Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Snow White's Apple

Snow White's mistake was that she tried to eat an abstraction, since apples are more thought than thing. The witch knew this (that's the sort of thing witches specialize in) and was trying to poison Snow White's mind, not body.

So let's talk about apples. For openers, orchards aren't apple machines. More specifically, apple trees don't "make apples". But the problem is we humans are so hypnotized by language that it's almost impossible for us to "see things like they are". Anyway, why bother if we already basically know the truth of things?

This is called believing is seeing and every time we think that we should receive a small electric shock because we DON'T already basically know the truth of things. If we did, we'd know apples "aren't what they seem" -- and neither is anything else for that matter (including us!).

An apple is the coming into form of orchard process, not a unit of independence (what Kant called a "thing in itself"). There isn't any thing/object called an apple. What is it, then? Well, it's not an "it" either and just that’s the problem.

Language greatly complicates the saying of this since it keeps populating the world with me's and you's and things and apples. However, let's do our best to communicate in spite of this zoo of illusion. Everything works if we keep remembering who's the dog (us) and who's the tail (language).

Apple trees aren't to apples what shoemakers are to shoes. Why not? In the first place, apples aren't premeditated. The orchard certainly doesn't "stop and think" before it "makes" the apple. We love to think nature is a macrocosm of our own self conscious existence, but the ancient Chinese word for nature, TZU-JAN, means (approximately) "that which is so of itself", and the of itself soing of that which is so of itself is nonstop spontaneity.

But if there isn't an "apple maker" (and there isn't), then what's manufacturing those apples? Nothing, since that's not what's happening. The "make it happen" machoism is foolishly simplistic.

And for that matter, let's dump "causality" while we're at it, since all that cause and effect business is a just mind game Homo sapiens play. Spontaneity is acausal. Nothing is pushing or pulling anything else around. Force, causality, will -- big deal. That's not what's happening.

Look, when a crystal precipitates out of a solution, nothing's "behind the scenes" causing effects. The crystal is "all of a piece" with the solution. It's a "form event", if you like, evoked by an arbitrary perception system. Same thing is true for the apple. Hey, no orchard, no apple.

And no nature . . . no us