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Weeds are called “mauvaises herbes” in French – bad herbs, bad little plants. One word in English, two words in French. In English the “bad” is built into the word. Weeds are – by nature – bad. We don’t need to say “bad weeds”. In French “herbes” can be positive, “herbes fines, plants used to make food taste even better…oregano, thyme, parsley, sage, rosemary and the like. But in English weeds are intrinsically nasty; there are no good ones. Here’s what the people that make the Webster dictionary have to say about being a “weed”: a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants. Here’s the Free Dictionary’s take on the word: A plant considered undesirable, unattractive, or troublesome, especially one that grows where it is not wanted and often grows or spreads fast or takes the place of desired plants. – Weeds are no good; they overgrow, choke, spread rapidly, take the place of more desirable plants, and are not even pleasant to look at.
Do you know people who have pangs of conscience when pulling weeds? I saw one in the mirror the other day. He smiled meekly when he said (in all seriousness), “And what if all Being has feelings? What if ants, plants, worms, trees, and even moons and suns have feelings?” I wondered how he could live in this world. He sensed my thought and said, “Of course there would be infinite suffering – suffering everywhere, but wouldn’t there also be infinite joy?”
Weeds are herewith and henceforth redefined to include much more than plants. There are sociological weeds, intellectual weeds, media weeds, architectural weeds, animal weeds, moral weeds, philosophical weeds, medical weeds, historical weeds, weeds in one’s family tree, weedy neighbors, politicians that should be weeded out, and even parts of oneself that should be considered weeds. Continue reading WEEDS
The quacking of ducks is one of nature’s most beautiful sounds. Why we call it “quacking” instead of “talking” is beyond me. Humans think they are the only ones who talk. Birds chirp. Pigs oink. Cows moo. Dogs bark. Cats meow. Frogs croak. Chickens cackle. Crows caw. Donkeys bray. Horses neigh. Mice squeak. Owls hoot. Pigeons coo. Roosters crow. Lions roar. Turkeys gobble. Snakes hiss. People, however, talk…But listen again. Listen to the sounds that come out of human mouths in churches, at sporting events, in love or hate situations, when anger or joy are present, when fear strikes, or even around the dinner table or the TV news desk…There is much quacking, chirping, hissing, cackling, croaking, mooing, braying, squeaking, gobbling, crowing, cooing, meowing, neighing, barking, oinking, hooting, roaring, and gobbling. I seriously doubt that when we humans open our mouths we are describing the truth of the world any better than our four-legged, furry, flying, crawling, web-footed friends are. We have our world; they have theirs. Mankind just can’t seem to understand that his world is no truer, righter, higher, or more important than the worlds of all other beings.
Human talk is just sounds like any other sounds made by creatures on earth. Because we have what we call “language” does not mean we have truth. Language has nothing to do with truth. Why should it? Why should the sounds that come out of human mouths be representative of “truth” and the sounds that come out of other creatures mouths not be? We have duped ourselves into thinking our “words” are somehow correctly breaking the world down into its real parts. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Our world makes sense to us just like a cat’s world makes sense to a cat and a rooster’s world makes sense to a rooster. But our world is no “truer” or “realer” than that of a cat, rooster, snake, pig, turkey, lion, donkey, mouse, pigeon, owl, turkey, horse, pig, dog, frog, duck, or crow. We do what we do and we die, just like all the above boys, girls, men, and women.
Ah! You didn’t like it when I called so-called animals “boys and girls, men and women”! You want to reserve those words only for yourselves. Do you see how you are? On what do you base your distinctions? Do you know what is behind “life”? Do you know what moves “being”? Do you know what is the essence of anything? No, you don’t. You don’t even have the slightest idea as to why you do anything you do. No thought, no emotion, no movement in any part of your body is known to you. It happens and then you look back and give it a reason. But you have no idea why any of it happens. None. Zero. The human mind, the duck mind, the lion mind, the pig mind…no mind has any idea of what is behind “being”. We can talk all we want with all our words, but we will never understand what moves any part of the universe to be what it is.
