note: Cleanliness, Godliness, Kondo, & Popper3 min read

The phrase “Cleanliness is close to godliness” comes to mind.

It implies a lack of things undone.

To be clean is chiefly to maintain conditions for health.

The great many modern varieties of clean (and pretenders thereabouts) are branches of this conceptual tree.

(To be clean is to be sanitary, rooted etymologically with health.)

sanitary (adj.)

1823, “pertaining to health,” from French sanitaire (1812), from Latin sanitas “health,” from sanus “healthy; sane” (see sane). In reference to menstrual pads, first attested 1881 (in sanitary towel)., accessed 2020-07-29

So when we think of the Marie Kondo phenomena [sic.], we can also see this as an approach to cleanliness, one that does not merely address base biological health in the close-at-hand way of keeping germs and filth at bay; no, Kondo addresses health of mind.

We can say that the patterns of our everyday experience constitute an environment of sorts, just as well as if perhaps not more powerfully than the environment of the kitchen we meet each morning, the bedroom we retire (or don’t) to each evening.

I suspect that the panpsychist stuff has always alternately repulsed and attracted me, if only because I have a kind of allergic reaction to textualism [and what might be called “legible-ism” for that matter, favoring that which appears as legible to that which does not afford a sense of knowing, however tenuous we might see that knowledge to be upon closer inspection] because I think textualism is a fundamentally impoverished and human-impoverishing method with which to attempt making sense of reality.

[That said, a conversational and variously decision making ecosystem of textualists interacting with non-textualists can of course be a creative sort of action unto itself.]

And we are, friend, interested — must be interested in the quality of our interfaces with reality. There is no other way but to lose our minds.

I am glad we are losing our minds.

As Watts put it, to come to one’s senses may very well require the loss of one’s mind.

[Since most of us are not totally and irretrievably “unhinged” from one another, we can rather safely ((with guidance)) lose our minds, perceive from that spaciousness of lost mindedness, and notice rich patternworks that we would not have noticed were it not for the contrast that “losing our minds” afforded us.]

Yet this implies an important practice of balance and poise, one not unlike unleashing some balloon filled with sensitive instruments: if it is to buoyant and goes uncontrolled, perhaps it flies too high and like Icarus is burned by daring to leave the environment where its relationships render it viable.

A wondrous thing about the human mind is that it can proceed further beyond Icarus however, if we take the story literally of course, as we have now sent spacecraft beyond the solar system we call home. (Voyager did leave the solar system, right?)

Anyways, I would like to address Karl Popper here as a kind of Marie Kondo of knowledge, i.e., Popper affords us a sort of generalizable knowledge cleanliness toolkit, rather than generalizable sort of objects-sparkling-with-joy toolkit. (Or is this really a “rather than” situation? There is much common ground. For now, so much will remain left up to the reader.)

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