>>The reason why ea,
rather than law, is so readily apprehensible to all men of right good will
is that, unlike law, it is non-linear, mythic, and always there to spring
full-formed at need from the more holistic kinds of human mental processes.
It needs no judge but the folk themselves, who can inevitably tell when it's
right or wrong by how it feels"
>This is so true! I believe that this point, so subtle and yet so
crucial, will need to be philosophically reiterated again and again, as we
are so philosophically entrenched in a legalistic, linear way of thinking
about law, and our law is so much more organic.
Right, and it also has to be come at from about six different directions
before breakfast, because it affects everything in our lives, yet seems the
most subtly difficult concept for any heathen learner to grasp. Even when he
thinks he's caught the hem of the idea, he switches right back to the linear
way he has been reared up thinking all his life and loses it again.
Everybody constantly does that; I do it myself. Thinking processes are such
an ultra-subjective experience that even the best communicator and the best
listener are never more than in partial contact with each others' real
thoughts. Much of our experience of communication is little more than a
faith-based initiative founded on the suppositious notion that we all think
alike, and therefore ought to be able to hear what we need to hear and
manage to reliably guess the rest, and the cause of most of the world's
human misunderstanding, even among people who may be close, is that we
rarely really think better than approximately alike at all. And one of the
most difficult and strenuous intellectual challenges is to ever really think
differently than we normally do by temperament and culture, and imagine
thinking that different way all the time, or imagine a whole population of
people just about like ourselves who nonetheless normally thought so
differently, by enculturated habit-patterns and conventional assumptions,
from the ways we may take for granted as only natural. This is doubtless the
biggest source of common misinterpretation of the lore; the expectation that
it ought to be intelligible to our kind of thinking because it was written
down by people like ourselves who thought pretty much in the same patterns
as we do, when that just wasn't the case at all.
>Alan Watts did try to make a distinction in his studies of Taoism ...
I believe he distinguished between codified law and the kind of law that
emerges like "grain in the wood", an essential part of the texture
of the organic; but that is just a beginning in a series of distinctions
which needs to be made. It may be that we are helped by the sciences of
chaos and complexity which discuss nonlinear dynamics and turbulences, but
we will need to translate it into heathen language.
Well now, see, there you go yourself, thinking linearly again! Something
needs to be understood, so how do we analyze it? Why, by making a science of
it, of course! Nay nay; I disagree milady. I'm not saying it couldn't work.
I'm not saying that swatting flies with a claw hammer couldn't occasionally
work; only that it is manifestly the wrong tool for the task. The problem
there seems to me ontological; the better approach would seem to be to
manage to find some way to approach the problem on its own terms. To the man
with a hammer, alas, everything looks like a nail. The minute you scientize
something, just because science is a tool you happen to know how to handle,
you are nonetheless taking it out of its own terms and translating it into
yours, which can only introduce a new degree of disconnect that is bound to
break up the walls and crockery more often than it actually kills the fly.