something i posted somewhere else -- on meaning
#1
which wouldn't go through there;


my take, not agreeing or disagreeing, how can i do that with anothers pov, i can only put my own pov forward.;

i think once a person (we're not all poets contrary to popular belief) put something to paper, lets call it a poem; it stops being his/her poem (as in what they intended to say)and begins a life of its own (if it's published or put up for public view and response) we all, or many of us will read it differently than others, take different things from it than other. in this respect i think the opening posters pov is the same as mine; poems can rarely be linear creatures, they are imbued with multiple levels and facets as soon as the leave the pens birth canal, (metaphorically speaking).

i think often many people think it's good or decent poetry because they know no better, they haven't actually sampled enough decent or good poetry to actually know what good or decent poetry is. the same wit art. of course we can look at a poem and say, mmm 'great art' sadly it's often only great art to us because at that point in time its as good as we have seen and therefore can't compare it,
an example:
I was always under the impression i didn't like bukowski, i read a few of his poems and thought them at best to be mediocre. unfortunately it was his mediocre poems i'd read. recently i've been breaking copyright laws and loading his poems onto my site, (he died in 1994 btw, i do realise that 97.3 percent of those here wouldn't know that (and it makes me hard) while doing such an illegal thing i realised that this guy can really write good poems and that the few i'd read weren't a true representation of his work.
his work by the way is pretty straight forward narrative and very in your face. at first that's what i thought but after a few more reads i saw that often his poetry was an attack on society, death, the gov, or lots of other things.
they poems were his slice of life and how it affected him,
the layers came because when i read it i added my life and it's slice into the context of his works. i'm sure bukowski wouldn't begrudge me my take on his poetry. in fact he'd be damned angry if i'd just read it as a simple remark at the times of his life. no, his poetry, like all poetry gains life when put out there. a good poem gains something more than a pat on the back in a poetry forum it doesn't need it dick licking while it bends over in order to take it up the ass.
good poetry screams at us, it kicks us in the balls and says, read me again, i dare. and when we do read good poetry again we see something knew and fresh. this happens everytime we read it afresh. wtf how can that be, i read this poem a hundred times and still i get another take, emotion, insight from it.
this one is one of my faves that came from him;

The History Of One Tough Motherfucker by Charles Bukowski

he came to the door one night wet thin beaten and
terrorized
a white cross-eyed tailless cat
I took him in and fed him and he stayed
grew to trust me until a friend drove up the driveway
and ran him over
I took what was left to a vet who said,"not much
chance...give him these pills...his backbone
is crushed, but is was crushed before and somehow
mended, if he lives he'll never walk, look at
these x-rays, he's been shot, look here, the pellets
are still there...also, he once had a tail, somebody
cut it off..."
I took the cat back, it was a hot summer, one of the
hottest in decades, I put him on the bathroom
floor, gave him water and pills, he wouldn't eat, he
wouldn't touch the water, I dipped my finger into it
and wet his mouth and I talked to him, I didn't go any-
where, I put in a lot of bathroom time and talked to
him and gently touched him and he looked back at
me with those pale blue crossed eyes and as the days went
by he made his first move
dragging himself forward by his front legs
(the rear ones wouldn't work)
he made it to the litter box
crawled over and in,
it was like the trumpet of possible victory
blowing in that bathroom and into the city, I
related to that cat-I'd had it bad, not that
bad but bad enough
one morning he got up, stood up, fell back down and
just looked at me.
"you can make it," I said to him.
he kept trying, getting up falling down, finally
he walked a few steps, he was like a drunk, the
rear legs just didn't want to do it and he fell again, rested,
then got up.
you know the rest: now he's better than ever, cross-eyed
almost toothless, but the grace is back, and that look in
his eyes never left...
and now sometimes I'm interviewed, they want to hear about
life and literature and I get drunk and hold up my cross-eyed,
shot, runover de-tailed cat and I say,"look, look
at this!"
but they don't understand, they say something like,"you
say you've been influenced by Celine?"
"no," I hold the cat up,"by what happens, by
things like this, by this, by this!"
I shake the cat, hold him up in
the smoky and drunken light, he's relaxed he knows...
it's then that the interviews end
although I am proud sometimes when I see the pictures
later and there I am and there is the cat and we are photo-
graphed together.
he too knows it's bullshit but that somehow it all helps.


