31 July 2012

Seneca on leisurely getting old and wise talking to yourself

 'Et quando' inquis 'tibi proderit istud quod in exitu discis, aut in quam rem?' In hanc, ut exeam melior. ... Hoc est huius boni tempus: quisquis senex ad sapientiam pervenit, annis pervenit. Epistulae ad Lucilium Liber VII Ep. LXVIII.xiv.
"'And when, you say, will what you learn on leaving be useful to you, or for what?' In this: that I will leave [a] better [man]. ... That is the time of this good: whoever comes to wisdom in old age, comes to it through years." 68th Letter to Lucilius xiv.
And these years are years of "many experiences" (multis experimentis xiv) in which you "hide yourself in leisure; but also hide this leisure itself" (absconde te in otio; sed et ipsum otium absconde i) and "speak with yourself" (ipse tecum loquaris vi).

10 July 2012

Higgs' boson or subject-object split?

Everyone's excited about the apparent experimental confirmation of the Higgs' boson's 'existence' at that big, multi-billion shooting gallery in Geneva called the Large Hadron Collider.  Why are there no headlines worldwide about the subject-object split having been overcome? Easy -- because it hasn't, and no one's interested anyway. On the other hand, it has long since been overcome in philosophical phenomenology -- but no one wants to know, and philosophers themselves fight against the insight. 

Why do 'people' believe in the Higgs' boson, although they are clueless about it and its mind-boggling mathematics, whereas 'people' live in the subject-object split every day, but are totally disinterested in it and also clueless about it? Why is access to the world through fantastically complex mathematical theories believed in, but a simple look at the phenomena before our eyes overlooked? Learning to see simply can reveal to us who we are. Today's mathematical physics can never even approach this question. It fudges and throws sand in our eyes. Our gullibility for science and its method is endless, it seems. 

Long ago Euripides wrote _haplous ho mythos taes alaetheias ephu_ ("The saying of truth is of itself simple." Phoenissae 469). Seneca renders this line as "Veritatis simplex oratio est." ("Truth's saying is simple." 49th Epistula ad Lucilium). How long will we stay lost in complexity?