So which parts of the world do you want to pretend you understand and hence can accurately “talk about”? If you think deeply before you talk, will you have anything to say?
The next Copernican revolution. – When Copernicus pointed out that the earth was not the center of the universe, it was said that he changed things forever. But did he really? Though man no longer saw his planet at the center of things, didn’t he still see “himself” at the center of things? Copernicus might have changed the map of the heavens (what an odd word to use for infinite space…wouldn’t the hells be just as accurate?), but did he change man’s view of himself in those heavens? To this day, doesn’t man still view himself the same way he did in Copernicus’s time, i.e. that he is the “intellectual center of the universe”? that he and only he has the keys to understanding the universe?that he and only he is capable of “knowing”? – We need a new revolution: the Nietzsche revolution. Nietzsche said all philosophers were essentially full of shit. He said all moralities were bogus. He said that gods didn’t create the world, but the world created gods. He said mankind had no reason to believe that he could know the truth. He said existence was never about morality, but always about power. He said there were no solutions because man himself was the problem…But Nietzsche, like Copernicus has not been immediately accepted. The crowd has shouted him down. A hundred years have passed since he died and we still live in a world of Truth Sayers, we still fight “moral” wars, and we still believe in inexistent gods. – It took a few centuries before people really started believing that the earth goes around the sun. It will take a few centuries before people start believing that they really don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. But one day…way down the road…it will happen, and we will look at language as a lot of barking and chirping and we will “know” that we don’t know. Finally we will situate ourselves in our rightful intellectual place, probably somewhere between the snake and the eagle. In any case, it will be a place where instincts dominate and not pure reason.
That the gods die from time to time is due to man’s sudden discovery that they do not mean anything, that they are made by human hands, useless idols of wood and stone. Carl Jung
That The Gods Die …
What would the world be like today if the Aztecs had had the ships, guns, and swords and had sent some explorers eastward that discovered Europe? – When the Europeans were finished they had destroyed essentially all the Inca, Maya, and Aztec gods and religious practices. By the eighteenth century Jehovah, God the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ had replaced Xipe Totec, Tezcatlipoca, Quetzalcoatl, and Tlazolteotl (and many others) as the forces behind the universe. All the North American native gods were rubbed out as well. The Navaho, Apache, Cherokee, Eskimo, Sioux, and Seminole gods didn’t have a chance as they were backed by bows and arrows, whereas the Christian settlers had rifles, cannons, and lots of ammunition. – Imagine if the opposite had happened: in 1492 the “Indians” crossed the Atlantic and discovered Portugal. They had weapons far superior to those of the Europeans and they took over and spread their religious beliefs without mercy. Today Judaism and Christianity would be non-existent. Xipe Totec, Tezcatlipoca, Quetzalcoatl, Tlazolteotl, and various other gods with wonderful names would be worshipped. There would be pyramids all over Europe and humans would be taken to the top and sacrificed, their hearts cut out, held high, and given to the gods to keep them happy. There would have been no Hitler to exterminate the Jews. They and the Christians would already have been annihilated long before the twentieth century. – Yes, life would be different for sure. But the human being would still be “human”. He would still have a slew of explanations for where everything came from and what causes what. He would still have a totem pole of values. He would still preach about good and evil. Power would still decide what was moral and what wasn’t, what was “equal” and what wasn’t, what was “just” and what wasn’t. – Step back. Look at the world. Look at all the defunct gods. You Christians, Jews, Mormons, and Moslems think your gods will last forever. That’s what the Greeks, Egyptians, Incas, Aztecs, Mayans, Sioux, Navaho, and Apaches thought too.
There was only one Christian and he died on the cross.
