Saturday, April 10, 2021


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:31 PM

The previous post, on a Joyce symposium in
Utrecht on June 15-20, 2014, suggests a review
of this  journal in June 2014.  From June 21
of that year —

“Without the possibility that
an origin can be lost, forgotten,
or alienated into what springs
forth from it, an origin could
not be an origin. The possibility
of inscription is thus a necessary
possibility, one that must always
be possible.”

— Page 157 of The Tain of the Mirror:
Derrida and the Philosophy of Reflection ,
by Rodolphe Gasché, Harvard U. Press, 1986

Related art suggested by the above modal logic

Nietzsche, 'law in becoming' and 'play in necessity'

Nietzsche on Heraclitus— 'play in necessity' and 'law in becoming'— illustrated.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Art of the Possible

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 3:40 PM

Nietzsche, 'law in becoming' and 'play in necessity'

Nietzsche on Heraclitus— 'play in necessity' and 'law in becoming'— illustrated.

Related philosophy — Wittgenstein’s Diamond.

Saturday, January 18, 2020


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:40 PM

"This interplay of necessity and contingency
produces our anxious— and highly pleasurable—
speculation about the future path of the story."

— Michel Chaouli in "How Interactive Can Fiction Be?"
(Critical Inquiry  31, Spring 2005, page 613.)

See also . . .

Nietzsche, 'law in becoming' and 'play in necessity'

Continuing previous Modal Diamond Box posts:

Nietzsche on Heraclitus— 'play in necessity' and 'law in becoming'— illustrated.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Possibility and Necessity: Kierkegaard Meets Nietzsche

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:29 AM

The previous post’s search for Turing + Dyson yielded a
quotation from Kierkegaard on possibility and necessity.
Further details —

See also . . .

Nietzsche, 'law in becoming' and 'play in necessity'

Nietzsche on Heraclitus— 'play in necessity' and 'law in becoming'— illustrated.

Sunday, March 10, 2019


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:08 PM

Related material —

Nietzsche, 'law in becoming' and 'play in necessity'

Nietzsche on Heraclitus— 'play in necessity' and 'law in becoming'— illustrated.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Adventures in Logology

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:19 PM

Mary McCarthy's philosophical remark in the previous post
suggests further investigation of the number 281 . . .

Another way to secure 281 –

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:28 PM

Nietzsche on Heraclitus— 'play in necessity' and 'law in becoming'— illustrated.

"Nietzsche, Wittgenstein.
Wittgenstein, Nietzsche.

— After David Letterman
at the Academy Awards

Friday, May 5, 2017

For the Gods of Mexico*

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:26 PM

A swimmer who won Olympic gold in 1936 reportedly died today.

Related material from August 4, 2008

Jodie Foster in 'Contact' viewing the opening of the 1936 Olympics

Jodie Foster and the
opening of the 1936 Olympics

Heraclitus…. says: ‘The ruler
 whose prophecy occurs at Delphi
 oute legei oute kryptei,
 neither gathers nor hides,
 alla semainei, but gives hints.'” 

 — An Introduction to Metaphysics,
 by Martin Heidegger,
Yale University Press
paperback, 1959, p. 170

Posts tagged Swimmer may or may not be relevant.

* See … 

Friday, October 21, 2016


Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 PM



See also "Diamond Pivot" in this journal.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Elementary Art

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:00 PM

The above cycle may have influenced the design
of Carl Jung's symbol of the self —

Jung's Self-Symbol


Related art by
Steven H. Cullinane

See also Levi-Strauss Formula in this journal.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Magpie

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:45 AM

"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore…."

— Edgar Allan Poe, 1845 (link added)

"The infamous pseudohistorian Eric Temple Bell
begins his book 'The Magic of Numbers' as follows:

The hero of our story is Pythagoras…."

John Baez, June 20, 2006

Related material —

See also "Temple Bell" in this  journal.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Philosophy’s End

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 AM

This post was suggested by previous posts of 
February 29, 2008, and of March 1, 2008.

The writer quoted in the latter, Ava Chitwood,
reportedly died on November 1, 2012 —
All Saints' Day. See a post from that  date.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Meditation on an Icon

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:01 AM

IMAGE- Brian Bard on 'Heidegger's Reading of Heraclitus'

See also Legespiel  in this journal.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Dark and Stormy Night

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

This journal on the morning of January 27, 2010,
the day of J. D. Salinger’s death, had a post on
Nietzsche and Heraclitus titled “To Apollo.”

