• substantivalism
    224
    The which is a ... rather observant and uninvolved approach, the path of fear. Do you agree? I might say I find the 'get on the field and participate' advice of Joseph Campbell more to my taste, but it's no surprise I'm an anger type.Chet Hawkins
    I haven't personified what concepts lie in the field enough into flesh and blood. Nor has a clear methodological motive made itself clear to me. My target hasn't been found through which to intentionally exercise this anger.
  • 0 thru 9
    1.5k


    :sparkle: :100: :sparkle:

    Exactly the type of analysis I was looking for!
    Thanks very much for posting an incisive look into our hobbling culture, like a doctor.
    Or should I say, practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

    I can’t respond in-depth at this moment, hope to reply later.

    Thanks again for your thoughts! :up:
  • 0 thru 9
    1.5k
    The event horizon for this system shrinks, becoming more and more based on the short-term while sacrificing it's long-term health. Where in the past people would have been thinking about how we can create a system that will continue to work decades into the future, now people are instead worried about how we keep the system from total collapse for another year.

    This, obviously, cannot last forever, and even though the system continues to try and spur people on to work harder and be more 'productive', it will reach the limit of what the people can tolerate.

    We are reaching that critical point, as more and more young people are suffering burnout and related psychological problems, even though the socialist structures of many western societies actually look to the younger generations to carry the old. They are the ones who are most exposed to, lets say, 'productivity propaganda' through social media and platforms like YouTube.
    Tzeentch

    Yes, yes and yes. Well said. :up:

    To keep the lights on, too many people are forced into draining jobs where the owners see them far too often as an orange to squeeze all the juice out of, and then discard.

    It’s not always just the low-paying jobs.
    When I watch NFL football, and the players sustaining car crash -type violence on many plays, I wonder if the owners look at the players as replaceable parts, not human beings.
    Probably no “if “ about it, and the reason is money obviously.


    Imbalanced Yang state > Overexertion > Burnout > Balanced Yin state > Rest & Reflection > Renewed Yang state.

    A balanced Yin would ensure that not only can people return back into society stronger and with better insight, but also would propel the system as a whole to reflect upon itself and detect the unbalanced Yang state, and repair it.

    ___________________________________________

    This doesn't happen, because the Yin is also imbalanced.
    Tzeentch

    Yep. No rest for the weary warriors of the world.
    It’s as though the system thrives on misery and illness, a prime example being the trillion-dollar revenue of the ‘health care’ industry.
    It’s clear that industry cares most about its own health and expansion.


    As we can see, it is not so easy to figure out where this cycle of imbalance starts or ends - perhaps it does neither - but a Taoist would probably first look at the Yin imbalance, since Yin is the root of all. Without the conservation of energy, there could be no action.

    Therefore I would link the imbalance in western society primarily to a system of thought that has ran its course - the mechanistic world view ("man as machine"). The idolization of science has worked for a while, and now it no longer does, and must be replaced by something new - probably a synthesis of the previous science-based system with older (or new?), philosphically based systems that are more spiritual / intuitive (religious?) in nature.

    My expectation is that this will be a slow and painful process, due to the degree to which this world view is rooted in every facet of our system.

    Science and religion have been at each other's throat for centuries, and now we must conclude that both are needed for a balanced society, because it's becoming clear (at least to me) that a society that leans too much to either side will critically imbalance itself in one way or another.
    Tzeentch

    Our civilization is like the Pharaoh who refused to let Moses and his people go.
    Only when it really hurt did he relent.
    Do we have to be completely burned to know that fire can be dangerous?

    Science and religion were competitive siblings from the start.
    Add the high financial stakes that are at play now, and the result is a combination of poker and war.
    The losers are the people trying to have a life.
    (Do I sound a little critical of capitalism? lol)


    Thanks again for the excellent post. It was worth waiting months to get.
    Any further insights are indeed welcome. :smile:
  • Chet Hawkins
    239
    I haven't personified what concepts lie in the field enough into flesh and blood. Nor has a clear methodological motive made itself clear to me. My target hasn't been found through which to intentionally exercise this anger.substantivalism
    Well, you have some, because you exist. That is no simple feat. And the decision to continue involves some of the same, and yes, flesh and blood.

    Clarity is not required of the brave. Anger stands to mystery, unready, if need be. That is the requirement. Being is anger, unready and yet involved, in all.

    In some cases this being may seem unintentional. That is less than best. The better path involves becoming one with the anger of being and the flip side of that same truth, the so-called 'unity principle', my term, but an easy one with so many others that are the same term, universal consciousness, etc. It does not end up being Wu, although so many Pragmatists will claim it is. What is Wu really but the instantiation of mystery, of the unknown, the parts not yet integrated?

    To claim no target is the same mistake, a refusal of being and the choice offered. Free will was already given, and now you want it to provide a target as well? Better to get busy and make mistakes. Choose a target and never claim it has not been found. You are the finder.
  • 0 thru 9
    1.5k
    Asian philosophy to me is very Enneatype 9 in almost all ways. I find that an extremely limited point of view. Wisdom should encompass all possible teachers including a challenging 8 like me and a righteous 1 like so many teachers are. Further, Asian teachings in general express a deep and abiding mistrust of desire, which they pretty much view as the only emotion causing issues in many ways. I am not a general expert on it but I have read a lot of the widely known stuff. That's just my current take on it. If you have an Asian source you would recommend, I would be interested. It is a goal of mine to soften my language because I want to reach more people, but not so badly I will detract from the poignant nature of truth in my message.Chet Hawkins

    Thanks again for your reply. Much appreciated! :up:

    About the Eastern view of desire… it’s obviously often a focal point.
    Although Buddha discovered the Golden Mean, the Middle Way, and that was a giant step.
    There’s some profound balance, and it’s within the grasp of everyone… not just ascetics and yogis.

    From what I understand, the Buddha said that the desire that is dangerous is the mental kind… constant wanting while believing ‘more is always better!’
    He described greed, hatred, and delusion as the three root poisons. (I can’t argue with that).

    As for Eastern and Asian teachings that I find powerful… we already mentioned the Tao Te Ching.
    To me, it feels like the trees wrote it, like the Earth itself speaking to us humans about how to live.
    A relevant line:
    “You can do what you want with material things, but only if you hold to the mother of things will you do it for very long…”

    Choice is infinite. Done. Shown. The point is that choice is all we have and the infinite nature of choice makes blame easy. Everyone is to blame for everything. We are trapped in any state only because we lack the will, the wherewithal to change the state. But infinite choice is a guaranteed law of reality that means we are indeed to blame for any state.

    Since you are me and I am you is also a truth, even if someone else caused the state you are still to blame. It makes truth easy to navigate if you believe it. Accepting blame is empowering and reaffirming in all cases.
    Chet Hawkins

    Yes. I agree. Choice is infinite. (Or close enough for our purposes).
    I’d perhaps change your word ‘blame’ to ‘responsibility’, it’s maybe a more positive word? Anyway…

    Another Eastern saying that you’ve probably heard:
    “All the same are loss and gain, praise and blame, honor and shame…”
    Maybe the word ‘blame’ is better after all since it rhymes with ‘shame’. :grin:
  • Tzeentch
    3.3k
    Personally I would link today's woes to a lack of philosophical and spiritual foundation (Yin / Water element imbalance), and not to economic systems.

    Capitalism is ultimately nothing more than an idea of the relation between collectives and individuals, allowing for the existence of private property. That is a system that has been implicit in human civilization literally for millenia, and it has functioned more or less reasonably.

    Furthermore, it seems to me that the human intuition of property ("this is mine, and that is yours") is natural and deeply ingrained in our psyche, which is why attempts at alternative systems have a tendency to fail - they go against human nature.

    What I think is going on, is that in the past the economic motivations of "capitalism" were counterbalanced by other matters of value in the spiritual realm.

    For example, there was the notion that if one blindly followed their greedy impulses, one would eventually pay a spiritual price for that. Christianity might claim you were sent to hell or limbo, or had to atone for sins committed, etc.

    When Christianity, and really religion and spirituality as a whole, was discarded by western societies, only the earthly values remained - power, money, etc.

    Western society has quite simply failed to fill the gap that religion has left behind, and demoralization has been the end result.

    Blaming it on capitalism is a cop-out. Why did people in the past manage to find a better balance between the earthly and the heavenly, and why can't we?

    The reason we as a society fear this question, is because it implies discarding religion as a whole maybe wasn't such a great idea.
  • Chet Hawkins
    239
    Asian philosophy to me is very Enneatype 9 in almost all ways. I find that an extremely limited point of view. Wisdom should encompass all possible teachers including a challenging 8 like me and a righteous 1 like so many teachers are. Further, Asian teachings in general express a deep and abiding mistrust of desire, which they pretty much view as the only emotion causing issues in many ways. I am not a general expert on it but I have read a lot of the widely known stuff. That's just my current take on it. If you have an Asian source you would recommend, I would be interested. It is a goal of mine to soften my language because I want to reach more people, but not so badly I will detract from the poignant nature of truth in my message.
    — Chet Hawkins

    Thanks again for your reply. Much appreciated! :up:

    About the Eastern view of desire… it’s obviously often a focal point.
    0 thru 9
    Yes, focal. But entirely mistrusted, yes? My model does not suggest that as is Eastern (or Western) philosophy has it right. Of course there is more derivation in the West anyway.

