Archive for August, 2002

Chinese Calligraphy

August 29, 2002

Chinese Calligraphy

The evaluation of calligraphy thus clearly had an obvious social dimension, but it also had an important natural dimension that should not be overlooked. For example, early critics and connoisseurs often likened its expressive power to elements of the natural world, comparing the movement of the brush to the force of a boulder plummeting down a hillside or to the gracefulness of the fleeting patterns left on the surface of a pond by swimming geese. Writing also would frequently be described in physiological terms that invoked the “bones,” “muscles,” and “flesh” of a line. In short, while calligraphy involves the Confucian emphasis on the social, this cannot be separated from a more Daoist emphasis on the workings of nature.

Found this as part of my reflection about writing on a computer.

Understanding Internet – Extension of Media

August 28, 2002

For some reason this is the only way this url will go into blogger? What’s going on here? See the earlier post about this essay.

Greek Mythology

August 28, 2002

Home Page

“Let us first make an announcement to the gods, saying that we are not going to investigate about them, for we do not claim to be able to do that.” [Socrates, 469-399 BC. Plato, Cratylus

A lot more good quotes to humble an aspiring psychological writer on the same page. Looks like a good site.

Laws of Media

August 28, 2002

Laws of Media By Eric & Marshall McLuhan

The McLuhans suggest (rightly, in my view) that every artifact or medium does four things: It enables something new, it obsoletes something, it rekindles something from the past, and it sets the stage for its own reversal to something new when pushed to the limit. If we understand each of these four attributes (or laws of media) we have a tool that can be applied to the development of our understanding of any new technology we encounter.


The Resonating Interval: Exploring the Tetrad

Black Rose Books

August 27, 2002

Black Rose Books

Marshall McLuhan – Articles

August 27, 2002

MCS: Marshall McLuhan Articles.
McLuhan Reconsidered — Jim Andrews
Marshall McLuhan Meets William Gibson in “Cyberspace”
Paul Grosswiler Links to his artiles, including MM and dialectics.

Marx/Engels Library

August 27, 2002

Marx/Engels Library


August 26, 2002


Ta’wil: In the same way as the term mutashabih was understood in contrast with the term muhkam, ta’wil is also to be understood in contrast with tafsir. The simplest meaning of tafsir is that it is a science of understanding the Qur’an or explaining the meanings of God’s words in the Qur’an within the limits of human capacity. [7] The word ta’wil derives from awl in the sense of returning and reverting to something. [8] Both tafsir and ta’wil have been used in the Qur’an in the sense of exposition and explanation (Furqan, 32). Muhammad Hadi Ma’rifat is of the opinion that the word ta’wil occurs seventeen times in the Holy Qur’an;

1. five times in the sense of the ultimate outcome (ma’al; 4:59; 17:35; 7:35 twice; 10:39);
2. eight times in the sense of interpretation of dreams (12:6,21,36,37,44,45, 100, 101), and
3. four times in the sense of interpreting the mutashabih (3:7, twice; 18:78,82).

Some scholars consider ta’wil to mean foregoing the literal meaning of a text for its metaphorical sense without violating the norms of Arabic language for metaphorical usage, and in consonance with metaphorical relations, such as referring to a thing by the name of something similar to it or by its cause or that of something which is closely associated with it. [9] Some have held ta’wil to mean interpretation of mutashlibihat and the finding of a second meaning for the text which is called its inward or esoteric sense (batn) as opposed to its apparent and literal meaning (zahr).

I am following up here to a reference made in an earlier post, where Hillman relates Ta’wil to epistrophe.

Biosphere — Noosphere

August 25, 2002

Vernor Vinge on the Singularity

Exploit the worldwide Internet as a combination human/machine tool. Of all the items on the list, progress in this is proceeding the fastest and may run us into the Singularity before anything else. The power and influence of even the present-day Internet is vastly underestimated. For instance, I think our contemporary computer systems would break under the weight of their own complexity if it weren’t for the edge that the USENET “group mind” gives the system administration and support people! The very anarchy of the worldwide net development is evidence of its potential. As connectivity and bandwidth and archive size and computer speed all increase, we are seeing something like Lynn Margulis’ [15] vision of the biosphere as data processor recapitulated, but at a million times greater speed and with millions of humanly intelligent agents (ourselves).