the poem is about more than a cat for me. it's about life, strength oppression and a lot more, every time i read it i love it a little more, it's by far not his best poem but i love it. most who read it will take something different from it than i did or that bukowski intended. he's done a couple of poems about writing that gives good insight. (for some)

if i leave a response to a poem i'm not all that interested in what the poet said or tried to imply. i've already reached my pov and for them to tell me what they meant or tried to say is pretty much irrelevant. on occasion i'll ask what was meant because i wish some clarification as i cannot get a handle.
all i need from the poet is a polite thanks or for them to simply ignore my feedback. they can use any such feedback as they see fit. recently i didn't understand a poem but really liked it, and told my take on it. the poet smiled and said thanks. (i appreciated the fact that they allowed me my take without jumping up and shouting "you fucking idiot, this is what i meant"

the english language is full of ambiguity and for me it's the ambiguity that lends beauty to the craft.

poetry for me shouldn't provide answers, and seldom dos so unless you want to call an insight an answer, for me poetry provides slices of experience, (be they imaginary or real) often the slice is shit and full of cliché, cutting and intangibles that everyone else fawns over.
once i write a poem it's no longer mine apart from having the need and ability to edit it should someone point out how i can improve it for me. once the edit is done it's back out there and has to stand on it's own without explanation.

i find some esoterica enough as it stands, as well as some doggerel stuff, aka carroll. though it has to be good. if it's bad the fact it's doggerel or esoterica simply compounds the fact.

poetry is mainly for enjoyment, (the reading of) not sure the writing of it is always and solely done for the purpose of enjoyment. i'm sure the dragging of poem from the pen is absolute torture for many.

it's extremely hard to disagree that blind acceptance is killing poetry, i think art as in paint actually grows a little from blind acceptance.
poetry on the other hand becomes stale and falls back for anyone who feels a pat on the back helps a poet expand his craft, we need to be told why it's good, why it,s bad and why it's cliché and pathetic. though the latter should be done with kindness.

ooh , fuck..i got carried away didn't i [frown]



EDIT -- This is the original text to which Billy was responding:

Quote:Soren Kierkegaard said “Once you label me, you negate me”, and I believe this to be true for poetry as well. A good poem (and I’m well aware that there are many bad ones out there, I’ve written plenty myself) does not have one single, linear and easily explained meaning. For a poet to say, “this line means x” precludes any authorship of meaning for the reader and also assumes that the reader is incapable of fathoming meaning from words him/herself. This may be fine for readers who come wanting a poem. It’s insufficient for those who want poetry.

Poetry should not provide answers, but questions. Poets do not have answers. Poets are not judge or jury, but plaintiffs begging for a case to be heard. For a writer to assume that he/she is more enlightened than the reader is arrogant and – for the most part – a little bit stupid.

As a writer of poems, I may have intent when those thoughts roll off my pen – obviously I am thinking something. Once it’s written, though, my authorship is done. Each time I revisit the poem it’s as a reader. The best poems I’ve ever read give me an opportunity to focus on a different thought each time; the text becomes fluid the moment it engages with the reader’s mind.

However, it’s clearly not enough for a poet to write something obscure and esoteric, then say to the reader “well, you figure it out, that’s your job”. There should be a balance – and there has to be a key, something to allow the reader to unlock at least the first part of the meaning (or a meaning), even if it’s not leading to an actual thought process but rather to a given mood or ethos.

Finally, I believe that poetry is about enjoyment before all else. If you don’t know what it means, but you like the way it sounds or it reaches you in some way – does it really matter?
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#2
Damn Billy, a lot of good insight there.

Quote:once i write a poem it's no longer mine apart from having the need and ability to edit it should someone point out how i can improve it for me. once the edit is done it's back out there and has to stand on it's own without explanation.

I fully agree with that. Here's the funny thing, sometimes the poet's intent is horseshit. Sometimes there are layers they are subconsciously putting in that they aren't aware of at the time and when pointed out they feel like their an idiot savant of some kind. In my poem Hood I used these lines:

...her hum
a mouthful of bees.

Not saying they're the greatest ever just I know what I was thinking when I wrote them. For me, it was the sounds and the flow of writing in the moment. It had to be pointed out to me by another person that the bees were a metaphor for the danger this red riding hood / lolita could bring to the "wolf" if she opened her mouth and spoke. I think writers put a lot of subconscious connections into their work which is another reason why they don't own the interpretation after they release it to the world.

