Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Positive Quiddity Described 34
Positive Quiddity is the quality of ingenuity, created through a godly inspiration of wit and cleverness. In Greek mythology, this god has already been described in stories as Hermes (or the Latin cognate Mercury). Here is a wise summary:
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"Hermes is the god of the interior nervous system. His presence amounts to heavenly wit. When we are in Hermes’ field, messages pass with fantastic speed between the brain and the fingertips, between the heart and the tear ducts, between the genitals and the eyes, between the part of us that suffers and the part of us that laughs. Hermes is Mercury, and we know that mercury cannot be held in the hand – it rolls everywhere, separates into tiny drops, joins again, falls on the floor, rolls under the table, moves with amazing quickness. It is correctly called quicksilver.
"This mercurial energy is called, among other things, Odin in northern Europe, Mercury in Italy, Hermes in Greece. Its day of the week is Wednesday (Odin’s Day) and Mercredi in France.
"Sometimes when friends are talking in a closed room, the heat of the conversation begins to increase: witty things are said; contributions flow from all sides; leaps of imagination appear; the genuinely spiritual follows an instant after the genuinely obscene. Hermes has arrived. At some beautiful moment of the conversation a silence falls that feels mysterious; everyone hesitates to break it. In Spain until the fifteenth century that silence was called “Hermes’ silence.” So Lόpez-Predraza says in his fine book on Hermes.
"The old tradition maintains that true learning does not take place unless Hermes is present. That is depressing, because university English departments, and sociology departments, and religion departments usually get rid of teachers with Hermes energy first. The whole Ph.D. system was created by Germanic Hermes-killers. Hermes is magical, detail-loving, obscene, dancelike, goofy, and not on a career track.
Hermes slips in true information in that split second between the moment your tongue starts a word and the moment it finishes. You plan to say, “This is my mother,” and you say, “This is my wife.” I did that. My mother looked very pleased. You plan to say “farther” and it comes out “father,” because Hermes moves faster than our thought. What people call a Freudian slip is really a Hermes precision. Hermes punctures pomposity, piety, sureness, self-satisfaction."
--Iron John by Robert Bly, ppg. 142-3.
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Other cultures have other figures, usually spirit animals, for these stories of great cleverness. The African hare is an example that has been Americanized through B'rer Rabbit as well as Bugs Bunny. Aboriginal North Americans, particularly the Lakota and Apache, refer to coyote spirit or coyote energy.
This jolt of cleverness is consistent with responding to the power of the Sea of Quiddity. Here are some observable examples of such inventiveness:
Composing a new melody – we may be stuck with the legal definition of a copyright for melody, seven unique notes unlike any other on file. The mysterious ability to make these notes memorable and attractive has defied analysis and computer simulation to the present day
Turning a myth into reality – such as NASA using the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs from 1961-72 to go to the moon. The Greek myth of Daedalus traveling through the air under his own power from Crete to mainland Greece was made real in 1988 by a man-powered aircraft designed and engineered by M.I.T.
Orchestration and arrangement – at best have the power to create an eerie and unmistakeable unity. A group of 40 selections of such music has been presented in postings 6 through 8 with examples at
Team sports – from Football or baseball to successful slam bidding at contract bridge to running the table at billiards to professional golf [the team for billiards and for golf exists but is hidden]
Creating a major new enterprise – desktop computers, the drafting of Magna Carta, a playwright successfully offering catharsis to an audience
Invention – such as lasers (coherent light of the same exact frequency, which occurs nowhere in nature), television, alternating current, new forms of geometry, additional states of matter, new forms of logical analysis, new philosophies (such as game theory)
Improvisational comedy – in which laughter comes forth from unplanned material
Mutual love – in which intimacy is exchanged without script nor manipulation
Acceptance of mortality – in which death is correctly yet rarely understood as a truth-bearing ally