PDA

View Full Version : Anaximander (work in progress)



Awani
03-11-2016, 03:07 AM
I began writing this today... not sure where it is going but it came to me from some mysterious part of my mind...


I heard a noise in the distance. A low, deep, rumbling noise similar to thunder, but more like a machine. It was not natural. Like a jet flying just above the road, but there was no jet. It was a car.
A slick, sleek, shiny emerald green sports car appeared in the distance and the sound of its engine increased as it approached in a terrifying speed. So fast in fact, with no intention of slowing down it seemed, that I stepped back and leaned against the brick wall behind me – as if that would keep me out of harms way.
Then suddenly a loud screech exploded as the car came to a halt. The smell of burnt rubber invaded my nostrils. But there was no smoke. This was an electric car, but that did not seem to make it a quiet piece of machinery.
The driver got out and the sound proof interior leaked out into the streets: drums, bass and a fierce rhythm that pumped non-stop. The driver was naked except for a pair of white swimming trunks. His face was covered with a pair of sunglasses that looked like they had been salvaged from the funky past of the 21st century.
“Hey Man!” the driver said with a friendly smile. “You called…”
“Yeah… I…” I stumbled with my words. I honestly did not expect to have been faced with this spectacle of a being. “Are you Anaximander?”
“Sure am,” he said and threw the car keys he held in his hands on the ground. “Let’s walk,” he continued and made his way down the street. I scurried after not sure what to do.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
Anaximander laughed.
“We are not going anywhere. Movement is illusionary…”
I felt a bit puzzled by this reply but decided to keep my mouth shut and see where this was going.
We walked quickly through the streets of the city, aimlessly it seemed, but perhaps not because suddenly Anaximander stopped in front of a large church crammed in-between two office buildings. He stood still and looked at it for a while and then made his way into a very narrow walkway between the church and the office building to the right.
There I discovered a small cemetery that was completely invisible from the street. No more than perhaps ten or fifteen graves and all of them seemed to have been there for at least a hundred years. There were a couple of trees and Anaximander sat down and leaned against one of them. The grass was a bit withered.
“Sit,” he said and I obeyed. “So you called…”
“Yeah I was looking for some guidance but…”
“…you can’t afford it!” Anaximander continued.
“Not true, I can.”
“No you cannot.”
“How would you know?” I felt a bit annoyed. “Or are you trying to say you are so ridiculously expensive that I possibly can’t afford it? That why you got that fancy car?”
“What car?” Anaximander stopped smiling for the first time since I met him, and began to ponder in silence.
“The car you arrived in… that green pussy magnet…”
“Oh!” Anaximander laughed heartily. “I remember now. Yes it is true. I used to drive a car like that, but it was so long ago I forgot.”
“It was no more than ten minutes ago.”
“Well it is not my car.”
“Then who?”
“Whomever wants it?”
“So you just bought it and then just left it on the street for the taking?”
“It was given to me this morning, and now – this wonderful afternoon – I gave it back to… well to someone who wants it… forget the car. It is not important. What is important is that you cannot afford my guidance because you cannot give me what I need in order to guide you.”
“Try me,” I countered just to see what he would say. Internally I had already decided that this nutcase would only be in my life for a few more minutes.
“Well I want you to give me everything of all the nothing you possess!”
“All the nothing?”
“Yes. All of it!”
“I can’t give you nothing… that’s impossible!”
“Exactly... I said I knew you couldn’t afford it!” Anaximander smiled and fell asleep.
It was very awkward. I wasn’t sure what to do. I hade decided to leave, but something made me stay seated. I watched him for a while trying to think of my next move. This man was clearly deranged. I had a bit of money in my pocket so I pulled it out and placed it by his feet, more out of pity than trying to help.
His eyes opened.
“Ah… you do have nothing to give!”
“Huh? Oh… you mean money is nothing?”
“Everything is nothing.”
“So you want me to give you everything… then why didn’t you say that? Why be cryptic and talk about nothing when you really mean everything?”
“Because it’s the same thing.”
“No it is not. Everything is everything, and nothing is nothing.”
“Listen… every thing is no thing!”
“Look I got to go.”
“You can’t go anywhere. I told you movement is an illusion.”
“So how did we walk here to this cemetery from your car… ex-car?”
“We didn’t. The cemetery came to us.”
“Now you are trying to be cryptic again.” I began walking away. My patience was spent.
“I never try to be anything. You try to see me be something.” Anaximander uttered and went back to sleep.
I made my way back to the car just to see if it was still there. It wasn’t. The sun began to set and I decided to go back home and contact Geoff and tell him what a fucking idiot he was for setting up this meeting in the first place.
By the time I got home it was already pitch dark. I turned on a few lights and went to the fridge for a can of beer. But I had a strange sensation of not being alone. I walked into the living room and there on carpet sat Anaximander. He startled me so much that I dropped my beer. It smashed on the floor.
“I told you movement was an illusion!”

:cool:

zoas23
03-11-2016, 04:42 AM
Where is the like button when I need it??? ;)

The tale reminds me a lot of the tales of Jorge Luis Borges with its mix of fiction, strange encounters, mystical situation taken place in very "normal" places and the twisted logic... It's very good, Dev.

