Log24

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sermon

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

The Ideas

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live….
We interpret what we see, select the most workable
of multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we
are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon
disparate images, by the ‘ideas’  with which we have
learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria
which is our actual experience.”
— Joan Didion

See Didion and the I Ching  and posts tagged Plato in China .

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thursday June 4, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 1:24 PM

The Grasshopper
Lies Heavy

David Carradine dies at 72

“‘Oracle, why did you write
The Grasshopper Lies Heavy?
What are we supposed to learn?'”

— Philip K. Dick

She began throwing the coins.

I Ching Hexagram 61: Inner Truth

Click on image
for further details.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tuesday May 6, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:07 AM
In the Dreamtime
the Point Was Ten

From Play It As It Lays,
the paperback edition of 1990
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux) —

Page 170:                                             “… In her half sleep
the point was ten, the jackpot was on eighteen, the
only man that could ever reach her was the son of a
preacher man
, someone was down sixty, someone was
up, Daddy wants a popper and she rode a painted
pony let the spinning wheel spin
.

By the end of a week she was thinking constantly
about where her body stopped and the air began,
about the exact point in space and time that was the
difference between Maria and other. She had the sense
that if she could get that in her mind and hold it for

170


even one micro-second she would have what she had
come to get.”

 
For further details
see yesterday’s entries.”In her half sleep
the point was ten….”
Play It As It Lays

The Random House

Random House logo (color-reversed image)

signed first edition
of Norman Mailer’s
The Time of Our Time
(4 pounds, 1286 pages)
was published
ten years ago yesterday —

May 5, 1998:
Fireworks starburst
on the cover of
The Time of Our Time


Mailer's 'The Time of Our Time' May 5, 1998, cover with fireworks starburst

Also from May 5, 1998:
  File Photo in Mailer’s obituary —

(Photo by Bebeto Matthews
with Mailer obituary in

Toronto Globe and Mail)

with excerpt from the obituary,
by Richard Pyle

(Associated Press
Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007
at 8:20 AM EDT)

Norman Mailer, May 5, 1998 (with notes)

Related material:

Yesterday’s entries and
the time of this entry:
11:07:51 AM ET

CHANGE WE MAY BELIEVE IN sign, adapted from a current political campaign

I Ching hexagram 51: The Arousing (Shock, Thunder)

51

THE JUDGMENT

SHOCK brings success.   
Shock comes - oh, oh!    
Laughing words - ha, ha!

in light of…

 
A:  Mailer’s fireworks starburst
   on his book cover from
      ten years ago yesterday

B:  A real starburst in a story
from ten years ago today.

 

Monday, December 3, 2007

Monday December 3, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/071203-IChingResources.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The above logo is from
the I Ching Resources website.

http://www.log24.com/images/IChing/hexagram10.gif

Hexagram 10
Treading (Conduct)

Two Commentaries:

1.
The standard
Princeton University Press
Wilhelm/Baynes text

2.
An idiosyncratic interpretation
from one “Rhett Butler”
at I Ching Resources

Rhett describes his experience
with Hexagram 10 at the South Pole.
This pole, like the abode of Santa,
may serve to illustrate T. S. Eliot’s
remarks on “the still point of
the turning world.”

Related material:

Hitler’s Still Point,

The Still Point of
the Turning World:
Joan Didion and the
Opposite of Meaning

(Harper’s, Nov. 2005),

and
Chorus from the Rock
(Log24, Dec. 5, 2004).

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday August 10, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:31 AM

The Ring of Gyges

10:31:32 AM ET

Commentary by Richard Wilhelm
on I Ching Hexagram 32:

"Duration is… not a state of rest, for mere standstill is regression.
Duration is rather the self-contained and therefore self-renewing
movement of an organized, firmly integrated whole, taking place in
accordance with immutable laws and beginning anew at every ending."

