Home Page and the Dialogues of Nodin and William
Albrecht Altdorfer - The Stigmatization of St. Francis1
Dialogues of Nodin and William
Blessed is he whose nature is created from above,
and not from below.
William : I am astonished, Nodin, of the girth of knowledge that I have acquired within the past few weeks, for it seems as though all the knowledge that I possessed before was as a twinkling of a noise, and of little relative benefit to my own self. I have recently learned to trust what I myself can verify as true, I have learned the value of first-hand observation, my logic now recognizes the need for discerning the sequences of firsts, I have observed and rationalized the differences between manners of measuring intelligence, I have recognized my own error in accepting socially-accepted beliefs as valid, I can now comprehend the value of religion, I now know there is right and wrong, and most of all, I have learned of the differences between an inward nature manifesting itself externally, and the dishonest behavior of mimicking a social mannerism whose nature is not of my own heart. I thank you Nodin for teaching me these things.
Nodin : I am happy for your growth of knowledge, William, but I taught you nothing; it is you that learned; I was merely present during the moments of your learning. Regardless of what anyone might believe otherwise, each person must actually participate in their own lives, each person must learn by themselves, each person must mentally rationalize and physically apply each topic themselves, and no quantity of memorizing another manís words can better any individual.
William : Why does it not surprise me to hear you refrain from accepting credit for your guidance? I realize that it is within your nature to be modest and not deem yourself to be of high value, but it is you Nodin that guided my learning, and you should accept credit.
Nodin : My chuckle is not for your words William, but for my knowing a thing that you have not yet recognized. Are you not of the knowledge of how two things may appear externally to behave similarly, while yet both things may be of different natures inwardly?
William : Yes, as I said a moment before, for I myself have now experienced how the nature of a inwardly quiet soul can produce a similar external quietness as what a noisy soul can produce when following an external teaching of silence.
Nodin : And so then, is it of a necessity that I must be inwardly modest if I behave with an external appearance of modesty?
William : Oh, but that is an intriguing question Nodin, for indeed what I perceive as modesty does not necessarily validate that your inward nature is modest. But within my mind are the many memories of how you have behaved with modesty in the past, and I can find no evidence in my memories to question my interpretation that your nature does in fact create that which is termed to be modest.
Nodin : It is the lack of knowledge that causes us all to often leap upon wrong assumptions, and until a man knows my heart and soul, no man can know if I am modest or not, and since no man can know anotherís soul, then no man can know if I am modest, or know if perhaps my external behavior might be the effect of a different cause.
William : For myself Nodin, I can think of no reason to conclude that you have not exhibited the many mannerisms that signify modesty.
Nodin : Tell me William; what is modesty?
William : Modesty is considered to be an individual who has a moderate estimation of himself; a person who does not take undue credit for his actions. Except where useful for the benefit of others, you remain secluded, not within the public eye, and not like the street philosophers who adorn themselves with burgundy philosophersí robes and preach their views for money.
Nodin : Ah, but by what means of deduction have you concluded that I might have a moderate estimation of myself?
William : I have not observed you claiming to be of a superiority above that of the common man, and in fact, just the opposite is true, for you have expressed the behavior of deeming all men to be of similar value, if not above your own, regardless of a manís wealth or intelligence.
Nodin : Are men of wealth and intelligence of greater value than men without wealth and great intelligence?
William : Why no, of course not, for it is the quality of the spirit that weighs a manís quality.
Nodin : Then if I do not claim myself superior for reasons of wealth or intelligence, am I acting with a conviction of having a moderate estimation of myself, or is my conviction based upon a different scale?
William : Ha! I am already with the perception that you are leading me down a treacherous road that you already know that I will stumble and fall within the mud, but I of course have no choice but to accept my lesson with happiness and gratitude. So then, now, I know that you are not modest because of wealth, because it appears that you have little material wealth, but in my opinion you have great wealth of intelligence, and it is in your estimating your intelligence as moderate that you appear to me as being modest.
Nodin : Very well, and so then tell me William, in what way have I exhibited a moderation of estimating my intelligence?
William : I have observed how you grow quiet, reserved, and greatly hesitant to speak about what knowledge and understandings that you might possess, and that you do not boast of possessing an intelligence of a higher grade than average. To me, your reservedness indicates that you estimate your own intelligence with moderation, and if I might add, it appears that you down-play your talents far below the average intelligence of man. To me, that spells modesty.