Related material:

“… the wind was noisy the way it is in spooky movies
on the night the old slob with the will gets murdered.”

— From the opening sentence of the first Holden Caulfield
story, published in the Collier’s  of December 22, 1945

See also Peter Matthiessen on Zen,   Salinger and Vedanta,
and Heraclitus in this journal.  Some background—

A quotation from Nietzsche…
(Sämtliche Werke, Kritische Studienausgabe in 15 Bänden  (KSA).
Herausgegeben von Giorgio Colli und Mazzino Montinari.
Berlin: De Gruyter, 1980):

“Nietzsche wrote:

‘Seeing the world as a divine game and beyond good and evil:
in this both the Vedanta and Heraclitus are my predecessors.'”

— KSA vol. 11, page 26, as quoted by André van der Braak
     in a chapter from his 2011 book Nietzsche and Zen

(Darin, dass die Welt ein göttliches Spiel sei
jenseits von Gut und Böse —
habe ich die Vedanta-
und Heraklit zum Vorgänger

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Narrative and Mathematics

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:01 AM


"Richard Hughes’s celebrated short novel is
a masterpiece of concentrated narrative."

New York Review of Books  on
     A High Wind in Jamaica

As perhaps were, in their way, parts of the life
of the late Patrice Wymore Flynn, who reportedly
died at 87 on Saturday.

Deep backstory:  See Colony of Santiago (Jamaica).

For the "mathematics" part of this post's title, see
Saturday's Log24 post on Kummer-surface terms
and a post of September 23, 2012.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Two Types of Symmetry

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:00 PM


IMAGE- Weber hexads in 'Kummer's Quartic Surface'

IMAGE- Ohashi on the 192 Weber hexads

Literary (also from May 18, 2010)

IMAGE- Heraclitus, 'Immortals mortal, mortals immortal'- 'athanatoi thnetoi, thnetoi athanatoi'

Monday, October 14, 2013

Up and Down

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 9:29 AM

Heraclitus, Fragment 60 (Diels number):

The way up and the way down is one and the same.

ὁδὸς ἄνω κάτω μία καὶ ὡυτή

hodòs áno káto mía kaì houté

— http://www.heraclitusfragments.com/B60/index.html

IMAGE- Fetzer on ambiguity in Mann's 'Doctor Faustus'

See also Blade and Chalice and, for a less Faustian
approach, Universe of Discourse.

IMAGE- Logic related to 'the arsenal of algebraic analysis tools for fields'

Further context:  Not Theology.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

But Seriously…

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:01 PM

Here is a link to a copy of  the home page of a Turkish
author quoted here on May 4, 2012… in honor of
archaeologist Crawford Greenewalt Jr., who reportedly
died on that date. Greenewalt was an expert on the
ancient city of Sardis, in what is now western Turkey.

The May 4 quote was about 
"Heraclitus’s Aion and His Transformations."

Friday, May 4, 2012

That Krell Lab (continued)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

“… Which makes it a gilt-edged priority that one  of us
 gets into that Krell lab and takes that brain boost.”

— American adaptation of Shakespeare's Tempest , 1956

From "The Onto-theological Origin of Play:
Heraclitus and Plato," by Yücel Dursun, in
Lingua ac Communitas  Vol 17 (October 2007)—

"Heraclitus’s Aion and His Transformations

 The saying is as follows:

αἰὼν παῖς ἐστι παίζων, πεττεύων·
παιδὸς ἡ βασιληίη

(Aion is a child playing draughts;
the kingship is the child’s)

(Krell 1972: 64).*

 * KRELL, David Farrell.
   “Towards an Ontology of Play:
   Eugen Fink’s Notion of Spiel,”
   Research in Phenomemology ,
   2, 1972: 63-93.

This is the translation of the fragment in Greek by Krell.
There are many versions of the translation of the fragment….."

See also Child's Play and Froebel's Magic Box.

Update of May 5— For some background
from the date May 4 seven years ago, see
The Fano Plane Revisualized.