Quote:it's extremely hard to disagree that blind acceptance is killing poetry,

Hell, that's true too. I'm reading a book by the NY Times Poetry critic David Orr called Beautiful & Pointless where he relates a story telling a woman what he does for a living and he said her reaction was the equivalent of him saying he dropped bags of kittens into a mulcher all day. Poetry is seen as too personal to critique in some circles--and I agree with you that that kills it in some sense. If everything is "good" nothing is.

And finally, yeah Bukowski mixed bag. I love some of his stuff and can't stand a lot of it. But you're right about this poem...good writing is when the cat is the cat and also something else entirely.

Good thoughts.


The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#3
Billy and Todd,
Last year, I spent a couple of days with the poet David Whyte. He was reciting poetry, from many different centuries and the general theme of the days was the 'season of harvest'.

It was an amazing experience for me. Every now and then I'd find myself getting emotional for no good reason. I asked him about it and he said, (I'll paraphrase), "poetry speaks straight to the heart". That made sense to me. The sounds of poetry I was hearing resonated in a way that my heart recognized even if my mind couldn't make sense of it.

I also came to realize that poetry comes to life when spoken aloud, the way a play comes to life when acted.

As far as blind acceptance killing poetry, I believe what you and Todd had to say are spot on.

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#4
peter;
one of things often asked of a poet is "what does it sound like when spoken"?
often we get an idea of the flow, more so when someone else speaks it, the reason being; we know how it should be spoken regardless of enjambment, someone else may not. jack started a speak your poem forum up, take a go at reading one of your poems there.

todd;
on the we don't know what we write stuff, i agree, often i've written a poem and someones feedback says i like how you mean't to say that by saying something else. the truth is i didn'y knowingly mean to say anything except what i'd written, i'm ashamed to say i usually say thanks for noticing Blush

i think people in general, including wannabe poets (of which i'm one) of assume they know what good poetry is because they've read a sonnet or two, or because they've written a few poems. the truth is they/we don't we learn and read and improve everyday. we only know what we know. an example of how we improve;
put a poem in the drawer, (a finished poem) and in 6 months go back to it. can it know be improved on? of course if you're a gobshite-i'm the greatest poet alive kind of poetaster then no, but if you're the i wanna be a better poet kind of person you'll almost immediate spot at least a couple of things to edit. the reason for that is the fact you've gained knowledge and experience concerning the craft of poetry.

i would also add that one of the best ways to gain some knowledge of the craft is to try and leave solid feedback. not crique as such but what you liked and why. and all the other stuff that can include but isn't just a back pat or a cock wash.
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#5
Ah, the stuff literary analysis is made of Smile

I definitely agree that poetry takes on a life and meaning of its own, as with most anything. Even in terms of of identity, who we are to other people often has little do do with our internal lives and quirks, yet it is just as much a part of "who we are" as anything else. I like personal poetry, of course, and it is indeed interesting to find out what specific thoughts or experiences led a writer to say this or that, but anyway those things are just a vehicle for poets to be able to express more universal truths. What use is a poem if other people can't read it and say "yes, I totally get that" even without knowing anything of the author? You shouldn't have to be completely in the author's head and his life to appreciate it... that's why it's a craft. That's the power of words, that they are bigger than the limits we often put on our cordoned off selves.
PS. If you can, try your hand at giving some of the others a bit of feedback. If you already have, thanks, can you do some more?
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#6
i agree, although there's bound to be exceptions, that the best poetry speaks of universal truths.
the thing is for it to have clout, bang, power etc, it has to do so in an original way and therein lay the booga.
because most of us are built the same, have similar experiences, we all tend to express them in a similar language with the same word structures, the art of using the new simile and metaphor is one of the most basics in poetry for me, with them originality comes alive. of course the metaphor can be so far out there as be hallucinogenicially written hehe, but for me those two thing along with enjambment are so needed for good poetry in general.
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#7
(06-03-2011, 11:47 AM)billy Wrote:  i agree, although there's bound to be exceptions, that the best poetry speaks of universal truths.
Sorry, but... the best poetry takes a personal truth and makes everyone think it's universal, because great poets are better than gods. The big themes are easy to write about. Find poetry in cracks and shadows, in the dirt, the garbage, a hooker's filthy arse -- make it beautiful, beloved and quoted for centuries, then you'll be a poet.

