And to say what one cannot write, and only in language lost forever.  -Ab.bu-ya (A)

Why would Ouakuin's placement matter, if we're using Levinas, not Ouakuin? Granted that Jewish methodology is dialectic, but I don't see it functioning here, as there's a receptive; e.g., passive, mind, an empty vessel, toward which  "it bursts out." The strange thing is that the teacher's mind is unfocused. What bursts forth is already agreed upon. When the vessel breaks, all receptive minds, which includes the teacher's, rise to the same level. (J)

"such an assertion about the Torah does not refer to the document written in ink on a scroll of parchment, but to the Torah as a pre-existential being, which preceded everything else in the world. This follows, for example from the Aggadah according to which the Torah was created two thousand years before the Creation of the world." (G. Scholem, On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism. New York, 1969.)

Of course timelessness doesn’t respond to this assertion, nor does “the Eternal,” as the Hebrew compact is predicated on its people on being-in-time. But the clock circles what? The am is also I am-not. However, something is felt weighing on, enthralling my soul like a prayer shawl whose fringes dangle into a well of invisible ink.Thus, I am moved to write what I cannot say. (J)

And as you know, there is no "am" in Hebrew - the tense is future – in the will-be that is also the past, the biblical tense so to speak – I believe it is the same in Assyrian, ilu [el] damku, god is gracious or favorable - so the copula simply isn't unless stating a tense – hayiti gdol, I was big - in which it's really perhaps a statement of the quality of time, same w/ future - but in the present, ani gdol - I big etc. – so that the biblical tense, which is found all over, somewhat eternalizes the copula; it's spread throughout time just as the existence of anything whatsoever qualifies space - the kernel knows nothing but clock-cycles and of course there's nothing, not even absence, between them am that I am; or, “Before Abraham was I am.” Am is the most misunderstood predicate in linguistic endeavor. (A) There is no knowledge of this am, no I that can be admitted before the Sun is directly overhead. So “I” is in exile from “am,” an unbridgeable gap—no pons, no pontiff, no authority--between them. A twilight zone, a vacuum into which the linux kernel is the archetype, the empty core filled with zeros and ones; e.g., am(s) and I(s). A cup of raw code mixed with a saint’s pure ashes, chips of burnt bone, twigs from a crow’s nest, and a steaming dollop of horse manure, cooks up to a hardy bowl of alphabet soup. A text, that is, a book that sits on the table without a spoon in sight. (J)

I've been looking at the quote and wonder if you have the Levinas itself? I'm not sure how this would translate - I think my friend Tom Zummer might have it in English or French. I want to see the context, the surround - how it conforms to Ouakuin's placement (of course I've found the book). One thinks simultaneously of dialog and dissemination in the quote - as well as the bursting of the vessels. (A)

Levinas resides within Ouakuin, a drowned stone covered with arcane symbols. The submerged structure is the depth of its sounding, as the stone has been caressed until completely smooth. What drowned was not the hermeneutics, but the voices themselves, intertwined in a lovers' suicide pact. We know what their last words were, as the lesson of truth is not in addition, but subtraction. The multitude crumbles like stale bread and dried-up fish. Not even one mouthful of exegesis can be envisioned. There are laws against this. (J)

Because the quote is located within Ouakuin, chosen in Ouakuin, surrounded by Ouakuin's commentary and exegesis, translated perhaps by the same translator as Ouakuin himself. Not to mention our stumbling upon Ouakuin and his submerged structure here. The model or armature of the quote is that of the techne of teaching - source, channel/transmission, receiver, dissemination. What of the noise? And how does this play against the differance within hermeneutics of the text? And it is this - this playing of the play - that is dialog or dialectic; a difficulty with the passage is the lesson of truth within a  multitude. (A)

"So transmission contains a teaching that becomes apparent in the very receptivity of learning and that continues it: real learning consists in receiving the lesson so profoundly that it is transformed into a necessity being dispensed to the other person; the lesson of truth cannot be limited to the mind of one man, it bursts out toward others." It's on P. 16 of The Burnt Book. Comes from Levinas, L'Au-dela du verset..p.99. What I have in mind , as said, is for it to look like a page of Mishnah. (ref. p. 35 of The Burnt Book), thus various sized fonts, and with colors. Guess we'll have to do a table. (J)