For some background on the word "aion,"
see that word in this journal.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Unity and Multiplicity (continued*)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:48 AM

Heisenberg on Heraclitus

From Physics and Philosophy , by Werner Heisenberg, 1958, reprinted by Penguin Classics, 2003—

Page 28—

… In the philosophy of Heraclitus of Ephesus the concept of Becoming occupies the foremost
place. He regarded that which moves, the fire, as the basic element. The difficulty, to reconcile
the idea of one fundamental principle with the infinite variety of phenomena, is solved for him by
recognizing that the strife of the opposites is really a kind of harmony. For Heraclitus the world is
at once one and many, it is just 'the opposite tension' of the opposites that constitutes the unity
of the One. He says: 'We must know that war is common to all and strife is justice, and that all
things come into being and pass away through strife.'

Looking back to the development of Greek philosophy up to this point one realizes that it has
been borne from the beginning to this

Page 29—

stage by the tension between the One and the Many. For our senses the world consists of an
infinite variety of things and events, colors and sounds. But in order to understand it we have to
introduce some kind of order, and order means to recognize what is equal, it means some sort
of unity. From this springs the belief that there is one fundamental principle, and at the same
time the difficulty to derive from it the infinite variety of things. That there should be a material
cause for all things was a natural starting point since the world consists of matter. But when one
carried the idea of fundamental unity to the extreme one came to that infinite and eternal
undifferentiated Being which, whether material or not, cannot in itself explain the infinite variety
of things. This leads to the antithesis of Being and Becoming and finally to the solution of
Heraclitus, that the change itself is the fundamental principle; the 'imperishable change, that
renovates the world,' as the poets have called it. But the change in itself is not a material cause
and therefore is represented in the philosophy of Heraclitus by the fire as the basic element,
which is both matter and a moving force.

We may remark at this point that modern physics is in some way extremely near to the
doctrines of Heraclitus. If we replace the word 'fire' by the word 'energy' we can almost repeat
his statements word for word from our modern point of view. Energy is in fact the substance
from which all elementary particles, all atoms and therefore all things are made, and energy is
that which moves. Energy is a substance, since its total amount does not change, and the
elementary particles can actually be made from this substance as is seen in many experiments on
the creation of elementary particles. Energy can be changed into motion, into heat, into light
and into tension. Energy may be called the fundamental cause for all change in the world. But this
comparison of Greek philosophy with the ideas of modern science will be discussed later.

* See earlier uses of the phrase in this journal. Further background— Hopkins and Heraclitus.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

By Chance

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:00 PM

PA Lottery 7/21— Midday 312, Evening 357.

Related material:

This journal on 3/12

Image-- Group Characters, from 'Symmetry,' Pergamon Press, 1963

and a .357—

Image-- MTV star spotting-- Lindsay Lohan, Nun with a Gun

Related philosophy—

"Character is fate." — Heraclitus

"Pray for the grace of accuracy." — Robert Lowell

Oh, and a belated happy 7/21 birthday to Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 11:00 AM

Photo caption in NY Times  today— a pianist "preforming" in 1967. (See today's previous post.)

The pianist's life story seems in part to echo that of Juliette Binoche in the film "Bleu." Binoche appeared in this journal yesterday, before I had seen the pianist in today's Times  obituaries. The Binoche appearance was related to the blue diamond in the film "Duelle " (Tuesday morning's post) and the saying of Heraclitus "immortals mortal, mortals immortal" (Tuesday afternoon's post).

This somewhat uncanny echo brings to mind Nabokov

Life Everlasting—based on a misprint!
I mused as I drove homeward: take the hint,
And stop investigating my abyss?
But all at once it dawned on me that this
Was the real point, the contrapuntal theme;
Just this: not text, but texture; not the dream
But topsy-turvical coincidence,
Not flimsy nonsense, but a web of sense.

Whether sense or nonsense, the following quotation seems relevant—

"Archetypes function as living dispositions, ideas in the Platonic sense, that preform and continually influence our thoughts and feelings and actions." –C.G. Jung in Four Archetypes: Mother, Rebirth, Spirit, Trickster, the section titled "On the Concept of the Archetype."

That section is notable for its likening of Jungian archetypes to Platonic ideas and to axial systems of crystals. See also "Cubist Tune," March 18 —


Blue tesseract cover<br /><br />
art, blue crystals in 'Bleu,' lines from 'Blue Guitar'

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Philosophy: An Example

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:33 PM


  "This is in point of form Heraclitus' masterpiece,
   the most perfectly symmetrical of all the fragments."