    Although Buddha discovered the Golden Mean, the Middle Way, and that was a giant step.
    There’s some profound balance, and it’s within the grasp of everyone… not just ascetics and yogis.
    0 thru 9
    I agree with infinite choice, and I think that is some of what you mean here. But the Golden Mean I find to be mostly in error. That is to say, it is not a low amplitude expression of desire that is wise. It is instead the very thing the Eastern philosophies take umbrage with, the highest or perfect amplitude desire that is the path to wisdom.

    The concept of the mean, a mitigation, is still included in a proper model. But the three way derivation of emotion, with desire only as a single path, explains better what truth is, in my opinion.

    In fact the Middle Way or Golden Mean as defined by Buddha is exactly what not to do. It's again, very Enneatype 9 only, laziness and clam over-emphasized whereas my model says conflict is good, and that includes conflict and thus balance between the three emotions. So, the much vaunted peace of the East is an immoral lie to me. You and I have already gone a bit round and round on that.

    Most mythos I can take apart in this same way. There are always a number of glaring flaws in any other system I have found. They do not match reality unless we are pretending that morality is immoral in some way, subjective morality; or some inherent bent towards immorality (as right) rather than morality. It already is true that immorality (as easy or impactful) can seem like morality.

    From what I understand, the Buddha said that the desire that is dangerous is the mental kind… constant wanting while believing ‘more is always better!’0 thru 9
    That is interesting, because more is better in many fundamental ways. But the only more that is finally better is more good. And good is objective. So more of many things is not better, if you follow.

    There are three things that are better only when balanced by each other. That is the reason this dichotomy/trichotomy exists. They are fear, anger, and desire. This equates to cowardice, laziness, and self-indulgence. So as these emotions increase their 'sin' increases as well. So this shows why increasing desire is better and at the same time worse if its not balanced. So, any single emotion is only better when its more if both the others are also more. Confusing? Perhaps. Not really, if you think about it. But the interaction of emotions can be deemed as a mix or a conflict and either envisioning is accurate.

    The point being the East was entirely wrong about two things for sure: desire being mostly bad as it increases, and peace as a desirable concept.

    He described greed, hatred, and delusion as the three root poisons. (I can’t argue with that).0 thru 9
    I disagree. Cowardice, laziness, and self-indulgence are all the three primal sins. Delusion is too wide a category as any of these sins can be called delusion. Delusion is only defined properly as immorality itself. Better, the sense that immoral is moral. That is delusion. Also one could properly say that any over or under expression of any emotion (out of balance) is delusional.

    Greed is only over-expressed desire.
    Hatred has two forms:
    Mostly anger with fear mixed in (fear of the evil other) OR
    Mostly anger with desire mixed in (desire of the evil other)
    Delusion is really any imbalance between any of the three primal emotions.

    So these items as discussed were not equals, a classical mistake in reason.

    As for Eastern and Asian teachings that I find powerful… we already mentioned the Tao Te Ching.0 thru 9
    I have maybe even more than one book on that. I was wondering if there was a favorite. You speak of the original, Lao-Tzu.

    To me, it feels like the trees wrote it, like the Earth itself speaking to us humans about how to live.0 thru 9
    very cool.

    A relevant line:
    “You can do what you want with material things, but only if you hold to the mother of things will you do it for very long…”
    0 thru 9
    I would agree, but, the 'mother of things' makes no sense to me, unless you refer to the only real law of nature, free will. What does it mean to 'hold to' the chaos of free will? I suppose the better explanation/analogy to implement is that 'the mother of things' refers to the GOOD or perfection (converting to my model). That does make sense. Indeed, hold to the objective good.

    Choice is infinite. Done. Shown. The point is that choice is all we have and the infinite nature of choice makes blame easy. Everyone is to blame for everything. We are trapped in any state only because we lack the will, the wherewithal to change the state. But infinite choice is a guaranteed law of reality that means we are indeed to blame for any state.

    Since you are me and I am you is also a truth, even if someone else caused the state you are still to blame. It makes truth easy to navigate if you believe it. Accepting blame is empowering and reaffirming in all cases.
    — Chet Hawkins

    Yes. I agree. Choice is infinite. (Or close enough for our purposes).
    0 thru 9
    That is an interesting parenthetical addition. Why add it? What is presumed not infinite about choice?

    There is one thing in my model. We cannot choose to change the good. That is the only one.

    Are there other exceptions for you?

    I’d perhaps change your word ‘blame’ to ‘responsibility’, it’s maybe a more positive word? Anyway…

    Another Eastern saying that you’ve probably heard:
    “All the same are loss and gain, praise and blame, honor and shame…”
    Maybe the word ‘blame’ is better after all since it rhymes with ‘shame’. :grin:
    0 thru 9
    And this would be another objection from me for Eastern thought. They perceive an unimaginably bad balance that does not exist. That is a balance between good and evil. No, we are aimed and we are supposed to aim at good. So there is no actual balance between good and evil. The successful navigation of being, must finally be, perfect alignment of intent with objective moral truth (the good).

    If there is a balance between evil and good then choice is pointless. That makes Nihilism true and morality a farce.
  • 0 thru 9
    1.5k


    Thanks for your reply. :smile:

    Personally I would link today's woes to a lack of philosophical and spiritual foundation (Yin / Water element imbalance), and not to economic systems.

    Capitalism is ultimately nothing more than an idea of the relation between collectives and individuals, allowing for the existence of private property. That is a system that has been implicit in human civilization literally for millenia, and it has functioned more or less reasonably.
    Tzeentch

    Ok, there’s bound to be at least some theoretical disagreement when it comes to capitalism, socialism, etc. :nerd:

    I was generalizing of course, lumping everything together and focusing on the negative aspects of what we call capitalism.
    But I do so to play the role of amateur doctor, trying to see if there are illnesses and maladies that are causing pain, weakness, unhappiness, etc.
    To determine if our civilization is suffering from an illness, and examine some potential cures, so to speak.
    It’s a metaphor obviously, to compare civilization’s well-being to the health of a person.
    But it might shed some light…

    I think that there’s a profound connection between a culture’s philosophy and the resulting life one sees around oneself: all the manifestations and concrete examples of thought and intention (or perhaps human Will).

    (As a personal aside, I think the reason I initially became involved in philosophy as a teen was that I wanted to know how things came to be the way they are now.
    And I sought to discover the foundation of thinking that underpins our culture.
    I was searching for the ‘missing manual’ of our civilization, so to speak.
    Both out of curiosity, and a desire to to the best I could in life.
    This thread is, I think, an outgrowth of that wondering and vague sense of unease).

    I think it is debatable whether what has been going on in Western Civilization (WC) for millennia (as you wrote) can neatly be labeled as ‘capitalism’.
    That seems to be an over-generalization too.
    The mere existence of private property could exist in other possible systems.

    Maybe there was a point in time where (what I’m calling) capitalism was highly functional, with a high level of efficiency resulting in a successful society.
    But whatever word describes the general situation now (plutocracy, oligarchy, etc), the medical diagnosis of our civilization is dire.

    As you eloquently noted in an earlier post:

    In terms of Yang, it appears to me western society is exhausting itself. It reminds me of how the Soviet Union eventually collapsed under its own weight, because the system was simply not sustainable.

    As the period of western dominance nears its end, western societies have to continually ask more of its citizens in order to stay competitive with other systems. People must produce more, and rest less.

    The event horizon for this system shrinks, becoming more and more based on the short-term while sacrificing it's long-term health. Where in the past people would have been thinking about how we can create a system that will continue to work decades into the future, now people are instead worried about how we keep the system from total collapse for another year.

    This, obviously, cannot last forever, and even though the system continues to try and spur people on to work harder and be more 'productive', it will reach the limit of what the people can tolerate.

    We are reaching that critical point, as more and more young people are suffering burnout and related psychological problems, even though the socialist structures of many western societies actually look to the younger generations to carry the old. They are the ones who are most exposed to, lets say, 'productivity propaganda' through social media and platforms like YouTube.
    Tzeentch

    Concerning the above quote, I strongly agree with almost everything you said.

    But I’m trying to understand why you now in this latest post seem to overlook (or exonerate? excuse?) that the total economic system that is playing a huge role in the society outside our window, and around the globe.

    Would you agree that some economic changes need to be made?
    Changes that limited the power of transnational corporations and banks, for instance.
    Of course, this then involves governments… which are completely might be complicit in the matter.

    Thoughts? :chin:
  • Tzeentch
    3.3k
    Concerning the above quote, I strongly agree with almost everything you said.

    But I’m trying to understand why you now in this latest post seem to overlook (or exonerate? excuse?) that the total economic system that is playing a huge role in the society outside our window, and around the globe.
    0 thru 9

    I see many problems with the system, but I think they do not originate from the system itself. Instead I believe they are a symptom of a deeper issue which I would tie into the Yin imbalance as I have explained it earlier.

    The system is a human product, so without looking at the human flaws that create the flawed system, one cannot get to the root cause of the problems.


    For example, some may argue that governments need to be given more power to curb "capitalism".

    Why does this never seem to work in practice?

    Because man is flawed, and flawed humans that run the government are subject to the same Yin imbalance as the ones that use and abuse the financial system. So it just shifts the problem into a different shape, which rarely solves anything and often makes things worse. (After all, 'capitalism' only controls capital, whereas governments hold the monopoly on violence - pick your poison, I suppose, but it's clear to me which is the more dangerous of the two.)


