Seeing Clearly

It is as important to be able to see clearly as it is to be able to know when what you are seeing is an artifact of not seeing clearly.  You could say this is because not seeing clearly cannot be avoided and seeing clearly how one is not seeing clearly is just another aspect of seeing clearly.  This is something that takes place at a real nitty gritty level of awareness.  Nuts and bolts stuff.  What does this awareness feel like: comparing past outcomes with present circumstances as well as projecting out along common extensions of present objects into likely possible states while continually feeling out discordance.

It’s kind of like moving your thumb.  I know how to do it.  You probably do too.  If you don’t, I could show you by moving my own, but what words can I really form around the feeling of moving my thumb that could possibly lead you to insight about how to move your own (If pressed, I’d start defining a spatial language over the body as well as a language about distinctions between types of feeling and then drill down to the thumb)?  Those words escape me (Or, I filled some in later on).  And in this way the nature of language shines forth.  It is something to contain references to shared meanings and something to point to meanings not yet customarily contained within it as a path of ramification and growth.

I mean, how does one describe in words what it feels like to search out the right word to fit in a sentence-slot?  I have a sense of it.  I have this semantic-protein-ish meaning-awareness-potentiality and there is a position in it that can be occupied in different ways and a sort of rolodex like quick succession of candidate-ways flashing by, each fitting in the slot long enough for the semantic-protein to settle into its consequent conformation and be judged in relation to its nearness to some inherent core-potentiality that is beyond the particular expression forming.  But that’s all visual metaphor.  The feeling of it is imageless, yet existent.  Those images may help you to recognize the feeling next time you search for a word, but they aren’t going to substitute for the feeling itself (which is, ultimately, in my opinion, the density and topology of self-representation & self-regulation within the very neural, cellular, biological, biochemical meat of the existing matter).

Same too with the word ‘apple’ and the juicy reality behind it.  Language is just another word for “map”–and let’s not forget that the map is not the territory.

Same too for perception.  And so, nothing we see is clear.  This may depress you.  It may elate you.  Doesn’t matter much ’cause it is.  Once we know that nothing we see is clear we can start to engage with what we see in a slightly different way, in relation to our belief in the clarity of our sight (again, this is because sight is a representation of an actually existing whatnot: sight is a representation, what it represents is itself, similarly, words refer to representations or become representations themselves, re-pre-sent).

Don’t know what belief is (these days, everything is hard to pin down)?  Start here.  Start assessing your confidence in your surmises about the nature of the things in the world which you can see.  Look at a fire hydrant.  Approach it.  Keep refining your understanding of it (by hypotheses and tests).  Pretty soon, you’ll be putting it to the caliper and chipping paint flecks off it for spectral analysis.  I mean, you could go all out.  That’s what humanity’s doing.  Going all out and collecting a whole bunch of information about the world in which it finds itself and keeps comparing and collating and extrapolating and just keeps fragmenting distinctions off in every direction.

What are the practical effects of this advice?  Strategic awareness.  A nimble and thick skulled mountain goat spirit.  Something that keeps shifting between immediate handholds and distant ledges. Iow, a spark of purpose.

Merry Christmas.

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