    — Charles H. Kahn

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Today’s Sermon

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM

Sybil on the Beach

"I was waiting for you," said the young man. "What's new?"

"What?" said Sybil.

"What's new? What's on the program?"


Nietzsche on Heraclitus and the 'play of fire with itself'

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

To Apollo

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Yesterday's post may, if one likes, be regarded
  as a nod to Dionysus, god of tragedy.

Here is a complementary passage:

Nietzsche on Heraclitus and the 'play of fire with itself'

Related material:
Jung and the Imago Dei

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday August 29, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM
Continued from
Father’s Day
  last year–

Shoe cartoon, detail, Sunday, June 15, 2008

I Ching hexagram 48, The Well

“For further details,
 click on the well.”

From the above link:

James Hillman

“The kind of movement Olson urges is
 an inward deepening of the image,
an in-sighting of the superimposed
 levels of significance within it.
This is the very mode that Jung
suggested for grasping dreams–
 not as a sequence in time,
but as revolving around
 a nodal complex.”

And from Feb. 29, 2008:


and the following day:

Heraclitus: '...so deep is its logos'


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday August 20, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 4:00 PM


From David Lavery’s weblog today

Kierkegaard on Sophists:

“If the natural sciences had been developed in Socrates’ day as they are now, all the sophists would have been scientists. One would have hung a microscope outside his shop in order to attract customers, and then would have had a sign painted saying: Learn and see through a giant microscope how a man thinks (and on reading the advertisement Socrates would have said: that is how men who do not think behave).”

— Søren Kierkegaard, Journals, edited and translated by Alexander Dru

To anyone familiar with Pirsig’s classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, the above remarks of Kierkegaard ring false. Actually, the sophists as described by Pirsig are not at all like scientists, but rather like relativist purveyors of postmodern literary “theory.” According to Pirsig, the scientists are like Plato (and hence Socrates)– defenders of objective truth.

Pirsig on Sophists:

“The pre-Socratic philosophers mentioned so far all sought to establish a universal Immortal Principle in the external world they found around them. Their common effort united them into a group that may be called Cosmologists. They all agreed that such a principle existed but their disagreements as to what it was seemed irresolvable. The followers of Heraclitus insisted the Immortal Principle was change and motion. But Parmenides’ disciple, Zeno, proved through a series of paradoxes that any perception of motion and change is illusory. Reality had to be motionless.

The resolution of the arguments of the Cosmologists came from a new direction entirely, from a group Phædrus seemed to feel were early humanists. They were teachers, but what they sought to teach was not principles, but beliefs of men. Their object was not any single absolute truth, but the improvement of men. All principles, all truths, are relative, they said. ‘Man is the measure of all things.’ These were the famous teachers of ‘wisdom,’ the Sophists of ancient Greece.

To Phaedrus, this backlight from the conflict between the Sophists and the Cosmologists adds an entirely new dimension to the Dialogues of Plato. Socrates is not just expounding noble ideas in a vacuum. He is in the middle of a war between those who think truth is absolute and those who think truth is relative. He is fighting that war with everything he has. The Sophists are the enemy.

Now Plato’s hatred of the Sophists makes sense. He and Socrates are defending the Immortal Principle of the Cosmologists against what they consider to be the decadence of the Sophists. Truth. Knowledge. That which is independent of what anyone thinks about it. The ideal that Socrates died for. The ideal that Greece alone possesses for the first time in the history of the world. It is still a very fragile thing. It can disappear completely. Plato abhors and damns the Sophists without restraint, not because they are low and immoral people… there are obviously much lower and more immoral people in Greece he completely ignores. He damns them because they threaten mankind’s first beginning grasp of the idea of truth. That’s what it is all about.

The results of Socrates’ martyrdom and Plato’s unexcelled prose that followed are nothing less than the whole world of Western man as we know it. If the idea of truth had been allowed to perish unrediscovered by the Renaissance it’s unlikely that we would be much beyond the level of prehistoric man today. The ideas of science and technology and other systematically organized efforts of man are dead-centered on it. It is the nucleus of it all.

And yet, Phaedrus understands, what he is saying about Quality is somehow opposed to all this. It seems to agree much more closely with the Sophists.”

