Friday, April 22, 2011

Cat’s Cradle

Intellectual understanding cannot awaken you.
But, an intellectual misunderstanding can keep you from awakening.
P Bralley –or at least that seems my experience.

Was emailing a friend today, discussing a Scott Kiloby quote when I realized the above.
It is a belief.
One thing led to another through the day until I came upon the following:

Bokonon said to some of the mud, "Sit up!"
"See all I've made, the hills, the sea, the sky, the stars."
And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
Lucky me, lucky mud.
I, mud, sat up and saw what a nice job Bokonon had done.

"Nice going, Bokonon. Nobody but you could have done it, I certainly couldn't have.
“I feel very unimportant compared to You.
“The only way I can feel the least bit important is to think of all the mud that didn't even get to sit up “and look around. I got so much, and most mud got so little. Thank you for the honor!"

Now mud lies down again and goes to sleep.
What memories for mud to have!
"What interesting other kinds of sitting-up mud I met!
“I loved everything I saw!
“Good night. Amen."

Hypertext to Wikipedia:
Bokononism is a religion invented by Kurt Vonnegut as a fictional religion practiced by many of the characters in his novel Cat's Cradle.
It is based on the concept of foma, which are defined as harmless untruths.
The primary tenet of Bokononism is to "Live by the foma that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy."

The foundation of Bokononism is that all religion, including Bokononism and all its texts, is formed entirely of lies; however, one who believes and adheres to these lies will at least have peace of mind, and perhaps live a good life.

Bokonon, a character in the novel, is the founder of the religion. He was born Lionel Boyd Johnson and attended the London School of Economics and Political Science, only for his education to be cut short by World War I.

"Bokonon" was the way the natives of San Lorenzo, the fictional Caribbean island-nation where the shipwrecked Johnson started his religion, pronounced his family name in their unique dialect of English…
Bokononism, encompasses concepts unique to the novel, with San Lorenzan names such as:
karass - a group of people who, often unknowingly, are working together to do God's will. The group can be thought of as the fingers that support a Cat's Cradle.
granfalloon - a false karass; i.e., a group of people who imagine they have a connection that does not really exist. An example is "Hoosiers"; Hoosiers are people from Indiana, and Hoosiers have no true spiritual destiny in common, so really share little more than a name.
wrang-wrang - Someone who steers a Bokononist away from a line of speculation by reducing that line, with the example of the wrang-wrang's own life, to an absurdity.
stuppa - a fogbound child (i.e. an idiot)
duffle - the destiny of thousands of people placed on one stuppa
Busy, busy, busy - words Bokononists whisper upon witnessing an example of how interconnected everything is
boko-maru - the supreme act of worship of the Bokononists, which is an intimate act consisting of prolonged physical contact between the naked soles of the feet of two persons.
Now I will destroy the whole world. - What a Bokononist says before committing suicide.

I never read Cat’s Cradle.
But this description somehow reminds me of nonduality and all the internet yah-dah, yah-dah.

Hypertext “an absurdity” (see wrang-wrang above):
Reductio ad absurdum (Latin: "reduction to the absurd") a form of argument in which a proposition is disproven by following its implications logically to an absurd consequence…

The ontological argument for the existence of God, as it was originally stated by Anselm of Canterbury, is an example of reductio ad absurdum
OK the Archbishop of Canterbury got it wrong. I’m not too surprised.
Another example: a statement attributed to physicist Niels Bohr:
"The opposite of every great idea is another great idea."

Carl Sagan used a reductio ad absurdum argument to counter this claim.
If this statement is true, then it would qualify as a great idea.
But, if the statement itself is a great idea, its opposite
("It is not true that the opposite of every great idea is another great idea")
must also be a great idea.

The original statement is disproven because it leads to an absurd conclusion:
An idea can be great regardless of whether it is true or false.
And somewhere in my head a bell rang.

Hypertext me back.
FaceBook earlier in the day:

I cannot deny awareness, yet I cannot find it to exist in its own form either.
Though I need not come to any description, if I had to, it would be that the nature of reality and everything that appears is aware non-existence,
or non-existent awareness:
this description both confirms and denies reality which leaves the 'not-knowing'.
The eternal paradox is that there seems to be something, yet we cannot find anything.

True freedom, as such, is beyond needing either this, or that.
To be free from needing all kinds of ultimate truths, is the freedom that sets us free.
Being free, who cares about truth?

In my experience awareness cannot be found at all, because it doesn't exist as anything, not even as itself.
Only when I refer to a particular experience, does the experience pop up, but never am I actually recognizing awareness, just creating more subtle experiences.
Yet all of it seems to confirm empty, non-existent awareness to be aware and existing.
Bentinho Massaro (who I actually am fond of… but perhaps not today)

And 56 people of the karass click the thumbs up.
And 44 others click into the comments as if anything they could possibly say adds to the discussion!

Or, am I simply being “Crabby Patty” yet again?
Hey, my other post was going to be “Rage, Grief, Terror.”
This may be an improvement.
What a lucky mud I am!


rjh said...


Pat Bralley said...

Commentary from the roller coaster... :)