Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Logosphere and Mythosphere"

Here I continue some of the ideas about power and institutions by introducing them to the mental spaces of the logosphere, a world of ideas, and the mythosphere, a world of ideas. I combine insight into the individual with the way groups and systems think of themselves. Each man's mythosphere, or the stories he refers to, realize themselves around him in real life.



Logosphere and Mythosphere

                Some people think about people, some people think about ideas -- whatever one's emphasis, it goes a long ways in determining his personality. For mental space we have two spheres, the logosphere and the mythosphere; the logosphere is the world of pure ideas, concepts, logical forms, and such stuff, but the mythosphere is a layer that contains all that, but colors it with personalities and characters. The more abstract of the two, the logosphere -- a world of mathematics, logic, and philosophy -- disorients most visitors; they enjoy it in small doses, but they prefer the mythosphere, where, in its most mythical aspect, gods and heroes struggle and triumph, or where, in its mundane aspect, people live lives.

                We could imagine the logosphere as being the highest and most rarified, and yet being fully contained in the mythic, the mythic pressing into living forms of social institutions, languages, and physical structures, and those influencing Mundania, the day-to-day life, the actual hands of work and chores and family and eating and sleeping and so forth. As we pass down from the "pure forms" to the lower layers, each contains within its being the higher layers. What this ultimately means is that your mundane everyday life contains the enactment of philosophical ideas and religious myths: they live through you and all that you do. They lend you authority.

                What is authority? It is having a worthy experience, and having the ability to share it. What I write nobody else could. A few peers sit with me, but we are not interchangeable. I cannot say what any of them could say, and repeating a thing is not saying it. Copying is not writing, quoting is not speaking, aping is not making. One must prepare his mind to make it capable of universal truths, capable of receiving his greatest possible experience. One can't simply correct a sage or philosopher -- their failure stays with us, and where they succeed is forever success. The freedom gained by others you too can take.

                Freedom is the space to move, power is the moving. Freedom is negative, power positive. The ideas clear out space, space in the logosphere by which to think. Every society has its own logosphere which interrelates with those of other societies, like the puzzle pieces of a globe, forming a full world logosphere; and each of us has an individual logosphere that interacts with the others. Few of us can get at the nuanced ideas we wish to touch; when we think of justice we don't think of a definition, we think of a fitting example. Considering that example gives a feeling of what justice is, and that feeling is its definition. Verbal formulas such as the dictionary gives are not definitions, but are meant to evoke a definite meaning, which is a conscious experience.

                Freedom is God, is a space to create. Self-imitation sheds conformity, we identify our best moments and accentuate them. We each seek a domain of control, something to call our own, for what is owned is part of our body, it is our right to use it as we see fit. Our own ideas are tainted a bit when we put them into conventional language.

                We circle in from the logosphere, the mythosphere, and then society, with its languages, conventions, and institutions. Institutions exist to protect the integrity and value of an idea. The underminers attempt to interpret away the truth and demean authority, mocking it for pretense. The Authority who upholds a truth has experienced it and created it from the flesh of his experience. As our institutions are redefined, so they lose their hold. I recall my grandmother, a devout Catholic, relating the story of a church being sacked in some third-world country, and a pious young woman risking her life to visit its grounds and to lift up the spilled host with her bare lips -- laity was forbidden to touch the body of Christ. After telling me of that act of piety which obviously impressed her, she then told me the Church has changed their policy so that laity are allowed to handle the host. It was clear that the change in policy had done violence to her story. Nothing is more depressing than wasted effort. The logosphere of the church had changed, and every member feels the difference.


                The logosphere moves through us with language, but truths are borne from experience. The man with a deep and powerful experience is challenged by those who haven't had it, who would sooner call it counterfeit than prepare their soul to receive. This is natural and necessary. But if the man has Faith, which ultimately means faith in himself, he won't conform or pollute his experience with common language.