This sounds excellent - do you have the page? Also, what is the original source. My copy of The Burnt Book is somewhere in the midst of my others--it's disseminating from a distance! (A) 

Must we go to Derrida, "in embalming it, in shrouding it, in enclosing it in bands of material, and of writing, in putting up the stele..." and rub salt into the wound? Or let it bleed on its own, let it scab? Code raises the question of decoding the vision of its letters and numbers, while, by his name, Ouakuin's family made razors, sharp as the tongue of a horny Rabbinical student in the heat of the Talmud. Ouakuin's razors don't cut roots, but lash out at the buds. Thus, transmission depends upon the angle of its edges, and the strength of its folds; e.g., the color of the fire when it "bursts out toward others." (J)


Truth is always a minima, a subtraction. For every correct definition, there are infinite incorrect. In catastrophe theory, one talks about the fragility of good things - that the ability to 'go right,' to be coherent, is in fact against the entropic / catastrophic grain - the good resides on a cusp. Please explain the laws against exegesis; isn't everything in fact an act of exegesis? Language itself? (A)

"If we seriously think about it," wrote M. Scott Peck, "it probably makes more sense to assume this is a naturally evil world that has somehow been mysteriously 'contaminated' by goodness, rather than the other way around." Catastrophe contaminates exegesis, deracinating all positions planted with a Ho! What is catastrophe, then, but damage control? Even before the paradigm has been sowed, the Eureka! is uprooted, because exegesis is indeed pandemic. A flower doesn't blossom to model its colors, but to cast its etymology. It opens to transmit. Is code endemic to the root, or the pollen? (J) 

Is there anything but code? One might argue that the universe is information "all the way down." I neither assume goodness nor evil; contamination is in the tissue of the beholder, impossible to eradicate. But Ho! Does the sword cut through exegesis or the moment of enlightenment? Bushido is not my cup of tea. The flower is exegesis; it holds its own. And information is both root and transmission, the root of the transmission and the transmission of the root. And both root and transmission are found in the root, and both root and transmission are found in the transmission. Even Levinas observes the protocols, not to mention Ouakuin. Speaking of his name, what's in it? (A)

Here is the text I sent out, which tends towards elaboration of the source, which tends to dissipate in the commentary. And I wonder if it wasn't dissipation from the very beginning, flux from flux; the big bang has always given us the authenticity of the origin, which we can name anything we want... - Alan Nanpotzuk'uei

Nan (south)
bo (lord, chief)
[ ] -k'uei said (asked) .  . alone
where did you
read as spontaneous

[ ]

all (various)
duplicate, copy
black ink (inkstone)
read as:

filiations of inscription, what is taken down, formulated, given form,
produced and disseminated: the articulation of learning, in the sense of armature
from origin or commencement (see sending). of hand-craft
as well the material which is passed on. duplicate: to assert.

from child
, duplicate
chant, recitation
read as: the chant or recitation is the first form, aurality not yet
codified. we're moving temporally in reverse; inscription is after
the fact.

, obvious
grandchild (son)
it from

read as: the filiation son/grandson ends at this point; lineage begins
at this point, tendrils above. so that kinship is a matter/manner of
chanting and recitation, a manner of inking and inscription.

appearance (sight)
, appearance
read as vision or impression (bright appearance)
read as sight or view
read as: the first enunciation of form, an appearance both particulate
and blinding.

it from

read as hearing and listening
read as: the murmuring of the world, the mumbling or ululation within
the chora or receptacle - the seething or fractal liquidity of the
real. whispered approval tends to inundate bright appearance, the
gathering of materia dejecta into the beginnings of identity, form,
structure, culture, language.
, whispered
it from
read as distinguish, express
read as confirm the practice of reality

read as approach the real, practice
, needing
service (military)
read as aid or help
read as: primordial intentionality, teleology, tropism, waiting.
it from

