Log24

Saturday, April 8, 2017

A Perfect Nonentity

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 8:25 AM

The title is from Hume:

 "And were all my perceptions removed by death,
and could I neither think, nor feel, nor see, nor love,
nor hate, after the dissolution of my body, I should
be entirely annihilated, nor do I conceive what is
further requisite to make me a perfect nonentity."

— Book I, Part IV, Section vi  of  
    A Treatise of Human Nature

"What is further requisite" — Perhaps  

This four-dot notation ("as") is from a search for Lévi-Strauss in this journal.

See also "That I Am."

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The God Identity

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 PM

The previous post suggests a related concept, in which
"I Am that I Am" is replaced by "I am as  I am." —

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Binary Shema: The “O” and the “I”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 4:35 AM

The "I" of "I Am that I Am" has been described as a creation of
an "ur-unity" (see the Anderson passage below) and this ur-unity,
denoted by "O," has been described elsewhere as "a primary reality"
(see the Sullivan passage below). These descriptions are of course 
much less clear than those usually given for the similar purely
mathematical *  notations "0" and "1."

See also Quine's Shema  in "Is Nothing Sacred?" —

0! = 1.

Quoted here on July 30, 2015

Kabbalah and Finnegans Wake

Linked to here on June 29, 2016

Bion and the 'O'

*  Note for mathematicians: Here characteristic 0 is assumed .
    Quine's Shema does not apply to Galois.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

As Is

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 10:05 PM

"That simple operator, 'as,' turns out to carry within its philosophical grammar
a remarkable complex field* of operations…."

Charles Altieri,  Painterly Abstraction in Modernist American Poetry,
Cambridge University Press, 1989, page 343

See also Rota on Heidegger (What "As" Is, July 6, 2010), and Lead Belly
on the Rock Island Line — "You got to ride it like you find it."

* Update of Oct. 10, 2014: See also "Complex + Grid" in this journal.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sermon

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:00 AM

Raiders of the Lost  (Continued)

“Socrates: They say that the soul of man is immortal….”

From August 16, 2012

In the geometry of Plato illustrated below,
“the figure of eight [square] feet” is not ,  at this point
in the dialogue, the diamond in Jowett’s picture.

An 1892 figure by Jowett illustrating Plato’s Meno

A more correct version, from hermes-press.com —

Socrates: He only guesses that because the square is double, the line is double.Meno: True.

Socrates: Observe him while he recalls the steps in regular order. (To the Boy.) Tell me, boy, do you assert that a double space comes from a double line? Remember that I am not speaking of an oblong, but of a figure equal every way, and twice the size of this-that is to say of eight feet; and I want to know whether you still say that a double square comes from double line?

[Boy] Yes.

Socrates: But does not this line (AB) become doubled if we add another such line here (BJ is added)?

[Boy] Certainly.

Socrates: And four such lines [AJ, JK, KL, LA] will make a space containing eight feet?

[Boy] Yes.

Socrates: Let us draw such a figure: (adding DL, LK, and JK). Would you not say that this is the figure of eight feet?

[Boy] Yes.

Socrates: And are there not these four squares in the figure, each of which is equal to the figure of four feet? (Socrates draws in CM and CN)

[Boy] True.

Socrates: And is not that four times four?

[Boy] Certainly.

Socrates: And four times is not double?

[Boy] No, indeed.

Socrates: But how much?

[Boy] Four times as much.

Socrates: Therefore the double line, boy, has given a space, not twice, but four times as much.

[Boy] True.

Socrates: Four times four are sixteen— are they not?

[Boy] Yes.

As noted in the 2012 post, the diagram of greater interest is
Jowett’s incorrect  version rather than the more correct version
shown above. This is because the 1892 version inadvertently
illustrates a tesseract:

A 4×4 square version, by Coxeter in 1950, of  a tesseract

This square version we may call the Galois  tesseract.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Google’s Apple Tree

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:30 AM

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10/100104-Apple.jpg

Google has illuminated its search page today with a falling apple in honor of what it is pleased to call the birthday of Newton. (When Newton was born, the calendar showed it was Christmas Day, 1642; Google prefers to associate Sir Isaac with a later version of the calendar.)

Some related observations–

Adapted from a Log24 entry
of Monday, March 24, 2008–
 

 

"Hanging from the highest limb
of the apple tree are
     the three God's Eyes…"

    — Ken Kesey

"But what's beautiful can't be bad. You're not bad, North Wind?"

