Introduction to Intelligibility by Tristan A. Shaw

by Tristan A. Shaw
Writer, Dandelion Salad
British Columbia, Canada
February 24, 2014

Sunflower Golden Mean

Image by jabenaki via Flickr

We have all wondered adrift, consumed by our own moral complicity and jaded by the broader darkness of fear. Make no mistake: we are all among the Parmenidean “Deaf, Dumb, Blind, and Stupid – unreasoning cattle.”

To simply exist amongst this dark wave of history, predicted by ancient mystic cultures and sages past, is to be swept up, sometimes without recognition, in a frequency of hatred and corruption. We consistently exalt the self in a fit of moral outrage; but what about our own philosophical actions that comprise the future? To read the latest words of Hedges or Chomsky or the latest Democracy Now podcast fuels the power of the dispossessed; but what about their own culpability which clouds our discourse on virtue?

Do not misinterpret my meaning with all this. We need that liberal commentary to expose the sinister organs of state and corporate power. I look up to them in tremendous adoration for their valiant efforts in this regard. But let me ask you, the being who already “gets it,” what value can you extract from more liberal critiques of empire?

Can we afford the intellectual leisure to sit back, encased within an institution of some kind, and point the finger? Civilization, in all its fascination and wonder, has utterly eclipsed this phase of history, my dear comrade. It is time to employ, through the circular revolutions of history, the philosophical and scientific understandings of nature and thus ourselves. “Know thyself,” was the Delphic Oracle’s central dictum. And it has been forgotten.

So enough pontification. Enough criticisms and self-exaltation. And enough talk! Let us summon the power of our cosmic roots and explore a philosophy so beautiful and perfect, so comforting and overwhelmingly real, that it breaks through our mortal fog and opens up the grand doors of universal justice. Let us call it, after the enlightened power of Parmenides, the “Laws of Intelligibility.”

Western science, however confused it may be, is just now captivated by the awe-inspiring thrill of intelligibility. It is sending shockwaves through every sectarian cult of science – the secluded disciplines of biology, physics, chemistry, and the ‘world of the quantum.’ So many different names have been attributed to its wonder. Some have called it “biocentrism,” denoting the power of human consciousness to supercede physics. But names are merely abstractions, and, as far as I can tell, no one has pieced together the missing link (moral purity) which not only merges all these disciplines but presents a powerful philosophical platform upon which to place our deepest efforts and respect. Institutional hubris relies upon the corrupting flow of financial “support,” so how could they?

But no matter how much self-perpetuating corporations attempt to sustain their domination, it is only an issue of time. No CEO or Board of Director can reverse the radical tide of change. The ancient gnostic traditions of universal truth and understanding will expose these fools as the little tyrants they are … fiefdoms which attempt to manipulate reality to suit a power structure that is so obviously descending. The time has arrived.

Laws of Intelligibility

Parmenides was an ancient who achieved the mystical “enlightened cosmic consciousness.” He and others from the Greek colonies of Velia and Phoenicia traveled to Egypt and to the Shamanic cultures of their time to communicate, we assume, with the gnostic Sufi wisdom that branched off from the ancient Egyptian civilizations thousands of years before (possibly tens of thousands).

Philosophy, to these enlightened beings, is not some “discipline” obtained by learning. It is much, much more: the unity between what you say and what you do. A beautiful synchronicity between the philosophy espoused by your body and the intuitive “knowings” of your soul.

Socrates as a young man spoke of Parmenides’ “words of exceeding beauty.” We can only assume how much influence he had on Socrates, but we know, through Plato’s attempt to hijack the teachings of Parmenides, like he did with the teachings of Socrates, that he had an enormous impact on Western civilization. Some have called him the “seed” of Western civilization.

Semantics and labels aside, the fragments of Parmenides provide enough substance in themselves. They come in an almost mantra-like style, with phrases engineered to ‘initiate’ the subject into the intelligence of natural law: that there is a universe much bigger than ourselves, yet is nevertheless experienced through ourselves (observer/observed), which contains a beauty and justice so perfect and absolute, so infinite and seamless (the Oneness of Universe) that all human perceptions of money and greed and selfishness are rendered infantile. Reality conforms to your purity of intention, and with this perception comes the weightless conviction of Truth.

Ancient Egyptian cultures understood cosmology, sacred geometry, and even string theory better than we do. Stephen Hawkins estimates the number of fundamental particles in the universe to be “more than 200.” Ancient hieroglyphs say there are precisely 266. Hawkins says that philosophy (love of wisdom) is “now dead.” Ancient texts expose the folly of these feeble words by explaining how the essential nature of science must always be governed by wisdom. Hawkins and others say we are nothing but our brains, ancient philosophy puts such an ignorant statement to shame through experience with incubation – the so-called “after death” state (resonant frequencies which induce dimethyltryptamine, the death chemical).

