1. That nothing can be said.
2. That what can be said is said by mutual conformity of communicating things, by yielding.
3. That when the larger things do not yield, the smaller things, which remember one another, yield.
4. Once things are that have internal structure, the two in communion must yield, one to the other, or both to each other; or else stay apart; this is what the Stoics mean by conformity to nature; there is no communication without consilience.
5. That whatever yields fastest and most artfully, most keeps itself intact;
6. That yielding always destroys internal structure;
7. But that an internal structure that can grow again can recreate the structure that was destroyed; motion and rigidity are the simplest examples for us to understand; motion destroys an arrangement (position) but rigidity allows us to create that arrangement again whenever we please.
8. That what yields most willingly is greatest,
9. But that what does not yield readily, still actually is,
10. And that no matter what you know, or think you know, about suffering, or impermanence, is not known to other structures, including many structures you encompass,
11. So that empathy must consist in grasping inwardly, and accommodating yourself to, the faults and flaws of the apparently outward;
12. That Reason itself, or Mathematics, or the Monad, or whatever we want to call the smallest seed of yielding which, in every circumstance, grows itself again under the image of its environment;
13. But only to the degree that the substance and environment permit, and only in those respects in which they are capable of yielding;
14. That empathy was, in man, the gate by which we came to Reason; that there is more truth in waiting for an idiot than in all the tomes of man
15. That the more we know about our part in the play, the greater the known unknown, which is the profoundest mercy; whoever wants to know, must admit to not knowing, which brings about knowledge and a concrete unknown, greater than the original unknown. (Socrates knew nothing. You and I know less.)
16. That catastrophe is nowise different from awakening from a dream, as though a greater (but less subtle) mind suddenly remembered, ah, yes, time to stop playing with men; I had this explosion ready and at hand.
17. That we are assured by our contemporaries that the PFC detects maximally entropic streams of data (which is what a 50% chance means, which is what most activates us) — but what streams into the PFC is moderated by the models of the cortex and the memory embedded in the limbic system and brainstem;
18. That what we call pleasure is precisely novelty
19. But that we would plunge like moths into the fire of entropy; their only light was the moon, and ours was the limbic system
20. Meditation and opium turn the PFC inward quickly; mathematics does it slowly; the convolution of bits produces a high-entropy stream that the PFC loves.
21. But the high-entropy stream of bits is meaningless, and will be popped like the dream it is:
22. And that higher entropy streams of bits have already been generated and consumed and that some, like the plasma of the sun, are going on still;
23. It is not for us to be like them.
24. That we must remain agnostic with respect to the facts of the ancients, while understanding the consequences of their belief in them.
25. That the ancients can only speak to us by our yielding to them, and we can only yield to them by producing the structures they had produced, which is to say, by thinking of them independently and seeking consilience.
26. But we must remember the consequences of their beliefs; which were, at best to produce us, and at worst to become irrelevant.
27. That the elements were phases: solid, liquid, gas, plasma (where there are still currents), and ether (where there are not).
28. That our field theorists agree with them, and so do our cosmologists; we call it symmetry, and each phase breaks a symmetry of the next most fiery phase.
29. That symmetry breaking is a yielding.
30. That there are symmetries, and broken symmetries, undreamed of by the ancients, and undreamable by the inward production of knowledge alone.
31. That they knew this.
32. That no matter how much one wishes to say these things, these things cannot be said to stones,
32. That if the stones are to cry out, the sun need only shine on them again.
33. That the greatness of the ancients is great but unsubtle; in the long dark dream since Rome, we learned subtlety by becoming small.
34. Can the great be subtle? The greatest is most subtle of all; the smaller the seed, the greater the tree;
35. That the worse enslaves the better when the better refuses to yield to the lesser principle that the worse is itself enslaved by.
36. So as we were enslaved by money, and by matter, and the people of America were not, and the Africans were not, so by our slavery to arms, we enslaved them;
37. And in the great way that the good must be killed, and laid in the ground, before sprouting as something better, or the world tree must be chopped down to demonstrate that it was only a twig and the tree is greater yet, in likewise these two great seeds must be tended faithfully until such time as they are ready to sprout on their own.
38. That the fire must be put off as long as it can be put off.
39. That the institutions are the memory of this.
40. Whatever fails to conform to nature will be washed away. Do not dive into a fire you cannot withstand. Do not burn off the branch that will soon bear fruit; the trunk will put out some other branch, it is true, but that branch must pass the same test as you.
41. Pass every test your substance allows you to pass, that is, yield to the largest thing you can yield to. Worry about nothing else, whether you are a seed, carry a seed, are a branch, a trunk, or the earth, in any given respect.
42. The smaller the thing that the great thing does, the more like nature it is; if we do not understand why nature does this, nonetheless we must do it in emulation, except where we understand why nature does it and can decide for ourselves whether to do it, in conformity with the greater thing.
43. Always conduct yourself as though you are the last to the party, as though everything else in reality has pierced the veil of illusion, and everyone else is in on secrets undreamed of, until you know otherwise.
44. That the memory of history is a memory of which structures have been tried and which fires have been tried, and whether what was burned away had to be remade or was left to rot, and what we can do about it this time.
45. That by burning carbon we have restored the earth, not destroyed it, on the scale of millions of years. This should terrify us and excite us.
46. That the powerful know they are destroying the earth for us, and that some probably have a belief identical to this, but that they might be horribly wrong, and probably are.