I agree with Plato’s (and Rebecca Goldstein’s) contempt for relativists. Yet Pirsig makes a very important point. It is not the scientists but rather the storytellers (not, mind you, the literary theorists) who sometimes seem to embody Quality.

As for hanging a sign outside the shop, I suggest (particularly to New Zealand’s Cullinane College) that either or both of the following pictures would be more suggestive of Quality than a microscope:

Alfred Bester covers showing 'primordial protomatter' (altered here) from 'Stars' and Rogue Winter from 'Deceivers'

For the “primordial protomatter”
in the picture at left, see
The Diamond Archetype.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wednesday June 3, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 4:00 AM
to Four Quartets:

Epigraphs to Eliot's 'Four Quartets'-- Heraclitus on the common logos and on the way up and the way down

The Dissertations of Maximus Tyrius
, translated from the Greek by Thomas Taylor, printed by C. Whittingham, London, for the translator, 1804, Vol. II, p. 55:

“You see the mutation of bodies, and the transition of generation, a path upwards and downwards according to Heraclitus; and again, as he says, one thing living the death, but dying the life of another. Thus fire lives the death of earth, and air lives the death of fire; water lives the death of air, and earth lives the death of water. You see a succession of life, and a mutation of bodies, both of which are the renovation of the whole.”

Eight-rayed star of Venus (also the symmetry axes of the square)

For an interpretation
of the above figure
in terms of the classical
four elements discussed
in Four Quartets,
in Dissertations, and
in Angels & Demons,
Notes on Mathematics
 and Narrative.

For a more entertaining
interpretation, see Fritz Leiber’s
classic story “Damnation Morning.”

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday December 10, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM

ho anax, hou to manteion esti
to en Delphois, oute legei oute
alla sêmainei

Heraclitus, DK 22 B 93,

The lord whose oracle is
at Delphi neither reveals nor
 conceals, but gives a sign.

A sign, perhaps of the sort
given by Apollo’s oracle:

Road sign with double arrow pointing both left and right

Click on the sign for further details.

Related material:

This week’s New Yorker

Cartoon sign-- enlightenment one way, sandals the other

… as well as   
  today’s previous entry —
Symbol,” discussing Apollo
and a web page
by Nick Wedd —
and Wedd’s home page,
which states that
“I have now found a
  source of Polish sandals.”

Wednesday December 10, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM
Heraclitus: '...so deep is its logos'

Monday, August 4, 2008

Monday August 4, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:57 AM

Summer of ’36

Another Opening
of Another Show

“When I cast my mind back to that summer of 1936 different kinds of memories offer themselves to me. We got our first wireless set that summer– well, a sort of a set; and it obsessed us. And because it arrived as August was about to begin, my Aunt Maggie– she was the joker of the family– she suggested we give it a name. She wanted to call it Lugh after the old Celtic God of the Harvest. Because in the old days August the First was La Lughnasa, the feast day of the pagan god, Lugh; and the days and weeks of harvesting that followed were called the Festival of Lughnasa.”

— Michael in the play
 “Dancing at Lughnasa”

From the film “Contact”–

Jodie Foster in 'Contact' viewing the opening of the 1936 Olympics

Jodie Foster and the
opening of the 1936 Olympics

Heraclitus…. says: ‘The ruler
 whose prophecy occurs at Delphi
 oute legei oute kryptei,
 neither gathers nor hides,
 alla semainei, but gives hints.'”
 — An Introduction to Metaphysics,
 by Martin Heidegger, Yale University
 Press paperback, 1959, p. 170

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday July 11, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

"Religions are hardy."
— TIME magazine,
issue dated July 14

"I confess I do not believe in time."
Vladimir Nabokov  

"I can hardly do better than
go back to the Greeks."
G. H. Hardy

'The Greeks and the Irrational,' by E.R. Dodds

Figure 1:
The Greeks

Diagonal of the Square

Figure 2:
The Irrational

'You cannot find the limits of the soul even by travelling all roads-- so deep is its logos'-- Heraclitus

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday June 25, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 7:20 PM
The Cycle of
the Elements

John Baez, Week 266
(June 20, 2008):

“The Renaissance thinkers liked to
organize the four elements using
a chain of analogies running
from light to heavy:

fire : air :: air : water :: water : earth

They also organized them
in a diamond, like this:”

Diamond of the four ancient elements, figure by John Baez

This figure of Baez
is related to a saying
attributed to Heraclitus:

Diamond  showing transformation of the four ancient elements

For related thoughts by Jung,
see Aion, which contains the
following diagram:

Jung's four-diamond figure showing transformations of the self as Imago Dei

“The formula reproduces exactly the essential features of the symbolic process of transformation. It shows the rotation of the mandala, the antithetical play of complementary (or compensatory) processes, then the apocatastasis, i.e., the restoration of an original state of wholeness, which the alchemists expressed through the symbol of the uroboros, and finally the formula repeats the ancient alchemical tetrameria, which is implicit in the fourfold structure of unity.”

