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The best book on Nietszche i've come across. Nietzsche elevated alongside Plato.


Actually:

http://youtu.be/f5mAJCQukU4?t=52s

Seeing as you're all about 'experience' and 'feeling' and not the written word/logos ;)

You utter fool.  The logos is experienced; it cannot be written.  Language is finite; the logos is infinite, and so incommunicable through such means.  Do you understand this?

I'm beginning to wonder whether or not you're an exceptional troll - you've suddenly latched upon a bastion of Tradition in an attempt to support modernism, while clearly demonstrating a fundamental lack of understanding of the concept!

If you think about it, denying consciousness seems more un-scientific.

Consciousness never ends, we're conscious all the time. When we are sleeping and unconscious of the world, we are dreaming.

Aha, you say, but what about people who suffer blows to the head, or are in a coma? Well, people just assume, without proof or evidence, that they are not conscious. But how can they know? Of course, they're not conscious of the world around them, but how do we know they are not in a state similar to dream? How do you know that a guy who gets shot in the head does not become conscious of some kind of afterlife? You don't, you simply believe this without proof. To believe this you must believe consciousness is the brain, and from that you say that a person who dies is not conscious anymore. But there is no proof consciousness is the brain: One must simply consider the existence of other types of consciousness, the normal brain-bound one being simply our natural mode here on earth, that is extinguished when the head blows, but consciousness continuing on another form. No one here has died to know how it is, and worst of all, that famous "nothing", total blackness, void, or whatever that people who believe we are our brains talk about has absolutely no proof, it is a total fabrication without one shred of evidence. From consciousness, the person creates an imaginary state, never before experienced, supposedly of total nothingness, without any good reason to do so.  Why the hell should this nothingness, that no-one can really define or really know what or how it is, being just a convenient fiction that we made up so we don't really have to wonder what happens, be what appears after death?. It's just as speculative as an afterlife.
You're quite hostile.

I got a right to be hostile, man, my people been persecuted!

It seems that, according to the rule of every discussion on an internet forum, the dialogue has degenerated into repetition and frustration.  I regret that I was not able to participate more actively, but I will try to offer some further points for discussion now.

Firstly, this discussion has largely become about consciousness, what is more it has become fixated on individualized consciousness, that is to say consciousness as it is within an individual being, not as it is in principle.  This has already obscured the original point, which was an appeal to consciousness as a proof of the non-physical.  Now this argument can only be understood if one understands the truly profound nature of consciousness, not as it is in a particular individual, but as it is in principle. 

It is well known that materialists have 'profaned' the mystery of consciousness by asserting that it is nothing more than an emergent property of matter.  Now this is an astonishing example of creating a theory simply to fit the current materialist dogma.  This reasoning proceeds from external facts to internal realities by a profound leap of faith in the absence of sufficient evidence.  The traditionalist position, on the other hand, begins from the realities that are immediately accessible to our innermost selves.  Consciousness is therefore considered to be a primal substance equivalent to Being, and in fact an inward revelation (notwithstanding an exposition of this in Hindu metaphysics) reveals that these two principles are in fact two faces of the same reality.  Total Being is equivalent to total Consciousness, since true knowledge implies identity with its object.  Thus the polarization of subject and object in the manifest world are in fact the outward projection of these ontological realities, with created man being the summit of the pole 'Consciousness' in the created world, it is for this reason that it is the human mode of existence which is central to the world and opens directly onto the Absolute.

This leads us back to the original point, which is the opposition between the modern materialist perspective, and that of the traditionalist school.  The traditionalists start from the Supreme Reality and see the world as an expression of possibilities contained within its Infinitude also supported by the symbolic framework of whatever authentic tradition they belong to.  The materialists on the other hand posit the physical world as a false absolute and attempt to force all conflicting existential, metaphysical and historical evidence to submit to this understanding of things. 

