inner

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 PM

A detail from this morning's 6 AM post

An Ordinary Evening in New Haven, XXII

Professor Eucalyptus said, “The search
For reality is as momentous as
The search for god.” It is the philosopher’s search

For an interior made exterior
And the poet’s search for the same exterior made
Interior: breathless things broodingly abreath

With the Inhalations of original cold
And of original earliness. Yet the sense
Of cold and earliness is a daily sense,

Not the predicate of bright origin.
Creation is not renewed by images
Of lone wanderers. To re-create, to use

The cold and earliness and bright origin
Is to search. Likewise to say of the evening star,
The most ancient light in the most ancient sky,

That it is wholly an inner light, that it shines
From the sleepy bosom of the real, re-creates,
Searches a possible for its possibleness.

— Wallace Stevens

See also Bloomsday 2007, "Obituaries in the News."

This morning's 6 AM post linked to a more recent obituary in the news

"… while Jules and Judy were still living in Brooklyn Heights … 
Jules collaborated with his former roommate, Norton Juster,
by illustrating what was to become the children’s classic
The Phantom Tollbooth . Neither author or illustrator had
a clue as to how to get this unlikely work published, and it
was Judy’s idea to take it to a mutual friend . . . ."

Sunday, July 12, 2015

O Nine

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

( A sequel to Friday's post O Seven, O Eight )

In memory of opera singer Jon Vickers, who reportedly
died Friday at 88 —

"His deep faith — he was once dubbed 'God's voice' — 
saw him refuse to perform some roles on moral grounds,
specifically, Tannhäuser." — BBC News

From Wolfram's song to the evening star in Tannhäuser —

The soul, that longs for the highest grounds,
is fearful of the darkness before it takes flight.
There you are, oh loveliest star,
your soft light you send into the distance.

Der Seele, die nach jenen Höhn verlangt,
vor ihrem Flug durch Nacht und Grausen bangt.
Da scheinest du, o lieblichster der Sterne,
dein Sanftes Licht entsendest du der Ferne.

— classicalmusic.about.com

See as well a related meditation:

Saturday, November 30, 2013

For Sean Connery

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:00 PM

On St. Andrew's Day.

A Connery adventure in Kuala Lumpur—

For another Kuala Lumpur adventure, see today's update
to "In Defense of Plato's Realism"—

The July 5, 2007, post linked to
"Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star."
For related drama from Kuala Lumpur, see
"Occam's Razor, Plato's Beard."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Reflection

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:29 PM

"But even if the religious note is dissonant to some of us,
 it seems hard to come up with a better formulation
 of what a college should strive to be: an aid to reflection…."

— Andrew Delbanco, Chronicle of Higher Education , Feb. 26, 2012

Another aid to reflection—

The logo of an institution that advertised today in the Chronicle
next to Delbanco's article—

IMAGE- Eight-pointed star logo of Chapman University

Click logo for context.  The institution's original name
was Hesperian  College

For some background, see Evening Star in this journal.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sabato Tombstone

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:28 PM

IMAGE- Sabato on his own tombstone in 'Angel of Darkness'

Related material:
  (Click images for details) —

IMAGE- The number 11 formed by twin switchblades, '12 Angry Men'

Exhibit B

IMAGE- Julie Taymor

Julie Taymor

  IMAGE- Hexagram 11: PEACE
Plato, Pegasus, and
the Evening Star

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Search

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:01 AM

An image suggested by last night's PBS hour "Chautauqua: An American Narrative"—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110201-TwoViews.jpg

Click for larger versions of the image search and of the Hall of Philosophy.

Both the screenshot and the Chautauqua photo (by jbi46 at flickr.com) were taken on July 19th, 2010.

The screenshot appeared in the post "Pediments of Appearance" (which also included two much less complex images).

Some background —  A webpage on  Analytical Cubism and a related search in this journal.

From Wallace Stevens, who appears at top center in the image above—

An Ordinary Evening in New Haven, XXII

Professor Eucalyptus said, “The search
For reality is as momentous as
The search for god.” It is the philosopher’s search

For an interior made exterior
And the poet’s search for the same exterior made
Interior: breathless things broodingly abreath

With the Inhalations of original cold
And of original earliness. Yet the sense
Of cold and earliness is a daily sense,

Not the predicate of bright origin.
Creation is not renewed by images
Of lone wanderers. To re-create, to use

The cold and earliness and bright origin
Is to search. Likewise to say of the evening star,
The most ancient light in the most ancient sky,

That it is wholly an inner light, that it shines
From the sleepy bosom of the real, re-creates,
Searches a possible for its possibleness.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Types of Ambiguity

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 10:31 AM

From Ursula K. Le Guin’s novel
The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia
(1974)—

Chapter One

“There was a wall. It did not look important. It was built of uncut rocks roughly mortared. An adult could look right over it, and even a child could climb it. Where it crossed the roadway, instead of having a gate it degenerated into mere geometry, a line, an idea of boundary. But the idea was real. It was important. For seven generations there had been nothing in the world more important than that wall.

Like all walls it was ambiguous, two-faced. What was inside it and what was outside it depended upon which side of it you were on.”

Note—

“We note that the phrase ‘instead of having a gate it degenerated into mere geometry’ is mere fatuousness. If there is an idea here, degenerate, mere, and geometry  in concert do not fix it. They bat at it like a kitten at a piece of loose thread.”

— Samuel R. Delany, The Jewel-Hinged Jaw: Notes on the Language of Science Fiction  (Dragon Press, 1977), page 110 of revised edition, Wesleyan University Press, 2009

(For the phrase mere geometry  elsewhere, see a note of April 22. The apparently flat figures in that note’s illustration “Galois Affine Geometry” may be regarded as degenerate  views of cubes.)

Later in the Le Guin novel—

“… The Terrans had been intellectual imperialists, jealous wall builders. Even Ainsetain, the originator of the theory, had felt compelled to give warning that his physics embraced no mode but the physical and should not be taken as implying the metaphysical, the philosophical, or the ethical. Which, of course, was superficially true; and yet he had used number, the bridge between the rational and the perceived, between psyche and matter, ‘Number the Indisputable,’ as the ancient founders of the Noble Science had called it. To employ mathematics in this sense was to employ the mode that preceded and led to all other modes. Ainsetain had known that; with endearing caution he had admitted that he believed his physics did, indeed, describe reality.

Strangeness and familiarity: in every movement of the Terran’s thought Shevek caught this combination, was constantly intrigued. And sympathetic: for Ainsetain, too, had been after a unifying field theory. Having explained the force of gravity as a function of the geometry of spacetime, he had sought to extend the synthesis to include electromagnetic forces. He had not succeeded. Even during his lifetime, and for many decades after his death, the physicists of his own world had turned away from his effort and its failure, pursuing the magnificent incoherences of quantum theory with its high technological yields, at last concentrating on the technological mode so exclusively as to arrive at a dead end, a catastrophic failure of imagination. Yet their original intuition had been sound: at the point where they had been, progress had lain in the indeterminacy which old Ainsetain had refused to accept. And his refusal had been equally correct– in the long run. Only he had lacked the tools to prove it– the Saeba variables and the theories of infinite velocity and complex cause. His unified field existed, in Cetian physics, but it existed on terms which he might not have been willing to accept; for the velocity of light as a limiting factor had been essential to his great theories. Both his Theories of Relativity were as beautiful, as valid, and as useful as ever after these centuries, and yet both depended upon a hypothesis that could not be proved true and that could be and had been proved, in certain circumstances, false.

But was not a theory of which all the elements were provably true a simple tautology? In the region of the unprovable, or even the disprovable, lay the only chance for breaking out of the circle and going ahead.

In which case, did the unprovability of the hypothesis of real coexistence– the problem which Shevek had been pounding his head against desperately for these last three days. and indeed these last ten years– really matter?

He had been groping and grabbing after certainty, as if it were something he could possess. He had been demanding a security, a guarantee, which is not granted, and which, if granted, would become a prison. By simply assuming the validity of real coexistence he was left free to use the lovely geometries of relativity; and then it would be possible to go ahead. The next step was perfectly clear. The coexistence of succession could be handled by a Saeban transformation series; thus approached, successivity and presence offered no antithesis at all. The fundamental unity of the Sequency and Simultaneity points of view became plain; the concept of interval served to connect the static and the dynamic aspect of the universe. How could he have stared at reality for ten years and not seen it? There would be no trouble at all in going on. Indeed he had already gone on. He was there. He saw all that was to come in this first, seemingly casual glimpse of the method, given him by his understanding of a failure in the distant past. The wall was down. The vision was both clear and whole. What he saw was simple, simpler than anything else. It was simplicity: and contained in it all complexity, all promise. It was revelation. It was the way clear, the way home, the light.”

Related material—

Time Fold, Halloween 2005, and May and Zan.

See also The Devil and Wallace Stevens

“In a letter to Harriet Monroe, written December 23, 1926, Stevens refers to the Sapphic fragment that invokes the genius of evening: ‘Evening star that bringest back all that lightsome Dawn hath scattered afar, thou bringest the sheep, thou bringest the goat, thou bringest the child home to the mother.’ Christmas, writes Stevens, ‘is like Sappho’s evening: it brings us all home to the fold’ (Letters of Wallace Stevens, 248).”

— “The Archangel of Evening,” Chapter 5 of Wallace Stevens: The Intensest Rendezvous, by Barbara M. Fisher, The University Press of Virginia, 1990

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Epiphany Revisited

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM

January 06, 2007
ART WARS: Epiphany

Picture of Nothing
On Kirk Varnedoe’s
2003 Mellon Lectures,
Pictures of Nothing“–

“Varnedoe’s lectures were ultimately about faith, about his faith in the power of abstraction, and abstraction as a kind of anti-religious faith in itself….”

Related material:

The more industrious scholars will derive considerable pleasure from describing how the art-history professors and journalists of the period 1945-75, along with so many students, intellectuals, and art tourists of every sort, actually struggled to see the paintings directly, in the old pre-World War II way, like Plato’s cave dwellers watching the shadows, without knowing what had projected them, which was the Word.”

— Tom Wolfe, The Painted Word

Log24, Aug. 23, 2005:

“Concept (scholastics’ verbum mentis)–  theological analogy of Son’s procession  as Verbum Patris, 111-12″ — Index to Joyce and Aquinas, by William T. Noon, S.J., Yale University Press 1957,  second printing 1963, page 162

“So did God cause the big bang? Overcome by metaphysical lassitude, I finally reach over to my bookshelf for The Devil’s Bible. Turning to Genesis I read: ‘In the beginning there was nothing. And God said, ‘Let there be light!’ And there was still nothing, but now you could see it.'”
— Jim Holt, Big-Bang Theology, from Slate‘s “High Concept” department

'In the beginning' according to Jim Holt

“Bang.”

“…Mondrian and Malevich are not discussing canvas or pigment or graphite or any other form of matter. They are talking about Being or Mind or Spirit. From their point of view, the grid is a staircase to the Universal….”