, here
read as chanting or singing together, in
read as: primordial sound, plasma, a1-supernova, universal chaos
tending towards coherency. we are approaching the bottom from
the top, tending towards incoherency, the mystery or existential
it from
mysterious (occult)

read as gloomy, dim, sullen, murky, obscure
read as: darkness of darkness of no light no image, darkness of
darkness of no form of no form. of no formlessness of no
formlessness. darkness out of which nothing emerges, nothing
withdraws. the same which is close to but not identical to the
emissions from the bottom, the originary flux, the non-identical
flux, the flux of no-identity of no-identity. but also of gloom,
of universal dark energy expansion, of defuge, of exhaustion,
of catatonia, tending towards psychosis above.
, mysterious
it from

read as emptiness, vacant, unoccupied
read as entering, taking part in
read as: taking part in emptiness, joining the unoccupied. darkness
above is already an occupation, here of absence, absenting here,
the writing or inscription, taking part in, not occupying, not
there, almost as if the symbol were in someone's mind. as if there
were someone.
read as: we have to start somewhere.
it from
read uncertain
commencing (beginning)

read as beginning, origin, source
read as: we have to begin somewhere.
read as: read up through this sequence towards the symbol. for
the symbol emerges as culture emerges, defines and constructs
space. propositional logic is based on shaky foundation of flux
and obscurity; in the dark, identity and equivalence are identical
and equivalent. as one escapes, the origin disappears, becomes
problematic, is deferred. as one escapes, the origin is annihilated.
culture is entropic in its very foundation, noisy in its axiomatics,
asservations. what is gained is always on the back of chaos; what is
spoken, must be whispered; it is the murmur that is whispered.
nothing and everything is built within the murmur, speaking it
louder, crushing its voice. the throat of the world is its silencing.  (A)

This from obvious approval, extolling ink/chant's duplicate appearance from empty appearance, beginning copying services needing darkness. Chief son heard it from grandchild, black commencing with a fierce brightness, said to service evil, occult from the south, "From K'uei?" whispered in a militant. "Mysteriously asked," said Chuang Tzu. Does the Source dissipate,
or attract in order to trap the unwary in a land scheme, selling tracts of worthless desert as a "Holy Land"?
We testify to the ruins as if they've been successfully resurrected, instead of a collection of crumbled

walls and the shards of horns.
"We who pass through Divinity leave (the mystics) behind, ignorant of the road which leads away from God. They have never asked themselves the question, 'What begins after God?'...." (E.M. Cioran, Tears and Saints. Chicago, 1995.)
Only after being torn apart by the Whirlwind; only after reaching its eye and not buying into the illusion of being saved, of holiness, of gnosis, does one accept the responsibility of being human, and one's exile begins.(J)

Read as, "Occult formlessness is no recitation." Flux as obscurity of the primordial, of the darkness, of the tropism pointing toward emergence, deferring the duplicate, whispering logic, bright murmurs that distinguish the learning of children.

Chanting is culture's receptacle, it's equivalence of the source of identity, doubtfully tending first son, grandson, (fact, origin) duplicates of joining flux to commencement, of which psychosis is liquidity, the into of coherency, approaching the spoken as black given to gloom, emptiness, reality, as form in a world of particulates seething, taken here as someone heard above, escaping from nothingness toward the obvious, problematic as our murky beginning as supernova read as appearance, from symbol to this noisy chaos, in ink an inking of lineage pointing toward origin, as if identity is catatonia, space, view, service to, bottom up materia, insightful articulation, as flux approaching approval, based not on whispers, but formulated, a sound expressing energy identical to image, intentionally entopic, from beginning to inscription.

Inscription of, or granted for, spontaneous aurality becomes expansive. Produced of, or disseminated for, dejecta as material is spoken and read within approval. Appearance is the equivalent of approval by a problematic voice with no foundation in teleology. This same gathering is where origin is read as temporality, the mysterious beginning empty of both assert and coherency.

Exhaustion tends to help a culture when kinship is heard as service to recitation, consenting to the darkness as if axiomatic, silencing minds which restructure the formlessness, the uncertain, the whispered, commencing built appearance as the practice of  taking various symbols for the murmur of an empty origin, reading sense as reverse inscription, extolling escape into fractal impressions, or light as universal enunciation, an unoccupied mystery absent of beginning, already bright, the first ink emerges as black.

