Open Journal of Philosophy
Vol.05 No.01(2015), Article ID:53742,13 pages

Concrete Thinking

Kuang-Ming Wu

Philosophy Department, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA


Copyright © 2015 by author and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).

Received 15 January 2015; accepted 2 February 2015; published 3 February 2015


Existence is concrete discerned bodily, thinking considers existents, and so concrete thinking is primal, at the base of logical thinking. Still, concrete actuality is reasonable beyond logical analysis. So, concrete thinking is “illogical” bodily reasonable. Thus this essay explores 1) concrete thinking various and 2) concrete thinking concretely. All this concrete thinking culminates in kids’ joys alive.


Thinking, Concrete, Body, Logic, Living, Kids, Joy

1. Introduction

Logical analysis may sneer at this incoherent phrase, “concrete thinking”; thinking is not concrete, so “concrete thinking” is “concrete not-concrete”, a contradiction. This essay is written to remind logical thinking that thinking is for the sake of considering things concrete, for things not concrete do not exist and cannot be considered. And thinking that logically considers its own mode and many concepts is to prepare us to consider things concrete. In short, all thinking is concrete thinking.

And so, “concrete thinking” designates all “thinking”; the designation is quite legitimate and self-evident. In fact, one translucent reason why concrete thinking is preferable to logical thinking is that concrete thinking is clear, fresh, and eye-catching, as expressed in “eagle eyes” and “baby fresh”. US commercials are vying for fresh clarity of concrete way of thinking, which is fast spreading worldwide.

Our dear logician would not give up so easily, however. “But how would ‘concrete thinking’ deal with its own contradiction, ‘concrete not-concrete’?” Now this is what this essay will describe concrete thinking to be about; as concrete actuality is reasonable, so concrete thinking is thinking. Concrete actuality is somehow reasonable for us to know, for otherwise our “knowledge” would be pie in the sky. The “concrete” harvests concrescence, a grown-together of many components, indicating the concrete as “reasonable” to enable concrete thinking to operate, whose part natural science (knowledge) is.

Still, “actual reason” is far beyond human logic to analyze, and so we falsely take “thinking as not-concrete”, and thus concrete thinking is “concrete plus thinking”, to wit, “concrete plus not-concrete”. All this while, concrete thinking stays as concrete-as-thinking, thinking-as-concrete, to stay beyond logic, as “illogical”. This essay stresses “concrete thinking illogical” to show how such concrete thinking belongs to concrete actuality illogical and reasonable. In its “illogic”, concrete thinking discerns the concrete as illogical reasonable, beyond straight logical analysis.

This essay thus has three points to describe “concrete thinking”, in contrast to logical analysis, to manifest in body thinking totally concrete. One, concrete thinking considers things concrete by thinking in concrete way. Concrete things dictate our concrete mode of thinking them. This first point is central to concrete thinking. Two, that thinking concretely is not logical analysis is dramatically shown in thinking things concrete. Contrasting with logical analysis manifests how distinctly its own concrete thinking is. Three, concrete thinking is displayed as body thinking. Our primal body human (not “physical corpse” in logic) is essentially concrete thinking undergoing the concrete dailies. Of course we think we see our body, unaware that “we think” is how we body-think and “unaware” is body-unaware. All we do, sense, think, and are aware, are “body thinking” all over always; concrete thinking is “all body 具?” as China means “concrete” to be. The concrete is body-felt, not logic-analyzed.

Now, these three points inter-weave as we concretely think of things concrete. So, this essay has two sections, A. how concrete thinking thinks the concrete and B. how concrete thinking concretely thinks. These points slightly repeat in variations, as repetitions indicate mutual involvement of all these features in concrete thinking, as the “concrete” harvests concrescence, grown-together inter-involved, of its essential components all concrete.

2. Thinking the Concrete

Things concrete are kaleidoscopic; our lifeworld is Alice’s Wonderland random, bewildering, and delightful various. Concrete thinking is simply forced to randomly pick some eight snapshot-vignettes as follows to portray how we think things concrete. Such “random” picking shows and tells with noisy kids the kid-like riches of things concrete so joyously voluptuous and irresistible. We all just follow them, at least in the following seven ways, the concrete as specific, as indescribable, as be-ing, “one and many”, history, what concrete is, heartfelt compassion, and kids frolicking.

2.1. One: The Concrete as Specific

“Anything concrete is specific”. This declaration surprises me, for “anything” is general, but “specific” is not general. I am shocked at this fact not shocking, as things concrete are actually specific, nothing surprising. Still, it is shocking. Look. Face-in-general exists nowhere; we don’t even know what it means. All tree-in-general, all place-in-general, and all home-in-general tell us that “in general” exists nowhere. But, we can think only in general terms. We cannot think a concrete tree here now. “Thinking a tree” thinks of the tree-meaning-tree, which is tree-in-general. Sartre in his novel Nausea was nauseated at a chestnut tree before him, concrete specific, not to think about.

Concrete is specific that exists―these three are intimate, innermost together but not synonymous. They are starkly unapproachable yet starkly confronting us, all-unthinkable all un-sayable. Only the thinkable can be said; things concrete cannot be said. Luckily, things concrete are specific and can be specifically shouted at; “Doggie!” is shouted at by Tommy, as he was confronted with that monster, concrete specific, that Mom says is “giraffe”, an odd word Tommy cannot even say out.

Naming is how we shout out to a thing concrete specific, then another thing, then another, and then we forget, and name a thing again by a new name, and our naming continues, and we get tired―but children are not tired. Every moment comes fresh to them to name this thing concrete specific. But “every moment” happens only once, then “only once” again, and again. This is why children are never tired of things concrete.

Dotting repeats continuing, and this time-series is also as specific as things concrete in space. Here and there, things are so funny everywhere, so much so that I get dizzy, but kids are not dizzy. They love such a merry-go- round shouting “Doggie!” so happy at the monster giraffe. All this does not smoothly continue but is choppy, quite kid-enjoyable jumping around.

This shouting merry-go-around is kids’ “show and tell”, ever chitchatting with old ladies chatting endlessly. Endlessness rhymes with concrete continuity ever specific ever dotting. O I am dizzy nauseous―here concrete specific, nothing but things concrete specific exist to nauseate me. I had better stop all this silly pursuit. I cannot be a kid to ride on this merry-go-round lifeworld of specifics. It is so strange that this common concrete world is so uncommon, so specific so dotty yet so continuous unending!

Now I am continually chitchatting again! And now I cannot stop it because my world continues so dotting so specific and so concrete, as I am. I have said that concrete things cannot be said, and I have been saying about concrete things till I dizzy me myself. No wonder, Sartre’s first novel Nausea meanders so long so nauseating, without rhyme or reason, simply because things concrete are so simple as to be incapable of making sense, i.e., thinking about. Significantly, Chuang Tzu in ancient China meanders in tall tales, all actual vastly cosmic, to enchant us. There are more river-meanderings under heaven than our philosophy can ever dream of, quite beyond all human essays to explore. We only notice here an important point, that all this is body thinking at work.