Moral corruption is like dust on a pair of glasses. The more vices you consciously engage in, the more light is constricted from entering your consciousness. We are all deaf, dumb, and blind because we engage in sin. We all “need to pay the bills” as to justify the unjustifiable. We all partake in this sick charade we call capitalism, and eat its toxic, life-destroying products audaciously called “food.” We think about personal image and self-promotion. We exploit, even in small amounts, or even if it’s not others but the ecosystem, not by necessity (that would be fine) but because we consciously choose to do so.

But if we would just open our minds to the spectacular beauty of the infinite intelligibility of Universe, of Karma, of the sacred essence of justice, there would be no need for busying ourselves with the insane precepts of human society – economics and the “need” to exploit. Why was Socrates so important? (He didn’t write a word of philosophy.) It is because he remained steadfast to the right and just course of action.

The Goddess of nature turns to Parmenides and says:

“Youth that art mated with charioteers and companions immortal,
coming to us on the coursers that bear thee, to visit our mansion,
Hail! for it is not an evil Award that hath guided thee hither,
into this path – for, I ween, it far from the pathway of mortals –
Nay, it is Justice and Right. Thou needs must have knowledge of all things,
First of the Truth’s unwavering heart that is fraught with conviction,
Then the notions of mortals, where no true conviction abideth,
But thou shalt surely be taught this too, that every opinion
Needs must past through the All, and vanquish the test with approval.”

It dates back to antiquity: simply called by Plato and others, “moral purification.” And as the layers of corruption peel off, as the filth and weight that sinks the mortal mind into confusion dissipates, reality begins to unfold in a beautiful synchronicity. This is Dante’s “Universal Harmony,” and it will astonish you, astonish the old you, as a natural liberation of consciousness lifts your essence with a spiritual integrity now extinct in the Western industrial world. And, as the Greeks understood, this will bring you not pleasure, for pleasure is fleeting, but the eternal salvation of everlasting contentment, or, in Buddhist philosophy, nirvana.

And as the matriarchal system of ancient Egypt understood so well, this can only be achieved through a radical unification of polarity, “the middle passage” or the “the golden mean.” This is the so-called “threshold” of a “larger reality” toward which we are indubitably headed:

“A threshold must now be crossed, a threshold demanding a courageous act of faith, of imagination, of trust in a larger and more complex reality; a threshold, moreover, demanding an act of unflinching self-discernment . . . [the masculine and feminine] synthesis leads to something beyond itself: It brings an unexpected opening to a larger reality that cannot be grasped before it arrives, because this new reality is itself a creative act.” – Passion of the Western Mind, by Richard Tarnas

Thus we reach the concept of intelligibility (which isn’t a concept or idea at all, since an idea is effective only when grasped by the human mind), spoken to by Baruch Spinoza:

“It is therefore more profitable to us in life to make perfect the intellect or reason as far as possible, and in this one thing consists the highest happiness or blessedness of man; for blessedness is nothing but the peace of mind which springs from the intuitive knowledge of God, and to perfect the intellect is nothing but to understand God, together with the attributes and actions of God, which flow from the necessity of His nature. The final aim, therefore, of a man who is guided by reason, that is to say, the chief desire by which he strives to govern all his other desires, is that by which he is led to conceive himself and all things which can be conceived by his intelligence.”

The notion of God, and specifically a male oriented God, is outdated. It has been surpassed. But the above quote from Spinoza’s “Ethics” is perhaps the most revealing attribute of the intelligible: God (or Goddess) is Universe, and we are the universe, experiencing itself to learn and evolve. Modernity’s perception limits our knowledge of all things (ancient Egyptians put the number of universal senses at a precise 360 – scent, sight and sound comprising a mere three). The human being is a very premature and impulsive species, a primordial collection of evolved senses that cannot comprehend the complexity of the world around us. The only real knowledge is the knowledge of your own ignorance. “True wisdom comes to those who realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” said Plato writing about Socrates. Understanding the intelligibility of the universe, therefore, is like explaining the process of evolution to a monkey. As Parmenides understood so well, it cannot be imparted through the mere repetition of symbolic phrases and words.

So, perhaps the most clear representation of justice and the intrinsic intelligence which unfolds with the application of moral philosophy can be said the following way: humans are stupid creatures. We race around bonking our heads together all day long. We think it terms of linear, three-dimensional space-time and stress over the silliest of concerns. Once we realize this, yield to humility, place our attention on the philosophy of natural justice, and religate all else to a lower echelon of value, we begin to notice things (notice a spontaneity of happenings) which can only be explained through a compassionate model of the larger cosmos – a well-ordered sequence of energy fueling the power, real power, of compassion. Perhaps this is the greatest mystery and secret yet to be unlocked by the modern industrial world. And in a time when our life-styles and material comforts are constricting … what could possibly be more important?

