New Civilization News: NCN: The Practical and the Poetic    
 NCN: The Practical and the Poetic8 comments
picture14 Jul 2002 @ 22:59, by Quidnovi

"Being set on the idea
Of getting to Atlantis,
You have discovered of course
Only the Ship of Fools is
Making the voyage this year…"
---W.H. Auden

The variety of inventive ideas---and ideologies---that people can come up with never ceases to amaze me...

Statics, Thetans,
Global Geomancy,
Energy Shifts,
Harmonic Convergence...

"The desert is a lot brighter than they portray… Some say the glare can even penetrate your skull and affect the pineal gland---that deeply buried "third eye" old-time mystics used to call a direct link to the soul. Searing light is said to reveal hidden truths. Or else make you delirious enough to find cosmic meaning in stark simplicity. No wonder deserts are the traditional abode of wild-eyed ascetics, seeking the face of God."
---David Brin, KILN people

Hidden truths or delirium? Does it truly matter? Not really.

"Words are secrets known to all. However true, nothing is really told. Freud suggested that the unconscious enters into each mental act. Dreams the rags of God, strewn to our most wakeful activities."
---A.A. Attanasio, The Answerer of Dreams

"Truth is a point of view about things."
---Marcel Proust

But, you've got to ask yourself,

"…what exactly it is that holds [NCN] together---i.e. what is the one thing that people in NCN have in common, and what is the one thing they have in common with the people who make up many other communities, networks, websites, organizations, etc.?"
---Flemming Funch, Common Denominator (May 6, 2002)

"They came because they were afraid or unafraid, happy or unhappy. There was a reason for each man. They were coming to find something or get something, or to dig up something or bury something. They were coming with small dreams or big dreams or none at all… There was comfort in number."
---Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicle

Overwhelmingly, it seems, and somewhat disconcertingly to some members of NCN, and at times even possibly to its founder, the New Civilization Network appears to have taken a life of its own and become home to the "music makers" and the "dreamers of dreams" that Arthur William Edgar's evoked in "O'Shaughnessy":

"…wandering by lone sea breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams"

But are they "the movers and shakers of the world"?

Or are they only one half of the coin? And if so where is the other half?

This remind me of an intriguing traditional English nursery rhyme:

"The Lion and the Unicorn
were fighting for the crown;
The lion chased the unicorn
all round the town.
Some gave them white bread,
some gave them brown,
Some gave them plum cake
and drummed them out of town."

Charmingly, the rhyme is featured in "Through the Looking Glass" by Lewis Carroll (‘Well, if you’ll believe in me, I’ll believe in you’.)

No doubt, the rhyme had to do with the Lion of England and the Unicorn of Scotland which can be found supporting the shield of the arms of the United Kingdom. But I much prefer the turn James Huneker gave it in "Unicorns":

"[The Unicorn] has always fought with the Lion for the crown, and he is always defeated, but invariably claims the victory. The crown is Art, and the Lion, being a realist born, is only attracted by its glitter, not the symbol. The Unicorn, an idealist, divines the inner meaning of this precious fillet of gold. Art is the modern philosopher's stone, and the most brilliant jewel in this much-contested crown. Eternal is the conflict of the Real and the Ideal; Aristotle and Plato; Alice and the Unicorn; the practical and the poetic; butterflies and geese; and rare roast-beef versus the impossible blue rose. And neither the Lion nor the Unicorn has yet fought the battle decisive. Perhaps the day may come when, weariness invading their very bones, they may realize that they are as different sides of the same coveted shield; matter and spirit, the multitude and the individual (…) The dusk of the future is washed with the silver of hope. The Lion and the Unicorn in single yoke. Strength and Beauty should represent the fusion of the Ideal and the Real. There should be no anarchy, no socialism, no Brotherhood or Sisterhood of mankind, just the millennium of sense and sentiment. What title shall we give that far-away time, that longed-for Utopia? With Alice and the Faun we forget names, so let us follow her method when in doubt, and exclaim: "Here then! Here then!" Morose and disillusioned souls may cry aloud: "Ah! To see behind us no longer, on the Lake of Eternity, the implacable Wake of Time!" nevertheless, we must believe in the reality of our Unicorn. He is Pan. He is Puck. He is Shelley. He is Ariel. He is Whim. He is Irony. And he can boast with Emerson:
'I am owner of the sphere,
Of the seven stars and the solar year,
Of Caesar's hand and Plato's brain,
Of Lord Christ's heart and Shakespeare's strain.'"


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17 Jul 2002 @ 13:26 by jazzolog : Setting Sail
Looks like either folks don't dare cast the first pebble into the pool or else they can't fathom what the ol' puzzle-maker is saying here. Either way, somebody has to break the ice---and it ain't gonna be me! Any more tea at this table, Francis?  

17 Jul 2002 @ 14:34 by scottj : I will just say this is one of the most
thought provoking logs i have read in a long time - since all answers ultimately depend on the questioner most good ones do no more than suggest what the right questions may be and hint in the general direction of some probabilities. Knowledge of things may be impossible and we need always to look at the interaction and duality to understand anything.  

17 Jul 2002 @ 15:35 by quidnovi : "One hand clapping..." :-}
:-) Richard, I should have known, you'd be the one to break the ice!
"If there's no meaning in it, that saves a world of trouble, you know, as we needn't try to find any."---Alice in Wonderland ;-}

And the Cheshire cat would certainly have been one to agree with you, Scott:

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat
"I don't much care where--" said Alice
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat
"--So long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you're set to do that," said the Cat.

