The Fool (selected fragments)

This is for your own works!!!
User avatar
Jean Fournell
Posts: 221
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:09 pm
Location: Provence

Re: The Fool: 10 – A connoisseur

Postby Jean Fournell » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:51 pm

Just an aside:

The picture on the painter's invitation was used by sheer plagiarism vile, mean plagiarism!
In reality, it is a horse-nose calligraphy (earth on caravan window), come about in the night of 3rd to 4th March 2012, and presumably wrought by this young Camargue:

Unless it was done by this Thoroughbred:

Later then just some electronic fiddling around that's all any human ever contributed.

Unfortunately, there is no picture of the old-fashioned, busted junction box with the scratched lid. But with a bit of luck, number of people will know what such things look like anyway.
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
User avatar
Jean Fournell
Posts: 221
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:09 pm
Location: Provence

The Fool: 11 – A difficult step

Postby Jean Fournell » Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:49 pm

Das Karussel
Jardin du Luxembourg
Rainer Maria Rilke (Paris, Juni 1906)

Mit einem Dach und seinem Schatten dreht
sich eine kleine Weile der Bestand
von bunten Pferden, alle aus dem Land,
das lange zögert, eh es untergeht.
Zwar manche sind an Wagen angespannt,
doch alle haben Mut in ihren Mienen;
ein böser roter Löwe geht mit ihnen
und dann und wann ein weißer Elefant.

Sogar ein Hirsch ist da, ganz wie im Wald,
nur daß er einen Sattel trägt und drüber
ein kleines blaues Mädchen aufgeschnallt.

Und auf dem Löwen reitet weiß ein Junge
und hält sich mit der kleinen heißen Hand,
dieweil der Löwe Zähne zeigt und Zunge.

Und dann und wann ein weißer Elefant.

Und auf den Pferden kommen sie vorüber,
auch Mädchen, helle, diesem Pferdesprunge
fast schon entwachsen; mitten in dem Schwunge
schauen sie auf, irgendwohin, herüber

Und dann und wann ein weißer Elefant.

Und das geht hin und eilt sich, daß es endet,
und kreist und dreht sich nur und hat kein Ziel.
Ein Rot, ein Grün, ein Grau vorbeigesendet,
ein kleines kaum begonnenes Profil .
Und manchesmal ein Lächeln, hergewendet,
ein seliges, das blendet und verschwendet
an dieses atemlose blinde Spiel...

The Merry-go-round
Jardin du Luxembourg

With both an awning and its shadow keeps
revolving for a little while the stand
of coloured horses from the very land
that wavers long, before it fades away.
True, several are hitched to carriages,
but all of them have mettle in their features;
a villainous red lion's going with them
and now and then an all-white elephant.

Even a stag is there, like in the woods,
save that he's under saddle; and above there's
a little blue girl buckled fast on top.

And on the lion, white a boy is riding,
holding on with his little burning hand,
whereas the lion teeth and tongue is baring.

And now and then an all-white elephant.

And on the horses they are passing by there,
with girls too, bright ones, almost grown already
beyond this horse-bounce; suddenly in mid-swing
they will look up, look who knows where, will look here

And now and then an all-white elephant.

And on it goes and hastens to be over,
and circles merely and revolves and has no aim.
A red, a green, a grey sent along, passing,
a little profile, barely yet begun .
And more than once a smile then, facing this way,
a blissful ravished dazzling one that's lavished
on this breathtaking, on this mindless game...


The fool took his hands and had the horse lay its head into them. He caressed it a little and waited until it knew.

Then he nodded to the veterinarian, and the centaur first floated slowly, then flew ever faster, finally thundered in the warm air of the frosty-clear summer-winter-wind through the gorgeous autumn colours of the tide of blossoming spring flowers over the evergreen prairies.

As the fool stopped, with the horse disappearing behind a small hill and a few thickets and trees, his tears showed him, blurred, the Great Herd waiting for it.

He himself waited in the door of his little house, after the knacker had left. He knew that it would be two young men, whom the ruler would have sent.

