Philosophical reality Two

Contents

21 Beauty in the eye

22 Beauty is in the eye of a storm

23 Because they are tendentious

24 Being played

25 Boxed in

26 Brutally kicked to life

27 Bull barker

28 Calling a spade a spade

29 Can sheep safely graze

30 Carving a future

31 Tracking a thought in the changing Kalahari sands

32 Can sheep safely graze?

33 Darwin tob/Brooding Darwin

34 Identity emerging

35 Carving a future

36 Cognonaut

37 Con vivo

38 Connoisseur of life

 

 

 

 

Druppels 02

 

21

3 October 2012 Phil 1.3

Beauty in the eye

The flower was shaped

like a tube

ending in five

petals flapping outward at the end.

It was a fairly deep orange,

shifting towards the red in the spectrum,

with anthers a whitish, waxish colour

tipped with bright yellow blobs of pollen.

It is beautiful! the analyst’s companion exclaimed.

He looked at her thoughtfully.

Why do you say it’s beautiful?

Well … look at it! The colour!

The … the … shape of the flower!

A bee made a sloppy landing on the flower,

bumped against the anthers

and stepped officiously deeper

into the tube to reach the nectar.

Do you think the bee sees the beauty?

the analyst asked.

Well … perhaps, his companion answered.

How can anyone miss the beauty?

If you cut this flower lengthwise down the middle

you’ll have two identical halves, utterly regular.

the analyst remarked. Is that what you mean by beauty?

No! his companions shuddered, I don’t want to cut the flower!

That is why people normally

don’t describe me as beautiful, the analyst, murmured,

my right nostril is slightly larger

than the left one.

22

5 September 2011 Phil 0.0

Beauty is in the eye of a storm of restless meaning

She had a nose

that people admired.

She could unerringly

pick out the characteristic flavours

hiding themselves among the alcohol

and acids

of good wines.

People admired her mind

that could come up

with delectably amusing concepts

which she presented with amusing insouciance.

Some could hardly resist

patting her behind,

so perfect did they find it,

not to mention the maddeningly subtle

pout of her nether lip.

People admired her feet –

as one expressed it:

her feet triumphantly demonstrate

that rhythm in modern poetry

is still one of the essentials of the art;

she combines the rhythms

of conversation with the unexpected twists

of poetic insight.

In short.

people thought

that she wrote beautiful poetry.

.

Wikipedia

Beauty (also called prettiness, loveliness or comeliness) is a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure, meaning, or satisfaction.[citation needed] Beauty is studied as part of aesthetics, sociology, social psychology, and culture. An “ideal beauty” is an entity which is admired, or possesses features widely attributed to beauty in a particular culture, for perfection.[citation needed]

The experience of “beauty” often involves the interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being.[citation needed] Because this is a subjective experience, it is often said that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”[1] In its most profound sense, beauty may engender a salient experience of positive reflection about the meaning of one’s own existence.[citation needed] A subject of beauty is anything that resonates with personal meaning.[citation needed] The classical Greek noun for “beauty” was κάλλος, kallos, and the adjective for “beautiful” was καλός, kalos. The Koine Greek word for beautiful was ὡραῖος, hōraios,[2] an adjective etymologically coming from the word ὥρα, hōra, meaning “hour.” In Koine Greek, beauty was thus associated with “being of one’s hour.”[3]

23

31 October 2008 0.7

Because they are tendentious

I am on tenterhooks

to find out how the tenants of earth

have been able to cling

so tenaciously to their tenure

for tens or more millions of years.

They have dug themselves in

with tentacles, claws and fangs,

and, late in this time-line,

pitched their tents.

The answer, it seems,

is that (let’s borrow a movie title)

they have a lust for life,

for one,

and importantly,

they are exceedingly tendentious.

24

21 June 2011 Phil -1.1

Being played

Each second

is a piano note

played in shifting rhythms.

The day

plays away

in changing keys,

allegro, andante, furioso!

It is a concerto

con moto,

it is exquisite,

it is frightening,

who is conducting?

