• javi2541997
    2.2k
    Why did God, He would be the most advanced alien we could hope to encounter, take a human form, as Jesus?Agent Smith

    I hope to not encounter anyone at all. The mysticism of the unknown is what makes the monolith so interesting.
    Nevertheless, I bet that the ones who put the monolith on earth were there previously to God and Jesus Christ :wink:
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    Well, true, to thrill an audience is to present them either something brand new or simply offer a perspective they hadn't encounterd. So, god/alien in human form was on old trope (Jesus/Klaatu) and that might mean a box office bomb. Why not a black, 10 ft. tall cuboid? Now, that's something no one's seen before; it'll sell, oui mon ami?
  • javi2541997
    2.2k
    So, god/alien in human form was on old tropeAgent Smith

    I think it is harder to believe when it appears in a human form.

    Why not a black, 10 ft. tall cuboid? Now, that's something no one's seen before;Agent Smith

    No one seen before and so enigmatic and original. Sometimes simplicity makes the best impact. Now that I am deeply concerned about the archetype of the monolith... Most of the devices look like it. If you look at a cellphone closely you would see a lot similarities with a monolith.
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    I think it is harder to believe when it appears in a human form.javi2541997

    Indeed, hence God/alien!

    No one seen before and so enigmatic and original. Sometimes simplicity makes the best impact. Now that I am deeply concerned about the archetype of the monolith... Most of the devices look like it. If you look at a cellphone closely you would see a lot similarities with a monolith.javi2541997

    Apophenia/Pareidolia? Still, not bad, not bad at all! The cell phone does look like that monolith.
  • Tzeentch
    1.9k
    Regarding violence, it is present in the prehistory, moon discovery, and the space voyage scenes. There was much establishment of a tense cold war problem in the moon scenes. HAL kills the whole crew except for one. Kubrick seems to be linking an element to each progression rather than transcending it.Paine

    That's true. I think especially the danger of technology is a theme that's present throughout the film. Even the ape's primitive bone weapon could be seen as man's first dabble with 'technology', but the weapons satellites and HAL are definitely examples of that.

    Yet, the monolith is only involved with the very first step. The weapons satellite and HAL are made by humans. After the prologue the monolith doesn't seem to 'cause' any violence anymore.
  • Tzeentch
    1.9k
    Maybe a bit off-topic, but have you ever noticed this?

    David Bowman.

    David slays Goliath - HAL.

    Bowman, Sagittarius, has as its ruling planet Jupiter, travels to Venus. Just so happens to be an astrological match made in heaven. Jupiter, the Husband, Venus, the Wife, this synthesis turns Bowman into the starchild - seems to strongly imply a Jungian incorporation of the masculine and the feminine.

    Speaking of Jung, could the monolith be a symbol for the Jungian shadow self?
  • javi2541997
    2.2k
    Apophenia/Pareidolia?Agent Smith

    Yes! :smile:
  • javi2541997
    2.2k
    could the monolith be a symbol for the Jungian shadow self?Tzeentch

    Indeed. The article I read days ago made a lot of references to Jung's archetypes. The author of the article defined the monolith as an "unconscious symbol who shares common characteristics to all the civilisations"

    Well, I guess it is better to share the quote itself:

    Revealing that the monolith is inspired by the theory of Jungian archetypes devised by Carl Jung, this concept is defined by images and themes that derive from the collective unconscious. Jung believed that certain symbols from different cultures are often very similar as they have been developed from archetypes shared by a collective human unconscious.

    Even Kubrick in the interview said: That’s why we settled on the black monolith — which is, of course, in itself something of a Jungian archetype...
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    Yes! :smile:javi2541997

    Have you heard of Boltzmann brains? It's supposedly far more likely that the monolith simply assembled itself from nearby matter & energy and did its thing than that it were constructed and placed at the watering hole by a super-advanced alien civilization? Interesting, oui?
  • Tzeentch
    1.9k
    If the monolith were to represent the Jungian shadow, this leaves the question of why the monolith on the moon directs mankind towards Venus, though. :chin:

    Perhaps violence and violent technology are the shadow, and only a by-product of the monolith. And perhaps David's defeat of HAL signifies the mastery / incorporation of the shadow.

    Sidenote; HAL's appearance is essentially a giant eye. David defeated Goliath by striking him in the eye with a rock thrown from a sling. (EDIT: Oops, no it seems he struck him in the forehead).
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    Maybe we should do a more detailed study of Kubrick's monolith vis-à-vis Jungian archetypes.

