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Re: bow wow....the dog never shuts up.

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  • Diana
    Message 1 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
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      << ... you are creating a fictional account of the person whom you
      consider to be author anyway from what you do and don't know (in
      absurd, that would be don't and don't, but who's counting?) >>

      I understand that I can never know if my account of that person is
      valid. Though creating such an account is part of my experience when
      I read the text.

      But I like what I take to be the essence of what you are saying. I
      think that preserving some of the mystery of the author's personality
      is the greatest tribute you could pay to that person – instead of
      subjecting him to a description and evaluation of your own,
      classifying him to a particular type of personality etc.


      To everyone: I'll be away from the list for the next few months –
      need to get into some urgent things. Have fun all of you here
      meanwhile. I look forward to being with you again at a later time.

      Love,
      Diana
    • nothing@theabsurd.com
      Message 2 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
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        << I think that preserving some of the mystery of the author's
        personality is the greatest tribute you could pay to that person –
        instead of subjecting him to a description and evaluation of your
        own, classifying him to a particular type of personality etc.>>

        While I wasn't thinking specifically of 'mystery' that is a fair
        description. You can't claim to know every thought and inuendo
        of an author noo matter how well studied...and there is nothing
        wrong with the author jumping out of character to relate a point --
        yet failing because it is not consistent. The author will always be
        mysterious, no matter who claims to have the answer, key or
        blueprint.

        mystery me...
        ------------------
      • james tan
        in psychiatric practice, it is done quite a lot of the time, i.e. to subjecting him to a description and evaluation of your own, classifying him to a
        Message 3 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
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          in psychiatric practice, it is done quite a lot of the time, i.e. to
          "subjecting him to a description and evaluation of your own,
          classifying him to a particular type of personality etc." we do it by
          looking for evidences in the person's behavioural & cognitive patterns.
          depending on context, sometimes it does serve a function for assessment
          purposes. it may not be very nice according to diana, but it is done in such
          professional setting. of course, the issue is not about 'paying tribute to
          the person' as in the context of the authorship. it is a different ball game
          altogether.

          james.






          From: "Diana" <da-sein@...>
          Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [existlist] Re: bow wow....the dog never shuts up.
          Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2001 23:32:15 -0000

          << ... you are creating a fictional account of the person whom you
          consider to be author anyway from what you do and don't know (in
          absurd, that would be don't and don't, but who's counting?) >>

          I understand that I can never know if my account of that person is
          valid. Though creating such an account is part of my experience when
          I read the text.

          But I like what I take to be the essence of what you are saying. I
          think that preserving some of the mystery of the author's personality
          is the greatest tribute you could pay to that person � instead of
          subjecting him to a description and evaluation of your own,
          classifying him to a particular type of personality etc.


          To everyone: I'll be away from the list for the next few months �
          need to get into some urgent things. Have fun all of you here
          meanwhile. I look forward to being with you again at a later time.

          Love,
          Diana




          _________________________________________________________________
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        • nothing@theabsurd.com
          Message 4 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
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            <<we do it by looking for evidences in the person's behavioural &
            cognitive patterns. >>

            Not to play with your profession (as I quite play with my own,
            mind you), but is it not an assumption that you come to know a
            person and perspective at all even in clinical study? Or have you
            mapped out some sort of exacting science of mind?

            curious, plus.
            -------------------
          • Eduard Alf
            I have been following this discussion and this has really gotten to the point of absurdity. a person publishes a particular point of view [e.g. all cats are
            Message 5 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
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              I have been following this discussion and this has
              really gotten to the point of absurdity.

              a person publishes a particular point of view
              [e.g. all cats are black at night]. So what if
              you cant know every thought and innuendo of the
              author. Perhaps he/she likes to drink pasteurized
              milk. Or perhaps he/she is secretly the clown at
              MacDonald's. You are broadening this out to the
              point where it makes no sense. If an author says
              something in print then that is what is of
              importance. You can even label it such as Mr.
              Smith's "Law of Cat Colour in the Night".

