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Thinking?

Phoenix

Re: Thinking?
March 19, 2013, 06:31:02 AM
@ Transcix

Totally agree. What we normally describe as objects are in fact parts of a continuous whole, and all "things" in an environment are co-determined, as are all "events". I believe it is practicality that makes us delineate as such, being itself the servant of survival.

If being is the servant of survival then it (ala necessity) must be the mother of invention, I much prefer to view it this way. :)

Why did the apple fall?

Was it because of gravity?

Or

Did the apple fall because it needed to reach the ground where it could be eaten or spawn a new tree?

As it can be asked why the apple fell, it can just as easily be asked why it stayed on the tree all the time before it fell.

Lovely poem by Tolkien, I never saw it before. My only argument with it is that it seems to promote feeling and imagination as if to combat the clinical sterility of reality proper... I disagree with this dichotomy as I think reality is very colorful because feeling and imagination is as real as any other part of reality both in terms of perspective as well as empiricism.. I believe if I imagine a flower then its image in my mind is there physically, perhaps only by the slightest whim of creation and the subtlest density of physical substance, but then perhaps what the mind sees is even simpler--and therefore all the more spectacular-- than life's more overtly tangible simple pleasures like "real" flowers by the side of the road. Feelings, energy, thoughts all exist in a physical way, although, at the core of reality, in the basest grain of reality, Emptiness is both consciousness and physical matter simultaneously (though so subtly as to be hardly either at all), and since humans come from Emptiness and are made of it so eventually the mind becomes still and the physical substance can no longer be observed, the density falls away, as surely as eyeballs cannot extend from their sockets and rotate 360 degrees to look back at themselves (ironically what they would see would look quite like an abyss).

Re: Thinking?
March 19, 2013, 02:17:25 PM
1) Yes you may ask that question as well.

2) My understanding of the poem was that Myth translates Truth through imagination. As opposed to the clinical empiricism which is no reflection of reality at all.

Re: Thinking?
March 19, 2013, 05:06:57 PM
reality proper

Please point me towards this; if you refer to physicality, would not the term "relativity" be more apt than "reality"?

Re: Thinking?
March 19, 2013, 11:16:58 PM
Why did the apple fall?

Was it because of gravity?

Or

Did the apple fall because it needed to reach the ground where it could be eaten or spawn a new tree?

The evolution of thorns, non-Metal, truly inspires such thinking. What base life form ever started chewing on plants and when would plants have started reacting? Humans in our last feww thousand years are incredibly pessimisstic. All I hear from the Lord's word these days is pessimissm, yet it comes from human mouths. They, as Nietzsche -- Hail -- confirms desire an end to human experience; If they knew what down-going they were destined for, they may perhaps go more peacefully and lay less waste for the Overman!

Phoenix

Re: Thinking?
March 20, 2013, 04:35:41 AM
reality proper

Please point me towards this; if you refer to physicality, would not the term "relativity" be more apt than "reality"?

I suppose how I would say it is that everything can be measured on a spectrum of physical density, some things are denser or subtler than others, but everything is physical to some extent. My point on getting on this is to emphasize that matter and thought is both made up of the same stuff and so physicality isn't clinical or sterile just as thought isn't magical, although each can seem that way if viewed in stark contrast from the perspective of the other.

Re: Thinking?
March 20, 2013, 12:25:47 PM
It seems to me that "reality" becomes a sticky term when juxtaposed with "things": any thing, in arising and ceasing, has no existence of its own, is not real on its own; it may only seem to be real to the awareness, perhaps through a perspective (e.g. a person).  Ultimately, it is not unless "I am", as one might say.  All of this "thingness", these thoughts, sensations, these objects of perception, even these apparent "perceivers", can be discarded as illusory, though I myself am prone to playing the game if it interests me (as we ought?).  What is left to reality, then?  I should think only that which is actually fundamental, that which by itself (independently) can be said to be real: without quality, without attribute; nothing can be said of it, but that it is before all else, that nothing would be without it, and that you are that.

Re: Thinking?
March 20, 2013, 03:09:33 PM
Why did the apple fall?

Was it because of gravity?

Or

Did the apple fall because it needed to reach the ground where it could be eaten or spawn a new tree?

The evolution of thorns, non-Metal, truly inspires such thinking. What base life form ever started chewing on plants and when would plants have started reacting? Humans in our last feww thousand years are incredibly pessimisstic. All I hear from the Lord's word these days is pessimissm, yet it comes from human mouths. They, as Nietzsche -- Hail -- confirms desire an end to human experience; If they knew what down-going they were destined for, they may perhaps go more peacefully and lay less waste for the Overman!