Related material

The Ring of the Diamond Theorem

Jung and the Imago Dei

Log24 on June 10, 2007:

 

WHAT MAKES IAGO EVIL? some people ask. I never ask. —Joan Didion

Iago states that he is not who he is. —Mark F. Frisch


"Not Being There,"
by Christopher Caldwell
,
from next Sunday's
New York Times Magazine:

"The chance to try on fresh identities was the great boon that life online was supposed to afford us. Multiuser role-playing games and discussion groups would be venues for living out fantasies. Shielded by anonymity, everyone could now pass a 'second life' online as Thor the Motorcycle Sex God or the Sage of Wherever. Some warned, though, that there were other possibilities. The Stanford Internet expert Lawrence Lessig likened online anonymity to the ring of invisibility that surrounds the shepherd Gyges in one of Plato's dialogues. Under such circumstances, Plato feared, no one is 'of such an iron nature that he would stand fast in justice.'Time, along with a string of sock-puppet scandals, has proved Lessig and Plato right."


"The Boy Who Lived,"
by Christopher Hitchens
,
from next Sunday's
New York Times Book Review:

On the conclusion of the Harry Potter series:"The toys have been put firmly back in the box, the wand has been folded up, and the conjuror is discreetly accepting payment while the children clamor for fresh entertainments. (I recommend that they graduate to Philip Pullman, whose daemon scheme is finer than any patronus.)"

I, on the other hand,
recommend Tolkien…
or, for those who are
already familiar with
Tolkien, Plato– to whom
"The Ring of Gyges" may
serve as an introduction.

"It's all in Plato, all in Plato:
bless me, what do they
teach them at these schools!"
C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Wednesday April 26, 2006

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:09 PM
Charm
At Decision Time,
Colleges Lay On Charm
– Today’s New York Times

Also in today’s Times:

“‘Lestat,’ the maiden Broadway production of Warner Brothers Theater Ventures, is the third vampire musical to open in the last few years, and it seems unlikely to break the solemn curse that has plagued the genre. Directed by Robert Jess Roth from a book by Linda Woolverton, the show admittedly has higher aspirations and (marginally) higher production values than the kitschy ‘Dance of the Vampires’ (2002) and the leaden ‘Dracula: The Musical’ (2004), both major-league flops.” — Ben Brantley

Related material:

See Log24,
St. Patrick’s Day 2004:

“I faced myself that day with
the nonplused apprehension
of someone who has
come across a vampire
and has no crucifix in hand.”

— Joan Didion, “On Self-Respect,”
in Slouching Towards Bethlehem

“For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross.”

— Thomas Pynchon,
  Gravity’s Rainbow

Hexagram 61: Inner Truth

Inner Truth,
Hexagram 61

See also

  Transylvania Bible School.

Sunday, December 5, 2004

Sunday December 5, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 3:00 PM

Chorus from
The Rock

Author Joan Didion is 70 today.

On Didion’s late husband, John Gregory Dunne:

“His 1989 memoir Harp includes Dunne’s early years in Hartford and his Irish-Catholic family’s resentment of WASP social superiority: ‘Don’t stand out so that the Yanks can see you,’ he wrote, ‘don’t let your pretensions become a focus of Yank merriment and mockery.'”

The Hartford Courant, August 4, 2002

From a Hartford Protestant:

The American Sublime

How does one stand
To behold the sublime,
To confront the mockers,
The mickey mockers
And plated pairs?

When General Jackson
Posed for his statue
He knew how one feels.
Shall a man go barefoot
Blinking and blank?

But how does one feel?
One grows used to the weather,
The landscape and that;
And the sublime comes down
To the spirit itself,

The spirit and space,
The empty spirit
In vacant space.
What wine does one drink?
What bread does one eat?

— Wallace Stevens

A search of the Internet for “Wallace Stevens”  + “The Rock” + “Seventy Years Later” yields only one quotation…

Log24 entries of Aug. 2, 2002:

From “Seventy Years Later,” Section I of “The Rock,” a poem by Wallace Stevens:

A theorem proposed
between the two —
Two figures in a nature
of the sun….