25

19 March 2012 Phil 1.1

Boxed in

I cannot tell

whether the box I inhabit

is large or small.

I reaches past the outer planets

past the sun, to the rim

of this galaxy,

jumps across so-called empty space

to other galaxies

until it gets to a thin black line

with a sign:

End of the universe.

On the other end of the scale

molecules open up

revealing atoms, their fluffly little particles

and their baby fluffy

smallest little ticles

playing tag on a thin black line

with a sign:

End of finity.

I cannot tell

whether this box

is big or small,

because I don’t know what that means.

This morning I jogged

along the thin black line

with the sign:

End of finity,

and just when I started thinking

about turning around,

I came upon a sign that said:

End of the universe.

26

28 January 2008-01-28 -0.3

Brutally kicked into life by a line of foreign poetry

Revise 1 March 18 2008

‘n wiegende gedagte nét voelbaar in die kuiltjie van my nek

Unannounced it touches

me at the base

of my throat,

demanding to be enunciated.

It frogmarches my voice

into daylight.

“I arm afraid of year,” emerges.

This is not satisfactory, my

voice is forced again:

“The arms of the year are filled with fear.”

No. The semantics are falling about,

potato chips from a torn bag.

Now my voice is beaten into submission.

Weakly my lips flap open doors

for words to stumble

towards the cameras:

“Do you fear life?

That pulse in your neck

that beats your being –

stay in pace

to keep your place.”

‘n wiegende gedagte nét voelbaar in die kuiltjie van my nek

Unannounced it touches

me at the base

of my throat,

demanding to be enunciated.

It frogmarches my voice

into daylight.

“I arm afraid of year,” emerges.

This is not satisfactory, my

voice is forced again:

“The arms of the year are filled with fear.”

No. The semantics are falling about,

potato chips from a torn bag.

Now my voice is beaten into submission.

Weakly my lips flap open doors

for words to stumble

towards the cameras:

“Do you fear life?

Do not.

It will end. It will begin.”

Annotation

This is loose translation of the Afrikaans line:

‘n wiegende gedagte nét voelbaar in die kuiltjie van my nek

“a gently swaying thought only just felt at the base of my throat”

27

22 January 2010 1.8

Bull Barker’s trouble with the true ball                       Phil

The dream the small brown dog had

was out of the ordinary –

he was called “Bull”

by his human companions

after the rugby team,

but he thought of himself

as “Barker”, the surname of the vet.

Bull, or rather, Barker

thought about his dream

all morning, in between naps.

The dream was about Shiva

who kept dancing away from him,

throwing seven balls simultaneously for him to chase,

and that confused him tremendously.

To make matters worse,

Shiva was wearing jeans,

went barefoot

and displayed golden rings on his toes.

The whole thing didn’t smell right,

especially after having retrieved all the balls,

Shiva threw seven more,

all in different directions.

Barker eventually came to the conclusion

that the dream indicated confusion:

we are trying to find truth

in several directions simultaneously,

but in reality

there is only one true ball.

28

28 May 2009 2.9

Calling a spade a spade                             PR

This spade is a very real thing,

the boy thinks.

The flat blade

touches his hand

with a metallic taste.

He holds the shaft

in his hands,

cold and heavy.

Inside the shape of this,

the boy thinks,

is the spade;

outside is the rest of the world.

All those shapes outside the spade,

are they real?

the boy wonders.

The boy grows up,

his shape changes.

One day he discovers the unused spade;

he digs a vegetable garden.

He doesn’t think

of the shape of the spade,

he knows everything is real,

he knows everything useful to him,

except the shape of things to come.

29

26 October 2010 Phil -0.2

Can sheep safely graze?

My thoughts are spreading

over the veld,

the green-rained veld,

safely grazing each on its own.

I need them to jostle

in a flock.

I need to count them,

but they are safely grazing,

each in a different place.

Those are vultures –

only specks in the eye,

cruising in farm-sized circles;

it is not their turn yet,

we’re all living with aplomb

down here.

This evening

when I get them all together,

my grazing thoughts,

I will count them;

they will be drinking at the troughs,

bleating quiet comments to each other,

oh … there is one missing.