For properties of the “nothing” represented by the 3×3 grid, see The Field of Reason. For religious material related to the above and to Epiphany, a holy day observed by some, see Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star and Shining Forth.


Some Context:

Quaternions in Finite Geometry

Click to enlarge.

See also Nativity.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday October 30, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 AM
From the Mountaintop

Katherine Neville, author of perhaps the greatest bad novel of the twentieth century, The Eight, has now graced a new century with her sequel, titled The Fire. An excerpt:

“Our family lodge had been built at about this same period in the prior century, by neighboring tribes, for my great-great-grandmother, a pioneering mountain lass. Constructed of hand-hewn rock and massive tree trunks chinked together, it was a huge log cabin that was shaped like an octagon– patterned after a hogan or sweat lodge– with many-paned windows facing in each cardinal direction, like a vast, architectural compass rose.
……..
From here on the mountaintop, fourteen thousand feet atop the Colorado Plateau, I could see the vast, billowing sea of three-mile-high mountain peaks, licked by the rosy morning light. On a clear day like this, I could see all the way to Mount Hesperus– which the Diné call Dibé Nitsaa: Black Mountain. One of the four sacred mountains created by First Man and First Woman.

Together with Sisnaajinii, white mountain (Mt. Blanca) in the east; Tsoodzil, blue mountain (Mt. Taylor) in the south, and Dook’o’osliid, yellow mountain (San Francisco Peaks) in the west, these four marked out the four corners of Dinétah– ‘Home of the Diné,’ as the Navajo call themselves.

And they pointed as well to the high plateau I was standing on: Four Corners, the only place in the U.S. where four states– Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona– come together at right angles to form a cross.”


Related material
(Oct. 14, 2004):

The Eight

Lest the reader of the previous entry mistakenly take Katherine Neville’s book The Eight more seriously than Fritz Leiber’s greatly superior writings on eightness, here are two classic interpretations of Leiber’s “spider” or “double cross” symbol:

Greek: The Four Elements

Aristotle:
The 4 elements and
the 4 qualities
(On Generation and
Corruption, II, 3
)

Chinese: The Eight Trigrams

Richard Wilhelm:
The 8 trigrams
(Understanding
the I Ching
,
154-175)

The eight-rayed star may be taken
as representing what is known
in philosophy as a “universal.”

See also

The Divine Universals,

Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star,

A Little Extra Reading, and

Quine in Purgatory.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday June 26, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:04 AM
Review


Yesterday, June 25, was the 100th anniversay of W.V. Quine’s birth and also the day on the calendar opposite Christmas–  In the parlance of Quine’s son Douglas, Anti-Christmas.

Having survived that ominous date, I feel it is fitting to review what Wallace Stevens called “Credences of Summer”– religious principles for those who feel that faith and doubt are best reconciled by art.


“Credences of Summer,” VII,

by Wallace Stevens, from
Transport to Summer (1947)

“Three times the concentred
     self takes hold, three times
The thrice concentred self,
     having possessed
The object, grips it
     in savage scrutiny,
Once to make captive,
     once to subjugate
Or yield to subjugation,
     once to proclaim
The meaning of the capture,
     this hard prize,
Fully made, fully apparent,
     fully found.”

Definition of Epiphany

From James Joyce’s Stephen Hero, first published posthumously in 1944. The excerpt below is from a version edited by John J. Slocum and Herbert Cahoon (New York: New Directions Press, 1959).

Three Times:

… By an epiphany he meant a sudden spiritual manifestation, whether in the vulgarity of speech or of gesture or in a memorable phase of the mind itself. He believed that it was for the man of letters to record these epiphanies with extreme care, seeing that they themselves are the most delicate and evanescent of moments. He told Cranly that the clock of the Ballast Office was capable of an epiphany. Cranly questioned the inscrutable dial of the Ballast Office with his no less inscrutable countenance:

— Yes, said Stephen. I will pass it time after time, allude to it, refer to it, catch a glimpse of it. It is only an item in the catalogue of Dublin’s street furniture. Then all at once I see it and I know at once what it is: epiphany.

— What?

— Imagine my glimpses at that clock as the gropings of a spiritual eye which seeks to adjust its vision to an exact focus. The moment the focus is reached the object is epiphanised. It is just in this epiphany that I find the third, the supreme quality of beauty.

— Yes? said Cranly absently.

— No esthetic theory, pursued Stephen relentlessly, is of any value which investigates with the aid of the lantern of tradition. What we symbolise in black the Chinaman may symbolise in yellow: each has his own tradition. Greek beauty laughs at Coptic beauty and the American Indian derides them both. It is almost impossible to reconcile all tradition whereas it is by no means impossible to find the justification of every form of beauty which has ever been adored on the earth by an examination into the mechanism of esthetic apprehension whether it be dressed in red, white, yellow or black. We have no reason for thinking that the Chinaman has a different system of digestion from that which we have though our diets are quite dissimilar. The apprehensive faculty must be scrutinised in action.

— Yes …

— You know what Aquinas says: The three things requisite for beauty are, integrity, a wholeness, symmetry and radiance. Some day I will expand that sentence into a treatise. Consider the performance of your own mind when confronted with any object, hypothetically beautiful. Your mind to apprehend that object divides the entire universe into two parts, the object, and the void which is not the object. To apprehend it you must lift it away from everything else: and then you perceive that it is one integral thing, that is a thing. You recognise its integrity. Isn’t that so?

— And then?

— That is the first quality of beauty: it is declared in a simple sudden synthesis of the faculty which apprehends. What then? Analysis then. The mind considers the object in whole and in part, in relation to itself and to other objects, examines the balance of its parts, contemplates the form of the object, traverses every cranny of the structure. So the mind receives the impression of the symmetry of the object. The mind recognises that the object is in the strict sense of the word, a thing, a definitely constituted entity. You see?

— Let us turn back, said Cranly.

They had reached the corner of Grafton St and as the footpath was overcrowded they turned back northwards. Cranly had an inclination to watch the antics of a drunkard who had been ejected from a bar in Suffolk St but Stephen took his arm summarily and led him away.

— Now for the third quality. For a long time I couldn’t make out what Aquinas meant. He uses a figurative word (a very unusual thing for him) but I have solved it. Claritas is quidditas. After the analysis which discovers the second quality the mind makes the only logically possible synthesis and discovers the third quality. This is the moment which I call epiphany. First we recognise that the object is one integral thing, then we recognise that it is an organised composite structure, a thing in fact: finally, when the relation of the parts is exquisite, when the parts are adjusted to the special point, we recognise that it is that thing which it is. Its soul, its whatness, leaps to us from the vestment of its appearance. The soul of the commonest object, the structure of which is so adjusted, seems to us radiant. The object achieves its epiphany.

Having finished his argument Stephen walked on in silence. He felt Cranly’s hostility and he accused himself of having cheapened the eternal images of beauty. For the first time, too, he felt slightly awkward in his friend’s company and to restore a mood of flippant familiarity he glanced up at the clock of the Ballast Office and smiled:

— It has not epiphanised yet, he said.

Under the Volcano,

by Malcolm Lowry,
1947, Chapter VI:

“What have I got out of my life? Contacts with famous men… The occasion Einstein asked me the time, for instance. That summer evening…. smiles when I say I don’t know. And yet asked me. Yes: the great Jew, who has upset the whole world’s notions of time and space, once leaned down… to ask me… ragged freshman… at the first approach of the evening star, the time. And smiled again when I pointed out the clock neither of us had noticed.”

An approach of
the evening star yesterday:

Four-elements figure from webpage 'The Rotation of the Elements'

This figure is from a webpage,
The Rotation of the Elements,”
cited here yesterday evening.

As noted in yesterday’s early-
morning entry on Quine
, the
figure is (without the labels)
a classic symbol of the
evening star.

“The appearance of the evening star brings with it long-standing notions of safety within and danger without. In a letter to Harriet Monroe, written December 23, 1926, Stevens refers to the Sapphic fragment that invokes the genius of evening: ‘Evening star that bringest back all that lightsome Dawn hath scattered afar, thou bringest the sheep, thou bringest the goat, thou bringest the child home to the mother.’ Christmas, writes Stevens, ‘is like Sappho’s evening: it brings us all home to the fold’ (Letters of Wallace Stevens, 248).”

— Barbara Fisher,
“The Archangel of Evening,”
Chapter 5 of Wallace Stevens:
The Intensest Rendezvous
,
The University Press of Virginia, 1990

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday June 25, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 AM
Born 100 years ago today:

Willard Van Orman Quine, picture from cover of his autobiography

From A Logical Point of View,  Harvard U. Press, 1980, p. 72
From A Logical Point of View,  Harvard U. Press, 1980, p. 73
Other approaches to the
eight-ray star figure

Figure by Quine for an argument against univesals in 'From a Logical Point of View'

have been sketched in
various Log24 entries.

See, for instance, the
June 21 entries on
the Kyoto Prize for
arts and philosophy.
Quine won this prize
 in 1996.

Quine’s figure, cited in an
argument against universals,
is also a classic symbol for
the morning or evening star.

This year’s winner http://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif
of the Kyoto Prize has
a more poetic approach
to philosophy:

“… the object sets up
 a kind of frame or space or field
   within which there can be epiphany.”

For one such frame or space,
a Mexican cantina, see
Shining Forth.

See also Damnation Morning and
The Devil and Wallace Stevens.

http://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif Charles Taylor.  See
“Epiphanies of Modernism,”
Chapter 24 of Sources of the Self
  (Cambridge U. Press, 1989, p. 477)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Saturday February 2, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:19 AM
Trevanian,
Incident at Twenty-Mile:

Matthew had a couple of hours on his hands before dinner with the Kanes, so he drifted up to the only grassy spot in Twenty-Mile, the triangular, up-tilted little meadow crossed by a rivulet running off from the cold spring that provided the town’s water. This meadow belonged to the livery stable, and half a dozen of its donkeys lazily nosed in the grass while, at the far end, a scrawny cow stood in the shade of the only tree in Twenty-Mile, a stunted skeleton whose leafless, wind-raked branches stretched imploringly to leeward, like bony fingers clawing the clouds. The meadow couldn’t be seen from any part of the town except the Livery, so Matthew felt comfortably secluded as he sauntered along, intending to investigate the burial ground that abutted the donkey meadow, but B. J. Stone called to him from the Livery, so he turned back and began the chore they had found for him to do: oiling tools.

LATER….

After they did the dishes, Matthew and Ruth Lillian walked down the Sunday-silent street, then turned up into the donkey meadow. He was careful to guide her away from the soggy patch beneath the tree, where the Bjorkvists had slaughtered that week’s beef. Lost in their own thoughts, they strolled across the meadow, the uneven ground causing their shoulders to brush occasionally, until they reached the fenced-in burying ground.

STILL LATER….

“Matthew?” she asked in an offhand tone.

“Hm-m-m?”

“What’s ‘the Other Place’?”

