Posts Tagged ‘Logos’

Saint Patrick, the Trinity, and the Primacy of Secular Law, the Logos

March 17, 2017

Saint Patrick, A (Mental) Power Story

Mental power is the ultimate power, and the power of life, in the end, is all about intelligence. The argument has been made by many a top biologist (and not just Lamarck, but recent contemporary biologists, some Nobel laureates) that life is intelligent. That eukaryotic cells are intelligent.

Intelligence is much more Machiavellian than Machiavel. An example is Christianism, a triple headed system of thoughts and moods, which appears very different, depending the way one looks at it. Key to its success is that its secret God is the essence of humanity, the Logos. Saint Patrick’s day is a good day to remember this. Irish Catholicism, in its first phase, as taught by Patrice, and as mitigated by the people of Ireland, four centuries before the centuries of savage wars with the Vikings, was extremely open-minded.

Ireland was conquered by the Logos, not by the Sword. That is the difference with many other lands conquered by other religions (in particular the lands conquered by Islam which, in the first century at least, were all conquered by the sword, and a sword drenched in the blood of millions!)


Judges Can Be Of Some Use For The Progress of Civilization:

Today in New York the Alien Tort Act was activated by a Federal Judge. She ordered Germany to pay reparations for the attempted eradication of the Herero and Nama people, between 1904 and 1908. Half of the Nama were assassinated. This holocaust was warm-up for the German attack on the world in August 1914, another war crime, even greater. Neither the Namibian massacre nor the war crime of the German engineered world war of 1914 were excoriated, condemned, nor, a fortiori understood. Hence the repetition by the Nazis.

(A few years ago, Germany presented formal excuses to the state of Namibia, and “helps” Namibia; however that does not directly addresses the legitimate grievances of the Herero and Nama…) 

Teaching The Heathen, Or What Philosophers Have Always Done, And Will Always Do. Thanks to the Conversion of Ireland, Romanitas, the Greco-Roman Civilization Spread Where The Legions Didn’t Reach


The Difference Between Sotus and Scottus:

Saint Patrick started as an English boy. During one of many raids of the savage Scotti on Roman Britannia, he was captured when he was 16. He was enslaved for 6 years.

The Romans called the Irish, “Scottus”, and so did the Europeans for centuries to come. Charles the Bald, king of Francia Occidentalis and Roman emperor as Charles II, was a promoter of fundamental research. He became an excellent friend of the philosopher Scotus Erigena (“Erigenus” means Iris-born). Charles had named Erigena head of the Palatine Academy of Laon, thus becoming a successor to Alcuin of York. (Alcuin was Prime Minster of Charles I, Charlemagne). Erigena spoke many languages, including Irish, Frankish, Latin and Greek.

Once the emperor and the philosopher were pleasantly drinking across a table. The emperor asked Erigena: Quid distat inter sottum et Scottum? (What separates a sot  from an Irishman?”[“sot” means idiot, the word sot is still heavily used in French]).

Quick as lightning, Erigena retorted: “Tabula tantum” (Only a table). So Erigena called the emperor an idiot.

Of these little piques great civilizations are made.

Notice in passing the difference of smarts with Islam: even if nowadays one calls Muhammad a “sot” (a particularly uninteresting idiot), the righteous Muslim will want to kill you. Or, at the very least will have to kill you. If said Muslim considers that what is written black and white in the Qur’an is an order from “Allah”, as it is supposed to be.

And the same extends to all the Caliphs, and other Muslims in authority (Surah 4, verse 59). So no wonder Islam never acquired a sense of humor, let alone supreme intelligence. Remember the context above: Charles the Bald headed an empire mightier than the Islamist empire (as it had heavily defeated it in the Eight Century, and would push Islam out of Europe for centuries… before ending all the way to Jerusalem a bit more than 2 centuries later). But Charles II, like Charles I, had a sense of intellect, humor. Although “sacred” by the Popes, they didn’t take their own holiness too seriously (European emperors would quarrel with popes, on and off, for the next 11 centuries…)


Saint Patrick Was a Franco-Gallic Product, to a great extent:

But let’s come back to Saint Patrick, four centuries earlier. He escaped slavery and Ireland, by hiding on a ship, and fled to what was becoming Francia (as the Franks, in military control conferred to them by the Roman Empire were slipping into governmental control).

The cleric Patrice was educated in Auxerre, Tours, and Cannes, Provence, more exactly at the monastery of the Lérins Abbey. He then returned to Ireland. (When Patrice came to Ireland, his name was mispronounced as “Patrick”.)

