A turning symbol turns your attention to the whole time you are now living.
‘The answer is always there, but people need the question to bring it out’ (Cleary 1995, 164). We are always at the turning point; but more important, we are at a turning point now. Continue reading Revolutions
From Zen master Keizan’s Transmission of Light, 11: Continue reading Turning pages
Turning signs present what they reveal. When you relegate revelation to the past, or salvation to the future, you are killing time.
Peirce observes that ‘one of the main purposes of studying history ought to be to free us from the tyranny of our preconceived notions’ (EP2:114). The same goes for the study of scriptures; the purpose of revelation and discovery alike is to free us from confinement in a cognitive bubble. Turning symbols can liberate us in this way, but only if we can free ourselves from our preconceived notions of their value and authority, and give due respect to artistic and cultural creativity. Continue reading Inner authority
Cognition (knowing) is a semiotic process. Learning by experience requires inquiry, involving abductive, deductive and inductive reasoning in a quest for what Heraclitus calls the logos.
Why is it so difficult to discover? In the first place,
ἐὰν μὴ ἔλπηται ἀνέλπιστον οὐκ ἐξευρήσει, ἀνεξερεύνητον ἐὸν καὶ ἄπορον.
He who does not expect will not find out the unexpected, for it is trackless and unexplored.
Heraclitus, Kahn VII
χρὴ γὰρ εὖ μάλα πολλῶν ἵστορας φιλοσόφους ἄνδρας εἶναι.
Men who love wisdom must be good inquirers (historas) into many things indeed.
Heraclitus, Kahn IX
πολυμαθίη νόον οὐ διδάσκει.
Much learning (polymathia) does not teach understanding.
Heraclitus, Kahn XVIII
ὅσων ὄψις ἀκοὴ μάθησις, ταῦτα ἐγὼ προτιμέω.
Whatever comes from sight, hearing, learning from experience: this I prefer.
Heraclitus, Kahn XVI
κακοὶ μάρτυρες ἀνθρώποισι ὀφθαλμοὶ καὶ ὦτα βαρβάρους ψυχὰς ἐχόντων.
Eyes and ears are poor witnesses for men if their souls do not understand the language [if they have ‘barbaric souls’].
Heraclitus, Kahn XIV
What “language” do eyes and ears speak to the soul? That depends on how the soul is embodied, how events in the nervous system become significant, how perception works.
Do you read me? Then you have to believe that your experience is cognate with mine. Co-gnatus, ‘born together’ (or ‘descended from the same ancestor’), derives from the Latin verb gigno (earlier geno), meaning ‘beget’ or ‘bring forth’. Its root forms -gn-, -gen- and-gon- have begotten the stems of many English words, along with its complement verb nascor (‘to be born’), through its participial form natus (or gnatus), source of English words such as nature and native.
How can scripture reading come to pierce an ox hide?
— T’ien-t’ung (Cleary 1997b, 322)
Continue reading Turning how?
The poet and the prophet shake your language loose from your habits.
Following up on the explanation of the interpretant given in his 1909 letter to William James, Peirce is careful to distinguish between the two kinds of prior knowledge needed by the interpreter: knowledge of the sign’s object, and knowledge of the sign-system. Continue reading Driven to presume