He turned and stared at her. “How do you know about that?”

“You told me.”

“I never!”

“Yes, you did. You were telling about your fight with the Benson boys, and you said you couldn’t feel their punches because you were in this ‘Other Place.’ I didn’t ask you about it then, ’cause you were all worked up.  But I’ve been curious about it ever since.”

“Oh, it’s just…” In a gesture that had something of embarrassment in it and something of imitation, he threw his stick as hard as he could, and it whop-whop-whop’d through the air, landing against the sagging fence that separated the burying ground from the donkey meadow.

“If you don’t want to tell me, forget it.  I just thought… Never mind.” She walked on.

“It’s not that I don’t want to tell you. But it’s… it’s hard to explain.”

She stopped and waited patiently.

“It’s just… well, when I was a little kid and I was scared– scared because Pa was shouting at Ma, or because I was going to have to fight some kid during recess– I’d fix my eyes on a crack in the floor or a ripple in a pane of glass– on anything, it didn’t matter what– and pretty soon I’d slip into this– this Other Place where everything was kind of hazy and echoey, and I was far away and safe. At first, I had to concentrate real hard to get to this safe place. But then, this one day a kid was picking on me, and just like that– without even trying– I was suddenly there, and I felt just as calm as calm, and not afraid of anything. I knew they were punching me, and I could hear the kids yelling names, but it didn’t hurt and I didn’t care, ’cause I was off in the Other Place.  And after that, any time I was scared, or if I was facing something that was just too bad, I’d suddenly find myself there. Safe and peaceful.” He searched here eyes. “Does that make any sense to you, Ruth Lillian?”

“Hm-m… sort of. It sounds kind of eerie.” And she added quickly, “But really interesting!”

“I’ve never told anybody about it. Not even my ma. I was afraid to because… This’ll sound funny, but I was afraid that if other people knew about the Other Place, it might heal up and go away, and I wouldn’t be able to get there when I really needed to. Crazy, huh?”

Related material:

The Meadow,

Logical Songs,

Plato, Pegasus, and
the Evening Star

Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday November 23, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:24 AM
Another Pattern

“It seems, as one becomes older,
That the past has another pattern,
and ceases to be
      a mere sequence….”

— T. S. Eliot, Harvard ’10

Quoted in Log24 on
November 11, 2003

A search at the New York Times
for the subject of the previous entry
reveals another aspect of that date:

What Happened Before the Big Bang?

“…trying to imagine how the universe made its ‘quantum leap from eternity into time,’ as the physicist Dr. Sidney Coleman of Harvard once put it. Some physicists speculate that on the other side of the looking glass of Time Zero is another…”

November 11, 2003

– By DENNIS OVERBYE
– Technology – 819 words

Related material:

Peter Woit in his weblog
on Nov. 12, 2007:

“Is it a good idea for physicists to appear on a radio show discussing what happened before the big bang, or does the lack of any evidence about this or of a convincing model mean that this is just inherently too speculative a topic to be sold as serious science to a wide audience? Should one perhaps leave this topic to the Bogdanovs?”

Or to T.S. Eliot,
Annie Dillard, and
William Shakespeare?
 
For more on the date
11/11, see
Plato, Pegasus, and
the Evening Star.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Saturday September 8, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:02 PM

The Intensest Rendezvous

"There is one story and one story only
That will prove worth your telling….

Dwell on her graciousness, dwell on her smiling,
Do not forget what flowers
The great boar trampled down in ivy time.
Her brow was creamy as the crested wave,
Her sea-blue eyes were wild
But nothing promised that is not performed. "

— Robert Graves,
    To Juan at the Winter Solstice

Symbol of the evening star

The Devil and Wallace Stevens:

"In a letter to Harriet Monroe, written December 23, 1926, Stevens refers to the Sapphic fragment that invokes the genius of evening: 'Evening star that bringest back all that lightsome Dawn hath scattered afar, thou bringest the sheep, thou bringest the goat, thou bringest the child home to the mother.' Christmas, writes Stevens, 'is like Sappho's evening: it brings us all home to the fold.' (Letters of Wallace Stevens, 248)"

— "The Archangel of Evening," Chapter 5 of Wallace Stevens: The Intensest Rendezvous, by Barbara M. Fisher, The University Press of Virginia, 1990, pages 72-73
 

"Evening. Evening of this day. Evening of the century. Evening of my own life….

At Christmastime my parents held open house on Sunday evenings, and a dozen or more people gathered around the piano, and the apartment was full of music, and theology was sung into my heart."

— Madeleine L'Engle, Bright Evening Star: Mystery of the Incarnation

From the date of
 L'Engle's death:

Pavarotti takes a bow

Some enchanted evening…          

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday August 18, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:20 PM
A Concrete Universal

What on earth is
a ‘concrete universal’?

Said to be an annotation
(undated) by Robert M. Pirsig
of A History of Philosophy,
by Frederick Copleston,
Society of Jesus.

No matter how it’s done,
you won’t like it.

— Robert Redford to     
  Robert M. Pirsig in Lila    


“In chapters 19 and 20 of LILA there is a discussion about the possibility of making Zen and the Art into a movie. It opens with a scene where Robert Redford, who ‘really would like to have the film rights,’ comes to meet and negotiate with Phaedrus in his New York City hotel room. Phaedrus tells the famous actor that he can have the rights to the book, but maybe that’s just because he’s star-struck and doesn’t like to haggle. Under his excitement, Phaedrus has a bad feeling about it. He tells us that he’s been warned by several different people not to allow such a film to be made. Even Redford warned him not to do it. So what’s the problem? As it’s put at the end of that discussion, ‘Films are social media; his book was largely intellectual. That was the center of the problem.'”

David Buchanan at robertpirsig.org

“The insight is constituted precisely by ‘seeing’ the idea in the image, the intelligible in the sensible, the universal in the particular, the abstract in the concrete.”

— Fr. Brian Cronin‘s Foundations of Philosophy, Ch. 2, “Identifying Direct Insights,” quoted in Ideas and Art

See also Smiles of a Summer Evening, the current issue of TIME, the time of this entry (7:20:11 PM ET), and Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Monday August 6, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 AM
The Divine Universals

"The tigers of wrath          
 are wiser than                
 the horses of instruction."

— William Blake,
Proverbs of Hell

From Shining Forth:

  The Place of the Lion, by Charles Williams, 1931, Chapter Eight:

"Besides, if this fellow were right, what harm would the Divine Universals do us? I mean, aren't the angels supposed to be rather gentle and helpful and all that?"

"You're doing what Marcellus warned you against… judging them by English pictures. All nightgowns and body and a kind of flacculent sweetness. As in cemeteries, with broken bits of marble. These are Angels– not a bit the same thing. These are the principles of the tiger and the volcano and the flaming suns of space."

 Under the Volcano, Chapter Two:

"But if you look at that sunlight there, then perhaps you'll get the answer, see, look at the way it falls through the window: what beauty can compare to that of a cantina in the early morning? Your volcanoes outside? Your stars– Ras Algethi? Antares raging south southeast? Forgive me, no." 

 A Spanish-English dictionary:

lucero m.
morning or evening star:
any bright star….
hole in a window panel
     for the admission of light….

Look at the way it
falls through the window….

— Malcolm Lowry

How art thou fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
— Isaiah 14:12

For more on Spanish
and the evening star,
see Plato, Pegasus, and
the Evening Star.

 Symmetry axes
of the square:

Symmetry axes of the square

(See Damnation Morning.)

From the cover of the
 Martin Cruz Smith novel
Stallion Gate:

Atom on cover of Stallion

"That old Jew
gave me this here."

Dialogue from the
Robert Stone novel
A Flag for Sunrise.

Related material:

A Mass for Lucero,

Log24, Sept. 13, 2006

Mathematics, Religion, Art

— and this morning's online
New York Times obituaries:

Cardinal Lustiger of Paris and jazz pianist Sal Mosca, New York Times obituaries on August 6, 2007

The above image contains summary obituaries for Cardinal Lustiger, Archbishop of Paris, 1981-2005, and for Sal Mosca, jazz pianist and teacher. In memory of the former, see all of the remarks preceding the image above. In memory of the latter, the remarks of a character in Martin Cruz Smith's Stallion Gate on jazz piano may have some relevance:

"I hate arguments. I'm a coward. Arguments are full of words, and each person is sure he's the only one who knows what the words mean. Each word is a basket of eels, as far as I'm concerned. Everybody gets to grab just one eel and that's his interpretation and he'll fight to the death for it…. Which is why I love music. You hit a C and it's a C and that's all it is. Like speaking clearly for the first time. Like being intelligent. Like understanding. A Mozart or an Art Tatum sits at the piano and picks out the undeniable truth."

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Sunday August 5, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM
Lucero


 

Under the Volcano, by Malcolm Lowry, 1947, Chapter VI:

“What have I got out of my life? Contacts with famous men… The occasion Einstein asked me the time, for instance. That summer evening…. smiles when I say I don’t know. And yet asked me. Yes: the great Jew, who has upset the whole world’s notions of time and space, once leaned down… to ask me… ragged freshman… at the first approach of the evening star, the time. And smiled again when I pointed out the clock neither of us had noticed.”

To Ride Pegasus, by Anne McCaffrey, 1973: 

“Mary-Molly luv, it’s going to be accomplished in steps, this establishment of the Talented in the scheme of things. Not society, mind you, for we’re the original nonconformists…. and Society will never permit us to integrate. That’s okay!” He consigned Society to insignificance with a flick of his fingers. “The Talented form their own society and that’s as it should be: birds of a feather. No, not birds. Winged horses! Ha! Yes, indeed. Pegasus… the poetic winged horse of flights of fancy. A bloody good symbol for us. You’d see a lot from the back of a winged horse…”

From Holt Spanish and English Dictionary, 1955:

lucero m Venus
(as morning or evening star);
bright star…
star (in forehead of animal)….

Scarlett Johansson and friend in The Horse Whisperer

Scarlett Johansson and friend
in “The Horse Whisperer” (1998)

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Saturday August 4, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 AM
Law and Poetry

 The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/070804-CivilAction.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Robert Duvall and John Travolta
outside a courtroom in “A Civil Action” (1998)

This entry is in memory of Robert E. Keeton, a “judge’s judge” who is the subject of an obituary in today’s New York Times.  Judge Keeton died, according to the Times, on July 1.  According to Harvard Law School, the University of Texas Law School, and The Boston Globe, he died on July 2.  Such details can sometimes be important.

In view of last night’s
entry on the evening star,
the following two links
seem appropriate.

A Tune for Michaelmas

and

Law Day 2001:
The Devil and
Wallace Stevens
.
 

Friday, August 3, 2007

Friday August 3, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:09 PM
From August 1

SPORTS OF THE TIMES

Restoring the Faith
After Hitting the Bottom

By SELENA ROBERTS
The New York Times
Published: August 1, 2007

What good is a nadir if it’s denied or ignored? What’s the value of reaching the lowest of the low if it can’t buy a cheap epiphany?