Nodin : Might there be another reason why a person might choose to not speak highly of his intelligence?
William : Perhaps, but all that my mind can think of at the moment might be for the person not wishing to harm the sensitivities of other people, or perhaps to preclude the possibility of an individual becoming the target of envy. Within all occupations there exists envy; the envy of wealth, the envy of social position, the envy of academic achievements, and the envy of intelligence.
Nodin : Those are good reasons William, and must they be the only possibilities that a person might choose to hide or think moderately of their intelligence?
William : No, I suppose that there are likely many other reasons as well, but I do not at the moment know what they might be.
Nodin : What if the person knew for a fact that his intelligence was nothing more than average? What if the person knew as fact that his intelligence is moderate? Would the man then be modest, or merely be honest?
William : Well of course, the man would simply be stating fact, and there would not exist the modesty that estimates oneís talents in moderation.
Nodin : Then if I tell you that my intelligence is little different than the average manís, am I behaving modestly, or am I just stating fact?
William : Ha! I can feel the slippery mud beneath my feet already, but I must conclude that by my measurements, your intelligence is above that of the average manís, and thus your insinuation that your intelligence is average must surely be modesty and not fact.
Nodin : Which man is the tallest, he who is a cubit in height, or he who is a cubit and a tenth?
William : Well of course it would be he who is a cubit and a tenth.
Nodin : What is the average height of men?
William : About four cubits.
Nodin : And what if a forty cubit tall man existed? You see William, regardless of how tall a man might be, if there exists men of much taller height, then even the forty cubit tall man will appear average. Intelligence too is a relative thing, and mine is not high, but rather it is within the level of intelligence for men. I am not modest William; I prefer to speak truth.
William : But Nodin, I can think of no intelligence greater than manís, and if your intelligence appears higher than of the average manís, then I do not understand by what measure that you might weigh yourself as being of average intelligence.
Nodin : As I said at the onset of our discussion, I know of a thing that you have not yet recognized William, and it is by my comparing my intelligence to the thing, that I am aware that I am quite ignorant, and that my intelligence is woefully inadequate. As a man might look upon an ant and relate his own intelligence as superior to that of the antís, so do I feel to be as an amoeba compared to the nature of Nature. You see, William, I do not interpret man as being of a great intelligence, but rather I interpret man as being as a newborn within a world of fantastic complexities that are beyond the ability for a human mind to rationalize. If man does not first destroy the world, in time there will exist life that is of far greater intelligence than what man possesses today, and regardless of what intelligence any of us might believe we hold, our intelligence will be short and insignificant when compared to the future life. So you see, William, I judge and weigh all things to all things else; past, present, and future.
William : Nodin, you just did it again; you explained an answer while simultaneously avoiding the answer. I had noticed it from when we first met, but I was unsure how to interpret your manner of evading information about yourself. You will speak of two or three aspects of a thing, but you always omit an aspect that would clarify the thing best and give meaning to the other aspects.
Nodin : It is not a needful thing to speak all thoughts. Besides, it is of no value for anyone to memorize the words of another manís; what is of value is that the person holds two thoughts in his hands, and he then rationalizes how the two thoughts combine to create a new third concept. Yes, it is true, I do purposefully omit information in everything I speak of, for I want people to think, to figure things out on their own, and to not be spoon-fed information to be memorized and recited as a machine. Little is as stunting to the mind and soul than for a person to memorize words, for already we have machines capable of storing words, and man ought to be of greater value than a machine.
William : Very well, I will accept your reason for not explaining all topics to the depth of your knowledge, but let us not lose sight of the topic, that of modesty. Are you saying that you are not modest, but rather that you are honest in the evaluation of yourself, and that it is the honesty that gives an appearance of modesty?
Nodin : That is, in part, correct.
William : Aha, but again you have not yet well answered the question with a fullness, for I perceive that there exist other variables and influences that have combined to create within you a nature, that when expressed through the body, gives the appearance of modesty.
Nodin : And you do realize, William, that I will not elaborate on what the variables and influences might be?
William : Yes; it is your business, it is your privacy, and I am aware that I should not pry further.