              Now we are into "preserving some of the mystery of
              the author's personality". Why even get into
              this? Yes, perhaps Mr. Smith has a particular
              inclination towards cats, and this may be
              something that we wish to know, in order to assess
              the basis his proposing the law, and our own
              inclination to accept or reject it. All of that
              is valid and is part of the manner in which one
              might take into consideration an author's
              pronouncements, but surely "mystery" with respect
              to the author is going too far.

              eduard

              -----Original Message-----
              From: nothing@...
              [mailto:nothing@...]
              Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 10:12 PM
              To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [existlist] Re: the mystery shuts up...


              << I think that preserving some of the mystery of
              the author's
              personality is the greatest tribute you could pay
              to that person –
              instead of subjecting him to a description and
              evaluation of your
              own, classifying him to a particular type of
              personality etc.>>

              While I wasn't thinking specifically of 'mystery'
              that is a fair
              description. You can't claim to know every thought
              and inuendo
              of an author noo matter how well studied...and
              there is nothing
              wrong with the author jumping out of character to
              relate a point --
              yet failing because it is not consistent. The
              author will always be
              mysterious, no matter who claims to have the
              answer, key or
              blueprint.

              mystery me...
              ------------------


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            • james tan
              hi nothing (are u the one who is previously known as bookdoc?), to answer your question, yes, it is an assumption or perspective. but 1) there have to be some
              Message 6 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
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                hi nothing (are u the one who is previously known as bookdoc?),

                to answer your question, yes, it is an assumption or perspective.

                but 1) there have to be some assumptions to do any work 2) if those
                assumptions u base your work keep producing reliable results, u just have
                more faith in those assumptions, until such times when the assumptions do
                not work in some new or special cases, then u just admit the limitation of
                those assumptions. but that doesn't mean those assumptions are entirely
                useless.

                well, well, this is not related to the existential, i suppose?! just to
                satisfy your curiousity.

                james.




                From: nothing@...
                Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [existlist] Re: shuts up.
                Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2001 04:04:13 -0000

                <<we do it by looking for evidences in the person's behavioural &
                cognitive patterns. >>

                Not to play with your profession (as I quite play with my own,
                mind you), but is it not an assumption that you come to know a
                person and perspective at all even in clinical study? Or have you
                mapped out some sort of exacting science of mind?

                curious, plus.
                -------------------



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              • nothing@theabsurd.com
                Dear Sir Duard simplifier extraordinaire, It always seems to,
                Message 7 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
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                  Dear Sir 'Duard simplifier extraordinaire,

                  <<I have been following this discussion and this has really
                  gotten to the point of absurdity.>>

                  It always seems to, to me...

                  << So what if you cant know every thought and innuendo of the
                  author...If an author says something in print then that is what is
                  of importance... All of that is valid and is part of the manner in
                  which one might take into consideration an author's
                  pronouncements, but surely "mystery" with respect to the author
                  is going too far.>>

                  If you can't know every thought and innuendo, some of the
                  author's meaning is necessarily hidden or 'mysterious.' As
                  words are perhaps sometimes adequate -- yet more often
                  inexact vehicles of meaning (we have examined this before in
                  color -- where you said red was red, but I pointed out that red is
                  not inate, it is a measure which someone -- or some group of
                  someones -- decided on, and which there can be variance from
                  in experience. Of course none of that set you wavering). And
                  further, meaning...is it entirely the author's, or is it flecked with
                  hints of other things the author has read and experienced and/or
                  heard -- whether directly attributable or not? And then might word
                  choice be affected, at times containing the author's meaning,
                  and at others containing internal referants -- which perhaps even
                  the author may be unaware? (And I will do us all the favor of not
                  getting into genetic transfer of thought, experience and idea.)

