Category Archives: Language

Who is the Master who makes the grass green?

The Problem

The jack has sprung from the box; post-modern physics has made available a dynamic awareness that all matter in the universe is energy vibrating at varying frequencies. Atoms only collapse into particles with an observer, before the observer they have more to do with rhythm than quantifiable objects. We can also split an atom and destroy millions of human, plant and animal lives, and scorch the earth for generations to come. We have found the limits to certainty. Logic is stumbling over it’s logical boundaries. However, we are experiencing a lag between making these discoveries and understanding what the implication is for our daily living. Operationally, we are using a set of assumptions about ourselves, the world, and the universe, which, on some level, we already know to be obsolete. When and how we integrate these understandings into our daily living is where the true r/evolution is taking place. It is not enough to read the articles and the books, but to know first hand, in our cells, who we are and what is the substance of the universe, and how do these two questions relate to each other.

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Gil Scott Heron – “Hey, this must be deep!”

This is from the 1982 concert film, Black Wax. Watch the whole thing, is good. I will try and keep Gil Scott Heron’s words in mind, as I plunk out these sentences on the Mercury Rising blog. I do, however, have a penchant for the confounding, but  I will make an ernest effort to use simple words  to dance around the unspeakable. Keeping in mind the words of David Foster Wallace on “genteelisms,” I will try and not waste the reader’s life reading unnecessary syllables, although, I confess, I already have.

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Robert Lawlor – Language and Perception of the Primitive

*Disclaimer* – This commentary is heavily McLuhanist and is mostly rehashed, but my experience of McCluhan is that it takes frequent rehashing to get on the other side of its seemingly incomprehensible exterior.

The assumption of the medium is what the vigilant individual has to get inside of, if they wish to be aware of how conditioning works. It is assumed that the typographic technology arose out of the spoken and written language of its time. But suppose for a moment that typographic text had a greater impact on language and thought than they had on it. The assumption of a linear evolution of language into typographic text is imposed by the typographic medium itself. Letter forms are analogous to architectural space, they have a gravity, they “sit” on the page, and their major function is the encasement of ideas into linear structures of thought.

In this video Lawlor digs into how language and the meaning of words shape our experience of ourselves and the world, particularly, the shift in how “the primitive” is viewed. The theory of evolution carries with it the assumption of typography, namely linearity. An unspoken conceit of the classical theory of evolution is that the culture that birthed the theory exists at the highest point of evolution. Of course, we spared no modesty in developing Darwinist theory. Although, it might have seemed revolutionary at the time, Darwin was just acting in a pattern established by the typographic medium, which shifted the word primitive from a venerable heritage to the failure of certain peoples to evolve with “civilized” culture.

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“Can the Content End?”

Via Negativa

From the religious mystic‘s point of view, the “negative way” or via negativa, is at the core of all world religions. The work of which is absolute self-abnegation. This concept is regularly combined with selfless service, abstaining from pleasures, or in its extremity, self-abuse. These types of positive expressions are not what Krishnamurti is discussing here. Rather, K proposes entering into truth without method.

Self-abnegation, for Mercury Rising’s purposes, is the understanding of what one is through the understanding of what one is not. In this, one is empty of a sense of self and empty of the drive to draw meaning from events. Identity and meaning are self-projected images, or the story we tells ourselves after the events happen, rather than reality as it is happening. It is through the lens of the self that we distort reality. This does not imply a denial of the content of the self, but rather a plain and simple awareness of the content in its totality.

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The Medium is the Massage

The medium is the massage, in so far as, each medium has the ability to coax the participant into agreement with the particular medium’s assumption. The internet has aided in shifting our culture toward the art of the one-liner. Often times the preview is more rewarding than the feature film. This website aims to exploit the interactivity of clip-culture. Large amounts of information can be conveyed with minimal energy. All information is interconnectable. Indeed this is how we construct our reality as our consciousness occurs 40 times a second. This why Brion Gyson and William Burroughs developed the cut-up technique. Today’s human can synthesize an ever increasing amount of seemingly disparate information into a cohesive world view, at an ever-increasing pace. This necessitates clip-culture. Side effects of this may include shorter attention span, and children that require greater stimulation in order to draw out their focus.

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