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on February 28, 2006 at 3:58:12 pm


In the beginning was the wyrd, and the wyrd was wiki. We learn from The Sermon on the Mount according to Vedanta by Swami Prabhavanda that the theory of the logos found in John 1.1 was itself a repetition, a repeat of the logic of incarnation as understood in the Hindu tradition. "The concept of the avatar evolved from the theory of the Logos in both Western and Eastern philosophy".(41) The avatar - such as Buddha, or Christ - is in this view a periodic actualization of the transcendental godhead, forging an interconnection between a transcendent consciousness - an awareness which includes both this world and its apprehension - and flesh. This transcendental consciousness that becomes immanent through the Avatar is hence no longer simply transcendental, and it is not G*d in the usual monotheist sense. In this repetitious history (or \"Perrenial Philosophy\", as Aldous Huxley called it), the sacred, the individuated, and the everyday are densely interconnected, "Atman = Brahman." It is in this sense--as of a spell or script that would create an interconnected gathering--that wikis are logos-centric. In our teaching we watch, amazed, as the blankness of a wiki page summons an interconnectity contagious back into the classroom and beyond.


"I am come not to destroy, but to fulfill." The "wild", interconnected space of wiki does not introduce a strange capacity for interconnection that was previously foreign to it, but instead amplifies an oft forgotten capacity of language not simply to communicate, but to form a commons. Basically, words, as weavable wyrds, do more. "Words," Anagarika Govinda tells us, "are the seals of the mind, results--or, more correctly, stations--of an infinite series of experiences, which reach from an unimaginably distant past into the present, and which feel their way into an equally unimaginable distant future." Beyond being means for meaning, words "are 'the audible that clings to the inaudible,' the forms and potentialities of thought, which grow from that which is beyond thought." (Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism 17). Words, in all of their wyrdness, tap into a play of forces "niether exhausted by their present meaning, nor...confined to their usefulness as transmitters of thoughts and ideas." The affective penumbra produced by wyrds opens up more than....well, more than wyrds can say, semantically speaking. This "irrational quality which stirs our deepest feelings, elevates our innermost being, and makes it vibrate with others" solicits rhythm, and can be summoned by spells, sparked by scripts, and made manifest by the multitude of rhythmic formulae that have evolved from the Logos. Hence poetry, birdsong, music, rhetoric--and all other practices of rhythmically sequencing, weaving, and concatinating threads of difference--hinge on opening up to and transducing (or, becoming a transducer for) the irrational quality of information. Hence, "the success of great speakers is not only due to what they say, but how they say it" (17).

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