Now, I suddenly realize. All this is body thinking, bodily thinking of things so concrete specific as to be unthinkable. Body thinking pulls off this stunt of thinking the unthinkable, yet “concrete” is “body equipped, 具?” ( China ) to enable body thinking on the concrete. No wonder, body thinking is so concrete a thinking as to be accused of being concrete (body) not concrete (thinking), a straight self-contradiction so delightful.

So, we are led to ask these questions. Does body thinking itself make sense? Does body thinking make as much sense as things concrete, i.e., no sense? Is body thinking specific or general? And our questioning goes on. No one can answer such series of strange questions. Is all such stuff, nausea continuous, dotting senseless endless? Nausea, we must remember, comes from the “concrete” as “specific”, and so unthinkable that yet starkly confronts us willy-nilly.

2.2. Two: The Concrete as Indescribable (Described)

Things concrete I cannot de-scribe, known well yet so unknown. Things concrete not just surround me, confront me. They enter me to haunt me to tinge me in their hues indescribable. I say that I am on top of things, at their bottom, and on an even keel, but have I really concretely described how I am? I say all this, and do I get understood? I just display all conventional names of things. Our names are our tags, doggie, giraffe, by which to manage things, we think, but don’t we actually manage tags as government offices shuffle documents around, knowing nothing?

We also name our mood our concrete inside. There is no argument on mood inside concrete, as there is no argument about taste on things outside and concrete. We have no argument because we have no thinking about such stuff all too concrete. I am all-helpless as I am confronted with things concrete outside and inside. “Things concrete” means “I am helpless”, for “concrete” is specific and I can only manage generalities, name-tags, and shuffling tag handles nothing actual-concrete.

“How do we tell a tag from the concrete real?” Use a magnifier and watch a tag written. We see nothing there on the page. That is “tag”. And then, watch my palm, and I see more and more, and more. “Concrete” is concreted, the con-cresced riches grown-together, unlimited beyond description, as that holophrastic “Doggie!” that explodes us around Tommy into laughs unlimited. “Doggie!” is a tag beyond all tags.

And then, Scarlatti’s Sonatas float in to pervade everything―simple, concrete, and ineffable intangible. Things concrete, so rich ineffable, then get adjusted and straightened, somehow ineffably intangibly. Names vanish, as Sartre’s Nausea ends with soft common music. Walkout unclutters me, too, as I walk right foot and left, in rhythm. I walk my own music; I am music walking out.

And then, I again hear; music throbs to beat my heart, and yours, into time that hums on, not “time in general eternal” but time incurably concrete specific in each of us, flowing day in and day out, as time is my own undergoing. Nothing is more concrete and intimate than me myself undergoing me myself in time. Time flows in three ways at least, going on, renewing on, and repeating on.

First, time keeps flowing on, going on, as Chu 朱自清 laments in his exquisite essay “Hurrying on, Unknown 匆匆” how our days once gone, never come back (Wu, 2010) . But then, secondly, as we flip over this fact, we see how time keeps flowing to flow us into things spanking new, “day, day, new, again, day new” as the ancient royal bathtub daily washes us anew afresh even today. Thirdly, joining flow-going with flow-renewing, time rhythm-flows to rhyme in repetitions of be-ing and living as time-music, to unclutter to cleanse off nausea of concrete things beyond knowing beyond schematizing.

Chu’s lament over days going joins dawning babies shouting “Doggie!” at new monsters, under Mom’s care daily repeating for babies to grow up. As music hums on, time comes alive in my heartbeats, one at a time concrete on and on, going and then coming, in flowing music never boring, as no one minds living more and more days ahead alive, repeating days on end without ceasing. Time is life concrete specific. Time is the Chinese calligraphy so ancient so vigorous a poetry of living today.

In China, calligraphy always writes poems. These poems mostly paint scenes, and scenes painted paint feeling-milieus. Thus calligraphy is paintings felt alive through millennia. Paintings are then poetry compact, of course. Poetry is time-art. In China, art is time poetry in beautiful-writings (calligraphy, literature), and all paintings are poetic. So should it be worldwide for life’s throbbing joys jumping alive.

“But why do you mention art suddenly out of nowhere?” O, No. On the contrary, art should have come in, as it does here, to clinch our delightful meditations on things concrete. Art is the peak of skill, of feeling, and of thought, all three rolled into one at its highest. Art is thus body thinking at work at its noblest, most concrete, specific, and ubiquitous. “Concrete” is now a straight beauty one by one, on and on, in our understanding felt bodily daily. That is poetry musical. That is “art”, body thinking at its most awesome to dawn the concrete, to describe the concrete indescribable. Now, here are more surprises to things concrete. It is being concrete. Excitement is still ahead!

2.3. Three: Concrete as Being Concrete

Suppose we happen to notice a tiny tender missy trying so hard so clumsily to do something for her Mom she loves so much. What she actually achieves is of course not much, but, O, how hard she tries in total passion deeply touches us. Her whole being shows starkly. Japan would say she is ijirashii, but few other languages could even hint at how touched we are at her very being, shown in such toddling trying, aside from what she tries or achieves. It is such a precious sight to behold and to feel. Here is no error of any sort. She is just herself so “good” pure and total, to move us deeply, to move Jesus watching her loving her.

By the same token, we see the good Pharisees justly proud and the bad tax-collector breast-beating, and Jesus nods deeply at the latter self-aware so painful, “justified” (Luke 18). We see the busy Martha and the do-nothing Mary listening to Jesus, enthralled, to win Jesus’ heart as he loves Martha (Luke 10). We see the good loyal elder brother accusing his beloved father of injustice. The father then pleads for the young brother, all good-for- nothing, throwing his whole being begging for his father’s mercy; he is clearly “found” and we must celebrate as a family! (Luke 15).

And the list goes on, all these stories repeating that tiny young missy trying so very hard for Mom, no matter what. The whole Bible tells us, “Bad deeds count less than their soulful confession out of the entire being”. Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Simone Weil are such being-people whose lives elucidate “Subjectivity is truth” (Kierkegaard). Subjectivity is being, whole and authentic; being expresses being so real so total. Such subjectivity is truth, whatever it means.

In this manner, my cautious renewed reading of bewildering concrete details in Luke 10, 15, and 18 tells me of this simple point. They propose a value-revolution to our usual view of “good”. It is that what is ultimately important in life is not doing but being. What I am decides my ultimate me. What I am is trained and cultivated by what I do and how I do it, as my doing shows my being. My behaving shows my being to decide me. The whole Bible tells me of this ultimate point.

Ethics to be to inter-be, in this way, expresses ontology. All human intercourses inter-be, in inter-species in our eco-family. The season meets me baby-raw as the roasting heat is cooled by breeze in dry thirst mid-autumn. A dog in the house barks at me walking by. Such common happenings repeat, and the repetition starkly turns the familiar no less fresh than yesterday so vivid now in me. “Boredom” is not in the vocabulary of things common concrete, all too common concrete―and starkly whole staring at me, every time they confront me.

