Blogs by David Arthur Walters
Thought For Food
10/30/2006 11:24:22 AM
We are cannibals.
We are all cannibals come to think of it and to speak figuratively about it. And how else might one speak? What might one say without resort to analogies? What abstract thought cannot be boiled down to particular concrete experiences? When Pierre Cabanis made his infamous statement, that thoughts are secreted by brains just as bile is secreted by livers, the idealists were deeply disgusted and vomited volumes of discontent. But Cabanis - Mirabeau's favorite doctor, Napoleon's favorite ideologue, Jefferson's favorite French materialist - was speaking figuratively, as physiology's ideologist. On the other hand, out of public view, he was dabbling in spiritual occultism.
We grind up each other's ideas and produce sausage for others to digest and they do the same. Our languages and tastes differ but the differences are increasingly superficial. Thus in our common meal we are a growing commune. We may chew the fat in silence to celebrate our good fortune, yet we are still one in our unspoken disposition.
Icelandic Amlodhi - Saxon Amleth - owned a Cosmic Mill, a vast Maelstrom or Whirlpool to grind up the warring world, and, in Time, to turn out peace and plenty - and salt to keep all well. At the bottom of the vortex is the sand and the Land of the Dead. Each anxious and hungry Hamlet has his cosmic mill today. Hamlet is not nearly as brutal as Amleth was: Hamlet would raise mind over matter and set up a ruse, that evil might expose and destroy itself of its own accord; still Hamlet could not escape the grinding jaws in Fate's maw.
We grind with our minds instead of our teeth. Instead of decapitating others and storing their heads in a special vault at the back of the cave, to-day's capitalists keep powerful accounts in banks. Instead of roasting our heroic human host on the spit upon which he was impaled and pierced and bled into a cup; instead of laying out the roast like a cross on the altar and quartering and apportioning out the parts according to community standing; - we might prepare and pass around the bread and wine - now each communist gets an equal share.
Each creature eats to live here and now. Together we reproduce to live hereafter - witness the faces of the dead alive in the living. Food eats food. The ancients said that living things want to be eaten. Food reproduces food. Life feeds on life or its remains and we wonder at the remains before we dispose of them one way or another - and eating a live creature while it lives is deemed reprehensible to-day. Food, sex, life and death - sublime subjects for sublimation, for cultivation of human culture.
Human culture is spiritual, is mind over matter, is the head taken out of the dirt and lifted into heaven that humankind together may survey the surrounds, exalting its portion of the universal fire over the particulars of existence, grinding them into peace and plenty - and salt to keep all well. At the bottom of the vortex is the sand and the Land of the Dead.
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More Blogs by David Arthur Walters
Grasping Aire - Tuesday, February 16, 2010
This Lying World - Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Metaphysical Nothing - Saturday, February 06, 2010
The Subject - Friday, October 30, 2009
The Natural Man - Friday, October 30, 2009
Life is Becoming - Friday, October 30, 2009
The Helium.com Scheme - Saturday, May 09, 2009
Time is a waste of time - Thursday, October 16, 2008
Bank Run - Thursday, September 18, 2008
cHaNGe - Friday, September 12, 2008
To Hell with CHANGE! - Monday, September 08, 2008
Ms. Bloghog Strikes Again! - Friday, September 05, 2008
Change - Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Note on the Nature of Mysticism - Sunday, October 21, 2007
Native Americans - Saturday, April 28, 2007
Fascism is not a rational ideology - Saturday, April 21, 2007
Self-Certainty and Self-Doubt - Friday, April 13, 2007
Arguments - Thursday, February 08, 2007
Absolute Faith - Thursday, January 04, 2007
Faith In Nothing So To Speak - Tuesday, January 02, 2007
the little hitler in everybody - Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Saint Paul & Thomas Hobbes - Friday, December 08, 2006
A Unique Coincidence - Saturday, December 02, 2006
Paul's Success Was a Miracle - Monday, November 27, 2006
Prophecy Old And New - Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Thought For Food - Monday, October 30, 2006
Paul Ricoeur’s Personal Anthropology - Friday, September 15, 2006
What's Happening? - Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Actor and Patient - Sunday, July 23, 2006
Something Happens to Her - Thursday, July 20, 2006
The Fact of Consciousness - Saturday, June 17, 2006
Fact as Event - Saturday, June 17, 2006
Sensation, Perception, Conception - Saturday, June 17, 2006