    Shape: Rectangular prism (cell phoneish)
    Color: Black (absorbs all colors, the "color" of (Jungian) shadows)
    Dimensions: Unknown (mathemtical code? proportio divina 1.618...)
    Surface: Looks smooth
    Function: Jump-start cognitive revolutions (very Promethean, fire)

    As @javi2541997 pointed out, the monolith appears to be rather simple, but given what it does, it must be functionally quite complex.
  • javi2541997
    2.2k
    It's supposedly far more likely that the monolith simply assembled itself from nearby matter & energy and did its thing than that it were constructed and placed at the watering hole by a super-advanced alien civilization? Interesting, oui?Agent Smith

    It is literally what I think about the nature of the monolith. It is clear that is an abstract object which is far more intelligent than human race. I guess we treat it as "complex" because we don't understand it. Our knowledge didn't increased that much to have the same language as a monolith.
    But we have an interesting question here... does the monolith understand us?

    pointed out, the monolith appears to be rather simple.Agent Smith

    A simplicity full of complexities.
  • javi2541997
    2.2k
    If the monolith were to represent the Jungian shadow, this leaves the question of why the monolith on the moon directs mankind towards Venus, thoughTzeentch

    It could be another interpretation in the same direction that the monolith simply is there to help the humankind. It could be even a criticism for not being ourselves able to make a real progress without "exterior help" like if the monolith would never been there we as specie would never developed our knowledge.
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k

    The monolith is a simple 3D geometric shape; somehow reminds me of Plato's forms. It's tall, compared to the pre-sapiens and so symbolizes superiority. The dimensions hopefully are in the golden ratio 1.618... (proportio divina).
  • javi2541997
    2.2k
    But the simplicity is what it impressed me. While when I see a giant Buddha in Thailand, India, Vietnam, etc... I interpret it as tremendous and striking but not "surprising" either "interesting" because those religious figures were put there just to indoctrinate people.
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    simplicityjavi2541997

    It isn't simple is it now?



    Unless you make sense, nobody's gonna listen to you! There's a workaround for that though - money, power, fame (the unholy trinity) can be used to bend & break rules any which way you please.

    Indoctrination differs from education; the former doesn't have to be reasonable, the latter hasta be, oui?

    Coming back to Jungian archetypes, what are they? It suggests what in my book are Platonic forms of minds with typical sets of ideas, attitudes, approaches, values, and so on. Am I correct?
  • javi2541997
    2.2k
    It suggests what in my book are Platonic forms of minds with typical sets of ideas, attitudes, approaches, values, and so on. Am I correct?Agent Smith

    Yes, you are correct.
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    Yes, you are correctjavi2541997

    :lol:
  • 180 Proof
    9.8k
    As long as I can remember I've imagined Kubrick/Clarke's "Monolith" as the ultimate intelligent descendant of terrestrial life interacting with its primeval ancestors (us) in "higher dimensional" quantum-level simulations (e.g. "pocket universes"). Symbolically, the "Monolith" is both mirror and window (i.e. "film screen") of the unknown – e.g. individual death; species extinction; event horizon; cosmic horizon; heat-death of the universe – the a priori strange attractor that self-organizes intellect: nonbeing ... emptiness (à la Nāgārjuna).

    When (movie) Dave Bowman transforms (chrysalis-like) into the "Starchild", the Monolith's simulation, I imagine, becomes aware of itself as (manifested as an avatar of) the Monolith's simulation. (Book) Bowman's last transmission as his pod falls onto / into the Great Monolith "My God, it's full of stars ..." in which "stars" could mean souls, or minds, or intelligences ... perhaps all there ever has been and will ever be ... simulated. No doubt, another inspiration for Frank Tipler's cosmological "Omega Point"?

    Anyway, 2001 is stll my all-time favorite cinematic experience. :fire:

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/741055

    Time for bed. :yawn:
    Will I dream? — SAL-9000
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    As long as I can remember I've imagined Kubrick/Clarke's "Monolith" as the ultimate intelligent descendant of terrestrial life interacting with its primeval ancestors (us) in "higher dimensional" quantum-level simulations (e.g. "pocket universes"). Symbolically, the "Monolith" is both mirror and window (i.e. "film screen") of the unknown – e.g. individual death; species extinction; event horizon; cosmic horizon; heat-death of the universe – the a priori strange attractor that self-organizes intellect: nonbeing ... emptiness (à la Nāgārjuna).

    When (movie) Dave Bowman transforms (chrysalis-like) into the "Starchild", the Monolith's simulation, I imagine, becomes aware of itself as (manifested as an avatar of) the Monolith's simulation. (Book) Bowman's last transmission as his pod falls onto / into the Great Monolith "My God, it's full of stars ..." in which "stars" could mean souls, or minds, or intelligences ... perhaps all there ever has been and will ever be ... simulated. No doubt, another inspiration for Frank Tipler's cosmological "Omega Point"?

    Anyway, 2001 is stll my all-time favorite cinematic experience. :fire:

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/741055

    Time for bed. :yawn:
    Will I dream?
    — SAL-9000
    180 Proof

    Ati sundar mon ami, ati sundar!

