Bone Orchards and the Shadow Moon…

I am rereading American Gods by Neil Gaiman again.

This is like the 4th time I’ve done so… and I have the feeling that this will not be the last time that I do so.. nor that this is going to change any time soon.

Each time I reread it.. I catch something new.. for example.. it occurred to me this time that Shadow’s actual full name is “Shadow Moon.”  This only occurred to me as I read about “Laura Moon’s” funeral–as Shadow is never directly addressed in this fashion. (It also appears that Gaiman meant for Shadow to be an incarnation of Balder… which I totally didn’t know until I just went googling right now.. And it’s interesting, because I didn’t realize that the Norse mythology had a figure–Balder–that would be “reborn” –like Osiris or Prometheus, or Jesus… anyway.. getting off track here…)

This was but one of the new things that I noticed while rereading the text… for example–I also liked the image of a cemetery as a “Bone Orchard”–an image put in there by Low-key Lyesmith–which will not leave my imagination… and sounds like a lovely place to be…(I like cemeteries.. and find bones riveting..)

In any case, these new things are not really what struck me about this whole process.. rather what interested me was the fact that I  do this at all… for American Gods is not the only book I have a tendency to reread on a regular basis (say–once a year..)–but it is part of a collection of books–including many Neal Stephenson books and Harlan Ellison Stories–that have real meaning for me….

… and it was this fact–the idea that there were certain stories that had so much meaning that I wanted to read them and reread them again and again that made me stop and think…

One thought was whether these books were like the Bible is to certain Christians–that they were a kind or version of a “holy book” for me… and although I pondered that for a bit–I don’t think it’s right….

Instead–I think it’s more along the lines that these by rereading these stories, I realign–but also shift–my perspectives about them and the world.  In one way, by reading the same thing over again–I know the story already, but reading it makes it more concrete in a particular way–my mind connects to parts of my past and there is a kind of “reboot” of the feelings and thoughts that occurred the previous times I read the stories.

However–this realignment also always creates a new perspective, because time has passed and the material world has changed around me since I last did this…

I am in a different place when I reread the story–and thus I am compelled to have a different perspective on it.

Now–shifting perspectives is something that INTJ’s do a lot–it’s something that they’re good at, especially when it comes to grokking the underlying or implicit meanings of things—it’s not enough to know something from just one angle or view…for something to have real meaning and truth, an INTJ must know it from multiple perspectives and to see it from many contexts.. because how could one ever just assume that one static view–given how limited and faulty our sense organs and our conceptual frameworks are–is all there is to say about reality.

This kind of thinking led me to the second thought, which was that, perhaps, this kind of repetitive cognition involving the same thing again and again was a way to try and obtain more certain kinds of knowledge…Now, as Aristotle might retort, for something to be knowledge, it should be 100% certain–all else is opinion–and while I don’t set my standards that high–I do make very clear epistemological distinctions when I learn things.  There are many things that learn about quickly and hold to be relatively “true”–but that doesn’t mean that I really think I know these things.. it merely means that I believe them in a “rough and ready” way to be true and the validity of their claims is still quite open to new data.

Importantly, however, I don’t trust this kind of information or feel that I can rely on it with any great certainty because I still perceive it to be relatively external to me.. I have not internalized it or made it truly mine….

For me to really grok something, I have to see and test it many times.. such that my consciousness builds a kind of “simulation” of it with a high level of accuracy.  Once this happens, I can utilize it without a lot of conscious work… and instead can just sort of intuitively “feel” or know what’s going to happen when something interacts with it…

Now–perhaps this is something that everyone just does.. and it’s nothing special–but I’ve noticed that I do tend to do this a lot more than most other people I know when it comes to finalized stories.. whether they are written in books or portrayed in film or whatever, if I really find them insightful, then I will watch them again and again… .  For me–the power of these stories then comes through knowing them intimately, and this intimate knowledge takes a much higher precedence and priority than in watching or reading a wide variety of new material on a regular basis like a lot of my close friends do…

Anyway–that was today’s thought.  And soon I shall go lay my head down and think of bone orchards and the shadow moon…


About Prof. Woland

I contain multitudes. Come meet us.
This entry was posted in Human Nature and Mind, Meaning and Philosophy, Writing and Communication and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bone Orchards and the Shadow Moon…

  1. Pingback: What do you Do? | The Philosophy of NOM

  2. Pingback: Think and Feel. | The Philosophy of NOM

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