This may shed some light on another central topic of this discussion, the relationship between the physical brain and individualized consciousness.  As we have already said, the principle of consciousness, lies far beyond its manifestation within particular existential limitations such as that of an individual being.  Thus for the traditionalist, the answer to this dilemma is quite simple, man exists on more than one plane, each of which is simply a determination or expression of another.  Here one cannot imagine that there is a strict boundary between these planes, but that they are all aspects of one reality, of one being.  The brain is, quite simply, the physical expression of the that element of the individual that can be described as 'thought', thus it corresponds exactly to the inner reality of 'thought' and damaging the brain will result in the retreat of this element of the individual into a more internal sphere.  It is not, as many imagine, the seat of consciousness as such, which corresponds to the physical heart but which is not tied to the physical body in a significant way.  As for the fate of the individualized consciousness after death, this is an eschatological question which I am not qualified to answer, and there are perhaps many possible answers, suffice it to say that practically all traditional accounts seem to suggest that the individual state does not come to a total end with physical death, even if it may come to an end at some point in the existence of the individual.

I scanned this relevant text for the discussion.

I thought I had corrected page 4, sorry.










You're quite hostile.

I got a right to be hostile, man, my people been persecuted!

It seems that, according to the rule of every discussion on an internet forum, the dialogue has degenerated into repetition and frustration.  I regret that I was not able to participate more actively, but I will try to offer some further points for discussion now.

We were going quite well. We isolated a few statements that we disagreed about and then I attacked his understanding of this statement. I don't see how this represents degeneration. Cargest didn't like this and commenced to get angry. He brought into quesiton language and the processes of dialectic itself in order to save his position. I find that extremely immature and slavish, so I posted a few youtube vidoes that I thought expressed his behaviour well. I'm sorry if this reflects badly, but I thought it was fitting, and funny. In other places I have been accused to being a troll and all sorts of things because of this thread. In this thread I am simply wanting to pin traditionalists down to what exactly they are arguing at a fundamental level and to pursue these few arguments. If this is 'troll' behaviour then you're a moron, I submit. Furthermore, I've been heavily involved around here in the past, so the 'troll' label is not fitting. Now:

This reasoning proceeds from external facts to internal realities by a profound leap of faith in the absence of sufficient evidence. The traditionalist position, on the other hand, begins from the realities that are immediately accessible to our innermost selves.  Consciousness is therefore considered to be a primal substance equivalent to Being, and in fact an inward revelation (notwithstanding an exposition of this in Hindu metaphysics) reveals that these two principles are in fact two faces of the same reality.

You might think this. If you do you must surely submit that traditionalism makes a huge leap of faith too in the absense of sufficient evidence, (and arguiably, evidence to the contrary related to the close correlation between (1) the existence of human brains and (2) the state of human brains). This leap is the same one, but in the other direction. The traditionalist position proceeds from internal facts to external realities, as i Have been arguing with Cargest. Hence the charge of confusion of an epistemological issue with a metaphysical one.

What justifies this move from internal facts (consciousness) to external realities? I think the following argument may explain this? But I don't yet understand it:

Consciousness is therefore considered to be a primal substance equivalent to Being, and in fact an inward revelation (notwithstanding an exposition of this in Hindu metaphysics) reveals that these two principles are in fact two faces of the same reality.  Total Being is equivalent to total Consciousness, since true knowledge implies identity with its object.  Thus the polarization of subject and object in the manifest world are in fact the outward projection of these ontological realities, with created man being the summit of the pole 'Consciousness' in the created world, it is for this reason that it is the human mode of existence which is central to the world and opens directly onto the Absolute.

You're going to have to slow down and unpack this for me please. This is doing a barking great amount of work extremely quickly.

The brain is, quite simply, the physical expression of the that element of the individual that can be described as 'thought', thus it corresponds exactly to the inner reality of 'thought' and damaging the brain will result in the retreat of this element of the individual into a more internal sphere.  It is not, as many imagine, the seat of consciousness as such, which corresponds to the physical heart but which is not tied to the physical body in a significant way.
 

Why is the brain the physical expression of that element of the individual that can be described as thought and not our hair or our knee caps?