Removing vice or even determining the nature of vice can be difficult. But this is why there must be dialogue concerning the nature of the ‘good,’ the ‘morally autonomistic’ and the ‘intelligible’. We must, together with the incredible advances of science (not the infamous particle accelerator, of course, but the real advances of science) begin a conversation concerning the nature of human behavior and its relationship to “external” reality. We must start a Western movement of philosophy, not at an elite university or within some other corrupt appendage of the corporate system, but within the minds of you and me, within the local communities emerging to weather the pending instability. We have all sorts of physical co-ops in operation. But what about an intellectual co-operation, a philosophical co-op? Some would argue, myself included, that this is the most overarching and important initiative of them all; because food co-ops will be a physical manifestation of such a systemic change of consciousness.

Let us begin.

Tristan A. Shaw is a young writer residing off the West coast of Canada. He invites constructive communication at


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13 thoughts on “Introduction to Intelligibility by Tristan A. Shaw

  1. Pingback: The Nature of Reality by Tristan A. Shaw | Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: Embracing the Specter of Systemic Collapse by Tristan A. Shaw | Dandelion Salad

  3. Tristan ,. nice piece . never forget when dealing with the Pre-Socratics the see saw approach . When you put TOO MUCH emphasis on one Pre-Socratic , you automatically de-emphasize another .

    of course we all have our favs , and Parminides is real real high on my list . but let us not forget the others in context with them being iron sharpening iron … for as J.S.Mill said ”it is thru a collision of ideas that truth emerges”.

    • Well, I know you keep asking my to bow down to the later thinkers steeped in Christian thought. And I do, to some of them. But people like Aquinas and Augustine have some many blatant flaws, patriarchal flaws, male driven, institutional flaws that it compels the free thinking mind into questioning their professed “sainthood.” This is why they are losing respect daily.

      The whole “pre-socratic” and “post-socratic” rhetoric lessons the truth of the matter. They are abstractions that obscure discourse. They are tools used by institutions like university to categorize the uncategorical. Truth is not linear, my friend.

      Parmenides, on the other hand, achieved enlightenment through the female. Meditation and incubation were serious domain enhancing tools to touch other dimensions and a higher truth. To be honest, it is hard to think of anyone since that Golden Age of Western Enlightenment (what you like to call “pre-socratic”) who has achieved that state of being, people like Pythagoras and Parmenides and Socrates, ending with the introduction of Plato’s patriarchal rational.

      Have you read the Gospel of Mary? Of course ‘they’ excluded it from the Bible. It wouldn’t have served the hyper-masculinity of institutional hubris.

      • Tristan ,

        read Peter of Abelard ( middle ages ) Saint Hildegarde , Karen Armstrong’s stuff , and Barbara Newman’s ”Viral Women to Women Christ”. there is a lot more. i am familiar with the gospel of Mary . great book . Also the work of Quaker activist Susan B. Anthony . called ”The Revolution ”

        Koestler in his work ”Ancient Christian Gospels ” uses complex cross referencing of canonical and non canonical texts too on this matter.

        also-Ben Witherington’s work is great on the female power in the gospels .

        the REAL AUTHENTIC gospel of Jesus leaves the Socratics in the dust . Plato’s Idea of the Good was fulfilled in the perfection of Christ .

        • Tristan , one more thing : if one wants to get an accurate reading of any text , it must be in context . if it is not in context , then one comes to in in pre-text. Many people come to the New Testament with a modern bias of what they have heard , which brings about what is called ” Pretextural Assumption ”.

          Pretextural Assumption is a form of interpolation . it is projecting ones view into the text out of its historical context. The historical context that the New Testament must be read in , must be as a Hellenized Messianic Jewish piece of work . It must be seen as a quantum leap and completion of the Hebrew Prophets and Greek Philosophy. This is why the Prophets are often quoted in it couched in Platonic terminology ( the Logos , and other terms ).

          you state that Truth is not linear . i agree . but one must consider that the unveiling of Truth can come In a linear form in history . That is why Paul , who was so educated in Greek and Hebrew thought stated ”In the fullness of time , God sent forth his Son .” The Great Philosophers , Hebrew Prophets , Zoroaster , Buddha , etc… are all the pen-ultimate . They prepared the mindset of the world in the Axial Era in history for the Ultimate. The Ultimate came ”In the fullness of time ”.

          this Ultimate is not a concept or an idea , but God in the flesh .

  4. Nice post Tristan.

    Karl Popper had enormous respect for the pre-Socratics. Now you’ve certainly whetted my appetite for a deeper understanding of Parmenides. I dare say he must have been well acquainted with the Indian sages of his day.

    A couple of questions for you: the hieroglyphs that cite 266 fundamental “particles” ~ do you have a citation for that? as it is such a provocative suggestion …

    Personally I’m inclined to adopt the epithet “matrifocal” rather than attribute a demonstrable historicity to matriarchy, that has been challenged.