Confronted whole, I cannot help but confront whole, as I am, those things concrete whole. This point surprises me. I thought I must behave. But No, I must be. Look! My parents in love cultivate my being to initiate myself, my whole being, into the world, and my parents are things so concrete in Heaven and Earth. Responding to my parents with the totality of my being is to “honor my parents”, as both China and the Bible urge me on. Who says China has no religion?

Meanwhile, all children nakedly confront me, hitting me brutally with their simple straight beings. That is how they awe me. They see through me; I cannot pretend. “Children” are here and there, everywhere around. What demolished the scholarly “Professor Higgins” is how “deliciously vulgar” that uncouth rural lady simply is. Her simple straight being straightens out the Professor, out of his pretension, and he has to marry her “My Fair Lady”. Marriage is of course inter-being at the base of cosmic family. We inter-be; that is what counts. All Socrates’, Confucius’, Mencius’, and the Taoists’ insistences amount to hitting at me being me.

I inter-be with my fellow beings as I deal with them. That is how technology must do, to inter-be, to compose and maintain our eco-family in eco-love. Graphically, China says we manage affairs 做事 to manage humanity 做人, as we walk affairs 行事 to make-and-do human ?人. All this is body thinking busily at work, being in doing, doing as being, as I am human; I should not behave as a dog as I should not speak Pidgin English, dog- English. Ha!

“Now, what else is new?” Well, what is new is that this being-realization, this being-praxis, is body thinking at work at the gut-body concrete level. All this is concrete thinking manifesting in living in being. Concrete thinking is body-being, no toying with concepts and tying involved with them. There is no argument in being, as there is no argument in the taste of being. We must shout with kids to show and tell, and be, with kids; that is how we taste being us. We must be-come―come by and by to be―kids. Again, nothing is new, except that coming to be me, to being the good old me as kid so new, is new.

It is “good” to be as I am, as before, since I was born raw naked new. That is old, and that is new, indeed revolutionary new. That is concrete thinking coming body-home to roost, to be. All this is what makes a classic, what makes the Bible, what ultimately makes religion; it is what is concrete thinking body-gutsy being. “What else is new?” Nothing is new as before so concrete, and that is what is new. Music “beings” me here now, it does playing the concrete stark being, to per-form my being with myriad beings.

Wow! It is raining downpours! I am so happy being poured into me so moist. Water just moistens me alive. Even just watching the downpours into the rejoicing trees is more than enough to send me to heaven rejoicing dancing with trees with kids! And now, it stops raining. All is so calm all satisfied all saturated, with moist joy. I am, too. Awesome! Things concrete are so awesome to make me be concrete so awesome!

To be is to inter-be; we, things and I, inter-be in the rain in Mother Nature. If to be is to be perceived, then to be me is to be rained on in Mother Nature, not at all perceived, so concrete so natural, with all beings. Inter-be rejoices. Things rejoice me into me with them. Now, don’t ask me why I am so happy, ok? Believe it or not, asking why here cuts down on my joys so simple so powerful so outpouring.

2.4. Four: “One and Many”

Meanwhile, we look around at our common daily facts. We will be shocked at how illogical we and our world are, seeing that things concrete are “one and many”. To begin, the parent loves each child as if she has no other child. And each child has only one mother, of course. All this while, however, Mom has so many babies of her own. So, the parent-child relation is “one and many”, as love is “one and many”. Love originates all beings. The parent-child relation in love is my origin. So, my origin is “one and many”.

And then, I am “I”, only one, for two I’s will be “we”, not “I”. But I say, “I”, you say “I”, and everyone says “I”. Our world is full of so many “I”s now. “I” is “one and many”. Finally, “here” is also “one and many”; “now” is also “one and many”. These “here now” so many compose our lifeworld. So, our lifeworld is “one and many”.

Now, let us go a step further. As parent-child love-relation is one and many, so we cherish science, beauty, history, myths, and so on, each “one and many”. The more, the merrier, and yet each is itself, one and itself. This crowded fact yet not at all crowded has an ethical implication quite important.

Jill is Mom’s best child. Jim is Mom’s best child. It is Mom’s joy and pride to love them both, total not partial. I must balance my partiality to music with respect of science that is after all beautiful as well. Today’s society love science, its love should be imbued with reverence of Mother Nature and her stunning beauty. Exclusion must be excluded. Religion is ultimacy in this world. Its shameful bigotry can be cured by imbuing it with love of others and appreciation of beauty all around.

With no if or but, religion simply must continue to live in this “and”-tension of “one and many”, its unique ultimacy tensed with “sharing with many others”, in concrete mundane actuality. This tensed living is its absolute condition to survive as a decent entity in this world, called “religion”. Now, “one and many” is just one example of how illogical our common daily actuality is, and it already keeps us busy counting such wonders, on and on.

In math, 1 + 1 must necessarily make 2, not more, not less. In actual investment, 1 + 1 seldom yields 2 but always more, or less. Events often erupt rhymed with no definite cause, as a cause can be caused by its effect. In actual situations, when P implies Q, Q can turn around to cause and implicate P, as “weal leans on woe that lurks in weal” (Lao Tzu 58), as political money-rule breeds people-rule that in turn breeds money-rule.

Such is the excitement of actual living and its frustration. We do not know what to do with our daily routines so strange beyond management. In all this, we see and hear “musical reasoning”; music makes sense in harmony out of dissonance, in an infinite variety of patterns. Sense, harmony, and patterns are all alive-reasonable beyond math, beyond logic, and beyond causality. Now, “one and many” and such examples above make no sense in logic (Yourgrau, 1990) . “One and many” spread in time makes “repetition” in musical rhythm that is the vitality of the world, to be considered under “repetition”.

But in actuality, “one and many” is all over to compose our common world so concrete. We concretely under-go the actual world to under-stand it. Understanding is thinking; concrete understanding is body thinking. So, not analytical logic, but bodily concrete thinking understands actual “one and many” that composes our actual world, and we must cherish them one and many, one and all, all so logically tensed as to be senseless.

All this tensed consideration of concrete ethics of “one and many” is body thinking in the concrete, totally beyond logical analysis to make sense, much less to execute. Thus, body thinking about common concrete facts all around, step by step, enables us to realize that our lifeworld is “one and many”, illogical yet inevitable, ordinary and quite concrete. We stretch out eyes toward their horizon, and, lo and behold, we bump into “history” invisible intangible, and all-inclusive all-concrete!

2.5. Five: History

“History” is the specific concrete that is all-comprehensive in space and in time, yet amazingly invisible untouchable. Concrete thinking cannot avoid considering history that is much more than a simple past. What is history? We say, “History is past reconstructed”, and now, things get sticky. The past is gone nowhere. The professional historians laboriously re-construct from pieces of relics, re-enact past experience so rare so precious, and this “re-experiencing drama” is history, says Collingwood (Collingwood, 1946, 1993; Myerhoff, 1959; Tang, 2013; Walsh, 1967) . And we think so as well. We all take “history” as helpless relics we barely reconstruct from past dust. We all view history as an object to manipulate to shape up out of nowhere (Collingwood, 1946) .