                  Quite honestly I wish I could take everything as cut and dried and
                  hang it all neatly on my clothes-line. But to pretend I know what
                  the author meant is pretentious -- even if I do a very long study of
                  his work, life, etc.. The only thing I can think I know is what I think
                  I am reading, and how my experience reflects on my
                  interpretation of what it seems to me the author was doing, and
                  even that may be pushing it (depending on how absurd you want
                  to get). and in the long run, what of the thing which the author
                  meant? Perhaps the writing has meaning for me which is far
                  more interesting than whatever the intent was (if either of those
                  can be defined). Should I shun what I think and seek out the idea
                  of the author which I can never attain? And should I attain it
                  (though I think it impossible) there I have grabbed the flag on the
                  mountain, and no one cares, knows, agrees or even
                  acknowledges...so the purpose is exactly what? Why is the
                  author important at all?

                  I can't help but reduce it to the absurd...It just happens.

                  Reduxio
                  -----------
                • nothing@theabsurd.com
                  Message 8 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
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                    << 1) there have to be some assumptions to do any work ... until
                    such times when the assumptions do not work in some new or
                    special cases, then u just admit the limitation of those
                    assumptions. but that doesn't mean those assumptions are
                    entirely useless ... well, well, this is not related to the existential, i
                    suppose?! >>

                    I think it is related.

                    If one tries not to make assumptions, where does that lead?

                    ------------------------
                  • Eduard Alf
                    If you can t know every thought and innuendo, some of the author s meaning is necessarily hidden or mysterious. that is true, but as james implied, there is
                    Message 9 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
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                      "If you can't know every thought and innuendo,
                      some of the author's meaning is necessarily hidden
                      or 'mysterious."

                      that is true, but as james implied, there is point
                      at which you have to get off the pot and deal with
                      what the author actually said, rather than to try
                      to delve forever into the multitude of layers of
                      the "mysterious". I do not suggest that there can
                      not be a further level of understanding, to either
                      accept, reject, or amend the statement. But this
                      reduction to absurdity does not provide any
                      benefit to the discussion.

                      As you say "I can't help but reduce it to the
                      absurd...It just happens." I am finding this not
                      only frustrating but quite pointless.

                      eduard



                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: nothing@...
                      [mailto:nothing@...]
                      Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 9:51 AM
                      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [existlist] Re: the mystery shuts up, and
                      can see and hear no
                      more...


                      Dear Sir 'Duard simplifier extraordinaire,

                      <<I have been following this discussion and this
                      has really
                      gotten to the point of absurdity.>>

                      It always seems to, to me...

                      << So what if you cant know every thought and
                      innuendo of the
                      author...If an author says something in print then
                      that is what is
                      of importance... All of that is valid and is part
                      of the manner in
                      which one might take into consideration an
                      author's
                      pronouncements, but surely "mystery" with respect
                      to the author
                      is going too far.>>

                      If you can't know every thought and innuendo, some
                      of the
                      author's meaning is necessarily hidden or
                      'mysterious.' As
                      words are perhaps sometimes adequate -- yet more
                      often
                      inexact vehicles of meaning (we have examined this
                      before in
                      color -- where you said red was red, but I pointed
                      out that red is
                      not inate, it is a measure which someone -- or
                      some group of
                      someones -- decided on, and which there can be
                      variance from
                      in experience. Of course none of that set you
                      wavering). And
                      further, meaning...is it entirely the author's, or
                      is it flecked with
                      hints of other things the author has read and
                      experienced and/or
                      heard -- whether directly attributable or not? And
                      then might word
                      choice be affected, at times containing the
                      author's meaning,
                      and at others containing internal referants --
                      which perhaps even
                      the author may be unaware? (And I will do us all
                      the favor of not
                      getting into genetic transfer of thought,
                      experience and idea.)