Instinct, genetic memory, mutation the answer is irrelevant. For all we know roses grew thorns because poison had to write that song. Perhaps things are as they are so that the human can learn what Truth ultimately is and be shepherds.

As for desires and down-goings, I'm reminded of Inferno. The souls that populate hell are not there by punishment or compulsion. They are there out of will. The Soul that desires only the lower things, goes to them after the body dies. Interestingly enough, the three tiers of the Divine Comedy represents each of Platos 3 faculties of the soul.

Re: Thinking?
March 20, 2013, 05:11:06 PM
Some of you characters don't seem able to even agree what 'real' means.
Bird flies into window and knocks itself out. -> Window is real.
Bird can't see it, but that does not make it not-real.
Human stubs toe on rock. -> Rock is real.
Human failed to see it, but still, rock is real.

So what if rock is mostly empty space and made up of swirling galaxies of electrons?
It still hurts toe when toe has high enough velocity relative to rock.
Rock is real. Window is real. Bird is real. Toe is real.

Thinking, you see, makes real into unreal.
Thinking human ceases to be real, to thinking human.

Re: Thinking?
March 20, 2013, 05:40:07 PM
Bird flies into window and knocks itself out.  Regains consciousness.  Did it ever knock itself out?

Human stubs toe on rock.  Pain subsides.  Was there ever any stubbing?  Was there even a toe, or a rock?

Universe expands.  Universe contracts.  I am.

Phoenix

Re: Thinking?
March 20, 2013, 07:43:56 PM
It seems to me that "reality" becomes a sticky term when juxtaposed with "things": any thing, in arising and ceasing, has no existence of its own, is not real on its own; it may only seem to be real to the awareness, perhaps through a perspective (e.g. a person).  Ultimately, it is not unless "I am", as one might say.  All of this "thingness", these thoughts, sensations, these objects of perception, even these apparent "perceivers", can be discarded as illusory, though I myself am prone to playing the game if it interests me (as we ought?).  What is left to reality, then?  I should think only that which is actually fundamental, that which by itself (independently) can be said to be real: without quality, without attribute; nothing can be said of it, but that it is before all else, that nothing would be without it, and that you are that.

Ah, I see where our views diverge. I'm saying no 'thing' exists independently or autonomously in an absolute sense. I'm also saying that it's healthy to regard things largely in this absolute sense (but not so much as to loose touch with the necessary practicalities of mundane reality). But I'm certainly not saying that 'things' do not exist, as Crow says an illusion must exist at least to the extent it's perceived lest it not be perceived at all in the first place.

It's the epitome of irony if we say that 'things' don't exist because they are false labels, and then label them with the word "illusory" and take that to imply a complete, wholesale absence of existence--if that were true then the label "illusory" would fall straight away without anything tangible to reference or latch onto.

As the adage goes, nothing finite can exist apart from the infinite. Everyone agrees. But then, it follows that nothing infinite can exist apart from the finite. So really there's just one whole, one matrix, and this whole isn't infinity, it doesn't perpetually extraneously overflow every bound and delineation, rather it's finite, flowing precisely in its channels, (thankfully) unable to accommodate mutually-exclusive possibilities. You could even say it's logical. :D

Re: Thinking?
March 20, 2013, 08:33:24 PM
Some of you characters don't seem able to even agree what 'real' means.
Bird flies into window and knocks itself out. -> Window is real.
Bird can't see it, but that does not make it not-real.
Human stubs toe on rock. -> Rock is real.
Human failed to see it, but still, rock is real.

So what if rock is mostly empty space and made up of swirling galaxies of electrons?
It still hurts toe when toe has high enough velocity relative to rock.
Rock is real. Window is real. Bird is real. Toe is real.

Thinking, you see, makes real into unreal.
Thinking human ceases to be real, to thinking human.
This begs the question: if thought isn't real, then how does one know that the thought upon which that conclusion is based is true, or "real"?

Also,

So long as the behavior corresponds to reality, does it really fucking matter what's going on inside my, or anyone else's, head? I realize that thought and action are connected to an extent; to use an extreme example, murder must be premeditated before it is committed. But really, as long as the carpenter excels at his craft and acts out of virtue in his dealings with other individuals, does it really fucking matter if he has purged his mind of thought, or cleansed his heart of desire, or accepted Jesus Christ as his lord and savior, or whatever other bullshit mystical panaceas that humans have devised throughout the ages?