The blue sky
was no hindrance
for the floating white clouds.

He had not known whether they'd be wearing their white coats, but they did.

The floating white clouds
were no hindrance
for the blue sky.

"Come in", he said when they had reached the garden gate.

The blue sky
was no hindrance
for the blue sky

and the monkey already looked forward to getting his sugar soon.

"The ruler told us..." "I know. I was expecting you."

The floating white clouds
were no hindrance
for the floating white clouds

and the monkey slowly and deliberately put the sugar into his mouth.

One last time the fool let his ever new old-ancient little house sink into his eyes, closely observed the ebbing away of the sadness that now he would not set foot in it any more, pointed both his outstretched hands at the way that lay before him and said: "Let's go."

● — ● — ●

He was self-possessed and calm, and so the direction of the institution made no difficulties when, after a period of time, he asked permission, occasionally, instead of other activities, to sit on the bench by the garden pond.

And when a short while later he asked if it were possible for him to be allowed minute quantities of fish food, that kind of food in the shape of small lumps that wavers long, before it sinks from view, so as to be able to throw the fish a few titbits even outside the official feeding times, no objections were raised either.

Nobody suspected him, and so nobody wondered at the somewhat too loud "splash" and the somewhat too strong rings on the water surface, when they came closer and he'd throw a food lump into the pond in order to veil the fact that the frog had jumped in.

For what would happen if, here in the institution, the fool should be caught speaking with a frog, that was not a thing the two of them were too very eager to find out at all.


This fragment had reached the present state of a rather skeletal draft when the death of one particular horse prompted me to leave it at that.

My knowing about the "blue sky" and the "floating white clouds" I owe to Jôshin Sensei. She told this in the present tense, of course, and she also mentioned the two authors. The first of them gave us the initial sequence; the second picked it up later on and added the other three sequences (the monkey belongs to The Fool).
But their names weren't familiar to me, and so I did not understand, much less memorise them. Which means that today, by way of consequence, I can't give due credit.
My apologies.
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
User avatar
Jean Fournell
Posts: 221
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:09 pm
Location: Provence

The Fool: 11.0 – A poem

Postby Jean Fournell » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:38 pm

Seated meditation

Steady moonlight,
calm and clear,
pervading the floods of the mind.
The waves, even as they are breaking,
turn into light.

Based on Zazen, by Eihei Dôgen (1200 - 1253)
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
User avatar
Jean Fournell
Posts: 221
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:09 pm
Location: Provence

The Fool: 12.1 – A question

Postby Jean Fournell » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:00 pm

"All the manifold returns to the one.
Where does the one return to?"
Zen question

"Master, here I stand before you, and I have nothing."
"Then throw it away."
"What could I throw away, since I have nothing?"
"Then keep it."
Zen dialog

(With a probability bordering on certainty, the self-reflexivity of this "purified" have-naught is a pretty unwieldy something.
And with a like probability, as long as he needs this crutch, it's better that he has it.)

The ch'an master in both cases is Zhaozhou Congshen (Japanese: Joshu Jushin, 778–897), dharma-heir of Nansen Fu-guan, mentioned in fragment 8.1.0.
Joshu's answer to the first of the above questions is: "When I was in the state of Chou, I made a hempen shirt. It weighed seven pounds."

Why is there not nothing, but something?

The nothing of the physicists, the unstable generator of temporary something this nothing is no nothing. For physicists it is of sufficient approximation to equate "nothing" and "nothing observable". "Nothing observable", in this sense, means every situation where no temporal nor spatial distance can be measured between two somethings.

But that is far from being really nothing (nothing "at all"). Whatever in the eyes of the physicists may come from "their" nothing, for us it steps out of a very poorly defined something into a slightly less poorly defined something, out of a too very deep darkness into a slightly less deep one but it has nothing to do with the question at hand.

(Physicists are concerned with the realm of the Something. So it is natural for them to assume that "less than two things" means one-thing, and not zero-thing. Their name for such a "one-thing" that they can't say anything about is "singularity", which then big-bangs into many-things, where temporal and/or spatial distances are measurable.)