    Attempts at bending flawed humans into a different shape through coercion often fail as well, which is why I believe these issues can only be solved via a voluntary philosophical transformation of the entire system - leading to my thoughts of the Yin / Water element imbalance.

    The philosophical underpinnings of a civilization form the bedrock of everything, just like how all human behavior originates from the psyche.

    Luckily, I believe this will eventually happen naturally, as the system threatens to implode and prompts society as a whole to reflect and come up with actual solutions.

    Less luckily, things probably have to get much worse before they get better, unless this process of reflection can somehow be expediated (but I doubt it).
  • Chet Hawkins
    239
    Concerning the above quote, I strongly agree with almost everything you said.

    But I’m trying to understand why you now in this latest post seem to overlook (or exonerate? excuse?) that the total economic system that is playing a huge role in the society outside our window, and around the globe.
    — 0 thru 9

    I see many problems with the system, but I think they do not originate from the system itself. Instead I believe they are a symptom of a deeper issue which I would tie into the Yin imbalance as I have explained it earlier.
    Tzeentch
    I find the current yin over-expression to be greatly at fault, yes, but a natural occurrence after a great length in time of a similar yang over-expression.

    In other words when yang exhausted itself (some time past), yin has crept up in expression to well beyond intolerable levels.

    Don't get me wrong though. Both yin and yang elements are always involved and since they possess in every case possible balance in any chooser, it is always the choosers, the participants, that are to blame. That means that all the yin that was weak for so long in Western culture and now the weak yang from exhaustion or cyclic lowering, both, always both, are really to blame. Of course,it seems like a traditional Western thing to blame who is on top calling the shots with over-expression.

    The system is a human product, so without looking at the human flaws that create the flawed system, one cannot get to the root cause of the problems.Tzeentch
    I agree entirely but that is a rather disingenuous statement. It is so because that is precisely what we are doing is examining the human motivations. The fact that these motivations exist at the chooser level and at higher levels within any entity representing aggregate choice, is not relevant.

    Any systemic or cultural pattern starts with individual choosers. Even if its a trend now with cultural inertia overpowering many even powerful individuals, it still began and can be altered by each chooser within any current state, active choice.

    So, again, the look into yin/yang and personality of choosers or motivations of choosers is indeed exactly what is being discussed, cultural or individual notwithstanding.

    For example, some may argue that governments need to be given more power to curb "capitalism".

    Why does this never seem to work in practice?
    Tzeentch
    The reasons are many and varied. But to sum it up it really does work like this:
    The goals in mind are not the same between those envisioning the change and the changers themselves.

    Further:
    The goals are often wrong or wrongly understood.

    Further:
    The type of person that is motivated to understand motivation itself is not the type of person to enact policy and vice versa. This means we must learn or earn the wisdom to control the process from start to finish by a real thorough and long term plan.

    The basic reason that Capitalism has not been overturned is that depending on the immoral but regulatable motivations of humans is much easier than depending on and orchestrating for the expectation of more and more moral motivations. We have to begin to realize first and implement second the kind of system as a whole that catalyzes moral behavior.

    This is a sad truth. It is sad because that is exactly what Capitalism is doing so far. The incentive for 'success' is the financial reward, not the moral reward. So immorality is what is driving the system. I mean, I think we all realize how stupid and wrong it would be to let immorality drive any system. So, why does the profit motive persist? It's clearly immoral! But many people would argue that point, foolishly. So, it's a basic trouble in humanity. Admit the immorality of the profit motive or continue to fail.

    Don't get me wrong. It's not lightly that I say such things. Capitalism is far more immoral at its base than many of the things we today decry as atrocities. We all seem to suffer a simplistic and pervasive delusion where Capitalism is concerned.

    I have interviewed many many people on these points. Most of them say the same things, 'If I didn't have to work, I would not work at all.' I find that deeply immoral and these speakers do so in the absence of a system that is like that. I think these people are wrong, most of them. Most of them are actually fairly good-minded and fairly hard working people. They would change in such a system and work because it was less boring than not working. So I am not as worried about that issue. But not working by choice is just laziness and another immorality. If the two choices of sin are offered it might be that laziness seems worse than self-indulgence (greed). That is the nature of reality again, with desire being the fuel of idealism and the way forward into the future, whereas anger is the fuel of balance and the eternal now, the present tense.

    In the anger side consideration of progress, after a world of more balance (Communism) is attained, there would still be the desire side truth of more is better. Production would need to be maximized and balanced for growth but not cancerous growth.

    But these are indeed the root causes. Emotions as motivations are the roots. Speaking only of basic motivations is as rooty as roots go.

    Because man is flawed, and flawed humans that run the government are subject to the same Yin imbalance as the ones that use and abuse the financial system. So it just shifts the problem into a different shape, which rarely solves anything and often makes things worse. (After all, 'capitalism' only controls capital, whereas governments hold the monopoly on violence - pick your poison, I suppose, but it's clear to me which is the more dangerous of the two.)Tzeentch
    And as the speaker for anger, you should not be so quick to assume this. Anger is actually more about balance and so it is not by default sinful via violence. It's default is laziness, and that is the real problem often seen in tyrannies masking so-called Communism that are not actual Communism.

    In a real Communist state, everyone must have the same per-capita resources, roughly. Any imbalance would deny the Communist label. Further, private property would be restricted to incidentals only, actual personal items. Homes certainly would be rotated. No one gets a cool lakehouse or beachhouse indefinitely.

    Even in Capitalist society the real changes and work are done by very few people. Only grunt work is the real question and as soon as robots are created that can do these menial tasks Communism should be much more easily attained.

    There is only 1 real problem with implementing Communism. That is breeding. To manage resources breeding must be tightly controlled. Greedy over-breeding would not be allowed. Further, breeding of sub groups within the whole would have to be watched. The moral aims of the whole could be subject to change if any sub-group over-bred. There are mostly two sides to the overpopulation argument, the deniers who claim that population will decline with education as it seems to and the worriers like me that say we are already way overpopulated as a species on this planet based on sustainable output at this tech level. That debate must be solved.

    it is my aim that we, each of us, live in abundance. That means different things to different people and cultures. But some of us are far too happy with no space and jammed in like ants. How can we design allotments such that space is available in abundance for those that prefer elbow room? These are the REAL questions our societies should be asking. Along with this biggest question of all: How are the rich to be collectively 'taken down' without violent war? Good luck with that one. But it is coming.

    Attempts at bending flawed humans into a different shape through coercion often fail as well, which is why I believe these issues can only be solved via a voluntary philosophical transformation of the entire system - leading to my thoughts of the Yin / Water element imbalance.Tzeentch
    I do not believe that you can get to volunteerism, but, I am for it if it can be done. I do agree that once a Communist style economic management is put in place, volunteerism would be a huge part of effective local work/activity.

    I also do not think we can afford to wait for enough enlightenment. It will be too late if we do. The wise must rule us so first we must discover what wisdom is and quantify it entirely. Of course it will be a changing and growing thing at all times. That in itself is wisdom. But Democracy is nonsensical and always has been. The very idea that everyone is qualified to cast a wise vote is insane. Socrates himself warned us of this truth 2500 years ago and we still act like Democracy is a good idea. It makes one wonder if wisdom is ever going to really be possible.

    The philosophical underpinnings of a civilization form the bedrock of everything, just like how all human behavior originates from the psyche.Tzeentch
    Agreed on both counts, but, civilization is really a manifestation of order, first. That ordering was mostly out of balance with nature or natural law or morality, take your pick. We need to remake it.

    Luckily, I believe this will eventually happen naturally, as the system threatens to implode and prompts society as a whole to reflect and come up with actual solutions.Tzeentch
    I agree but there is no guarantee at all that reset and fallback are not included in the possible ways the existing system can fare near term.

    The real and only question is AI. Will AI transcend human morality in terms of average morality per chooser? I think the answer is yes. But until it does so, the ensuing instability of AI's earning wisdom time might be long enough to wipe out humanity. Who knows? In any case its doubtful machines and AI will tolerate human greed and wanton self-indulgence, because such motivations would use up otherwise useful and needed resources.

    Less luckily, things probably have to get much worse before they get better, unless this process of reflection can somehow be expediated (but I doubt it).Tzeentch
    I agree. It's likely that the wise will not be heeded and immorality will continue until any number of inevitable breaking points.
  • Tzeentch
    3.3k
    I'm not really interested in the whole "capitalism versus communism" debate.

    Suffice to say, I think these are symptoms and not causes.
  • 0 thru 9
    1.5k
    I have maybe even more than one book on that. I was wondering if there was a favorite. You speak of the original, Lao-Tzu.

    To me, it feels like the trees wrote it, like the Earth itself speaking to us humans about how to live.
    — 0 thru 9
    Chet Hawkins

    The original Tao is very short. It’s said that it is like chess. It takes an hour to read, and a lifetime to ponder and (attempt to) master.

    Here’s a website that has several versions of the Tao Te Ching next to each other for comparison.


    In fact the Middle Way or Golden Mean as defined by Buddha is exactly what not to do. It's again, very Enneatype 9 only, laziness and clam over-emphasized whereas my model says conflict is good, and that includes conflict and thus balance between the three emotions. So, the much vaunted peace of the East is an immoral lie to me. You and I have already gone a bit round and round on that.