                      Quite honestly I wish I could take everything as
                      cut and dried and
                      hang it all neatly on my clothes-line. But to
                      pretend I know what
                      the author meant is pretentious -- even if I do a
                      very long study of
                      his work, life, etc.. The only thing I can think I
                      know is what I think
                      I am reading, and how my experience reflects on my
                      interpretation of what it seems to me the author
                      was doing, and
                      even that may be pushing it (depending on how
                      absurd you want
                      to get). and in the long run, what of the thing
                      which the author
                      meant? Perhaps the writing has meaning for me
                      which is far
                      more interesting than whatever the intent was (if
                      either of those
                      can be defined). Should I shun what I think and
                      seek out the idea
                      of the author which I can never attain? And should
                      I attain it
                      (though I think it impossible) there I have
                      grabbed the flag on the
                      mountain, and no one cares, knows, agrees or even
                      acknowledges...so the purpose is exactly what? Why
                      is the
                      author important at all?

                      I can't help but reduce it to the absurd...It just
                      happens.

                      Reduxio
                      -----------


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                    • nothing@theabsurd.com
                      Message 10 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
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                        << that is true, but as james implied, there is point at which you
                        have to get off the pot and deal with what the author actually said
                        >>

                        I am sorry but I don't believe it is true that what the author intends
                        makes any difference. And to some extent, the reader would not
                        be required to 'deal' with anything. One would assume that be
                        the act of reading one is involving themselves with words only --
                        NOT that they give a hoot what the author intends.

                        << But this reduction to absurdity does not provide any benefit to
                        the discussion...As you say "I can't help but reduce it to the
                        absurd...It just happens." I am finding this not only frustrating but
                        quite pointless.>>

                        So I am asked to follow the 'Duard-o-meter to the magical land of
                        benefit? I must say, I am also not convinced that there can be a
                        benefit to discussion. I'm afraid I am attached to the hip of
                        frivolity, or that I cannot judge benefit. If you could explain to me
                        just once what 'beneficial' is and how one goes about having a
                        'productive' discussion, I would be grateful, because then I can
                        achieve better things.

                        I suppose saying that my intended contributions are pointless is
                        somehow a benefit? And I suppose i should see your
                        suggestion as beneficial and flag my own, logically, as
                        detriment? And the suggestion is that my repeatedly absurd
                        posts are nothing but pests on the flystrip as it were? And
                        everyone who utters here utters for purpose -- as such great
                        musings about ducks and mountains I have heard that seem to
                        this limp chimp to have no tangent to the discussion at all?
                        Forgive me for responding ... it obviously was and is
                        inconsiderate. I should type to myself and not post as I can never
                        gauge the worth before I do, and I would assume, as I am
                        unable to do so, I should assume the restraint will be more
                        healthy than endulgence -- and therefore not saying anything at
                        all would be the greater benefit?

                        Sounds absurd to me...shutting up benefits the discussion? If
                        we all shut up, what a wonderful discussion we would have as
                        we might all benefit the more — another scoop of benefit for
                        every mouth that closes! The less we say, the better the
                        discussion?!

                        Please clarify, as I do not have your wealth of vision.