And in order for this question to make any sense in the first place, we will have to find sufficient reasonable suspicion that indeed there is something.

It has become current practice to accept the argument proffered by René Descartes (1596 - 1650), "Je pense, donc je suis" (I think, therefore I am), as such a "reasonable suspicion". But Descartes of course widely overshoots the mark.

(Also, I often wondered and never found out what it is supposed to consist in, this pleasant occupation of "being", and where one might learn it. Maybe there are being-schools somewhere out there, something like driving-schools for the truck licence of philosophy, only I don't know any.
And then there are those folks who simply write this "to be" in italics ("I am") and believe that thus they've explained it. They are the happy ones. Let's not disturb them.)

Descartes's argument (in his Discours de la Méthode he says that even if all his thoughts were errors, dreams, falsehoods, illusions..., then he himself would nevertheless still exist namely as the one who thinks these errors, dreams, falsehoods, illusions), this argument is a stratagem hoping to smuggle, as taken-for-granted stowaways, all these "I" and "think" and "therefore" and "am" straight along into existence.

In reality, however (let's not be too strict for once with the stowaway "conjugation"), only "hallucination hallucinates" can be accepted as an initial reasonable suspicion. Which is already something, all the same and thus not nothing.

Therefore up, Lieutenant Columbo, and throw yourself into the hubbub:

If there is nothing, that is, of each ever so small something the no-thing without any traces of provenance, even if it is hardly possible to call a new-born baby a non-smoker, and just as non-uncertainty principles in our context must not derive from uncertainty principles (and much less degenerate to certainty principles!) , then the sum of all these no-things is the nothing of all somethings.

In order that there really be not even the tiniest something, this great Nothing must be perfect, because imperfections of the Nothing would be seedlings of the Something. But then perfection is a something and thus the Nothing would be destroyed. So the Nothing must be imperfect (and perfect at the same time).

On the other hand, the Nothing must neither be imperfect (for that would be too somethingy), nor perfect (for that would be too somethingy as well).

Thus the Nothing must be:
1) perfect
2) imperfect
3) both perfect and imperfect
4) neither perfect nor imperfect
1) free from logical constraints
2) non-free from whatsoever
3) both free and non-free
4) neither free nor non-free
Etc. (space, time...)

All of this is? becomes? was? let's say: would be a bit too much something for the Nothing. So the Nothing would have gone crazy, and that's why hallucinations hallucinate.

Which means that the non-existing Nothing is an existing part of the Something. (But we can prove no more than "hallucinations hallucinate".)

The nothing as a small non-nothing in the great Something is the counterpart of the overall something of the small somethings in the great Nothing.

If there were nothing, then there could be no relation of exclusiveness between something and nothing in which relation nothing together with something (and thus itself as a something) would be contained like in a meta-something, just as day and night are contained in the 24-hour meta-day.

So maybe there is nothing indeed, and we simply can't know it.

Because if "hallucinations hallucinate", that's not an absolute proof of existence, but one which is valid inside the something only. It is a partial reduction to zero (containing traces of provenance), derived from something and with more efficient means, this reduction to zero might perhaps succeed entirely.

From inside the something, therefore, it is impossible to answer the question because its premises cannot be clarified. It might be possible from inside the nothing, but in order to give it a try one would first have to get into the nothing, and then it would be no nothing anymore.

For the problem with nothing is, that the habitual frontier zone, the no-man's-land between things, the uncertainty, in this case belongs entirely to the something which is shamefully unfair, but unfortunately cannot be helped.

The nothing has simply been dealt a rotten hand of cards; or it has a frog in its throat; or let's say: the world is big, strong, and unjust.

The fool would dearly have liked to secretly slip an ace up the nothing's sleeve a titbit rewarding unobjectionable behaviour, as it were , but try as he might, no bright idea of how to proceed would pop up.