— Carl Gustav Jung

That the words Maximus of Tyre (second century A.D.) attributed to Heraclitus imply a cycle of the elements (analogous to the rotation in Jung’s diagram) is not a new concept. For further details, see “The Rotation of the Elements,” a 1995 webpage by one  “John Opsopaus.”

Related material:

Log24 entries of June 9, 2008, and

Quintessence: A Glass Bead Game,”
by Charles Cameron.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Saturday March 1, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:02 AM

Doonesbury 2/29/08-- Assignment: Identify Sources

Heraclitus: '...so deep is its logos'

Heraclitus in
   Death by Philosophy,
   by Ava Chitwood

Related material:

International Journal of the Classical Tradition

“Ava Chitwood, ‘The Anonymous Philosopher of Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain: A Heraclitean Hero in a Homeric World,’ IJCT 11 (2004-2005), pp. 232-243.

1997’s surprise best-seller, Cold Mountain, is the first novel of North Carolina native and travel writer, Charles Frazier. Two ancient Greek authors shape and drive the novel, set in the post-war Southern Appalachians of 1865. Homer’s Odyssey frames the novel: the hero Inman undergoes epic adventures after the war, has his own Penelope waiting, and travels back to a land as remote as any island, Cold Mountain, North Carolina. But fragments of an anonymous philosopher who can be identified as Heraclitus alienate Inman from the Homeric world around him and determine his fate. Ada, his Penelope, also casts off her shroud of tradition: impatient with the ‘glorious war,’ no longer content to wait, Ada plunges into the new business of living. And just as the archaic, post-Homeric Greek world produced new ways of living and thought, as exemplified by Heraclitus, so too does the post-bellum world of Cold Mountain, as exemplified by Inman and Ada; their struggle, and the novel’s tension, speak to and about all those caught between two worlds, epic and philosophic, whether driven by love or strife.”

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wednesday September 20, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 8:00 AM

Public Space

“… the Danish cartoons crisis last March showed ‘two world views colliding in public space with no common point of reference.'”

George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1991 to 2002, quoted in today’s London Times.

Related material:

Geometry and Christianity
   (Google search yielding
    “about 1,540,000” results)

Geometry and Islam
   (Google search yielding
    “about 1,580,000” results)


The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060828-Cube.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

A Public Space

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060920-Motto.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

— Motto of 
Plato’s Academy

Background from
Log24 on Feb. 15, 2006:


Hellmut Wilhelm on the Tao

If we replace the Chinese word “I” (change, transformation) with the word “permutation,” the relevance of Western mathematics (which some might call “the Logos“) to the I Ching (“Changes Classic”) beomes apparent.

For the relevance of Plato to
Islam, see David Wade’s
Pattern in Islamic Art
and a Google search on
Plato and Islam
(“about 1,680,000” results).

“We should let ourselves be guided by what is common to all. Yet although the Logos is common to all, most men live as if each had a private intelligence of his own.”

Heraclitus of Ephesus, about 500 B.C.

Monday, November 7, 2005

Monday November 7, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 PM
Tick Tick Hash

On Saturday, November 5, 2005,
author John Fowles died.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051107-Aristos.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
From Log24
on the date of
Fowles’ death: 
and Design

Related material:
The Collector and
Speak, Memory

From Log24
on the date of
Fowles’ death:
in a Shadowland

Related material:
The Aristos

Two years after The Collector had brought him international recognition and a year before he published The Magus, John Fowles set out his ideas on life in The Aristos.  The chief inspiration behind them was the fifth century BC philosopher Heraclitus.  In the world he posited of constant and chaotic flux the supreme good was the Aristos, ‘of a person or thing, the best or most excellent of its kind.'”

