Friday, September 28, 2018

Doctor Mirabilis on the Four Casues of Ignorance

1. Appeals to an unsuited authority.
2. The undue influence of custom.
3. The opinions of the unlearned crowd. 
4. Displays of wisdom that simply cover up ignorance.

Roger Bacon (1214-1294)

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Jangling the Keys

We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!
                                ― Arthur Miller, The Crucible 

Friday, September 21, 2018

"Wot, she turned me into a newt!"

What makes you think she is a witch?

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Gnostic Heresies

Here are a few lines from Eric Voegelin's The New Science of  Politics: an Introduction.  I've just begun to read Voegelin, but his thesis seems to be that in post-Christian Europe political theorists brought to bear a metaphysical interpretation regarding history and political systems, and that, collectively characterized, these theories reflect the Gnostic heresy regarding the nature of the universe and human history, and the role and character of God in that universe and in that history. Political scientists (philosophers and politicians) in Europe removed the anthropomorphic deity from the Gnostic formulation while retaining the heretical identification of metaphysical forces within the universe, within individuals, and as expressed through history and political and social activity.  Orthodox Christianity secularized the universe, while Gnosticism brought God back into it.  With that, I'll let Voeglin speak for himself:
The attempt at immanentizing the meaning of existence is fundamentally an attempt at bringing our knowledge of transcendence into a firmer grip than the cognitio fidei, the cognition of faith, will afford; and Gnostic experiences offer this firmer grip in so far as they are an expansion of the soul to the point where God is drawn into the existence of man. This expansion will engage the various human faculties; and, hence, it is possible to distinguish a range of Gnostic varieties according to the faculty which predominates in the operation of getting this grip on God.  Gnosis may be primarily intellectual and assume the form of speculative penetration of the mystery of creation and existence, as, for instance, in the contemplative gnosis of Hegel or Schelling.  Or it may be primarily emotional and assume the form of an indwelling of divine substance in the human soul, as, for instance, in paracletic sectarian leaders. Or it may be primarily volitional and assume the form of activist redemption of man and society, as in the instance of revolutionary activists like Comte, Marx, or Hitler.  These gnostic experiences, in the amplitude of their variety, are the core of the redivinization of society, for men who fall into these experiences divinize themselves by substituting more massive modes of participation in divinity for faith in the Christian sense.
As I suggested above, orthodox Christianity secularized the universe, while Gnosticism brought God back into it.  Philip K. Dick--who is often wrongly described as a "Gnostic"--was very keen on rejecting the mystical project of Gnosticism, and sought through his novels to illustrate the shortcomings of such fantasias and the people who live in, or who otherwise believe in, such artificial worlds, or who see themselves playing roles in the histories of such worlds--see, for example, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer.

Eric Voegelin

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Φιλεῖ δὲ τίκτειν Ὕβρις μὲν παλαιὰ νεά- ζουσαν ἐν κακοῖς βροτῶν Ὕβριν τότ' ἢ τόθ', ὅτε τὸ κύριον μόλῃ.

But ancient Arrogance, or soon or late,
When strikes the hour ordained by Fate,
Breedeth new Arrogance, which still
Revels, wild wantoner in human ill.

         --Aeschylus, Agamemnon


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Vitasta Raina on the Road

The image of Vitasta Raina in scooter helmet and googles suggests a character out of her novella Writer's Block.

Please click HERE to read reviews of her novella.
Please click HERE to visit Ms. Raina's blog, Urban Exploratory.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Blade Runner Creator Philip K. Dick

Tessa B. Dick, the widow of American novelist Philip K. Dick, recently published a new book, Blade Runner Creator Philip K. Dick.  The book examines the two Blade Runner films, and discusses the novel which inspired them, And Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Additionally, Ms. Dick describes a variety of topics relating to PKD's life and art.   It looks like an instructive--and entertaining--book.

Please click HERE to view the Amazon sales page. 

We are very fortunate to have a section from Ms. Dick's new book in Emanations 7, which will be available soon.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Digital Milton

Terrance Lindall has sent me the following concerning a new book, Digital Milton:
I am pleased to be in the book Digital Milton, which, according to Palgrave..."is the first volume to investigate John Milton in terms of our digital present. It explores the digital environments Milton now inhabits as well as the diverse digital methods that inform how we read, teach, edit, and analyze his works. Some chapters use innovative techniques, such as processing metadata from vast archives of early modern prose, coding Milton’s geographical references on maps, and visualizing debt networks from literature and from life. Other chapters discuss the technologies and platforms shaping how literature reaches us today, from audiobooks to eReaders, from the OED Online to Wikipedia, and from Twitter to YouTube. Digital Milton is the first say on a topic that will become ever more important to scholars, students, and teachers of early modern literature in the years to come."
[Please click HERE to view the book's contents]
I have been digitalizing Milton through the internet for years with videos and on-line magazines, so I am pleased with the recognition that the outstanding Shakespeare and Milton scholar Professor Hugh Macrae Richmond has afforded me in documenting my achievements in past years to promote the Greatest poem in the English language.