Haha, the only thing you've said which has even slightly annoyed me is your part about the Logos, which I may have actually misinterpreted, reading it over again.  Other than that, the only problems in this debate have been your constantly assuming that I am making assertions that I am not, or that I hold positions that I do not, and your occasional ad hominems and other instances of vulgarity.  I suppose we might also add your insistence against following the main "argument" which is being suggested: experience it.  That you won't even make the enquiry yourself shows apathy, weakness, or even cowardice on your part; none of these is an admirable quality.

Our position is this: you cannot understand the world through deductive reasoning (alone).  Sitting in an armchair cannot explain to you how a fish tastes, or how a break-up feels, or what it's like to know God.  While the mechanism can often be deduced without interaction with the object, its meaning, the way in which we naturally interpret the thing, can be known through nothing else than direct experience.  Of course, your position is that there is nothing to interpret - do you not see how moronically circular this is?  If you deny existence, you will never find it.  Read Parmenides on how nothing cannot be, thus everything (the One) is.

Let's see what you've forgotten in your post:

You've forgotten that evidence is not what we're looking for; as previously stated, invidence is required.
You've forgotten that consciousness is not equal to the experiences observed by consciousness.
You've forgotten that you can't understand these things through reasoning alone, that experience is required.

I'm sure you've forgotten a lot else, since your whole aim in this "debate" is to prove why you're right, not to find Truth.  Such sophistry is reprehensible, though it seems to be the common way of doing things nowadays.

The last I will say on the matter is this: to anyone else reading this ridiculous back-and-forth, take note of the stubbornness of the one position, and the fluidity of the other; the view which is commonly held to be dogmatic and groundless is more grounded and more open to possibilities than the supposedly "empirical" position!

Edit: also, Bill, please respond to my PM: I'd like you to explain the apple to me, in words, so that I might understand it exactly as you do - if you can't do this, you must accept that words are truly not apt for the discussion of the realities of experience (an issue you have consistently failed to argue against).  In fact, I'd like you to tackle the vast array of points that I've made against your position which you have summarily ignored in your responses, presumably because you have no answer; however, having too much to do at the moment, I'm not going to be the one to trawl through my posts to point out the huge amount of stuff that you've tried to brush under the carpet.

Haha, the only thing you've said which has even slightly annoyed me is your part about the Logos, which I may have actually misinterpreted, reading it over again.  Other than that, the only problems in this debate have been your constantly assuming that I am making assertions that I am not, or that I hold positions that I do not, and your occasional ad hominems and other instances of vulgarity.  I suppose we might also add your insistence against following the main "argument" which is being suggested: experience it.  That you won't even make the enquiry yourself shows apathy, weakness, or even cowardice on your part; none of these is an admirable quality.

Our position is this: you cannot understand the world through deductive reasoning (alone).  Sitting in an armchair cannot explain to you how a fish tastes, or how a break-up feels, or what it's like to know God.  While the mechanism can often be deduced without interaction with the object, its meaning, the way in which we naturally interpret the thing, can be known through nothing else than direct experience.  Of course, your position is that there is nothing to interpret - do you not see how moronically circular this is?  If you deny existence, you will never find it.  Read Parmenides on how nothing cannot be, thus everything (the One) is.

Let's see what you've forgotten in your post:

You've forgotten that evidence is not what we're looking for; as previously stated, invidence is required.
You've forgotten that consciousness is not equal to the experiences observed by consciousness.
You've forgotten that you can't understand these things through reasoning alone, that experience is required.

I'm sure you've forgotten a lot else, since your whole aim in this "debate" is to prove why you're right, not to find Truth.  Such sophistry is reprehensible, though it seems to be the common way of doing things nowadays.

The last I will say on the matter is this: to anyone else reading this ridiculous back-and-forth, take note of the stubbornness of the one position, and the fluidity of the other; the view which is commonly held to be dogmatic and groundless is more grounded and more open to possibilities than the supposedly "empirical" position!

Edit: also, Bill, please respond to my PM: I'd like you to explain the apple to me, in words, so that I might understand it exactly as you do - if you can't do this, you must accept that words are truly not apt for the discussion of the realities of experience (an issue you have consistently failed to argue against).  In fact, I'd like you to tackle the vast array of points that I've made against your position which you have summarily ignored in your responses, presumably because you have no answer; however, having too much to do at the moment, I'm not going to be the one to trawl through my posts to point out the huge amount of stuff that you've tried to brush under the carpet.

