Missing Links

Witnessing History


Most pupils take a deep breath as they go for another lesson in History. But after Year One any child will be ready for cartoons...

Trouble is, we may never know whether we start believing in Fairies, because we left Kindergarten the year before, or because we've just experienced the first Christmas as a Schoolboy!... [ZINGARA]

Perception is an experiment in progress

WITNESSING—anything at all!—is:
(1) a cognitive experience—not an insignificant biological flirt of the senses with some passing reality.

(2) a perceptual adventure:
The simple act of witnessing engages every (available) sense & faculty. Understanding what takes place by simple eye-contact is as dubious as leaving it to normal reason to make sense of it. Again, the situation at hand may be quite ordinary—or as insignificant as a fly in the room. By the same token, a single strand of thoughts could help finish a formula, conclude years of work, re-orient a destiny...

(3) a cognitive package:
"Package," since every faculty is involved in computing realities at hand.
Package not readily available:
No one's perceptual package ever functions integrally—regardless of quality of health, degree of intelligence or state of mind, lucid or exalted.

(4) a personal experience:
Witnessing—observing, taking account of, noting a detail, etc—is a personal way of functioning, based on intimate criteria of selection. 43,000 spectators at the Stadium—and no two will describe any part of the game in quite the same way!...
Personal selectivity: this is self-explanatory, as in "plucking out a detail."
Intimate criteria: "plucking out" may fail to convey what a human consciousness goes through while processing daily happenings.

What appears as a coincidence is in fact
computed by internal rules & codes that fit a person from head to toes, inside out. Likes & dislikes are configurated by 100% unique inner circuitry.

For some, a fly in the room is annoying; for others, who had so many aggravations before even getting to work, the fly is no bother at all. Another fellow in the same office wonders whether that fly is a sign of early Spring.

The experience of witnessing anything is
recorded or memorised by virtue of these same personal criteria of reference & selection—which also influence the quality of transmission.

NATURE OF EVENT (to be witnessed):
(1) Perception processes anything at all!
(2) Any event-situation is a perceptual experience.
(3) An event can be anything at all.

• Perception is universal, or immediately connected to everything. This is what is meant by being made in God's Image [ATHANOR DISTILLATIONS]

• A situation is multi-faceted as a diamond—rather than a technicolour experience.

Being on the Spot: what takes place is being witnessed (perceived or apprehended) in real time.
Witness Impaired: not a few dramatic episodes in history have been related by someone deprived of audio-visual function, because no one else was on the spot.

• A child may be deaf, yet the only one in a crowd to register some aspect of a situation.

Until recently, chronicles would be carved, written or painted. Live reportage can now be done almost integrally, with devices the size of a microbe, too, but what to make of it is the crux of it all. What we behold—anytime or place, including reading a book, at the movies or even while dreaming—is a matter of personal interpretation.

(1) The meaning of anything is grounded in private views, which make up one's standpoint.

LANGUAGE is the doorway to meaning, basically. What a word means depends on a personal system of definitions. These are taught at early age, then modified as we grow. Feelings, likes & dislikes are considerably altered by individual growth & experience—in most cases, to a point where a man might as well be a stranger to the child he once was. For example, a young girl who had no interest for music whatsoever became a full time musician. Another has no inclination for sports—ball games, in particular. He is a bright student and aims at becoming a lawyer. Something happens to him after his first year at UNI. He realises that he has an affinity with Law, but no longer feels for a legal profession. One thing leads into another—and he ends up as a professional umpire! In Rugby, too...

(2) Intimate or international problems stem from a prioritisation of meanings, chiefly.

(3) SOLUTIONS demand a re-prioritisation of meanings. This is achieved more or less casually by the day as we use, assess & review our repertoire of words, colloquials, definitions, meanings, opinions, life-descriptions, and clichés.

Reportage is a responsibility.

REPORTAGE is a personal summary of a situation, which is then passed on; for professional or social purposes, it comes to the same. That is to say: one files a report, for administrative purposes, for instance—but many other things are a report no less, only they don't look it!...
JOURNALISM is reportage—it amounts to being a reporter, in fact!... But also, an essay at school is a report, and so is a chat—in which case gossip, harmless or malevolent, is definitely an act of reportage.