In my essay from 2001 "The Epistemological Movement if late 20th Century Art" [please click HERE] I have talked about the digital and although I do not mention Milton, my thoughts actually relate to Milton himself as a poet: 

"It [poetry] is the practicing of the redirection of the energies that form perceptions. But it is not a creative process. It has been determined from the first instant of time in the unfolding of the Historical Will of the mind of God of which we are merely an extension or "aspect." It is an infinite  expansion of potentiality and actuality [Aristotle's Metaphysics]. GOD (WILL), a point of nothingness from which all comes, hovers over the realms of possibility, and on the tabula rasa of our universe imposes order on the ideas (perceptions) generated by the action of possibility becoming actuality. Ultimately we cannot break out of the dualistic world by which we define all things. Quine, up at Harvard, attempted to invent a new logic circumventing the paradoxes inherent in non-contradiction. Mixed results. And since computer thinking is based upon the binary, the computer probably cannot transcend it’s own makeup. In that sense, the whole is no more than the sum of it’s parts. And fractal geometry suggests the same." I now think that with quantum computing this transcendence might be possible.

Undoubtedly it is heresy to say that Milton's poetry is not a creative act. But Milton himself might not deem me incorrect. After all, did he not have a guide in his "HEAVENLY MUSE?" And, did not Dante have a guide in Virgil? Even Plato in his theory of forms said everything in our world is a reflection of perfect ideas. Undoubtedly I am, as quoted in the Digital Milton book, "...radical and nonconformist." I am not writing and painting to be accepted in our time, but to examine issues in my own way...inspired by my own muse! Unfortunately, progressive thinkers who esteem "tolerance and inclusiveness" on Milton Lists could not tolerate my ideas
                                                                  - Terrance Lindall

This sounds interesting.

Milton receiving the gift of poetry from God, Terrance Lindall

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Profile Updated

My short bio--to the right of the screen--has been updated.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Dürer's Polyhedron

Dürer's famous engraving Melancholia I has long prompted interesting commentary, as well as outlandish "occult" interpretations.  Here is the engraving.  By clicking, a large image will appear:

A brief article on a Web site called The Strange World of Albrecht Dürer provides a key to some of the symbols in the image:


Hammer: Carpenter
Compass: Mathematician
Putto with notebook: Grammarian
Keys: Power
Purse: Wealth
Bell: Eternity
Bat: Darkness. Boiled bats were recommended by the ancients as a remedy for melancholy
Wreath: Made from a plant which was believed to be a cure for excessive melancholy
Comet: Sign of Saturn, the god affiliated with melancholy
Magic square: Orderliness of numbers, each line (horizontal, vertical, diagonal) adds up to 34. Thought to be a talisman to attract Jupiter (The god who could heal the effects of Saturn)
1514: The year of the death of Dürer’s mother. Also the date of this print
Interestingly enough, the block shape--the polyhedron--is not addressed here. The curious shape (and possible meaning) of that block, however, is very much worth dilating upon.  A recent article "Scientists Have Discovered an Entirely New Shape, And It Was Hiding in Your Cells" suggests some new possibilities for considering Dürer's polyhedron. The article describes a three-dimensional shape called the scutoid, which is described as the "twisted prism" shape of cells in epithelial tissue. Here, from the article, is an image of a pair of scutoids:

Is Dürer's polyhedorn an epithelial cell?  Clicking the article title above might prove interesting. In the meantime, an older (and possibly the first "academic") analysis of Dürer's polyhedorn can be found in an appendix from Saturn and Melancholy by Raymond Klibansky, Erwin Panofsky and Fritz Saxl. Published in 1964 by Thomas Nelson & Sons. The manuscript had been in development for years, building upon a monograph Panofsky published in the 1920s.  Here are the pages making up that appendix. They are large enough to read if they are clicked.

Happy investigations.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Echoes link added

I have added an image link to Echoes on the right side of this page.  Clicking the image leads to the Amazon sales page for the novel. I intend to update my profile--once I figure out how to do it!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Echoes has been Published

Please click HERE, or click the cover image.

Kind thanks to Lee Talley for his cover art, Joel Soiseth for setting up the cover, and Bien Bañez for his portrait of Bronson Bodine. And thanks also to M-A Berthier and Michael Butterworth for their advice and encouragement.