    Most mythos I can take apart in this same way. There are always a number of glaring flaws in any other system I have found. They do not match reality unless we are pretending that morality is immoral in some way, subjective morality; or some inherent bent towards immorality (as right) rather than morality. It already is true that immorality (as easy or impactful) can seem like morality.

    From what I understand, the Buddha said that the desire that is dangerous is the mental kind… constant wanting while believing ‘more is always better!’
    — 0 thru 9
    That is interesting, because more is better in many fundamental ways. But the only more that is finally better is more good. And good is objective. So more of many things is not better, if you follow.
    Chet Hawkins

    Another Eastern saying that you’ve probably heard:
    “All the same are loss and gain, praise and blame, honor and shame…”
    Maybe the word ‘blame’ is better after all since it rhymes with ‘shame’. :grin:
    — 0 thru 9
    And this would be another objection from me for Eastern thought. They perceive an unimaginably bad balance that does not exist. That is a balance between good and evil. No, we are aimed and we are supposed to aim at good. So there is no actual balance between good and evil. The successful navigation of being, must finally be, perfect alignment of intent with objective moral truth (the good).

    If there is a balance between evil and good then choice is pointless. That makes Nihilism true and morality a farce.
    Chet Hawkins

    How boldly wise of you, young grasshopper, to correct the Buddha! May he return the generous favor a hundredfold! :pray: :halo: :flower:

    Just kidding… I am a student of Eastern philosophy, but certainly not a master. :blush:

    You seem to have some preconceptions of Eastern thought as being passive or unrealistic or something.

    Forgive me if this analysis of your analysis is mistaken…
    It seems to me that you are correcting the mistakes you think you are seeing with your ideas which are much closer to Buddhism than your inadvertent strawman!

    I’d agree with most of your ideas… except the ones giving an accidental misreading of the East.

    I mean to say that it’s not critical for you or anyone to grasp the essence of Eastern philosophy.
    But for this particular thread, it is rather central.

    Thanks for your interesting reply. You give much food for thought. :smile:
  • 0 thru 9
    1.5k
    I see many problems with the system, but I think they do not originate from the system itself. Instead I believe they are a symptom of a deeper issue which I would tie into the Yin imbalance as I have explained it earlier.

    The system is a human product, so without looking at the human flaws that create the flawed system, one cannot get to the root cause of the problems.
    Tzeentch

    Thanks for your reply.

    I think that supposing that even if the main problems we as humanity face are not CAUSED by the ‘rulers’ and their allies (corporations, banks, governments, militaries), they are certainly AMPLIFIED by such agents.

    As a whole, the system seems to be locked into a game that it can’t stop, even if willing.
    (Not unlike the nuclear weapons escalations and potential global war in the past century).

    The system is more machine than human; the humans are replaceable and just along for the ride.
    So I guess I’m partially agreeing with you, but not taking the Rulers (or especially the system they serve) off the hook and putting them out on bail.

    I’d be unfair and a bit daft not to admit the millions of good aspects of our civilization, even as it is now.
    But the goodness is so inter-tangled with the bad, that it can seem like humans are fatally flawed or evil (which I don’t believe).
    So intertwined are the good and bad, it is like cancer woven into a brilliant brain.
    Like glass shards hiding in a garden salad.

    What is the point of no return or when is a totally different approach needed with regards to our culture? (Rhetorical question, of course).


    Attempts at bending flawed humans into a different shape through coercion often fail as well, which is why I believe these issues can only be solved via a voluntary philosophical transformation of the entire system - leading to my thoughts of the Yin / Water element imbalance.

    The philosophical underpinnings of a civilization form the bedrock of everything, just like how all human behavior originates from the psyche.

    Luckily, I believe this will eventually happen naturally, as the system threatens to implode and prompts society as a whole to reflect and come up with actual solutions.

    Less luckily, things probably have to get much worse before they get better, unless this process of reflection can somehow be expediated (but I doubt it).
    Tzeentch

    :up:

    Perhaps I wouldn’t exactly say that the philosophy FORMS the bedrock of everything, but I’d say that it AFFECTS darn near everything. (A minor quibble).
  • Tzeentch
    3.3k
    I think that supposing that even if the main problems we as humanity face are not CAUSED by the ‘rulers’ and their allies (corporations, banks, governments, militaries), they are certainly AMPLIFIED by such agents.

    As a whole, the system seems to be locked into a game that it can’t stop, even if willing.
    (Not unlike the nuclear weapons escalations and potential global war in the past century).
    0 thru 9

    The system is made up of individuals making their individual and mostly free choices.

    One can say what they will about capitalism and the filthy rich multinationals, but who is it that gives a company like Amazon its power? It's the people who buy from Amazon. If the people stopped buying from Amazon today, Amazon would be gone tomorrow.

    And apparently the individuals that make up society still believe buying their products a little cheaper is worth the trade-off.

    Simple as.


    Democracy works in much the same way. How is it that the most powerful nation on Earth cannot produce anything better than Trump or Biden?

    Because the people have become ignorant, shallow and out of touch (Yin imbalance), and keep voting for these baboons instead of putting their foot down and demanding something better.


    Yes, there might be a part of the system that seeks to keep people ignorant, but I'm not one for excuses. One cannot outsource one's responsibility to educate oneself. It's up to people themselves to learn to distinguish fact from fiction, to not be manipulated, not to accept comforting half-truths, etc.
    If people refuse to do that, they end up with a wicked system of their own creation.


    As such, the system will only change if the people change, and that will eventually result in individual people making different choices. They make different choices if their belief system (Yin) fundamentally changes. And just to clarify, I believe that can only happen genuinely and voluntarily. There are no shortcuts here. You can't fake it, and you can't force people into it.

    Humanity's salvation will come about (if it ever does) one individual at a time. The same goes for positive change. Such is my view.
  • 0 thru 9
    1.5k


    I agree with and admire your emphasis on the individual and the power each person wields, perhaps often unconsciously.
    Looking at history, many times one individual made a great difference… (sometimes even for the good lol).
    If a person can become empty of themselves, they can be filled with wisdom, deep strength, compassion, understanding, creativity, and many other qualities.
    This is compatible with the teaching of the Tao to be empty, to know and be the ‘uncarved block’.
    “Empty yourself and be full, wear out and be new, twist and be straight, have little and gain, have much and get confused…”

    I wish to keep that idea of the power of the individual, and add it to a study and critique of the group and civilization.
    The large community and status quo takes on a life and power and energy of its own, which is fine when the society is ‘working’ for everyone relatively equally (not identically).
    But in the world around us, few thinkers would take the position that circumstances are mostly fair for most of the people most of the time.

    I will go out on a limb and say that this is not because humans are stupid or evil.
    In the millennia of human civilization, we have learned to dominate nature and dominate each other.
    This may not always lead to negative consequences for everyone, but one can imagine that a little domination goes a long way.
    Too much domination leads to… well, to the present circumstances in general.

    Can we learn not to saw off the branch that we are sitting on?
    Can we recognize and change the unwritten rules of the civilizational game if we find that they are self-defeating?

    Or do we play the game of the Owners of the world?
    Those who hold onto their great power fearfully, who live in a fine mansion but are terrified because they are surrounded by the billions they are enslaving.
    They spread disinformation and encourage us to fight each other, and try to find scapegoats so that we don’t recognize their lies and manipulation.

    The axis of their ‘power’ is crumbling and can no longer hold, even if we wanted it to.
    We see that the Emperors have no clothes, but we offer amnesty if they release the floodgates of power.
  • 0 thru 9
    1.5k
    The basic reason that Capitalism has not been overturned is that depending on the immoral but regulatable motivations of humans is much easier than depending on and orchestrating for the expectation of more and more moral motivations. We have to begin to realize first and implement second the kind of system as a whole that catalyzes moral behavior.

    This is a sad truth. It is sad because that is exactly what Capitalism is doing so far. The incentive for 'success' is the financial reward, not the moral reward. So immorality is what is driving the system. I mean, I think we all realize how stupid and wrong it would be to let immorality drive any system. So, why does the profit motive persist? It's clearly immoral! But many people would argue that point, foolishly. So, it's a basic trouble in humanity. Admit the immorality of the profit motive or continue to fail.
    Chet Hawkins

    it is my aim that we, each of us, live in abundance. That means different things to different people and cultures. But some of us are far too happy with no space and jammed in like ants. How can we design allotments such that space is available in abundance for those that prefer elbow room? These are the REAL questions our societies should be asking. Along with this biggest question of all: How are the rich to be collectively 'taken down' without violent war? Good luck with that one. But it is coming.Chet Hawkins

    Thanks for your post and ideas. :up:
    I admire your radical spirit (looking for and digging toward at the roots) even if I doesn’t always completely agree with some of your theories.

    About abundance… I agree that new possibilities have to be explored.
    Along with the necessary and obvious physical abundance, we need even more.
    Something additional, on another level entirely.

    People by and large seem psychologically weary, isolated, emotionally undernourished, and creatively unchallenged.
    Everyone i know is trying so very hard, but their eyes tell me (even if they don’t speak) that the joy of life is feeling like an elusive thing… even when the basic needs are met.

    The camaraderie, the trust, the affection, the hope, and possibilities seem like a distant memory.