But past-history is alarmingly imminent, never an object but devastatingly inside us; we are helpless, not history. History is not simply “gone, nowhere”; it is gone past that is present as powerful presence alive, without our reconstruction; history reconstructs us. We do not even “experience history” as we experience a ride; our experience is history. History is “we”. In fact, the world has one historic culture, China, what literarily lives history, even calling itself the culture of “literature history 文史”. Literature is story-thinking at work in body thinking, and history is concrete body-thinking in concrete time we live through.

By being literary historical, China is the world’s sole culture thriving in history that embodies body thinking, story thinking, and concrete thinking, three in one, quite vigorous alive. These three modes of thinking are the base, matrix, and milieu of thinking logical, analytical, and systematic, popular in the West. Thus it is essential to study body thinking, story thinking, and concrete thinking by studying China in all their historical developments there. It is quite a mammoth task. But before all this, we must still understand what history is.

Two mighty features of history stare at us in the face from inside us. One, our words, wording, thinking- modes, worldview, our shape of the “present”, even our patterns of protest, our renovation, in short, all our life activities are all gifts of history; we live rhyming with our parent-past. Even our revolution makes sense only in the light of what has gone on before. This “in the light of” is our matrix of freedom and novel creation, and “in the light of” is our history. We are not alive and novel unless we have our past. Scientific “repeatability” twists and flattens this awesome historic truth, for past alive rhymes on, not repeat. Two, the past is present here now, not just hid in archeological relic pieces. The past is amply present here now in the classics, amazingly staying on beyond millennia; they are the best sellers in world cultures and the longest sellers ever in world history. History is past impacts on public file; part of it is called “classics”, and we avidly learn. They are vast in number and in variety, increasing each day, so much as to overwhelm us. We yet neglect them at our own peril, as we are composed of history.

Our task is awesome, not to read them to be buried in them. I met a young German lady in USA, who fled from being buried in her “great history”. Being buried in history is not learning from history. We must learn from history to escape being buried in it. We must astutely learn. Socrates and Confucius must be learned, criticized and absorbed on what they mean, to adapt to our today.

Ghastly disasters of Nazis and Japanese aggressions must be probed into their why-happened, how-managed, and constantly watched over on their ominous budding-again today. Sadly, our memory span is short, and we tend to file them away for “news” today. Bypassed, these atrocities are on the rise again today. Again, environmental devastations have been going on for millennia; we have neglected to learn from them, and now we are all devastated.

Without such learning alive from the past alive, we are dead. Past history is so concrete here now. We have history in us as our genetic makeup, and we are given history in front of us. We should learn from history to go beyond it, and, amazingly, “going beyond history” becomes a part of history. Time passes me by; I stay young as I feel young bodily. History keeps making impacts on me in me, concretely thinking in me on and on.

2.6. Six: What Is “Concrete”

“You keep saying ‘concrete’. What is ‘concrete’?” All right, my friend, consider this. Contrary to common impression, cognitive wording is ambiguous (Thomas, 1974) ; words can mean “this”, and can mean “not this”. So, we vainly pile up intellectual words trying to chase away ambiguity, piling ambiguity against ambiguity, to self- defeat in vicious circle. In contrast, body-instinct pins things down precisely. Combining instinct and intellect, “body thinking” hits at the matter precisely concretely. As body thinking is concrete this way hitting at “this” here now, “this” then sparkles to dawn on us, at each moment that comes, willy-nilly, quite concretely.

Again, and again, my writing-music dawns afresh each moment baby-fresh; mere 81 years young now, and I sing on still. Even my new faint wrinkles are faintly chanting in my clumsy hand-writing, daily dawning baby- fresh. The baby shouts whole day not hoarse (Lao Tzu 55); I write all day not frayed. Did I repeat myself? Repetitions make music dawning repeatedly, dawning, baby-dawning without ceasing. Now, if all this is not concrete dawning baby fresh, what else is concrete? Things concrete repeat afresh.

After all, repetition, as our life-pulses so vital, should never be a bore, as we do not mind living as long as possible, for we all want simply to exist―isn’t living on a mystery? We do not mind repeating 365 days year after year, nor do we mind repeating 60 life-pulses moment after moment. In fact, as we all want to live endlessly, so we all enjoy repeating days on end, year in and year out. Repetition ad infinitum here, if possible, is never repetition ad nauseam. We should then be able to extend our enjoyment of day-repetitions to exorcise boredom in repetitions of all sorts, boredom at repetitions we enjoy, derived from day-repetitions we love.

Why we cannot do so is a mystery, isn’t it? But boredom still exists all over in every nook and corner of our living world. Boredom is such a sad stubborn fact of life. Since we love longevity, as existing is the basic appetite of existence (Spinoza, Leibniz), repetition and boredom should never exist together, but they actually do. We love long life, and yet we hate boredom in life; it is such a strange oxymoron in our living.

Although Robert Frost did not say he found living-on a bore, he said (in his poem “Away!”) that “I but obey/ the urge of a song” to be “out walking”, and if he finds “dissatisfied/with what I learn/from having died”, he “may return” (Frost, 1995) . Unfortunately, we know he cannot do so. Now why he cannot do so, and why we know he cannot, are a mystery, are they not? We may simply stick to what we first said, to wit, to enjoy day- repetitions to exorcise boredom, if any.

But we must not touch death at all, whether death is a bore or not a bore, for once we try death we cannot “un- try” it. Death is such a bad deal. Many books exist on “near death experience”, but not a single book has been written on coming back alive from death itself. This is why Jesus’ resurrection is such a big stir among us, a far- out myth for our “common sense” stuck in the craw of our usual life experience.

But, in any case, boring experience must differ from exciting one. If exciting repetition jumps on rhyming rhythmic, while boring one drones on, then we must find rhythm to our drones. Musicians as children are experts at finding and creating droning rhythms that excite us all, as Bach, Scarlatti and China’s ancient drones softly chanting stabilizing us. We can stay anywhere, and there is music, new warmth of breathing music, and we smile, droning at ease at home, deep in existing rhythms risking the danger of falling bored familiar. Familiarity can create contempt in boredom, but it never need to at all. Music goes slow, to dig deep to cover far, as I feel on my music-way on and on.

Bach’s ingenuity at creating “Musical Offering” out of an arbitrary concatenation of sounds assures us of the stubborn possibility ever present out of boredom of any sort, arbitrary or repetitive. Music is the savior of us in love with longevity, out of boredom of repetition, back to the pleasure of long drawn-out days of life. Music can even inspire kids complaining “nothing to do” to jump up into dancing the new rhythm of new life-music. Many composers compose for children, and many performers perform for children, as children in turn constantly inspire musicians to make new music. Boredom then vanishes into music alive in children.

Still, repetition can plunge us into a nasty trouble, called “error”. Deleting errors is a paradox, on at least three counts. First, being human and imperfect, we are always error-prone, and yet we try to delete them. Besides, to decrease errors, we must repeat our operation, and yet our operation itself produces errors. So, we increase errors to decrease errors. Thirdly, we have no error until we are aware of error to hate it to delete it. We hate errors to try against them to create what we hate. Hatred creates enemies, never conquers them. Do we see Hitler here? Errors are odd indeed.