Hence Saint Patrick was pretty much a product of the Gallic-Catholic church (in contradistinction with “Roman-Catholic”). That Gallic-Catholic church would soon get in a conflict with the Pope in Rome, about secular teaching. The gallic-Catholic church thought that secular teaching was necessary. The Pope, as a good Jihadist keen to bring forth further apocalypse (the apocalypse in Christian and later Muslim texts, was a precondition for the Final Judgment, a desired act where the worthy are welcomed to paradise; hence its desirability). The conflict between Gallic bishops and Rome got so vicious, that Pope Gregory the Great threatened to have the bishop of Dignes burned alive, if he persisted with secular teaching (late Sixth Century). But the Gallic bishops had the army of the Franks, that is, the Roman army, to protect them (this fight between Gallo-Romans and the Popes was thus a continuation of the conflict of the Frank Arbogast, Magister Militum of the Occidental Empire with the Catholic fanatics of the Orient, in 394 CE).

Saint Patrick no doubt succeeded in Ireland, because he was taught tolerance in Gallic Francia.


Christianism As The Triumph Of The Logos:

After making Christianism the official Roman religion, Rome used what Constantine called “Universalism” (= “Catholicism”) to spread Romanitas at a distance and through the limes (armed physical border of the Roman empire, the “Wall”). That worked extremely well. And, to be honest, so great was the appeal of Christianism to the uncouth that under Nestorian form (for example), it spread ahead… All the way to Mongolia (Genghis Khan was adopted as a refugee child by a Christian tribe).

Thus, when the Barbarians invaded, they were already Christian, so they looked up to Rome spiritually. But for two significant details:

1) the Franks spurned Christianity, as their association with Rome was older… and founded upon a sturdier, deeper basis, secular law.  

2) Eastern Europe, outside of the Roman Limes, had been converted to Christianism by Arianus and his disciple. Arianus, an Egyptian bishop, did not believe in the Trinity (this is also why the Muslims don’t believe in it, either). This would bring their disappearance: the dozens of millions of Roman citizens were Catholics. Craftily, when they “converted”, the Franks decided to become Catholics. That can be viewed as a testimony of their political acumen. 

But there is much more: converting to Catholicism was converting to the Logos, to debate, the intellect, thus, tolerance. Let me explain.

The Franks helped Constantine, who started by fighting them, conquer the entire Roman empire. They refused to convert for nearly two centuries, as they knew how the Christian sausage had been made and why. Then, under Consul-King Clovis (“Louis”), they got the better idea to do as Constantine had done, and rewrite Christianism, their way.

The subtlety of the Trinity escaped the Arians totally. The Trinity meant that the Logos, that is, LOGIC, was God. And even as a primacy to the rest. That helped convert to Christianism the millions of Neoplatonists who led the empire. It also meant that all those who thought that the (secular) law of man, the Logos, came before any superstition, could also be Catholic without contradiction.


θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος: LOGIC IS GOD:  

This genuflection to logic is the master idea of Christianity, hidden in plain sight: the Evangel of John starts this way: ”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

In the original Greek, the last four words of John 1:1 are: “θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος”. Literally “God was the Logos”.

If Europe is the modern Rome, as it is, or used to be, what is the modern equivalent of Roman Christianity spreading ahead of Romanitas? The United Nations machinery, spreading around the planet the religion of democratic secularism, the only religion worth having. Because that’s the only religion corresponding to the deep nature of the humanoids.

Patrice Ayme’

Logos, Neurology, Stoicism, Christianity, Higher Morality

November 21, 2014

My statement:


Brought the observation: ”I’m afraid I can’t imagine what this means.” (Massimo from Scientia Salon.) Others have asked for more details. Here they are.

The statement was admittedly abstruse. It is supposed to mean that the Logos as speech is a representation of the Logos as more complex brain processes. (Here the word representation” is used in the mathematical sense, more general version: this is a new example of philosophy using fresh mathematics!)

How does this representative mechanism can be suspected to work? (I already wrote this, but this version has more definition).

Stars Inside. By Varying Myelin, Oligodendrocytes Act As Meta Controllers (2014)

Stars Inside. By Varying Myelin, Oligodendrocytes Act As Meta Controllers (2014)

Suppose we have brain “elements” X, Y, Z (to simplify, say X, Y, Z are neurons, but they could be organs in the brain, like the amygdala, or the geometric structure of some neighborhood in the brain, whatever… yes, here “neighborhood” is used as in General Topology, another mathematical field).

Yes, “brain elements” is an allusion to “elements of reality” as in the Einstein-Podolski-Rosen paper on non-separability in Quantum Mechanics.