    You say Sufi wisdom (long predates Islam and) branched from very ancient Egyptian roots. I’m sure that is a sound idea, but just wondering what your sources are.

    My understanding of “sin” is that it is the supreme crime of moral deviation, insofar as it is the restriction of the (Greater) Self by “the lower self” ~ or in the language of the Yi Jing, inferior man.

    As you put it “Reality conforms to your purity of intention, and with this perception comes the weightless conviction of Truth.” Beautifully phrased!

    Can we ever envisage a volcano or an earthquake as compassionate? Nature can be hard, the primal universe is Teitanic. Do you think empathy is synonymous with compassion? I posted a link earlier today you may like,

    Not sure if I have mentioned him before, but I believe you would find (much of) the work of the late Algis Uždavinys extremely worthwhile ~

    I have found Tarnas rather disappointing. His second book is deeply sophist, highly conjectural and uninformed in the context of the greater esoteric literature already extant when he put it out there.

    The Spinoza quote is quite apposite. I think he must have been a qabalist, any thoughts?

    I am very impressed with the work of Bruce Lipton. I find his temperament seriously “infectious!” Reading your excellent post it has occurred to me he may be very much like a latter day Parmenides in spirit.

    So that brings me back to your missing link ~ also known as the Quintessence, or “fifth element” of Akasha/Spirit. “Amen to that…”(

    • Thank you David.

      Ahh yes, the ethereal. The Arcana. The Akashic field. The third eye. The Ark of the Covenant. (In alchemy too.) I am very much aware.

      Bruce Lipton is the best! He very much does embody the change so desperately needed. “a seed from the future,” perhaps..

      I appreciate the links. And haven’t heard of that writer. I’ll research him soon enough.

      Ok, so citations (thanks for asking and not just accepting):

      The hieroglyphs are difficult to decipher on their own. So in understanding them many scholars have turned to the Dogon, an African group whose cultural heritage branched off from ancient Egypt. They can explain the meaning of hieroglyphs almost precisely.

      Laird Scranton is the researcher who gave me the “266,” and I’ve heard it been mentioned a few other places too. Check out his research on string theory. their hieroglyph for “atom” means a story unfolding by the “action” of perception. Amazing!

      The Sufi thing is well known to real Egyptologists. Abd’El Hakim Awyan is, in my mind, one of the greatest Egyptologists whose interest in the ancients is more than academic. He is a true ancient himself, in my eyes. Please read or watch some interviews with him! He’s great!

      He also talks about the importance of matriarchy. Perhaps matrifocal is sufficient too, but it needs to have the some presence in the larger social order. This is exactly why the ancients succeed in all their glory. Because women have a spiritual substance that MUST guid the male mind. The only successful civilizations have been matriarchal. Parmenides is guided by his “goddess,” Dante is guided by Beatrice. A Buddhist only attains enlightenment through Tara, the Great Mother. Yoni is another. This list is endless.

      Hope I haven’t missed too much,


      • Not at all, exemplary stuff and deeply compelling.

        Enough to keep me occupied for quite a while, many thanks for your gracious and ample response.

      • Tristan , there came a time in the Paradiso where Beatrice had to leave Dante so that he could himself experience first hand the Beautific divine vision itself ”the love that moves the sun and the stars”.

        check out Charles Williams short book – ” The Figure of Beatrice”. Commentary –Dorothy Sayers.

        in regards to Tara and Buddhist conception of Enlightenment , you will find out that not all branches of Buddhism agree with your statement . It is not Monolithic .

        see Suzuki’s work on Zen. from the 10th century A.D. till 1960.

        Concerning the myth of so called successful Matriarchal societies , when studied in greater detail you will find that women are as equal to men in all their stubborn stupidity and Hubris . Matriarchy and Patriarchy have both been a disaster . Peoplism is the answer to this , or Tolstoy’s Christian Anarchism .

        see world ancient historians ; Durant , Grant , Cornford, etc…

        he whole idea of guiding the male mind is as much bunk as the mal mind guiding the female mind. All humans are equal and from Earth . Or as Saint Paul said ”There is no male nor female in Christ ”.

        as to the Sufis . agreed. Abdul Azees is another important one .

        • I like that R, Paul is key ~ you’re an authentic gnostic/sufi yo’self, come on out Bro!

        • david, hhahahaha …i have been out for almost 40 years after my own Pauline Cross –centric Gnosis ….that wasnt the Easter Bunny that appeared to me on that glorious night.

          BTW — have you read ”Merton and the Sufis”? great book. LOL.

    • David , i am glad that Tristan is writing about Parminides on this blog as you are glad too. also , Tristan is challenging the folly that politics has all the answers . He is hitting at deeper stuff .

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