I am forever touting my great teachers, I love my fans who tout me as their great teacher. I wish I had a fan who knew my teachers as well as they know me; I wish other students of my teachers also knew me — my teaching, my writing, my art — as they know our teachers.
Some people know Darwin, some know Darwin, and Huxley, and Bateson … (They should know me too!)
I’ve written how I loved James Zito at Columbia; but by “teachers” I mean Jesus, Socrates … Shakespeare far more than I mean Mr. Zito. And by my teachers, my great teachers, I mean a very few:
R. Buckminster Fuller
Illich died a decade ago, Prigogine not quite a decade ago.
McLuhan, Fellini, Miles, Kurosawa … there’s no room here for more than several specifics.
I love the Bible. I love the New Testament. I love the stories about Jesus, what he said, what he did, what happened to him. I love the idea, unprovable, that he tried to help us, that we violated all our most important laws, customs, precepts in order to torture him for it. That view of things nicely matches my own experience and the experience of some of my teachers, particularly Illich.
More than any of what I loved about the Bible previously, I love Bart Ehrman’s NT scholarship, analyzing the Bible’s mistakes, lies, forgeries, sabotages … We palm a jumble of sabotaged propaganda and loose-jointed testimony and call it the inerrant word of God! (And God lets us!)
(Either that, or, we’re already in hell, have been judged: God has already taken care of everything.)
But one of the tantalizing things I love in the Bible are the teasing hints about Jesus’s family! His mother is shoved in our eye, his father appeared at the first Christmas but is forgotten most of the rest of the time, but then there are these references to Jesus’ siblings, Jesus’ brother …
The Church bends over backwards to explain such things away: they’re metaphors, have no historical referent …
We know what Darwin said because he edited as well as authored his work. Huxley said he said this and that, we can check Huxley’s accuracy against Darwin’s own text, within the, don’t ever forget them, limits of our own intelligence.
Stand by, I’m clearing the ground to discuss the reliability of disciples in endoresements of teachers: should Christians trust Jesus and St. Paul? or Jesus and not St. Paul? or St. Paul and not Jesus?
Ivan Illich became a trustee at my Illich-inspired Free Learning Exchange, but Illich never said publicly, “Listen to Paul: especially where Paul says something beyond what I said.”
Einstein and Bohr might agree on points A, B, and C; but Einstein and Bohr did not therefore agree and points M, N, or O.
Let’s say we trust God: should we trust his Son?
Let’s say we trust his Son: should we trust the Son’s Mother? or brother? this disciple? that disciple?
If you don’t trust God, should you trust the Devil?
If you don’t believe in either God or Devil (or Son), should you trust yourself? your own reasoning?! your own ability to map or explain experience? Really?
If you’re innocent (so far as you can tell) (of what?) what do you do about the Nazis who are pulling your fingernails out?
If you write something but see nothing resembling it published except under someone else’s name in a movie that totally misunderstands, who do you complain to?
Oh, goody. I’ve barely started, and it’s a mess, going in twelve different directions at once. I’ll edit, continue, reedit …
lot of work to do on this, including getting reliable images