 
The following image
represents an epiphany
of sorts:
 
 The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/070803-BrightStar.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
 
It contains the
“double cross” symbol
of Fritz Leiber’s
Changewar stories;
the “double cross” is
also the traditional
eight-ray symbol of
the evening star
the planet Venus.
Epiphanies due to Venus
are indeed sometimes
cheap… but not always.

For further details, see

 
 
 
and
 

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Thursday July 5, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:11 PM

In Defense of
Plato’s Realism

(vs. sophists’ nominalism–
see recent entries.)

Plato cited geometry,
notably in the Meno,
in defense of his realism.
Consideration of the
Meno’s diamond figure
leads to the following:

The Eightfold Cube and its Inner Structure

Click on image for details.

As noted in an entry,
Plato, Pegasus, and
the Evening Star,

linked to
at the end of today’s
previous entry,
the “universals”
of Platonic realism
are exemplified by
the hexagrams of
the I Ching,
which in turn are
based on the seven
trigrams above and
on the eighth trigram,
of all yin lines,
not shown above:

Trigram of K'un, the Receptive

K’un
The Receptive

_____________________________________________

Update of Nov. 30, 2013:

From  a little-known website in Kuala Lumpur:
(Click to enlarge.)

The remarks on Platonic realism are from Wikipedia.
The eightfold cube is apparently from this post.

Thursday July 5, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:48 PM
Their Name is Legion

“Although it may not at first be obvious,
the substitution for real religions
 of a religion drained of particulars
is of a piece with the desire to
exorcise postmodernism.”

Stanley Fish, July 2002

The previous entry linked to an entry of June 2002 that attacked the nominalism of Stanley Fish.  Here is another such attack:

From “Stanley Fish: The Critic as Sophist,” by R.V. Young, in Modern Age, June 22, 2003:

In one of the definitive works of conservatism in the twentieth century, Richard Weaver designates the rise of nominalism as a critical turn in the emergence of the intellectual and cultural disintegration associated with liberalism, which it is the business of a reviving conservatism to contest: “The defeat of logical realism in the great medieval debate was the crucial event in the history of Western culture; from this flowed those acts which issue now in modern decadence.” It is nominalism that provides the intellectual foundation– if a paradox may be hazarded– for the attack by Fish and numerous others (their name is Legion) on the very idea of intellectual foundations:  

It was William of Occam who propounded the fateful doctrine of nominalism, which denies that universals have real existence. His triumph tended to leave universal terms mere names serving our  convenience. The issue ultimately involved is whether there is a  source of truth higher than, and independent of, man; and the answer to the question is decisive for one’s view of the nature and destiny of humankind. The practical result of nominalist philosophy is to banish the reality which is perceived by the intellect and to posit as reality that which is perceived by the senses. (4)

(4). Ideas Have Consequences (Chicago and London, 1948), 3.

R.V. YOUNG is Professor of English at North Carolina State University and author of At War With the Word and Doctrine and Devotion in Seventeenth-Century Poetry (2000).


Related material:

Simon Blackburn on
Plato and sophists,
realism and nominalism
(previous entry)

and

Plato, Pegasus, and

the Evening Star

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Saturday June 30, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM
An Evening Star

for Rabbi Abraham Klausner,
a “father figure” according to

The New York Times.
The Times says Klausner
died at 92 on
Thursday, June 28, 2007:

(Click to enlarge.)

Rabbi Abraham Klausner

Klausner was a rabbi
in Yonkers until his
retirement in 1989.
The evening number in
the New York Lottery
on the reported date of
Klausner’s death
was 514.

As in the previous entry,
this number may be
interpreted as the date 5/14.

A Log24 entry with that date
:

 

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Today’s birthday: George Lucas,
creator of the mother of all battle epics.

STAR WARS continued:

March 29 eclipse
Star of Venus
Star of Venus
(See March 26-29)

In the details:


The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070630-Detail.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Clicking on “Joshua” will take you
to a site on a film opening
July 6.  That site describes

the title character as follows:
 
“Joshua is no ordinary boy….

He’s exceptionally intelligent and frighteningly precocious.

He has an angelic politeness and an easy cool that belie his young age….

Is it all a series of eerie coincidences or are they in the midst of an unimaginably evil mind? And could it be Joshua who, like his Biblical namesake, is bringing the house tumbling down around his family?”

The “Biblical namesake” is the
Joshua of the Old Testament–
source of the deeply flawed
“tumbling down” analogy.

In the New Testament,

there is of course also
a rather famous Joshua.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070630-FoxLogo.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“And the serpent’s eyes shine  
   as he wraps around the vine….”

The Garden of Allah

 

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunday May 20, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 8:00 AM
Plato and Shakespeare:
Solid and Central

"I have another far more solid and central ground for submitting to it as a faith, instead of merely picking up hints from it as a scheme. And that is this: that the Christian Church in its practical relation to my soul is a living teacher, not a dead one. It not only certainly taught me yesterday, but will almost certainly teach me to-morrow. Once I saw suddenly the meaning of the shape of the cross; some day I may see suddenly the meaning of the shape of the mitre. One free morning I saw why windows were pointed; some fine morning I may see why priests were shaven. Plato has told you a truth; but Plato is dead. Shakespeare has startled you with an image; but Shakespeare will not startle you with any more. But imagine what it would be to live with such men still living, to know that Plato might break out with an original lecture to-morrow, or that at any moment Shakespeare might shatter everything with a single song. The man who lives in contact with what he believes to be a living Church is a man always expecting to meet Plato and Shakespeare to-morrow at breakfast. He is always expecting to see some truth that he has never seen before."

— G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, Ch. IX

From Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star (11/11/99):
 

"Nonbeing must in some sense be, otherwise what is it that there is not? This tangled doctrine might be nicknamed Plato's beard; historically it has proved tough, frequently dulling the edge of Occam's razor…. I have dwelt at length on the inconvenience of putting up with it. It is time to think about taking steps."
— Willard Van Orman Quine, 1948, "On What There Is," reprinted in From a Logical Point of View, Harvard University Press, 1980

"The Consul could feel his glance at Hugh becoming a cold look of hatred. Keeping his eyes fixed gimlet-like upon him he saw him as he had appeared that morning, smiling, the razor edge keen in sunlight. But now he was advancing as if to decapitate him."
— Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano, 1947, Ch. 10

 

"O God, I could be
bounded in a nutshell
and count myself
a king of infinite space,
were it not that
I have bad dreams."
Hamlet

Coxeter: King of Infinite Space

Coxeter exhuming geometry

From today's newspaper:

Dilbert on space, existence, and the dead

Notes:

For an illustration of
the phrase "solid and central,"
see the previous entry.

For further context, see the
five Log24 entries ending
on September 6, 2006
.

For background on the word
"hollow," see the etymology of
 "hole in the wall" as well as
"The God-Shaped Hole" and
"Is Nothing Sacred?"

For further ado, see
Macbeth, V.v
("signifying nothing")
and The New Yorker,
issue dated tomorrow.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Sunday April 8, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:00 AM

Today's sermon

Samuel Beckett on Dante and Joyce:

"Another point of comparison is the preoccupation with the significance of numbers. The death of Beatrice inspired nothing less than a highly complicated poem dealing with the importance of the number 3 in her life. Dante never ceased to be obsessed by this number. Thus the poem is divided into three Cantiche, each composed of 33 Canti…. Why, Mr. Joyce seems to say, should…. the Armistice be celebrated at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month? He cannot tell you because he is not God Almighty, but in a thousand years he will tell you… He is conscious that things with a common numerical characteristic tend towards a very significant interrelationship. This preoccupation is freely translated in his present work…."

— "Dante… Bruno. Vico.. Joyce," in James Joyce/Finnegans Wake: A Symposium (1929), New Directions paperback, 1972

See also Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star.

Sunday April 8, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 AM
Midnight in the Garden
continued from Sept. 30, 2004

Tonight this journal had two Xanga footprints from Italy….

At 11:34 PM ET a visitor from Italy viewed a page containing an entry from Jan. 8, 2005, Splendor of the Light, which offers the following quotation–

From an essay on Guy Davenport
 

"A disciple of Ezra Pound, he adapts to the short story the ideogrammatic method of The Cantos, where a grammar of images, emblems, and symbols replaces that of logical sequence. This grammar allows for the grafting of particulars into a congeries of implied relation without subordination. In contrast to postmodernists, Davenport does not omit causal connection and linear narrative continuity for the sake of an aleatory play of signification but in order to intimate by combinational logic kinships and correspondences among eras, ideas and forces."

— "When Novelists Become Cubists: The Prose Ideograms of Guy Davenport," by Andre Furlani

The visitor from Italy may, of course, have instead intended to view one of the four earlier entries on the page.  In particular, the visitor may have seen

The Star
of Venus

"He looked at the fading light
in the western sky and saw Mercury,
or perhaps it was Venus,
gleaming at him as the evening star.
Darkness and light,
the old man thought.
It is what every hero legend is about.
The darkness which is more than death,
the light which is love, like our friend
Venus here, or perhaps this star is
Mercury, the messenger of Olympus,
the bringer of hope."

Roderick MacLeish, Prince Ombra.

At 11:38 PM ET, a visitor from Italy (very likely the 11:34 visitor returning) viewed the five Log24 entries ending at 12:06 AM ET on Sept. 30, 2004. 

These entries included Midnight in the Garden and…

A Tune for Michaelmas

Mozart, K 265, midi

The entries on this second visited page also included some remarks on Dante, on time, and on Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano that are relevant to Log24 entries earlier this week on Maundy Thursday and on Holy Saturday.

Here's wishing a happy Easter to Italy, to Francis Ford Coppola and Russell Crowe (see yesterday's entry), and to Steven Spielberg (see the Easter page of April 20, 2003).

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070408-Prayer.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Image courtesy of
Hollywood Jesus:

When you wish
upon a star…

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tuesday January 23, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM
Quine vs. Kierkegaard

“The most prominent critic
of the modal notions is Quine.
Throughout his career, he has
argued against the use of notions
like necessity and possibility.”

— Michael J. Loux,
Note 1 of Chapter 5,
“The Necessary and the Possible,”
in Metaphysics:
A Contemporary Introduction

(Routledge, second edition,
January 1, 2002)

Personality is a synthesis of
possibility and necessity.”

— Soren Kierkegaard,
The Sickness Unto Death

Related material:

Plato, Pegasus,
and the Evening Star

Diamonds Are Forever

Dream a Little Dream


Update of 3:45 PM:

From Arts & Letters Daily
this afternoon–

“Existentialism is not all gloom,
even if Heidegger looks pretty sour
in those photos. It’s a philosophy
that America needs now, says
the late Robert Solomon…
moreobit”

See also Jan. 2,
the date of
Solomon’s death
in Switzerland,
and click on the
following symbol
from that date:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070103-DoubleCross.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Sunday January 7, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Thursday, April 7, 2005  7:26 PM

In the Details

Wallace Stevens,
An Ordinary Evening in New Haven:

XXII

Professor Eucalyptus said, “The search
For reality is as momentous as
The search for God.”  It is the philosopher’s search
For an interior made exterior
And the poet’s search for the same exterior made
Interior….