                        clueless in blindness and hock
                        -------------------------------------------
                      • james tan
                        have not been following this tread closely, but let me just throw in my two cents worth. of course it is not meant to be factual , only my interpretation, & i
                        Message 11 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
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                          have not been following this tread closely, but let me just throw in my two
                          cents worth. of course it is not meant to be 'factual', only my
                          interpretation, & i can't seems to see anything beyond my own perception or
                          interpretation, & i've no way to guarantee my perception is the same as
                          'reality'. as for reader reading a text by an author: as for scientific
                          reading, it is paramount that clarity of meaning is maintained at all time,
                          so that any disagreement is only a disagreement of the hypothesis, & not on
                          what does the hypothesis says. before one can reject or fail to reject any
                          hypothesis, it is assumed that one knows what the hypothesis is saying in
                          the first place. aspects of the hypothesis is operationalized & measurable
                          (a number can be attached to it). there is no ambiguity of meaning here. as
                          for literary reading, things are not so clear cut, i think. some authors are
                          pretty straightforward, such as charles dicken, but some are very ambiguous,
                          such as kafka. as for me, i am always puzzled by what kafka was 'really'
                          trying to say, & end up as confused as the characters inside his novels,
                          such as "the trial", "the castle", etc. there are social critique novel,
                          such as dickens, orwell or jane austen, existentialist novelist such as
                          camus & dostoyevski, phenomenologist such as sartre, etc, etc, but i can
                          never quite put my finger on kafka. kafka's mystery did not shut up, & most
                          probably will never; there is a mysterious horizons he seemed compelled to
                          search, but never quite get it, & like the land surveyor (in "the castle")
                          tried to measure, hence comprehend, the horizons of truth. there is a
                          certain richness in the possibilities to interpret his works, so that it
                          allows various perspectives on it. in the end, whether eduard or nothing
                          read it, both are legitimate in their interpretation, because quite apart
                          from the key chosen to read it or just because of the very choice that the
                          interpretation makes, it reveals itself to be the secret way of bringing an
                          author close to one's inner world. his texts challenges the readers to
                          understand it on a level that goes beyond the simple & immediate reading.
                          kafka speaks in parables & metaphors, if only because any attempts to
                          describe it directly is bound to fail. words block our paths. truth changes
                          into deceit just as soon as one tries to interpret it rationally, to put
                          into a objective framework. truth is subjectivity. illusion is thick. the
                          problem comes when one attempts to impose the paradigm of science onto
                          everything else, but it doesn't work because reality is much richer than
                          what that framework allows. man need models, frameworks, or paradigm to
                          understand the world or reality, & although they are useful in certain
                          respects, they are inherently limited, & it is ridiculous & blind to make
                          sweeping judgment about reality based on those models. if one is not blind,
                          one always admits one's strength together with one's limitation. there are
                          no facts, only interpretations, to quote nietzsche. this goes for text
                          reading as well, especially one like kafka.

                          james.




                          From: "Eduard Alf" <yeoman@...>
                          Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                          To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                          Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: the mystery shuts up, and can see and hear no
                          more...
                          Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2001 16:12:20 -0400

                          "If you can't know every thought and innuendo,
                          some of the author's meaning is necessarily hidden
                          or 'mysterious."

                          that is true, but as james implied, there is point
                          at which you have to get off the pot and deal with
                          what the author actually said, rather than to try
                          to delve forever into the multitude of layers of
                          the "mysterious". I do not suggest that there can
                          not be a further level of understanding, to either
                          accept, reject, or amend the statement. But this
                          reduction to absurdity does not provide any
                          benefit to the discussion.

                          As you say "I can't help but reduce it to the
                          absurd...It just happens." I am finding this not
                          only frustrating but quite pointless.

                          eduard



                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: nothing@...
                          [mailto:nothing@...]
                          Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 9:51 AM
                          To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: [existlist] Re: the mystery shuts up, and
                          can see and hear no
                          more...


                          Dear Sir 'Duard simplifier extraordinaire,

                          <<I have been following this discussion and this
                          has really
                          gotten to the point of absurdity.>>

                          It always seems to, to me...

                          << So what if you cant know every thought and
                          innuendo of the
                          author...If an author says something in print then
                          that is what is
                          of importance... All of that is valid and is part
                          of the manner in
                          which one might take into consideration an
                          author's
                          pronouncements, but surely "mystery" with respect
                          to the author
                          is going too far.>>

                          If you can't know every thought and innuendo, some
                          of the
                          author's meaning is necessarily hidden or
                          'mysterious.' As
                          words are perhaps sometimes adequate -- yet more
                          often
                          inexact vehicles of meaning (we have examined this
                          before in
                          color -- where you said red was red, but I pointed
                          out that red is
                          not inate, it is a measure which someone -- or
                          some group of
                          someones -- decided on, and which there can be
                          variance from
                          in experience. Of course none of that set you
                          wavering). And
                          further, meaning...is it entirely the author's, or
                          is it flecked with
                          hints of other things the author has read and
                          experienced and/or
                          heard -- whether directly attributable or not? And
                          then might word
                          choice be affected, at times containing the
                          author's meaning,
                          and at others containing internal referants --
                          which perhaps even
                          the author may be unaware? (And I will do us all
                          the favor of not
                          getting into genetic transfer of thought,
                          experience and idea.)

