Wednesday, May 02, 2012

I see stars...which become circles: configurational epistemology

I see stars.

I love the Violet Burning song by
that name..

But that I  do see stars...when I sometimes should be/could be seeing circles...could be an issue.

It's all about the "configurational nature of knowledge" and epistemology...

That explains it all, right? (:

In the "I See Stars" song (to me, anyway), there is a weaving back and forth as to who is speaking , and the text of the God-character is often delightfully subversive  (as in when He thinks we are gorgeous in "Gorgeous"/).  It could be that God "sees stars" over us.

It could be the verses are the human voice, the chorus God's voice.

In the same way that song shapeshifts, so often our perceptions need to shape and shift.

Paul Hiebert provides the stars connection..

In "Missiological Implications for Epistemeological Shifts"  (one of his best books), he, he offers this helpful  diagram  on p. 78).  Maddeningly, thsi is one of the random pages misiong from Google Books online version, bit you can read a bit before after page 78 for some context.

The catch is:

If we let ourseves perceive/ the configuration of dots (isn't that what all life is in a sense?(" ) another way...especially when we perceive/ receive new information...then where we formerly saw stars, we will now (also) see circles.   (It's important to his case  for a "critcal realism" that we still in fact see the star, (vs. postiviusm), but now we cannot help but interpret "circle" as the centrall undretsanding, for this "explains the data better." 

Other online books of Hiebert are available.  In  "Understanding
Folk Religions" , you can see the chart and   some explanation.  HERE.
This info is also included on pp 48-49 of hos definitive collectionn, "Transornibng Wordlviews," p. 48

(BTW, these are not the only diagrams that are helpful from Hiebert..try this, this  this, and this for starters...and see what you see.)

I see circles.

Oh, try this out, for a shift:

In the live version of "I See Stars" posted above, there is a marvelous bit in the outro.  As different refrains from the song are overlayed, one actually hears not the original (positive) lyric ("I never wanted more than this' as in "this is all the ecstasy I could hope for"), but a conflation of two lines which becomes "I never wanted 'I see stars.'"
I don't know if it was intentional, but to me it tweaks an upbeat pop song and lyric into a confession/lament: "I never really wanted to see those divine stars, but I saw them anyway."

Which would mean the speaker seeing stars is now us, as opposed to God.

Unless God is saying He never really wanted to see us...!!

Maybe I should see circles before I see stars.

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