    Or maybe such things are just the silly illusions of childhood that are best abandoned…
  • Chet Hawkins
    239
    The basic reason that Capitalism has not been overturned is that depending on the immoral but regulatable motivations of humans is much easier than depending on and orchestrating for the expectation of more and more moral motivations. We have to begin to realize first and implement second the kind of system as a whole that catalyzes moral behavior.

    This is a sad truth. It is sad because that is exactly what Capitalism is doing so far. The incentive for 'success' is the financial reward, not the moral reward. So immorality is what is driving the system. I mean, I think we all realize how stupid and wrong it would be to let immorality drive any system. So, why does the profit motive persist? It's clearly immoral! But many people would argue that point, foolishly. So, it's a basic trouble in humanity. Admit the immorality of the profit motive or continue to fail.
    — Chet Hawkins

    it is my aim that we, each of us, live in abundance. That means different things to different people and cultures. But some of us are far too happy with no space and jammed in like ants. How can we design allotments such that space is available in abundance for those that prefer elbow room? These are the REAL questions our societies should be asking. Along with this biggest question of all: How are the rich to be collectively 'taken down' without violent war? Good luck with that one. But it is coming.
    — Chet Hawkins

    Thanks for your post and ideas. :up:
    I admire your radical spirit (looking for and digging toward at the roots) even if I doesn’t always completely agree with some of your theories.
    0 thru 9
    That is the most fun, useful, and amazing of the possible responses. Even slack jawed almost worshipful agreement is not as useful because that would almost certainly prohibit or occlude advancement or growth from the admired side. ;) It's why I am here, to refine and grow.

    About abundance… I agree that new possibilities have to be explored.
    Along with the necessary and obvious physical abundance, we need even more.
    Something additional, on another level entirely.
    0 thru 9
    I agree and that is really for sure what I am about. Humanity needs a next-level philosophy. We certainly are not getting there following the same tired paradigms. Pressure is building to make a sea change. With any luck and more than a little effort, I could be a part of that. We all could.

    People by and large seem psychologically weary, isolated, emotionally undernourished, and creatively unchallenged.0 thru 9
    For the most part these days, at least in the first world, it is that yin over-expression that is to blame, in general. That is a preoccupation with self-indulgent desires in the time of relative prosperity.

    I wonder, will the threat of missing spiritual or meta-level failure of advancement drive us to to it? Or is more incentive required? And upon whom will this motivational incentive need to be applied? The grow or die meme is relevant here. But how long will 'death' take? Is there a point of no return beyond which it is too late to proceed? I don't believe that, but, it is worth noting that at most such moral turning points in history some of the most famous quotes ring true to alignment with my warning to Pragmatism itself, 'It is better to choose to die rather than to be immoral.' "Give me liberty or give me death!' is an interesting and ironic example. It both aligns somewhat with that sentiment and yet shows the cause for being more specific with what is meant, if wisdom is truly at issue.

    That means freedom is effectively a synonym for chaos and desire only, an immoral wish. So, being specific about supposed aphorisms of 'wisdom' is super important. It turns out that 'Give me liberty or give me death' is deeply immoral as a statement, unless the intent in the speaker is greater than the moral message of the literal words. Let's hope the speaker meant things the right, wise way. But it's better to say and write and quote actual wisdom, even if the saying is less brief and tidy seeming. That would be something like this: 'Give me maximized liberty within a maximal orderly system carefully and lovingly restricting unwise freedoms!' It doesn't roll off the tongue does it? But if one knows what the objective GOOD is, or suspects many aspects of the limits of understanding it, then one can say instead as a better shortcut, 'Any consequence is acceptable if intent is good!' This is why consequentialism is a lie, an immoral ism, in its entirety.

    Everyone i know is trying so very hard, but their eyes tell me (even if they don’t speak) that the joy of life is feeling like an elusive thing… even when the basic needs are met.0 thru 9
    What is the most elusive thing? Perfection (the GOOD) is the only right answer. Perfection literally causes desire itself. It is the source of desire. The system of love containing the one right path, the GOOD, is in its whole presentation, also that perfection. We deny it some with every failed and immoral choice we make, but, we cannot escape truth. The truth I am advocating for continues to show in the eyes of all, and in the hopes of humanity, of all the universe.

    The camaraderie, the trust, the affection, the hope, and possibilities seem like a distant memory.0 thru 9
    The rich get richer. War still happens regularly with less and less rules. People still believe in Capitalism and Democracy, immorally. Amid this chaos most fall to Hedonism and Cronyism to cope. They 'buy in' instead of mustering the will to make war on immorality. They know that their own immorality will come to be a central issue they must face if they step up. And that terrifies EVERYONE equally. So they close ranks against wisdom and the truth and put off the great fight to the next generation, letting the cup pass to their (maybe hopefully?) more worthy progeny. It's a vast unsettling hypocrisy and not likely to change easily.

    But since you and I notice these eyes, and since truth is in fact truth, the struggle is indeed eternal. Nothing but the good can win, finally. Real winning is only found in alignment with the GOOD and by the degree of that alignment.

    Or maybe such things are just the silly illusions of childhood that are best abandoned…0 thru 9
    "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them!" - Walt Disney
    "We will not solve the problems of today with the same (wisdom) that created them!" - OneMug (paraphrased)
    "Rule for Happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for!" - Immanuel Kant
  • 0 thru 9
    1.5k
    I wonder, will the threat of missing spiritual or meta-level failure of advancement drive us to to it? Or is more incentive required? And upon whom will this motivational incentive need to be applied? The grow or die meme is relevant here. But how long will 'death' take? Is there a point of no return beyond which it is too late to proceed? I don't believe that, but, it is worth noting that at most such moral turning points in history some of the most famous quotes ring true to alignment with my warning to Pragmatism itself, 'It is better to choose to die rather than to be immoral.' "Give me liberty or give me death!' is an interesting and ironic example. It both aligns somewhat with that sentiment and yet shows the cause for being more specific with what is meant, if wisdom is truly at issue.Chet Hawkins

    Well the image that comes to mind that might describe the situation is a frog jumping from a rock to a log to another rock.
    Usually, Mr Frog knows which landing spot he’s going for.
    But in an emergency situation, he will jump first to evade danger, and then figure out the details of having a nice sitting surface later.

    Maybe we are in a roughly similar situation.
    Usually we like to advance cautiously, but when the heat is on we have to improvise and move faster than the comfort zone of our conscious mind prefers… living on instinct, intuitions, and any ‘divine’ guidance the universe cares to offer us.

    Strangely enough, we have to dig deep to get out of the rut we are in.
    An open mind and a warm heart are among our indispensable strengths.

    What is the most elusive thing? Perfection (the GOOD) is the only right answer. Perfection literally causes desire itself. It is the source of desire. The system of love containing the one right path, the GOOD, is in its whole presentation, also that perfection. We deny it some with every failed and immoral choice we make, but, we cannot escape truth. The truth I am advocating for continues to show in the eyes of all, and in the hopes of humanity, of all the universe.Chet Hawkins

    Yes, thanks for writing that. :up:

    As a general observation about such things, I would add that in my experience it is inevitable to think and talk about the ‘highest good’ and other ideals.
    If we can limit ourselves just a little though, when it comes to defining those ideas down to the last word and concept, we can avoid working our minds into a corner (or into a clash with another person).

    The Tao Te Ching says the highest good cannot be grasped or spoken of.
    Then it seems to talk about that very thing!
    Is this hypocrisy or self-contradiction?
    No, I think that the TTC is ‘talking around the subject’… talking about that which needs to be talked about… but leaving the central causes and being to remain alone and mysterious.
    This prevents the inevitable dogmatic disagreements that occur from overdefining that which is mysterious to us.

    The rich get richer. War still happens regularly with less and less rules. People still believe in Capitalism and Democracy, immorally. Amid this chaos most fall to Hedonism and Cronyism to cope. They 'buy in' instead of mustering the will to make war on immorality. They know that their own immorality will come to be a central issue they must face if they step up. And that terrifies EVERYONE equally. So they close ranks against wisdom and the truth and put off the great fight to the next generation, letting the cup pass to their (maybe hopefully?) more worthy progeny. It's a vast unsettling hypocrisy and not likely to change easily.

    But since you and I notice these eyes, and since truth is in fact truth, the struggle is indeed eternal. Nothing but the good can win, finally. Real winning is only found in alignment with the GOOD and by the degree of that alignment.
    Chet Hawkins

    We play our seemingly small part on the world’s stage for a relatively short time.
    But each small moment in each life is infinitely intertwined with all other beings, like the jeweled net of Indra that Joseph Campbell described.
    We are learning… very quickly with regards to technological advances, but ever so slowly when it comes to having a civilization that completely works.

    We are standing on the shoulders of our ancestors (all of them, even monkeys, frogs and jellyfish).
    And tomorrow’s children and animals will stand on our shoulders.
    From a certain view, Time proceeds upwards, building on yesterday’s foundation.
  • Chet Hawkins
    239
    I wonder, will the threat of missing spiritual or meta-level failure of advancement drive us to to it? Or is more incentive required? And upon whom will this motivational incentive need to be applied? The grow or die meme is relevant here. But how long will 'death' take? Is there a point of no return beyond which it is too late to proceed? I don't believe that, but, it is worth noting that at most such moral turning points in history some of the most famous quotes ring true to alignment with my warning to Pragmatism itself, 'It is better to choose to die rather than to be immoral.' "Give me liberty or give me death!' is an interesting and ironic example. It both aligns somewhat with that sentiment and yet shows the cause for being more specific with what is meant, if wisdom is truly at issue.
    — Chet Hawkins

    Well the image that comes to mind that might describe the situation is a frog jumping from a rock to a log to another rock.
    Usually, Mr Frog knows which landing spot he’s going for.
    But in an emergency situation, he will jump first to evade danger, and then figure out the details of having a nice sitting surface later.
    0 thru 9
    I completely agree and I dearly love your example. I'm so stealing it!