And then presumably he'd not find the horse-patterer in there either.
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
User avatar
Jean Fournell
Posts: 221
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:09 pm
Location: Provence

The Fool: 12.2 – A breath of nothing

Postby Jean Fournell » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:24 pm

You know who I am,
you've stared at the sun,
well I am the one who loves
changing from nothing to one.

Leonard Cohen, You Know Who I Am

The Nothing shan't live like a dog either

Have we now finally resolved Zeno's "youthful effort"? Given the history of "final resolutions", from Aristotle onwards, it's probably foolhardy to think we've reached the end. It may be that Zeno's arguments on motion, because of their simplicity and universality, will always serve as a kind of "Rorschach image", which people can interpret in terms of their most fundamental philosophical concerns (if they have any).
(Kevin Brown, Reflections on Relativity)

Now there was one, however, who took up such cudgels on behalf of the Nothing that their splinters stick up for it to the present day: Zeno from Elea, the prophet of the extensionless, non-vibrating geometrical point.

This Zeno, in one of his waylessnesses ("aporias"), tells us for example that a runner cannot start, since in order to reach the finish he'd first have to cover half of the way, and before that half of this halfway, and beforehand half of that, and ever so on. And since for each of these ever shorter parts of the way he needs the same duration (and not at all proportionally ever shorter lapses of time!), he needs an infinite amount of time for a way of zero length (and not at all zero time!), wherefore movement is impossible.

For this mistake, Zeno deserves a rebuke from Aristotle.

Because in his time, it was well understood that for a day's journey one needs a day, for half a day's journey half a day, for a quarter day's journey a quarter of a day, etc. And not one whole day for each of these distances (except if along the way one should take to off-road hiking...).

(The ever shorter distances, passed through in ever shorter lapses of time, consider the problem in its surface structure; in its deep structure, the aporia boils down to the question how a given something is supposed to change from immobility to movement, a subcategory of the more general question how a something can possibly go from one given point to the neighbouring point. But about this later.)

So either Zeno was inattentive here and gets a rebuke because of that, or he realised clearly enough and only kept his knowledge from his listeners, just to fool them and he's rebuked for lack of intellectual integrity.

One way or the other, divided time for divided length neither proves nor disproves the possibility of movement; and the whole affair is, in this respect, a tautological flash in the pan, no matter whether we reason with halves, or with thirds, fifths, sevenths, elevenths, or whatever.

This "whatever" is what Zeno uses in a variant of this aporia. Here he puts Achilles in a footrace with a tortoise, allowing the tortoise a head start. When Achilles reaches the tortoise's starting point, it will have gained a new head start (however small); and this keeps repeating with ever new ever smaller head starts, which is why Achilles cannot get even with the tortoise, much less overtake it.

This time the division of lengths is unknown, and so is the pertaining division of time. And just like in the first variant, Zeno tries to make believe that a full duration is to be counted for each ever smaller distance, and not proportionally ever shorter durations. The same mistake, this time wrapped up a bit more astutely.

Aristotle looks askance at this incorrigible rascal...

Because the whole is more than the sum of its parts (if, like here, we simply pilfer a last piece of the puzzle, even if it's an ever smaller one, claiming that it still needs some work to be done, only because we don't want to let it go).

Just as the whole is more than the sum of its parts if we share 19 horses, "faithfully executing the Last Will", among three heirs, when the first is to get half, the second a quarter, and the third one fifth of them through borrowing a twentieth horse, which (10 + 5 + 4 = 19) is left over in the end and can be returned to its owner.

Interpreting reality through this kind of arbitrary grids of observation is a characteristic of superstition: let a randomising device (say, a deck of cards) produce a set of data, and then force those onto reality as though they were pertinent.

Zeno here shows (unwittingly?) the absurdity of such enterprises.

(That this works perfectly well with cake; that, if we halve it, then halve one half, then halve one of the quarters, etc.; that in this case we'll really never cut it up completely, since each cut indeed requires the same amount of time (and later ever longer, since it becomes ever more difficult) that's a detail Zeno couldn't possibly be aware of, for he didn't get any cake.

