Alice Through the Looking Glass
How did we come to believe that there had to be two cats: one on the mat and one in our head? It wasn't too difficult. We might, rather, ask first why we would not always have thought there were two cats.
That should be simple. You see one cat. I see one cat. There is but one cat. There is not the cat that you and then the cat that I see. We both just see the same cat, but maybe from different angles.
It was, perhaps, the invention of the mirror that started getting us confused about how many cats there were. With the mirror there now seemed to be two cats: one on the mat and one in the mirror. With mirrors, we started thing about optics and about perspectives. Then our paintings changed from being depictions to being perspectival representations.
Originally, if we thought about it at all, we thought of our sense of vision as operating in an active manner, just like our sense of touch. With our eyes we could reach out and caress our beloved, etc. If we were all blind and without mirrors, representationalism would never have occurred to us, not in a million years. If we had invented radar before mirrors, the eye would have been thought of as an active radar.
But history had another think coming. We took the optical path, figuratively and literally. And it was no accidental journey. We were not accidental tourists in our Looking Glass World. We came to see ourselves as merely the mirrors of nature. Perspectivalism run amok puts us on one side of a mirror and the world on the other side. This is representationalism. We are cut off from the world as if in a hall of mirrors in a fun house. This was also Cartesian dualism. All the life and quality was drained out of the world, and left floating like phantasms in our subjective, epiphenomenal consciousness. Only then could Science take over and have its way with the 'REAL' world, measuring, quantifying and abstracting it, almost to death, and leaving us existentially isolated in our phantasmagoric, egocentric predicament.
To escape from our egocentric predicament, we will, like Alice, have to step back through the mirror, back into the real, live, sensuous world. This is a big step for any person; it will be a much bigger step for humankind. I stood staring at that mirror for about five long years, before I realized there was no other rational choice but to take that plunge back into radical reality. Come on in, the water is great! If I can make the plunge just a little easier for you, and you for the next person, very soon we will all be swimming again.
Does this leave Science stranded high and dry. Yes and no. Science is all part of the Big Game, all part of our cosmic Drama.
Earlier today, on the previous page, I alluded to the 'lazy author'. You didn't have to be overly perceptive to realize that I was committing a, perhaps, not so minor blasphemy. (Last time I checked, anyway, 'lazY doG' was not one of the 99 Official Names of God.) A little iconoclasm goes with this territory. Show me a prophet who was not also an iconoclast and I'll show you a demagogic fraud.
Haven't you seen the paintings of God with his protractor, measuring out the foundations of the world? No, no, no! That's not the God that I know. The God whom I know invented the Scientist and let the scientists invent the protractor, and then measure the world. But even that is an underestimation of God's laziness.
God is the Alpha and the Omega. God keeps them apart, kind of like the not so bright, muscles for brains, Atlas, and also strings them together with one silver cord, or is it a chord? That is the way one builds a suspension bridge. You plant two posts, and fly one skinny cable between them. Then you call the Steel Workers Local. It's that simple. God didn't really have to invent Scientists, she only had to invent humans, who happened to like to play dress-up: in funny white coats and other costumes.
Come to think of it, she didn't even have to invent humans. All she had to do was look at herself in an imaginary mirror, and the rest is, well, Herstory. In looking in that mirror she may well have experienced a prefiguration of our alienating egocentric predicament when we, more or less, imitated that act. She is as anxious as we should be, for all of us to step back through that mirror.
The closest thing to a god with a protractor may have been those megalithic archeoastronmical Pythagorean Priestly Masonic Architects, who actually did lay the foundations of the world and even may have helped to set the Heavens in their course. Is this far fetched? It all depends which side of the mirror you're on.
Our modern scientists have taken over from those priests and with their modern alchemy they whip Nature into shape so that you and I may freely and easily exchange ideas on from whence we came and whither we go. Yes, Nature has felt the lash. Nature, too, is ready to be rapturously reenchanted as we step through that looking glass. Now we have to pay $40 a month for broadband. Then it will be, well, a lot cheaper and a lot broader. I did finally sell all the Microsoft. Better late than never! I think I'll go wireless. Direct realism is kind of like Direct PC, but without the satellite dish and, well, without the PC, too!
If I'm supposed to be the prophet of direct realism, why won't God let me go 'wireless' right now? That's a good question. I'll have to put that to her, for sure. It might save on the jawboning and the carpal tunnel.
Ooooops! Hey, Big Mama in the Sky, you don't think I really meant that thing I said about you, do you?? And while I have you on line, what about this Direct Realism thing? No, scratch the DR! I was wondering about those 72 Virgins. Do you think you could make that 77? Just checking!!
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