+ :: Do not add up
If you didn't let the pages of a philosophy book add up into a philosophy there would be no philosophic outcome, only a process, only a person's own subtle process.
    It is a source of confusions that we do not know what to read:
    (Do we read the trees? Do we read the leaves on those trees?
    Do we go so far as to read the veins on those leaves?)
    And then, how do we read them?
    Do we read a novel as a novel
    or as a library that the author has compiled for herself
    or as a collection of great paragraphs
    or of great sentences
    or of great choices?
    Or do we, and can we, read a novel as a sculpture made of paper,
    or as a building block which is a piece of a larger sculpture?
Understanding is an act of transforming that which is meant to be understood into something else, into a new thing which has been invented, at least in part, by the person who is understanding.
The exact number of words to mean that this takes this exact number of words to express this.
Before we can approach the problem of how we bind reality into a unified coherent whole we must address another amplifying question: how do we bind our experiences, actions, perceptions, thought, relations, etc., into a unified coherent sense of self. The binding together of reality presupposes that we have bound ourselves together into unified selves which can perceive, interpret, act, etc.
Do not add these poor fragments up in order to make a whole. But, of course, you could not help it, you could not help making a man out of instances from his life.
    A new concept of addition:
    Do not add up, add down.
    Not subtraction, but condensation --
    Crystallization of a hundred ideas
    Into a residue of one dense, dry idea.
    Take the smallest portion of one idea
    And the smallest portion of another
    And another and another
    And add them down
    So that the summation
    Is smaller and denser
    Than any of its parts.
    Wetness is for fictions --
    Whether the fiction of our lives, or of novels, or of paintings.
    Dryness is for equations, for logic.
    Somewhere in the anxious balancing act,
    Between wetness and dryness,
    Lies a true thought.

  Francis R a v e n :: writings   Ted W a r n e l l :: codings   © 2000


Do not add up :: -