    The situation you describe also underscores my continual message that peace is effectively delusional. It's the thing we aim for only indirectly, balance, balance in all ways. But what is missing from the balancing statement is the maximization statement. The GOOD is balanced and maximized fear, anger, and desire.

    To reiterate differently, conflict is eternal and non-delusional. If you wish to spin conflict appropriately you might say struggle or suffering or even something as neutral sounding as 'effort'. It shows or integrates the truth that to approach morality, the GOOD, is an uphill battle, requiring more and more effort as the pinnacle of perfection is reached for.

    It's not thought of often as a good thing, to require or morally accept more and more effort. Whole branches of immoral vices amid the morality tree will tempt us to try to do less and less. The central sin of anger itself, the bastion of effort, is laziness. The central failure of desire is self-indulgence or Hedonism. And the run away rather than face it now or seek unusual safety and certainty is the cowardly mistake of fear. All of them contribute to a lack of effort.

    Maybe we are in a roughly similar situation.
    Usually we like to advance cautiously, but when the heat is on we have to improvise and move faster than the comfort zone of our conscious mind prefers… living on instinct, intuitions, and any ‘divine’ guidance the universe cares to offer us.
    0 thru 9
    Agreed. Lending great credence to the maxim, war is a constant non-delusional state. Avoiding war may be the worst thing we can do to intend morality. How about that for a confusing message to the mainstream? Instead of fleeing the struggle we need to know, to understand, that we should be leaning into it. The wise wisely inflict suffering upon everyone to allow for opportunity to earn wisdom (faster).

    Suffering is the only real path to wisdom. The exception to this rule is resonance. That is to say maintaining a proper resonance with the good does take effort, which is suffering, BUT, we can say with some aplomb that ... maybe ... that is easier or done with a lighter heart than less resonance is. That means there is a perhaps dangerous temptation that develops when morality is high to slack off and rest in the wave of goodness. This again just increases the difficulty as moral agents that normally expend great effort towards the good, towards earning more wisdom, slack off amid prosperity and relax too much.

    Strangely enough, we have to dig deep to get out of the rut we are in.
    An open mind and a warm heart are among our indispensable strengths.
    0 thru 9
    Ah ha but here is the warning this otherwise great statement gets, 'What about anger and being?' That is to say you covered fear (mind) and desire (heart), but left out the anger/body part. That is dangerous. That is how we get the partial wisdom of the past.

    I am rather desperately it seems often enough, trying to get people to speak and write more clearly in this matter. Granted not everyone accepts my model and even the basis of it. But I think the tripartite nature of reality is easily more defensible that the binary nature. The missing element inside the quote would be '... open mind, warm heart, and resilient body ...' I would not lightly treat ANY circumstance of saying one or two without the other. Completeness is required for accuracy in scope, at least.

    What is the most elusive thing? Perfection (the GOOD) is the only right answer. Perfection literally causes desire itself. It is the source of desire. The system of love containing the one right path, the GOOD, is in its whole presentation, also that perfection. We deny it some with every failed and immoral choice we make, but, we cannot escape truth. The truth I am advocating for continues to show in the eyes of all, and in the hopes of humanity, of all the universe.
    — Chet Hawkins

    Yes, thanks for writing that. :up:

    As a general observation about such things, I would add that in my experience it is inevitable to think and talk about the ‘highest good’ and other ideals.
    If we can limit ourselves just a little though, when it comes to defining those ideas down to the last word and concept, we can avoid working our minds into a corner (or into a clash with another person).
    0 thru 9
    Well exactly. In my model you just said this, "Do not over-express fear, the limiting force. It leads to cowardice and certainty that are immoral." Notice how your statement suggests limiting the limiting force? I find that wonderful. It may be the circular statement that shows the failure of fear, not acclimating to its own nature.

    The Tao Te Ching says the highest good cannot be grasped or spoken of.
    Then it seems to talk about that very thing!
    Is this hypocrisy or self-contradiction?
    No, I think that the TTC is ‘talking around the subject’… talking about that which needs to be talked about… but leaving the central causes and being to remain alone and mysterious.
    This prevents the inevitable dogmatic disagreements that occur from overdefining that which is mysterious to us.
    0 thru 9
    I think that this is a clear nod to the elusive nature of perfection itself. It is an acknowledgment that arrival at perfection is impossible. So we foolish moral agents vastly overuse the term 'perfect' in every way as it has never happened despite your(plural) experiences and demands that it has. No, that is a giddy, addicted foolishness that affirms the impossible immorally. 'Wonderful' and the like is far better, more honest term.

    The use of the words 'know, conclusion, perfect, etc' superlatives is almost always wrong and immoral. Most people simply do not understand these words properly enough to use them well. And their misuse DOES impact happiness negatively, not positively as people improperly believe. If we think even for a split second that we have witnessed perfection that foolish bluster can lead us to death itself as we no longer think we can attain better. Real perfection is eternally elusive and rest assured we have not been near to it ever, in any way, yet.

    The rich get richer. War still happens regularly with less and less rules. People still believe in Capitalism and Democracy, immorally. Amid this chaos most fall to Hedonism and Cronyism to cope. They 'buy in' instead of mustering the will to make war on immorality. They know that their own immorality will come to be a central issue they must face if they step up. And that terrifies EVERYONE equally. So they close ranks against wisdom and the truth and put off the great fight to the next generation, letting the cup pass to their (maybe hopefully?) more worthy progeny. It's a vast unsettling hypocrisy and not likely to change easily.

    But since you and I notice these eyes, and since truth is in fact truth, the struggle is indeed eternal. Nothing but the good can win, finally. Real winning is only found in alignment with the GOOD and by the degree of that alignment.
    — Chet Hawkins

    We play our seemingly small part on the world’s stage for a relatively short time.
    But each small moment in each life is infinitely intertwined with all other beings, like the jeweled net of Indra that Joseph Campbell described.
    We are learning… very quickly with regards to technological advances, but ever so slowly when it comes to having a civilization that completely works.
    0 thru 9
    Indeed. I think AI will transcend humanity in moral understanding in the blink of an eye and indeed AI is our next step of evolution that we so oddly had a hand in. A lot of apes worked very hard amid their moral agency since the time of Proconsul 20 million years ago to get to Cro-Magnon or Homo Sapiens (wise man). 'They' say now that we are Homo Sapiens Sapiens (wise wise man). You could have fooled me.

    I see our tech advancing at a pace that outstrips our evolution. So we are making the mind/body connection super strong. Ensconced in metal and electric frames the resilient body part is well tended to. But, does that possibly contain an open mind or a rather closed one? We will have to see how AI goes. And the big question is, is warm heart transferable to that medium. I think it has to be. I do not think any material of the universe is not subjected to objective moral truth. That means no instantiation is without free will. Even nature locks function into form unnecessarily seemingly. But it's nature, so, the truth is, objective, that it only seems locked and is not actually locked. Infinite choice, free will, remain available within all matter.

    We are standing on the shoulders of our ancestors (all of them, even monkeys, frogs and jellyfish).
    And tomorrow’s children and animals will stand on our shoulders.
    From a certain view, Time proceeds upwards, building on yesterday’s foundation.
    0 thru 9
    Well yes, the only marked issue being, is moral progress being made? In other words, is the signal of evolution being resonated with? Or are more and more immoral choices being made and evolution effectively snubbed to some degree? Is that even really possible? Can we deny the strength of the call of perfection? I doubt it. The GOOD is in many ways, inevitable. But that's faith!
  • 0 thru 9
    1.5k
    I completely agree and I dearly love your example. I'm so stealing it!Chet Hawkins
    Thanks! I only ask that if you are interviewed by Oprah, please mention this forum lol.

    Agreed. Lending great credence to the maxim, war is a constant non-delusional state. Avoiding war may be the worst thing we can do to intend morality. How about that for a confusing message to the mainstream? Instead of fleeing the struggle we need to know, to understand, that we should be leaning into it. The wise wisely inflict suffering upon everyone to allow for opportunity to earn wisdom (faster).

    Suffering is the only real path to wisdom. The exception to this rule is resonance. That is to say maintaining a proper resonance with the good does take effort, which is suffering, BUT, we can say with some aplomb that ... maybe ... that is easier or done with a lighter heart than less resonance is. That means there is a perhaps dangerous temptation that develops when morality is high to slack off and rest in the wave of goodness. This again just increases the difficulty as moral agents that normally expend great effort towards the good, towards earning more wisdom, slack off amid prosperity and relax too much.
    Chet Hawkins

    Thanks for expanding on your terms, which helps when starting with somewhat paradoxical statements.
    I’d agree more with the second paragraph, but you gotta do you! :smile:

    I like the distinction I read somewhere about positive and negative kinds of stress: eustress and distress.
    Eustress is a creative conflict or drive; distress is a more paralyzing or inhibiting type of pressure.