   … Likewise to say of the evening star,
The most ancient light in the most ancient sky,
That it is wholly an inner light, that it shines
From the sleepy bosom of the real, re-creates,
Searches a possible for its possibleness.

Julie Taymor, “Skewed Mirrors” interview:

“… they were performing for God. Now God can mean whatever you want it to mean. But for me, I understood it so totally. The detail….

They did it from the inside to the outside. And from the outside to the in. And that profoundly moved me then. It was…it was the most important thing that I ever experienced.”

“Skewed Mirrors”
illustrated:


Click on the above to enlarge.

Details:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050407-Messick2.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The above may be of interest to students
of  iconology — what Dan Brown in
The Da Vinci Code calls “symbology” —
and of redheads.

The artist of Details,
“Brenda Starr” creator
Dale Messick, died on Tuesday,
April 5, 2005, at 98.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050407-Messick.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
AP Photo
Dale Messick in 1982

For further details on
April 5, see
Art History:
The Pope of Hope

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Saturday January 6, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 PM


Picture of Nothing

On Kirk Varnedoe’s
2003 Mellon Lectures,
Pictures of Nothing“–

“Varnedoe’s lectures were ultimately
about faith, about his faith in
the power of abstraction,
and abstraction as a kind of
anti-religious faith in itself….”

The Washington Post

Related material:

The more industrious scholars
will derive considerable pleasure
from describing how the art-history
professors and journalists of the period
1945-75, along with so many students,
intellectuals, and art tourists of every
sort, actually struggled to see the
paintings directly, in the old
pre-World War II way,
like Plato’s cave dwellers
watching the shadows, without
knowing what had projected them,
which was the Word.”

— Tom Wolfe, The Painted Word

Log24, Aug. 23, 2005:

“Concept (scholastics’ verbum mentis)–
theological analogy of Son’s procession
as Verbum Patris, 111-12″

— Index to Joyce and Aquinas,
by William T. Noon, S.J.,
Yale University Press 1957,
second printing 1963, page 162

“So did God cause the big bang?
Overcome by metaphysical lassitude,
I finally reach over to my bookshelf
for The Devil’s Bible.
Turning to Genesis I read:
‘In the beginning
there was nothing.
And God said,
‘Let there be light!’
And there was still nothing,
but now you could see it.'”

— Jim Holt, Big-Bang Theology,
Slate‘s “High Concept” department

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070106-Bang.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


“Bang.”

“…Mondrian and Malevich
are not discussing canvas
or pigment or graphite or
any other form of matter.
They are talking about
Being or Mind or Spirit.
From their point of view,
the grid is a staircase
to the Universal….”

Rosalind Krauss, “Grids”

For properties of the
“nothing” represented
by the 3×3 grid, see
The Field of Reason.

For religious material related
to the above and to Epiphany,
a holy day observed by some,
see Plato, Pegasus, and the
Evening Star
and Shining Forth.

Friday, July 7, 2006

Friday July 7, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM

ART WARS continued
 

To the “Endgame Art” review
in today’s New York Times,
a magic-realism response:

Now

In memory of
Roderick MacLeish:

Now, we are seven.
— Yul Brynner

Related material:

Log24 for 6/6/6

  and
Plato, Pegasus, and
the Evening Star.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Monday June 26, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 AM
D-Day Notes
continued:

Lyle Stuart, publisher of The Anarchist Cookbook and The Turner Diaries, died at 83 on Saturday, June 24, 2006.

“Mr. Stuart was named Lionel Simon when he was born in Manhattan, the son of a salesman and a secretary.  His father committed suicide when the boy was 6.”

Anthony Ramirez in
this morning’s New York Times

Related material:

The previous entry,

Plato, Pegasus, and
the Evening Star,
and

Architecture of Eternity

See also two varieties of Hell,
from the New York Times on
Nov. 25, 2005, and yesterday.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Tuesday May 23, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:11 PM
Evening Star

The image �http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051123-Star.jpg� cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Reba Shines in Vegas

Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday May 19, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 AM
Star and Diamond
 
continued

” ‘I know what it is you last saw,’ she said; ‘for that is also in my mind. Do not be afraid! But do not think that only by singing amid the trees, nor even by the slender arrows of elvenbows, is this land of Lothlórien maintained and defended against the Enemy. I say to you, Frodo, that even as I speak to you, I perceive the Dark Lord and know his mind, or all his mind that concerns the Elves. And he gropes ever to see me and my thought. But still the door is closed!’
      She lifted up her white arms, and spread out her hands towards the East in a gesture of rejection and denial. Eärendil, the Evening Star, most beloved of the Elves, shone clear above. So bright was it that the figure of the Elven-lady cast a dim shadow on the ground. Its ray glanced upon a ring about her finger; it glittered like polished gold overlaid with silver light, and a white stone in it twinkled as if the Even-star had come to rest upon her hand. Frodo gazed at the ring with awe; for suddenly it seemed to him that he understood.
      ‘Yes,’ she said, divining his thought, ‘it is not permitted to speak of it, and Elrond could not do so. But it cannot be hidden from the Ring-Bearer, and one who has seen the Eye. Verily it is in the land of Lórien upon the finger of Galadriel that one of the Three remains. This is Nenya, the Ring of Adamant, and I am its keeper.’ ”

— J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Related material:

The last 3 entries,
as well as
Mathematics and Narrative

“How much story
do you want?”
— George Balanchine  

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Thursday May 4, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:09 PM
First of all…

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060504-Hannibal.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

On this date in 1927, the
Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Sciences was chartered.

Related material:

Dante and Plato,

Plato, Pegasus, and
  the Evening Star
,

Mathematics and Narrative,

The Tiffany Code

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Wednesday May 3, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM
Ontology Alignment
continued

“Mathematics ushers one into the realm of abstraction and universality, grasped only through pure reason.  Mathematics is the threshold we cross to pass into the ideal, the truly real.”

     — Rebecca Goldstein,
       Mathematics and
       the Character of Tragedy

Pennsylvania Lottery:

The winning numbers
for Tuesday, May 2–
the feast of
St. Athanasius:

Mid-day 703
Evening 462

“You gotta be true to your code”
— Sinatra (see previous entry)

 Dewey Decimal Code:

703 The Arts:
       Dictionaries &
       Encyclopedias
462 Spanish Etymology

Related material:

For the arts, see
the previous entry.
For Spanish etymology,
see the remarks on
a Spanish word in
Plato, Pegasus, and
the Evening Star,
a note linked to in the
April 30 memorial entry
for John Kenneth Galbraith.

The numbers 703 and 462 are, in Goldstein’s phrase, “truly real.”  However, their link to St. Athanasius and to the Spanish language is, as purveyors of fiction* say, “purely coincidental”– as is much of what makes life interesting.

“All persons living and dead are purely coincidental….”– Kurt Vonnegut, epigraph to Bagombo Snuff Box

* For instance,
   David Auburn in Proof,

   The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060503-DrLecter2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

   which also involves
   Dewey decimal numbers

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sunday April 30, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:11 AM
Saturday Night
to Sunday Morning
John Kenneth Galbraith
died last evening
at 9:15 PM in
Cambridge, Mass.,
according to
news reports.
 
Related material:
  Hexagram 11
  Plato, Pegasus, and
  the Evening Star,
 
Time in the Rock.
The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060430-Galbraith.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Brian Snyder/Reuters 

Galbraith
in 1998.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Monday March 27, 2006

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:17 AM

A Living Church

A skeptic’s remark:

“…the mind is an amazing thing and it can create patterns and interconnections among things all day if you let it, regardless of whether they are real connections.”

— Xanga blogger “sejanus”

A reply from G. K. Chesterton
(Log24, Jan. 18, 2004):

“Plato has told you a truth; but Plato is dead. Shakespeare has startled you with an image; but Shakespeare will not startle you with any more. But imagine what it would be to live with such men still living. To know that Plato might break out with an original lecture to-morrow, or that at any moment Shakespeare might shatter everything with a single song. The man who lives in contact with what he believes to be a living Church is a man always expecting to meet Plato and Shakespeare to-morrow at breakfast. He is always expecting to see some truth that he has never seen before.”

For Reba McEntire:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060327-Reba.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Sunday’s lottery in the
State of Grace
(Kelly, of Philadelphia):

Mid-day: 024
Evening: 672

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/HoldingWonder.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

A meditation on  
Sunday’s numbers —

From Log24, Jan. 8, 2005:

24

The Star
of Venus

“He looked at the fading light
in the western sky and saw Mercury,
or perhaps it was Venus,
gleaming at him as the evening star.
Darkness and light,
the old man thought.
It is what every hero legend is about.
The darkness which is more than death,
the light which is love, like our friend
Venus here….”

Roderick MacLeish, Prince Ombra

From Log24, Oct. 23, 2002:

An excerpt from
Robert A. Heinlein‘s
classic novel Glory Road

    “I have many names. What would you like to call me?”

    “Is one of them ‘Helen’?”

    She smiled like sunshine and I learned that she had dimples. She looked sixteen and in her first party dress. “You are very gracious. No, she’s not even a relative. That was many, many years ago.” Her face turned thoughtful. “Would you like to call me ‘Ettarre’?”

    “Is that one of your names?”

    “It is much like one of them, allowing for different spelling and accent. Or it could be ‘Esther’ just as closely. Or ‘Aster.’ Or even ‘Estrellita.’ ”

    ” ‘Aster,’ ” I repeated. “Star. Lucky Star!”

Related material:

672 Astarte and
The Venerable Bede
(born in 672).

672 illustrated:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060327-BedeStar.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
The Venerable Bede
and the Star of Venus

The 672 connection is, of course,
not a real connection
(in the sense of “sejanus” above)
but it is nevertheless
not without interest.

Postscript of 6 PM

A further note on the above
illustration of the 672 connection:

The late Buck Owens
(see previous entry for
Owens, Reba, and the
star of Venus)
once described
his TV series as
“a show of fat old men
and pretty young girls”
(today’s Washington Post).

A further note on
lottery hermeneutics:

Those who prefer to interpret
random numbers with the aid
of a dictionary
(as in Is Nothing Sacred?)
may be pleased to note that
“heehaw” occurs in Webster’s
New World Dictionary,
College Edition
, 1960,
on page 672.

In today’s Washington Post,
Richard Harrington informs us that
“As a child, Owens worked cotton and
  maize fields, taking the name Buck
from a well-liked mule….”

Hee. Haw.
 

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Saturday November 12, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM

State of Grace
On this date in 1929,
Grace Kelly was born.

Enough —
    the first Abode
On the familiar Road
Galloped in Dreams —

— Emily Dickinson

 

“Nonbeing must in some sense be, otherwise what is it that there is not? This tangled doctrine might be nicknamed Plato’s beard; historically it has proved tough, frequently dulling the edge of Occam’s razor…. I have dwelt at length on the inconvenience of putting up with it. It is time to think about taking steps.”