"No; I'm not bad. But sometimes beautiful things grow bad by doing bad, and it takes some time for their badness to spoil their beauty. So little boys may be mistaken if they go after things because they are beautiful."

"Well, I will go with you because you are beautiful and good, too."

"Ah, but there's another thing, Diamond:– What if I should look ugly without being bad– look ugly myself because I am making ugly things beautiful?– What then?"

"I don't quite understand you, North Wind. You tell me what then."

"Well, I will tell you. If you see me with my face all black, don't be frightened. If you see me flapping wings like a bat's, as big as the whole sky, don't be frightened. If you hear me raging ten times worse than Mrs. Bill, the blacksmith's wife– even if you see me looking in at people's windows like Mrs. Eve Dropper, the gardener's wife– you must believe that I am doing my work. Nay, Diamond, if I change into a serpent or a tiger, you must not let go your hold of me, for my hand will never change in yours if you keep a good hold. If you keep a hold, you will know who I am all the time, even when you look at me and can't see me the least like the North Wind. I may look something very awful. Do you understand?"

"Quite well," said little Diamond.

"Come along, then," said North Wind, and disappeared behind the mountain of hay.

Diamond crept out of bed and followed her.

    — George MacDonald,
      At the Back of the North Wind

   

From Log24 on Sunday, March 23, 2008–

 
A sequel to
The Crimson Passion

Easter Egg

Jill St. John with diamond

Click on image
 for further details.


Duality:


A pair of book covers in honor
  of the dies natalis of T. S. Eliot–

http://www.log24.com/log10/saved/100103-TheAristocrat_files/100104-Duality.jpg

From Virginia Woolf,  "Modern Fiction" (Ch. 13 in The Common Reader, First Series)

Woolf on what she calls "materialist" fiction–

Life escapes; and perhaps without life nothing else is worth while. It is a confession of vagueness to have to make use of such a figure as this, but we scarcely better the matter by speaking, as critics are prone to do, of reality. Admitting the vagueness which afflicts all criticism of novels, let us hazard the opinion that for us at this moment the form of fiction most in vogue more often misses than secures the thing we seek. Whether we call it life or spirit, truth or reality, this, the essential thing, has moved off, or on, and refuses to be contained any longer in such ill-fitting vestments as we provide. Nevertheless, we go on perseveringly, conscientiously, constructing our two and thirty chapters after a design which more and more ceases to resemble the vision in our minds. So much of the enormous labour of proving the solidity, the likeness to life, of the story is not merely labour thrown away but labour misplaced to the extent of obscuring and blotting out the light of the conception. The writer seems constrained, not by his own free will but by some powerful and unscrupulous tyrant who has him in thrall, to provide a plot, to provide comedy, tragedy, love interest, and an air of probability embalming the whole so impeccable that if all his figures were to come to life they would find themselves dressed down to the last button of their coats in the fashion of the hour. The tyrant is obeyed; the novel is done to a turn. But sometimes, more and more often as time goes by, we suspect a momentary doubt, a spasm of rebellion, as the pages fill themselves in the customary way. Is life like this? Must novels be like this?

Look within and life, it seems, is very far from being “like this”. Examine for a moment an ordinary mind on an ordinary day. The mind receives a myriad impressions—trivial, fantastic, evanescent, or engraved with the sharpness of steel. From all sides they come, an incessant shower of innumerable atoms; and as they fall, as they shape themselves into the life of Monday or Tuesday, the accent falls differently from of old; the moment of importance came not here but there; so that, if a writer were a free man and not a slave, if he could write what he chose, not what he must, if he could base his work upon his own feeling and not upon convention, there would be no plot, no comedy, no tragedy, no love interest or catastrophe in the accepted style, and perhaps not a single button sewn on as the Bond Street tailors would have it. Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end. Is it not the task of the novelist to convey this varying, this unknown and uncircumscribed spirit, whatever aberration or complexity it may display, with as little mixture of the alien and external as possible? We are not pleading merely for courage and sincerity; we are suggesting that the proper stuff of fiction is a little other than custom would have us believe it.

It is, at any rate, in some such fashion as this that we seek to define the quality which distinguishes the work of several young writers, among whom Mr. James Joyce is the most notable….

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday March 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:00 PM

Death and
the Apple Tree

Today's New York Times on the late "fifth Beatle" Neil Aspinall, who died Easter night in Manhattan:

"… he played tambura (an Indian drone instrument) on 'Within You Without You'."