Nodin : Then also recognize that the word ďmodestyĒ can be incorrectly interpreted when describing an individualís behavior, and too, that there does not exist within the general public a clarified definition for the causes of modesty. The only suitable definition will arrive from the modest man himself, and only if the man is with sufficient self-awareness to be cognizant of his own variables and influences. The quiet man knows why he is quiet, and the modest man knows why he is modest. The observer may observe quietness and modesty, but the observer cannot know the causes.
William : I perceive that there is a lesson to be learned in your words Nodin, but I am not aware of what the lesson might be.
Nodin : Though a man may measure a wave of light, can the man know the nature of light?
William : Oh, I see what you are pointing to, and no, though a thing might be measured and observed from a distance, the inward nature of the thing cannot be known through an external observation.
Nodin : Think on this; that when observing the thing of light, there should arise within the mind a questioning of how the nature of light expresses itself externally. There are currently two dominate theories of light, are there not?
William : Yes. There was the Newtonian theory that light was composed of corpuscles, that is, particles, and later theories discovered that light must be of a nature of a wave. The latest theories have observed how light can behave as both particle and wave.
Nodin : Why was there ever a question of the nature of light?
William : It seems likely to me that man did not know how light functions, and so he investigated and measured light so as to derive a knowledge of light.
Nodin : But is it not obvious what the external behavior of light is? Should not the mind instantly recognize that if light were particles, and if a star is perhaps ten billion light years away, which would be roughly almost sixty-million-million-billion miles distant, then if the particles of light were within one particle distance of the other upon the surface of the star, then by the time the particles reached our eyes, the particles would be spaced apart roughly almost sixty-million-million-billion times more than the arc of particle separation that occurs within one mile. Or in other words, there would be little chance of our being able to see a distant star at all, and magnifying light with a telescope would only magnify each individual particle, and not allow us to see the whole of any heavenly body. If light were particles, then we also could not see all portions of any object, for our eyes would only detect the particles that bounced off an object and then into our eyes, and our eyes would not see the particles that bounced in a different direction. If two men standing at different locations can see the same object, then light cannot be particles because particles cannot bounce in all directions simultaneously.
William : That is true Nodin, for indeed, if light were particles, then our eyes would not see the things that we see, and the Newtonian belief was obviously incorrect from its very inception. But what about the theory that light can behave as a wave and a particle?
Nodin : As can be felt upon the skin and within the body, about an hour before sunrise is felt the solar radiation bouncing off the upper atmosphere, and the radiation is felt to be as tiny spheres shooting through the body, of similarly sensorially perceived sensations as what is felt when receiving a medical x-ray. When a wave of any manner is of specific speed and resonance, its resonance will react differently to different densities and compositions of objects, and the wave will behave as a wave upon one object while behaving as a particle upon a different object.
William : That is an interesting view Nodin, and forgive me of my investigating portions of your comments further, but I am curious about the felt perception of solar radiation about an hour before sunrise. I have heard that some people can feel x-rays, but I had not before heard of anyone feeling solar radiation as you describe.
Nodin : But of course you have had reason to suspect the perception, William, for have you not noticed that a rooster will crow about an hour before dawn? How would the rooster know to crow if the rooster was not aware of a change in his environment? At very near the same time that I feel the first radiation of the sun bouncing down off the atmosphere and through the roof of my house and then through me, do I also hear the first crow of roosters. It appears likely that since on the days that the solar radiation is felt to be very weak and that the roosters may not crow until near dawn, and yet the roosters will again crow early when the solar radiation is strong and early, then it appears that the rooster may crow according to the felt perception of solar radiation. Evidence of the ability to perceive solar radiation exists throughout Nature, and it is not necessary to learn of the reality from other menís words, but rather all that is necessary to learn is for an individual to give attention to his own perceptions and then weigh each perception to all other perceptions.
William : That is a very interesting observation Nodin, and I will now give closer attention to when roosters crow. But now, back to the behavior of light, man has measured the effects of light, and it appears that he has arrived at a similar conclusion as yours, that light can behave both as a wave and a particle.
Nodin : Ah, but there are other features of light that man has not yet recognized, and the features are as easily observed as what we rationalized about the behavior of particles. To clarify our thoughts on the topic of the nature of things, can man, through observance, know the nature of a cell of flesh?