Sheep May Safely Graze (J S Bach)

There are just over twenty secular cantatas in Bach’s prolific output, which include The Coffee Cantata (No 211), The Wedding Cantata (No 202), Phoebus and Pan (No 201) and the Hunt Cantata (No 208) which contains the famous aria Sheep May Safely Graze.

Written in 1713, early in Bach’s tenure at Weimar, the Hunt Cantata was composed to for a celebration in Weissenfels of the birthday of Duke Christian of Sachsen-Weißenfels and later reworked and performed at other similar birthday celebrations and on namedays.

Written for four soloists (representing Diana, Pales, Endymion and Pan), it is scored for a relatively large orchestra (including flutes (recorders), oboes and horns) and mixed choir.

The text is in praise of hunting and (unashamedly) Duke Christian. Sheep May Safely Graze is sung by Pales, the Goddess of crops and pastures, and accompanied by a pair of recorders or flutes. Although secular in character, the words describe how well a faithful shepherd keeps watch over his flock and hence has obvious allusions to the teachings of the Christian church.

Source: www.philipsparke.com

Hello Jake and Sergio

Please allow me to offer some background to the poem:

[quote][b]Sheep May Safely Graze (J S Bach)[/b]

There are just over twenty secular cantatas in Bach’s prolific output, which include the Hunt Cantata (No 208) which contains the famous aria Sheep May Safely Graze.

Written for four soloists (representing Diana, Pales, Endymion and Pan), it is scored for a relatively large orchestra (including flutes (recorders), oboes and horns) and mixed choir.

The text is in praise of hunting and (unashamedly) Duke Christian. Sheep May Safely Graze is sung by Pales, the Goddess of crops and pastures. Although secular in character, the words describe how well a faithful shepherd keeps watch over his flock and hence has obvious allusions to the teachings of the Christian church.

[i]Source: http://www.philipsparke.com[/i%5D

[/quote]

“Farm-sized circles”: South African Karoo sheep farms are very large. One sheep needs a large area for grazing in the sparse veld. Vultures are ever-present as there are always sheep dying for one reason or another (as are humans). These birds circle in very large circles high in the air to watch for an opportunity to feed.

De Waal

30

6 October 2011 Phil 1.7

Carving a future

The boy is carving

a boat from a piece

of pine tree bark

with a blunt pocket knife.

The light brown bark

comes off in tiny slivers.

It is hard work;

it is not certain

whether he will finish it.

Why is he doing it?

Only a few years ago

Hiroshima burned a hole

in Japan’ s being.

There is a roughly built wall

slashing through Berlin;

the Russians are mesmerised

by the sadistic smile

of uncle Stalin.

The boy does not think about it,

he is trying to shape his world;

he can use sophisticated technology

like turning the dial of the telephone,

but he finds it difficult

to hollow out a boat.

Perhaps he will find other ways

to shape his world;

maybe he will stretch it

on a lattice

built of quasicrystal words.

………….

31

27 November Phil

1.2

.

Tracking a thought in the changing Kalahari sands

.

After his third glass of wine

the mathematician, Jonathan, or Jakes, White

stumbled upon a question:

what shape does my mind have?

.

Dr White rather prided himself

on the fact that some of his forebears

were Khoisan, those persistent hunters

who could track an animal for days

over seemingly featureless sand.

He was not a tall man, a fact

he often repeated, that pointed

to his noble ancestry.

.

Was his mind perhaps octagonal?

he wondered, but could not see any reason why it should be.

Perhaps spherical, he mused, but then became uncomfortable

with the idea,  as a sphere is limited on all sides.

Linear?

.

He hoped not. That would mean his thought processes

were limited and led to predictable ends.

After his fifth glass of wine

his mind cleared

and he saw the solution

taking shape in the liquid lines

of his stinkwood dining table

which was engaged in scratching behind its ear

with a left hind-leg.

.

Yes, the scientist smiled to himself,

the shape of my mind:

I was on the right scent with octagonal,

but it is not quite that;

it is shaped like eight

twisted by Möbius in such a way

that my thinking moves

on two surfaces simultaneously

and always arrive at the beginning;

yet every time the journey is different, and

I think

I should have another glass of wine.