Related material:

In the Details

Valentine to a Dark Lady

"Hanging from the highest limb
of the apple tree are
     the three God's Eyes…"

    — Ken Kesey  

"But what's beautiful can't be bad. You're not bad, North Wind?"

"No; I'm not bad. But sometimes beautiful things grow bad by doing bad, and it takes some time for their badness to spoil their beauty. So little boys may be mistaken if they go after things because they are beautiful."

"Well, I will go with you because you are beautiful and good, too."

"Ah, but there's another thing, Diamond:– What if I should look ugly without being bad– look ugly myself because I am making ugly things beautiful?– What then?"

"I don't quite understand you, North Wind. You tell me what then."

"Well, I will tell you. If you see me with my face all black, don't be frightened. If you see me flapping wings like a bat's, as big as the whole sky, don't be frightened. If you hear me raging ten times worse than Mrs. Bill, the blacksmith's wife– even if you see me looking in at people's windows like Mrs. Eve Dropper, the gardener's wife– you must believe that I am doing my work. Nay, Diamond, if I change into a serpent or a tiger, you must not let go your hold of me, for my hand will never change in yours if you keep a good hold. If you keep a hold, you will know who I am all the time, even when you look at me and can't see me the least like the North Wind. I may look something very awful. Do you understand?"

"Quite well," said little Diamond.

"Come along, then," said North Wind, and disappeared behind the mountain of hay.

Diamond crept out of bed and followed her.

    — George MacDonald,
      At the Back of the North Wind

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Thursday January 4, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Readings for wise men
on the date of
T. S. Eliot's death:

"A cold coming we had of it…."

"… a Church is to be judged by its intellectual fruits, by its influence on the sensibility of the most sensitive and on the intellect of the most intelligent, and it must be made real to the eye by monuments of artistic merit."

— T. S. Eliot, For Lancelot Andrewes: Essays on Style and Order, published by Faber & Gwyer, London,  in 1928.

The visual "monuments of artistic merit" I prefer are not those of a Church– except, perhaps, the Church of Modernism.  Literary monuments are another matter.  I recommend:

The Death of Adam
,

The Novels of Charles Williams, and

Let Sleeping Beauties Lie.
 

Related material
on style and order:

Eliot's essay on Andrewes begins,
"The Right Reverend Father in God,
Lancelot Bishop of Winchester,
died on September 25, 1626."

For evidence of Andrewes's
saintliness (hence, that
of Eliot) we may examine
various events of the
25th of September.

("On September 25th most of
the Anglican Communion
commemorates the day on which
Lancelot Andrewes died."
)

In Log24,
these events are…

Sept. 25, 2002

"Las Mañanitas"

Sept. 25, 2003

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/030925-Bubbles2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Aloha.

Sept. 25, 2004

Sept. 25, 2005

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/050925-db3.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Sept. 25, 2006

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/060925-Medal2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
(Yau and Perelman)

It seems that I am
somewhat out of step with
  the Anglican Communion…
though perhaps, in a sense,
in step with Eliot.

Note his words in
"Journey of the Magi":

Birth or Death?
There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt.
I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different;
this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us,
like Death, our death.

See also entries for
Dec. 27, 2006 (the day of
Itche Goldberg's death) —

Photo op for Gerald Ford

— "Least Popular
Christmas Present
Revisited
" —

and for the same date
three years earlier

"If you don't play
some people's game, they say
that you have 'lost your marbles,'
not recognizing that,

while Chinese checkers
is indeed a fine pastime,
a person may also play dominoes,
chess, strip poker, tiddlywinks,
drop-the-soap or Russian roulette
with his brain.

One brain game that is widely,
if poorly, played is a gimmick
called 'rational thought.'"

Tom Robbins
 

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sunday December 18, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 8:11 AM

The Meadow

“Heaven– Where Is It?
  How Do We Get There?”

To air on ABC
Tuesday, Dec. 20
(John Spencer’s birthday)

By Trevanian, who died on
Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2005:

From
 Shibumi

“Well… the flow of the play was just right, and it began to bring me to the meadow. It always begins with some kind of flowing motion… a stream or river, maybe the wind making waves in a field of ripe rice, the glitter of leaves moving in a breeze, clouds flowing by. And for me, if the structure of the Go stones is flowing classically, that too can bring me to the meadow.”

“The meadow?”

“Yes. That’s the place I expand into. It’s how I recognize that I am resting.”

