Saturday, February 28, 2009

Roe Sham Boe

The east African trickster deity Edshu is most often referenced for the tale of the multi-colored
pyramidal hat.
(Edshu had a hat that was yellow, red, white and black on either side. One day, while strutting through a field, two farmers happened to take note of this strange being.
Later in the market place - one farmer said to the other, "Did you see that strange fellow in the green hat?".
"No, it was yellow, for I saw it with my own eyes."
The two started arguing and came to blows.
At the trial of the two men, the Jungian trickster archetype revealed himself for who he was - a being whose greatest joy was in causing discontent between men.

While neither account of the deity was wrong - neither were they fully correct.
Each man had failed to take into account the validity of the other mans perspective.
If we look at the above pyramid from only one side, what color would it be?
But even further debate could be raised if we view it from above or below (The top view would actually be of a series of colored triangles which form a square. The view from below could be a solid black square).
While each statement could be said to be correct, none could be said to be complete.

And if we tip the pyramid (and our perspective) to a different angle, what was once considered to be the top point - would now be considered one of the bottom points.

cnulan (subrealism) has a bunch of articles cited for discussion concerning the epigenome and temporary (and limited) evolutions. In short, they state that the traits of humans (and other living things) evolve in a way that is best suited for each species' survival.
But noting that one trait cannot be seen as absolute and permanently dominant in all situations.
It seems that evolution is an ongoing game of Ro Sham Boe.
They can also be summarized in the axiom (or is it idiom?) "Style's win fights". (Fraiser could beat Ali, but Ali could beat Foreman, but Foreman could abuse Fraiser - a boxing version of Ro Sham Boe)

This is why I try to treat all religions as valid for one group or another (but not necessarily for me).
People fight over religions (and even denominations) without focusing on where they stand in their own belief systems.
IMO - Religion (and to a greater extent, denominations) are just the vehicles used to get from one point to another, but religions (or denominations) are not the final destination (G-D).

But what happens when someone has "Made It"?
Say that someone has; fame, fortune, looks, health, popularity, and all of the glamorous trappings associated with these things - as well as a good reputation for doing good things in a good way.
What happens when he reaches the top?
What else is there?
Who else is there?

One could view himself as uniquely qualified for this position,
or chosen by G-D.
But this generally leads to too much license for that individual.
He becomes as crazy and paranoid as Nero.
He fails to understand that sometimes a small, short term loss can lead to a lasting long term gain.
Winning becomes his right.

Or he could view himself as having worked harder, or being smarter, or being more skilled than those around him.
But this leads to arrogance and the oppression of others.
He won't have to fall apart - his status will be taken from him (usually by revolution).

Or he could view himself as haven been lucky.
But this usually leads to guilt.
This is usually why so many celebrities (who were previously nerds) tend to self destruct.
They feel that they're success wasn't earned.

But all three examples lead to failure and despair.

Many religious models impose a god (or G-D) as the sole being above this person.
Why? To keep this person from going crazy.
As long as this person fails to see himself as the top, he fails to fall into the trap of despair suffered by Biblical kings (Solomon, Nebuchadnezzar, etc.).

There is a need to be subservient.
There is a need for some type of opposition.
Think of it as the benefits seen in wild fish (with the stress of larger predators and the uncertainty of food) as compared to farm raised fish.
The wild fish are stronger and provide better nutrients.
Or the case of cultures that have become so comfortable that disease has become more common.
Since more Chinese have adopted Western ways (easy food, less strenuous work, et. al.), Cancer rates have risen,
Or the obesity epidemic in America (easy food, less strenuous work, easy entertainment, etc.).
It seems that we are keeping more unfit people alive to repopulate the earth.
The lack of some short term worry seems to have caused many to suffer in the long run.

The Christian model would seem to be to tip the pyramid on it's side - where he that would be the greatest becomes the least.
But this model is seldom followed.
How many pastors or preachers do we see who are actually getting dirty?
Or who are more concerned with their flocks than their ratings or the size of their congregation?
How many would die for their followers?

So, what's the answer?
(Read the last paragraph of Ecclesiastes to find out)
It depends...
It's just a giant game of Rock Paper Scissors.


cnulan said...

So I was taking my daughter to school the other morning, and somewhat out of the blue, she asked me what I thought about the fractal appearance of trees.

The child is a math whiz, far better than I was at the age of 14, and in the advanced classes at one of the finest private schools in the country. I oftentimes wonder, however, whether she's interested or just a proficient technician.

So hearing that question, I can't even begin to tell you how delighted and satisfied I was. Anyway, I seized the moment and told her that the structure of trees is as good a simple model as you will ever see of the underlying structure of space-time.

Consider a tree to be somewhat like a time icecicle. Whereas we mobile organisms have a long body in time, we have only a cross-sectional view of its projection into the 4th dimension. So also with trees, however, a tree shows us a freeze frame of its long body in time, a trace in the 3rd/4th dimensional interstice that we can easily perceive and understand - if we have been taught, have the proclivity, and form the habit of doing so. (there's actually no interstice, rather, a smooth continuum - but it's a useful descriptive)

This is the cross-roads held down by my own patron Elegba. There's no confusion here, no right/wrong or oppositionality, just variation in how much of the 4th or even 5th dimensional nature of a thing a person has learned to perceive.

uglyblackjohn said...

Damn, craig... why do I always feel that you're assigning homework with your answers.

(I gotta' look into Elegba.)

cnulan said...

I thought you were implicitly assigning homework with the play on Rochambeau..., (;

uglyblackjohn said...

And the clever reply continues the game...

brohammas said...

Sure religion as most practice it now is just a one sided view of the trie colored pyramid hat, all have truth but are incomplete. Unless.... What if someone actually stopped and talked to the person in the hat? what if the guy ijn the hat wasn't just being viewed but was talking to us?

Would we listen?

uglyblackjohn said...

@ brohammas - Some would, some wouldn't.
But even after listening, would we understand?
And then would our (varied) understaning lead us back to another disagreement?

cnulan said...

Having "the ears to hear" is at least 90% of the battle.

However, once a prophet or oracle of the voice of the "god" commits the message to words, then those who hear these words without having experienced the prophets enthusiasm, (enthumos - god filled) would doubtless wrangle over their meaning, much as pigs wrangle over the taste of oranges...,

RunningMom said...

UBJ and Cnulan... where do you store all of this knowledge and your thoughts?


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