Monday, May 28, 2007

Meta-man

You cannot cure the mind of philosophy without using philosophy.

Arthur C. Danto

I take this to mean that philosophy traps us unless we refuse to do it as in “just say no to philosophy.” Is it possible to say no? Even the rudest of us wax philosophically in our more unguarded moments such as when we have had too much liquor. That is no problem unless we want to philosophize well.

Many times, the only philosophical question that interests me is what philosophy is. I feel the same way about mathematics—what is it? The same goes for me—who am I? Meta-theory and meta-questions count for more in my world. Most likely, they arise from my “haughty indolence” and laziness than anything else. I yearn for the view from nowhere. I want to transcend and stand outside the world, knowing full well, it is impossible.

Love is the same way. “I want to know what love is,” rather than experience it.

Yet on this beautiful spring morning, the world in her particularity embraces me and completely enfolds me in her arms. The world forbids me, in this way, to spend the entire day trying to answer meta-questions and escape to the place where the view is from nowhere. Gazing at the trees in full leaf or meeting the new woman who will lightly tap my arm to make her point and kiss me on the cheek when she says goodbye seem far the more important thing to do.

Debris of Life and Mind

There is so little that is close and warm.
It is as if we were never children.

Sit in the room. It is true in the moonlight
That it is as if we had never been young.

We ought not to be awake. It is from this
That a bright red woman will be rising

And, standing in violent golds, will brush her hair.
She will speak thoughtfully the words of a line.

She will think about them not quite able to sing.
Besides, when the sky is so blue, things sing themselves,

Even for her, already for her. She will listen
And feel that her color is a meditation,

The most gay and yet not so gay as it was.
Stay here. Speak of familiar things a while.

Wallace Stevens

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