William : No, technically and logically, man cannot know the nature of a cell, for he can only measure and observe the internal and external behaviors of the cell.
Nodin : Good, your thoughts are expanding upon the previous thoughts, and let us continue further by my asking if a man can know the nature of an atom of hydrogen?
William : No; still the inward nature of a thing cannot be known from observing its external behavior.
Nodin : Then please tell me this; can the method of science produce a knowledge of the nature of anything?
William : Ah, Nodin, now my eyes are opening, and I believe that I now understand why you have held a stance against scienceís claim of it being the source of all knowledge, for indeed whatsoever science might observe and measure, still science cannot know the nature of any object or thing in Nature. But now I can see with my own eyes that there does exist a field of inquiry different than science, and it is of self-observation, and it is the only method of knowing the nature of a thing; and the thing is ourselves. So then, now I do understand, that science does not belong on a pedestal of being the sole source of knowledge, and as far as truth is concerned about logic and the nature of things, some religious and philosophical teachings point towards a greater truth than what science can hope to ever discover. This is one of the many details that you previously did not explain, and that you omitted from describing your knowledge of Nature.
Nodin : What you have said is true, William, but please do not allow your mind to find rest within a single discovery, for wheresoever there exists a discovery so will there exist discoveries of the nature of the discovery. Think it out, expand your thoughts, think, ponder, question your mindís questions, and as you recognized the need to compare firewood to stone, so likewise compare your knowledge of inward natures to all things else.
William : Excellent, Nodin, for I sense that there must be great value in learning how my own discoveries are created. So then, if I now understand why a quiet nature produces a quiet behavior, and that the inward nature of a thing cannot be known through external observation, then there must exist a relevance between the wood, the stone, the quietness, the modesty, the science, and myself. Forgive me of my long pause and silence Nodin, but I cannot yet discern a unique thought in my mind that speaks of where or how I should pursue the investigation further.
Nodin : Let us approach this from an easier angle then. What is the nature of honesty?
William : As I have learned both from you and myself, honesty is accuracy, in thought and behavior.
Nodin : And what is the nature of accuracy?
William : I perceive that accuracy is correctness.
Nodin : What is the nature of correctness?
William : It appears to my mind that the nature of correctness is dependent on many variables and influences, including sensorial perceptions, conscious recognition of perceptions, memories, analog weighing of memories, and conclusions based upon the logical weighings. We have entered into a type of self-investigation that I am not skilled with, and I am unsure if my thoughts are correct within the topic before us.
Nodin : You have approached the first level of inquiry into the nature of natures, but once you have opened the door to discovery, then you will find that the door leads to infinitely more doors; behind each door there are infinite doors as well, and somewhere there will exist a door that leads back through the first door. I will nudge slightly one door, and allow you yourself to further open the door: can we know the nature of a thing other than ourselves?
William : No, we can only know our own selves.
Nodin : But we can know the nature of honesty and accuracy?
William : Yes, I am with the opinion that we can know through inward self-observation how honesty and accuracy arise into existence.
Nodin : Now carry the thought further, William, and tell me at what point do we arrive at knowing the nature of an inward thing, and at which point do we then begin attempting to know the inward nature from an external observation?
William : Oh! I believe I am with thought of what you are pointing to Nodin! I can inwardly recognize how honesty is created through accuracy, and I can recognize the nature of accuracy being correctness, but when I search for the nature of correctness, I find the many variables and influences, each of which might have an observable nature, and when I continue carrying the investigation further, I find that I have approached a stage where I am trying to know through external observation the nature of the things that combined to create the nature of correctness. So, am I not, even within my own self, required to observe a thing from an external view, and thus to not know the nature of the things that combined to create a nature that I can now understand as being of my own nature?
Nodin : Ha! Yes, your words exhibit a good first-attempt of explaining the layers of natures that combine to create a thing. But do not stop your thinking and self-investigation, for within your discovery are countless more.
William : Forgive me Nodin, but my mind feels tired, as though it has been overly exercised already, and my mind does not at the moment possess the energy to push further forward. Nevertheless, this thing, of the combining of natures to create a new nature, I read about in the manuscripts of your own writing, and I sense within me a growing comprehension of what you pointed to.