Thank you both for the feedback.  

17 Jul 2002 @ 23:18 by yashmir @ : Now THIS is what I call superb.
Occasionally, every few weeks or so, I stop by to read the logs. Good to see my gregarious and enthusiastic friend Richard still breaking the ice everywhere. I think he's one of the greatest assets to NCN, makes it altogether a more friendly and human place. :-) But this log, oh YES. NOW we are talking. Or rather, viewing, shifting stuck paradigms, was so brilliant, that it prompted me to actually post a comment (and it's rather nice that I have the facility, even though I am no longer a member of NCN). Thank you for one of the most refreshing, base-line, poetic, artistic, philosophical, consiousness-tweaking entries I have ever read here! :-) Kind regards, Yashmir.  

18 Jul 2002 @ 04:50 by istvan : Sounds of footprints on a tin roof...
I have read this post a few days ago and been touched by the depth of inquiry depicted within the quotes and words. Naturally immediately I was moved to make a comment. Since than I have thought of numerous comments, but not posted any, because they did not match, nor been able to surpass the wisdom presented therein and so, none could satisfy or fulfil my own sense of self importance.
This morning I have read it again and , the what to say and what not to say dilemma still present I gave up on a comment.
At this time a large bird landed on the thin roof if my trailer and the sound of pattering footprints woke my dog , her growling gave me the answer of what we are doing at NCN.
No words, just a presence , but within it contained all the questions and answers and echoed the words of Sengstan from the 14th century: “Emptiness here, emptiness there, but the infinite universe stands always before your eyes.”
The bird flew away, the dog stopped barking, the vision vanished.
Thank you for wading deeper into the troubled waters of the human mind.  

18 Jul 2002 @ 06:56 by jazzolog : A Life Of Its Own

Yashmir is the bird

Zendancer growling

Maybe there are infinite universes...  

20 Jul 2002 @ 10:44 by chaiyah : Some are not afraid of thoughts.
...How many times, walking down the street, was I bombarded with an argument that heard minutes before, on the radio?
...How many times, do the lyrics to a familiar but-not-recent melody awaken my consciousness, to the issue being portrayed? And it's MINE!
...How many times, do the people who presume to tell me how to live right, speak at me, and I just know they are full of horsefeathers?
...Toughts come and thoughts go.
...The ones we take up and look at and turn over and mull on, are the ones that become milestones, or capstones, or cornerstones.
...The rest is just trash, even if it is what our mother or mate says.
...What is special about NCN is, nobody here is afraid to do this.
...We're all combing through words, and feeling senses and wondering how they FIT. Nobody's sense of FIT is any less-worse or more-better than anybody else's.
...It's all just a big experiment in taking, giving and validating tests.
...And the people here have fun at it. Thanks, Guys.  

20 Jul 2002 @ 14:29 by quidnovi : And some are not afraid of questions
"Some are not afraid of thoughts" and neither should they be! Nor should anyone be afraid of the questions we encounter along the road either, as we go on exploring our universe (mutiverse, Richard?) Quest-ioning has always been an all-consuming process which goes on inwardly as well as outwardly. It has a long tradition and I have found it to be a quality that burns strong into the heart and mind of many younger NCN members, such as Invictus and ButterflyKiddo.
And, Chaiyah, "the rest" is NOT "trash" (but you knew that, of course.) One person's trash is another's treasure, or "milestones, or capstones, or cornerstones" (So does my brother-in-law tell me. He has the astounding ability of conjuring up the most amazing things from garage sales and unheard of places that I can't even begin, or care, to imagine---A true magician, in all the senses of the term.) But, I think Kay put it best in one of her posts (the one adapted from Theodore Roszak):

"So I make this promise to you, my friend:
I will impose no identities upon you,
But will invite you to become yourself without shame or fear.
I will hold open a space for you in the World,
And defend your right to fill it with authentic life.
For as long as your search takes, you will have my loyalty."

Authenticity is ALL and so is intensity! And Chaiyah is right, of course, FUN is the key. And so is the ability of not taking life---or oneself---too seriously. Laughing at oneself is a most invigorating exercise and the fire screen of our sanity. The Jesters of old, those professional quest-ioners, knew it. I am not a Jester, myself (I wish I were) but, fortunately, the tradition is not lost. So grab on the Mad Hatters hat (it’s the best seat in the house) and do take a side trip to:  

Other entries in
1 Jul 2010 @ 22:02: The Utter Uselessness of Sports and the Purpose of Life
26 Jun 2010 @ 20:45: A game has 90 minutes, ehh, or 120, plus overtime...
6 Jan 2009 @ 06:58: GAMES POSTULATES
11 Dec 2008 @ 06:48: Divinity Rising: My (bra) cup runneth over...
11 Dec 2008 @ 01:14: Strong with the force, that one is...
7 Dec 2008 @ 16:23: An Open Letter to Enlil and Enki ("Sermon of the Holy Rock")
16 Jan 2008 @ 11:00: What Are You Like?
22 Nov 2007 @ 19:01: The purpose of the white rabbit...
30 Jul 2007 @ 14:52: The REAL purpose for the creation of pets
25 Apr 2007 @ 18:05: Git ve gör! Çok geç olmadan

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