Dear Pierre, you ask if the aphorism should be better represented in question form.

In answer, I quote Archimedes:

“Give me an immovable fulcrum and a lever long enough, and I shall move the Earth.”

The “lever long enough” would be a very long definition or aphorism and the fulcrum would be the point at the end. The long sentence would include (along with every other definition about the Earth) the longest word in the dictionary, a 45-letter word about a lung disease preventing someone from breathing. (Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis)

Interestingly, the more still and stable the fulcrum, the more power we have to create movement.

This is exactly the elementary relationship between a statement, period or point, and a question or question mark. An elementary use of a period is for a statement about earthy things, as in objects touchable, visible, smell-able, taste-able, etc., but the statement has been expanded into non-elementary use for almost everything. There are very few questions recognized as unable to be transmuted into statements. All questions are transmutable to statements (and vice versa) in a mystical sense. ( difficult is a definition of the question, see my paper “Many Roads from the Axiom of Completeness”) The elementary question is to suggest possibility and inspire wonder, but less lofty are to suggest uses, ways, means, and to compel specific actions or beliefs in others.

An example of how statements can compel is a published exchange between the Dalai llama with a group of scientists trying to persuade the Dalai Llama, or at least the audience, to the side of science. The Dalai Llama asked how life originally sprung from the primal molten Earth, and a scientist answered with a long string of statements that went on and on, somewhere lost in that string of statements life sprung, but the mystery and wonder of it was disguised by a pretense of hard work that produces heavy, relentless, knowing statements.

Another example of transmuting an unanswerable question into a string of statements is the mathematical proof of the impossibility of squaring the circle. We have, essentially, a question of means and we write mathematical statements to circumscribe this question as completely as we can. Once we have closed all entrances to this mysterious question “How do I make a square of a circle?” we may be persuaded of its singular openness with “One cannot square the circle.” This is not at all the truth, it can be done with mathematical imperfection, imprecision, vague pragmatic attempts. With one of these attempts, the mathematician will argue that it is not done. Only mathematicians decide when work is really finished, and the “…” ensures that we never are finished.

In the same way that we can transmute perfect stillness to the most irresistible movement, we can transmute all questions into statements, and that is exactly what is attempted by Aristotle with his Law of the Excluded Middle. The Law assumes that in any question of “this or not this?”, the reality is not a question but an answer of either “this.” or “not this.” (the elementary this, about an earthy thing). The question is unreal, it is purposefully split in two, like a doctor producing a schizophrenic.

Here I am going over ground that I have run so often, it feels like a hamster wheel. This is the feeling teachers get from teaching the same specific subject every year, which was my profession before illness.

We ask how to make the most stable truths, the aphorisms, into forms of movement. Generally, the movement of the aphorism is from an example, or a smaller sentence, that indicates or is inscribed in a generality about many sentences. This movement from the inscription to a generality is traditionally called induction. Bachelard conflates the word induction for the general action for his subject in “Air and Dreams.” And induction is conflated in many other ways in philosophical literature. I add to these conflations the symbol “…” used for mathematical induction, which has been the replacement for persistent questions, (such as what is the smallest particle). Here, the question is replaced with an imagination of answers beyond the horizon, deferred to future investigation. An imaginary continuousness of answers, not answers directly experienced here and now.

The most general movement is the movement of time, such as with a still rock, or water that flows in a way that appears still (Aj. Sumedho). This general movement inscribes another kind of movement: the movement from one time-stream to another. This is allowed with discontinuities in mindfulness, in vagueness, expanding on the general, on grasping beyond the horizon by inquiring about possibility. How to make the leap between time-streams well-leaped? What axioms and global constants/concepts do we wish to leap to? This is the next kind of airplane we must construct. If this airplane ends up as something commercialized, like our form of utilizing electricity and commercial airplanes, we will still find this last and most free kind of movement contained in another cage owned by our masters of capital.

While we have reached the heights: the power in the vagaries of clouds to generate light in the form of a shocking idea, we must remember that this is only enjoyable as long as we have the heart for it. And love is the fundamental reality, cutting through all time streams. To leap well, and be Well-Gone, is to leap between time streams to this fundamental: the molten iron from which the worlds are forged both hot and cold: Ultimate Truth: this door between all worlds that leads to unbinding:

Peace and friendships,

Andrew

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