Sunday, August 21, 2011

"internalization" a continuation of my essay

Greetings my fair greeters! Students of Life! Vivoce!

We continue the supreme virtue of study, with the internalization of the world through study and critical reading. To take it all in gives us a place to think and be, now and after this life. This longish essay explores the virtue of study through internalizing the world.


Daniel Christopher June




2. Internalization



            We internalize the universe, and that is study; we externalize ourselves, and that is direct truth. Ideas are fluids which spread by diffusion through the world; they are in the air. If I don’t hear the exact theory yon philosopher said, I get the gist of it, nevertheless. The great originators are fountainheads, we all repeat their wisdom in our own words. The primary men of the world are the gods, the rest, the joyous masses. Goethe of Germany, Shakespeare of England, Tolstoy of Russia, Descartes of France, and Emerson of America are the founding fathers of the national minds, opening a new mindset.

            How does one become equally wise as they? Wisdom is knowing how to find the extraordinary in ordinary things, and the ordinary in extraordinary things. The eye takes on a different shape when it expects the extraordinary. By merely looking with the question “how is this weird and wonderful?” even the dishes, the refrigerator, the small talk of the neighbor becomes fascinating. Each of us at times enters the lucid mindset of spiritual transfiguration, when all the world is seen from multiple perspectives, we let our third eye open, and our fourth and fifth, till we are at every pore an eye, and see all things as fascinating.

            The feeling of normalcy is based on the comfort of predictability. Knowing how to make mad everything you touch, like the madman who makes the whole world insane, this when controlled is the power of the wise.

            Holding forms and genres in mind, and replacing the blank placeholders with positive content, this is the basis of all creativity. This lets us generate. We must have each partial structure in mind in order to create the final structure. Whenever we work any job and repeat its form, that form only slowly recedes, like a bubble which slowly expands outward from the immediate focus, and dissolves in the bigger picture, like a ripple expanding in the pond. After starting my last job, I would dream about customer-service, about punching the cash register. The image and feel of cash handling only slowly abated.  What we do the most is most real to us. It reduces to an idea, a language, a symbol, a metaphor of life. Working now designing cakes, how will this refine my writing, for we internalize most what we most care for.

            Every internalized idea, every habit, grows whether we attend it or not, compounds and complicates itself. What you though you forget was tending itself like a proud dandelion: wherever it settles it draws water.

            We internalize the world, and yet the heaven we create cannot be learned from any man, nor quite from the self, but by applying the self to the world, by mixing self and world like golden bricks for our finer palace. The deepest truth can’t be sought directly—“seek and you shall find” is psychologically too simple; Jonah was wiser, for he discovered that if you flee the truth you still can’t escape it, for that which you are destined to learn finds you out. The most important truths cannot be told you, God himself couldn’t teach them to you, you must make them from the very substance of your being. The world hints, the world winks, but even the world doesn’t know, nor the Universe your Mother, who knows more than all Gods and men combined.

            Nevertheless, adorn your mind in literature. There is no finer coat than a book, and I feel naked if I am not wearing my blank book, pen, and a study book. I would feel uncomfortable without them, as if lacking pants and shirt. What cocoon does the fetal angel prefer to the pages of great books?

            Study all, study everything. What isn’t your thing to study still has form, and therefore can give you metaphors. Even theology, a science that lacks a subject, is valuable to study as anthropology, and the metaphysical justification for any ethics shows the secret of that ethics. All metaphysics is a justification for some morality, a picture language for it stories are prepositional pointers between ideas. I find Mormon theology advanced and worthy, though its scripture and mythology are lacking, for it estimates rightly human potential, though it does not actualize that potential in its shallow literary style. This is a religion that has not yet written its true scripture.

            The bleed of need and subsequent desire extend beyond the body, and yet live in our full influence upon the world; our full body is in all we say and do, and the inner Daemon reaches throughout the extent of language. Each man has his own inner language, and translates it to English, our current global language, or whatever other tongue a man has learned from the crib.

            Every book mirrors an aspect of your soul. Seek yourself within the library. Haunting the University libraries for hours each schoolday, my mind grew deep and profound. We participate in the stories we hear as if we lived them. To read something is to think the thoughts the writer wrote, as if you were musing them to yourself.

