Re: Speak Greek, My Ears are Weak
Sun, 28 Apr 1996 23:51:32

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Dear Big Bad Bill aka Eumaeus the Swineherd,

How the hell are you?
Judging from your latest message, I'd say you're in fine fettle. Boisterous,
passionate, witty, fun-loving, knowledgeable, perhaps even wise. (How come we are
so soon old, and so late...)
I wince from the number and quality of your questions. Many I cannot even begin
to answer. Remember, I have come to my knowing in this matter mostly out of an
oral teaching tradition, not the usual reading one. So I have read little if any
Heidegger, or Searle...certainly not for awhile, either. And I certainly can't
claim to interpret Heidegger's speaking ("worn out language"). And I didn't even
know Kelly existed until two weeks ago, when I signed onto this net, and began
checking out my central project: constructivism (the reciprocal of objectivism).
But, a journalist friend of mine used to say, fuck the facts, I want
the truth!
So I will give you my truth, the best I can. And then I hope we will talk about
I begin with language (to be defined later, if you wish). The House of Being, I
believe some sage called it.
Language defines us humans, sets us apart from other living creatures, accounts
for our dominion over all the earth (if not yet ourselves).
Says my teacher, 'we live in language.' Indeed, if a matter be outside of
language, then we cannot know it; simply put, the matter eludes our apprehension.
How we are in language, our patterns, positions, practices, define our basic,
characteristic way of being, or ontology. When we 'act,' we do so in language.
There is just no way around it: we belong to language. It has us. At least, it
does, until we begin to uncover its nature and operation, then we can begin to have
it, at least a little.
Then we can begin to design ourself, the speaking being with the capacity to
take new action, and from it fashion new identity, capacity, performance. Hence the
name of the work my teachers provided: Ontological Design.
Until we do this work, however, we are doomed to dwell in an objectivist,
metaphoric, melodramatic, naming-shaming-and-blaming ontology, in which
'reality'---whatever it is for us, at the moment---is 'out 'there,' with us
believing that we have little if any control over it, and so consigned to play
recurrent, unsatisfying games of 'Ain't It Awful' and 'Aw Shit.'
Maybe I should stop here for a moment, and see what you have to say about all of
this. Okay? RSVP. best, gary


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To: Subject: Re: From the Bad Bad Wolf

Dear Bill- Thanks for the greeting. In principle, at least, I admire --- and share --- your approach. Truth, evidence, grounding. Not hype, fashion or schmoozing. I'll get back to you soon, after I have a chance to reflect on your note and suggestions. I've been taught to read things at least three times to imnprove the possibility that I am being evoked in the manner that they intended (111). Also, I know that some of our biggest breakthroughs have come from the paradigm-busters whom the conventional paradigm-people dislike, fear, resent, etc. (see Kuhn). So, prepare for a possible friendship. If you can stand it. (chuckle). Best wishes, Gary