"Sitting in an armchair cannot explain to you how a fish tastes, or how a break-up feels, or what it's like to know God."

I agree. But I didn't think that we were talking about something that is in the same class as 'how a fish tastes', 'how a break-up feels' or what 'it's like' to know God. I thought we were talking about is something objective: ontology or what exists. Sure, we've been talking about consciousness much of the time, which is subjective, but you (and Eleison) are deriving metaphysical (ontological) conclusions from 'how a fish tastes', or 'how a break-up feels', so to speak. You are deriving the conslusion that the world is fundamentally subjective in some basic and important sense just because we are sorts of organisms that happen to experience. This is rediculous, or at least I can't yet see how it deductively flows from the fact that we as homo sapiens 'experience' that reality as a whole is experiential in nature or that being and consciousness are the same thing, or whatever you guys seems to be arguing. Your position is undertermined by the evidence, I think. It is just as compatible that consciousness has emerged from physical processes, that we find ourselves 'subjects' due to the unique structure of our nervous systems, and that objective reality (reality aside from the extensionless 'stuff' that is experience) is completely third person. Indeed I think this position is more compatible, and i'm trying to get you to explain why consciousness seems so dependent on (1) physical brains existing and (2) the particular state of these physical brains, if consciousness is not epiphenomenal in some sense.

Regarding my conduct. You are showing so much distaste with my it, when I feel I have been going slow, steady and attempting to get to the same issues persistently and (when evaded) have occasionally used forcefull language. Regarding my distaste with the idea that deductive logic can't grasp the truth, look at it from my perspective. If Truth comes back to mere 'experience', then whatever I assert (and if you don't agree with it), you will just tell me I haven't 'experienced' it 'properly'. Eleison isn't yet taking this 'realtivist' line (this is what i mean by 'realtivism', to answer your PM). Do you really think i'm such an asshole, or don't you see my point at all in demanding objectivity and clarity of argument?

I've come to expect more from reality (from matters of ontology) than appearances furnishes by an evolved nervous system. Sure we cannot transcend experience categorically, but we can have a methodology which ensures as much objectivity as possible (peer review, empiricism, openness, etc) known as science. You might admit science has produced great works, but that these works are stuck in the 'profane' realm, while you invent another realm for your solipsistic pleasure, yet you can't demonstrate this other realm to me, your interlocutor, with normal language and argument or empirical evidence. I am required to be converted, pretty much. I am required to alter my experience. Are you going to tell me to take drugs next to find the 'Truth'. In all freindliness, I may revert back to responding with pentacostal youtube videos  :)

The cave is the physical world, the shadows the objects that appear in it, and the ascent to the "outside" the realisation of the self.  Let me repeat: the objects you experience, including your body and brain, are the shadows.  As a physicalist, you are still in the cave.

Read back through your posts, honestly.  You are cackhandedly dismissive, volatile in your responses to things, and you attack characters and assume positions of others which neither obtain nor are held to obtain by those others.  In this entire debate, you have consistently failed to do the one thing which has been consistently shown to be the only method of understanding these things from your position, and that is to experience them.  I am not saying this so as to shrug you off, or somehow place an impossibility before progress in this discussion: I am saying this because it is what I had to do, what I am still going through, and what many who firmly believed in the physicalist paradigm have had to go through over the past century and more.  It is everything from disheartening to horrifying to realise that your entire basis of understanding reality has been wrong, and that you have clouded the vast majority of what is from your eyes, and yet that is what we must go through, having been raised to watch shadows.

I understand the physicalist doctrine as well as you do, and I understand Tradition infinitely better; we can accept that our cognitive ability is roughly similar, and that our reason and logic are the same as is shared by all humans.  Given two different understandings of a set of things, one complete, one incomplete, is it not logical to side with the complete understanding?  If this cannot be done without obtaining that understanding for oneself, go forth and obtain it!