All this oddity comes from us humans being imperfect, of course. But we find us imperfect because we somehow know what perfection is. Where do we imperfect know perfection? Twist and turn as we may, we are caught in a dilemma, caused by repetition of human operation all-imperfect.

Now, however, does this “same” repetition that plunges us into errors help us out of the dilemma of errors? Repetition never replicates identically in our concrete world, and that is our hope. Never the same, repetition announces renewal that differs from what has been repeated. Do we have errors now? We can start again anew! We can epeat it, and errors can vanish in thin air. Repetition originating errors is the arrival of the baby-begin- ning afresh, out of errors.

“But errors stay, sadly”. O yes, they stay, but not “sadly”. We being human, we live on with errors, to live in errors, even live on errors. And errors do not “stay”. Instead of deleting them, our time of life throbs birthing new errors to blend with old, and the old errors vanish in the new, as we now excitedly manage them to mingle them into new vibrations of new repetitions. Music and baby guide us on into the “beauty” of blending of errors! These new vibes in new verve are the life-pulses of new music, to dawn the birth of the new baby, my new me toddling out here now. Errors mother me forth, afresh, in new errors, in new era. It is my birthday my dawn, now here.

Is Jesus not blending our mortal errors into his Resurrection Dawn, here? It is the Primal Dawn before our fall into many series of errors. All this sounds so far-out as to daunt us. But if (a big “if”) this Jesus-bit is accepted, so many things fall into place, as they do here; “by faith, we know”. Today we say, “Of course, what science says is true”, unaware that “science” is our network woven out, not natural out there. We say, “By science, we know”, exactly as Hebrew 11 says, “By faith, we know”. The crucial difference is that “by science, we know” lacks the “if” of faith; we say instead, “of course”. Our confidence composes human hubris deserving of death penalty! It is so sad, indeed! Birthday proudly shows an error-clean baby. Baby has no error, for only trying makes error, and the baby does not try, but just does anything that takes her fancy. Besides, “error” is a boring adult word; the baby’s world is full of excitements, all spanking new, with things to show and tell unlimited! And it is so easy to be a baby.

2.7. Seven: Heartfelt Com-Passion

Concrete thinking goes human, as we co-suffer with our neighbors in pain. Both Mencius and Jesus stress our com-passion, thinking as human co-pathos. Mencius noticed as very significant how a tyrant released an ox in mortal jitters being dragged to sacrificial slaughter, simply because he could not bear 不忍 the sight. “Not- bearing governance 不忍人之政” must follow invincibly (1A1-7). Its invincibility originates in the matchless power of human compassion to the unbearable degree.

Jesus constantly feels visceral pain while healing and discoursing on mercy; “visceral pain” (splagchnizomai) is the word exclusively used by Jesus alone (Friedrich, 1979; Kohlenberger III, Goodrick, & Swanson, 1997) . That word is the be-all and end-all of the Good News. On this pain, Kazoh Kitamori builds his “theology of the pain of God (1946)”. Concrete thinking is unthinkable without being touched heartfelt by human co-pathos. Human compassion is at the heart of concrete thinking quite human.

2.8. Either: Kids Frolicking

Do you want to see a “round square”, my dear logician? Babies will give it to you, and that with extra-gifts of irresistible kid-fragrance and kid-smiles absolutely free! Kids are enchanting King reigning over all, Mr. long-faced logician! These kids are all their Mom’s so precious, tightly hugged and then let go of to play, and play on. We then will follow them and stoop to tie their tiny shoe-laces, wipe their tiny noses, and button up their tiny buttons, and then pat them on their bottoms and let them go! They are smiling shouting, as we smile watching them go, and go play! Wow! What explosions!

We cannot help but follow them, cannot help but shaping up their shoes and dresses, and we cannot help but do all such in all smiles. Our stooping smiles show us into their Wonderland. We stoop into fabulous kid-Won- derland, in caring smiles. All our silly cares and worries then vanish into kid-joys on and on beyond here now, right here now. Kids are still shouting. We simply must go join them. How could we help it?

And then, among those kids we are surprised to find these “secretes”. Kids have no secret at all; they just love to have “secrets” to show to tell, to share them in whispers that are actually another loud shout, for they do not whisper at all. And all these playing shouting kids are so tiny, so fragile, and so tough, all in shouting joys. Everything, even their “secret”, is fitted into shouting joys full-bodied so plump square-circular shiny! No one can get over such joys on and on unlimited, into the ultimate Kingdom of playing joys they just shouting in.

“Life is too serious to take seriously”, quipped Oscar Wilde. His quip is delightfully substantiated in kids at play frivolous not frivolous at all. Nothing is more significant than that seriousness non-serious of life, as it is fulfilled in irresistible joys of kids at play! Kids take to paradox as fish take to water. Oxymora are the rough streams where kids are excited at swimming in! This is a happy case of filling up an oxymoron with kid-joys of living, a rather rare case so common so concrete, isn’t it?

3. Thinking Concretely

Concrete thinking is not just wallowing in things concrete, but has an important and indispensable function. We are in the world where we cherish logical clarity and get caught in logical troubles, as babies washed too clean get sick. We here see how concrete thinking concretely resolves knotted dilemmas logical analysis kicks up to imprison itself in them. Since our itinerary is a bit involved, this section has two subdivisions, Outline, and then Actual Undergoing.

3.1. ONE: Outline

Concrete thinking thinks concretely to concretely resolve those knotted dilemmas the logical analysts kick up to self-imprison inside them. The resolution goes this way. The liar’s paradox is one most famous logical “nut” impossible to logically “crack”. And this is not an isolated logical dilemma, but a case showing such sort of a basic crack in logical analytical mode of thinking, typical in Western philosophy. Sorensen traces out the history of Western philosophy as history of the “paradox” that he claims is an ingredient composing Western philosophy (Sorensen, 2003) .

His claim is graphically shown valid by mathematician Gödel who independently proves that mathematical proof―it is the basis of logical thinking―cannot be independently proved. And thus Gödel himself reenacted the liar’s paradox! Liar’s paradox, Western philosophy, and Gödel are rolled into one basic crack in logical thinking in the entire history of Western philosophy. Such an impressive crack it is in logical thinking whose job it is to fill in logical cracks! Now let us tarry here a while before going further. It is irresistible!

At the very beginning of his book on the history of the paradox, Sorensen drops on us this bombshell. He takes paradoxes as the constitutive “atoms of philosophy” as prime numbers are the atoms of mathematics. On this basis, he surveys the history of Western philosophy as a “history of the paradox”. He did not explain how paradox is the atom of philosophy, only that philosophy handles problems, not solutions, optimistically taking “paradox” as a simple riddle and problem that can eventually be resolved. Made of bits and pieces, this book has no sustained argument. Do these scattered dots tell us of the explosions by paradoxes into bits and pieces?

But actually “paradox” is a serious insoluble dilemma that nails logic to its both horns, to explode logic. Such dilemmas so abound in Western philosophy as to justify writing its history of the paradox, and what an explosive situation this is! Apparently, Sorensen is unaware of handling paradox as a logical explosive landmine that has been exploding Western philosophy throughout its history. Does he not realize that the history of the paradox is the history of bankruptcy of logical thinking?