Random House Australia

Monday, October 31, 2005

Monday October 31, 2005

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 2:00 AM


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“An asymmetrical balance is sought since it possesses more movement. This is achieved by the imaginary plotting of the character upon a nine-fold square, invented by some ingenious writer of the Tang dynasty. If the square were divided in half or in four, the result would be symmetrical, but the nine-fold square permits balanced asymmetry.”– Chiang Yee, Chinese Calligraphy,
quoted in Aspen no. 10, item 8“‘Burnt Norton’ opens as a meditation on time. Many comparable and contrasting views are introduced. The lines are drenched with reminiscences of Heraclitus’ fragments on flux and movement….  the chief contrast around which Eliot constructs this poem is that between the view of time as a mere continuum, and the difficult paradoxical Christian view of how man lives both ‘in and out of time,’ how he is immersed in the flux and yet can penetrate to the eternal by apprehending timeless existence within time and above it. But even for the Christian the moments of release from the pressures of the flux are rare, though they alone redeem the sad wastage of otherwise unillumined existence. Eliot recalls one such moment of peculiar poignance, a childhood moment in the rose-garden– a symbol he has previously used, in many variants, for the birth of desire. Its implications are intricate and even ambiguous, since they raise the whole problem of how to discriminate between supernatural vision and mere illusion. Other variations here on the theme of how time is conquered are more directly apprehensible. In dwelling on the extension of time into movement, Eliot takes up an image he had used in ‘Triumphal March’: ‘at the still point of the turning world.’ This notion of ‘a mathematically pure point’ (as Philip Wheelwright has called it) seems to be Eliot’s poetic equivalent in our cosmology for Dante’s ‘unmoved Mover,’ another way of symbolising a timeless release from the ‘outer compulsions’ of the world. Still another variation is the passage on the Chinese jar in the final section. Here Eliot, in a conception comparable to Wallace Stevens’ ‘Anecdote of the Jar,’ has suggested how art conquers time:

       Only by the form, the pattern,
Can words or music reach
The stillness, as a Chinese jar still
Moves perpetually in its stillness.”

— F. O. Matthiessen,
The Achievement of T.S. Eliot,
Oxford University Press, 1958,
as quoted in On “Burnt Norton”

Monday, June 13, 2005

Monday June 13, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 PM

Cliffs of Moher

My father’s father,
    his father’s father, his —
Shadows like winds

Go back to a parent before thought,
    before speech,
At the head of the past.

They go to the cliffs of Moher
    rising out of the mist….

— Wallace Stevens,
   “The Irish Cliffs of Moher”

A Portrait of the Artist
 as a Young Man
James Joyce, Chapter 5:

As he came back to the hearth, limping slightly but with a brisk step, Stephen saw the silent soul of a jesuit look out at him from the pale loveless eyes. Like Ignatius he was lame but in his eyes burned no spark of Ignatius’s enthusiasm. Even the legendary craft of the company, a craft subtler and more secret than its fabled books of secret subtle wisdom, had not fired his soul with the energy of apostleship. It seemed as if he used the shifts and lore and cunning of the world, as bidden to do, for the greater glory of God, without joy in their handling or hatred of that in them which was evil but turning them, with a firm gesture of obedience back upon themselves and for all this silent service it seemed as if he loved not at all the master and little, if at all, the ends he served. SIMILITER ATQUE SENIS BACULUS, he was, as the founder would have had him, like a staff in an old man’s hand, to be leaned on in the road at nightfall or in stress of weather, to lie with a lady’s nosegay on a garden seat, to be raised in menace.

The dean returned to the hearth and began to stroke his chin.

–When may we expect to have something from you on the esthetic question? he asked.

–From me! said Stephen in astonishment. I stumble on an idea once a fortnight if I am lucky.

–These questions are very profound, Mr Dedalus, said the dean. It is like looking down from the cliffs of Moher into the depths. Many go down into the depths and never come up. Only the trained diver can go down into those depths and explore them and come to the surface again.

See also Kahn’s The Art and Thought of Heraclitus and the references to a “Delian diver” in Chitwood’s Death by Philosophy.

Death by Philosophy:

“Although fragments examined earlier may enable Heraclitus’ reader to believe that the stylistic devices arose directly from his dislike of humanity, I think rather that Heraclitus deliberately perfected the mysterious, gnomic style he praises in the following  fragment.