                Yesterday sees me as a butterfly, tomorrow as but a worm. Beneath my logosphere, which is electric with ideas I've learned and made up, my creative self centers it all. I grow with it and through it. We each choose characters to think of, people and types of people who catch our interest, whose bare mention tickles our ear, so that we are avid studiers of certain personalities, and have so digested what is beautiful that we are capable even of a love at first sight.

                I keep the imposing ideas at bay, and slowly assimilate the world to my own. America itself had to quickly assimilate the hordes of immigrants, and she got efficient and powerful at quickly making the influx one with herself. That spiritual technology, the idea of it, any American can pick up, as its been in his bosom since infancy. The grand world-historical events are at the mundane edge of the mythosphere; inwardly they are knitting and tightening complex and handsize ideas we can take for our own.

                The spiritual oppression of the religious does not even need to resort to physical violence to hold us down. They of course did use violence, ever and again, medieval Europe invented most of the torture devices and for this purpose, but the oppression can overwhelm us merely by the collective frowns of our neighbors and friends. We wish for freedom and yet wish not to side with the resenters. We abhor those wicked people who made "Eurocentricism" an opprobrium. "Theory" is an acid over truth, liquid resentment, attempting to drill holes in the teeth of philosophy and to yet claim the holes were there all along. They know that the undecidable is rhetorically expedient, it challenges mastery. What one can't explain, he can't anticipate or control. But we know that freedom of thought is more important than feeding the poor, the spiritual goods are the most important of all, and we don't concede to their moral blackmail. We cut them off.

                What do all these divorces and breaks amount to anyway? I will unjustly condemn you to make distance, and then qualify my remark in kindness, once it is sure we are split. Intimacy is unjust. The ending of intimacy is also unjust. I want something new, I dare the terrible, I need my own cognitive space, my niche in the logosphere. Nothing is more shocking than the denier of habitual assumptions. Children in all cultures take their world in stride -- only an adult would feel cultural shock entering a new culture. The toddler watches television never thinking it odd, but show such technology to an ancient man and he would be shocked. This is why my weird ideas can either be given the mask of everyday "of course" or be held in my bosom far from your startle.

                Our "official" desires keep us in suspense, but our pragmatic desires are what we actually achieve. As a churchgoer, as a party member, as a member of this company or that, we have official desires we pretend at, even half believe we mean, and that is exactly what the group wants. But your personal petty wants and jealousies and nonsense the group cares nothing about, or pretends to so to better twist your arm behind your back.

                Our individuality compromises to the group we join. Everybody adds a twist -- a Christian with a difference, a romance writer who's also Goth, a housewife who teaches yoga, the standard tied to the exception. The opprobrium of conformity is justified to our individuality with this twist, this petty difference. But what if we invent more forms than a mere twist? What if we create genres, whole art forms?


                We have our secrets. That private space of our thoughts can readily be intuited by a man in the know. The groups who would use us sense the range of our use, the full arrangement of ideas in our logosphere, and the passions and desires that hold them in place. Guilt grows paranoid, ever remembers its crime, imagining miraculous and occult chains of causality, punishing gods, mocking demons -- the random good and bad of life gains a tainted interpretation. Nobody needs to guess your secret to see you have a secret; and seeing that, they can control you.

                The individual uses groups in the same way. A great man is made so by self-editing his soul. This means he deliberately or compulsively puts himself in the way of editing dangers, that he meditates, prays, teaches, or in some other way objectifies his subjectivity for himself and the world. He heroically opposes worlds and nations.

                We identify with certain gods, or if some God has so blinded himself that he feels he is the only one, than the believer resorts to his unique take on that God. Zeus is direction, Hermes indirection; Odin direction, Loki indirection. But there is something indirect in Odin -- more wits than will. Our religious or sacred view is rhetoric, it is the italics over a phrase, it means neither more nor less than "this is most important." It is a layer, a part of those daily spheres -- the family sphere, the work sphere -- where we actually spend all our time.