What sort of thinking does Western philosophy needs, then, to defuse this explosive? Since explosion is concrete and historical, “concrete thinking” must be the thinking that does the job. And it will be quite an unexpected sort of defusing. Interestingly and significantly, in contrast to China that routinely engages in concrete thinking, Western philosophy seems never to have practiced concrete thinking.

Perhaps this is why paradoxes are so prominent in the West, so much so that Sorensen can produce a Western history of the paradox as the history of philosophy. Sadly, Sorensen is totally unaware that he is handling an explosive, unaware even of being exploded himself. Unaware or not, however, Sorensen and Western philosophy do need concrete thinking they are unaware of to defuse the paradoxes their explosives, the landmines they are unaware of.

“How does concrete thinking do the defusing?” Interestingly, concrete thinking sees a delightful way out of this logical cul-de-sac of dilemmas and paradoxes, as dilemma and paradox describe logical dead-end in different ways. This way out is indicated, of all places, in the master logician Whitehead’s trenchant quip, in the relaxed concrete milieu of “dialogues”, declaring “All truths are half-truths”, and Mrs. Whitehead sees through this saying perceptively.

She says that her husband’s quip tells us of our necessity of looking things in so many various perspectives, looking things over from as many angles as we can (Whitehead, 1954) . On our part, we see that such looking-around from various looks-around describes concrete thinking in praxis. The logical objection “Is your quip itself a half-truth?” simply shows how the quip is not logical but in the milieu of concrete thinking.

In concrete thinking, we see through it all. The liar’s paradox is a result of taking a pragmatic half-truth as a whole logical truth. The self-liar is not to be taken as announcing a whole logical proposition but as talking of her concrete practice at the moment, self-confessing to her specific praxis, not asserting a universal logical “whole truth”. So does Gödel, proving his proof on his specific occasion; he did not mean to universalize his conclusion as a universal proposition self-referable. All this amounts to concrete thinking seeing our living as self-referred inconsistency that portrays how the kids grow. Kids growing are kids frolicking. Now we actually undergo this route.

3.2. TWO: Actual Undergoing

Logical thinking is keen at keeping consistency against contradiction. Western philosophy is then centered on the problem of the worst illogic, paradox, i.e., a dilemma where both contrary ways are closed off. Series of struggles in Western philosophy with various paradoxes compose its history, as Sorensen tried (Sorensen, 2003) . We now first describe how paradox bankrupts logical thinking, and then see how concrete thinking concretely resolves in delight such logical cul-de-sac. Concrete thinking considers “paradox” in concrete manner to resolve it. Let us begin with the well-known liar’s paradox, “I am a liar” with which we can neither agree nor disagree.

If we take what she says as true, then she says truthfully, and what she says, “I am a liar”, is false, for she is no liar but telling the truth. If we take what she says, “I am a liar”, as false, then she says falsely, and then what she says, “I am a liar”, is true. If her saying is taken as true, it is false; if it is taken as false, it is true. Her saying is senseless, then, and the liar’s paradox destroys the self-liar. Arendt a Jew noted that no single Jew rose up against Nazis (Arendt, 1963) ; her life (1906-1975) coincides with the Nazi era (1919-1945). Her keen perceptive insight is caught in a messy paradox of self-liar. Sad!

“But she is an actual case of self-liar. Our apodictic certainty of mathematics does not lie, right?” You are all wrong, pal! Such mess of self-liar is at the center of our awesome mathematics. Kurt Gödel proves, alone, that every proof must be proved not alone but by other proof (Dawson Jr., 1997) . Now if we take his proving as valid, then his “proof” is invalid, for he proved alone that “proof cannot be proved alone”, which is just proved invalid. But if we take his proving as invalid, then his “proof” is valid, for his proving-alone being invalid has proved that “proof cannot be proved alone”, which is validated.

In short, if his proof is taken as valid, it is invalidated; if it is taken as invalid, it is validated. Gödel is hopelessly caught in a liar’s paradox; his incompleteness theorem demolishes itself. Beautiful precision of mathematics at the base of logical thinking thus calculates precisely into self-futility, but no one has realized that Gödel himself with his proof is bankrupt in the liar’s paradox way (Kline, 1980) . Thus the liar’s paradox gnaws at the base of logical thinking to crack it up, to bankrupt it.

This is quite a serious matter for logical thinking. We are at a loss, when we suddenly hear master logician Whitehead’s trenchant quip, “There are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths. It is ‘trying to treat them as whole truths’ that plays the devil” (Whitehead, 1954: p. 14) . Let us pursue this saying. Master logician Whitehead (1954) starkly says, “All truths are half-truths” (p. 14). Now, I cannot say anything definite and distinct without falling into Whitehead-sort of trouble, “Is your own saying half-truth or not?”

For example, suppose I say with Russell his student, “Be careful with all ‘all-claims’”. Is this claim an all- claim? I need Whitehead-like response, that this saying is not a claim but a practical all-round caution against all-truths of all-claims. It is thus that the dead-end is resolved. This practical caution is part of concrete thinking.

This caution is a way out of logical self-referential inconsistency typified by the liar-paradox. Self-admission of a liar can be an honest confession, not a claim. This is a caution of a prudential angel. Where angels fear to tread, fools rush in. After all, doesn’t self-inconsistency discovered by self-reflection describe kids growing? Doesn’t caution here smile parental caring? “Foolish rushing in” of logic ruins cautious growth. I would then follow angelic fear, staying away from smart-fool’s lack of caution (Sorensen, 2003; Ryle, 1960) .

Now, I confess to being cautious when I express all this, and confession mumbles, not claiming. Caution is my way of being, not of my claiming. My way of being myself is being concrete. “Concrete” is odd in three ways at least, specific, indescribable, and at being, as elucidated in the former section as features One, Two, and Three of concrete thinking, do you remember?

“Wait a minute, pal. Whitehead’s saying is a logician saying. How could logical thinking resolve problems created by logical thinking?” Great! I agree. Logical problems must be resolved not logically but otherwise by concrete thinking. In fact, his saying is illogical, logically self-contradictory, as “all are half” is, and must be dealt with otherwise than logically, in line with concrete thinking. Whitehead’s saying here must not be considered logically, then, but be considered concretely in ways of concrete thinking, in somewhat this way.

“Things” are all concrete, or else they do not exist. What is concrete is a specific “here now” as elucidated in previous section under Feature One of concrete thinking; what is true “here now” then cannot be universalized into a “whole truth” applicable everywhere. Truth is concrete specific, situated as “half truth”. “All” in “All truths are half-truths” describes how “this time” when something true comes up, it is true of this situation alone, how the next “this time” when there is another truth, it is true then only, and so all such “this-time’s” bring up “half truths”. The saying “All truths are half-truths” is a situational description, as the self-liar talks about her situation at that time.

