/ Reading Notes /
Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, Ivan’s “poem”, The Grand Inquisitor
I told the story of my first hearing of Dostoevsky, of The Brothers Karamazov, of The Grand Inquisitor among my chronological stories: college days. Myrid comments silled as I went, the story became unwieldy as “story”: so, thoughts on the subjects, I cut there, transfer and grow here.
first I just import, then I’ll edit
I’m paused in the reading, the writing, gotta rest. I’m back, gotta insert some stuff, worry about overall essay logic in a revision:
The Inquisitor has told Jesus, that he has no business coming back (never mind the promise). Above all he must not, may not, say anything new! No new messages: the Church, the Pope, has the monopoly on old messages. And of course Christians spewed a bible that suited them: God was never welcome to speak freely.
The Inquistor will burn Jesus the following day as a heretic, the worst of all heretics.
I should choose to remain with Christ rather than with the truth.
Dostoyevsky & pk are diametric opposites on that point, but only since I reversed myself:
I started believing that Christ and truth had to be identities, then allied; now: only truth counts, if only we could know it.
resumes from yesterday:
The people see the government employ imprisonment, torture … lies … and (this last part is mine, pk’s; at least I don’t remember it being Dostoyevsky’s or Shenton’s.
In 1984 O’Brien knows he can do anything to Winston, he’s receive no interference.
So there’s Jesus hanging on the cross. He’s accomplished nothing, taught nothing, saved no one. And God just leaves him hang.
Still: I’d rather be Jesus, tortured, than Stalin. Or Marx, or Dostoyevsky.
So today’s story is an homage: to all those guys. And a helpless waste-of-time arrow pointing at me.
In our culture Marx doesn’t say that he’s Marx, Satan doesn’t ID himself as Satan, the Pope as Satan; no, they’re all dressed as Ben Franklin! as George Washington! We congratulate on being American philosophers: Paine, Locke, little libertarians, except when we’re little conservatives. What do we have to do with any of those guys?
Imagine a heaven in which non of our illusions work. Hey, that’s what GBS said!
Žižek brings up so many apposite points, one that moved me practically past sanity concerned some Slavic women’s heroic survival of Yago-Commie mass commisars rape: the women were determined to suvive to tell the story! That’s like me confessing to a felony in order to win a shorterr jail sentence so I could get back on line and decalre what happened: here I am, delclaring what happened! to whom? to no one capable of understanding!
The question is: the meaning of the question of whether or not God exists is: goes God see Jesus suffering on the cross? Is God capable of cooperating in imbuing that suffering with meaning? or is God another damh Yugoslave Big Brother rapist? Can sentience be achieved in any of the infinite worlds run by the rapists?
The priest says that God sees a sparrow fall, the priest says that God planned everything, the priest says that God’s plan, plot, steering is magical, perfect, deep, and utterly beyond us: is it true? Could God possibly understand 5% of what Jesus suffered? 5% of what Ivan K. was talking about, or what Ivan Illich said? Could God understand 5% of the significance the potential for salvation, or at least survival, for sustainability, in my 1970 offering of an anarchist internet?
I suspect that a caveman could understand it. I suspect that it’s so obvious a caveman couldn’t not understand it. Similtaneously it’s far too complicated for any civilized man, particularly any educated civilized man to understand it.
Here I am treating the log jam as though the logs were free and not jammed: what’s jammed or not depends on you, if there is a you.
That’s it: not does God exist; but are there any other potentially sentient people in the world. If Jesus gets resurrected will he meet any of them?
I’m not the begotten son of God, or, if I were, how could I possibly know it? The whole of me time ten isn’t worth one atom of Jesus’ pinkie, at least that’s what we’re encouraged to believe: still: what I’ve gone through, what I tried to do, is logically parallel. Comparisons could be made: at least they could if more than two people had a mind, and were they allowed to discuss.
Here’s another paraphrase: could Winston really come to exist in O’Brien’s world? Could rats understand Korzybski?
lots more to add to our log jam before we tease the logs back apart. Watch you don’t get swept under when the jam starts to break.
If I could still work for another thousand years, if I got my eye sight back, if my IS bill were paid, I could maybe write this clearly: as is, I don’t know who could have done better with a first draft? Flaubert? one of those Russians?
Yesterday my phone rang. Some young gal raising money for Columbia. I tell her, I am not a friend of my alma mater. Oh, she says, Why not?