Then suppose we have the situation X > Y, and Y > Z.

X>Y means that the brain element X acts on the brain element Y. In the simplest case, “>” are axons. But the first “>” does not have to be of the same nature as the second “>”, which could be, say, some neurohormone or transmitter, such as Nitrous Oxide, or even a burst of oxygen and sugar in an area of the brain, thanks to some gateway neuron.

This innocent sounding remark allows to incorporate all three forms of the Logos defined by Aristotle. Aristotle distinguished the Logos-as-reasoning, from the Logos as Pathos, and the Logos as Ethos.

Pathos implies emotion, sensation… Ethos judgment on these.

The Logos done in my most general way incorporates all these, logic, pathos and ethos, because it allows for emotions: a relation between Y and Z can be through, or about, neurohormones or neurotransmitters.

Logos in that most general X>Y way even includes some forms of interactions we can’t even imagine, such as Quantum Effects… which show up in magnetic field vision in birds, whose simplest explanation is something having to do with spintronics, a type of Quantum Mechanics scientifically elucidated, but not yet incorporated in technological devices.

Then X>Z. Now there will be some meta-structure attached to all these relations between brain elements: I feel that the brain is all about different levels of “meta” piled upon each other. The structure of axons allow for this.

Namely if an axon (say) is active between Y and Z, another neuron, higher up in the meta-structure, can know about it (axons have varying level of myelin along themselves, and could be none; this differentiated activity of oligodendrocytes was observed in 2014).

The “meta” simplification works this way: whereas we started initially with three objects (X, Y, Z) and two relations (X>Y and Y>Z), that can be reduced two just two signals (X>Y and Y>Z) going to say, just one meta neuron.

Thus, aware of all these activations, higher meta neurons can then communicate the whole thing to the Broca or Wernicke speech area will convert all this in a speech.

Then we get something like : x>y & y>z & then x>z, where now “>” is just the verb “implies”, in plain speech, or a hand gesture. Thus a potentially very complex and variegated Brain-Logos activity has been simplified into Speech-Logos as usually interpreted.


Speaking of my preceding essay, and my observation that Christianity had to make the Logos into god, Massimo observed that: “The Stoics were talking about Logos / Nature / God / Zeus well before Christianity.” Indeed, pretty much something the imperial cooks of Christianity had to do . Christianity is a vast salad, artfully mixed with plenty of goodies.

Massimo also said: “The rest of your [essay] is interesting … but I fail to see what it has to do with Stoicism.”

It has to do with the Logos, recognizing its centrality in Stoicism. The best path to stoicism may be to talk calmly about a situation until it goes away. Talk it to death, so to speak.

Any short Logos, say 500 words, will miss many perspectives. But a good new perspective can pick in depth, where no pick has gone before.

Massimo opined that: “there is more value in Zeno and his followers than in Jesus”:

Indeed. Basically Jesus’ teeny-tiny Logos goes only that far.

Jesus is in love with one man, his dad. He also loves love. Nice, but such a ridiculously short a Logos can’t fill an entire universe. We need a bigger boat to handle that enormous ocean, and its giant sharks.

By making the Logos into God, one can talk like Jesus, love mummy, and daddy, and love itself, but also say much, much more, thus become like Jesus’ own dad.

There is indeed more value in all-encompassing complexity… As long as one is not a person with feeble mental capabilities. Persons who are not smart at all are better served with just a few instructions, the way Jesus had it (if one just picks the crème de la crème of what Jesus said, and not the mud of his mud). People at large are also best served if those who are rather stupid love their dad, and love. And stick with this, not trying to go beyond.

Christianity is a religion for the herd (consult Nietzsche for more on this, including sexual interpretations of the cross). Masters used something more robust (Nietzsche again, following meekly the more exuberant Marquis de Sade). Roman generals, under the Republic, before the Greek Stoics became prominent, were masters of stoicism. Stoicism on the largest scale is pretty much how the Roman Republic grew.

The Republic went down when too many in the Roman elite quit Stoicism for Greed (thus bringing along Plutocracy). It was sadly pathetic. Without forbearance, no exuberance!

Patrice Ayme’

LOGOS: Brain Elements

November 19, 2014

The LOGOS Sings of Elements Of Brain Simplified Into Discourses

The Logos started to dominate Greek philosophy with Heraclitus (circa 500 BCE). What’s the Logos? The discourse. Correct discourse, namely, well, logical.

Greek science discovered around 500 CE that much more of the universe responded to discourse (logos) than to the gods. However, during the Peloponnesian War, the Athenian army was destroyed because the commanding Athenian general interpreted a sun eclipse as a dreadful omen (to this day, the Muslim “scholars” believe that the gods drive the Moon… Instead of a human discourse. That’s why they have to look at the Moon to tell the end of Ramadan).