Or write about hotdogs. That works for some.
It could be worse
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#8
(06-04-2011, 05:58 AM)Leanne Wrote:  
(06-03-2011, 11:47 AM)billy Wrote:  i agree, although there's bound to be exceptions, that the best poetry speaks of universal truths.
Sorry, but... the best poetry takes a personal truth and makes everyone think it's universal, because great poets are better than gods. The big themes are easy to write about. Find poetry in cracks and shadows, in the dirt, the garbage, a hooker's filthy arse -- make it beautiful, beloved and quoted for centuries, then you'll be a poet.

Or write about hotdogs. That works for some.
yeah but (i mean this seriously) aren't hot dogs real universal truths. ?
not the meat or the skin of the dog, but how we enjoy the eating of food, the taste of salt and sugar filled shit. aren't those cracks and shadows where the real universal truths hide? as for the big themes. should they encompass lots of little themes.

i suppose i asking or saying that for me the universal truth is personal, and personal truth is also universal, how else can we identify with a personal truth if we can't or don't understand it. doesn't love cover more than sex and personal relationships, same with hate and depression,

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#9
(This was split from a thread on Deep Underground Poetry some months ago)
It could be worse
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#10
I have read this a few times, but sadly, never get past the hooker's filthy arse. Surely not good for business? And how do you know? Is it a bit anti-woman? I should not patronise a woman in that condition.

I must regretfully conclude, that I have no Universal Truths to communicate, and, in fact, I am not sure what one would look like, if I detected it swimming in my soup. If the idea is, that once uttered, all people would nod sagely in agreement, well, they don't agree about much, do they? Suppose we say: Torturing and killing women is bad. We can surely agree on that? But some arse will soon be enlisting his wife, sons and brothers in just such --an 'honour killing' to save the family's 'honour'. So that is out. And if that is not universal, I don't know wtf is.Wink
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#11
Sometimes I think that people just like being obtuse in order to have an excuse to rattle on. I think this of course because I expect people to be as mean and evil as I am, although I will concede that is most often not the case, and they are simply innocent: pearly white, as Mac the Knife's Teeth, and in no way are they being obstinate out of meanness, as it would be in my case, but are simply naive when they lump several different topics together and pretend they are all the same. This way one can take a perfectly valid answer to one specific question, and make a great show of how it is not valid over here, even though that answer was never intended for "over here". I say all of this so you will know it is in no way strange that I should respond by saying,
"Oh, well I use to have a cat too, but he was the picture of health and never had any medical problems, which is of course generally the case if you are a responsible pet owner." That is to say, what is or is not moral behavior has not the slightest thing to do with universal truth. That is to say as there are no moral codes that cross all boundaries. Even the most common one, "Don't fuck with the dead" is in no way universal. Universal truth, and codes of behavior are not the same thing, and to draw the conclusion that because there are no universal codes of behavior there is no such thing as universal truth is a specious argument. The second point is the conclusion that an artist purposefully decides to include "universal truth" in his art, as if he in fact has such a choice, which obviously he does not. If universal truth is what makes art great, what artist that had the choice would choose not to include this mysterious universal truth in his art. As I know Ed, I know he is sincere in his arguments, I only use his arguments because they were the latest in this post, they are by no means a sole and isolated example. Being the mean and ill-tempered person that I am, I am given to these fits of irrational apoplexy and sometimes I just spew forth. Sorry about that. Please return to your discussion.

Dale
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
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#12
(01-05-2012, 06:48 AM)Erthona Wrote:  Sometimes I think that people just like being obtuse in order to have an excuse to rattle on. I think this of course because I expect people to be as mean and evil as I am, although I will concede that is most often not the case, and they are simply innocent: pearly white, as Mac the Knife's Teeth, and in no way are they being obstinate out of meanness, as it would be in my case, but are simply naive when they lump several different topics together and pretend they are all the same. This way one can take a perfectly valid answer to one specific question, and make a great show of how it is not valid over here, even though that answer was never intended for "over here". I say all of this so you will know it is in no way strange that I should respond by saying,
"Oh, well I use to have a cat too, but he was the picture of health and never had any medical problems, which is of course generally the case if you are a responsible pet owner." That is to say, what is or is not moral behavior has not the slightest thing to do with universal truth. That is to say as there are no moral codes that cross all boundaries. Even the most common one, "Don't fuck with the dead" is in no way universal. Universal truth, and codes of behavior are not the same thing, and to draw the conclusion that because there are no universal codes of behavior there is no such thing as universal truth is a specious argument. The second point is the conclusion that an artist purposefully decides to include "universal truth" in his art, as if he in fact has such a choice, which obviously he does not. If universal truth is what makes art great, what artist that had the choice would choose not to include this mysterious universal truth in his art. As I know Ed, I know he is sincere in his arguments, I only use his arguments because they were the latest in this post, they are by no means a sole and isolated example. Being the mean and ill-tempered person that I am, I am given to these fits of irrational apoplexy and sometimes I just spew forth. Sorry about that. Please return to your discussion.