“Is it a real meadow?”

“Yes, of course.”

“A meadow you visited at one time? A place in your memory?”

“It’s not in my memory. I’ve never been there when I was diminished.”

“Diminished?”

“You know… when I’m in my body and not resting.”

“You consider normal life to be a diminished state, then?”

“I consider time spent at rest to be normal. Time like this… temporary, and… yes, diminished.”

“Tell me about the meadow, Nikko.”

“It is triangular. And it slopes uphill, away from me. The grass is tall. There are no animals. Nothing has ever walked on the grass or eaten it. There are flowers, a breeze… warm. Pale sky. I’m always glad to be the grass again.”

“You are the grass?”

“We are one another. Like the breeze, and the yellow sunlight. We’re all… mixed in together.”

“I see. I see. Your description of the mystic experience resembles others I have read. And this meadow is what the writers call your ‘gateway’ or ‘path.’ Do you ever think of it in those terms?”

“No.”

“So. What happens then?”

“Nothing. I am at rest. I am everywhere at once. And everything is unimportant and delightful. And then… I begin to diminish. I separate from the sunlight and the meadow, and I contract again back into my bodyself. And the rest is over.” Nicholai smiled uncertainly. “I suppose I am not describing it very well, Teacher. It’s not… the kind of thing one describes.”

“No, you describe it very well, Nikko. You have evoked a memory in me that I had almost lost. Once or twice when I was a child… in summer, I think… I experienced brief transports such as you describe. I read once that most people have occasional mystic experiences when they are children, but soon outgrow them. And forget them….”

“And we may see
the meadow in December,
icy white and crystalline.”

— Johnny Mercer,
  “Midnight Sun

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Wednesday November 10, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:25 AM

Updike on God

“In Exodus 3:14, when Moses asks God his name, the answer in Hebrew, ’Ehyeh-’Asher-’Ehyeh, has been commonly rendered I AM THAT I AM but could be, Alter reports, simply I AM, I AM.  An impression grew upon me, as I made my way through these obdurate old texts, that to the ancient Hebrews God was simply a word for what was: a universe often beautiful and gracious but also implacable and unfathomable.”

— John Updike, review of Robert Alter’s translation of The Five Books of Moses, in The New Yorker, issue dated Nov. 1, 2004, posted online Oct. 25, 2004

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Sunday April 11, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:28 PM

Good Friday and
Descartes’s Easter Egg

“The use of z, y, x . . . to represent unknowns is due to René Descartes, in his La géometrie (1637)…. In a paper on Cartesian ovals, prepared before 1629, x alone occurs as unknown…. This is the earliest place in which Descartes used one of the last letters of the alphabet to represent an unknown.”

— Florian Cajori, A History of Mathematical Notations. 2 volumes. Lasalle, Illinois: The Open Court Publishing Co., 1928-1929. (Vol. 1, page 381)

This is from

http://members.aol.com/jeff570/variables.html.

Descartes’s Easter Egg is found at

EggMath: The Shape of an Egg —
Cartesian Ovals
 

An Easter Meditation
on Humpty Dumpty

The following is excerpted from a web page headed “Catholic Way.”  It is one of a series of vicious and stupid Roman Catholic attacks on Descartes.  Such attacks have been encouraged by the present Pope, who today said “may the culture of life and love render vain the logic of death.”

The culture of life and love is that of the geometry (if not the philosophy) of Descartes.  The logic of death is that of Karol Wojtyla, as was made very clear in the past century by the National Socialist Party, which had its roots in Roman Catholicism.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

“In the century just completed, the human race found itself in a position not unlike the scrambled mess at the base of an imaginary English wall….

… we are heirs to a humanity that is broken, fractured, confused, unsure of what to make of itself….

 … ‘postmodernism’ is merely the articulation of the fractured, dissipated state of the human being…. 

Without relating a history of modern philosophy, our unfortunate human shell has suffered a continual fragmentation for a period of roughly 500 years. (You philosophers out there will recognize immediately that I am referring to the legacy of René Descartes.) And this fragmentation has been a one-way street: one assault after another on the integrity and dignity of the human person until you have, well, the 20th Century.

But now it’s the 21st Century.

The beauty … the marvel … the miracle of our time is the possibility that gravity will reverse itself: Humpty Dumpty may be able, once again, to assume his perch.”

—  Ted Papa,
Raising Humpty Dumpty

Voilà.