The first eclipses had been predicted nearly two centuries earlier by top scientists. Now we can predict that the Logos is actually incarnated. Here it is:

It Looks As Complicated Around One Neuron As Around One Galaxy

It Looks As Complicated Around One Neuron As Around One Galaxy

[The schemas above are themselves extreme simplifications of what we observe in real pictures nowadays; a conclusion is that we can get enormous plasticity in the electric circuitry, without affecting the synapses at all… A complete surprise relative to what was believed, say, ten years ago. The axons themselves are plastic along their lengths, and learn! Dendrites sprout, or not, driven, or not, by glial cells, or other neurons.]

Considering the importance of Neoplatonism for the Greco-Roman elite, Christianity had to make the Logos into god (it’s the so-called “Holly Spirit”). Thus the Logos’ importance precedes Logos Galileo’s famous statement that the book of nature is written in mathematical language.

By the time of Galileo, the Logos had already become a research strategy: develop cute mathematics, and hope physics would follow.

(The notorious “Superstrings”, which are Not Even Wrong, is more of the same: wild “mathematical” guessing in the hope that something physical will be revealed; it did not work.)

The scientific strategy of using the Logos to discover nature, started with Buridan. Kepler pursued it in what he called his “War On Mars”: Kepler tried all possible curves, and checked them against data. It took 30 years.

Calculus, developed initially by lawyer-mathematician Fermat gave Celestial Mechanics. Fourier analysis helped with heat, Poisson’s math predicted a dot to disprove the wave theory of light (thus proving the latter, as the dot was there!). Fitting mathematics to heat emissions forced Planck to introduce the Quantum.

Riemann discovered in the 1860s, the idea that force could be viewed as curvature (and reciprocally). Thus force predicted space. Einstein-Hilbert, and later Dirac, would that to good use, curving spacetime (1916), revealing spinors (1930). Spinors had been introduced in geometry by Élie Cartan in 1913.

How come the brain can predict the world?

It simple: the brain is built as a set of mini-worlds, each of them a Logos.

A spectacular illustration of that human stem cells, with a bit of coaxing, left alone, form nerve cells and organize themselves in mini-brains. Left to itself, having consulted with the world, or not, the brain organizes its mini-worlds.

Substructures of the brains are mini-worlds. Made of what? Well, looking at neurons, or glial cells, we see networks made of varying materials (of axons, more or less covered with myelin, dendrites, and all sorts of protrusions, including inside synapses, and glial cells with their own networks).

All these variations mean very large dimensions (accentuated by 50 neurohormones and neurotransmitters), and all the entanglement mean highly non trivial topology (knots everywhere).

Some of these networks translate into sensations, discourses of sensations, or simply real discourses, and thus logic, as written by logicians, mathematicians and physicists.

The fact that the brain is physically made of immensely complex implications and neighborhoods means that it is made of the most complicated logos imaginable… For the good and simple reason that it is imagination incarnate.

This inner world, this world of the Logos, can be rebuilt better, and much more easily than the universe out there. Yet, it is informed, and initially greatly imprinted, by the universe.

Science consists into reproducing faithfully categorical structures as found out there (through experiments).

Here the word “categorical” is as found in a sense at least as complex as in modern Category Theory (ultra-modern mathematics)… Diagrams of arrows, in particular (view arrows as axons; real axons are much more sophisticated than the morphisms of existing Category Theory).

This, of course, does not differ from basic common sense: as the baby learns about gravity, it informs the proper Logos in the baby’s brain about the basics of gravity (science gets a bit more precise, but does not basically differ).

Control is about the inner world, the inner Logos, not contradicting too much the Universe’s Logos. This can happen, because the inner Logos is basically a self-made “mathematical” model of what is hoped to be out there.

The Logos is more logical than logic, as all the logic we have is a simplification of the Logos.

If the contradiction is too violent, all sorts of pathologies can arise, and not just in Putin.

The Logos is made of micro-brains, it will end up interrogating itself. What gives?

Patrice Ayme’

Note: The great mathematician Grothendieck just died. Sometimes around 1970, I am afraid that he discovered that some of the preceding was true. Him, who was wary of physics (nuclear war), may have found that the mathematics he had taken refuge in, was just that dreaded physics again. Better to forget the whole thing. Grothendieck dropped out of math, and later asked his works to be destroyed. Yes, the danger of nuclear war is higher than ever (see Putin). Yet, the Logos is us. We cannot deny ourselves.