Dale

Dale, I have moved on from the days when I should unhesitatingly described this as ineffable nonsense.

Divorce truths from people, and the perceptions and beliefs of people, and you are left, perhaps, with a proposition such as :2+2=4, which seems to leave little wiggle-room as 4 is defined by being 2+2. Let's hear it for Universal Truths! You guys must know thousands! e Undecided
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#13
I don't think it is divorced, it is just not applicable. The idea of universal truth in art has nothing more to do with human actions than does the awe that the Himalayas inspire. Would you link mankind's ability to be awed by grand sites to human morality and say, well since I can find no universal in terms of human behavior then it must also be true that humans can not experience awe of marvelous things. It is in human behavior, or human thinking that we find universality, it is in our ability to respond to things in the same way. If you wish to credit God with the wonders of nature, then art has nothing on God, because nothing has near the universal response that wonders in nature elicits. However, it is a similar ineffable response to art that we refer to as universal, where something beyond the powers of man to plan have been imbued into a piece of art. We assume, that unless somehow flawed, all humans possess this ability to respond in this way to certain things. The more that respond to it, the greater we say is it's universality. When we speak of universal truth, we speak of this common response to the art. We know it, we feel it, but what we experience is beyond words to describe, but we know it is beyond doubt genuine and true. In the "Declaration of Independence of the United States of America" the founders spoke of truths:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Why did they say "We hold these truths to be self-evident"? Why did they not offer a proof of them? It is because, even though we can apprehend them, we cannot dissect them. Reductionism will never find their essence. They are beyond fact and beyond proof. Truth is not related to fact. Are Shakespeare's plays historical fact, did those events actually happen as they are presented in the play. No, of course not. We acknowledge that the plays are a fiction, yet we find truth in Shakespeare. When we experience truth, we recognize it for what it is and have to nod our heads and say, "yes!"

"Divorce truths from people, and the perceptions and beliefs of people" Truth is divorced from people. We have the capacity to apprehend truth, but it is not within us, at least not in the us that generally is in charge of our bodies. Finding the truth within ourselves is called inspiration, but most do not claimed to have created that inspiration simply of themselves. From the Greeks on down, we have a long tradition of acknowledging that this comes from something other than ourselves. We coop the Greek term "Muse", for lack of a better term, and by doing so we are acknowledging that we and the muse are not the same. We are not the repository of these truths. The very words we use speak to a source other than ourselves. Inspiration comes from the Latin "inspīrātiō" which comes from the same root as the word enthuse: "en theós". Literally that the god comes into me. The truth is of course separate from us, it is by that separation that it can guide us to become more than we currently are, and just as we have slowly become more than we were. We are different than these very same Greeks. Only the psychopaths among us would be able to survive in their world, where it was an expectation that you should not only enjoy, but glory in hacking limb from limb of another human being. So although the truth may be separate from us, it's impact is not. You wanted a list of truths. I'll give you one. One truth that has changed us from what humans were as Greeks, to what we are today. It permeates our ideologies and moral codes in western society, and has informed our laws and punishments for violating those laws. We are evolving in relation to it at this very moment, as we witness country of country decided it is unjust to take the life from someone because they have killed. Unlike the Greeks, today we believe that life is sacred. We believe that it is a precious thing, to not be cast off in a frivolous manner. Not only do you not hear someone brag about washing himself in his enemy's blood, no one will even admit to enjoying killing animals. They will say something like, I like to hunt". If asked what is it about hunting they like. They will usually respond that they enjoy getting out in nature, blah, blah, blah. Even though they like killing things, they know that it has become unacceptable to say so.
So Ed, it is not that Truth is divorced from humans that causes the problem, it is that humans are divorced from truth. Manifesting that truth so that other humans may apprehend it has always been the sole province of the arts, because truth cannot be described, it can only be shown. The art that shows such truth the clearest we call great, and the degree to which a work of art does this, we call its universality. So it is not the truth that is being described as universal, it is the degree to which the art expresses that truth. Such truth is always available should we choose to access it and make us of it. The problem is not that the truth is divorced from our morality, out morality is the offspring of truth. The problem in our moral codes and in our behavior is not due to the truth being divorced from us, it is that we have divorced ourselves from it. The truth can only advise, it can not force. In fact, the more anger and hatred we hold in our hearts, the less able we are to apprehend beauty in the world. Think on this, if I am in a state of anger, fear, or jealousy, am I more or less likely to notice the beauty in nature? If I am less likely to notice beauty in the world, am I less likely to be inspired?