You are not asked to have a specific experience; you are not asked to change the way in which you experience (especially not through drugs, though they can definitely help for some people); you are asked to recognise that which underlies experience.  Rather than focusing on how each subjective experience is different, focus on how the nature of any one experience is identical to that of any other, though the content may differ vastly; what is this nature of experience?  What is it to experience?  There is something shared between all sentient beings, that is an awareness of what is occurring in perception (including feelings, thoughts, etc.) - what is the nature of this thing?  It cannot be ascertained by letting it observe bodies using bodies to measure bodies - if you believe that consciousness can be understood by neuroscience, you are displaying, yet again, your ignorance of the meaning and significance of the explanatory gap.

Consciousness is neither subjective nor objective; if anything, it is both, and can be known to be such when you reach the point that we're asking you to reach.  I mean, seriously: when consciousness regards itself, which is the object, which is the subject?  Which of the one is which?

The world is certianly not subjective; the world is certainly objective, seemingly experienced subjectively by innumerable entities.  However, each and every subjective experience is a part of the world, as much as any object of experience is.

Edit: might I explain that it has been, and still is, incredibly difficult for me to come to terms with these things as they are being revealed to me?  I am consistently shown the immutable horrors of reality, the sheer infinities and endless depths of what truly is.  I am a skeptic: I take nothing to be true that is not incontrovertibly so.  Even then, I am presented with such sublime, awesome, and terrifying realities, and I am forced to accept them as real, as much as what I was tought, the culture I grew up in, and the views of many I respect go against those realities.  At least there is some amount of logical consistency, but the irrational aspect of all of this has been incredibly hard to accept.  It's taken me three years to get from physicalism to where I am now, and it has not been a pleasant journey; furthermore, I've only just started down the road!

Eleison, if you're reading any of this, please correct me if you see that I miss the mark - I still have a long way to go when it comes to being able to communicate such things verbally (and, indeed, when it comes to experiencing such things in the first place, though I know of their reality).

You guys are tiring me out! :)

It seems that, according to the rule of every discussion on an internet forum, the dialogue has degenerated into repetition and frustration.  I regret that I was not able to participate more actively, but I will try to offer some further points for discussion now.

In this thread I am simply wanting to pin traditionalists down to what exactly they are arguing at a fundamental level and to pursue these few arguments.

We have nothing to hide. :)  Most of the traditionalists on these forums, including myself, are only just beginning to grasp the nature and profundity of the truths expressed in the writings of authors such as Rene Guenon and Frithjof Schuon.  For this reason it is not always easy for us to verbalise what we already know to be true through an innate revelation known as Intellection, which is what I have already alluded to as the dissolution of the duality of subject and object, that is to say a perfect identity of knower and known.  This is not a deliberate obscurantism but is simply a reflection of the difficulties of translating metaphysical truths into logical thought structures such as human language, since for us Truth is something which precedes logic, not something which is defined by it.

This reasoning proceeds from external facts to internal realities by a profound leap of faith in the absence of sufficient evidence. The traditionalist position, on the other hand, begins from the realities that are immediately accessible to our innermost selves.  Consciousness is therefore considered to be a primal substance equivalent to Being, and in fact an inward revelation (notwithstanding an exposition of this in Hindu metaphysics) reveals that these two principles are in fact two faces of the same reality.

You might think this. If you do you must surely submit that traditionalism makes a huge leap of faith too in the absense of sufficient evidence, (and arguiably, evidence to the contrary related to the close correlation between (1) the existence of human brains and (2) the state of human brains). This leap is the same one, but in the other direction. The traditionalist position proceeds from internal facts to external realities, as i Have been arguing with Cargest. Hence the charge of confusion of an epistemological issue with a metaphysical one.

What justifies this move from internal facts (consciousness) to external realities?

The leap is not as similar as you might imagine.  For the materialist, or any modern thinker, the objective, material world has given rise to subjectivity which is more or less a cosmic accident.  This subjectivity is subsequently able to become aware of its origin in the objective world, however it is only possible to reach this conclusion by assuming that the objective world is something concrete and that our subjectivity apprehends it as it is.  In other words, it is a perfect example of a circular argument, a conclusion that can only be reached by assuming its veracity from the outset.