The appearance of a world is a sequence that withdraws its vision, its armature a read or heard construct duplicating as appearance. Codified within, everything occupies something, and language becomes the plasma of an obscured occupation.

I've been reading Haun Saussy, "The Problem of a Chinese Aesthetic," and that took me, I think, to the middle of book vi, Chuang Tzu, where there are wildly varying translations of a passage I'm going to translate myself, Nan-po Tzu-k'uei asked, 'Where did you happen to hear this?' (J)


'I heard it from the son of Aided-by-Ink, and Aided-by-Ink heard it from the grandson of Repeated-Recitation, and the grandson of Repeated-Recitation heard it from Seeing-Brightly, and Seeing-Brightly heard it from Whispered-Agreement, and Whispered-Agreement heard it from Waiting-for-Use, and Waiting-for-Use heard it from Exclaimed-Wonder, and Exclaimed-Wonder heard it from Dark-Obscurity heard it from Participation-in-Mystery, and Participation-in-Mystery heard it from Copy-the-Source!'

Now I'm particularly curious about 'Copy-the-Source for reasons having to do with property and dissemination and Karl Kraus, and I'll let you know as I stumble through looking up character after character... The last is shi3, in Japanese commence/begin, begin/start in Chinese according to Wenlin, has woman/mouth/myself as three radicals, no additional strokes -

I understand I think what CW is saying but I strongly disagree; people who are exiled - in the passive tense - suffer in ways we can't comprehend, through tropologies we can't begin to understand. The limits to my knowledge are my gateway to the world - (A)


Somehow, Copy-the-Source conflates with the perspective of the exile, as the Source which the West calls God suffers in perpetual exile from the world. You are right that we cannot comprehend this, but we must, as our planet is becoming one in which not only populations are being displaced; more importantly, their cultures are crumbing beneath Capitalism's "shock and awe" phalanx. "The bone between fingers" is a genre of cryptomimesis.

The most telling exiles have been the Jews. In his essay, "The Talmud and the Internet," Jonathan Rosen writes, "Jews died as a people of the body, of the land, of the Temple service of fire and blood, and then, in one of the greatest acts of translation in human history, they were reborn as the people of the book." What is this book but a plot to limit our knowledge? A temenos, between the covers. (J)


Today I found this in The Book of Knowledge, Imam Al-Gazzali, translated by Nabih Amin Faris: "First, there is the state of seeking knowledge in which man is acquisitive; another is that of having knowledge in which state he would not need to inquire of others; a third state is that of reflection wherein he would contemplate and enjoy his achievement; and last, there is the state of teaching wherein he imparts his knowledge to others. This last state is (also) the noblest." "'Thus he who has knowledge and shall do and teach the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.' - In this state the teacher is like the sun, which being itself luminous, sheds light; or like the musk which being itself fragrant, makes other objects fragrant."

How did we arrive at the wound from the root? Why not leave pain for somewhere else, the light or Shekinah, or the musk? Certainly it is time for that -(A) 


The sun does this, the heat and glare of the sun. On a hot, clear, afternoon, the high desert releases the fragrance of creosote. Thoughts ooze into each other. One's body feels like it's melting into the sand, provender for ants. Only one's bones are preserved, white and foreboding. I was in exile, then, and my pain was that of the exile's. Charles Wright said, "Anyone who writes seriously writes from an exile's point of view." But the exile's pain is suffused with the perfume of the Beloved, the Shekinah, the Image in exile from all images. She who can never be possessed, who can never be processed. To be a student means that one's pillow is perfumed, but one's bed is empty. (J)

Nan (south) ^ bo (lord, chief) ^ Tzu ^ [ ] -k'uei said (asked) .. alone ^ fierce (evil) ^ [ ] ^
hear ^ this ^ ? said ^ . . all (various) ^ duplicate, copy ^ black ink (inkstone) ^ from child ^ ,

duplicate ^ black ink ^ from ^ son ^ heard ^ obvious ^ chant, recitation ^ from ^ grandchild^
, obvious ^ chant ^ grandchild (son) ^ heard ^ it from ^ appearance (sight) ^ bright ^ ,
appearance ^ bright ^ heard ^ it from ^ whispered ^ approval ^ , whispered ^ approval ^
heard ^ it from ^ needing ^ service ^ , needing ^ service (military) ^ heard ^ it from ^ here ^
extolling ^ , here ^ extolling ^ heard ^ it from ^ mysterious (occult) ^ darkness ^ ,
mysterious ^ darkness ^ heard ^ it from ^ empty ^ goings ^ , empty ^ goings ^ heard ^ it
from ^ commencing (beginning) ^ . (Chuang Tzu, vi\8)