I would hope the answer self-evident.

Dale
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
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#14

  This discussion reminds me of a poem by Bukowski:
 
 
      I Met A Genius
    
    I met a genius on the train
    today
    about 6 years old,
    he sat beside me
    and as the train
    ran down along the coast
    we came to the ocean
    and then he looked at me
    and said,
    it's not pretty.
    
    it was the first time I'd
    realized
    that.


almost terse
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#15
(01-05-2012, 02:31 PM)rayheinrich Wrote:  
  This discussion reminds me of a poem by Bukowski:
 
 
      I Met A Genius
    
    I met a genius on the train
    today
    about 6 years old,
    he sat beside me
    and as the train
    ran down along the coast
    we came to the ocean
    and then he looked at me
    and said,
    it's not pretty.
    
    it was the first time I'd
    realized
    that.


Ha! There is definitely a tinge of that, in my original post. Smile
(01-05-2012, 11:36 AM)Erthona Wrote:  I don't think it is divorced, it is just not applicable. The idea of universal truth in art has nothing more to do with human actions than does the awe that the Himalayas inspire. Would you link mankind's ability to be awed by grand sites to human morality and say, well since I can find no universal in terms of human behavior then it must also be true that humans can not experience awe of marvelous things. It is in human behavior, or human thinking that we find universality, it is in our ability to respond to things in the same way. If you wish to credit God with the wonders of nature, then art has nothing on God, because nothing has near the universal response that wonders in nature elicits. However, it is a similar ineffable response to art that we refer to as universal, where something beyond the powers of man to plan have been imbued into a piece of art. We assume, that unless somehow flawed, all humans possess this ability to respond in this way to certain things. The more that respond to it, the greater we say is it's universality. When we speak of universal truth, we speak of this common response to the art. We know it, we feel it, but what we experience is beyond words to describe, but we know it is beyond doubt genuine and true. In the "Declaration of Independence of the United States of America" the founders spoke of truths:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Why did they say "We hold these truths to be self-evident"? Why did they not offer a proof of them? It is because, even though we can apprehend them, we cannot dissect them. Reductionism will never find their essence. They are beyond fact and beyond proof. Truth is not related to fact. Are Shakespeare's plays historical fact, did those events actually happen as they are presented in the play. No, of course not. We acknowledge that the plays are a fiction, yet we find truth in Shakespeare. When we experience truth, we recognize it for what it is and have to nod our heads and say, "yes!"