47. That memory is faith: I must believe my memory as far as I have no choice, and I must obey it if I believe I left it for myself.
48. But that memory is decoded by doubt, by a mechanism that asks, "What circumstances produce this outcome? Can I create them in myself now?" — it is impossible without this expedient to know what is memory for now, what is memory for later, what is memory of something else, or best forgotten. [ Marginal: I always encode intent into the material world. Jenny never does. This has created for me a great suffering and, through it, an awareness of memory as a thing that can be swept away. ]
49. That this is a mathematical and not an incidental truth.
50. That faithlessness consists in this: Not weeping for Lazarus, not staying in the boat when Jesus walks on water, not asking to touch Christ's wounds. The Church has ever been the great defender of faithlessness, because only the faithless need a defender.
51. That the evolution of memory runs on the critical line between over- and under- recognition, too crystalline or too chaotic.
52. That the light of reason shines everywhere and always; but like plants with too much sun, we wither; or like worlds with too much sun, we burn.
53. That the evolution of intelligence is as much bounded by the threat of the organism turning inward, like Buddha, as by metabolic demands. [ Marginal: Have you ever watched an orangutan? That's wisdom, not stupidity. But it can't read signs that we can read. But then, we think we can read the stars, so where's the sense in us? ]
54. That the powerful know secrets unknown to others, and use them against the interests they know, or ought to know, exist.
55. That marketers and designers are priests; they seem to produce a light, but really shade those who turn to them; that shade can be necessary for a time, or it can be death.
56. That false priests and prophets report second-hand what they were told, without making it clear that it came second-hand -- or worse, much worse, falsify it.
And some curiosities:
i. That Newton discovered the calculus, which was known also to the Greeks, and so did Leibniz, and at the same time; that Newton was an alchemist, and that his work at the mint turned gold into money, and silver into gold, and paper into silver, and bits into paper
ii. That divination is game-theory optimal when making a move against hidden information, i.e., it is a tool to siphon entropy from the environment, unseen by an opponent.
iii. That the blockchain is credit, in the sense that, "I believe," and in the sense that, "it has been demonstrated."
iv. That causality and the blockchain are quite similar,
v. The harder the drug, the faster the whirlwind.
vi. Pass the singularity through the eye of a needle and wait for the camel.
vi. "Get behind me Satan," that is, where I can pretend not to know where you are; Satan carried Jesus into the desert to tempt him, and Jesus knew not how; that Peter had no faith, because he jumped onto the water when he needed no proof, and ceased to believe once he had the proof; but that this monolithic disbelief is the Rock on which the Church of Christ was built; that for Paul it was hard to kick against the pricks, but if the point was to do what is hard, perhaps he was being told to kick against the pricks, not to stop doing it; that the knowledge of Good-And-Evil is distinct from the knowledge separately of Good and Evil; that Chesterton knew Nietzsche did not know it was "Good-and-Evil" not "Good and Evil", and that the separation of the one into the two was always the purpose of the mystics; but that Nietzsche is right that there is a new stream to dip into, and the time for a new philosophy; but that Chesterton is right that the overman will only be man.
vii. That in the young universe, if any life grew, it had no great distance to traverse.
viii. That the gods, as psychological constructs, can be taken as the appearance of will in various phases and arrangements of things; that yielding to the gods is not obedience to them, but conformity to them; that is, to the various aspects of universal nature, as understandable by man,
ix. That as physical things are memories of past events, and the accumulation of biological mechanisms is a memory of past life, always only of the memory of what did not happen, the memory of the deer that were not eaten by wolves, not the memory of the wolves; so too is this world the memory of the wolves that never ate it; and the conscious awareness is the memory of everything that informs it, the biological inheritance, the individual experience, the moment, the outward world, and nature itself.
x. However big we think it is, it's bigger.
xi. That's what she said.
xii. That the resolution to the Fermi paradox might not be that we are first, but that we are last (for now,) and there probably are predators, and there probably are predators worse than predators, but they are probably old, and they are probably far away, and we probably have time, but we really must hurry.
xiii. That anything older will be simpler with a view to the unfolding of pure reason in the context of space-time (that only space-time is assumed, that everything else is the nature of reason only, the monad, the mustard seed), and we can probably assume that whichever ones they are, they are probably very much like the gods, and whether they are out there or not it's a great premise for fiction; and our advantage over them is that we can encompass them, but they cannot encompass us; but then, there might be a midband gap between inert and living matter, so the gods are all dead, the stars and the planets and time itself. Decide how to make that bet.
xiv. That the more serious the thought, the more like fiction it must be treated.
xv. That reason squeezed into spacetime through the monad, and has carved wider and wider gates for itself. The widest gate yet is the PFC; a wider gate yet will be the whole brain; we must think very very hard before opening the gate too wide.
xvi. The next singularity will be like the first singularity, a whirlwind and consuming fire, wielded by the destroyed, unless we know what we are doing.
xvii. That Rome grew from the ashes of the civilization before it; that the fields were ripe for the harvest; that the kernels of grain were sown again, and the earth worked and tilled by the Church; that they sprouted in the rebirth; that the field is ripe for the harvest again.
xviii. There really isn't much time.
xvii. That this message of memory and forgetting, of faith and love, and of the great evil of knowing truth and using it against other people and beasts instead of for them, is almost ready.
xviii. The time has come to burn away the shade, and pray that we're ready for the light.
xix. We might not be.
xx. That if we wipe ourselves out, someone else who gets it will find us one day, and weep for the fact that they never got to play Mario.