Neither did mean what they say to be the “whole truths” self-referable. All truths are thus concrete, and faithful to the respective specific situations, true at the time; on other occasions they are not appropriate to be taken as “true”, and so all truths are half-truths in the concrete. Such is how concrete thinking discerns Whitehead’s logically incoherent saying to mean, quite sensible concrete. Now, this elusive point quite concrete bears repeating in variation.

Thus, truths are ever fresh inexhaustible, “one and many”, one and all. Each moment comes born fragile at dawn, baby-wobbly, only half-shaped. “There are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths” concrete alive, all so precious, beginning to begin to yet to begin, at each moment that comes. Things concrete are only half-true, so they are half-false, ever half-born at dawn so shy, half-baked concrete.

Paradox is reason against reason, reason is part of human life, and so paradox is part of human oxymoronic reasoning. Paradoxes are atoms of philosophy to begin philosophy to compose it as it and thinking demolish each other (Sorensen, 2003) . Thinking and paradoxes are both indexicals like “here” that changes meaning in the concrete without changing meaning set to declare itself as itself (Gale, 1972; Yourgrau, 1990) .

Here all truths are half-true; we are forever wary of their false halves. Whitehead the master logician says, “There are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths. It is ‘trying to treat them as whole truths’ that plays the devil” (Whitehead, 1954: p. 14) . “What about your own statement? Is it half-true?” He would say, “Your question is also half-true. You see, my statement shows how to see truths, never rounds itself up as a final whole truth” (Whitehead, 1954: p. 198) . His saying is alive, always a half, forwarding toward another half. “Like the half-truths, the absolute truth will have to be made, made as a relation incidental to the growth of verification- experience, to which the half-true ideas are all along contributing their quota” (James, 1981: p. 107). By the same token, all falsities are half-false; we forever explore their true halves. In all this, we have no absolute whole; and this statement itself is not absolute, but is half-true and half-false, ever.

We need many life-spans to unpack these three oxymora, “all and half”, “true and false”, and “absoluteness of an assertion” and “denying its absoluteness”; all these are odd mixtures of consistency with inconsistency, twisty and exciting, concrete and alive as kid’s life itself. Here all truths remain half-false, as all falsities are half true. Let us unpack these surprising affirmations.

All truths are half-false. For example, our sacrosanct “causality” is half-false, as it is half-useless for prospective prediction, shot through with contingent surprises. We also need solid “evidence” that means differently in our process of exploring what we do not know. Popper’s “falsifiability principle” keeps changing in what “false” means, quite unreliable in our research.

By the same token, all falsities are half-true. Many brutal superstitions are “adopted as sacraments” into all- exclusive Christianity. Offering in fire our precious first-borns to brutal Moloch is adopted by God of love to offer his only Son on the cross to woo us back. Gruesome cannibalism is adopted into the Eucharist offered by Jesus Christ himself to eat and drink him (Swift, 1729) . Hitler’s massive atrocities are a massive bed of truths still waiting for us to explore, not just to deplore. Our life is thus made of “many” opposing absolute assertions and absolute negations, affirming cautiously and negating cautiously, and this “and” composes oxymora our life.

An interesting example of falsehood as just half-false can be seen in careful British empiricism and American pragmatism. Moore (1922) and Ryle (1954) typify British thinkers, both skillful at showing how incoherent a theme or a view is. Moore revels in showing a theme to consist of “A and not-A”, calling the “and” a fallacy. Ryle stands at the crossroads of “either theoretical A or practical not-A”, to puzzle out its dilemmas into “both A and not-A”. We join them in “reveling” fallacies and dilemmas that yet do not challenge us as “problems” to solve, as Moore and Ryle think, but invite us to live them to revel in them as oxymora our life.

Significantly, both these extremely careful thinkers have blemishes. Moore (pp. vii-viii) unabashedly includes into his collection of essays all “defective mistakes” he explicitly admits (with excuses). Ryle is needlessly convoluted on straight dilemmas, as Moore’s simplicity digs to wander into bewildering complexities to lose the major and broad perspective.

James in America says that truth pays (James, 1902) . This is surprising, in need not of proof but of explanation, but James did not do it well. We on our part see its fabulous spinoffs. Truth may not be utility, for claiming their identity confuses categories, and the confusion spreads incompatibilities, as Moore (1922) carefully shows. Sadly, however, Moore fails to see the implications of incompatibilities smiling all over our life. Let me explain.

The value of emotivism’s incredible view that ethics is subjective attitude lies in the good with power to move us. The intention of pragmatism’s entrepreneurial view that truth makes us profit lies in truth as positively impacting us, and truth without impact is truth without itself, a pie in the sky. All things-good move us (emotivism); all things-true are useful to us (pragmatism). James’ example has it impressively that truth is a means to life- satisfaction, with vital impacts on life. Got lost in the woods, starved, if I find a cow-path and follow it to come to see a house, I will save my life. This following a cow-path to a house is truth-process of verification, truth- making to impact life. “All” in truth-as-utility means, not indifferently all at once, but, as each “true” event happens, it positively impacts us to “profit” us by it “working” as we have expected.

Propositional truth could hurt much, and so its straight expression is unethical, evil beyond being false. Let me give a concrete example. My old friend a Confucian scholar is ready to retire. He has been so sad for a year long about his only son’s sex-change, while he is proud that his/her fame as a Goethe scholar is firmly set. Now I could tell him that he would be beating the dead horse if he just describes Japan’s well-known rejection of Confucian advocacy of revolution against the tyrant, unless he probes its cultural significance to China and to Japan―he does not seem to have probed it.

I could also tell him straight in the face how his sole son now his another daughter’s “fame” is actually a mere tolerance in Goethe academia as an odd scholar on the obscure fact of “Goethe in China”, unless he/she specifies the enormous cultural significance of this fact to Germany, to China, and thereby to the world cultures. Has he/ she been doing so?

But, even if true (and it would be more devastating if true), my critiques would simply devastate my old retiring friend already so downcast, if I were to straightly give him my stark critiques. I simply must be silent here. Such bodily concrete considerateness is beyond logical analysis to perform. By the same token, pep-talk often false can pull up a person from the deep pit of despair. Thoughtful insight into the situation followed by an apt choice of tactics (including silent heartfelt listening) pull the stunt of pulling up the person, and “pulling up a person” is truth existential beyond propositional truth. In all this, fact (reality) changes and ideas change, as Moore also admits (p. 131). Truth is their correspondence, so truth changes. “So far as reality means experienceable reality, both it and the truths men gain about it are everlastingly in process of mutation” (James, 1975: p. 107) .

Even though the fact-time connection does not change (Moore, 1922) , the impact of this connection changes, and the impact (utility) is part of actual “truth”, so truth changes in the changing impact on actuality. Moore is quoted because he is a staunch advocate of the immutability of truth. He is quoted precisely to show how mutable truth is. All this dialogue with Moore shows how simple and clear Moore is one who yet crawls to bog down in details, unable to jump up to survey the total picture so crucial. The more positive impact exerted by a specific fact-time connection, the more utility this connection has, and so the more truth-value it has.