It also makes me think a lot of one of my favorite texts, which is the text of Plotinus against the Gnostics (I think Plotinus himself was a Gnostic too, though certainly not a Christian one).
I like the Christian Gnostics and I like Plotinus, but what I love about this text is seeing how Greek philosophy never managed to give up the ideas of Zeno of Elea... The famous paradox of the arrow or the paradox of Achilles and the Turtle.

What I like about the text by Plotinus is that his main objection against Gnosticism is the fall of Sophia...
Plotinus' way of thinking is: "The Gnostics say that Sophia was in Heaven and then fell to Earth, but that's impossible!!! Sophia has either been always in Heaven or she has always been in Earth, but the idea that she was in Heaven and then an action made her fall to Earth doesn't make sense".

As Plotinus says:



Only one other tenet of theirs will be mentioned before passing the matter; it is one which surpasses all the rest in sheer folly, if that is the word.

They first maintain that the Soul and a certain “Wisdom” [Sophia] declined and entered this lower sphere though they leave us in doubt of whether the movement originated in Soul or in this Sophia of theirs, or whether the two are the same to them — then they tell us that the other Souls came down in the descent and that these members of Sophia took to themselves bodies, human bodies, for example.

Yet in the same breath, that very Soul which was the occasion of descent to the others is declared not to have descended. “It knew no decline,” but merely illuminated the darkness in such a way that an image of it was formed upon the Matter. Then, they shape an image of that image somewhere below — through the medium of Matter or of Materiality or whatever else of many names they choose to give it in their frequent change of terms, invented to darken their doctrine — and so they bring into being what they call the Creator or Demiurge, then this lower is severed from his Mother [Sophia] and becomes the author of the Cosmos down to the latest of the succession of images constituting it.

Such is the blasphemy of one of their writers.

11. Now, in the first place, if the Soul has not actually come down but has illuminated the darkness, how can it truly be said to have declined? The outflow from it of something in the nature of light does not justify the assertion of its decline; for that, it must make an actual movement towards the object lying in the lower realm and illuminate it by contact.

If, on the other hand, the Soul keeps to its own place and illuminates the lower without directing any act towards that end, why should it alone be the illuminant? Why should not the Cosmos draw light also from the yet greater powers contained in the total of existence?

Again, if the Soul possesses the plan of a Universe, and by virtue of this plan illuminates it, why do not that illumination and the creating of the world take place simultaneously? Why must the Soul wait till the representations of the plan be made actual?

Then again this Plan — the “Far Country” of their terminology — brought into being, as they hold, by the greater powers, could not have been the occasion of decline to the creators.

Further, how explain that under this illumination the Matter of the Cosmos produces images of the order of Soul instead of mere bodily-nature? An image of Soul could not demand darkness or Matter, but wherever formed it would exhibit the character of the producing element and remain in close union with it.

Next, is this image a real-being, or, as they say, an Intellection?

If it is a reality, in what way does it differ from its original? By being a distinct form of the Soul? But then, since the original is the reasoning Soul, this secondary form must be the vegetative and generative Soul; and then, what becomes of the theory that it is produced for glory’s sake, what becomes of the creation in arrogance and self-assertion? The theory puts an end also to creation by representation and, still more decidedly, to any thinking in the act; and what need is left for a creator creating by way of Matter and Image?

Some years ago I wrote an essay about it... a lot of essays explain how Greek philosophy influenced Christian Gnosticism, I decided to write the opposite: what was NEW in Gnosticism that was foreign to Greek Philosophy. The objections of Plotinus against Gnosticism made it easier:

1-The Greeks were obsessed with the idea that movement is impossible... Plotinus lived some 600 years after Zeno and he was still stuck in his motionless universe. The Gnostics were the ones who introduced a dynamic Universe. The Criticism of Plotinus about Sophia is quite similar to Zeno's paradox of the arrow!

2- Eternity... another Greek obsession: the lack of movement also made them think that everything has to be eternal... I mean, the idea of the Big Bang or a "Creation" didn't make sense to them... neither the idea of the end of times. Even if the classical Greek Theogony clearly involves a "beginning", the philosophers managed to read it as a metaphor. This is even true for Greek-influenced jewish philosophers like Philo of Alexandria, who after his analysis of the book of Genesis he ends up stating that the Genesis does not actually involve a "beginning", but simply an organization... God making some order with things that already existed. In this sense our contemporary, historical, way of thinking is by far closer to the Christian Gnostic view, which involves a "beginning" a "middle" and an "end"... again, a dynamic way of conceiving "history" (I think the Greeks were both the first true historians, but also the most anti-historical civilization... mostly because history involves dynamism).

I am both pro-Greek and pro-Gnostic... and I like a lot your tale and how you get into the true Greek mentality, which I find fascinating. Well done!!!!

Ghislain
03-11-2016, 08:20 AM
The problem with the Arrow Paradox or the Tortoise.P it is using inputs that cannot be true or are misleading.

Here is a correct problem...in short :)

If you had a set distance to cover and each step could only be half the total distance left then you would never reach that destination.

However in the A.P. you would have to assume that if time exists you could stop it.

In the T.P. you would have to assume the lack of variation of motion in time (velocity/speed).

Perhaps this is the same dichotomy as the measure of speed or position in quantum theory, where you can only know one or the other, but not both.


In the story of Anaximander it is assumed that nothing actually exists and therefore to be anywhere at anytime is entirely possible...you just have to know it.

Ghislain

Edit: Who is the one that knows?

N.B. this Anaximander principle happens all the time in dreams.