Because cake [let's say, a birthday cake...] is only for nice children (like me) who know that they are not supposed to vent such indecent inventions. The other children (like Zeno) must wait until the adults have finished cutting up (they are pretty good at atoms already; and once they'll succeed with quarks as well, they'll surely bring about quite a big bang) and that's why Zeno is still waiting and doesn't know how the story will end.)

A different case is the aporia of the immobile arrow, whose "impossible" flight Zeno separates into an infinite number of static resting positions.

("Static", here, is not some clumsy redundancy added to the "resting positions", which as such are pretty redundant already, but it means that the constituents of the arrow atoms, electrons, etc. must not champ at the bit, must not vibrate, because otherwise Zeno's reasoning is bound to fail.)

Zeno pretends that movement merely occurs in the mind of the observer, as an illusion arising from all those static pictures of the immobile arrow like in a film, an invention he elegantly anticipates there by some 2400 years.

The only problem is (as suggested earlier) that each constituent of the arrow, in order to fly from one given resting position Rn to the next Rn+1, must cover the distance separating one non-vibrating geometrical point from its neighbour whereby, since these points have no extension, the arrow has advanced now by exactly zero distance.

Zeno's film, thus, is made of an infinite number of pictures, each of them zero distance further than the previous one, which means all of them in the same place and that's why his arrow can't move. The obvious advantage, however, that we needn't explain any longer how the arrow reaches the next geometrical point is more than compensated by the fact that there is nothing left to explain at all.

Shaking his head, Aristotle adds that at each of these points the arrow spends exactly zero time, and at each neighbouring point zero time as well, and that Zeno's endless film has a total length of zero duration. Here, like before, space and time are proportional, and the arrow's immobility does not last except that Zeno, this hopeless mischief, would make believe once again that the arrow gets stuck at each of these points for a full-sized cinema evening.

My oh my what were those days' youngsters coming to!

(And if, on top of that, these points vibrate, as in reality of course they do, then never mind if they have no extension but for their vibrating they need space, and that's a thing each neighbouring point has to respect, which means it must necessarily vibrate in turn. And the arrow, in order to remain motionless, must compensate these vibrations and therefore busily go now into the territory of one point, then into that of another, and ever so on.

Under such circumstances, it is much easier to simply drop that whole immobility business and fly straight into the target if the archer, for once, has not aimed too desperately amiss.)

So admittedly the Nothing still doesn't exist; but Zeno, in addition to its passive "doesn't exist", has found something like an active non-existence for it. Through the backdoor, he enables the Nothing, even though it may not exist in passing time, to nevertheless thumb its nose at us from the dimension of eternity.

The Nothing's backdoor: the black hole in the digit zero, wherein rests the immobile axle of the turning wheel; the inside and the outside of that rapidly growing football whose shoemaker thread is our curved universe and something.

The horsepatterer, however, had not ended up multiplied by zero.
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
User avatar
Jean Fournell
Posts: 221
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:09 pm
Location: Provence

The Fool: 12.3 – An exception

Postby Jean Fournell » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:58 pm

Unreserved granting

Dividing a length into an infinite number of geometric points as in the case of the immobile arrow is tantamount to dividing this length by zero. Because a point with no extension, and not vibrating either, has the length zero.

Let L be the length of the initial distance between the arrow and the target. Then Zeno claims:
L = L : ( × 0)

And dividing by zero is forbidden in the very same mathematics which itself also uses these non-vibrating extensionless points.
So Zeno does divide by zero in the aporia of the immobile arrow but by a zero which in his day simply didn't exist. It was invented centuries later, in India; and yet later the interdiction to divide by it.

Which is why it is impossible for today's mathematical guardians of the grail to up and retroactively claim abiding by the rule and prosecute him all the more so since Zeno does not bluntly go and divide, but painstakingly hides his as yet uninvented zero behind the infinite, where it will have to be tracked down first of all.

So Zeno may, and nobody can hinder him.