From page 63 of The New Yorker issue dated August 5, 2002:

“Birthday, death-day —
what day is not both?”
— John Updike

From Didion’s Play It As It Lays:

Everything goes.  I am working very hard at not thinking about how everything goes.  I watch a hummingbird, throw the I Ching but never read the coins, keep my mind in the now.
— Page 8

From Play It As It Lays:

I lie here in the sunlight, watch the hummingbird.  This morning I threw the coins in the swimming pool, and they gleamed and turned in the water in such a way that I was almost moved to read them.  I refrained.
— Page 214

And the sublime comes down
To the spirit itself,
The spirit and space,
The empty spirit
In vacant space.

One heart will wear a Valentine.
— Sinatra, 1954

Sunday, June 6, 2004

Sunday June 6, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:29 PM
From
The Man in
the High Castle

by Philip K. Dick

Juliana said, “Oracle, why did you write The Grasshopper Lies Heavy? What are we supposed to learn?”

“You have a disconcertingly superstitious way of phrasing your question,” Hawthorne said. But he had squatted down to witness the coin throwing. “Go ahead,” he said; he handed her three Chinese brass coins with holes in the center. “I generally use these.”

She began throwing the coins; she felt calm and very much herself. Hawthorne wrote down her lines for her. When she had thrown the coins six times, he gazed down and said:

“Sun at the top. Tui at the bottom. Empty in the center.”

“Do you know what hexagram that is?” she said. “Without using the chart?”

“Yes,” Hawthorne said.

“It’s Chung Fu,” Juliana said. “Inner Truth. I know without using the chart, too. And I know what it means.”

From
The Book of
Ecclesiastes

12:5 … and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets

 

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Saturday February 28, 2004

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

Inner Truth
and Outer Style

Inner Truth:

Hexagram 61: Inner Truth

Outer Style:


Joan Didion

“Everything I learned,
I learned at Vogue.”

Joan Didion, Nov. 2001 interview
with Amy Spindler.

Spindler died on Friday, Feb. 27, 2004.

For related material, see

Truth and Style: ART WARS at Harvard

and

blogs.law.harvard.edu/m759/.

Friday, December 5, 2003

Friday December 5, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:06 PM
Number 61    Hexagram 61: Inner Truth

For Joan Didion on her birthday

From “On Keeping a Notebook” (1966)
in Slouching Towards Bethlehem:

How it felt to me: that is getting closer to the truth about a notebook. I sometimes delude myself about why I keep a notebook, imagine that some thrifty virtue derives from preserving everything observed.  See enough and write it down, I tell myself, and then some morning when the world seems drained of wonder, some day when I am only going through the motions of doing what I am supposed to do, which is write- on that bankrupt morning I will simply open my notebook and there it will all be, a forgotten account with accumulated interest, paid passage back to the world out there: dialogue overheard in hotels and elevators and at the hatcheck counter in Pavillon (one middle-aged man shows his hat check to another and says, “That’s my old football number”)….

I imagine, in other words, that the notebook is about other people. But of course it is not. I have no real business with what one stranger said to another at the hat-check counter in Pavillon; in fact I suspect that the line “That’s my old football number” touched not my own imagination at all, but merely some memory of something once read, probably “The Eighty-Yard Run.”

From a 1994 interview with Tommy Lee Jones by Bryant Gumbel:

Gumbel: While majoring in English, Jones was also an offensive guard on the Harvard football team. Number 61 in your program, his last game, against Yale, proved to be one of the most famous games every played. Harvard scored 16 points in the last 42 seconds to gain a 29-all tie. (Photo of Jones in football uniform, footage of 1968 football game.)

Mr. J: It couldn’t have been a more spectacular way to leave the game that had been so important to me all my life. The grass had never looked that green, nor the sky that blue.