………

Gert se voorgestelde veranderinge 5 Februarie 2013

Tracking a thought in the changing Kalahari sands

After his third glass of wine

the mathematician, Jonathan, or Jakes, White

stumbled upon a question:

what shape does my mind have?

Dr White rather prided himself

on his tracking ability,

on a noble ancestry,

on the fact that some of his forebears

were Khoisan, those persistent hunters

who could track an animal for days

over seemingly featureless sand.

Was his mind perhaps octagonal?

he wondered, but could not see any reason why it should be.

Perhaps spherical, he mused, but then became uncomfortable

with the idea, as a sphere is limited on all sides.

Linear?

He hoped not. That would mean his thought processes

were limited and led to predictable ends.

After his fifth glass of wine

his mind cleared

and he saw the solution

taking shape in the liquid lines

of his stinkwood dining table

which was engaged in scratching behind its ear

with a left hind-leg.

Yes, the scientist smiled to himself,

the shape of my mind:

I was on the right scent with octagonal,

but it is not quite that;

it is shaped like eight

twisted by Möbius in such a way

that my thinking moves

on two surfaces simultaneously

and always arrives at the beginning;

yet every time the journey is different, and

I think

I should have another glass of wine

………………….

32

26 October 2010 Phil -0.2

.

Can sheep safely graze?

.

My thoughts are spreading

over the veld,

the green-rained veld,

safely grazing each on its own.

I need them to jostle

in a flock.

.

I need to count them,

but they are safely grazing,

each in a different place.

.

Those are vultures –

only specks in the eye,

cruising in farm-sized circles;

it is not their turn yet,

we’re all living with aplomb

down here.

.

This evening

when I get them all together,

my grazing thoughts,

I will count them;

they will be drinking at the troughs,

bleating quiet comments to each other,

oh … there is one missing.

.

Sheep May Safely Graze (J S Bach)

There are just over twenty secular cantatas in Bach’s prolific output, which include The Coffee Cantata (No 211), The Wedding Cantata (No 202), Phoebus and Pan (No 201) and the Hunt Cantata (No 208) which contains the famous aria Sheep May Safely Graze.

Written in 1713, early in Bach’s tenure at Weimar, the Hunt Cantata was composed to for a celebration in Weissenfels of the birthday of Duke Christian of Sachsen-Weißenfels and later reworked and performed at other similar birthday celebrations and on namedays.

Written for four soloists (representing Diana, Pales, Endymion and Pan), it is scored for a relatively large orchestra (including flutes (recorders), oboes and horns) and mixed choir.

The text is in praise of hunting and (unashamedly) Duke Christian. Sheep May Safely Graze is sung by Pales, the Goddess of crops and pastures, and accompanied by a pair of recorders or flutes. Although secular in character, the words describe how well a faithful shepherd keeps watch over his flock and hence has obvious allusions to the teachings of the Christian church.

Source: www.philipsparke.com

Hello Jake and Sergio

Please allow me to offer some background to the poem:

[quote][b]Sheep May Safely Graze (J S Bach)[/b]

There are just over twenty secular cantatas in Bach’s prolific output, which include the Hunt Cantata (No 208) which contains the famous aria Sheep May Safely Graze.

Written for four soloists (representing Diana, Pales, Endymion and Pan), it is scored for a relatively large orchestra (including flutes (recorders), oboes and horns) and mixed choir.

The text is in praise of hunting and (unashamedly) Duke Christian. Sheep May Safely Graze is sung by Pales, the Goddess of crops and pastures. Although secular in character, the words describe how well a faithful shepherd keeps watch over his flock and hence has obvious allusions to the teachings of the Christian church.

[i]Source: http://www.philipsparke.com[/i%5D

[/quote]

“Farm-sized circles”: South African Karoo sheep farms are very large. One sheep needs a large area for grazing in the sparse veld. Vultures are ever-present as there are always sheep dying for one reason or another (as are humans). These birds circle in very large circles high in the air to watch for an opportunity to feed.

