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Tangible Forms of Forgetting?
Crackpot Mailbox: A Dialogue with Polymachus on Conceptual Drift
Mr. LaFond,
I annoyed someone today by reaching out to him too often. Try to let me know in advance if I do that here?
If the layer cake is a decent idea and applies to historical cycles, than it means that different values must cycle at different rates, otherwise history would be a binary pendulum and I'm not sure that's the case. Strauss and Howe seems like 90% bullshit to me but I think the length of a human life space is important: the time it takes for living memory (particularly of worldview shaping events) to die.
So that points to 80-85 year cycles. I've observed 250 year cycles of empire (rather irregular) and 600-700 religious cycles (oddly consistent) but don't know what they tie to. Another form of forgetting? Perhaps languages take about 600-700 years to become incomprehensible to later speakers, and therefore religious symbolism undergoes revival / revolution every 700 years or so. Can you make anything of that? We see it, roughly, in Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Vedic / Buddhism / Hinduism.
I'm also wondering if many traditions aren't actually that old. 200 years seems to be the threshold that people will assume that something goes back forever. There's a lot of traditions (thinking largely occult and quasi Buddhist stuff here) where the way the deep tradition works in practice is that every 200 years it's completely forgotten and someone has to reinvent it from scratch and graft it on to the historiography of the deeper tradition. I wonder is some of the Catholic pronouncements work that way too.
Anyway, other than language decay and the length of a human life, can you think of other tangible forms of forgetting?
Pol
James
In knucklehead wise we have the current resurrection of bare knuckle boxing in which slow evolution from MMA glove to bare knuckle is driving form, which was a slow evolution from gloved boxing. Despite available historic research by myself and others, fighters are not accessing the methods of the actual bare knuckle era which ended in 1892, ended with a flourish of how to manuals published up through the first two decades of the 20th century in an effort not to loose the knowledge. However, fight training is not literary and is purely manual and has a memory only as old as the surviving coach, so evolution and deductive resurrection of methods features as the driving force.
In boxing cycles, three teaching lives might span a century as they did with Frank Gilbert, his father who fought around 1903 and Frank's successor Alexander Herb who fought in 2003, at one little gym in Baltimore County. Martial combat forms tend to be recharged by exceptional coaches looking into the present, past and future at the same time. Despite literacy, knowledge remains buried largely according to our most pervasive foundational lie—lineal hubris, the idea that all that was known is known and has been improved upon and that peak forms [such as the U.S. in 1676, 1776, 1865 and 1965] obviate the need in their shining perfection for investigation into their origins.
We live in an end time of absurd Platonic form with academia spending its efforts on validating or invalidating these iconic forms according to falsified data-mining and false-polarity debate as two lies alternately compete for the throne of truth, which is itself a lie as the truth is the process of a quest rather than of an occupation.
One means by which we forget is this ossification, this utopian arrogance that we know all and that the present is by virtue of its lineal place further up the staircase to godhood, if not yet all-knowing, than better knowing than all before.
Another means of forgetting is the corruption of the Logos, the twisting of the very words that compel our understanding, with servant no longer meaning slave, bound now meaning freely travelling, and plantation no longer meaning the place where people are planted and reaped but where cotton is planted and harvested.
Ideological indoctrination to enforce misunderstanding, bring down stone monuments to erase memory cues, to declare watershed events such as major wars which form a new beginning in the collective mind, you have referenced.
As to your postulated 200 year memory span for the collective there is a biological corollary pointed out by Barbara Tuchman in her A Distant Mirror, in which she reveals that only royal houses in medieval Europe might survive beyond 200 years, that to follow a typical family of leadership status was to fumble upon extinction within 200 years.
The greatest form of forgetting is form, for the collective to agree upon a social form in the sedentary way and therefore abandon the journey of the people. A tribal experience is traditionally a story of migration recalled in myth and verse orally and imparting an ongoing understanding of the people's place in the world. This was the nature of Aryan society, a history of war bands journeying across the face of the earth, bands who remembered collectively and orally.
For such a people, to settle in one place and begin digging, to give up the hunt for eating grain like cattle, is to forget. And woe to the war band who conquers such a weed-eating hovel of wretched mud folk and becomes seduced by their craven ways. This is the foundation of an amnesiac form, a foundation of forget. Then there are the sorcerers, the scribes, priests and merchants who erase the memory of the tribal past with their constant fixation on forms and the hoisting of all of these sails of forgetfulness on the mast of their civic beginning—civilization the fluttering pennons heralding the loss of our identity.
Aryan poets were the descendants of the shaman, their advice spurned for the greedy knowhow of the priests, remaining as an entertainer who worked his wiles in witty defiance of the fate of his folk. Thus comes down to us our secret memory in code, in story, reminding us that we were once better, that what we have become is a betrayal, establishing the unique code of the Aryan hero, that he fights the System of false laws as more than a champion of his ruler, but as the champion of his tribe echoing within the maw of civilization:
-Gilgamesh and Enkidu against the gods
-Achilles against kings and gods
-Odysseus as a king against gods and men
-Samson the Dan, hated by his adopted nation who yearned for the slaver's yoke even as he fought his blood kin Philistines on behalf of them
-Jason, hated by the king and seeking a sign from the Fist-lord of his nomadic antiquity
-Herakles, hated by the mother of the gods and envied by kings
-Aeneas, hated by the mother of the gods as he wandered the earth
-Roland, defending his fool, traitor king to the death
-Beowulf, defending a weakling king and his traitor son
In each of these ancient epics shine the nomad pre-history of our peoples, before that word "inquiry" was ossified to mean "seek not before the establishment of these ordained facts." That fact that the very term for inquiry has been morphed into a euphemism for "what happened" to some other chronological race as we inhabit our lonely step at the upper end of lineal time, has made history itself a dark curtain drawn across the window into our collective soul.
For this reason the academics and priests, guardians of the vile lie Civilization, have devoted the written word to laws and religions and ideologies and perversions rather than deeds since the Church and the Magna Carta severed the idea of a journeying people for a flock of sheeple. However, poets persisted, with Malory and others attempting to resurrect the ideal of heroism, with such early modern epics as Rob Roy [author] and El Cid [author] seeming attempts to excavate our human nature from among the rubble of its tomb. Finally, such geniuses as Howard and Tolkien preserved the idea anew of the hero against the system and for the people in the person of a hero-king in the teeth of the very age of false kings such as appointed presidents and populist demagogues in which they lived.
Pol, our blood matches up ever more keenly with our language, one our river, the other its song, in the face of the false trash heap version of archeological history, making this dialogue part of my own small effort to qualify the eternal fluidity, rather than the stillborn form, of our collective soul.
Than you for cuing my memory.
Of Lions and Men
Gods of Boxing
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Add Comment
PolymarchusJuly 17, 2019 12:33 PM UTC

In other words...

What makes us forget the most

is memory.

James LaFond, boxer, knucklehead, Daoist
PolymarchusJuly 15, 2019 7:35 PM UTC

Thank you.
responds:July 17, 2019 3:11 PM UTC

Thank you for the cue.

Could not have written it without you.