    Stanley Kubrick's monolith is as ambiguous & vague as a Rorschach test can be. It's intended to represent an advanced intellect and yet, since, as javi2541997 pointed out, Kubrick was trying to imagine the unimaginable, his experience & knowledge had to be swept aside as nothing in 'em made the cut - they were all too earthly, too mundane as some like to put it. He then probably went apophatic, as he sifted through all the proposals that were put forward, saying "neti neti" (not this, not that, no, not that either). He seems to have finally settled on a black, smooth, rectangular prism. It was, as the OP opined simple, rather anticlimactic you might say, but just consider for a moment the notion of divine simplicity, that god (the alien extraordinaire) is infinitely simple. Instead of trying to think of something mind-bogglingly complex, Kubrick chose something simple, with the same effect mind you, the head meets the tail, the ouroboros coiled.

    Simplify, Simplify, Simplify — Steve Jobs
  • javi2541997
    2.2k
    Symbolically, the "Monolith" is both mirror and window (i.e. "film screen") of the unknown – e.g. individual death; species extinction; event horizon; cosmic horizon; heat-death of the universe – the a priori strange attractor that self-organizes intellect180 Proof

    Good explanation :up: :100:

    Then this is why the hominids felt hesitation when they approached to the monolith. The unknown itself creates a lot of uncertainty and your examples are perfect. Who don't feel tension when they concern about horizon, death, cosmic time, universe significance, etc...? The monolith gathers all of these archetypes. But exactly in this concept... how can we treat the monolith? As an enemy or as an adviser?
    The scene where the monolith appears "again" in the moon is important. The astronauts feel blurred but they do not hesitate and even start to investigate it... probably because the humankind evolved in the knowledge towards the monolith epicentre?
  • 180 Proof
    9.8k
    The monolith gathers all of these archetypes. But exactly in this concept... how can we treat the monolith? As an enemy or as an adviser?javi2541997
    Maybe we can "treat" the Monolith as an event whereby each encounter with it irrevocably changes all that has come before. Every encounter is the same encounter, there is only ever one Monolith for the intellects (us) within its simulations. Neither "an enemy" nor "an adviser", I imagine the Monolith is (for us) the enabling-constraint of becoming (fractally joining) the Monolith. A quasi-gnostic odyssey of re/turning to the source (pleroma), or the prodigal homecoming – monomyth – of all intelligences ...

    (NB: My Spinozist interpretation contains a 'Hegelian telos' which is, however, only the mirror image of daojia.)

    Stepping back from (out of) the "screen", perhaps, analogously, we the audience are Sisyphus and the aporia the "Monolith" presents us with is the proverbial (philosopher's) Stone on a dark, silent, mountain slope. Kubrick-Clarke's story is an odyssey, an endless(?) journey, rather than merely a "quest" to reach some definitive, knowable destination; and perhaps this is the Monolith's odyssey – it's simulations – not (just) ours? :chin:
  • Paine
    694

    Very interesting take. It makes me realize I have been looking at it through a Hegel/teleological lens.

    If the disturbing factor is the same throughout, the monolith is like the attempts to measure time against place as with Stonehenge or the orientation of Egyptian monuments. The question of simulation becomes one of who is making up who.
  • javi2541997
    2.2k
    Kubrick-Clarke's story is an odyssey, an endless(?) journey, rather than merely a "quest" to reach some definitive, knowable destination; and perhaps this is the Monolith's odyssey – it's simulations – not (just) ours? :chin:180 Proof

    :sparkle: :100:

    The question of simulation becomes one of who is making up who.Paine

    My bet goes to the monolith. This structure is always there and even before the appearance of humans. So, my guess is that the monolith is the one who is making up our "reality"
  • Paine
    694

    I wasn't thinking of it as either us or the monolith as originators. 180 Proof made a distinction between ways of seeing it as an agent. It is different to see it as an instrument working toward an end from its appearance pointing to a condition that precedes us and the monolith. The monolith's quality of seeming completely formed not telling the whole story.
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    The monolith is inscrutable, mysterious, enigmatic, bewildering, undecipherable, i.e. it's an unknown and is an attempt to physically embody the lacuna in our understanding of so-called cognitive revolutions h. sapiens went through in its evolutionary journey. We don't know, we're ignorant of how we got to be so smart and so creative! The Monolith = Ignorance!
  • javi2541997
    2.2k
    We don't know, we're ignorant of how we got to be so smart and so creative! The Monolith = Ignorance!Agent Smith

    :up: :sparkle:

    Ignorance or... the torch which lights us to finish such ignorance.
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    :up:

    If only we knew how the brain makes such jumps in its capabilities, we could bring them about at will instead of relying on luck. We could trigger a cognitive singularity à la the one some say is coming down the pike viz. the technological singularity. I suppose the movie captures that wish as whoever the aliens are, they seem to possess such knowhow.
  • javi2541997
    2.2k
    I suppose the movie captures that wish as whoever the aliens are, they seem to possess such knowhow.Agent Smith

    Exactly! I see it in the same way, indeed :sparkle:
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    Exactly! I see it in the same way, indeed :sparkle:javi2541997

    :up:
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