I have linked to this item before However I am following up on the biosphere notion — see also the post re Chardin a day or so ago.

[15] Margulis, Lynn and Dorion Sagan, _Microcosmos, Four Billion Years of Evolution from Our Microbial Ancestors_, Summit Books, 1986. amazon

I could not resist adding this review from amazon, all new to me, I hope the reviewer (unknown from Texas 1998) is is ok with me quoting this:

This is an outstanding and very readable book on the world of microbes. Beautifully written and filled with insights, it should be required reading for biology students. I couldn’t put it down and I hated biology in high school! I takes you from the beginnings of our planet to the present time, showing the reader the crucial role of microbes in the creation and maintenance of all life. This book will also be of interest to any serious student of the Gaia hypothesis. Read it and you will never think of cells, bacteria and viruses the same way again. You will come away with a humbling and enlightened view on man’s place in a world created, dominated, and maintained by microbes.

For those of you who don’t know, Lyn Margulis is the ex wife of the late Carl Sagan (prior to Ayn Druian) and Ms. Margulis is Dorian Sagan’s mother.Together, they make an excellent writing team.

That or which?

August 25, 2002

Something, which I have never grasped before, explained here, beautifully: 0(zero)format. Emailed a copy to myself incase I need it and it goes.

Resistance MP3’s

August 24, 2002

Thanks for the link Josh.

On this website are MP3 recordings of presentations. The topic for these presentations is political events/issues from a Socialist perspective.The source for the presentations is Marxism, an annual event in London, organised by the Socialist Workers Party. I am hoping to include other sources.
They average at about 5MB for 40 minutes of audio (download time approx 20 minutes @ 56k). To minimise download time they have been edited down to the main presentation (contributions from the floor and summing up cut).


August 24, 2002

Test post. Blogger is so messy. Pro features don’t work for me. Email posts need too much editing later. They mess up the future posts. Drafts get lost. Spell checking is too slow, I am better off cutting and pasting into an editor. Never mind. Good to be on the Pro mailing list. I hope it all gets sorted.
Later: Still having trouble, network errors all day, me or Blogger? Now trying IE. Now trying Pro1. Later… Pro1 got the next post up, but posted the future post again, which I can’t remove. Now in Pro1, testing.

PierreTeilhard was a strong visualiser. – Julian Huxley

August 24, 2002

This is from the intro by Julian Huxley, p 16 in my Fontana edition, to Phenomenon of Man by Pierre Teilhard De Chardin. amazon

Père Teilhard was a strong visualiser. He saw with hie minds eye that ‘banal fact of the earth’s roundness’ the sphericity of man’s environment — was bound to cause this intensification of psychosocial
activity. In an unlimited environment , man’s thought and his resultant psychosocial activity would simply diffuse outward: it would extend over a greater area, but would remain thinly spread. But when it is confined to the spreading over the surface of a sphere, idea will encounter idea, and the result will be an organised web of thought, a noetic system operating under high tension, a piece of evolutionary machinery capable of generating high psychosocial energy.

It is all very well calling it energy but that is not quite it? I have a sense that the passage below (in an earlier post), where I talk about about Moreno’s sociometric matrix shows that the two were grappling with the same idea. Note that Moreno too saw this matrix as a return of God.

My hypothesis:

Moreno’s sociometric matrix, Chardin’s noosphere, McLuhan’s ‘audio space’, Jung’s ‘objective psyche’ are all ways of exploring cyberspace.

Here is a quote from Chardin, p 78 in my Fontana edition:

When I speak of the ‘within’ of the earth I do not of course mean those material depths in which — a few miles beneath our feet — lurks one of the most vexatious mysteries of science: the chemical nature and the exact physical condition of the internal region of the globe. The ‘within’ is used here … to denote the ‘psychic’ face of that portion of the stuff of the cosmos enclosed from the beginning of time within the scope of the early earth.