— Willard Van Orman Quine, 1948, “On What There Is,” reprinted in From a Logical Point of View, Harvard University Press, 1980

“Item: Friar Guillaume’s razor
ne’er shaved the barber,
it is much too dull.”

— Robert A. Heinlein
  Glory Road

Related material:
Plato, Pegasus, and
the Evening Star

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Wednesday November 2, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

All Souls’ Day

Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano:

“… Let me see, he was only praelector in my time….”
   “He was still praelector in mine.”
   (In my time?… But what, exactly, does that mean?….)
….
   “He was beginning to get the wines and the first editions slightly mixed up in my day.”….
   “Bring me a bottle of the very best John Donne, will you, Smithers?… You know, some of the genuine old 1611.”
   “God how funny… Or isn’t it?….”

In memory of Malcolm Lowry, a quotation from Donne, 1611:

And, Oh, it can no more be questioned,
That beauties best, proportion, is dead,
Since euen griefe it selfe, which now alone
Is left vs, is without proportion.
Shee by whose lines proportion should bee
Examin’d measure of all Symmetree,
Whom had the Ancient seene, who thought soules made
Of Harmony, he would at next haue said
That Harmony was shee, and thence infer.
That soules were but Resultances from her,

Here is a link to a later Cambridge praelector, Robert Alexander Rankin.  Rankin, a purveyor of pure mathematics, may help to counteract the pernicious influence on souls of Sir Michael Atiyah (see previous two entries and Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star).

Thursday, April 7, 2005

Thursday April 7, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:26 PM

In the Details

Wallace Stevens,
An Ordinary Evening in New Haven:

XXII

Professor Eucalyptus said, “The search
For reality is as momentous as
The search for God.”  It is the philosopher’s search
For an interior made exterior
And the poet’s search for the same exterior made
Interior….

   … Likewise to say of the evening star,
The most ancient light in the most ancient sky,
That it is wholly an inner light, that it shines
From the sleepy bosom of the real, re-creates,
Searches a possible for its possibleness.

Julie Taymor, “Skewed Mirrors” interview:

“… they were performing for God. Now God can mean whatever you want it to mean. But for me, I understood it so totally. The detail….

They did it from the inside to the outside. And from the outside to the in. And that profoundly moved me then. It was…it was the most important thing that I ever experienced.”

“Skewed Mirrors”
illustrated:

Click on the above to enlarge.

Details:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050407-Messick2.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The above may be of interest to students
of  iconology — what Dan Brown in
The Da Vinci Code calls “symbology” —
and of redheads.

The artist of Details,
“Brenda Starr” creator
Dale Messick, died on Tuesday,
April 5, 2005, at 98.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050407-Messick.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
AP Photo
Dale Messick in 1982

For further details on
April 5, see
Art History:
The Pope of Hope


Saturday, January 8, 2005

Saturday January 8, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 AM

24

The Star
of Venus

“He looked at the fading light
in the western sky and saw Mercury,
or perhaps it was Venus,
gleaming at him as the evening star.
Darkness and light,
the old man thought.
It is what every hero legend is about.
The darkness which is more than death,
the light which is love, like our friend
Venus here, or perhaps this star is
Mercury, the messenger of Olympus,
the bringer of hope.”

Roderick MacLeish, Prince Ombra

Related material:

The Devil and Wallace Stevens,

Journey of the Magi
,

and

Hexagram 24:

“The time of darkness is past.
The winter solstice brings
the victory of light.”

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Thursday November 11, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:11 AM

11/11 11:11:11

Samuel Beckett on Dante and Joyce:

“Another point of comparison is the preoccupation with the significance of numbers. The death of Beatrice inspired nothing less than a highly complicated poem dealing with the importance of the number 3 in her life. Dante never ceased to be obsessed by this number. Thus the poem is divided into three Cantiche, each composed of 33 Canti…. Why, Mr. Joyce seems to say, should…. the Armistice be celebrated at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month? He cannot tell you because he is not God Almighty, but in a thousand years he will tell you… He is conscious that things with a common numerical characteristic tend towards a very significant interrelationship. This preoccupation is freely translated in his present work….”

— “Dante… Bruno. Vico.. Joyce,” in James Joyce/Finnegans Wake: A Symposium (1929), New Directions paperback, 1972

See also my entry from five years ago on this date:

Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star.

Friday, October 1, 2004

Friday October 1, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:23 PM

Ig Nobel
Literature Prize:

Copies of
Lord of the Last Days
and Lepanto

Aridjis

Chesterton

to John Kerry

for his blind support of scientism
as well as his ignorance of geography.

Related material:
Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star.

Sunday, September 5, 2004

Sunday September 5, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:00 PM

Symmetry and Change
in the Dreamtime

Notes from the Journal
of Steven H. Cullinane

Summary:

Aug 31 2004 
07:31:01 PM
Early Evening,
Shining Star 
Sep 01 2004
09:00:35 AM
Words
and Images
Sep 01 2004
12:07:28 PM
Whale Rider
Sep 02 2004
11:11:42 AM
Heaven
and Earth

Sep 02 2004
07:00:23 PM
Whale Road

Sep 03 2004
12:00:54 AM

Cinderella’s
Slipper
 
Sep 03 2004
10:01:56 AM
Another
September Morn

 

Sep 03 2004
12:00:25 PM

Noon

Sep 03 2004
01:13:49 PM

De Nada

Sep 03 2004
03:17:13 
PM

Ite, Missa Est 


Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Symmetry and Change, Part 1…

Early Evening,
Shining Star

7:31:01 PM ET

Hexagram 01
The Creative:

 

The Image

Heaven

Heaven

The movement of heaven
is full of power.

Click on picture
for details.

The Clare Lawler Prize
for Literature goes to…

Under the Volcano,
Chapter VI:

“What have I got out of my life? Contacts with famous men… The occasion Einstein asked me the time, for instance. That summer evening…. smiles when I say I don’t know. And yet asked me. Yes: the great Jew, who has upset the whole world’s notions of time and space, once leaned down… to ask me… ragged freshman… at the first approach of the evening star, the time. And smiled again when I pointed out the clock neither of us had noticed.”

For the thoughts on time
of another famous man,
from Mexico, see the
Nobel Prize acceptance speech
of Octavio Paz,
In Search of the Present.”


Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Symmetry and Change, Part 2…

Words and Images

9:00:35 AM ET

Hexagram 35
Progress:

The Image

Fire

Earth

The sun rises over the earth.

From Aug. 18, 2004:

“Oh, my Lolita. I have only words
to play with!” (Nabokov, Lolita)

“This is the best toy train set
a boy ever had!”
(Orson Welles, after first touring
RKO Studios, quoted in Halliwell)

“As the quotes above by Nabokov and Welles suggest, we need to be able to account for the specific functions available to narrative in each medium, for the specific elements that empirical creators will ‘play with’ in crafting their narratives.”

Donald F. Larsson

For
James Whale
and
William French Anderson —

Words
In the Spirit of
Dave Barry’s Book of Bad Songs:

Stay for just a while…
Stay, and let me look at you.
It’s been so long, I hardly knew you.
Standing in the door…
Stay with me a while.
I only want to talk to you.
We’ve traveled halfway ’round the world
To find ourselves again.

September morn…
We danced until the night
      became a brand new day,
Two lovers playing scenes
      from some romantic play.
September morning still can
      make me feel this way.

Look at what you’ve done…
Why, you’ve become a grown-up girl…

— Neil Diamond

Images
In the Spirit of
September Morn:

The Last Day of Summer:
Photographs by Jock Sturges

In 1990, the FBI entered Sturges’s studio and seized his work, claiming violation of child pornography laws.”

Related material:

Bill’s Diamond Theory

and

Log24 entries of
Aug. 15, 2004
.

Those interested in the political implications of Diamond’s songs may enjoy Neil Performs at Kerry Fundraiser.

I personally enjoyed this site’s description of Billy Crystal’s remarks, which included “a joke about former President Clinton’s forthcoming children’s book — ‘It’s called The Little Engine That Could Because It Could.'”

“Puff, puff, woo, woo, off we go!” 

 


 

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Symmetry and Change, Part 3…

Whale Rider

12:07:28 PM

Hexagram 28
Preponderance of
the Great:

The Image

Lake

Wind

The lake rises
above
the trees.

 

Cullinane College News:

“Congratulations to Clare Lawler, who participated very successfully in the recently held Secondary Schools Judo Championships in Wellington.”

For an explanation of this entry’s title, see the previous two entries and

Oxford Word
(Log24, July 10, 2004) 


Thursday, September 2, 2004

Symmetry and Change, Part 4…

Heaven and Earth

11:11:42 AM ET

Hexagram 42
Increase:

The Image

Wind

Thunder

Wind and thunder:
the image of Increase.

“This time resembles that of
the marriage of heaven and earth”


Kylie


Finney

Well if you want to ride
you gotta ride it like you find it.
Get your ticket at the station
of the Rock Island Line.
Lonnie Donegan (d. Nov. 3)
and others
The Rock Island Line’s namesake depot 
in Rock Island, Illinois

“What it all boiled down to really was everybody giving everybody else a hard time for no good reason whatever… You just couldn’t march to your own music. Nowadays, you couldn’t even hear it… It was lost, the music which each person had inside himself, and which put him in step with things as they should be.”

The Grifters, Ch. 10, 1963, by
James Myers Thompson

“The Old Man’s still an artist
with a Thompson.”
— Terry in “Miller’s Crossing

For some of “the music which
each person had inside,”
click on the picture
with the Thompson.

It may be that Kylie is,
in her own way, an artist…
with a 357:

(Hits counter at
The Quality of Diamond
as of 11:05 AM Sept. 2, 2004)

For more on
“the marriage of heaven and earth,”
see
Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star


Thursday, September 2, 2004

Symmetry and Change, Part 5…

Whale Road

7:00:23 PM

Hexagram 23
Splitting Apart:

The Image

Mountain

Earth

The mountain rests
on the earth
.

“… the plot is different but the monsters, names, and manner of speaking will ring a bell.”

— Frank Pinto, Jr., review of Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf 

Other recommended reading, found during a search for the implications of today’s previous entry, “Hexagram 42”:

Water Wings.

This excellent meditation
on symmetry and change
comes from a site whose
home page
has the following image:


Friday, September 3, 2004

 Symmetry and Change, Part 6…

Cinderella’s Slipper

12:00:54 AM ET

Hexagram 54
The Marrying Maiden:

 

The Image

Thunder


Lake
See
The hundredletter
thunderwords of
Finnegans Wake


“… a Thoreau-like retreat
by a nearby lake….
Both men have
a ‘touch of the poet’….
The symmetry is perfect.”