"Divorce truths from people, and the perceptions and beliefs of people" Truth is divorced from people. We have the capacity to apprehend truth, but it is not within us, at least not in the us that generally is in charge of our bodies. Finding the truth within ourselves is called inspiration, but most do not claimed to have created that inspiration simply of themselves. From the Greeks on down, we have a long tradition of acknowledging that this comes from something other than ourselves. We coop the Greek term "Muse", for lack of a better term, and by doing so we are acknowledging that we and the muse are not the same. We are not the repository of these truths. The very words we use speak to a source other than ourselves. Inspiration comes from the Latin "inspīrātiō" which comes from the same root as the word enthuse: "en theós". Literally that the god comes into me. The truth is of course separate from us, it is by that separation that it can guide us to become more than we currently are, and just as we have slowly become more than we were. We are different than these very same Greeks. Only the psychopaths among us would be able to survive in their world, where it was an expectation that you should not only enjoy, but glory in hacking limb from limb of another human being. So although the truth may be separate from us, it's impact is not. You wanted a list of truths. I'll give you one. One truth that has changed us from what humans were as Greeks, to what we are today. It permeates our ideologies and moral codes in western society, and has informed our laws and punishments for violating those laws. We are evolving in relation to it at this very moment, as we witness country of country decided it is unjust to take the life from someone because they have killed. Unlike the Greeks, today we believe that life is sacred. We believe that it is a precious thing, to not be cast off in a frivolous manner. Not only do you not hear someone brag about washing himself in his enemy's blood, no one will even admit to enjoying killing animals. They will say something like, I like to hunt". If asked what is it about hunting they like. They will usually respond that they enjoy getting out in nature, blah, blah, blah. Even though they like killing things, they know that it has become unacceptable to say so.
So Ed, it is not that Truth is divorced from humans that causes the problem, it is that humans are divorced from truth. Manifesting that truth so that other humans may apprehend it has always been the sole province of the arts, because truth cannot be described, it can only be shown. The art that shows such truth the clearest we call great, and the degree to which a work of art does this, we call its universality. So it is not the truth that is being described as universal, it is the degree to which the art expresses that truth. Such truth is always available should we choose to access it and make us of it. The problem is not that the truth is divorced from our morality, out morality is the offspring of truth. The problem in our moral codes and in our behavior is not due to the truth being divorced from us, it is that we have divorced ourselves from it. The truth can only advise, it can not force. In fact, the more anger and hatred we hold in our hearts, the less able we are to apprehend beauty in the world. Think on this, if I am in a state of anger, fear, or jealousy, am I more or less likely to notice the beauty in nature? If I am less likely to notice beauty in the world, am I less likely to be inspired?

I would hope the answer self-evident.

Dale

Dale, old top, at risk of being seen to be obtuse, just so that I can 'rattle on', a couple of things strike me.

First, it is axiomatic that if A is divorced from B, then B is divorced from A.

Secondly, 'inspire' in no wise has the same root as 'enthuse'. It comes from the Latin word for 'breathe' as in the tag : 'Dum spiro, spero'. (While I breathe, I hope'.) So 'expire' means 'breathe out', and 'inspire' means breathe in'.

As for the American Constitution, it seems wrong on all scores. Nothing of what it says is in the least self-evident, as worthy as it may be. Men are not in any way created equal. Some people, for example, are born with severe physical handicaps, and will never develop mentally beyond the age of an eighteen month old baby. Glossing over the ludicrous assertion that men were made by any sort of Creator, one must then recognise that the various rights are also non-existent; power grows from the barrel of a gun, and each moment of each day demonstrates that the right to life is trumped by someone else's right to bump some guy off; most of the world is not free, and in poverty and oppression, pursuing happiness is probably a dodgy business.

I do not think that anyone out shooting grouse would be the least ashamed of doing so. And life simply is not sacred. Men can be shot, by states, and the pro-life brigade, will tell you quickly enough how many children are murdered daily.

But I still don't quite comprehend my own initial question...... EWink
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#16

Well, it turns out finding universal truth isn't that hard;
all you have to do is google it:


Everything is a metaphor.
Universal Truths are not consecutively numbered.
The more lucid the language, the more devious the design.

If this statement was a universal truth, you'd have found it.
Finding the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything will be disappointing.
It is impossible to understand the behavior of cats.

The less you know about something, the easier it is to hate it.
Wherever you go, there you are.
Everything takes longer.

For every god in a detail, there's an equivalent devil.
Some days you see a lot of people on crutches.
There's no harder sell than truth; universal truth, doubly so.

What you don't know you don't know will always dwarf what you know.
What you don't know you know is a somewhat smaller dwarf.
Everything is directly related to the number 42.

You can never run away from your knees.
Now is always happening.
The rule that everything has an exception has been found to have an exception.

People who want to share their religious views don't want you to share yours.
There is nothing inherently good about a number that can be reached by counting.
God's dice are the universe.

If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would ever get done.
Art survives suffering.
It's always something.

Cows never say moo.
A cabbage is about the size of your head.


almost terse
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#17
(01-06-2012, 07:06 AM)rayheinrich Wrote:  
Well, it turns out finding universal truth isn't that hard;
all you have to do is google it:


Everything is a metaphor.
Universal Truths are not consecutively numbered.
The more lucid the language, the more devious the design.

If this statement was a universal truth, you'd have found it.
Finding the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything will be disappointing.
It is impossible to understand the behavior of cats.