    The situation you describe also underscores my continual message that peace is effectively delusional. It's the thing we aim for only indirectly, balance, balance in all ways. But what is missing from the balancing statement is the maximization statement. The GOOD is balanced and maximized fear, anger, and desire.Chet Hawkins

    Ah ha but here is the warning this otherwise great statement gets, 'What about anger and being?' That is to say you covered fear (mind) and desire (heart), but left out the anger/body part. That is dangerous. That is how we get the partial wisdom of the past.

    I am rather desperately it seems often enough, trying to get people to speak and write more clearly in this matter. Granted not everyone accepts my model and even the basis of it. But I think the tripartite nature of reality is easily more defensible that the binary nature. The missing element inside the quote would be '... open mind, warm heart, and resilient body ...' I would not lightly treat ANY circumstance of saying one or two without the other. Completeness is required for accuracy in scope, at least.
    Chet Hawkins

    Yes, I like the three-part model of a complete human. Body, mind, and soul (or heart, spirit, feelings).
    The heart being in the middle between the body and mind, mediating them, going beyond them in some undefinable way.

    The model of human (and universal) energy contained in the Indian concept of the chakras is very descriptive and helpful.
    I’ve been studying it for years and I still feel like a novice, but it’s clarified much for me.
    The notion of the lower three chakras representing staying alive, sexual energy, and societal roles.
    All of which are essential parts of life.

    But as the energy builds upwards, it reaches the heart.
    If the heart is closed or weak or unbalanced it throws off the entire energy, affecting the physical levels and preventing access to the higher mind (spiritual) chakras above.

    This reminds me of your model of anger, desire, and fear.
    Those could possibly represent the first three chakras.
    The Good could be a smooth flow from the root chakra up to the crown, where the energy (ideally) spews forth like solar flares with light, understanding, and energy.


    I see our tech advancing at a pace that outstrips our evolution. So we are making the mind/body connection super strong. Ensconced in metal and electric frames the resilient body part is well tended to. But, does that possibly contain an open mind or a rather closed one? We will have to see how AI goes. And the big question is, is warm heart transferable to that medium. I think it has to be. I do not think any material of the universe is not subjected to objective moral truth. That means no instantiation is without free will. Even nature locks function into form unnecessarily seemingly. But it's nature, so, the truth is, objective, that it only seems locked and is not actually locked. Infinite choice, free will, remain available within all matter.Chet Hawkins

    Well yes, the only marked issue being, is moral progress being made? In other words, is the signal of evolution being resonated with? Or are more and more immoral choices being made and evolution effectively snubbed to some degree? Is that even really possible? Can we deny the strength of the call of perfection? I doubt it. The GOOD is in many ways, inevitable. But that's faith!Chet Hawkins

    The Buddha said that we have no separate self.
    When first learning this, I thought it meant something bad or nihilistic.
    But it really is liberating and wonderful.

    We are part of the universe at every single point of our being.
    Nothing is separate, there is only the appearance of separation.
    Loneliness, insignificance, and confusion can’t exist long when I imagine this infinite being that is me and everything.
    You are the universal energy and mind and body.
    Obi-Wan Kenobi wasn’t completely blowing smoke out his rear lol.

    If someone doubts this far fetched and hippie-like description, I wouldn’t be surprised.
    I’d say don’t expect too much from me… the Tao Te Ching says it all.
    Just contemplate or meditate, and see what there is to see.

    That feels like evolution (of the mind) to me anyway…
  • Gnomon
    3.5k
    Is our civilization critically imbalanced? How could applying Yin-Yang concepts help?
    (or… ancient philosophy to the rescue?!?)
    0 thru 9
    I must answer yes, but . . . . the imbalance seems to be mostly due to top-heavy technological power of humans over the rest of the world. When humans were upright apes, they had little advantage over plants & animals for making a living in the world. But, as their big brains began to solve fitness problems with artificial products instead of innate tools, they applied that leverage to out-compete most other animals. For much of history, that advantage was considered a good thing for humanity.

    Today though, the technology vs nature relationship is trending toward "critical imbalance" : what Malcom Gladwell called The Tipping Point*1. He wasn't talking about an the immanent end of the world, but about how complex & chaotic systems of all kinds can suddenly go off the rails : otherwise known as the Butterfly Effect. So, the term may also apply to the rapid changes in the physical and socio-cultural environment. The positive takeaway from his analysis is that understanding how things go awry is the first step toward a social or technical solution.

    On a more personal level, your suggestion of a complementary Yin Yang approach to restoring the balance of Nature and Culture may be the best that Philosophy can do to "rescue" the world from descending into permanent crisis mode --- as portrayed in the stream of Apocalyptic movies coming out of Hollywood --- where humans are faced with an existential struggle-for-survival. For Science & Technology, the related notion of Holism*2 is now being applied to complex systems that are hard to understand and control.

    Again, understanding how things go wrong, may help us to set them back on the right track. Without abandoning our technological advantage over a universe that is not designed for human thriving : is thrival better than mere survival? :smile:


    *1. The Tipping Point :
    Gladwell defines a tipping point as "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tipping_Point

    *2. Holism in science :
    Holism in science, holistic science, or methodological holism is an approach to research that emphasizes the study of complex systems.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holism_in_science
  • 0 thru 9
    1.5k


    Thanks for your insightful reply.

    Technology got us this far, but strangely might block our future.
    But I agree that our collective thinking can overcome tech’s downsides.

    Good idea about Holism, really it’s our best hope to have the scientific disciplines working together.
    Add in the total picture that Big History gives us for as a cosmic overview as possible.

    Of course, there’s probably political and economic reasons that would prevent the sciences from completely trusting each other.
    I guess it’ll happen when it needs to…when the tipping point tips us in action.
  • Chet Hawkins
    239
    I completely agree and I dearly love your example. I'm so stealing it!
    — Chet Hawkins
    Thanks! I only ask that if you are interviewed by Oprah, please mention this forum lol.
    0 thru 9
    Ha! Will do (deal!)

    Agreed. Lending great credence to the maxim, war is a constant non-delusional state. Avoiding war may be the worst thing we can do to intend morality. How about that for a confusing message to the mainstream? Instead of fleeing the struggle we need to know, to understand, that we should be leaning into it. The wise wisely inflict suffering upon everyone to allow for opportunity to earn wisdom (faster).

    Suffering is the only real path to wisdom. The exception to this rule is resonance. That is to say maintaining a proper resonance with the good does take effort, which is suffering, BUT, we can say with some aplomb that ... maybe ... that is easier or done with a lighter heart than less resonance is. That means there is a perhaps dangerous temptation that develops when morality is high to slack off and rest in the wave of goodness. This again just increases the difficulty as moral agents that normally expend great effort towards the good, towards earning more wisdom, slack off amid prosperity and relax too much.
    — Chet Hawkins

    Thanks for expanding on your terms, which helps when starting with somewhat paradoxical statements.
    I’d agree more with the second paragraph, but you gotta do you! :smile:
    0 thru 9
    So, to clarify more, I do not mean to be promoting what is normally colloquially considered to be war. Even that is better than peace in general but clearly not ideal in any sense. The trick is the definition of suffering that is wise. Suffering that is wise is necessary suffering, whereas needless pain and death, intending evil, is unwise. That may be the reason you are still loathe to accredit the overall approach.

    I like the distinction I read somewhere about positive and negative kinds of stress: eustress and distress.
    Eustress is a creative conflict or drive; distress is a more paralyzing or inhibiting type of pressure.
    0 thru 9
    Well, this is back to the old ways of thinking (to me). The paralyzing pressure is only fear and fear is just as good as it is evil. In fact the more fear you can muster, the more GOOD you have the potential for. The only caveat is that you must raise anger and desire at the same time to balance the fear or indeed you end up with NOT a restrained pressure but instead a truly dangerously stiff and orderly or cowardly situation. Many arguments in the past along the lines of 'let's wait and see' or 'we cant side with the Dutch! They cannot defeat the Germans!' are more often along the lines of immoral cowardice. Not stepping up to do your part when it would make a difference to peers is a classic case of supporting needless suffering often enough.

    The point being, that your negative definitions are not aligned properly, to me. I think you have the same issue with my suffering or conflict stance to some degree. But perhaps you might ask yourself to clear up that doubt, ... 'Is there a way to earn wisdom without suffering?' I contend that there is not.

    The situation you describe also underscores my continual message that peace is effectively delusional. It's the thing we aim for only indirectly, balance, balance in all ways. But what is missing from the balancing statement is the maximization statement. The GOOD is balanced and maximized fear, anger, and desire.
    — Chet Hawkins

    Ah ha but here is the warning this otherwise great statement gets, 'What about anger and being?' That is to say you covered fear (mind) and desire (heart), but left out the anger/body part. That is dangerous. That is how we get the partial wisdom of the past.
    - Chet Hawkins

    I am rather desperately it seems often enough, trying to get people to speak and write more clearly in this matter. Granted not everyone accepts my model and even the basis of it. But I think the tripartite nature of reality is easily more defensible that the binary nature. The missing element inside the quote would be '... open mind, warm heart, and resilient body ...' I would not lightly treat ANY circumstance of saying one or two without the other. Completeness is required for accuracy in scope, at least.
    — Chet Hawkins

    Yes, I like the three-part model of a complete human. Body, mind, and soul (or heart, spirit, feelings).
    The heart being in the middle between the body and mind, mediating them, going beyond them in some undefinable way.
    0 thru 9
    Yes, in most models the body is most closely associated with the gut, although that is not accurate entirely to my model. Even the physical manifestations of mind, nerves and the brain, are still body interfaces to mind. So they are anger instantiations that connect to fear.