The upper part
of the above icon
is from EggMath.
For the lower part,
see Good Friday.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Wednesday March 31, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 3:33 PM

Presbyterian Poets Society

The Wrinkle in Time link in my previous entry led to a sermon for St. Andrew’s day, 2003, at the Riviera Presbyterian Church in Miami.

I belong to no church, but have a vague recollection of being confirmed in the Presbyterian church in early adolescence.  That ceremony meant nothing to me then, and means nothing to me now.  It was the culmination of fitful attendance at Presbyterian Sunday School, which I recall, reluctantly, only as a course of training in ugliness, lies, and stupidity.

There seems, however, to be a paradox here.  The same religion I so detested seems to have inspired in others works of beauty, truth, and intelligence.

To wit, three poets, each with a Presbyterian background:

Robinson Jeffers

Wallace Stevens

Marianne Moore.

It may be that I am becoming reconciled to the religion that was urged upon me in my youth… becoming, at last, a Riviera Presbyterian.

For more details,
click on the above picture.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Monday January 26, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 7:00 PM

The Subject Par Excellence

The previous entry connected the mad Marxist Althusser with Mount Sinai; this connection is not as whimsical as it may seem.

From Althusser's "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses" (La Pensée, 1970):

" 'And the Lord spoke to Moses and said to him, "I am that I am".'

God thus defines himself as the Subject par excellence, he who is through himself and for himself ('I am that I am'), and he who interpellates [Althusser's jargon for "hails"] his subject, the individual subjected to him by his very interpellation, i.e. the individual named Moses."

This is from page 179 of Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays.

The connection of the Althusser disciple Sprinker with the Trinity in Taking Lucifer Seriously is also not as whimsical as it may seem.

See Althusser's note (p. 180, op. cit.) stating that

"The dogma of the Trinity is precisely the theory of the duplication of the Subject (the Father) into a subject (the Son) and of their mirror-connexion (the Holy Spirit)."

Friday, July 4, 2003

Friday July 4, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Self-Evident

Today many Americans celebrate a declaration of certain “self-evident” truths.  Others feel that these alleged “truths” are misleading.  Seeking a worthy opponent for the authors of the Declaration on this secular holy day, I settled on the following recently published book, a sort of Declaration of Dependence of government on God (an imaginary entity who speaks only through politicians, clergymen, and other liars):

Christian Faith
and Modern Democracy:

God and Politics in the Fallen World
By Robert P. Kraynak
Univ. of Notre Dame Press. 304p
$49.95 (cloth) $24.95 (paper)

From a review in the Dec. 24, 2001, issue of America, a Jesuit publication:

“The author, who identifies himself as a practicing Catholic, asserts that Christianity is weakened by its close alliance with the contemporary version of democracy and human rights…. 

The author states that ‘modern liberal democracy…subverts in practice the dignity of man.’  He defends his thesis relentlessly and persuasively…. 

Some readers of this well-organized volume will be disappointed that the author makes no mention of the four billion non-Christians among the world’s 6.1 billion inhabitants. The four billion Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists must be included in any attempt to make the modern state responsive to traditional and generally accepted norms of morality.”

— Robert F. Drinan, S.J.

Jefferson would probably appreciate Drinan’s remark on catholic (i.e., universal, or “generally accepted”) norms.

The “traditional and generally accepted norms of morality” Drinan mentions are discussed ably by Christian apologist C. S. Lewis in his book The Abolition of Man, which argues for the existence of a universal moral code that I am pleased to note he calls, rightly, the Tao.  As an Amazon.com reviewer notes, Lewis uses this term in the manner of Confucius rather than that of Lao Tsu.  I prefer the latter. 

For details, see the Tao Te Ching, (The Way and Its Power).  This is a far more holy scripture than the collections of lies called sacred by most other religions.  Both the leftist Jefferson and the rightist Kraynak wrongly assume that talk of a “Creator” means something.  It does not.  Classical Chinese thought is free from this absurd Western error.  Lewis at least had the grace to acknowledge the importance of non-Western thought, though he himself was unable to escape the lies of Christianity.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Tuesday February 11, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 5:10 PM

St. John von Neumann’s Song

The mathematician John von Neumann, a heavy drinker and party animal, advocated a nuclear first strike on Moscow.*  Confined to a wheelchair before his death, he was, some say, the inspiration for Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove.  He was a Jew converted to Catholicism.  His saint’s day was February 8.  Here is an excerpt from a book titled Abstract Harmonic Analysis**, just one of the fields illuminated by von Neumann’s brilliance:

“…von Neumann showed that an intrinsic definition can be given for the mean M(f) of an almost periodic function…. Von Neumann proved the existence and properties of M(f) by completely elementary methods….”