Working down through the characters - beginning elsewhere translated as origin or Origin, goings still confusing to me. The Exile - Paul Chamberland or Gaston Miron or Virillio on endocolonization - is centrifugal - I think instead of centripetal, a continuous turning inward towards the dissipating source. But/and the Jews elsewhere are holding onto their land - as if they were a nation instead of the ruins of testimony... (A)

Somewhere, Karl Kraus wrote, I believe, Am Ursprung gibts Plagiat. But I am sure this is incorrect, or not. I read it originally 'In the beginning,there is (already) plagiarism.' But then I think it read 'Am Ursprung gibts nichts Plagiat.' or even 'Am Ursprung nichts Plagiat.' And the words themselves may be wrong. But then I disagree that 'In the beginning there is nothing plagiarized.' or 'Am Ursprung gibts nicht Plagiat.' Or perhaps 'In the beginning nothing is plagiarized.' But I would argue indeed that 'In the beginning, there is plagiarism.' And that this plagiarism is all the way down, and such duplication and borrowing of authorship, authority, may constitute the very nature of reality itself. - Alan, wandering away from any conceivable origin. (A)

Skakkei is a term that comes from the art of rock gardening. It means "borrowed scenery," and pertains to when a--usually large--rock, is brought to the garden from somewhere else. Stonehenge is also borrowed scenery. The stones fit their new surroundings because of our aesthetic or cultural sensibilities. There is no claim of individual origination. However, in concert, an original aura is cast.Lascaux II is another kind of shakkei. Closed to the public, the original Lascaux retains its mystery. Lascaux II is not a replacement, but a reproduction, a duplicate. To the tourist, the duplicate looks the same; e.g., from pictures one has seen. But there are problems here. For example, is Lascaux II a duplicate of the original, or of photographs taken of the original? Is this plagiarism "all the way down?"

However, the main point I want to make is that the reproduction can only replace the original if the original is retired. Thus "plagiarism...constitute(s) the very nature of reality itself" because, short of extraordinary circumstances, reality is unavailable to us. (J)

First, plagiarism at the origin eliminates the origin, just as quantum parameters totally characterize electrons which are equivalent. There is no origin, just as digital media need not have an originary moment, but equivalent duplicates. This is why the digital is eternal, and Lascaux is not; the digital can be ultimately owned and transmitted by anyone. There is no there there, of course, only sequencing. The auratic is now within the interpretation of the sequencing, the semantic generation, the indexical - no longer the ikonic, to borrow from Peirce. 

But you touch on an argument current on Cybermind - that of Baghdad; here, the shards and artifacts from the museums, archives, and libraries are NOT replaceable - not only because their information, their content, is in the very molecule - but also because, to humans, the antiquity and historyitself _means._ In fact, at least in relation to the Sumerian, it might be considered the generation of meaning.

This lost is, in both senses, ghastly... (A)

Kate Hayles writes that "As the vibrant new field of electronic textuality flexes its muscle, it is becoming overwhelmingly clear that we can no longer afford to ignore the material basis of literary production." (N. Katherine Hayles, Writing Machines. Cambridge, MA., 2002. p.19. ) Her stance seems ironic, an insistence on materiality within an immaterial nexus. A longing, maybe, for when she roamed the fields of northeastern Missouri, "wealthy in tadpoles." As a former sculptor, I'm sympathetic to what she's saying, even as my fingertips are pressing the computer's keys. But beyond the hardware, where the writing takes place there is "only sequencing." Digital writing is not a substitute for typewriting. It has no origination. It is the ghost in the machine, not of the machine.