De Waal

………….

33

7 August 2012 Science

Brooding Darwin

There wasn’t much

to be chosen

between the two finches,

young Darwin thought.

The same species,

yet one is better adapted

to eat seeds,

the other to discover insects

in the false security

of the tunneled tree bark.

It made him think

of the Captain

and his beloved at Home.

The same species,

but he’d rather marry the one

than the other.

If one could breed the Captain selectively …

he tried  to suppress the thought,

but was unsuccessful

… one could end with a scientist,

a statesman or, less likely, a bishop.

The female, he thought guiltily,

would have to be selected carefully.

He had developed a headache,

fighting to divorce biology

from civilised behaviour,

ethics, religion and morality.

His headache intensified

as the conviction grew:

biology was not the least

perturbed by ethics, religion or morality;

it regarded those

fabrications of the human mind –

ephemeral protective colours.

Darwin tob

Daar is nie veel

te kies

tussen die twee vinke nie,

dag die jong Darwin.

Dieselfde spesie,

tog is die een beter aangepas

om saad te vreet,

die ander om insekte op te spoor

in die vals veiligheid

van boombas-tonneltjies.

Dit het hom laat dink

aan die kaptein

en sy geliefde in die vaderland.

Dieselfde spesie,

maar hy sou eerder trou met die een

en nie die ander nie.

As mens die kaptein selektief kon teel …

hy het die gedagte probeer onderdruk,

maar kon dit nie regkry nie …

sou mens ‘n wetenskaplike kon kry,

‘n staatsman of, minder waarskynlik, ‘n biskop.

Die vrou, het hy skuldig gedink,

sou versigtig uitgesoek moes wees.

Hy het ‘n hoofpyn opgebou,

in sy stryd om biologie te skei

van beskaafde gedrag,

etiek, godsdiens en moraliteit.

Sy hoofpyn het erger geword

soos hy al hoe meer besef het:

biologie is nie in die minste

bekommerd oor etiek,  godsdiens of moraliteit nie,

dit beskou sulke dinge

as maaksels van die menslike denke –

vlugtige beskermende kleure.

…………

34

Identity emerging 6.0

.

He resided between

page seventy two

and seventy three.

.

His existence

was a reality

between the seventy second

second and the seventy third

before midday.

.

He emerged in the space

between the palm

of the hand

that held the other hand.

.

He was aware

in that instant

between the open eye

and the blink.

.

He thought

before he became aware

he was thinking.

.

He spoke

when the lips opened

just before the sound emerged.

.

He is,

and he was.

……………….

35

6 October 2011 Phil 1.7

Carving a future

The boy is carving

a boat from a piece

of pine tree bark

with a blunt pocket knife.

The light brown bark

comes off in tiny slivers.

It is hard work;

it is not certain

whether he will finish it.

Why is he doing it?

Only a few years ago

Hiroshima burned a hole

in Japan’ s being.

There is a roughly built wall

slashing through Berlin;

the Russians are mesmerised

by the sadistic smile

of uncle Stalin.

The boy does not think about it,

he is trying to shape his world;

he can use sophisticated technology

like turning the dial of the telephone,

but he finds it difficult

to hollow out a boat.

Perhaps he will find other ways

to shape his world;

maybe he will stretch it

on a lattice

built of quasicrystal words.

………

36

1 March 2009 0.6

Cognonaut

He put his reason on a raft

to cross the vast darkness

of unknown matters.

The raft was tossed about dangerously

and he almost lost his reason,

but he clung on

with whitened fingers.

Eventually he stranded

on unknown territory.

Looking around he saw nothing

that was familiar,

but he made up his mind

to make sense

of this new world

with the help of his reason.

1 March 2009 0.6

Cognonaut

He put his reason on a raft

to cross the vast darkness

of unknown matters.

The raft was tossed about dangerously

and he almost lost his reason,

but he clung on

with whitened fingers.

Eventually he stranded

on unknown territory.

Looking around he saw nothing

that was familiar,

but he made up his mind

to make sense

of this new world

with the help of his reason.