On the other hand, metaphysics begins from the idea that true knowledge cannot be attained by the accumulation of facts pertaining to a relative world, since there will always be an irreducible chasm between the knowing subject and the object that is known, but from identity with its object.  In other words, one can only know what one is.  We can extrapolate from this, that since pure Being is the principle of all existing things it must also possess a knowledge, or consciousness, that far exceeds the nature of purely human consciousness.  Thus human consciousness might be considered to be a mode of Being, but beyond this consciousness can actually be considered an equal and complementary reality equivalent to Being.  This is of course expressed in the well known Hindu formula Sat (Being), Chit (Consciousness), Ananda (Bliss).  Thus Being and Consciousness are two metaphysical principles underlying all of the manifest world.  There is no essential dualism between subject and object, they simply manifest one pole or another in different degrees, so that man is primarily Consciousness and secondarily Being and vice versa for a mineral.  This of course requires an understanding of both Being and Consciousness which goes beyond the profane and abstract notions of moderns.  These preceding statements may appear to take the form of a rational argument which they are not.  They are primarily the expression of a knowledge which is only possible because man, in his innermost essence, is identified with his principle and is therefore capable of knowledge in which he transcends himself, for precisely the reasons I have outlined in this paragraph.  In other words...

Quote from: Frithjof Schuon
...in the case of intellectual intuition, knowledge is not possessed by the individual insofar as he is an individual, but insofar as in his innermost essence he is not distinct from his Principle.  Thus metaphysical certitude is absolute because of the identity of the knower and the known in the Intellect'

This is the key to everything!

The brain is, quite simply, the physical expression of the that element of the individual that can be described as 'thought', thus it corresponds exactly to the inner reality of 'thought' and damaging the brain will result in the retreat of this element of the individual into a more internal sphere.  It is not, as many imagine, the seat of consciousness as such, which corresponds to the physical heart but which is not tied to the physical body in a significant way.
 

Why is the brain the physical expression of that element of the individual that can be described as thought and not our hair or our knee caps?

Here I can only refer to the eternal wisdom of Lao Tsu,

Quote
How do I know the world is like this?  By looking!

Quote
In other words, one can only know what one is.  We can extrapolate from this, that since pure Being is the principle of all existing things it must also possess a knowledge, or consciousness, that far exceeds the nature of purely human consciousness.

I don't see how it follows from the idea that we are conscious that Being in general possesses knowledge or consciousness!

You might really like this, if you haven't read it. Seems to be a similar apporach to traditionalism in taking Descartes deadly, morbidly seriously. http://www.amazon.com/Crisis-European-Sciences-Transcendental-Phenomenology/dp/081010458X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351645091&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Crisis+of+European+Sciences+and+Transcendental+Philosophy

Quote
"Phenomenology is different from scientific study in that it does not pretend toward a universal truth or experience unmediated through our subjectivity"

I understand now that, like phenomonologists like Husserl, you take Descartes very seriously. That's fine I just think you can't construct a system of knowledge any more than 'physicalists' who, yes, take that leap of faith that they are not being fooled by an evil demon or something!

I understand now that, like phenomonologists like Husserl, you take Descartes very seriously. That's fine I just think you can't construct a system of knowledge any more than 'physicalists' who, yes, take that leap of faith that they are not being fooled by an evil demon or something!

This is not an argument; this is an ad-hominem attack.

This is you being a cunt.

I understand now that, like phenomonologists like Husserl, you take Descartes very seriously. That's fine I just think you can't construct a system of knowledge any more than 'physicalists' who, yes, take that leap of faith that they are not being fooled by an evil demon or something!

This is not an argument; this is an ad-hominem attack.

This is you being a cunt.

Go away, child. You're going nuts. I am just submitting my doubts about an enterprise that is so radically informed by skepticism. Damn, there was nothing back handed in my comment  :(.

I would really like to continue this with Eleison as you're going off the rails in emo-ness in the last couple of days.