ELL: Incoherence III

Mike Lawrence hoosiersky2002 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Aug 24 05:19:19 UTC 2002

Hopkins, The Word Wu 'Shaman' as Graphic Camouflage,
New China Review(1920):

'Coming to the sound of these restored symbols, we
find in its later scription viz.:____it is not
pronounced huo, or any variation of that sound, but
i. We want, then, some word pronounced i or yeh, but
having such a sense as could be fittingly represented
to the eye by a picture of flames. Does such a word
exist? Once more, the answer is in the affirmative.
Although not found in the Shuo Wen, Kangshi cites from
other dictionaries a character ___'i,' and on the
authority of the Yu P'ien, gives the meaning of ___

Accordingly it is this word i, 'firelight,' which in
my belief was the syllable primitive written more or
less as in my hypothetical restoration shown in figure
13, and later as ___, later still by ___. And when
ultimately the borrowed senses of 'armpit,' and
'also,' had obscured the true meaning 'firelight,'(a
fate to which homophonous words were constantly
exposed in Chinese), the phonetic compounds cited by
Kangshi were devised to represent by a different
method the primary meaning once illustrated by ___'i.'

Such is the explanation I venture to put forward to
account for the presence of the symbol ___ at the
foot of the Archaic character ___ling,....But assuming
that ____ did in fact convey ideographically the
sense of firelight or flame,[why] was it sought to
attach this idea to the image of a posturing shaman?
....But a hypothesis is not necessarily an
illusion....I trust that future discoveries may either
confirm my conjectures or prove how they are
erroeous....The thesis now proposed is that not only
is the shaman represented in the character ___wu, and
seen in his ceremonial functions in the most archaic
type of ___ling, but that disguised out of all
recognition he is present also in ___wu,'not-to-have,'
and furthermore that it is no other than he, who with
large and emphatic feet, is posturing in the compound
___wu 'to dance.'

....In the phraseology of divination by the shih
plant, it is said, 'So-and-so, the son of his
ancestors approaches him.'...In the upper register I
read 'Bade the shaman make-offering for rain,' in
the lower, 'Bade the shaman make rain.' Tso-yu is a
recognized phrase for thaumaturgic rain-making as
the Pei Wen Yun Fu proves:

'Wang pu cheng tien ling wang[lai wu]tsai wang-yueh
chi tz'u chi huo chui erh po shih wu fu i chih erh
[The king took an omen as to hunting in Ling:[nothing]
harmful in going[or returning]. The king's ____ said
good luck. It is now noted that there were captured
birds, 215, hare 1, pheasants 2.' The character here
transcribed chi'recorded' is left undecipherable by
Lo Chen-yu, and is conjectural on my part. It is also
possible that '215' should be '115', but as in
numerous other passages both on bronze and these
bones, the multiple of the hundred(or of ten) is so
closely attached to the following figure that it is
hard to know in this case whether both the horizontal
stroke or only the upper one are to be reckoned.

This peculiarity is frequently found on bronzes in
ennumerating gifts of horses, and where in modern
Chinese ___ ___ ___ma ssu p'i 'of horses four head'
would be written, we have in numerous instances
first the old form of ma, then three horizontal
strokes, then the fourth horizontal serving both as
the fourth digit and as upper stroke of the last
character, p'i.'

The earliest known proto-writing from China thus far
can be seen at

Within these archaic Chinese graphic forms
can be found the origins of hare, horse, and shaman.
The p'i disc, mentioned also in the taixuanjing of
Yang Xiong(Shu 81), can be seen in Cullen and Farrer's
'Hsuan Chi Trilobate Jade Discs,' University of London
School of Oriental and African Studies Bulletin
(1983), p.74.

''When we are sitting on the bank of a river, the
flowing of the water, the gliding of a boat or the
flight of a bird, the uninterrupted murmur of our deep
life, are for us three different things or a single
one, at will.'

Here Bergson endows attention with the power of
'apportioning without dividing' 'of being one and
several,' but more profoundly, he endows duration with
the power to encompass itself. The flowing of the
water, the flight of the bird, the murmur of my life
form three fluxes; but only because my duration is one
of them, and also the element that contains the two
others. Why not make do with two fluxes, my duration
and the flight of the bird, for example? Because the
two fluxes could never be said to coexist or be
simultaneous if they were not contained in a third
one. The flight of the bird and my own duration are
only simultaneous insofar as my own duration divides
in two and is reflected in another that contains the
flight of the bird: there is, therefore, a fundamental
triplicity of fluxes.

....We call simultaneous, then two external fluxes
that occupy the same duration because they hold each
other in the duration of a third, our own....Einstein
has merely invented a new way of spatializing
time....But this achievement is that of a symbol for
expressing composites, not that of something
experienced that is capable, as Proust would say, of
expressing 'a little time in its pure state': Being,
or Time, is a [multiplicity)italics)]. But it is not
'multiple,' it is One, in conformity with its type of
[Deleuze, Bergsonism, p.85]

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