Friday, 22 June 2012

Mount Whitehead

you can't possibly believe that because you've never doubted it. That is what the belief in the external world amounts to.

They say that the first lecture in philosophy Whitehead ever attended was his own. That allowed him to dodge the classical path into the maze, of Realism, anti-realism, irrealism, idealism and all the other holds the masters teach. In the multiple choice question about the world doubt had no little box to tick with your special pencil. What though was the special combination of climate and topography, that raised those fata morgana of the mind, was an interesting question.

Inevitably, because the old maps were faulty, Whitehead had to reconfigure the territories. New finger posts were erected, actual entity, eternal object, event, object but not as you knew them and ways of getting to those places which seem to have more in common with alchemy. One senses the overheated alembic of the Whitheadian conk.

I've done the pradakshina (circumambulation) of the sacred mount Process and Reality twice before and now it seems that I am due to do it again. Because it's there I suppose.

My compass will be:

Now I dream of the soft touch of women, the song of birds, the smell of soil crumbling between my fingers, and the brilliant green of plants that I diligently nurture. I am looking for land to buy and I will sow it with deer and wild pigs and cottonwoods and sycamores and build a pond and the duck will come and fish will rise in the early evening light and take the insects into their jaws. There will be paths through this forest and you and I will lose ourselves in the soft curves and folds of the ground. We will come to the waters edge and lie on the grass and there will be a small unobtrusive sign that says, THIS IS THE REAL WORLD, MUCHACHOS, AND WE ARE ALL IN IT. - B.TRAVEN.

(Charles Bowden: Blood Orchid)

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