                          Quite honestly I wish I could take everything as
                          cut and dried and
                          hang it all neatly on my clothes-line. But to
                          pretend I know what
                          the author meant is pretentious -- even if I do a
                          very long study of
                          his work, life, etc.. The only thing I can think I
                          know is what I think
                          I am reading, and how my experience reflects on my
                          interpretation of what it seems to me the author
                          was doing, and
                          even that may be pushing it (depending on how
                          absurd you want
                          to get). and in the long run, what of the thing
                          which the author
                          meant? Perhaps the writing has meaning for me
                          which is far
                          more interesting than whatever the intent was (if
                          either of those
                          can be defined). Should I shun what I think and
                          seek out the idea
                          of the author which I can never attain? And should
                          I attain it
                          (though I think it impossible) there I have
                          grabbed the flag on the
                          mountain, and no one cares, knows, agrees or even
                          acknowledges...so the purpose is exactly what? Why
                          is the
                          author important at all?

                          I can't help but reduce it to the absurd...It just
                          happens.

                          Reduxio
                          -----------


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                        • Eduard Alf
                          hi james, the fact is what the author puts forth as his/her opinion. You may wish to make an interpretation of
                          Message 12 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
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                            hi james,

                            << there are no facts, only interpretations>>

                            the "fact" is what the author puts forth as
                            his/her opinion. You may wish to make an
                            interpretation of this opinion or accept/reject it
                            outright. But ultimately, one has to come the
                            point of recognizing that this opinion is
                            something which is attached to the author. It is
                            the author's opinion and on that basis can be
                            taken to be a "fact". The discussion had gotten
                            off onto a tangent, in trying to focus upon some
                            "mystery" behind the fact or perhaps some yet
                            unknown characteristic of the author which may
                            help us to understand this "fact".

                            I do not disagree with the idea that one should
                            get to know the author. This may indeed be
                            beneficial understanding facts/opinions that may
                            be stated in the form of parables. But the
                            tangent that we got on, was that there could never
                            be an understanding, because instead we would be
                            too busy trying to find out more and more about
                            the mystery. This leads to absurdity.

                            eduard
                          • nothing@theabsurd.com
                            ... I find this a claustrophobic situation, limiting, and horrifically disinteresting. If this were made law, I would never read again. ... I do. I don t see
                            Message 13 of 29 , Sep 6, 2001
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                              > the "fact" is what the author puts forth as
                              > his/her opinion. You may wish to make an
                              > interpretation of this opinion or accept/reject it
                              > outright. But ultimately, one has to come the
                              > point of recognizing that this opinion is
                              > something which is attached to the author. >>

                              I find this a claustrophobic situation, limiting, and horrifically
                              disinteresting. If this were made law, I would never read again.

                              > I do not disagree with the idea that one should
                              > get to know the author. >>

                              I do. I don't see the point or benefit. Except in satisfying an
                              interest or curiosity -- if you have it.

                              > But the tangent that we got on, was that there could never
                              > be an understanding, because instead we would be
                              > too busy trying to find out more and more about
                              > the mystery. This leads to absurdity.

                              There is nothing wrong with admitting to the impossible.

                              What I think many fail with and why they continually search to
                              something else is that they find their perspective and interest not
                              good enough and not well justified on its own. For some reason
                              it needs validation. Validation can be saught by capturing what
                              the author meant as that is the ultimate is it not? I suggest it isn't.
                              And I suggest I can add far more to a work without the limitation
                              of the author as 'god' having devine right over meaning.

                              I think the need for security in 'vision' is what forces so many to
                              find an umbrella...and there consistently miss the joys of the
                              rain.

                              unthinking.
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