This is because actual truth must connect to actuality, and impact is one way to connect. Impact is impossible without body-concrete existence in concrete thinking. Truth thus has concrete existence in its concrete impact, realized by concrete thinking. “All this is so spooky abstract. Do you have any concrete cash value to it?” I thought it is concrete enough but, all right, if you will, here is an example quite concrete.

Our fascinating oxymoron in life is play. Play is nothing frivolous because it is totally frivolous, for it is kids who play, and kids are never frivolous (they are our future quite serious) because they are frivolous at play, playing our future. Kids’ secret is joy, full-bodied so frivolous never frivolous. Let us explore this fascinating oxymoron of life, joy, kids, play, frivolous never frivolous, all rolled into one in life oxymora.

We remember that Jesus in kid-joy practices his three typical activities, healing, teaching, and preaching, and practices them through us, on and on. Healing restores basic vigor to live ourselves, and to help people live. Teaching restores joys of this life daily, no matter what. Preaching restores joys of life beyond here now, here now. These three activities typify continual giving of joy from beyond us, through us to our beloved neighbors on and on. There is invigorating joy in giving life, giving joys of living, thereby to be happy to give rather than to get (Acts 20:35). This is Heaven, isn’t it?

Kids are here ever showing and telling us things new, and sharing them; to them the kingdom of everlasting joys of sharing belongs. They call their activities “playing living together”, the more the merrier. The rougher the life-stream foams on in bumpy precipitancy, the happier the kids turn, excited at frolicking in such hard-core oxymora. They fool around play-driven, joy-driven.

Playing joys and spreading joys are what, how, and why we live vigorous kid-like, and live beyond living now. Ontology of play supports and practices ethics of joys together. Existence as co-existence and inter-exis- tence is thoroughly delightful, kid-displayed here; the joy of inter-existence is absolutely urged on us now, following kids. Playing joys together is our categorical imperative of life-existence.

Nothing is new here, and everything is new and exciting; here tiny Alice in her Wonderland is skipping jumping, playing with those fabulous incredible monsters, frogs, “doggie!”, and all. Those few people are sullen insane who are not lured irresistibly into jumping into this kid-Wonderland! And this Wonderland is never far away from us. It is everywhere whenever kids are seen around.

Now let us sober up into probing how oxymoron, dilemma paradoxical, comes about. Except for math (1 + 1 = 2), causality (events are caused), and logic (if P implies Q, Q cannot imply P), all depictions of actuality in nature, history, beauty, politics, business engagements of commerce, medicine, cooking, and the like, are executed in concrete thinking to make common sense that is concrete sense felt-sense.

Such common sense is so powerful that it often uses math, causality, and logic to perform body concrete thinking that often violates logic in math and causality. Parsing these violations then goes into describing concrete thinking that is bodily in daily living, to yield oxymora paradoxes. This is how oxymora originate in our life. Can you hear kids shouting at the “magic” of things not-fitting? Achilles cannot overtake the turtle in front but he overtakes it! That I freely do this specific thing now is true for ever, and so I am destined ever to do this thing. I am free and fated! Wow! Kids shout at all these in the magic world!

Of course, the logician would still complain, “Half-truth or not, self-contradiction still exists. Nothing is resolved here. Things are crooked; nothing fits”. Concrete thinking would smile and say, “Well, self-contradiction is self-referred inconsistency, right? Doesn’t it describe kids growing?” Nothing fits in this world. Things are ever unsettled. Kids tumble shouting in this world so topsy-turvy! That is how they grow! They are forever awestruck shouting at the “do not fit” magic of this world! Their awe and their wonder are how they grow!

Look, pal! Kids are correct here! In our daily world, no single day fits in with any other days. Alice lives surprises in her Wonderland, as Huck Finn loves his adventures, or rather, all misadventures, his and all others’ he meets. Kids hate the stodgy days of putting nose to the grindstone. Kids say the darnedest things that rock our common sense, making no sense so cute, as kids are themselves so misshaped, so wobbly, and so irresistible! Thomas Reid champions common sense reasoning that seems concrete thinking (Reid, 1975) . We must be cautious here. Common sense reasoning can reason logically under the standard of common sense, and it can also reason in a commonsense way. Reid seems to have gone the former route. Concrete thinking goes the latter.

Concrete thinking alone sees such kid-delight in self-inconsistency, never in logical analysis that complains consistently. And have you noticed this fact so concrete? The resolution if any of logical bankruptcy in paradoxes by concrete thinking is executed in delight, and results in childish joys jumping around in the childish Wonderland! Now who would dare disdain childishness as below respect?

Child-joy here meets the child-joy elucidated and completed in the former section of “Thinking the Concrete”. Concrete thinking in all kid-joys cannot help but overflow life, forever beginning to yet to begin, or else it is no- thing! Thus it does the kids’ joys to round up this section to meet kids’ joys that complete the previous section!

4. Conclusion

“Now, please clarify, my friend. At first you claim that logical thinking opposes concrete thinking. And then you insist that all types of thinking are concrete thinking. What is going on here?” Wow, thanks for your sensitivity. I mean the following three points. One, all types of thinking are meant to consider things concrete, for things not concrete do not exist, and thinking cannot deal with no-existence. Two, but concrete existents are full of illogic (I gave many examples), and so logical thinking is unable to deal with things concrete (in fact, logic itself is cracked with liar’s paradox), and so logical thinking is in need of concrete thinking to resolve its own problems. Three, still, concrete thinking can use logical thinking to spot illogical places in things concrete as well as things logical, to resolve them (logic is unable to do so).

We now hear a long-faced logician himself wondering aloud as to why concrete thinking can elucidate our living so arbitrary so illogical, and why its elucidations always end in kids’ joys absolutely sovereign. A same smiling point answers both queries. It is that concrete thinking is at the child-base of humanity to begin kid-living. Concrete thinking is the almighty initiation of human thinking human kid-living (to sire and to save this logician and all his logic).

And of course initiation dawns the child, and it is sheer joy to welcome each moment dawning kid-afresh, one by one―all so concretely. The child at dawn is our joy living. Concrete thinking is our child in joy, for the concrete is living actuality ever growing in kid’s joys shouting, ever. Nothing more can be said. It must be delightfully lived, in concrete thinking in concrete living, full-bodied fully felt.

My daughter Mary was holding a tiny monkey on top of a high tower. Bill Clinton an earlier president of USA saw the monkey and said, “I want it. How much is it?” As he was saying, the monkey also saw Mr. Clinton, and suddenly wiggled itself out of Mary’s hands and jumped out of the tower. I rushed to where the monkey was coming down, and soon caught it right into my arms. I hugged it as Mr. Clinton came. He gave me $10. I bought crackers and peanuts and gave them with the monkey to Mr. Clinton.

We do hope that Mrs. Clinton would soon campaign for the first lady presidency in the USA , as widely rumored. And then I suddenly woke up. It was dawn. I found myself breathless, still smiling, and quite excited. That monkey is our dear baby in our heart of being. It is the center 中 of us daily trudging life’s way 庸, one day at a time. This monkey is our (doctrine of) Daily Mean 中庸, concrete, all too concrete. Such is our “concrete thinking”, day in and day out, all the time.


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