From the journal of Steven H. Cullinane...
2007 October 01-15
Sunday, October 14, 2007 11:00 AM
The Dipolar God
"Logos and logic, crystal hypothesis,
Incipit and a form to speak the word
And every latent double in the word...."
-- Wallace Stevens,
"Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction"
Yesterday's meditation ("Simon's Shema
") on the interpenetration of opposites
Part I: The Jewel in the Lotus
"The fundamental conception of Tantric Buddhist metaphysics, namely, yuganaddha
signifies the coincidence of opposites. It is symbolized by the
conjugal embrace (maithuna
) of a god and
goddess or a Buddha and his consort (signifying karuna
, respectively), also commonly
depicted in Tantric Buddhist iconography as the union of vajra
(diamond sceptre) and padme
(lotus flower). Thus, yuganaddha
essentially means the interpenetration
or dipolar fusion, and is a fundamental restatement of
-- p. 148 in "Part II: A Whiteheadian Process Critique of Hua-yen
Buddhism," in Process Metaphysics and Hua-Yen Buddhism: A
Critical Study of Cumulative Penetration vs. Interpenetration
(SUNY Series in Systematic Philosophy), by Steve Odin
, State University of New York Press, 1982
Part II: The Dipolar God
And on p. 163 of Odin, op. cit.
, in "Part III: Theology of the
Deep Unconscious: A Reconstruction of Process Theology," in the section
titled "Whitehead's Dipolar
as the Collective Unconscious"--
"An effort is made to transpose Whitehead's
theory of the dipolar God
into the terms of the collective
unconscious, so that now the dipolar God is to be comprehended not as a
transcendent deity, but the deepest
dimension and highest
of one's own psyche."
Part III: Piled High and Deep
Odin obtained his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Philosophy at the
State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook in 1980. (See curriculum
For an academic review
of Odin's book, see David
Applebaum, Philosophy East and West
, Vol. 34 (1984), pp.
It is perhaps worth noting, in light of the final footnote of Mark D.
Brimblecombe's Ph.D. thesis "Dipolarity and God
" quoted yesterday
, that "tantra
is said to mean "loom
For some less-academic background on the Tantric iconography Odin
describes, see the webpage "Love
and Passion in Tantric Buddhist Art
." For a fiction combining love
and passion with the word "loom" in a religious context, see Clive
. This fiction-- which is, if
not "supreme" in the Wallace Stevens sense, at least entertaining-- may
correspond to some aspects of the deep Jungian psychological reality
discussed by Odin.
Arendt and Heidegger
Click on image for details.
Saturday, October 13, 2007 9:22 AM
Happy Birthday, Paul Simon:
|"When times are mysterious
Serious numbers will always be heard
And after all is said and done
And the numbers all come home
The four rolls into three
The three turns into two
And the two becomes a
-- Paul Simon, 1983
Simon's theology here, though radically reductive, is
at least consistent with traditional Jewish thought. It may help
counteract the thoughtless drift to the left of academic writing in
recent decades. Another weapon against leftist nonsense appears,
surprisingly, on the op-ed page of today's New York Times
"There is a Communist jargon recognizable after a
single sentence. Few people in Europe have not joked in their time
about 'concrete steps,' 'contradictions,' 'the interpenetration of
opposites,' and the rest."
-- Doris Lessing, winner of this year's Nobel Prize in Literature
offers Lessing's essay to counter Harold Bloom's remark
that this year's award of a
Nobel Prize to Lessing is "pure political correctness." The following
may serve as a further antidote to Bloom.
The Communist use of "interpenetration," a term long used to describe
the Holy Trinity, suggests-- along with Simon's hymn to the Unity, and
the rhetorical advice of Norman Mailer quoted here yesterday
-- a search for the full
phrase "interpenetration of opposites" in the context*
theology. Such a search yields a rhetorical gem from New Zealand:
See the final footnote on the final page
(249) of Brimblecombe's thesis:
3 The Latin word contexo means to
interweave, join, or braid together.
A check of the Online Eymology Dictionary supports this assertion:
1432, from L. contextus "a joining
together," orig. pp. of contexere
"to weave together," from com-
"together" + textere "to weave"
See also Wittgenstein on "theology as grammar" and
"context-sensitive" grammars as (unlike Simon's reductive process)
"noncontracting"-- Log24, April 16, 2007: Happy Birthday, Benedict XVI.
Friday, October 12, 2007 9:10 AM
Mailer's Maxim Illustrated --
Friday, October 12, 2007 12:00 AM
Happy Inauguration Day!