Gumbel: That lucky game was for Jones a precursor of good fortune to come. It seems Harvard´s team doctor, Thomas Quigley, had caught some of Tommy Lee’s off the field plays and come away impressed. (Photo of Jones at rehearsal)

Mr. J: And when I was about to graduate, he asked if I had thought about going to New York, and I said I didn’t know. He said, “Well, if you do, take this letter and give it to my daughter, she’s doing a play.”

Ms. Jane Alexander (Actress): And I opened it. It was from my father, and it said: “This young man excels at Harvard. He is a good football player, but he wants to be an actor. Take care of him.” So I introduced him to a few agents, and right away he got a job.

Mr. J: And I had one line…. The line was five words long.

Gumbel: Were this a fairy tale, it would be….

Joan Didion: “That’s my old football number.”

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Saturday November 15, 2003

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

Aes Triplex

The title, from a Robert Louis Stevenson essay, means “triple brass” (or triple bronze):

From the admirable site of J. Nathan Matias:

Aes Triplex means Triple Bronze, from a line in Horace’s Odes that reads ‘Oak and triple bronze encompassed the breast of him who first entrusted his frail craft to the wild sea.’ ”

From Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle:

Juliana said, “Oracle, why did you write The Grasshopper Lies Heavy? What are we supposed to learn?”

“You have a disconcertingly superstitious way of phrasing your question,” Hawthorne said. But he had squatted down to witness the coin throwing. “Go ahead,” he said; he handed her three Chinese brass coins with holes in the center. “I generally use these.”

This passage, included in my earlier entry of Friday, combined with the opening of yet another major motion picture starring Russell Crowe, suggests three readings for that young man, who is perhaps the true successor to Marlon Brando.

Oracle, for Crowe as John Nash (A Beautiful Mind):

Understanding the I Ching

Mutiny, for Crowe as Jack Aubrey (Master and Commander):

Bartleby, the Scrivener

Storm, for Crowe as Maximus (Gladiator):

Pharsalia, Book V:
The Oracle, the Mutiny, the Storm

As background listening, one possibility is Sinatra’s classic “Three Coins”:

“Three hearts in the fountain,
Each heart longing for its home.
There they lie in the fountain
Somewhere in the heart of Rome.*” 

Personally, though, I prefer, as a tribute to author Joan Didion (who also wrote of coins and the Book of Transformations), the even more classic Sinatra ballad

Angel Eyes.”

 * Horace leads to “Acroceraunian shoals,” which leads to Palaeste, which leads to Pharsalia and to the heart of Rome.  (With a nod to my high school Latin teacher, the late great John Stachowiak.)

Friday, November 14, 2003

Friday November 14, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:56 AM

Philip K. Dick Meets Joan Didion

From the ending of
The Man in the High Castle:

Juliana said, “I wonder why the oracle would write a novel. Did you ever think of asking it that?” ….

“You may say the question aloud,” Hawthorne said. “We have no secrets here.”

Juliana said, “Oracle, why did you write The Grasshopper Lies Heavy? What are we supposed to learn?”

“You have a disconcertingly superstitious way of phrasing your question,” Hawthorne said. But he had squatted down to witness the coin throwing. “Go ahead,” he said; he handed her three Chinese brass coins with holes in the center. “I generally use these.”

She began throwing the coins; she felt calm and very much herself. Hawthorne wrote down her lines for her. When she had thrown the coins six times, he gazed down and said:

“Sun at the top. Tui at the bottom. Empty in the center.”

IMAGE- Hexagram 61

“Do you know what hexagram that is?” she said. “Without using the chart?”

“Yes,” Hawthorne said.

“It’s Chung Fu,” Juliana said. “Inner Truth. I know without using the chart, too. And I know what it means.”

From the ending of
Play It As It Lays:

I lie here in the sunlight, watch the hummingbird.  This morning I threw the coins in the swimming pool, and they gleamed and turned in the water in such a way that I was almost moved to read them.  I refrained.

One thing in my defense, not that it matters.  I know something Carter never knew, or Helene, or maybe you.  I know what “nothing” means, and keep on playing.

Why, BZ would say.

Why not, I say.

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