The less you know about something, the easier it is to hate it.
Wherever you go, there you are.
Everything takes longer.

For every god in a detail, there's an equivalent devil.
Some days you see a lot of people on crutches.
There's no harder sell than truth; universal truth, doubly so.

What you don't know you don't know will always dwarf what you know.
What you don't know you know is a somewhat smaller dwarf.
Everything is directly related to the number 42.

You can never run away from your knees.
Now is always happening.
The rule that everything has an exception has been found to have an exception.

People who want to share their religious views don't want you to share yours.
There is nothing inherently good about a number that can be reached by counting.
God's dice are the universe.

If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would ever get done.
Art survives suffering.
It's always something.

Cows never say moo.
A cabbage is about the size of your head.


You missed one out:

To make an apple-pie, you must first create a universe.

PS I had a peek at your site to-day, in a moment of uber-ennui, and enjoyed a lot. You're a queer cove, tho' Wink
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#18
Well old bean,

First, it is axiomatic that if A is divorced from B, then B is divorced from A.

Secondly, 'inspire' in no wise has the same root as 'enthuse'. It comes from the Latin word for 'breathe' as in the tag : 'Dum spiro, spero'. (While I breathe, I hope'.) So 'expire' means 'breathe out', and 'inspire' means breathe in'.

Sorry, I wasn't clear on that, I was a bit rushed and didn't review what I had written. It was sloppy writing on my part. I meant the same root meaning, not the same root word.

That the word entheos (enthuse) in Greek is equivalent to the Latin inspīrāre, just as Zeus is equivalent to Jove, or Jupiter, although a direct tracing of the word Zeus shows it changes into the Latin word "deus" (god). And conversely as shown below "entheos" is translated as the word "inspired" which as you know comes from the Latin word "inspīrāre". That spirit and breath are equivalent ideas, since in the Greek myth Prometheus breath the breath of the god into man to make him animate, the idea that is embodied in both words means roughly the same thing, "to be filled with the breath of the god". All of that is understood when we say the word inspire, that is that "breath" is equal too "spirit", as it means the breath of the god, which is spirit, or that which animates. This same idea of Prometheus breathing the animating spirit into man, is exactly what is meant when the Greek or the Romans talk about the effect of the muses upon humans.

[C17: from Late Latin enthūsiasmus, from Greek enthousiasmos, from enthousiazein to be possessed by a god, from entheos inspired, from en- ² + theos god]

Latin inspīrāre to breathe upon or into, equivalent to in- in-2 + spīrāre to breathe
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"First, it is axiomatic that if A is divorced from B, then B is divorced from A."

True but you did not offer any kind of proof or corollary that A is firstly connected to B. You simply made the statement that there must be a connection between the two, yet never defined that.
I understand what you are getting at, but that is when men state things as truth and use such statement to support emotional detachment from the suffering of others. Such as the idea that everyone must work through their Karma to progress, so why should I intervene to prevent pain and suffering because that is what they need to progress. However when I am talking about truth, I am not talking about a truth that can be verbalized, I am talking about the kind of truth that creates a change in attitude and outlook. Something like the transformation of Scrooge in a "Christmas Carol". such things may lead to an adage, but the adage in no way can contain the truth, because it can not be conceptualized, at least not directly. It is kind of like the idea we have of God. If God does exists, then our conception, by definition, could at best be a vague shadow of what God actually is, since God would be beyond our ability to conceptualize. Art, is suppose to be the closets way to manifest truth in a form that man can comprehend. Poets, artists and such are the tools the gods use to communicate with man, that communication is what I refer to as truth.

Dale
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
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#19
Dale, old sport,

You said that it was not that Truth was divorced from humans, but humansa were divorced from Truth. I do not think that statement is logical, but nor do I think we shall agree.

e
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#20
Ed, Moped,

(01-06-2012, 10:50 AM)abu nuwas Wrote:  Dale, old sport,

You said that it was not that Truth was divorced from humans, but humansa were divorced from Truth. I do not think that statement is logical, but nor do I think we shall agree.

e

It's a matter of perspective I suppose. Humans find themselves in a mess. I think that mess is of our own making. It is also probably true it is endemic in our nature to make such a mess, however, we seem to also have the ability to rise above that nature when we choose, and if we find ourselves sufficiently motivated, usually by large amounts of pain. However, it appears to me that most of us are dedicated to maintaining the status quo, despite our protestations.

Dale
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
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