Has anyone ever pointed out the absolute irony of the United States of America today claiming to be a “Christian” nation? American senators, congressmen, and presidents constantly invoke their faith and belief in “God” – the so-called Christian god. Millions and millions of voters claim to be devout “Christians”. How is this possible in the country that has by far the biggest military arsenal in the world? Since World War II no other country has come close to America in using its military might around the world. Wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq have left death and devastation for millions of human beings. This is the work of a very powerful nation, not a very Christian nation. I am not arguing that the wars of America have been wrong or right; I am simply saying that they have absolutely nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ. America claims to be one of the most Christian nations in the world, but couldn’t it be argued that the opposite is true? Continue reading CHRISTIAN NATION
Has anyone ever stopped to think what monotheism has done to the world? It might be the single belief that has “enslaved” the human head more than any other. – When there were many gods, there were many possibilities for thinking. One god did and said this, another did that, and there was a certain “openness” to what life was all about. There was also an openness to what man was all about…Suddenly, with the Judeo-Christian single god, all that stopped. God became an absolute dictator. He made all the rules. He made the world. He created men and “men were all the same”, i.e. God’s children. They were all supposed to have the same view of life, the same vision. The meaning of life was one thing: follow the church and go to heaven. The entire universe was explained in a single thought…GOD. And there was no place for thinking about man and life differently. Even animals were “the same”. Men were the same and animals were the same. Man was there with God and the rest was “nature”. This thought has enslaved the human mind ever since. It is such a subtle enslavement that almost nobody can see outside of it. Almost nobody can envision the world differently. Even atheists will still see the “man” and “nature” dichotomy. Man, of course, is thought to be “free” and nature is said to act “instinctually”. Nobody can imagine that could be a million different types of “men”, that men have nothing to do with “free”, that words like freedom, thinking, and instinct have nothing to do with “life”, that nature (man included) could be something completely different from what we are used to thinking, that the whole bag of tomatoes could be a deep deep mystery – far deeper than anyone has imagined. – One God, one set of rules, one definition of man, one vision of animals and plants, one vision of the “non-living” rest (rocks, dirt, stars, moons, fire, water, etc.) and BOOM! All the mystery is taken out of existence! BOOM! The mind is paralyzed! With monotheism, man lost his ability to run, jump, and fly…and maybe even to love…life.
The significance of language for the evolution of culture lies in this, that mankind set up in language a separate world beside the other world, a place it took to be so firmly set that, standing upon it, it could lift the rest of the world off its hinges and make itself master of it. To the extent that man has for long ages believed in the concepts and names of things as in aeternae veritates he has appropriated to himself that pride by which he raised himself above the animal: he really thought that in language he possessed knowledge of the world. The sculptor of language was not so modest as to believe that he was only giving things designations, he conceived rather that with words he was expressing supreme knowledge of things; language is, in fact, the first stage of the occupation with science. Here, too, it is the belief that the truth has been found out of which the mightiest sources of energy have flowed. Very much subsequently –only now – it dawns on men that in their belief in language they have propagated a tremendous error. Happily, it is too late for the evolution of reason, which depends on this belief, to be again put back. –Logic too depends on presuppositions with which nothing in the real world corresponds, for example on the presupposition that there are identical things, that the same thing is identical at different points of time: but this science came into existence through the opposite belief (that such conditions do obtain in the real world). It is the same with mathematics, which would certainly not have come into existence if one had known from the beginning that there was in nature no exactly straight line, no real circle, no absolute magnitude. Nietzsche
This is a mouthful – or an eyeful – or a “headful”- but it does serve to help understand Nietzsche’s view of truth and metaphysics. Man has essentially forgotten that language was invented by man- not by supreme all-knowing types- and that with language man took the world apart and put it back as he saw it, breaking it down, dividing it up, and setting it up as was expedient for him. If we think back to the Geneva physicist and Nietzsche’s view that there are no “things” but rather a great flux of becoming-of forces-we can see that with language man has artificially cut up what is uncuttable and called it “reality” or “truth” or “world” or “thing”.