Friday, September 3, 2004  

Symmetry and Change, Part 7…

Another September Morn

10:01:56 AM ET

Hexagram 56:
The Wanderer

 

The Image

Fire


Mountain

Fire on the mountain,
Run boys run…
Devil’s in the House of
The Rising Sun!
 


Friday, September 3, 2004

Symmetry and Change, Part 8…

Noon

12:00:25 PM ET

Hexagram 25
Innocence:

The Image

Heaven


Thunder

Under heaven
thunder rolls.
 


Friday, September 3, 2004

Symmetry and Change, Part 9…

De Nada

Helen Lane

1:13:49 PM ET

Hexagram 49
Revolution:

The Image

Lake


Fire
 Fire in the lake:
the image of Revolution
.

“I sit now in a little room off the bar at four-thirty in the morning drinking ochas and then mescal and writing this on some Bella Vista notepaper I filched the other night…. But this is worst of all, to feel your soul dying. I wonder if it is because to-night my soul has really died that I feel at the moment something like peace. Or is it because right through hell there is a path, as Blake well knew, and though I may not take it, sometimes lately in dreams I have been able to see it? …And this is how I sometimes think of myself, as a great explorer who has discovered some extraordinary land from which he can never return to give his knowledge to the world: but the name of this land is hell. It is not Mexico of course but in the heart.”

— Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano 


Friday, September 3, 2004

Symmetry and Change, conclusion…

Ite, Missa Est

3:17:13 PM ET

Hexagram 13
Fellowship With Men:

The Image

Heaven


Fire

Heaven together with fire.

“A pretty girl —
is like a melody —- !”

 For details, see
A Mass for Lucero


Thursday, September 2, 2004

Thursday September 2, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:11 AM

Symmetry and Change, Part 4…

Heaven and Earth

11:11:42 AM ET

Hexagram 42
Increase:

The Image

Wind

Thunder

Wind and thunder:
the image of Increase.

“This time resembles that of
the marriage of heaven and earth”


Kylie


Finney

 
Well if you want to ride
you gotta ride it like you find it.
Get your ticket at the station
of the Rock Island Line.
Lonnie Donegan (d. Nov. 3)
and others
 
 
The Rock Island Line’s namesake depot 
in Rock Island, Illinois

“What it all boiled down to really was everybody giving everybody else a hard time for no good reason whatever… You just couldn’t march to your own music. Nowadays, you couldn’t even hear it… It was lost, the music which each person had inside himself, and which put him in step with things as they should be.”

The Grifters, Ch. 10, 1963, by
James Myers Thompson

“The Old Man’s still an artist
with a Thompson.”
— Terry in “Miller’s Crossing

For some of “the music which
each person had inside,”
click on the picture
with the Thompson.

It may be that Kylie is,
in her own way, an artist…
with a 357:

(Hits counter at
The Quality of Diamond
as of 11:05 AM Sept. 2, 2004)

For more on
“the marriage of heaven and earth,”
see
Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Tuesday August 31, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:31 PM

Symmetry and Change, Part 1…

Early Evening,
Shining Star

7:31:01 PM ET

Hexagram 01
The Creative:

 

The Image

Heaven

Heaven

The movement of heaven
is full of power.

Click on picture
for details.

The Clare Lawler Prize
for Literature goes to…

Under the Volcano,
Chapter VI:

“What have I got out of my life? Contacts with famous men… The occasion Einstein asked me the time, for instance. That summer evening…. smiles when I say I don’t know. And yet asked me. Yes: the great Jew, who has upset the whole world’s notions of time and space, once leaned down… to ask me… ragged freshman… at the first approach of the evening star, the time. And smiled again when I pointed out the clock neither of us had noticed.”

For the thoughts on time
of another famous man,
from Mexico, see the
Nobel Prize acceptance speech
of Octavio Paz,
In Search of the Present.”

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Thursday August 19, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:06 AM

Instantia Crucis

"Francis Bacon used the phrase instantia crucis, 'crucial instance,' to refer to something in an experiment that proves one of two hypotheses and disproves the other. Bacon's phrase was based on a sense of the Latin word crux, 'cross,' which had come to mean 'a guidepost that gives directions at a place where one road becomes two,' and hence was suitable for Bacon's metaphor."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

The high notes hit by Harriet Wheeler, Jen Slocumb, and Alanis Morissette can, I am sorry to say, be excruciating. (See previous entry.) I greatly prefer the mellow tones of Mary Chapin Carpenter:

"I guess you're never really all alone,
        or too far from the pull of home,
An' the stars upon that painted dome
        still shine."

MCC, Grand Central Station

From an entry of 12/22/02:

 









White
Horse
Wings
As if

A white horse comes as if on wings.

— I Ching, Hexagram 22: Grace

See also

Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star,

Shining Forth, and

Music for Pegasus.

Carpenter's song quoted above
is from the album
Between Here and Gone,
released April 27, 2004.
 

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Wednesday March 31, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:25 AM

To Be

A Jesuit cites Quine:

"To be is to be the value of a variable."

— Willard Van Orman Quine, cited by Joseph T. Clark, S. J., in Conventional Logic and Modern Logic: A Prelude to Transition,  Woodstock, MD: Woodstock College Press, 1952, to which Quine contributed a preface.

Quine died in 2000 on Xmas Day.

From a July 26, 2003, entry,
The Transcendent Signified,
on an essay by mathematician
Michael Harris:

Kubrick's
monolith

Harris's
slab

From a December 10, 2003, entry:

Putting Descartes Before Dehors

      

"Descartes déclare que c'est en moi, non hors de moi, en moi, non dans le monde, que je pourrais voir si quelque chose existe hors de moi."

ATRIUM, Philosophie

For further details, see ART WARS.

The above material may be regarded as commemorating the March 31 birth of René Descartes and death of H. S. M. Coxeter.

For further details, see

Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Wednesday September 10, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:04 PM

4:04:08

The title refers to my entry of last April 4,

The Eight,

and to the time of this entry.

From D. H. Lawrence and the Dialogical Principle:

“Plato’s Dialogues…are queer little novels….[I]t was the greatest pity in the world, when philosophy and fiction got split.  They used to be one, right from the days of myth.  Then they went and parted, like a nagging married couple, with Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas and that beastly Kant.  So the novel went sloppy, and philosophy went abstract-dry.  The two should come together again, in the novel.”

— pp. 154-5 in D. H. Lawrence, “The Future of the Novel,” in Study of Thomas Hardy and Other Essays. Ed.  Bruce Steele.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,1983. 149-55.



Philosophy



Fiction

“The wild, brilliant, alert head of St. Mawr seemed to look at her out of another world… the large, brilliant eyes of that horse looked at her with demonish question…. ‘Meet him half way,’ Lewis [the groom] said.  But halfway across from our human world to that terrific equine twilight was not a small step.”    

— pp. 30, 35 in D. H. Lawrence, “St. Mawr.” 1925.  St. Mawr and Other Stories.  Ed. Brian Finney.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

See also

Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star.

Katherine Neville’s novel The Eight, referred to in my note of April 4, is an excellent example of how not to combine philosophy with fiction.  Lest this be thought too harsh, let me say that the New Testament offers a similarly ludicrous mixture.

On the other hand, there do exist successful combinations of philosophy with fiction… For example, The Glass Bead Game, Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Under the Volcano, the novels of Charles Williams, and the C. S. Lewis classic That Hideous Strength.

This entry was prompted by the appearance of the god Pan in my entry on this date last year, by Hugh Grant’s comedic encounters with Pan in “Sirens,” by Lawrence’s remarks on Pan in “St. Mawr,” and by the classic film “Picnic at Hanging Rock.”

Sunday, September 7, 2003

Sunday September 7, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:11 PM

Horse Sense

Mathematicians are familiar with the emblem of Springer Verlag, the principal publisher of higher mathematics.

Ferdinand Springer, son of Julius Springer, founder of Springer Verlag, "was a passionate chess player and published a number of books on the subject. In 1881 this personal hobby and the name Springer led the company to adopt the knight in chess (in German, Springer) as its colophon."

Hermann Hesse on a certain sort of serenity:

"I would like to say something more to you about cheerful serenity, the serenity of the stars and of the mind…. neither frivolity nor complacency; it is supreme insight and love, affirmation of all reality, alertness on the brink of all depths and abysses; it is a virtue of saints and of knights; it is indestructible and only increases with age and nearness to death. It is the secret of beauty and the real substance of all art."

— From The Glass Bead Game

A saint and a knight, Jeanne d'Arc, was memorably portrayed by Milla Jovovich in The Messenger.

(Jovovich seems fated to play more-than-human characters in religious epics; see The Fifth Element.)

Another Springer, related to horses and to the accusation of witchcraft faced by Jeanne d'Arc, is Nancy Springer, the author of

The Hex Witch of Seldom.

Springer has written a number of books about horses, as well as other topics.

All of the above…. especially the parts having to do with mathematics and horses… was prompted by my redrawing today of a horse-shape within mathematics.  See my entry The Eight of April 4, 2003, and the horse-figure redrawn at right below.

 



Springer
Verlag



The
 Messenger



A
7-Cycle

Believers in the story theory of truth may wish to relate the gifts of Jeanne d'Arc and of the girl in The Hex Witch of Seldom to the legend of Pegasus.  See, for instance,

Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star.

For another connection between mathematics and horses, see Sangaku.
 

Friday, July 25, 2003

Friday July 25, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:59 PM

Realism in Literature:
Under the Volcano

Mexican Volcano Blast
Scares Residents

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 11:13 p.m. EDT Friday, July 25, 2003

PUEBLA, Mexico (AP) — Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano shot glowing rock and ash high into the air Friday night, triggering a thunderous explosion that panicked some residents in nearby communities.

Here are 3 webcam views of the volcano.   Nothing to see at the moment.

Literary background:

Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano,

Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star,

A Mass for Lucero,

Shining Forth,

and, as background for today’s earlier entry on Platonism and Derrida,

The Shining of May 29.

Vignette

For more on Plato and Christian theology, consult the highly emotional site

Further Into the Depths of Satan:

“…in The Last Battle on page 170 [C. S.] Lewis has Digory saying, ‘It’s all in Plato, all in Plato.’ Now, Lewis calls Plato ‘an overwhelming theological genius’ (Reflections on the Psalms, p. 80)….”

The title “Further Into the Depths of Satan,” along with the volcano readings above, suggests a reading from a related site:

Gollum and the Mystery of Evil:

“Gollum here clearly represents Frodo’s hidden self. It is ‘as if we are witnessing the darkest night of the soul and one side attempting to master the other’ (Jane Chance 102). Then Frodo, whose finger has been bitten off, cries out, and Gollum holds the Ring aloft, shrieking: ‘Precious, precious, precious! My Precious! O my Precious!’ (RK, VI, 249). At this point, stepping too near the edge, he falls into the volcano, taking the Ring with him. With this, the mountain shakes.’ “

In the above two-step vignette, the part of Gollum is played by the author of “Further Into the Depths of Satan,” who called  C. S. Lewis a fool “that was and is extremely useful to his father the devil.”

