Fort & God

A

Anonymous

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#1
Was Fort a partcular believer in God? I have not yet read BOTD, but I find very little reference to God in Forts works.
The universe-as-organism ideas of Fort do not rule out there being a God, but I find it odd not to find mention of God.

Thoughts?
 

NilesCalder

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#2
We Children of Fort do not believe in God, although we often speak of Fort as if he was God. But all things are metaphores.

Meanwhile away from Planet-Niles, I'm just begining to plough through Fort's books myself. I don't know Fort's professed religion (if any) but perhaps he refrained from mentioning God to prevent his books being banned by the religious right?

Niles "Messiah Of Fort" Calder ;)
 
A

Anonymous

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#3
Fort seemed poised in the post-god perspectives of Crowley and Nietchie. Not so much anti-God as just aware the the concept of "God" had become outdated and needed revision.

I do remember reading a quote recently(a couple issues back in FT) from Fort that said, "The function of God is the focus."
 

Justin_Anstey

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#4
http://www.resologist.net/talent23.htm
"The function of God is the focus. An intense mental state is impossible, unless there be something, or the illusion of something, to center upon. Given any other equally serviceable concentration-device, prayers are unnecessary. I conceive of the magic of prayers. I conceive of the magic of blasphemies. There is witchcraft in religion: there may be witchcraft in atheism." -Fort, Wild Talents, pg252.
So, God is a "concentration-device"?

I've always understood Fort to have been basically an agnostic iconoclast.

-J
 
A

Anonymous

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#5
wow, thanks for the full quote Justin. reading Fort's prose always makes me smile. nothing was sacred to the man(except a high degree of scepticism).

I remember several years ago reading a review of a book with the premise that God was (just) the most popular literary figure of all time.
 

Justin_Anstey

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#6
A

Anonymous

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#7
I concur; as I said above, I certainly place him in company w/ Crowley, Nietzsche(and probably a host of other, lesser knowns).

Perhaps this approaches what Forteanism could entail; questioning what has previously been taken for granted(or some such thing...anyone care to reword this for me?)
 
A

Anonymous

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#8
Focus

To quote Qui Gon Jinn (in the Phantom Menace) - 'Your focus defines your reality'.....



Stick to the road
 
A

Anonymous

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#9
Fort and Blasphemy

If you recall Niles above:

''Meanwhile away from Planet-Niles, I'm just begining to plough through Fort's books myself. I don't know Fort's professed religion (if any) but perhaps he refrained from mentioning God to prevent his books being banned by the religious right?''

I don't think Fort was too worried about being 'banned by the religious right.' I sometimes wonder if Fort really cared what happened to his books, so long as some people read them. I know Fort burned his notes during his depressions, but still...would an iconoclast like Fort really Give A Damn?

Maybe Fort refrained from mentioning God because it would utterly complicate his work: how does one even begin to dicuss the phenomena of Nature without mentioning God?

Or maybe Fort was taking a swipe at God by deliberately exluding Him? Or maybe Fort was annoyed at God? Maybe.

Personally, I think Fort held some power over God: Fort knew how the universe worked.
 

rynner2

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#10
Justin Anstey said:
Could Fort be regarded as an icon of iconoclasm?

-Justin.
I'm not sure I want to think about that - my brain might crash!

(Shades of: The barber shaves all the men in town who do not shave themselves - who shaves the barber?)
 
A

Anonymous

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#11
Fort and Icons

Fort as an icon of iconoclasm would be an amusing paradox. I think the man himself would have liked it.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#12
I can't immediately think of many Fort quotes about God himself
but his books are a satire on the notion of a creation governed by
Love or by Logic. In a piece in the old Unexplained part-work, Rob
Rickard traced Fort's intense anti-authoritarianism back to a hatred
of his abusive father. Science and Nature would need to be ridiculed
and their flaws exposed as the exorcism of chilhood abuse at the
hands of a bully.

Fort's view of the Deity was probably as a cruel practical joker? :rolleyes:
 
A

Anonymous

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#13
the greatest joke of all...

James Whitehead said:
Fort's view of the Deity was probably as a cruel practical joker? :rolleyes:
and that it(the Diety) is, it would appear. As obsessed as Fort was with Sciences role as the new 'religion' its no wonder that he disregarded the older more traditionalist paradigms about God. He seems to have seen through the haze of cultural homogeneity to what was(dare I say) what was "really" going on...at least in the sense of how it is perception itself which is the key to understanding the world around us. From the quote above, about function of god being the focus, and Fort's other, more famous one(in every ish of FT) about"...nothing in science, philosophy or RELIGION that is anything but the proper thing to wear for a while" I could begin to see how much inside his own head CHF really was. No wonder he had such an interest in anamolous phenomenena. His mind was sharp as steel. With a keen mind like that, probing the world around him, it was probably like a strange attractor, leading him to things which, perhaps, couldn't be expained, or at least, would require major upheaveals in our paradigm for them to be understood. These two things, Fort's keen insight and his love and infatuation w/ the strange and peculiar came together like a fractal that swirls deeper and deeper out of sight, yet never reaching any conclusions. But the thing is a map in and of itself. Kind of makes you wonder where CHF ended up...anyone heard anything from him via evp?
 