Nodin : Later, when your mind is rested, and your thoughts return, think on what we have discussed, and recognize that our consciousness exists within a thin layer of natures of things created by the natures of other things, and that our inward natures then combine to create the natures of behaviors external to ourselves; and so you see, William, we exist within a fractal of being and becoming, and the fractal nature of Nature is cyclic, as a wheel with no beginning and no end.
William : And this fractal nature, should I envision it in my mind as like the Mandelbrot fractals, that when magnified as with a microscope, there can be found an infinite number of designs within the design?
Nodin : Your idea is more one of the nature of the physics of Nature, and though it might be said that your thought is vaguely within an analogy of Natureís fractals, still, what you speak of, the Mandelbrot, is a two dimensional representation, and it is not a cyclic six dimensional fractal, nor is the Mandelbrot example capable of exhibiting the harmonics and coloring of one layer to the next. But to grasp a concept of the physics of Nature, it is useful to first grasp oneís own presence within the fractal layers, which is our presence existing sequentially after the things that we cannot know the nature of, and yet the natures combine to create what we are and how we exist sequentially prior to the nature of things that we create from our own nature. You see William, it all depends on the observer; inwardly we cannot know the nature of the things that combined to create our present nature, and externally a person cannot know the nature of the things that combined to create our external behavior. Can you now understand where you and I exist within the layers of being and becoming? And can you also understand that by what logic is applied by us to choose our behavior, so must a logic exist within the natures that created our own nature?
William : Ah, but Nodin, this is a fantastic new thought for me, for never would I have imagined such a thing existing, and never would I have understood what you just said if I had not previously experienced the inward observation of my own self! So then, now, I am aware of the perception of how the natures of things combine to create a new thing, like how the color of red combines with the color of yellow to produce a shade of orange, that each nature is as a color of its own, and I am aware of the time flow, and the sequencing of firsts, and the Natural law of firsts now makes more sense to me than ever before! For indeed, by what color is applied first, so will the finished product be influenced most.
Nodin : Do you now recognize why I omit some knowledge from every topic I speak of? If I had spoken of fractals when we first met, would you have comprehended what I implied?
William : I am stung with conviction, Nodin, for I am now well aware that if you had openly spoken of this layering of being and becoming, I would have invented my own interpretation of your words, and never would I have been capable of arriving at the understanding that I now possess.
Nodin : So now let me ask you again; am I a modest man, or am I honest?
William : It is now my opinion that if you are aware of the layers of being and becoming, and that you are also aware that it is not possible to know the nature of those things that combined to create what we deem to be ourselves, that is, you are with the logic of knowing that an unknowable thing cannot be known, then it appears that you are being honest in your reasoning that man cannot know all the mysteries of Nature, but all the more reason is it for me to conclude that your intelligence is much greater than average.
Nodin : Please continue carrying the thoughts further William, for you have just barely opened the first door; there are many more doors to discover, and within one of the doors is the answer to your interpretation of intelligence.
William : But Nodin, the door that I just gazed upon is sufficient enough to enrapture my mind with a consciousness of things not before recognized, nor has any such knowledge ever before been presented to me. Forgive me of my curiosity Nodin, but why is this knowledge not taught in schools? Have the educators determined that there might be a flaw in your logic and mine, or might there be a different reason?
Nodin : Before we answer that William, please think a moment and then answer me this; are you confident of your view about the fractal nature of being and becoming?
William : Yes Nodin, I am very confident, for I myself can observe the being and becoming within myself, and as assuredly as I can sum one and one to be two, I can sum and divide the layers to prove to myself that the fractal nature does exist, and of that I am confident.
Nodin : Do you believe that you may have been capable of comprehending the fractal nature of being and becoming without your first having performed the self-observation?
William : No, and I can see what you are pointing to, that a person must experience the thing first-hand, else he will not comprehend the sequencing, nor the being and becoming, nor might the individual arrive at such a theory without the self-reflection. Is it not a peculiar thing that my mind has blossomed with thoughts of how men as Darwin and Whorf deemed Native Americans as inferior of mind because the Native Americans thought with concepts of being and becoming? Ah, Nodin, my mind is just beginning to compare all things with all things else, and when I weigh one memory with the next, I am not happy with the knowledge that I was taught in schools, for I can now understand that the knowledge was incorrect, I now know why the knowledge was incorrect, and I also now know that Darwin and Whorf were without the knowledge of the topics before us today.