31. The lord whose oracle is at Delphi neither speaks nor hides, but  indicates. (fr. 93)

Heraclitus not only admires the oracular style of delivery, but recommends it; this studied ambiguity is, I think, celebrated and alluded to in the Delian diver comment. For just as the prophecies of the Delian or Delphic god are at once obscure and darkly clear, so too are the workings of the Logos and Heraclitus’ remarks on it.”

Related material:
A Mass for Lucero.

That web page concludes with a reference to esthetics and a Delian palm, and was written three years ago on this date.

Today is also the date of death for Martin Buber, philosophical Jew.

Here is a Delphic saying in memory of Buber:

“It is the female date that is considered holy, and that bears fruit.”

—  Steven Erlanger,
    New York Times story,
    dateline Jerusalem, June 11

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Wednesday October 6, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:17 PM

3:17:20 PM

Spin the Numbers


Today’s midday
Ohio lottery number:


2/24 Log24.net entry:

The Crimson Passion


Heraclitus…. says:
‘The ruler whose prophecy
occurs at Delphi
oute legei oute kryptei,
neither gathers nor hides,
alla semainei, but gives hints.'”
An Introduction to Metaphysics,
by Martin Heidegger,
Yale University Press paperback,
1959, p. 170

“The lord whose oracle is in Delphi
neither indicates clearly nor conceals,
but gives a sign.”
Adolf Holl, The Left Hand of God,
Doubleday, 1998, p. 50


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Tuesday August 17, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 AM

The Zen of Abraham

Today’s Zen Chautauqua, prompted by the fact that this is Abrahamic week at the real Chautauqua, consists of links to

The Matrix of Abraham,

Matrix of the Death God, and

Happy Birthday, Kate and Kevin.

The real Chautauqua’s program this week is, of course, Christian rather than Zen.  Its theme is “Building a Global Neighborhood: The Abrahamic Vision 2004.”  One of the featured performers is Loretta Lynn; in her honor (and, of course, that of Sissy Spacek), I will try to overcome the fear and loathing that the Semitic (i. e., “Abrahamic”) religions usually inspire in me.

To a mathematician, the phrase “global neighborhood” sounds like meaningless politico-religious bullshit —  a phrase I am sure accurately characterizes most of the discourse at Chautauqua this week.  But a Google search reveals an area of research — “particle swarm optimization” in which the phrase “global neighborhood” actually means something.  See

A Hybrid Particle Swarm
and Neural Network Approach
for Reactive Power Control,
by Paulo F. Ribeiro and
W. Kyle Schlansker

This article includes the following:

Given the sophistication of his writing, I am surprised at Schlansker’s Christian background:

A good omen for the future is the fact that Schlansker balances the looney Semitic (or “Abrahamic”) teachings of Christianity with good sound Aryan religion, in the form of the goddess Themis.

 Themis, often depicted as “Justice”

For those who must have an Abraham, Schlansker’s paper includes the following:

A Themis figure I prefer to the above:

For more on religious justice
at midnight in the garden of
good and evil, see the Log24
entries of Oct. 1-15, 2002.

For material on Aryan religion that is far superior to the damned nonsense at Chautauqua, New York, this week, see

Jane Ellen Harrison’s Themis: a Study of the Social Origins of Greek Religion, with an excursus on the ritual forms preserved in Greek tragedy by Gilbert Murray and a chapter on the origin of the Olympic games by F. M. Cornford.  Rev. 2nd ed., Cambridge, Cambridge U.P., 1927.

Those who prefer the modern religion of Scientism will of course believe that Themis is purely imaginary, and that truth is to be found in modern myths like that of Carl Sagan’s novel Contact, illustrated below.

Jodie Foster (an admirer of
Leni Riefenstahl) and the
opening of the 1936 Olympics

Heraclitus…. says: ‘The ruler whose prophecy occurs at Delphi oute legei oute kryptei, neither gathers nor hides, alla semainei, but gives hints.'”
An Introduction to Metaphysics, by Martin Heidegger, Yale University Press paperback, 1959, p. 170

“The lord whose oracle is in Delphi neither indicates clearly nor conceals, but gives a sign.”
Adolf Holl, The Left Hand of God, Doubleday, 1998, p. 50

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Thursday November 13, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:48 PM

Change and Permanence:
A Philosophical Quartet



H. Wilhelm

Paul B. Yale

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