A

Anonymous

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#15
Lucas

Oops.... I got my quote wrong; it was 'Your focu DETERMINES your reality....
Sorry about that. Still applies, though.;)
 

tattooted

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#16
Fort on Clergy

"Why have so many supposed spirits of the departed tormented clergymen? Perhaps going to heaven makes people atheists." Lo! p.693
 

EnolaGaia

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#17
... The universe-as-organism ideas of Fort do not rule out there being a God, but I find it odd not to find mention of God.
Fort seemed poised in the post-god perspectives of Crowley and Nietchie. Not so much anti-God as just aware the the concept of "God" had become outdated and needed revision. ...
Fort seemed to mention 'God' only in allusions to how humans portray their preferred version of God (and / or the problems therewith ... ) or to note a sort of relative god-like status of entirety to subcomponent(s).

I now have a theory that our existence, as a whole, is an organism that is very old -- a globular thing within a starry shell, afloat in a super-existence in which there may be countless other organisms -- and that we, as cells in its composition, partake of, and are ruled by, its permeating senility. The theologians have recognized that the ideal is the imitation of God. If we be a part of such an organic thing, this thing is God to us, as I am God to the cells that compose me. When I see myself, and cats, and dogs losing irregularities of conduct, and approaching the irreproachable, with advancing age, I see that what is ennobling us is senility. I conclude that the virtues, the austerities, the proprieties are ideal in our existence, because they are imitations of the state of a whole existence, which is very old, good, and beyond reproach. The ideal state is meekness, or humility, or the semi-invalid state of the old. Year after year I am becoming nobler and nobler. If I can live to be decrepit enough, I shall be a saint.
Wild Talents, Chapter 7

http://www.resologist.net/talent07.htm
 

EnolaGaia

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#18
This opening to Chapter 22 in Wild Talents indicates Fort didn't accord much special status to religious belief or opinion ...

BELIEF IN God -- in Nothing -- in Einstein -- a matter of fashion --

Or that college professors are mannequins, who doll up in the latest proper things to believe, and guide their young customers modishly.

Fashions often revert, but to be popular they modify. It could be that a re-dressed doctrine of witchcraft will be the proper acceptance. Come unto me, and maybe I'll make you stylish. It is quite possible to touch up beliefs that are now considered dowdy, and restore them to fashionableness. I conceive of nothing, in religion, science, or philosophy, that is more than the proper thing to wear, for a while.
 

INT21

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#19
..(Shades of: The barber shaves all the men in town who do not shave themselves - who shaves the barber?)..

First time I have read that.

Does it imply that the barber has a beard or the barber is a woman ?


INT21
 

JamesWhitehead

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#21
"Year after year I am becoming nobler and nobler. If I can live to be decrepit enough, I shall be a saint."

I think he must have experienced one of those evenings when a pot of Earl Grey seemed preferable to an episode of depravity.

I often feel the same way, though I will be sorry when the invitations to depravity are entirely replaced by invitations to tea. :buck:
 

Waymarker

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#23
Fort seemed poised in the post-god perspectives of Crowley and Nietchie. Not so much anti-God as just aware the the concept of "God" had become outdated and needed revision..
Yes, and as Fort was an open-minded truthseeker I'm sure he had a good working knowledge of the Bible.
For example God said-
"Am I only a nearby God? Can you hide? I fill heaven and earth" (Jeremiah 23:23/4)

So we could speculate that God IS the universe, and that the universe IS God.
Put another way, we could say that God fills the universe like water fills a goldfish bowl, and we're the goldfish swimming around in it-
"For in him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28)
 

INT21

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#25
..I often feel the same way, though I will be sorry when the invitations to depravity are entirely replaced by invitations to tea..

I'm never invited to depravity, I have to go create my own.

INT21
 

AlchoPwn

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#26
Yes, and as Fort was an open-minded truthseeker I'm sure he had a good working knowledge of the Bible.
For example God said-"Am I only a nearby God? Can you hide? I fill heaven and earth" (Jeremiah 23:23/4)

So we could speculate that God IS the universe, and that the universe IS God.
Put another way, we could say that God fills the universe like water fills a goldfish bowl, and we're the goldfish swimming around in it-
"For in him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28)
Does anyone else think this sounds suspiciously like animism creeping into monotheism?
 

EnolaGaia

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#27
So we could speculate that God IS the universe, and that the universe IS God.
Put another way, we could say that God fills the universe like water fills a goldfish bowl, and we're the goldfish swimming around in it.
Does anyone else think this sounds suspiciously like animism creeping into monotheism?
The answer depends on which of Waymarker's two statements you're addressing ...

The former one connotes pantheism (or any of the nuanced variants thereof).

The latter one (by differentiating God from the universe) is the one more akin to animism.
 

AlchoPwn

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#28
The answer depends on which of Waymarker's two statements you're addressing ...
The former one connotes pantheism (or any of the nuanced variants thereof). The latter one (by differentiating God from the universe) is the one more akin to animism.
Points for both splitting hairs and philosophical accuracy EG.
 

INT21

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#29
If God was the Universe it would imply that He created Himself.

A chicken and egg situation if ever there was one.

INT21
 

AlchoPwn

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#30
If God was the Universe it would imply that He created Himself.
A chicken and egg situation if ever there was one.
INT21
True, but also the standard doctrine of the Christian faith regardless of the logical inconsistencies. To paraphrase Voltaire, "if god didn't exist it would be necessary for him to invent himself". And people wonder why I don't go to church.
 
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