Should W. B. Yeats wander into the Catholic Anticommunists’ section of Paradise, he might encounter, as in “Sailing to Byzantium,” an unexpected set of “singing-masters” there: the Platonic archetypes of the Hollywood Argyles.

The Argyles’ attire is in keeping with Yeats’s desire for gold in his “artifice of eternity”… In this case, gold lamé, but hey, it’s Hollywood.  The Argyles’ lyrics will no doubt be somewhat more explicit in heaven.  For instance, in “Alley Oop,” the line

“He’s a mean motor scooter and a bad go-getter”

will in its purer heavenly version be rendered

“He’s a mean M(f)er and…”

in keeping with von Neumann’s artifice of eternity described above.

This theological meditation was suggested by previous entries on Yeats, music and Catholicism (see Feb. 8, von Neumann’s saint’s day) and by the following recent weblog entries of a Harvard senior majoring in mathematics:

“I changed my profile picture to Oedipus last night because I felt cursed by fate….”

“It’s not rational for me to believe that I am cursed, that the gods are set against me.  Because I don’t even believe in any gods!”

The spiritual benefits of a Harvard education are summarized by this student’s new profile picture:

The image “http://log24.com/log/pix03/030211-oedipus.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

M(f)

*Source: Von Neumann and the Development of Game Theory

**by Harvard professor Lynn H. Loomis, Van Nostrand, 1953, p. 169.
 

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Tuesday January 21, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 5:09 PM

Diablo Ballet

Thanks to Meghan for the following:

not going, not coming,
rooted, deep and still
not reaching out, not reaching in
just resting, at the center
a single jewel, the flawless crystal drop
in the blaze of its brilliance
the way beyond.

— Shih Te (c. 730)

It turns out that Shih Te (“Foundling”) was the sidekick of Han Shan (“Cold Mountain”).  Here are some relevant links:

Thoughts of Robert Frost (see past two days’ entries) lead to “Two Tramps in Mud Time,” which in turn leads to Jack Kerouac and Gary Snyder splitting wood in The Dharma Bums.

This in turn leads, via a search on “Kerouac” and “axe,” to the sentence

“There’s the grace of an axe handle 
 as good as an Eglevsky ballet,”

in Big Sur

Kerouac taught me when I was 16 and he is still teaching me now that I am 60.

Searching for “Eglevsky ballet” leads to this site on André Eglevsky, his work, his life, and his children.  A further search leads to his daughter Marina Eglevsky, who stages dance for the Diablo Ballet.

Born to Dance

Marina Eglevsky and
the Diablo Ballet —
a rare and gifted
pas de deux

Those who feel the above is too “arty” for them may nevertheless appreciate the movie by the same name: “Born to Dance” (1936), starring Eleanor Powell and James Stewart.

In the larger metaphorical sense, of course, Powell and Eglevsky are both part of the same dance… at the “still point” described so well by Shih Te. 

“just resting, at the center
a single jewel…”

“At the still point,
there the dance is.”
— T. S. Eliot

From Marshall’s Jewelers, Tucson —

A Diamond-Cutter Sutra:

The ideal cut is a mathematical formula for cutting diamonds to precise angles and proportions to maximize the reflection and refraction of light. In addition to these ideal proportions, the polish and symmetry of the diamond is done to the highest standards also. Only then does it qualify to receive the American Gem Society (AGS) “triple zero” rating. A “zero” rating is the most perfect rating that the AGS gives evaluating the cut, polish, and symmetry of the diamond.

When a diamond receives the “zero” rating for each of these areas, (cut, polish, and symmetry), it gets three “zeros,” hence the “triple zero” rating. Because of this attention to detail, it takes up to four times longer to cut a diamond to these standards than an “average” diamond.

You may choose to compromise on color or clarity but to ensure the most brilliant diamond you should not compromise on cut….

The “triple zero” ideal cut guarantees you a magnificent balance of brilliance, sparkle, and fire.

Postscript of 1/25/03:

See also the obituary of Irene Diamond, ballet patron, for whom the New York City Ballet’s “Diamond Project” is named.  Diamond died on January 21, 2003, the date of the above weblog entry.

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