To make this idea clearer, let’s imagine the world as a Jackson Pollock painting. We show it to a child, or an adult for that matter, then cut it up in a thousand pieces and ask the child to put it back together again. The “world” will still be there, i.e. the stuff of the painting, but it will hardly look like the original –it can hardly be now called “a Pollack”. Language has cut up the world and put it back together again; but what it gives us is hardly “the real world”.
Language- like dreams- is a culprit in the flood of erroneous thinking that has covered Western man. Nietzsche calls grammar “the metaphysics of the people”. The thing, the doer, the doer that does: all falsehood born of language.
“Language belongs in its origin to the age of the most rudimentary from of psychology: we find ourselves in the midst of a rude fetishism when we call to mind the basic presuppositions of the metaphysics of language- which is to say, of reason. It is this which sees everywhere deed and doer; this which believes in will as cause in general; this which believes in the ‘ego’ as being, in the ego as substance, and which projects its belief in the ego-substance on to all things- only thus does it create the concept ‘thing’… Being is everywhere thought in, foisted on, as cause; it is only from the conception ‘ego’ that there follows, derivatively, the concept ‘being’… At the beginning stands the great fateful error that the will is something which produces an effect- what will is a faculty… Today we know it is merely a word.” Nietzsche
(T “Reason” in Philosophy 5)
Words do not correspond to reality; they fabricate it.
“We set up a word at the point at which our ignorance begins, at which we can see no further, e.g. the word ‘I’, the word ‘do’, the word ‘suffer’: – these are perhaps the horizon of our knowledge, but not ‘truths’. Nietzsche
We think with language, hence thinking is muddled. Jon Ferguson
First, man really was like horses or flies or whatever. He just looked for things to eat into order to survive. Of course while doing this he tried not to get killed. This probably went on for millions and millions of years until language developed and human beings decided they had a better chance of survival by forming groups. Groups became towns, cities, states, etc. You had to follow the group and do what the leaders told you to do. The wild animal became tame, but the price was freedom. Leaders eventually needed to consolidate and legitimize their power by connecting themselves to GODs. Continue reading A Short History of Human Being
… the worst of all methods of acquiring knowledge, not the best of all, have taught belief in them. When one has disclosed these methods as the foundation of all extant religions and metaphysical systems one has refuted them! Then the possibility still remains over; but one can do absolutely nothing with it, not to speak of letting happiness, salvation and life depend on the gossamer of such a possibility. –For one could assert nothing at all of the metaphysical world except that it was a being-other; it would be a thing with negative qualities. –Even if the existence of such a world were never so well demonstrated, it is certain that knowledge of it would be the most useless of all knowledge: more useless even than knowledge of the chemical composition of water must be to the sailor in danger of shipwreck. (Nietzsche)
Nietzsche is skeptical of knowledge in the “real” world–the “metaphysical” world of belief, religion, and angels dancing on pins is a world for which he has little if no patience. (M.C. Gardner)
This passage exemplifies Nietzsche’s will to look life in face and accept only what can honestly be accepted: first, the human head has only itself to go on and there’s no guarantee that what goes on inside corresponds with truth; second, if there was another realm of being, it would be just that –“another” – and hence unknowable for us of this world; and third, even if it did become knowable it would do nothing to get us through this life. (Jon Ferguson)
There would be nothing that could be called knowledge if thought did not first re-form the world in this way into ‘things’, into what is self-identical. Only because there is thought is there untruth. (Nietzsche WP 574)
The ‘real world’, however one has hitherto conceived it- it has always been the apparent world once again. (Nietzsche WP 566)
All efforts toward metaphysics are limited by the human head and this head always sees “things”, things that “are”. But what is isn’t because everything is always becoming, changing, part of a great flux. I once was seated in a restaurant in Geneva across from a physicist at the CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research. I asked him about the very thing Nietzsche is talking about. “Does modern physics believe these are really such a ‘thing’ as an atom or an electron or a particle?” Continue reading Metaphysical Mush