Re: Thinking?
March 20, 2013, 08:48:54 PM
Liszt said that no man could capture the beauty of heaven, so he instead focused on hell.  :P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1A0LcXBZkk

Re: Thinking?
March 21, 2013, 03:33:03 PM
Transcix, I'm using "real" in the Parmenidean sense, such that, if it isn't the infinite whence the finite comes - if it isn't you - it isn't real.  It's perfectly apt to replace all labels with "illusion" - at least then you know you're looking at one, and not many!  At that, if it's called an illusion, it is most certainly implied that it exists ("to be is to be perceived"), and yet is not real (just as my notion of Donkey Kong exists, though the character is not real).

It can be proven that the infinite can - indeed, does - rest apart from the finite, by examining the qualities of these kinds of existence.  The finite is finite not only in form, but also temporally: it is born, it grows, it decays, it dies.  Furthermore, one might develop words with which to describe the finite, and one might entertain notions of the finite.  It is the qualities, the attributes, of the finite which allow us to label certain parts as distinct from others in the first place.  One cannot do this with the infinite: though we point to it with that word, it is actually colourless, tasteless, formless, soundless, and so on.  Attributeless, it is non-distinct, and indistinguishable.  There is no quality to hold and say "yes, this is it" - the holder cannot hold itself.  However, while one could not read words if there were no page, one could see the page without words on it.

Advaita Vedanta is specifically geared towards this kind of "self-discovery".  The method is not to provide you with an experience, or an ideal, or any such thing that your mind might grab and hold onto in order to proclaim its own advancement.  The method is to allow the infinite to express through the finite its own self-recognition in that manifestation.  This is done through consistently dropping all things - "neti, neti", "not this, not that" - until one is no longer identified with any phenomenon.  Not the body, not the mind, not the feelings, nor the world, nor anything that arises and ceases.  What is left?  Only the one who watches all of this, eternally untouched by what is occurring within itself.  "The Kingdom of God comes with no signs to be perceived": this is how illusion and reality can be distinguished between, for the one is distinguishable, the other not.  When all phenomena cease - say, when the body is dead, and no sensation remains - still there is the awareness of that lack of phenomena.  In that timeless time, it is only I, alone, and no illusion.  Clearly I exist apart from any phenomenon.

Phoenix

Re: Thinking?
March 21, 2013, 04:10:24 PM
Cargést, how do you know that what you call "infinity" exists? How can it "be proven that the infinite can - indeed, does - rest apart from the finite, by examining the qualities of these kinds of existence"? You admit the 'infinite' is indistinguishable, ineffable. How do you know it's truly infinite in scope rather than simply really, really vast? Proving that something is different than everything else in every imaginable way is one thing, but concluding that it must be 'infinity' rather than something very, very different and as yet unknown is another thing entirely. If you know of something through sheer experience of it, if you know that it is there and that it is much different than anything else you've ever encountered, I can accept that. But to specifically qualify it as infinite rather than finite, how can you 'feel' that?


So long as the behavior corresponds to reality, does it really fucking matter what's going on inside my, or anyone else's, head? I realize that thought and action are connected to an extent; to use an extreme example, murder must be premeditated before it is committed. But really, as long as the carpenter excels at his craft and acts out of virtue in his dealings with other individuals, does it really fucking matter if he has purged his mind of thought, or cleansed his heart of desire, or accepted Jesus Christ as his lord and savior, or whatever other bullshit mystical panaceas that humans have devised throughout the ages?

If a carpenter's thoughts are critical and negative about his craft and his life, then the carpenter isn't focused. Also, the carpenter wouldn't be content, either. Unfocused and discontent, he probably wouldn't be the best carpenter.

Re: Thinking?
March 21, 2013, 05:19:59 PM
Look at yourselves, all busy thinking. Do you see where it leads?
Complication added to complication. An increasingly fragile house of cards that fewer and fewer people can follow.
What is this 'proof' that thinkers demand? Permission, from somebody else, before 'agreement'?
What is the point?

Thinking is time-out from being.
Why live, when you can think? Why experience, when you can hypothesize? Why be anything when you can so easily claim to be it, instead?

I'll tell you why.
Insecurity.
Thinking = video game.
A simulation of life that lets you get up and walk away from every error.
Unlike the actual life that real men indulge in and dare to be part of.
Errors made there result in actual consequences.

Real men think when thinking is required. The other 90% of the time, they do life.
They sometimes make mistakes, and sometimes they die. But when they die, they die in the perfect satisfaction of knowing that while life was theirs, they lived it.