See Matthew 5:22: “…whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” 

Friday, March 28, 2003

Friday March 28, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:16 AM

Bright Star

From a Spanish-English dictionary:

lucero m. morning or evening star: any bright star….

 Today is Reba McEntire’s birthday.

” ‘I know what it is you last saw,’ she said; ‘for that is also in my mind. Do not be afraid! But do not think that only by singing amid the trees, nor even by the slender arrows of elven-bows, is this land of Lothlórien maintained and defended against the Enemy. I say to you, Frodo, that even as I speak to you, I perceive the Dark Lord and know his mind, or all his mind that concerns the Elves. And he gropes ever to see me and my thought. But still the door is closed!’

      She lifted up her white arms, and spread out her hands towards the East in a gesture of rejection and denial. Eärendil, the Evening Star, most beloved of the Elves, shone clear above. So bright was it that the figure of the Elven-lady cast a dim shadow on the ground. Its ray glanced upon a ring about her finger; it glittered like polished gold overlaid with silver light, and a white stone in it twinkled as if the Even-star had come to rest upon her hand. Frodo gazed at the ring with awe; for suddenly it seemed to him that he understood. 

      ‘Yes’, she said, divining his thought, ‘it is not permitted to speak of it, and Elrond could not do so. But it cannot be hidden from the Ring-Bearer, and one who has seen the Eye. Verily it is in the land of Lórien upon the finger of Galadriel that one of the Three remains. This is Nenya, the Ring of Adamant, and I am its keeper.’ “

— J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Related material on telepathy:

Shining Forth and Naturalized Epistemology

Related material on rings, and another musical Reba:

Leonard Gillman interview, Part I and Part II

Gillman, a pianist, is co-author of Rings of Continuous Functions.

Tuesday, March 4, 2003

Tuesday March 4, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:25 PM

Fearful Symmetry

I just Googled this phrase and found the following site, which turns out to be related to my previous entry on the Bead Game and the death of John P. Thompson.

Fearful Symmetry:
The Music Master’s Lecture
,

by Daniel d’Quincy.

This in turn links to an excerpt from The Glass Bead Game that includes this passage: 

“I suddenly realized that in the language, or at any rate in the spirit of the Glass Bead Game, everything actually was all-meaningful, that every symbol and combination of symbols led not hither and yon, not to single examples, experiments, and proofs, but into the center, the mystery and innermost heart of the world, into primal knowledge. Every transition from major to minor in a sonata, every transformation of a myth or a religious cult, every classical or artistic formulation was, I realized in that flashing moment, if seen with a truly meditative mind, nothing but a direct route into the interior of the cosmic mystery, where in the alternation between inhaling and exhaling, between heaven and earth, between Yin and Yang, holiness is forever being created.”

It is very easy to get dangerously confused about holiness, but here are some relevant quotes:

“You will have to allow me to digress a bit in order to bring ourselves to a sufficiently elevated perspective… I warn you, it will require an attitude of playfulness on your part. Our approach will aim more at sincerity than seriousness. The attitude I’m aiming at is best expressed, I suppose, in the playing of a unique game, known by its German name as Das Glasperlenspiel, and which we may translate as the Glass Bead Game.”

— Daniel d’Quincy, Fearful Symmetry 

“7:11”

— God himself said this, at least according to the previous entry and to my Jan. 28 entry, State of the Communion.

“Seven is heaven.”

— See my web page Eight is a Gate.

“An excellent example of a ‘universal’ in the sense of Charles Williams, Jung, or Plato is Hexagram 11 in China’s 3,000-year-old classic, the I Ching:

Hexagram 11

‘Heaven and earth unite:
 the image of PEACE.’ 
 (Wilhelm/Baynes translation,
 Princeton University Press, 1967)” 

— S. H. Cullinane, Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star

Thus we may associate the numbers 7 and 11 with the notions of heaven and peace; for a somewhat darker association of the time 7:11 with Kali as Time the Destroyer, see my last entry and also my previous entries

Fat Man and Dancing Girl (Feb. 18, 2003), and 

Time and Eternity (Feb. 1, 2003).

Monday, January 20, 2003

Monday January 20, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:00 PM

Shine On, Robinson Jeffers

"…be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, 
      a clever servant, insufferable master.
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits,
     that caught — they say — God, when he walked on earth."
Shine, Perishing Republic, by Robinson Jeffers

Robinson Jeffers died at Big Sur, California, on January 20, 1962 — a year to the day after Robert Frost spoke at the Kennedy inauguration.

"The poetry of Robinson Jeffers shines with a diamond's brilliance when he depicts Nature's beauty and magnificence.   His verse also flashes with a diamond's hardness when he portrays human pain and folly."
Gary Suttle  

"Praise Him, He hath conferred aesthetic distance
Upon our appetites, and on the bloody
Mess of our birthright, our unseemly need,
Imposed significant form. Through Him the brutes
Enter the pure Euclidean kingdom of number…."
— Howard Nemerov, 
   Grace To Be Said at the Supermarket 

"Across my foundering deck shone 
A beacon, an eternal beam. | Flesh fade, and mortal trash 
Fáll to the resíduary worm; | world's wildfire, leave but ash: 
In a flash, at a trumpet crash, 
I am all at once what Christ is |, since he was what I am, and 
Thís Jack, jóke, poor pótsherd, | patch, matchwood,
    immortal diamond, 
Is immortal diamond."
— Gerard Manley Hopkins,
    That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the Comfort of the Resurrection

"In the last two weeks, I've been returning to Hopkins.  Even in the 'world's wildfire,' he asserts that 'this Jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood, immortal diamond,/Is immortal diamond.' A comfort."
— Michael Gerson, head White House speechwriter,
    in Vanity Fair, May 2002, page 162

"There's none but truth can stead you.  Christ is truth."
— Gerard Manley Hopkins

"The rock cannot be broken.  It is the truth."
— Wallace Stevens 

"My ghost you needn't look for; it is probably
Here, but a dark one, deep in the granite…."
— Robinson Jeffers, Tor House

On this date in 1993, the inauguration day of William Jefferson Clinton, Audrey Hepburn died.

"…today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully…."
Maya Angelou, January 20, 1993

"So, purposing each moment to retire,
She linger'd still. Meantime, across the moors,
Had come young Porphyro, with heart on fire"
— John Keats, The Eve of St. Agnes (January 20), IX

Top view of
ordinary
diamond

Top view of
Hearts On Fire
diamond

Advertising Copy:

What you see with a Hearts On Fire diamond is an unequalled marriage of math and physics, resulting in the world's most perfectly cut diamond.

 

"Eightpointed symmetrical signs are ancient symbols for the Venus goddess or the planet Venus as either the Morning star or the Evening star."
Symbols.com

"Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave.  Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame."
Song of Solomon

"The last words from the people in the towers and on the planes, over and over again, were 'I love you.'  Over and over again, the message was the same, 'I love you.' …. Perhaps this is the loudest chorus from The Rock:  we are learning just how powerful love really is, even in the face of death."
The Rev. Kenneth E. Kovacs

"Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again."
The Who 

See also my note, "Bright Star," of October 23, 2002.

 

Sunday, December 22, 2002

Sunday December 22, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:00 PM

    Hexagram 22:   Grace

  

Grace

 Line 4:









White
 Horse
Wings
As if

A white horse comes as if on wings.

See also Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Thursday December 19, 2002

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:30 PM

Winter’s Tale

The title is that of a novel by Mark Helprin.

On this date in 1903, the Williamsburg Bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan was opened to traffic.

From the opening of Helprin’s 1983 novel:

“The horse…. trotted alone over the carriage road of the Williamsburg Bridge, before the light, while the toll keeper was sleeping by his stove and many stars were still blazing above the city.”

A memorable
 rhyme
:

Seven is
  heaven,
Eight is
  a gate. 

A 1985 illustration

See also Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star.

“The Forms are abstract but real.”

Rebecca Goldstein on Plato

Sunday, December 8, 2002

Sunday December 8, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:48 PM

 
Lucero
 
From a Spanish-English dictionary:

lucero m. morning or evening star:
any bright star….
2. hole in a window panel for the
admission of light….
 
Sal a tu ventana,
que mi canto es para ti….
Lucero, lucero, lucero, lucero

— “Ya la ronda llega aquí

 
 
Cross Window Ex Cathedra
 
See In Mexico City, a Quiet Revelation,
in the New York Times of December 5.
The photo, from a different website, is
   of a room by the architect Luis Barragán.

From the Nobel Prize lecture of Octavio Paz on December 8, 1990 — twelve years ago today:

“Like every child I built emotional bridges in the imagination to link me to the world and to other people. I lived in a town on the outskirts of Mexico City, in an old dilapidated house that had a jungle-like garden and a great room full of books. First games and first lessons. The garden soon became the centre of my world; the library, an enchanted cave. I used to read and play with my cousins and schoolmates. There was a fig tree, temple of vegetation, four pine trees, three ash trees, a nightshade, a pomegranate tree, wild grass and prickly plants that produced purple grazes. Adobe walls. Time was elastic; space was a spinning wheel. All time, past or future, real or imaginary, was pure presence. Space transformed itself ceaselessly. The beyond was here, all was here: a valley, a mountain, a distant country, the neighbours’ patio. Books with pictures, especially history books, eagerly leafed through, supplied images of deserts and jungles, palaces and hovels, warriors and princesses, beggars and kings. We were shipwrecked with Sindbad and with Robinson, we fought with d’Artagnan, we took Valencia with the Cid. How I would have liked to stay forever on the Isle of Calypso! In summer the green branches of the fig tree would sway like the sails of a caravel or a pirate ship. High up on the mast, swept by the wind, I could make out islands and continents, lands that vanished as soon as they became tangible. The world was limitless yet it was always within reach; time was a pliable substance that weaved an unbroken present.”

Today’s site music is courtesy of the Sinatra MIDI Files

Thursday, September 5, 2002

Thursday September 5, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:36 AM

Birthdate of film producer Darryl F. Zanuck

Among Zanuck’s films were “All about Eve” and “Viva Zapata!”

Bright Star

I do not have a photograph of Lucero Hernandez, the subject of my journal notes

Shining Forth and

Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star.

In keeping with Zanuck’s commandment that “The kid stays in the picture!” —

The photo at left, of a very young actress, captures some of Lucero’s beauty.

Center for Global Education,
Augsburg College
 

Semester-abroad Program in Mexico

“The program is based in Cuernavaca, a city known for its perennial springtime (70-80 degrees). Cuernavaca, the capital of the state of Morelos, is about 50 miles south of Mexico City. Both the city and the state are important in Mexican history: the palace of the conqueror Hernan Cortez borders the central plaza in Cuernavaca and Morelos is known as “the cradle of the Mexican revolution” of 1910 led by Emiliano Zapata, who was born in a small town near Cuernavaca. A city of more than one million, Cuernavaca is also known for its innovative grass-roots education programs, economic cooperatives, and base Christian communities inspired by liberation theology.” 

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