Nodin : How many people who teach physics and psychology, in your estimation, have performed the necessary self-observation?
William : To my knowledge, none, for the social standard of education frowns upon self-observation as being a type of religion or philosophy, and public education does not accept nor provide a substitute for religious practices within the schools.
Nodin : So then you and I might theorize that the knowledge of the fractal nature of being and becoming is not taught to the public because the teachers themselves are not aware of the existence of the being and becoming?
William : I believe that would be a correct theory Nodin, and as you and I are aware that there may likely be some individuals with the knowledge, still there will be relatively few, and the likelihood of receiving the knowledge in a public school is all but vacant. My mind is now with the curiosity, Nodin, of what means that you arrived at the knowledge of fractals.
Nodin : Ha! You likely would not believe me even if I told you with great depth of description, but I will tell you that I have known of the fractal nature since I was a child, long before entering my first school class.
William : You are aware that my mind desires to confront your claim and demand of you further clarification, but my mind also holds the memories of how each time that you speak of a peculiar thing, that in the end it is I that feels foolish for having questioned your statements, and so, I prefer to remain with a curiosity, rather than with an embarrassment. But please answer me this Nodin; did you learn of the fractal nature from someone else, perhaps from an individual like Daksi, or did you discern the knowledge by yourself?
Nodin : No man shared with me any knowledge of Nature. As you yourself have now perceived the nature of being and becoming, so in a similar manner, and in part, did I unravel the nature.
William : What about the other fractal nature, that of physics? How is it possible to derive such a concept without an education, and while so young?
Nodin : In part, I wanted to know of the nature of Nature, and upon applying effort towards observation and analysis, the knowledge became apparent. I have long held that any healthy individual can know as much or more about Nature through self-observation than what the individual might learn from books and in schools. Nothing in Nature is hidden, if an individual chooses to search.
William : But there I wish to express my opinion that you may be wrong Nodin, for not all people can comprehend what you so easily grasp.
Nodin : In years past there were individuals like yourself William, who applied my writings, who tested my writings, and the individuals did learn to grasp the knowledges that you and I are speaking of. You see, William, the human ability to grasp natures of Nature is within most all men, and the only thing a man must do is to participate in his own life by exerting the effort to experience life while observing himself. It is unfortunate that too many people believe that memorizing words is sufficient, but for the individuals that choose to invest effort, they will learn what words cannot teach.
William : I apologize Nodin, for now I understand what you were speaking of, that an individual can grasp the nature of Nature if the man were to apply himself. Yes, I see what you were saying, and I do believe that I agree with you. But please, for my own curiosity, might you explain a little more about the fractal nature of the physics of Nature?
Nodin : We can observe how the coloring of one manís nature colors the whole of the Universe, and likewise is our own nature colored by the coloring of a nature that creates our inward nature. Fully understand the sequencing of variables and influences that create your own consciousness, and only then will you be standing in position of being capable of comprehending the physics of fractals.
William : I confess that the thought appears simple enough Nodin, but my mind has not yet fully grasped the whole, though I hope that with time the perception of the sequencing will be realized. May I ask why you did not offer much in the way of information about the fractal physics nature?
Nodin : It would not be of usefulness to say more, for if a man does not deem the knowledge worthy of his applying the effort to learn self-observation, then the man does not care to learn of the knowledge, and the slothful man is also unworthy of being given the knowledge.
William : But should not the knowledge be given to the world? For all to know?
Nodin : And what would the world do with the knowledge?
William : That I cannot say, but it is a common behavior for men to share knowledge, and it appears stingy to me for a man to not share a knowledge.
Nodin : It is a destructive thing to use a knowledge destructively, and would it not be an evil for me to give a man a knowledge that he can only use to harm himself?
William : I see what you are saying, and it is true, that if a knowledge is foreknown to cause harm, then it would be most profitable to not make the knowledge known.
Nodin : Man first needs to learn how to live correctly, logically, and only then will man be capable of using all knowledge. For once a man holds correct principles of conduct, then and only then can he be capable of using knowledge correctly. When man is ready, the knowledge will be made known.
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