GOSSIP can be fun but quite excruciating, because:
(1) the burden of telling grows heavier rather than lighter
Gossip is a typical case of "You can't win either way!..." and "You can't please everyone!" —whether one gives out hopeful information or merely explains what everyone already knows, or what the other person would enjoy most hearing about... The gossiper is in a no-win situation for having to keep producing suitable news—on a daily basis, often enough.

(2) Gossip sticks to the narrator—like stigma on a blanket... [LAMPATA]

GOSSIP is meant here as style of expression; that is, what we say, write, display, indicate or stress as we carry on the business of telling a story or relaying a fact.

• COMMUNICATION in any shape or form is a transmission of a fact.

• TRANSMISSION of any fact at all
is ultimately accountable to posterity... [Axiomatiq]

This Axiom is trying to explain what JESUS meant by "No stone shall left unturned"...
Be it as it may—
there is no such thing as casual gossip. Though a chat is as pleasant as we make it, conversation should be encouraged—at every opportunity, too. Fluid communication in human language rates as a supreme pleasure among the many other joys in life. Basic dialogue took 5 million years on the make, one might add.

Basic gossip is another matter:
Call it simple social pleasure or evolutionary specialty, gossip will wear down any normal person in no time—owing to a risk of setting oneself up as a buffoon.
• From this viewpoint, CALUMNY is a genuine personal nuisance, rather than a malicious representation of facts. That is to say, lies, contortions, twisting a fact out of shape, etc—this much spinning & doctoring will weigh heavy on the person who has to keep doing it, for having started it.

There are ways of being mischievous —depending on how often it happens, basically...

Moderate calumny: apparently a contradiction in terms—because "how could something noxious ever be less than decidedly harmful?"... Yet, moderate calumny can be quite harmless—and effectively enjoyable—when it is defined as "one of the few things human beings are very fond of, and frequently carry out without meaning to be especially detrimental nor particularly boring." Caricaturists are such moderate sinners, since they highlight certain traits in a person for purposes of gaining insight or practical wisdom through critical humour... All goes wrong when they artistically fail to create a variation in the insights they propose—and then picturesque amusement grows as boring as Spam clichés.

However, moderate calumny grows insufferable as a sin, should it be repetitious
as a need for a daily dose of blind anger disguised in conventional boss-bashing—which is a national sin, in point of fact!

Also if the whole method of conversation were slanted to criticise PM or MP on account of Budget or Foreign Policy; then for issuing peculiar looks during a speech, then because "his tie wasn't quite the right colour; too bright, on the occasion—which isn't a surprise, is it, people in power can afford to be optimistic while everyone must struggle it out—not just for a quid, for a smile, too!"... The columnist is now gaining high philosophical momentum: "Yes, who can smile without a break?—you sweat for a moment of peace, you earn it, but you don't quite get that, do you?"... The enlightened distributor of public wisdom then moves on to what the Prime Minister eats, how much he spends on his wine... [The strategy is, if you can't destroy someone—get them at the belly!...] "As a matter of fact," our demolition expert explains, "In a recent survey of 'The Rich & Mighty's Own Cooking Recipes' our own PM ranked Last & Dullest for offering BEEF BURGUNDY—the commonest of stews consisting of diced beef, an onion, a couple of carrots & potatoes, glass of red, pinch of salt & pepper... To think that we work so hard, only to look like international ignorants! You should see what other PMs dished out for their own people—classy, exotic, refined, modern, at least!..." etc.

• This is a typical de-construction reportage, where the benefit of criticism is wasted on insatiate discontent.

Mind you, the whole negative account could have been made positive with a single stroke of the pen—on the last remark, oddly enough... A modern journalist would appreciate that the value of such a stew is inestimable in every respect: it costs nothing to make, hardly takes 10 minutes to prepare, you can throw it all in & walk away, it won't stick or burn, can be enjoyed by rain or sunshine, at lunch at the peak of Summer, you eat plenty, go for seconds, but you can't get fat from it... You could include a little celery, touch of ginger, parsley, quartered tomato, etc, though what our PM offered fits the traditional bill and if anything, speaks of a man who cares enough for his people to, both eat & enjoy what is best, and share with them what tycoons keep to themselves—and the rascals do go for Beef Burgundy at lunch at the peak of Summer, and at any next best opportunity!...

