Where you been Ole Girl?…

On Becoming…

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Funny you should ask, I’ve been rolling through theory for ten weeks. I am evolving, twisting turning. Shedding old skins that no longer fit my season. Its weird, to say the least…but we like weird. And the further I crawl in evolution research – the more I begin to see that we are all a little weird in our own right {not just the “us-es” that live in me, all those “you-s” too}. And that’s not even opening the can of “species” in which one is indeed many different things. Most recently, I’ve considered transcending dualism…you know, asking “What is next?” Are we really two? Or a form of one with multiple expressive components. A large, flexing plurality micro-sectioned into millions of individuals. Creepy, I know<>. If there were a choice, to be be all body or all mind, which one would you select? Here, I see the need for unification. What would be the point if action held no meaning, or if thought could not experience? The two go hand in hand. We must have both.

Anyway… The rest of my Grad School update – I’ve constructed a reviewable rough draft! The original, rougher-rough draft, is a sprawling beast. However, when I began the cuts I could not bring myself to really “throw the draft out.” I saved it, and – as recommended by my peer – will possibly look into book form once my degree is attained. Really, this is a bonus – now there will be a paper and a book possibility for the future. That is not to say that I am not nervous as all get out that the paper will bomb from the heavy cuts. O Fortune! smile upon this wayward researcher. Motivation is for the degree, but also… I’ve grown to love my topic, and I see much truth in the words – I hope that publication is possible because I want others to read my discoveries. I think it will help with real-deal life. I know that the research and writing helped me with my daily issues. This thesis led me out of the valley of despair. I want to lead others out, that valley is not good for the genes – much pickling and souring goes on there.

What else…?

My music journalism internship was officially complete 27 May 2016. A hectic day – my SweetJane graduated High School and James Bobin’s Alice Through the Looking Glass released. Exhaustion seized me, and I went to sleep around ten p.m. What a day!

I use the term “officially” because I still have one music assignment waiting to complete. An amazing interview with Bev Zizzy will be published 17 June 2016 – in conjunction with her new album release. I say “amazing” because I am the one that interviewed her – she is hands down the most interesting woman I have met in my physical life.

Followers of this blog will note that I am not a “believer,” but I am a “seeker.” Unfortunately, my MO in the past has been “seeking” to shatter “belief” with “truth.” Ultimately, a lesson I learned nearly a decade ago resurfaces:  truth is subjective. I know this, yet seemed trapped in that terrible Pursuit of Truth. I broke free, and switched it up for the Pursuit of Optimism – but positive living is dependent on will power and forcing the good. Needless to say, it takes work and effort.

I went through a stage where I thought “signs” were pointless, or rather, imaginary. A trick of the mind, leading to delusion. Now, after the internship, after speaking with living, breathing artists…

After the strange Tibetian Monk approached me in New Orleans with a message… After I randomly met the YouTube TruthTalker I once followed online and danced with him in the street… After I philosophized with a new friend of Middle-Eastern culture… After much contemplation of “the egg”… After Bev Zizzy released “Stay Soft”…  I am not certain.

Embedding issues :-< apologies… Watch for the interview on 17 June 2016. MTF

“Stay Soft” by Bev Zizzy. Click HERE for preview and purchase on iTunes.

I am curious again, maybe not fully “curiouser” yet, but I see my own purpling underway. I’ve come to the point where I am seeing more and more signs, but I am trying to ignore them. Trying to cling to science, reason, and the physical world. One thing – I am reminded that I am an Artist. Whether I am a “good” one or not is to be determined, but I am one. Not a musician or songwriter, not a painter or sculptor…but an Artist all the same. I am an Artist because I look at reality and see more than other people do. Sometimes, I see more absence where there should be presence, but that is still more than meets the eye. Mundane life is not enough, there is more if we make there be more – juice it up like a turkey.

I am an Artist, and life can get thick.

My canvas is the mind, my brush dripping in consciousness. I wrap words and break down complex situations. We Artists see the beauty most vivid, and we relate that to others. We Artists see the horror in thirty-three tints of terrible, and we relate that to others. We see

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the “good” and the “bad.” We share awareness for altruistic encouragement. Artists revive other Artists, reminding them of the meaning hidden behind it all.  Artists bravely look in reality’s face and demand more. Recognizing this makes me monitor what I share, say and side with – I am an Artist, and others will follow. Careful then, as to where we lead them.

Artists are a light, guiding species through evolution… We may not know the answers, but we are brave enough to explore possibility. #RageOn fellow Artists. There is much to be revealed.

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Essay: Synopsis of Descartes: On A Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking Truth in the Sciences

Synopsis of Descartes:

On A Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason

and Seeking Truth in the Sciences

by A.D. Shaffer

{Graduate Studies; originally written for Humanities 530 Spring 2015}

Rene Descartes developed his personal philosophy through his own experiences inside of nature while addressing outside influences in which the self is formed. Cartesian dualism involves the separation of mind from body, or the spiritual experiences from the physical. Throughout the creation of his philosophy, Descartes notes that he is leery to publish his findings because his truths may not be the same as the truths of others. The truth, he moves, is subject to experience and cannot be learned from another individual insomuch that a person will better educate themselves by experiencing life.

Beginning in the academic sciences, Descartes holds that mathematics alone can be recognized as purely true as two plus two will always be four: “Beyond all, I was most pleas’d with the Mathematicks, for the certainty and evidence of the reasons thereof; but I did not yet observe their true use and thinking that it served only for Mechanick Arts…” (17). For his profession he choses the writing of letters so as to better experience the wonders of the world.

The importance of experience over lessons cannot be stressed enough as Descartes leads by example for the rest of humanity. He takes to travel to glean his own experiences: “I wholly gave over the study of Letters, and resolving to seek no other knowledge but what I could finde in my self, or in the great book of the world, I imployed the rest of my youth in Travell, to see Courts and Armies, to frequent people of severall humors and conditions, to gain experience, to hazard my self in those encounters of fortune …” (20). Through living life and writing of his objective opinion, Descartes advises to stick to the roads to avoid the dangers of the uncivilized woods in which he means for the individual to take advantage of known truths found in custom.

In architecture, Descartes preferred one builder to many because too many designers on one object would result in a catastrophic structure. He also favored fewer laws as the less laws there were in play, then more attention could be applied with strict observance. In his quest for truth, Descartes developed four laws of his philosophy: to accept nothing as true unless he was sure it was a known truth, to divide any difficulties into subsequent groups, to orderly lead his thoughts, and to critique his findings with specific calculation (35-36). False reason is seen as contemptible to Descartes as his religious beliefs ensured that God does not let falsity be present in the mind.

Cartesian dualism notes the separation from the physical of the mind, or two levels of existence: that of the material self and the thinking self or soul. Descartes said, “I knew then that I was a substance, whose whole essence or nature is, but to think, and who to be, hath need of no place, nor depends on any material thing. So that this Me, to wit, my Soul, by which I am what I am, is wholly distinct from the Body, and more easie to be known then it…” (59). The human act of contemplation allowed for Descartes to recognize the separation of materialism and spiritualism.

Works Cited

Descartes, Rene. A Discourse of a Method for the Well Guiding of Reason and the Discovery of

Truth in the Sciences. London: Thomas Newcombe, 1637. Project Gutenberg Ebook.

Picture c/o:  https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/73/Frans_Hals_-_Portret_van_Ren%C3%A9_Descartes.jpg