context and content
The answers we get are determined by the questions that we ask. In a world now humming with information, both these are expected to be brief, and simple. Science is reasonable, yet while it provides straightforward answers to simple questions those concerning wellbeing are chaotic. It can do little more for these than provide information.
This was my introduction. Lost, buried under sympathy and dogma, I searched through silos of knowledge to get back to elementary facts. Although I found that these were familiar, when I assembled them the result surprised me - like old children's stories once did.
This is a story of semiosis, conversation, society, and health. Its four chapters coextend, like the layers of a map, but while its contents seem reliable its form has had to rest upon my abilities, and it remains a work in progress. My hope is that you can find your way through it - even though that seems unlikely:
meaning and spells
The ideas we form and choices we make are misdirected when different frames of meaning are unconsciously mixed - there may be an epidemic in our minds, and one too in our souls, but even if so these are not the same. When feeling certain we know what things mean we are at our most vulnerable to deceptions and misunderstanding.
Ψ on being heard
life and language
Life was born when an environment was perceived as a pattern of signs - in the beginning was the word, just not a word that we recognize. Every being perceives others in its environment through the signs they make, and as consequence of this awareness, which is intrinsic to life, language and society have emerged and developed.
Δ making sense
health and fluency
Communication is central. From the beginning, as beings have multiplied and developed, their survival has depended upon them successfully interacting with their environment. Finding advantages of protection and empowerment in social integration they evolved, their mental as well as physical well-being coextensive with their fluency.
θ gathering conversations
society and reproduction
As societies grow and develop their individuals become more dependent upon them and their roles increasingly specialize. Cohesion is achieved by means of a culture, a shared narrative that replicate in the thoughts and behaviours of individuals. By forming new colonies virtually, these cultures grow, competing with others as individuals do.
Mathematics is able to deal successfully only with the simplest of situations, more precisely, with a complex situation only to the extent that rare good fortune makes this complex situation hinge upon a few dominant simple factors. Beyond the well-traversed path, mathematics loses its bearings in a jungle of unnamed special functions and impenetrable combinatorial particularities. Thus, the mathematical technique can only reach far if it starts from a point close to the simple essentials of a problem which has simple essentials. That form of wisdom which is the opposite of single-mindedness, the ability to keep many threads in hand, to draw for an argument from many disparate sources, is quite foreign to mathematics.
It may seem natural to think that, to understand a complex system, one must construct a model incorporating everything that one knows about the system. However sensible this procedure may seem, in biology it has repeatedly turned out to be a sterile exercise. There are two snags with it. The first is that one finishes up with a model so complicated that one cannot understand it - the point of a model is to simplify, not to confuse. The second is that if one constructs a sufficiently complex model one can make it do anything one likes by fiddling with the parameters - a model that can predict anything predicts nothing.
From the poem: 'Little Gidding', written by T.S Eliot during the air-raids on Great Britain in World War II.
As illness and the war disrupted his ability to write, Eliot began work on 'Little Gidding' in February 1941. Dissatisfied with each draft, he believed that the problem was with himself and not with the poem. He finished it in September 1942. As the last in a series of four poems, that he wrote between 1936 and then, it was published in 1943 as: 'Four Quartets'.