• Quality of Communication:
This always runs in proportion to a self-checking aptitude while in critical mode of operation, because:
(1) CRITICISM does not cross-examine itself.
It has to be monitored, as in driving a car, and no less
(2) INTELLIGENCE is generally portrayed by the quality of critical functioning.
Generally, as in "overall".

Criticism is best kept in check, for these various reasons—and with the same simple attention to details as when addressing one's children.

A process of cross-examination must be effective as we describe what took place in the street, at school or on a battlefield; how we portray the characters in a movie; how the movie itself presents realities—and just what kind of realities keep being presented in 101 TV Shows, while we're at it...

Also, which particular values are being prioritised in history books—and again, War-Documentaries. What is being stressed in a speech campaign, in a religious sermon—at the War Memorial, before the Graves of Our Heroes, too. Are good words an absolute guarantee of causing no harm?—is it so inconceivable that we could be strangling ourselves in positive formulas?

How does it have to be said—are we so sure that the whole matter of TERRORISM can safely be summed up as "an attack with bombs?"

—and if we all know deep down that we shouldn't leave it at that, what exactly are we waiting for, to (1) circulate more effective information as to possibly a broader origin in this menace, and (2) ask to be more effectively informed, even if that proved somewhat confronting?

What do we gain by not being confronted out of our comfort-zones—and keep being bombarded on the side, instead, every second day, now? We may wait another year with a mentality that refuses the least sentiment of de-stabilisation, only to be pushed into just that.


Simply describing a situation, stressing a fact without too much drama—any casual relaying of information, in a nutshell—could prove excessively painful to someone or detrimental to oneself.

SELF-BETRAYAL remains the most misunderstood of all human predicaments. Calling it a "Death-Wish" or "Self-Undoing" just doesn't do it.

One may be betraying one's own interests, or ideological affiliations, or national priorities, or even risk being seen as a fool by future generations for having betrayed the very purpose of a civilisation—and all that, unwittingly.

Rumour-spreading has its joys but proves unlivable as a daily ritual, even if one means well. Psychological exhaustion is suffered from having to worry about "what if there's something else to it?—and what if I've got it all wrong!—and who's right, then? and... and..." What pleasure is there to benign gossip, at that rate of suspicion?... Communication is a joy—so was trivial reportage meant to provide for public relaxation, when it first became authorised in society. However, perpetual fear of being the only clown at the end of the day will surely defeat both. Living in dread of self-ridicule all day long will work to abolish any self-esteem, too. True, this happens at varying degrees. Corporate Swindling & Spin-doctoring of International Intelligence—as in Misinformation, or Desint—is somewhat heavier a burden than even the worst case of Village—Gossip! In the latter instance the individual eventually becomes the village-idiot—or "some Black Bird of Bad Omen!" as it is still called in many places. Whereas one who moves the Intelligence Commonwealth about the place is surely reliving some ancient torture every morning at dawn. You could know the meaning of Hell on Earth just for being part of that. Oddly enough, you are totally protected from that hell, if you properly unaware of it all—as in, "Ignorance is Bliss."

De-moralising biblical parables, where this can be done, might shed new light on proverbs & current clichés—which could prove beneficial, if only for making both more accessible.

As to CALUMNY we have a choice to make: we could keep calling it a
moral defect, a perverse streak in human nature, a sin in the eye of The Lord—and it is! For if God could ever favour anything, it wouldn't be the Unmerciful.

Or, we could choose to address Calumny as,
(1) a national nuisance, where a whole population could be choking by its own hands and not once dream of it. Or, (2) a very heavy private burden:
A man who finds nothing enchanting in his fellows is surely heading for the circus.
But then, who can tell a Clown from a fool by what they wear?

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Witnessing Reality

More Sapienz links:

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Initial Concept of the Web

Anatomy of a Depression

Meaning of National Flag Symbols

Cynics and Lesser Mortals

Problems & Solutions

Myth & Mythomania

Facts & Fallacies

Taboos & Platitudes


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