11 March 2014

What Works and Is

It occurred to me today that the impasse between what we call science, which must simply mean the continuing experimentation with the world's innards, and "Belief," which must mean every single thing we think and say, can be explained away really pretty easily.

Science "works and is" (god luv ya, Waldo), or rather, science "works." But it is meaningless. I don't mean it's not applicable, that IS what it is. Even the "theoretical" yearns to be "real" or applicable. What is made out of any discovery where elements of the world's constituent parts can be ordered and reordered certainly can lead to "meaning." This actually makes "theoretical" science far closer to "belief" because it starts with a "story." What if…

Belief is ALL meaning all the time. What "works" is irrelevant. Belief springs from the narrative fictions of analogical mind.

Back to Ralph from Self-Reliance (you really ought to have this memorized by now):
Life only avails, not the having lived. Power ceases in the instant of repose; it resides in the moment of transition from a past to a new state, in the shooting of the gulf, in the darting to an aim. This one fact the world hates, that the soul becomes; for that for ever degrades the past, turns all riches to poverty, all reputation to a shame, confounds the saint with the rogue, shoves Jesus and Judas equally aside. Why, then, do we prate of self-reliance? Inasmuch as the soul is present, there will be power not confident but agent. To talk of reliance is a poor external way of speaking. Speak rather of that which relies, because it works and is.
Waldo here starts with Meaning and metaphor and ends with the scientific method. What works and is shoves Jesus and Judas aside.  Science builds on the accumulation of any knowledge that "worked" in the past but it LIVES in the present only. Belief is a strong wish for the unknown future based on an unknown but "storied" history.

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