H is for Hogwarts
Shop thecoop.com for your
favorite Hogwarts merchandise.
Ceremonies marking the installation of Drew Gilpin Faust as the
President of Hogwarts will begin in Hogwarts Yard at 2 PM ET today.
Faust has actually been Hogwarts's president since July 1. Last month
she welcomed the Class of 2011:
Faust "encouraged the incoming class to explore [the school's]
many opportunities. 'Think of it as a treasure room of hidden objects
Harry discovers at Hogwarts,' Faust said."
-- The Hogwarts Crimson, Sept. 10, 2007
"As a historian, I am proud to lead an institution with such a rich
and storied past. Hogwarts began in colonial days with a handful of
students, little property and limited power and prestige, but a
determined mission: 'To advance Learning and perpetuate it to
Posterity,' as a 1643 brochure put it. That bold vision has
guided Hogwarts for the past four centuries...."
The rest of the story --
From The Hogwarts Guide:
"An early brochure, published in 1643, justified the College's
existence: 'To advance Learning and perpetuate it to Posterity;
dreading to leave an illiterate Ministry to the Churches.'"
Thursday, October 11, 2007 9:26 PM
Memories of 1947, continued:
Words and Music
suggested by the recent
1. From my childhood:
"You remind me of a man."
"The man with the power."
"The power of hoodoo."
"Remind me of a man...."
-- Dialogue from
Bachelor and the
2. From later years:
"When I was a little boy,
(when I was just a boy)
and the Devil would
call my name
(when I was just a boy)
I'd say 'now who do,
who do you think
-- Paul Simon, 1973
"At times, bullshit can
only be countered
with superior bullshit."
-- Norman Mailer
(See A Harvard Education
From Plato's Cave:
A description of caveman life
translated from German
"Soon Freud, soon mourning,
Soon Fried, soon fight.
Nevertheless who know this language?"
(Language courtesy of
Google's translation software)
Picture of von Neumann courtesy of
Princeton University Library
More from Rhymin' Simon--
"one funny mofo"--
"Oh, my mama loves,
she loves me,
she get down on her knees
and hug me
like she loves me
like a rock.
She rocks me
like the rock of ages"
The previous Log24 entries
of Oct. 7-11, 2007
the five Log24 entries
ending with "Toy Soldiers"
(Valentine's Day, 2003
"Taking Christ to the Movies,"
by Anna Megill, Princeton '06
Thursday, October 11, 2007 5:01 PM
Piled High and Deep:
Comments today on Peter Woit's weblog entry "Deep Beauty"--
Thursday, October 11, 2007 12:00 PM
Deep Beauty: A Prize for Lowry--
The Nobel Prize
this year goes to the author
of The Golden Notebook
and The Cleft
The Golden Obituary
and Cleavage --
Log24, Oct. 9, 2007
Background from 1947:
"The Ferris wheel came into view again, just the top,
silently burning high on the hill, almost directly in front of him,
then the trees rose up over it. The road, which was terrible and
full of potholes, went steeply downhill here; he was approaching the
little bridge over the barranca, the deep ravine. Halfway across
the bridge he stopped; he lit a new cigarette from the one he'd been
smoking, and leaned over the parapet, looking down. It was too
dark to see the bottom, but: here was finality indeed, and
cleavage! Quauhnahuac was like the times in this respect,
wherever you turned the abyss was waiting for you round the corner.
Dormitory for vultures and city of Moloch! When Christ was being
crucified, so ran the sea-borne, hieratic legend, the earth had opened
all through this country..."
-- Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano, 1947. (Harper
& Row reissue, 1984, p. 15)
Comment by Stephen Spender:
"There is a suggestion of Christ descending into the abyss for
the harrowing of Hell. But it is the Consul whom we think of
here, rather than of Christ. The Consul is hurled into this abyss
at the end of the novel."
-- Introduction to Under the Volcano
Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,
Chapter XXI --
Gibbon, discussing the theology of the Trinity,
defines perichoresis as
"... the internal connection and spiritual
penetration which indissolubly unites the divine persons59
59 ... The or
'circumincessio,' is perhaps the deepest and darkest corner of
the whole theological abyss."
"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the
process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into
an abyss, the abyss also looks into you."
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil,
section 146, translated by Walter Kaufmann
"Simon's head was tilted slightly up. His eyes
could not break away and the Lord of the Flies hung in space before
'What are you doing out here all alone? Aren't you
afraid of me?'
'There isn't anyone to help you. Only me. And I'm
Simon's mouth labored, brought forth audible words.
'Pig's head on a stick.'
'Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and
kill!' said the head. For a moment or two the forest and all the
other dimly appreciated places echoed with the parody of
laughter. 'You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you?
Close, close, close!' "
"Thought of the day:
You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar... if you're into
Woodrome, Good Friday, 2004
also known as
"Here was finality indeed,
-- Under the Volcano
the wheel metaphor, see
Rock of Ages
(St. Cecilia's Day, 2006
Tuesday, October 9, 2007 4:09 AM
Good to the Last Tank:
"William T. Golden, an investment banker, a philanthropist and a main
architect of American science policy in the 20th century who had the
idea for a presidential science adviser, died on Sunday [Oct. 7, 2007] in Manhattan. He was 97....
His death, at Mount Sinai Hospital, was announced by the American
Museum of Natural History, where he was chairman for five years and
most recently chairman emeritus. Mr. Golden had helped found the Mount
Sinai School of Medicine.
For more than 50 years, Mr. Golden was at the nexus of science and
society as a man who knew almost everybody in science and government.
His willingness to 'buy the first tank of gas,' as he put it, for
worthy projects led him to serve as a trustee or officer or board
member of nearly 100 organizations, universities and government
In 1989, when he bought from Harvard the Black Rock Forest in the
Hudson Highlands, which was threatened by development, Mr. Golden
explored its nearly 4,000 acres by horseback. He later turned over the
forest to a consortium to preserve it."
-- Dennis Overbye, The New York Times, Tuesday,
Oct. 9, 2007
Click for details.
See also the following art,
suggested by the Golden obituary's
Mount Sinai, Black Rock, and
forest themes, as well as by
the "Deep Beauty" entry
the date of Golden's death:
Click for details.
Sunday, October 7, 2007 12:07 PM
For John von Neumann:
was the title of a
symposium on quantum theory at Princeton last week dedicated to the
late John von Neumann. The title was left undefined. In honor of von
Neumann, here is some material that may help those searching for the
The 45 citations
at Arxiv Structure
of a paper titled
"Quantum Theory From
Five Reasonable Axioms."
The school of thought represented in these citations
has recently become surprisingly popular-- it appears in a TV
featuring the phrase "a more intelligent model."
Those who wisely object that popularity should not be a test of beauty
may consult a little-known (at least in the West) Sino-Japanese
definition of "deep beauty." This definition-- although from
philosophy, not physics-- may appeal to those who, like Peter Woit
, are troubled by a Christian
foundation's sponsorship of last week's scientific symposium.
Friday, October 5, 2007 9:00 AM
Annals of Art History:
The Sign of
and Log24 entries of
Those for whom entertainment,
is God, may also consult
Wednesday, October 3, 2007 3:09 PM
ART WARS continued:
Will Hunting may be
interested in the following
vacant editorships at
The Open Directory:
The Long Hello
On the Holy Trinity
"Hey, Carrie-Anne, what's
your game now....?
Personally, I prefer
by Carol Ann Johnston
"Drawing upon Platonic thought, Augustine argues that ideas are
actually God's objective pattern and as such exist in God's mind. These
ideas appear in the mirror of the soul. (35)."
(35.) In Augustine, De Trinitate
, trans., Stephen McKenna
(Washington, D.C.: Catholic University Press, 1970). See A. B. Acton,
"Idealism," in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy
, ed., Paul
Edwards. Vol. 4 (New York: Macmillan, 1967): 110-118; Robert McRae,
"`Idea' as a Philosophical Term in the Seventeenth Century," JHI
26 (1965): 175-190, and Erwin Panofsky, Idea: A Concept in Art
, trans., Joseph J. S. Peake (Columbia, S.C.: University of
South Carolina Press, 1968) for explications of this term.
Monday, October 1, 2007 7:20 AM
Bright as Magnesium
-- The New York Times
Sept. 30, 2007, on
The Final Cut
Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J.
"The art historian Kirk Varnedoe died on August 14, 2003, after a long
and valiant battle with cancer. He was 57. He was a faculty member in
the Institute for Advanced Study’s School of Historical Studies, where
he was the fourth art historian to hold this prestigious position,
first held by the German Renaissance scholar Erwin Panofsky
in the 1930s."
"His final lecture was an eloquent, prophetic flight
of free association....
Varnedoe chose to introduce his final lecture with the less-quoted last
words of the android Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) in Ridley Scott's film Blade
: 'I've seen things you people wouldn't believe-- attack
ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion, bright as magnesium; I rode on
the back decks of a blinker and watched C-beams glitter in the dark
near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like
tears in the rain. Time to die.'"
tears in the rain--
(Nov. 5, 2003):