………

37

16 December 2011 Phil 3.5

Con vivo

Conducting his consciousness

was sometimes

a daunting task.

He had to balance

the dark sounds of tubas,

the harshness of kettle drums

and clashings of symbols,

the floating tones of flutes,

the emotionality of violins

and the passions of cellos

with all the other instruments

at his disposal;

some strange and unusual –

a conch shell, a wooden scraper,

a home-made Jew’s harp of grass.

There was almost always

a melody,

more or less supported

by sub-themes.

He did not conduct

off a score;

some snatches

were written down

afterwards.

………………..

Conducive to thought

a mini essay

Ever so often the question is asked: what is the diference between poetry and prose? There are many answers to this question.

In this mini essay I will attempt to give yet another answer – hopefully someone would find it useful or informative. Imagine two friends having a conversation over a good glass of red wine. They are the kind of people who enjoy discussing matters that make one think, the kind of people who have bit of a philosophical bent.

One friend says: I wonder what the thought process actually is. His friend immediately understands that the speaker is referring to the nature of the thought process  and is trying to formulate some theory about it.

Friend One isn’t thinking about the neurological quality of thought, the way neural patterns shimmer in the brain and somehow contain information. Neither does he have the biochemical aspects of thought in mind – the processes that occur in neurons and axons to produce the electrical impulses that is so characteristic of the brain.

Friend One is furthermore not thinking about the linguistic aspects of thinking, nor the approaches of different mysticisms and religious convictions.

What do you think? Friend Two asks and tops up his glass.

Well, Friend One answers, I’m thinking particularly about how a thinker is keeping his thoughts together, so to speak. I mean, what is there that ensures that when one thinks, it is possible to follow a logical line, to keep similar thoughts coherent, to make it possible for another thinker to make sense of them, when communicated?

Erm … I think, Friend Two says admiring the rich red tones in hs wine. I think that …

Friend One obliterates his friend’s words: think of it this way – there is a mechanism in the human makeup, let’s call it a mechanism for the time being, a mechanism that leads … that shapes the incessant storm of thoughts in the mind into coherent form. I think of it as a conductor.

A conductor?

Yes, a conductor conducting a symphony orchestra. Different thoughts are represented by different instruments, or rather the sounds the instruments make. The conductor weaves all these various sounds into a whole that makes eminent sense.

Sometimes, Friend Two mumbles.

And that conductor … Friend One Muses with a thoughtful look in his eyes  … is another way to describe consciousness.

Or the psyche, Friend One adds. That little man that lives a centimeter behind your forehead.

Now let’s leave the two friends to their discussion and their enjoyment of their wine. (I somehow think it is a Chardonnay they’re tasting).

At last we come to the question: what is the difference between poetry and prose?

Let me use the poem “Con vivo” above as an example.

This mini essay is prose, few people would contest. The poem above is poetry many people would say (we are not now debating whether it is a good or a bad poem).

The difference? Well the poem goes straight into the metaphor of the conductor conducting “consciousness” or thought, if you will. The poem paints a vivid picture of the conductor in front of a huge symphoney orchestra, it takes the reader through the different sounds, makes you experience each, and does that in far fewer words than this mini essay.

And then it hits you with the last metaphor: the conductor does not work off a score, he simply makes powerful music – only sometimes “snatches” of the score are written down … written down? What wo we call written down thoughts?

To sum up: the poem makes the thoughts speak for themselves as living metaphors. The prose describes by allusion and reference.

16 December 2011 Phil 3.5

…………..

38

28 April 2011 PR -0.5

Connoisseur of life

The connoisseur

took a bite of life

and chewed carefully,

contemplatively.

He swallowed

and lifted another portion

on his fork.

Inside him

life was already changing,

separating into substances

that will power his muscles,

build new tissue,

keep his brain firing,

become complicated

interlocking enzymes.

Questioning eyebrows

were lifted around the connoisseur.

He wiped his mouth and pronounced:

It is good in parts,

Some bits not flavoured properly,

but healthy and sustaining.

He put his napkin down

and continued gravely:

But eventually it will kill me.

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