Why doesn’t she already know? only because Columbia is no more honet than Life, than the Times, than the US in keeping records.
I tell her, because I’m the deschooler. I offered digital data bases for the public, all non-coercive, in 1970: to replace Columbia (and all hierarchically authoritative school systems: a free knowledge marketplace, and the society made sure I received little accurate publicity. I was already blackballed, the US flushing intelligence from the fraudulent university system …
I’m sorry to hear that, she says.
Read Knatz.com, I say. My stories are all true.
Today I get an email from her, assuring me that they’ll be happy to receive my check no matter how small, even next month, next year? Does this girl attend Columbia? Is she an alum? God help us.
Was it her idea to be so dense, or did a supervisor impose this behavior on her?
FL MVD has ganged up on me with NJ, taken my driving “privilges”. Do they know they’re doing it? Do they know they’re crooks? shakedown thugs? Did the rabbis know they were crucifying God? The O’Biens don’t “know” anything: except that they seem to be still getting away with it. Gotta expand in pk the Great Procrastinator.
2014 10 08 Christians are influence by many flavors of the religion: Italian Christianity isn’t French Christianity, Protestant isn’t Catholic, Quaker isn’t Presbyterian. I’m long influenced by Russian Christianity thanks mostly to Tolstoy, but to Dostoyevsky. I’ve read a bunch of Dostoyevsky novels: BrosK first, but I never finished it. These decades later though I see that it may way have worked on me however fragmentary, at whatever distance. (Or did Dostoyevsky tune into my brain waves a century or so in advance? We sure do think in parallel. Or: I would have come to think similar things if Dostoyevsky had never existed, or, never been published, never blabbed about at Columbia.
Tolstoy will always be my favorite. Tolstoy is Alyosha but with Ivan’s dexterity. Gandhi softened me up for Tolstoy: such “Christianity” having nothing to do with familiar dogma. There’s a simple line: Tolstoy, Gandhi, Illich, pk.
I should split this piece: tell the Shenton story here in college stories, move the politico-theology to Social Epistemology.
Beat the Meek Mule
The peasant beats his daughter, the peasant beats his mule: on his meek eyes. The mule just stands there. Try that with a tiger. Try it with a wolverine. The duck eats the floating plant, the plant doesn’t try to get away, the plant just tries to have already made enough copies of itself that some survive: not that the plant thought it through in exactly those terms. But daughters and donkeys make an evolutionary choice a long time ago, and now they’re stuck. The domesticated beast decided that he was better off with the man than without the man. Les jeux sont fait. No more bets this round.
Maybe there’s a mule heaven where the daughter can beat her father, where the mule can castrate the peasant.
Basis of Faith
I read something so profound it was shocking yesterday or today. I’ll have to find it and quote it here, citing the bibliography — trouble is, I’m reading BrosK & the wikipedia bio, info overload: let me say what I mean and improve it later:
Dostoyevsky wouldn’t have had access to the biblical scholarship I read, Ehrman, eg. He can have suspected but not known how polluted, how unreliable the bible is, how far the gospel the gospels. He was clear though on what I’m clear on: what I believe Ivan Illich, and Leo Tolstoy were clear on: the Christ we believe in, the Christ we sacrifice our lives to (and for) is a Christ that issues from our contemplating the image of Jesus. We each make our own Christ.
If the human species is lucky, people will listen to someone like Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Gandhi, Illich … me … The evidence is that we don’t, but it ain’t over! yet.
Obviously there’s a difference between the gonif who says I’ve read the gospel of John, and I use that reading to justify theft, murder, ambition … No, no: wrong: don’t let that son of a bitch write his own bible!
We have to see the St. Francis got something profound, true, right, good, somewhere.
My Christiantiy is the opposite of objective, but I’ll promote and defend it over any objectivity.
Science with my theory of macroinformation could perhaps solve the dilema, but more than two people would first have to be intelligent, honest: find each other! and synergize.
I wish that I would meet someone before I die who would see the compatibility between my couple of statements above. I put the truth over my theory of the truth. I honor the territory, don’t trust the map.
Dostoevsky in the mouth of Prof. Shenton helped kick off my own creative &or revisionist theology. Now that I reflect on it these half dozen decades later I see that I probably also got a lot of Dostoevsky belligerent freedom through GBS: closer to the source than Shenton or I. Not from Franklin, from Paine, from Jefferson; from Dostoevsky, from Shaw.
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