            Teachers ought not to teach textbooks only, but also how textbooks are written. Each student should compose his own textbook, to symbolize and integrate the memories he is making. In all things, note the interaction between the internal and the external, and the continuity between the present and the future – this completes the experience. Every experience is part of a situation, and what is the world but a series of situations? Learn always. Wear your reading glasses everywhere you go. Internalize all. You are building your afterlife with the lessons you learn, brick by brick, step by step. Understand things by putting them in your own words, comprehend them by summarizing them in glib sayings and metaphors.

            There is a moment when exploring any new territory--a new object, a new person, a new job--when we become passionately docile, open and receptive, we close our mouth and listen, or speak and study the faces around us – and we internalize the unknown in order to normalize it. What is normal, what is regular, predictable, comprehensible, comfortable? We know how to engage the situation, when to be intimate, when distant, we know how to engage, and also how to disengage. We learn the structure of the system, how to situate ourselves within it, we put it in our own words and understand, simplify it and comprehend, and there we can apply our own well worn methods and tricks.

            Intense focus wins the day. Know how to segment each day into units of intense focus. I can care only so much for this thing, till I exhaust my care, and then I can no longer engage it, no longer intimate it, no longer focus on it, but I can indeed still intently focus – on something else! Our brains and muscles both need rest after exercise.  Never suffer an exception: keep focused or blank out.

Competence involves the ability to really look at a thing, to focus intently upon it. Genius knows why it judges a thing as it does, has a tongue below its eyes.  The ability to look is like the ability to listen: be utterly receptive and yet actively restructure what you see into symbols.

            The scholarly virtue of study means bringing the right conceptual tools to the table, metaphors or concepts, that best expose the nature of the new object. The ability to study is first of all a gymnastic habit—pure physiology. The eye must be trained to see. All thinking involves a dance of the eyes; one can prompt thought by rolling his eyes up, crossing them and then slowly unfocusing. One can dart through the forest of ideas by looking left and right.

            Put yourself on the level of what you observe: look into its eyes. Drop on your knee when you talk to the child.

            A set of concepts that co-complement become conceptual tools;  their shared label is their toolbox. Children impress each other with their aspirations, the elderly with their accomplishments, and adults with their daily doings.

            As a friendship progresses, unspoken contracts are implicitly accepted regarding what things can be spoken of, and what tones of voice and attitudes should be used to address them.

            Baptize and bless your possessions. Encode your movements, have a way with your tools, a dance, a gesture, even with your conceptual tools. Be very deliberate. Wash your tools and keep them clean: review your conceptual tools, celebrate them, clean them, sharpen them. Reflect on your reflecting, think about your thinking, judge your judgment.

            Let the masterwork of Allism replenish all of your tools. Use a few handcodes to summon up a cognitive tool, just as a professor touches his forehead, adjusts his glasses, or frowns in contemplation. This is summoning the servant.

            Joseph Smith, the founder of the fourth Abrahamic Religion – Mormonism – used a method similar to Charles Ives and William James: internalizing certain other sources ad nauseum, in his case, the language of the King James Bible--till his own oracle could only speak through these quotations, and yet initiate the divine spark – even such a parrot as he could speak it! – with a little twist and trigger of the same dead phrases, just as the “how do you do” we say upon greeting a friend can convey a lot with a standard “oh, I’m doing just fine”; though the words are familiar, the context and tone say everything. His revelations are 90% quotes from the King James Bible, especially the same few verses, yet he manages to inspire new things into those verses.

            Of concepts within the mind, we must manufacture the parts with one set of internal hands, and put those parts into wholes with another set of internal hands. We are like Hindu Gods, with many hands for many occasions. The fine fingers are for tiny ornaments, the bigger hands for stringing them together. Ives with the patriotic music he heard as a child, Smith with the preaching he grew up hearing, William James with his endless studying and quoting of other philosophers and psychologists, took the small parts of their works as ready-made, in a way that Emerson and Whitman used their own whim and fancy to fill “The Wide World” of Emerson’s notebooks or “The Sea” of Whitman’s notes, to make their own small parts. Hegel was better with the broad structure, but poorer with the small structure, and that is German, Kant was the same, perhaps Wagner too, though Nietzsche characterized him as a miniaturist! And that Nietzsche himself surely was, with a perfect aphoristic style, and a little more difficulty with the overall style. Allism is the gross-structuring aspect, and our specific race, nationality, religion, childhood fill in its fine forms.










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