5 Oct 2013

20 minutes first thing: 300 movements supine including some weights, 150 low rise steps. Planning on a 30 minute walk later in the day; I originally typed “run” in a slip that was nameless, far older than Freud.

Added 3:12 PM: walked and did two sets of 10 steps apiece on midrise steps in stairwell for a 20 minute workout in midafternoon. Most pleasant in the sunshine, some pain: 7/10.


Most important take-aways concerning Johansen’s Aristotle in his History of Ancient Philosophy: reality consists of form and content closely united in objects. An object (animal) that is “footed” (has feet) is not more perfect than a bipedal (two-footed) object/animal. Arguably the reverse is true: a bipedal creature is mo’ bettah than a creature with an unspecified number of feet; the later could be a Lovecraftian adept or follower of Yog’Sothoth with an uncountably many squishy feet, clearly inferior to a bipedal person in being a monster.

Altho “there is” substance (considered as it is spoken of in Genesis (“without form and void”)) post-Creation, substance has in all instances a form. The substance most “without form and void”, a sea at night (“and darkness lay on the face of the waters”) becomes “a sea at night” in which we can wait for “the light” at dawn. A mere sea-at-night becomes “a sea at night” or even if you prefer the reverse (a “sea at night” becomes a-sea-at-night) because the notation does not matter anymore, the important transition, is becoming aware of our ability to frame the situation in language: “in the beginning was the Word”. Our perception, in Kant’s terms, becomes as human perception mediated through language: we always know that an experience is ours and takes place in time, and this makes us morally responsible agents.

But there’s much more (Johansen p 363). In a key passage Aristotle answers the question “does the ‘first mover’ [God, the cause of all movement] itself move?

It does (of course for it is the source of movement in all other things, in all other objects) since it is the most perfect object of desire. We see God in inferior things and are drawn to these things, not as good in themselves but as pale imitations of the “Good”.

An unsolved problem in Platonism was whether the Idea of innately bad things (the “idea” of a cigarette) could be meaningfully spoken of as good or better than the reality. An answer might be that we seek in Cigarettes and intoxication, the Idea of a lost alertness and Joy which, perhaps, we last experienced in an athletic contest (whence the way the marketers of tobacco sought, when it was still legal to do so, a link between their product and athletic contests: whence the way the marketers of alcoholic drinks continue to seek a link between their product and again, sports).

And…why the hell do I have to even try to resolve these issues when a “critical philosophy of addiction” could of old have named the link between exploitation in the market and the vending of addiction? Why can Richard Klein pubish an entire book on smoking (“Cigarettes are Sublime”) while not having done his homework on this? Is it a “third rail”, like the one in the subway which we must not touch?

My head hurts, my butt hurts, and I have this new pain/strain in my chest to worry about along with that damned government shutdown; but in a previous post I wrote about the need to find the antithesis in setting a goal.

Johansen is saying that desire, this being-drawn-to-the-good, links the microcosm and its telos with the macrocosm: the planets move as they do in the macrocosm because they want to.

That is. Our individual worlds are continually threatened with extinction, the reversion to the formless void and rather than go along with that we have the choice to goal our way out of this mess, because “desire” if anything at all is expressed as “there must be someway out of this place.”

I’m quite aware that to use “goal” as a verb sounds like sports, sounds like a football coach. Can’t be helped, since sports as movement led me outa here a long time ago.

“There must be some kind of way out of here,” 
Said the joker to the thief, 
“There’s too much confusion, 
I can’t get no relief. 
Businessman they drink my wine, 
Plowman dig my earth 
None will level on the line, nobody offered his word, hey” 

“No reason to get excited,” 
The thief, he kindly spoke 
“There are many here among us 
Who feel that life is but a joke 
But you and I, we’ve been through that 
And this is not our fate 
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late”

Bob Dylan, “All Along the Watchtower” Lyrics circa 1965


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