Tuesday, August 26, 2008

recalling a long path

It's more fun for me to play 'six degrees of separation' with the association of ideas instead of celebrities.
Can you tell I was a kid who spent summer afternoons reading the encyclopedia?

Google has made it easy to self educate by 'links ... but I suppose you need the inquiring mind as well. I thought it might be fun to journal my latest wanderings ... so here is a log of the trail of associations I followed yesterday, and what I found there:

Begin here:
Melinda's sunflower photo (yesterday's post)...

(What I love about the photo was) the spiral arrangement of seeds in the sunflower
(which is a ) Fibonacci sequence ...
Also called the Golden Spiral...
Coincidence: Blake's illustration of a golden spiral staircase going up to heaven...
(you can see it in the 'Ah Sunflower' video I just posted)

(The Golden Spiral makes me think of)labyrinths...
(Which made me recall) the second labyrinth I've walked.
Let me digress: It was earlier in the summer when I was in the Traverse City area to attend my nephew's, (yes, the sunflower planter) Melinda's son's wedding.
Earlier in the year I'd found a little newspaper article online with a mention of a private property on the Mission Peninsula where the owners had made a labyrinth and allowed the public to walk it.
I asked the owner of the bed and breakfast inn where I was staying if they knew of this labyrinth, and amazingly enough Bob had heard of it and directed me to where to find it. Just a few miles away.
I would have never found it on my own.

Good to ask for directions.
This must be one of those parts of the trail where it loops back before heading on again. I've been meaning to post some photos of that labyrinth. Which I still promise to do...
Photos including the charming, humorous, sly... rainbow painted 'McKenna' birdhouse positioned near the approach to the labyrinth.

Are we there yet?
No, just a turn on the trail.
Coincidence: Last night while I was making dinner and listening to the podcast of Thom Hartman's program, a caller mentioned... Terance McKenna ...
Spooky, huh? How many times do you think of Terance McKenna in one day? McKenna must be knocking on my door.

So I Googled videos of McKenna. You can too.
One video has him saying: "culture is not your friend." (How true.)
McKenna's answer? Make art.

Are we there yet?
Maybe this is near the 'center', where the trail turns back home.
Sit a minute and gather your thoughts.

There is mention of 'demi-urge' in McKenna's discussion.
Coincidence: I just saw that very word this morning and had meant to look it up.
Now, how many time do you run across the word demiurge? Where in the heck did I see it! That word is knocking at my door along with McKenna.

A Robert Frost poem. I saw the word in Frost.
I had been looking up Blake's 'Ah Sunflower' poem to post with Melinda's sunflower photos. So how did I get from Blake to Frost?
Through Wendell Berry.
Can you believe it.

This must be a side track, but sometimes detours can be fun.
When I was looking up Blake, I saw my copy of Berry's collection of poems, "Farming: a Handbook", and loving Berry, I stopped to read a little Berry before going on to Blake. Berry wrote 'Manifesto: The Mad Farmer's Liberation Front', one of my favorite charming, humorous, sly poems. You should look it up.

Anyway, on the front page of Chapter 2, Berry quotes lines from Robert Frost's 'Build Soil'

"I bid you to a one-man revolution__
The only revolution that is coming.
We're too unseparate.
and going home
From company means coming to our senses."

'One Man Revolution' is a track on one of my favorite albums of recent memory, The Night Watchman, by Tom Morello. I had no idea the phrase came from Robert Frost.

Interesting! So I looked up Frost's 'Build Soil'.
Building soil is a good idea, the very key to gardening and healthy food. But I'm going down another path. Back on the path to rediscovering where I saw the word demiurge.

I had been looking for 'Build Soil' but ran across the poem I posted yesterday with the sunflower photos, 'A Prayer in Spring', from Robert Frost's collection of poems "A Boy's Will". In the same collection, I ran across 'The Demiurge's Laugh'...
now I had to look up the word.

Google: demiurge.

Wikipedia: The Demiurge of Neoplatonism is the Nous (mind of God), and is one of the three ordering principles:
arche (Gr. "beginning") - the source of all things,
logos (Gr. "word") - the underlying order that is hidden beneath appearances,
harmonia (Gr. "harmony") - numerical ratios in mathematics.
(... also related to concepts in... Judaism, gnosticism, Russian philosophy, a Phillip Dick novel, video games.)
And, of course, for me, beginning, words, and harmony relate to some ideas I love to dwell on, manifested in labyrinths and poetry.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.
NOUN: The doctrines of certain pre-Christian pagan, Jewish, and early Christian sects that valued the revealed knowledge of God and of the origin and end of the human race as a means to attain redemption for the spiritual element in humans and that distinguished the Demiurge from the unknowable Divine Being.

Pretty much, Demiurge is defined as the creative force of the physical universe, the spirit that is blocked by such structured thought process as organized religion. Is that why McKenna said, make art?
Knocking on the door ...

Now I'll go find that Terance McKenna birdhouse photo.

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