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Life Arts

Intelligence is surrender to the ordinary

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Where you are right now is as real as it gets. Forget about all that after death business and "Gee, I'm so special!" stuff. That's the world, that's science, that's religion. "Look at me Mom, I'm doing what I should be doing!" Buzz, buzz goes the cicadas. Remember those long summer nights; remember that pulsing drone in the dark? "Look at me Mom, I'm doing what I should be doing!"

Science is a little like network marketing. It keeps overreaching itself. Religion, of course, can be a thousand times worse. Look at religious fanatics. Something much too glassy-eyed there, don't you think? Remember Elizabeth Taylor's great line in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" when she said to George (Richard Burton), "I'd divorce you if you existed." Samo, samo for the righteous. Null sets on parade.

But what's wrong with science? Nothing's "wrong" with it, it's just too specialized to be pontificating (however implicitly) about totality.

Intelligence doesn't belong to science, e.g., mathematics, physics, genetics, etc.; it belongs to ITSELF. Intelligence is the self-experiencing of that which thought thinks about (and doesn't think about). "And just how to I know that?" you ask. Well ask away, but there isn't any "I" here to answer that question since intelligence doesn't belong to the name/face identity on the driver's license of this bipedal life form either.

So who's saying all this then? No "one's" saying it! Who's Pacific Oceaning the Pacific Ocean? Does life really have to have all these ball bearing identities to live the living? Enough already with language hypnosis.

But, I digress ("wiping off blood with blood," as a zenist once said). A digression from what? You tell me, what's the ordinariness of YOUR life? And please excuse the personal pronouns. They're denotative meaningless, but you have to bake your bread somewhere.

poetry peeks under our skirts
since we tend to forget
our legs
are still there.

EVERYTHING is food for intelligence, but we keep settling for pap from the past. Plus, any "science" worth taking seriously wouldn't limit itself to eyeballs and equations anyway -- plus ignoring alternative realities is criminally myopic.

Immediacy is unimaginably more mysterious than death and quantum physics. Or St. X. Or Equation Y. Or Dr. Z. The problem is how and where do we begin. It's easy to say I'm CONSTANTLY living in a hurricane of challenge, but I've got to sink my teeth in something, somehow, somewhere . . . don't I? Well, it helps to know questions don't have to be answered. Questions are the tail; we're the dog.

where am I?
who am I?
lub dub, lub dub
Bub.

So This, as they say, is It. The Kingdom of the Point Blank. Well then, what are we waiting for? But why do we think we have to find a scientist or religioso to tell us what to do? Hey, it's right here -- the eye of the needle. All that religion/science stuff can be useful, even elegant, but the "density" of non-theoretical realness isn't sum-uppable by black or white (lab coats) cassocks. Dear God (i.e., dear Metaphor), if it's real, it's intelligence food.

Basically, we know 2 (count em', 2) paths through the jungle of ISness. I bet porpoises know 17. Back & forth, back & forth, back & forth; our two note symphony of religion and science. BORing (as our children would say). And boring it is. It's like knowing 2 people on a convention floor and thinking everything else is white noise . . . while flicker, flicker goes other dimensions.

Quantum jump time! But not to otherness, to thisness. To ORDINARINESS, since life, reality (or your biggie of choice) equals ordinariness. Which is more real? Our obsessive "thinking about" (e.g., Hawking physics) or the raw material, givenness we so greedily keep trying to capture in thought's butterfly nets?

And greed DOES play a role in this. Greed and/or hubris and/or insect conditioning. Memory dreams up (literally) its intellectualized simulations and off we go! Hell, we aren't even doing it. We are what are "being done".

A Holy Grail legend admonishes us that the quest begins with going into the forest alone, where it is darkest, and where there is no path (a gift from the 12th Century!). The contemporary philosopher/mystic J. Krishnamurti says, "Truth is a pathless land," and a farmer tells the lost urbanite who wants to find his way back to the city, "I don't think you can get there from here."

But none of this is despair. It's simply saying the self evident. Flashlights of memory/conditioning see only what they CAN see, i.e., recognize, as in re-cognize. And just this is the glory of myth and poetry. How else do we communicate about members without sets?

And yet, even here we mustn't settle for the familiar (as in "family", as in thumb sucking), because intelligence is neither thought nor poetry. It's the self-experiencing of untheoretical realness (which is the answer the timorous who say, "My goodness, how can we presume to understand such things?") Well, in the first place, there isn't anyone saying that, since "thinking you're Napoleon" doesn't make it so, and in the second place why SHOULDN'T a child of the universe be able to come home?

my goodness,
I'm humbler than you
and I'm not even masturbating
under my diaper!

So the alternative to cud chewing is the Iron Bull of suchness (forgive the orientalism, but the shoe fit so wonderfully). There certainly isn't any way to obtain what it's impossible to lose. Craving is really "craver-ing". It doesn't stop because you get what you crave. It's the being (such a dry word) of the craver, i.e., no craving, no craver.

We're now slipping into other dimensions, but not by following trains and chains of thought. That's insect mind: practical, survival grounded, and deadness to the max. This isn't to say we don't need the practical stuff. Why reinvent the wheel, etc., but INTELLIGENCE doesn't need it (any more than it needs "us"). Intelligence assimilates ordinariness like a physicist peering into a cloud chamber or a hacker from hell disappears into chips. The immediacy ongoingness of non theoretical realness is the thing in itself of intelligence food.

The problem is we're paralyzed with preconceptions. The past says, do this, classify it that way, and everything will be fine. Yeah, fine like consensus stupor. I don't know about you my friends, but my life is now and always has been mostly wall-to-wall sorrow. Yes, the childhood business can be tinkered with and a little money greases the squeaking wheels, but there's SOMETHING ROTTON in the Denmark of the human condition and the intelligence presence in this life is saying (and saying unequivocally) who needs it, I'm outta here!

And who DOES need the delusional ego/personality and its anguish drenched "reality"? Certainly human existence has its moments. Imagine what it would be like without things like love, compassion, creativity and beauty! But these epiphanies are what they are IN SPITE OF "the game of things".

And the game of things is what? Yes, let's get down and dirty and deal with this. But first, will you do me a favor? Will you please lock the door so we can keep out all the self proclaimed masters of those who know? Aren't you also sick to death of the religion/science certainty machines?

It's time for new eyes. It's time to make love to the pre thought about. But CAN we do this? Yes, it's doable, but not by "we's" or doers or personalities. That's the rub.

Look, you can believe this or not, but these words aren't coming from "a writer" (anymore than they're being read by "readers"). Something is communicating with something here, but it doesn't have a rat's ass to do with personal pronouns.

Challenge is everything. Non-theoretical realness probably IS challenge, the challenge of ordinariness, the challenge of immediacy. No, we can't "do anything" about it (no doer), but that certainly doesn't make it less real . . . and intelligence is always hungry.

W. Christopher Epler (Bill)

more political op-eds, essays, short stories & poetry
from Bill at . . .

The Liberation of Realism

 

A liberal American, PhD mathematician, bipedal Earthling.
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Peek a boo I see you. I "think" I'll take a walk... by "Hoss" David P. on Thursday, Feb 1, 2007 at 5:59:55 PM
It's funny, this life is so disidentified with tha... by W. Christopher Epler (Bill) on Thursday, Feb 1, 2007 at 6:49:02 PM