Sunday, December 8, 2013

Two Modern Analogies to Iconotropy or Syncretistic Adaptation of Egyptian Characters

Another way to look at the principle of Syncretistic Adaptation or Iconotropy is in terms of an analogy.  For example, from the modern science we have gained knowledge of the inner workings of biology.  In a biological cell, you have organelles such as mitochondria, chloroplasts, and so forth.  These are components of the machinery that makes the cell work. All of these things represent the template, which consist of the mechanisms for any cell.

Now, in the cell nucleus, you have DNA, which is made up of various chemicals that encode for proteins and so forth, which the machinery use to create those proteins.  None of this machinery structure means anything (or none of it is functional) without the actual "program" that is encoded in the DNA.  That is where the encoding containing the information that actually makes the organism what it is, when those instructions in the DNA are carried out.  Without this, the cell does not function, and has no identity to set it apart from other types of cells.

What happens when a cell is highjacked by something that has other DNA?  A virus co-opts the machinery, and uses it for its own use, injecting other DNA into the cell which appropriates the machinery to use it for its own purposes.  The Syncretistic Adaptation or Iconotropy principle is the same as a biological virus in a lot of ways.  It co-opts the Egyptian characters for use in such a way that they are now not functioning according to their original use.  They now have a different purpose, a different identity in a different context.  And the different interpretation in this other context requires an external dependency, meaning an external key, to know the context.

Similarly, if a computer has a blank hard drive with no operating system, and no software installed in the operating system, the computer is a mere template or empty shell.  The only thing that makes the computer useful is the software.  There is a special piece of software on a computer that gives it an identity, making it what it is.  This is called the "Operating System."  The usual operating system that most people think of is Microsoft WindowsTM.  But there are others out there.  Prior to Windows, there was MSDOS.  And there is Mac OSTM.  Other less common ones are Linux and Unix and so forth.

Most people think that there is something fundamentally different between a MacintoshTM and Windows PC.  The reality is that the machinery is virtually identical.  Or perhaps they think there is something fundamentally different between an AndroidTM phone and an iPhoneTM.  In many cases, the hardware is comparable.  But the identities of the devices are actually determined technically by the software, not the hardware.  Many of those phones have comparable ARM processors.

Now, compare these analogies to the situation with the Sensen papyrus, and the “program” that the Egyptologists are trying to “install” and “run” on it.  Egyptologists (and most Mormon Apologists and Apostate Critics incidentally) insist that the only valid “operating system” is the system of interpretation that the Egyptologists deciphered from the Rosetta Stone, which is mechanical Egyptian (a term that I have coined to refer to it).  It is true that mechanical or Egyptological Egyptian is a valid "operating system."  It is true that it is the original and usual way to use Egyptian characters.  But Mormon Apologists are fine with regular iconotropy, following Kevin Barney's adaptation theory, where they apply it to the facsimiles ONLY.  This is where my theory differs.  I say the same principles apply to all the contents of the papyrus.

Now, with the KEP ("Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar" and related documents), we have encountered yet another system of interpretation, or yet another type of “Operating System” for the Sensen Papyrus, which can now be used to interpret it.  In other words, symbols from the Sensen Papyrus were used in an ancient document in a way different from the original way of using them, and Joseph Smith reconstituted them in the modern day in the documents in the KEP.

And incidentally, this is the same system used by the Facsimiles.  It wasn't the way the original author of the papyrus intended.  But it is the way another user intended.  And the rules for the system this other user is using is defined in this other external document which is the key.  This key was a hybrid document between Sensen characters and Abrahamic concepts and content.  It is the way the characters from the papyrus is used in the KEP (or Kirtland Egyptian Papers, being Joseph Smith's notebook, as the external key, a reconstitution of this ancient document).

Apple doesn't necessarily want their computers used this way with Windows operating systems or Linux, but the dirty secret is that Microsoft WindowsTM can be installed on an Apple MacintoshTM.

Similarly, it doesn't matter what the Egyptologists say about the KEP.  It only matters that the ancient Syncretist Egyptians or Jews or whoever they are invented the system of interpretation, and Joseph Smith reconstructed it.