Chardin puts it a little differently from the sympathetic but less metaphysical Huxley.

So was the ‘psychic’ always there, or did it emerge with our activity?


August 23, 2002

I have posted up more of my distractions!

dark with red

My Psychodrama Thesis

August 23, 2002


The term psyche, underlying forces, focal conflict, central concern, unconscious processes and Bion’s notion of basic assumption have all been used in theis paper. Moreno’s concept of sociometric matrix brings in a new understanding of the unconscious of the group, and covers all of these ways of seeing the interconnections. It is satisfying to have found the concept of sociometric matrix in Moreno’s writing. That it is a “matrix” is a profound idea, which links it to a source, the womb, or more accurately the placenta, which nurtures all of life. That it is “sociometric” means that it can be empirically and experientially explored. Moreno’s work emphasises that sociometry is a science which can name and measure the living links between people and thus give us a secular grasp of what otherwise might remain exclusively intuitive and spiritual.

I like that.

Janus Head: An Interdisciplinary Journal

August 22, 2002

Here is the link. Here because this weblog is also my bookmarks. I have kept bookmarks for years but they tend to get lost when I change OSs or machines. And this weblog can be Googled, and thus keywords will return this page of philosophical, psychological, essays. I note that Robert D. Romanyshyn is on the board and that Jonathan Moreno is a contributor.

RUMI – from “A New Rule”

August 22, 2002

Last night that moon came along,
drunk, dropping clothes in the street.
“Get up,” I told my heart, “Give the soul a glass of wine.
The moment has come to join the nightingale in the garden,
to taste sugar with the soul-parrot.”

James Hillman’s talk to astrology students.

August 20, 2002

Heaven Retains Within Its Sphere Half of All Bodies and Maladies [Paracelsus] Very clear on literalism.

I love this paragraph, with its interesting word epistrophé:

Each time an astrological consultation can return a characteristic to its divine character, polish a problem so it shines in a different light, reveal the God in the disease, let the client see clearly for a moment that other heavenly half, the astrologer is performing an epistrophé, returning a mess in the human to a myth in the Gods.

I get this from


\E*pis”tro*phe\, n. [L., from Gr. ? a turning toward, return, fr. ? to turn toward; ‘epi` upon, to + ? to turn.] (Rhet.) A figure in which successive clauses end with the same word or affirmation; e. g., “Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I.” –2 Cor. xi. 22.

Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

But it is much more than a rhetorical device. Hillman links this process to Neoplatonism and ta’wil in Persian mysticism. See also: Epistrophe

Resurgence issue 213 – THE VIRTUES OF CAUTION by James Hillman

August 20, 2002
Illustration by Clifford Harper, woodcut like person contemplates landscape

Found this from the Pacifica site. I like the essay a lot. James Hillman does what he does so well that it is a work of art in its own right. Some of the luddite comes through, but that is a welcome antidote to crass technological excess.

More speed less haste. He seems to decry both. Here is an idea I am entertaining right now: Speed makes cyberspace visible. A subscription to a Journal was to be in a virtual community, a cyberspace, but the speed was too slow for us to see that, now in hindsight we can.

Here we must distinguish the moment of arrested movement from an identification with the arrest itself, as if beauty must stand still. But beauty, like caution, is not meant to stand still. The saying is not “Don’t leap,” but “Look before you leap.” Beauty means only for us to arrest for a moment the senseless insensitive forward thrust, in order to open the senses by inviting the aesthetic response. Then, as the arresting moment flees, the principle of precaution can incorporate into its innovative explorations an aesthetic awareness, insisting that any plan or project does not neglect the demand that beauty makes, or the deleterious effects of ugliness.

Pacifica Graduate Institute | Graduate Research Library

August 20, 2002

Here is an extrodinary weblog. There I could spend months on this site! I will.