                We talk shop and readily use a professional jargon in an environment of shared experiences. The doctor sometimes talks medicine at home, but at work it is natural. Every relationship that is permanent enough to become regular involves a new language, as a subset, or more specifically, a playing field between two positions. Sometimes both idiolects sound alike, but other times they both sound unique to that situation, and different from each other, as between the teacher and student. Insofar as power is relevant to the relationship, one language will try to comprehend the other, and succeeds when he can impress his language and valuations on the mind if not the tongue of the other. When I anticipate your language, move-for-move, I can control it, I own it. When the deviant starts to see himself as the conventional see him, to secretly believe it, he has been conventionalized, and his deviancy is expected, anticipated, perhaps even admired, though not without being patronized.

                The group energizes you through situated language. The words are genuine because of their placement, but to quote the words out of context could not energize in the same way, just as a wife can't cheer up her husband by saying "I'm giving you a raise," when  his boss had in fact said "you're fired." The language is the spiritual positioning, the bones and sinews, of the group body. Words have meaning, have affect because they are authorized and unique. Nobody else could mean them in the same way.

                Sinning is pious for Christians; it confirms Paul's view, it gives him that honor. Evil is done in the name of love because love is evil -- it has that capacity, men are unjust out of love, nor is an interested party allowed to adjudicate. For group coherence -- Eros --  outsiders, noncitizens, enemies, are fair game, their rights don't count. The Nazis were a love party, we must remember that, and who had more hope and higher ideals than the communists; with such beauty lodged in one's imagination, is there a limit to the ugliness one will do to secure it?

                Walk in a man's field, his language field, where he labels all things for you, or at least treats them according to the labels he's thinking, and you'll start to walk in step with him, to enter his world. Religions are world invaders, they expect you to take up their point of view, and they disvalue those of differing values. We all want to please, at least on an unconscious level, we hate to disappoint, we fit the expectations and stereotypes and pet theories of that man, and he adores us for it. If he hates republicans or feminists or Muslims or what else and you happen to be one, he expects you to confirm his hate, not force him to rethink it. Rethinking takes effort and the pain of uncertainty, he is unlikely to draw close to you and see you for what you are unless he secretly is ready for a little growth. When we begin to hate somebody, we are even delighted when they do us further wrong, if only to confirm and justify our judgment. When we are looked on with hate, we grow anxious. A man in doubt puts angst on his actions lest he make the wrong move. Those who act quickest think the least, either from stupidity or wisdom. In a world of mistrust, how can we act with ease?

                One feels a lonely misfit only because he doesn't know who his true peers are, or where to find them. History and fiction give him a clue and a means for tracking down the living contemporaries who can equal him.

                In desperation we come to this new being -- this institute, convention, genre--which has its own necessities. We came to it for personal reasons, yet to use it we must oblige its needs. Better to remember the pantheon of greats who are the true peers of our heart. The spirit of our peers hoists us up. If a painter or athlete had befriended men who were gods in disguise, and who could accomplish more than humanly possible, so would he, and yet feel discouraged he was merely their shadow.

                Our people are the handles we put over ideas. Those people who raised us and influenced our youths are the true archetypes, and the work relationships, the families of our own, the religious figures, all the rest fit into that niche in the mythosphere. Our deepest memory is the myth of our being, that story we are here to enact. And yet we blind ourselves to that, we focus on stories and events. We see a movie, and one character matters to us, though nobody else notices her. Certain types fascinate us, either as reflections of our secret self-image, or worthy foils for making it stark. Our circle of friends are the mundane manifestations of the logosphere, and our friends catch the appropriate dance we would have them perform, they fit our expectations, and wrestle them a bit. We define each other; my light shines on you and yours on me. You praise me a little more than I deserve and I struggle to improve myself to justify your esteem.

                If we could make analogies more readily, we would see that all our world is inhabited by a narrow set of ideas that take various forms, and of the billions of people on earth, there is but a small cast that matters to us.

                Each of us has a logosphere and a mythosphere which is vulnerable, insofar as we care, to friends, to groups, to the world as a whole. The world would convince us to look at ourselves as it does, and this we must never do. We must be rude and cruel and wicked and bad, whatever terms they attempt to throw on us, so long as we forever insist and never deny the self of our real self and the truths of our deepest experience.




\ ~@M@~ /


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