And because Zeno may, we are in this fit have been for almost two thousand five hundred years. That's why the immobile arrow can't be disproved, and that's why they all failed, all those little gasbags who have been pretending for just as long that they can, because, after all, it's only that...

In a quiet moment, the teacher takes Zeno aside: "You cheat your customers, and that calls for a rebuke. However and here it's not really my business any more , it's a rip-off of a rare kind. The arrow you are bartering away there, as a counterfeit, in fact is a masterpiece.

You rearranged 'There is not nothing' into 'There is never nothing', but this in the shape of 'There is nothing, namely never' except that you replaced the correct 'namely never' with a wrong 'namely always'.

That leaves an impression like a clochard carrying around, in a shabby plastic bag full of dirty laundry, a genuine Matisse paper cut-out, onto which he has stuck a worn label: 'A steal, 13,20 €' and which he now adamantly claims to be the only authentic Matisse, in order that nobody shall believe him.

By means of this somethingy form, you are throwing a shadow of the numberless nothings in eternity into passing time.
And now your customers are disappointed because they wanted junk; and you, you shoot yourself in the foot."

"Right you are, schoolmaster! At least to a large extent. But it's not quite exact that I shoot myself in the foot: it's not a Matisse, is it; and so I don't lose anything..."

"And it's not actually a rip-off either, is it?"
"Let's say: All that glitters is not junk."
"Well, wait and see! With time, you too will grow older and calm down!"

(Mathematicians absolutely need the non-vibrating extensionless point, the zero of geometry, the place of each exact number they can't do without. And thus they are cornered:

The arithmetical zero is not nothing, it is a point on the endless line of numbers, and zero horse droppings is different from zero horses; but the geometrical point (in space and in time) mustn't be anything except nothing (mustn't be something, must be a nothing) and is therefore a small copy of the Nothing. And since the mathematicians are not allowed to use this point for infinite division, besides the Nothing there is Something, too.)

Possibly without quite realising, Zeno, this philosopher of the second-but-first hour, has left us with substantially more than just some gnawed-off bone. His approach well deserves some further thought:

For where precisely are they, the runner, or Achilles, or the tortoise, or the arrow? They are supposed to travel distances so let's say: They find themselves, during their run or flight, at least at the hindmost point of their rear foot, or of the rear end of the arrow. And at the immediately neighbouring point in front of it, which is equally extensionless. And at the point in front of that...

From extensionless points, though, however many of them one might put together, there will always result a collection that in turn has no extension either and there will never be a runner or Achilles or a tortoise or an arrow coming from them, but always no more than nothing.

Neither is there any room between all these points for whichever kind of glue that could hold them together.
Thus the question arises how such a dis-continuum is supposed to produce a continuous something and so far nobody has found a workable answer to this question. For the time being, therefore, all these untenable points keep on tumbling crackling down and falling together into a single one whose name is "Nothing"!

Consequently: There is not only one truth, but at least that of the Something and that of the Nothing that is, the truths of several nothings, namely of an infinite number of nothings. And then the truths of the corresponding somethings.

Any claims to the contrary are opinionated dogmatism hiding behind a façade of apparent intellectual honesty. And Zeno with his nothings has delivered a provisionally final refutation against such terror.

So let us praise this Zeno; and let's thank him, too:
he has exacted thinking even from the fool.

The fool remembered his first encounter with the wild rider, who had awakened his hands back then. The tiny little beginning had proved that further steps on the way to knowing hands were possible. It had been the step from nothing to a first something.

He remembered the tile-polisher who had exhorted him to preserve the beginner's mind. To take each step as seriously as that very first tiny giant step, to realise over and over the transition from Nothing to Something. To each time let the world create itself, instead of stumbling through it, blind and dumb. To grant the Nothing its place in the Something, and thus allow the Something to be perceived ever anew.

So Zeno's points can awaken to life. Ever again. Infinitely often. For just as from the Nothing arises the Something, the Other, likewise with the Something of the Other your own something arises.
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)

Return to “Writing, Music and Art by the Forum members”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests