Associative thinking
12-20-07

Yesterday I tried to write in Brahm's office but there were too many distractions. Mostly Brahm himself. What I like about the Alliance Française is exactly that the place offers very few distractions. Actually there is only one, and she happens to be the local Feldwebelin with whom I tend to get into a shouting match every once in a while. But she comes in late and right now the coast is still clear. Thank the Good Lady.

As I said, yesterday, in Brahm's office,  I tried to write something regarding that huggable Huckabee's slightly snide question about Mormons. The media lapped it up, than slapped him down. How dare anyone question someone else's faith, no matter how absurd from the point of view of a non-believer. Yeah.

Like if a voodoo worshipper were to run for the Republican nomination--don't you dare ask her about what she thinks chicken blood or the image of the virgin Mary might have to do with the bad smell and that zombie like behavior of her son in law. One simply does not inquire about a political candidates personal beliefs and practices. Period.  Right? (Toch? That's what they seem to say in Dutch these days when English speakers say 'Right?' Toch?)

Likewise, someone from outside the Christian camp should definitely not raise questions about the absurdities of the Christian faith, toch?--absurdities the Christian theologians have gloried in themselves when they said things like: credo quia absurdum, I believe (exactly) because it is absurd.  For those of you who don't sleep with a copy of the Wikipedia under your pillow, I will include the following reference from that (admittedly minor) source of divine revelation: 

 Credo quia absurdum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Credo quia absurdum is a Latin phrase of uncertain origin. It means "I believe because it is absurd", "What I believe in cannot be proven." One possible provenance is that it is derived from a poorly remembered or misquoted passage in Tertullian's De Carne Christi defending the tenets of Orthodox Christianity against docetism which reads in the original Latin:

Natus est Dei Filius; non pudet, quia pudendum est: et mortuus est Dei Filius; prorsus credibile est, quia ineptum est: et sepultus resurrexit; certum est, quia impossibile.

"The Son of God was born: there is no shame, because it is shameful. And the Son of God died: it is wholly credible, because it is ridiculous. And, buried, He rose again: it is certain, because impossible."

The phrase is sometimes associated incorrectly with the doctrine of fideism, that is, "a system of philosophy or an attitude of mind, which, denying the power of unaided human reason to reach certitude, affirms that the fundamental act of human knowledge consists in an act of faith, and the supreme criterion of certitude is authority."

*****

That's what Mitt and the voodoo candidate could have adduced in their defense:  Hey dude, credo quia absurdum, toch? I rest my shaky case.

But let's look at the merits of the idea that Jesus and the Devil were brothers. I remember reading (and even writing) about a story from an early Gnostic Gospel (God-spell, or God-Trance) quoted by Carl Jung. In this rather charming  story Mary is in the house while Joseph and Jesus are outside tending their grape arbor.  Mary hears someone calling for Jesus, but is perplexed because no one else is  supposed to be in the house. The voice comes from the bedroom.  She checks it out and she sees someone that looks exactly like Jesus calling out for Jesus. She assumes she must be seeing some evil force disguised as her son and she manages to grab the kid and tie him to the bed. The boy begs her to go and get her son. She goes out into the yard and gets him. Upon seeing each other the two young boys weep for joy and embrace each other, becoming one. The twin of Jesus was in fact Lucifer. The moral of the story seems to be that in God, Good and Evil merge.

I have been searching my copy of Jung's Symbols of Transformation, but was so far unable to find the story. I believe it was in a long footnote--and it may have been in some other book by Jung I no longer have. It would also be in one of the Gnostic Gospels found in the Nag Hammadi Library, probably the Gospel of Sophia. Maybe if I keep sleeping with that copy of the Wikipedia under my pillow, I can find the reference again. Or you can all indulge yourselves  and  simply check out the comments in the following website:

http://irregulartimes.com/diaries/2007/12/jesus-devil-brothers/

As for myself, I will let this go for now.

Just came back from my routine doctor's visit and had a chat with my nurse-physician about the latest development in AIDS research. Some German doctor discovered that semen contains a protein which greatly assists the HIV virus in spreading infection. Apparently the protein makes the HIV virus some 100,000  times more effective in killing off T-cells. It does that by providing a kind of raft like form of transportation, without which the HIV virus would apparently not spread as easily through the body.

Here's a reference I googled on: AIDS researchers find protein that greatly boosts HIV infection 

On my way back from SFGH Brahm invited me to stop by for some coffee. That will always get my attention. Not so much the coffee itself, but the social thing of hanging out on a terrace and have a decent conversation while checking out all the crazies and the stiffs walking around this wonderful town.

This morning I was watching a movie I would highly recommend called  The Million Dollar hotel

The Million Dollar Hotel (2000) and here's a Wikipedia blurb--I know some people seem to resent my frequent recourse to the Wikipedia, for which I am truly  sorry, but you see, the Bible did not mention this movie anywhere, so what is a guy to do? Iin any event check it out:

The Million Dollar Hotel is an English language 2000 movie based on a concept story by Bono of U2 and Nicholas Klein, and directed by Wim Wenders. It stars Jeremy Davies, Milla Jovovich and Mel Gibson. The film featured music by U2, and was released on the soundtrack, The Million Dollar Hotel: Music from the Motion Picture.

Jovovich & Gibson
Jovovich & Gibson

The movie is about a group of very different people who live in a hotel in Los Angeles, focusing primarily on Tom Tom (Davies) and his romance with Eloise (Jovovich). The events that unfold in the film are the result of the apparent suicide of the son of a United States Senator (Roth) at the hotel. His father commissions an FBI agent (Gibson) to look into his death.

*****

I always like movies based on interesting characters and their relationships. Any movie with Jeremy Davis and Milla Jovovich in it is bound to be quirky and fascinating. Some of the one liners are also memorable:

Says one character: Hey, this is Hollywood, one  ounce of shit, they'll make shit souflee. That is so true. It could of course equally be asserted about politics and the media. One ounce of shit, weeks of souflee.

Another great line comes from the Jovovich character, a cute mental case, who says to the Davis character (Tom Tom, who either is retarded or plays it to the hilt, and who a has some serious hots for the gal): Well, if you don't play the retard with me, I won't play the whore. Whereupon Tom Tom capitualtes and makes faces only a retard would make to the delight of his crazy girlfriend. But the relationship is more than a cartoon, and that's what I like about this Wim Wenders  film. The characters may be crazy or retarded, but they do know how to engage each other, how to love each other, and ultimately to sacrifice for each other.

Jeremy Davis is not new to this kind of role, but everytime I see him perform, I am amazed at his abilities to portray truly interesting and complex characters. His jerky movements are so well choreographed, it is like waitching a Kafkaesque ballet.  He is truly unique, very much in the way Robin Williams is unique.

Mel Gibson also does a great job as a straightlaced cop, who wears some kind of neck brace--having to do with the fact he was born with a third arm sticking out of his back.  

This was supposed to be a journal entry on associative thinking, or rambling. I think I have done justice to the topic, but since I failed to bring my copy of Jung, I will have to defer writing on his views and my views on the two kinds of thinking (associative and directed) to some other time. A quick google check will of course give ample source material on the subject--such as for instance:

Abstracts of the Collected Works of C.G. Jung - Google Books Result

by C.G. Jung, Carrie Lee Rothgeb, Siegfried M. Clemens - 1994 - Psychology
Two types of human thought are described: a directed thinking, of which the highest form is ... undirected, associative thinking, commonly called dreaming, ...

But like I said, I will refrain presenting my own two cents on the matter to another day.

Right now I am ready for that cup-a-Java with Brahm-- and then it is time to go home and rest.

For the Christians among you, I wish you a Blessed Holiday. For the non-Christians, have a great Zonnewendeviering,  that's Dutch for Solstice celebration.