The bombing of Baghdad will loom large in the history of this century, smashing old mortar with advanced technologies and the oldest of Biblical exhortations: "Smite thy enemy!" And another collection of human cultural artifacts is exiled into the world, never to be re-placed. However, like with the Chinese invasion of Tibet, what is a loss to one culture is a form of iconic sowing. Invasions have been, and still are, part of the natural process of cultural dissemination, in which monomaniacs perform as recombinational agents. However, as digital artifacts aren't material, they don't need wars to broadcast them. As the Digital Age matures, will the violent invasions of armies become obsolete? (J)  

Seems to me that Hayles is much too late on this. We all knew this, literally, in grad school re: the material basis. Of course "only" 'sequencing' begs the question - that "only" conceals the niku - fleshmeat - of all of it.

Invasions - they're tempered I think by an exponential increase in energy which will push them right over the brink (for example in catastrophe theory, jumping surfaces). There's nothing natural about them, except that we do them, if that's natural? I can't imagine other species - yes, there are invasive flora/fauna, but not with the intent...Alan, exfoilating. (A)

This is why my computer is a white, slightly tan, color of flesh? Bacteria invade, as do viruses. But these aren't species. Many, if not most, humans are never more than one god away from psychosis. Believing that you are killing people and destroying their homes in order to save them is sane? Alan of Lille, in the fourth book of Contra paganos, wrote that "(Muhammad), inspired by the evil spirit, founded an abominable sect, one suitable for fleshly indulgences, not disagreeable to pleasures of the flesh; and therefore these carnal men, allured by his sect, and humiliated by the errors of various precepts, have died and continue to die miserably..." From what? Crusades. (J)

Bacteria live, not invade. I associate invasion in our sense with intention; we read or project invasion onto other species. Gibbon is much kinder to Islam, by the way, and less so to Christianity. And somehow invasion brings to mind the parasitic, especially in relation to virality. And the parasitic brings noise itself to the foreground, and its ability to enhance. Do see Serres' The Parasite...(A)

"The parasite invents something new. It intercepts energy and pays for it with information....The parasite establishes an agreement that is unfair, at least in terms of previous accounting methods: it constructs a new balance sheet. It expresses a logic that was considered irrational until now, it expresses a new epistemology, another theory of equilibrium." (Michel Serres, Le Parasite. P.51.)

Levinas states that "transmission contains a teaching," while parasitic theory infers that transmission incurs a price, "a new balance sheet." The Master pays a price for transmitting his teaching, and indeed becomes dependent upon the accomplishments of his disciples. Truth propagates truth, and something more. Today, the very pollen that distributes life makes my life miserable. (J)

Are Jews parasites? Are parasites beneath the aegis of Lyotard's differend? These questions immediately come to mind. There are also issues of governance, Bush absorbing or redirecting energy. Is it all a question of energy in this fashion? And it depends where the teaching originates! - It may come from the channel itself, from the transmitter, from the receiver; it's all interpretation. And it may come from interrupts, which might be noisy, or chaotic, or patterned and determinative. The possibilities are endless; they come down at times to practical experience, praxis - for example identifying pollen in the while, or, in our case, new species of moths and bugs (hemiptera). (A)

Like a mantra whose words are meaningless, what is interpreted is always only parasitic. The god ascends; but not before his voice has been inscribed. The inscription cracks, crumbles, disappears; but not before the words have "burst out toward others" Those who hear and believe the words are a god's are martyred without mercy. And rightly so. What the god said was, I AM BECAUSE I AM NOT, immediately and eternally severing the root of his words and his being.
Thus all fundamentalisms are by definition hubris: by placing the god they misplace the message. The god, the words, and the believers do have something in common: they all disappear. Disappearance is the prerequisite for gnosis. Disappearance is the key to it all. 5000 years of human cultural history disappear with the turn of a key. (J)

And it might be better when the disappearance actualizes, at least for the remnants of the planet. I am always inclined to the ehiyeh sheh ehiyeh, if I remember correctly - I am what I am, but also I will be what I will be, and ultimately, nothing more than the kernel, as for example, the linux kernel, meaningless without the cultural shell, but intense in terms of its potentivity. My work always seems to center around such, null moments or emissions, and a dread-full fear of any absolute, any authority. I keep on the trail of avoidance; I can't help it – (A)

(A) = Alan Sondheim
(J) =  Joel Weishaus