11 Jan 2009

Scott Wollschleger's Sunday Afternoon Delirium and Further Thoughts About...

by Scott Wollschleger

[Central Entry Directory]
[Martin Moors's From Mythos to Logos - From Logos to Mythos course, Entry Directory]

[Scott Wollschleger, Entry Directory]

Thank you for the Prof Moors posting on limits and boundaries. It reminds me of a puzzling indecent I had with a taxi driver who insisted that the time it took to get from one place to another was not a matter of how fast he was driving. He told me a long winded story about a similar encounter he had with an uninformed check-out clerk at a grocery store. The clerk's inability to know the price of things was made notorious one day when he apparently committed suicide and left behind a short note that said he had allways lived by the wisdom given to him by a very compelling parable told by a wandering local artist who "constantly declared that the very fact that he had no real home gave him greater power in the world".

Here is a rough version of the story he told me.

"The Long Necklace

In a grocery store a rich older lady with a large flashy adornment of pearls around her neck decides to buy some fresh oysters. Not seeing any price indication, she asked the clerk, how much each one costs. The clerk says that it is impossible to really know the true value because any one of them may have the most beautiful pearl inside of them and it would impossible to know without dissecting the oyster, effectively destroying it. And of course, that would then diminish the value of the oyster. There was really nothing he could do to help her.
The old lady explained to him not to worry about this problem any more because the marvels of modern science had permitted all oysters to now give way to having pearls inside of them. So, in essence, each pearl on her necklace was of the same value as a single oyster and that the value of pearls had become quite diminished from all this. The real difference in value between an oyster and a pearl was at best marginal. The clerk, still not swayed, told her his heart and mind would still remain undecided because given the years of small changes that will happen along the way, the possibility remained that one day something that no longer resembled what was around her neck may come about to be created inside the oyster. And that would then become what is to be called the most beautiful pearl and have the most value. The marginal differences in all this gave him hope. The lady then shook here head and reminded him that she was there to buy oysters and not debate economics. The clerk then shamefully lowered his head, found the correct price in a book on the counter and proceeded to process her order at the checkout...In the following week the clerk, recalling the humiliating encounter he had with the old lady, decided it was time to leave the grocery story and take to his true passions. But with the loss of his job and income he also lost his home and was left wandering the streets only finding himself telling this story to any person who wanted to know from where he found his power in this world. Eventually he lost all hope and took his own life. On his body the police found a small notebook which only contained some incomplete sketches for a short story entitled "It Is Because I have No Home That I Have the Greatest Power in This World"

Despite the morbidity of the tale, by the time the taxi driver had told me all this
I had arrived home.

It made me wonder what happens at the margin and its relationship to power.

Is the overcoming of internal limits the only way to greater powers?

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