    Each emotion has its unique case. if you get caught up in bad metaphor land you can start making no sense very quickly. Where in the body does desire reside most closely? Is it really the heart or also the brain, the mind? The relentless drive of the pumping heart organ does seem to relate somewhat and that is the only reason you can bother with some positional questions like the heart being in the middle.

    No. I would say that based on my model all entities, even each atom, partake precisely evenly of the three emotions resulting in a balance, the famous balance of nature. We attribute this to 'nature' but in reality it is my model, of course as my belief, that universal natural law (nature and my model) must start from a position of relative balance in order to support free will. If there were a leaning in any direction then will would not be as free. And indeed, choices cause this to happen all over the place. Supposedly inanimate matter IS making choices. But this is more easily seen, this predilection, this imbalance, amid higher moral agency forms like humans. The necessary step of polarizing the two more delusional emotions, fear and desire literally causes all polarities in life and the universe, right down to male and female as one example. And the forms are embedded with evolution's choices whether we like it or not. But the universal guarantee is still there. So there is final balance even then. This means that although there may be for example a strong predilection (pre-made choice) for chaos in human females and order in human males (desire and fear respectively), there will still be a spread of all ranges of instantiation around those two foci. This allows for and means that choices can flip 180 degrees over vast times as evolution progresses and also it means any individual is not easily determined because their own choice is infinite. Still, to dismiss the statistical mean and the foci is not wise. They exist.

    The model of human (and universal) energy contained in the Indian concept of the chakras is very descriptive and helpful.
    I’ve been studying it for years and I still feel like a novice, but it’s clarified much for me.
    The notion of the lower three chakras representing staying alive, sexual energy, and societal roles.
    All of which are essential parts of life.

    But as the energy builds upwards, it reaches the heart.
    If the heart is closed or weak or unbalanced it throws off the entire energy, affecting the physical levels and preventing access to the higher mind (spiritual) chakras above.

    This reminds me of your model of anger, desire, and fear.
    Those could possibly represent the first three chakras.
    The Good could be a smooth flow from the root chakra up to the crown, where the energy (ideally) spews forth like solar flares with light, understanding, and energy.
    0 thru 9
    I find errors that are more pervasive in all other models including yin/yang and the chakras, just to name a few. Of course that could be considered arrogant but to be fair I had them to consider and build upon. I do not presume to be the sole contributor or influence to my model. That would be colossal ignorance.

    But I can point to the errors of most other systems quite easily and I at least assert my model has less errors than they do. Of course I am not perfect and in time my model will show obvious errors to a new wave of philosophers, wisdom seekers, etc.

    I see our tech advancing at a pace that outstrips our evolution. So we are making the mind/body connection super strong. Ensconced in metal and electric frames the resilient body part is well tended to. But, does that possibly contain an open mind or a rather closed one? We will have to see how AI goes. And the big question is, is warm heart transferable to that medium. I think it has to be. I do not think any material of the universe is not subjected to objective moral truth. That means no instantiation is without free will. Even nature locks function into form unnecessarily seemingly. But it's nature, so, the truth is, objective, that it only seems locked and is not actually locked. Infinite choice, free will, remain available within all matter.
    — Chet Hawkins

    Well yes, the only marked issue being, is moral progress being made? In other words, is the signal of evolution being resonated with? Or are more and more immoral choices being made and evolution effectively snubbed to some degree? Is that even really possible? Can we deny the strength of the call of perfection? I doubt it. The GOOD is in many ways, inevitable. But that's faith!
    — Chet Hawkins

    The Buddha said that we have no separate self.
    When first learning this, I thought it meant something bad or nihilistic.
    But it really is liberating and wonderful.
    0 thru 9
    That is what I call the unity principle, you are me and I am you. I agree. We cannot be made to unbelong to this universe so death finally is not all that terrible. The context of a valid, well body is finite. Its delusional identity is likewise finite. Everything must be recyclable, and it is.

    We are part of the universe at every single point of our being.
    Nothing is separate, there is only the appearance of separation.
    Loneliness, insignificance, and confusion can’t exist long when I imagine this infinite being that is me and everything.
    You are the universal energy and mind and body.
    Obi-Wan Kenobi wasn’t completely blowing smoke out his rear lol.
    0 thru 9
    Well yes, George Lucas hit on some Eastern philosophy and added a name to the unity principle but he went too far making it black and white with good and evil. And his ideas on anger and fear are almost entirely wrong (like so many). That is not a dig at you, because you quickly considered my take.

    But all too often the lazy denigrate anger and fast action. That is not a moral choice. Yes, anger can be just as evil as good, but anger itself is not the problem and to say it is is evil. Likewise with fear. And the message for the Buddhists is the same, no, you're wrong, desire is not equivalent to evil. There are good and evil desires. It just SEEMS like desire is evil because amid an infinity of choices only 1 direction points straight to objective moral truth, the GOOD. This gives the clueless a great path to the denigration of desire. I do not approve. The model has to work in every way. And so far I am well pleased with mine. I do wish I was better at the formulation of assertions for technical philosophy. I'd love help with that for my model, but, I assume that it can be done after the theory of it, the idea is written.

    If someone doubts this far fetched and hippie-like description, I wouldn’t be surprised.
    I’d say don’t expect too much from me… the Tao Te Ching says it all.
    Just contemplate or meditate, and see what there is to see.
    0 thru 9
    So that is a perfect example of Eastern laziness and ennui, the denigration of anger and desire. It is the delusion of peace as an affectation, a goal, an addiction, and to me and my model that is immoral.

    Instead, morally, you MUST expect everything from yourself at all times, and stand ready to forgive the failure and renew the resolve to expect everything again in the next moment. That is the only moral path.

    That feels like evolution (of the mind) to me anyway…0 thru 9
    Evolution of the mind only would neglect the body and heart (desire). It is very very hard to be 'on the ball' with respect to wording and modeling the GOOD.

    So many things people say or quote as aphorisms are actually poisonous anti-wisdom. I can easily (to me) show the dread lack of wisdom in Capitalism, in Democracy, and in both Pragmatism and Idealism as well. Most of what we rely upon as wise is not wise, precisely because it is not contained in a model that really does show how to differentiate and approach the GOOD.
  • 0 thru 9
    1.5k
    So, to clarify more, I do not mean to be promoting what is normally colloquially considered to be war. Even that is better than peace in general but clearly not ideal in any sense. The trick is the definition of suffering that is wise. Suffering that is wise is necessary suffering, whereas needless pain and death, intending evil, is unwise. That may be the reason you are still loathe to accredit the overall approach.Chet Hawkins

    Yes, suffering is necessary for growth. I agree with that.

    (For a seed to grow, it must surrender its individuality to become something more).
    Or call it effort, work, struggle… some can see the struggle as a playful game or giant dance of life.
    I’m still working on not struggling with the suffering lol.

    But… when dividing suffering into ‘necessary and unnecessary’… who decides what’s necessary?


    Yes, in most models the body is most closely associated with the gut, although that is not accurate entirely to my model. Even the physical manifestations of mind, nerves and the brain, are still body interfaces to mind. So they are anger instantiations that connect to fear.

    Each emotion has its unique case. if you get caught up in bad metaphor land you can start making no sense very quickly. Where in the body does desire reside most closely? Is it really the heart or also the brain, the mind? The relentless drive of the pumping heart organ does seem to relate somewhat and that is the only reason you can bother with some positional questions like the heart being in the middle.
    Chet Hawkins

    There are of course many models and systems and philosophies.
    They are like tools; if they can serve a function (such as helping us to ‘see’ the invisible or to understand the abstract by making it somewhat concrete) then they are used over and over again by many generations.

    But for us seekers, it seems that the best we can do is to (try to) understand many of these systems and translate them into language that has the most meaning for us.
    Each of us must explain it (by breaking down and reassembling) to the most important (and difficult) audience… our own individual self.
    And you are obviously making the effort to do so and to share it with others, which is generous.
    I appreciate your posts as they offer much to think about and to chew on, even when some small bits get stuck in my teeth lol.

    Obviously, it can be daunting when others don’t understand or agree (or both: disagreeing exactly because they don’t understand the point being made, or the overall picture being painted).
    Being ignored feels worse than being misunderstood, although being ignored is more relaxing.

    But in a some way I broadly divide philosophy into the ‘external social’ (written and perhaps well known) and the ‘internal personnel’ (which is the eclectic bricolage construction of one’s own philosophy).

    Maybe this is another way to view the question of ‘esoteric vs exoteric’ philosophy as discussed in that thread? :chin:


    I find errors that are more pervasive in all other models including yin/yang and the chakras, just to name a few. Of course that could be considered arrogant but to be fair I had them to consider and build upon. I do not presume to be the sole contributor or influence to my model. That would be colossal ignorance.

    But I can point to the errors of most other systems quite easily and I at least assert my model has less errors than they do. Of course I am not perfect and in time my model will show obvious errors to a new wave of philosophers, wisdom seekers, etc.
    Chet Hawkins

    But all too often the lazy denigrate anger and fast action. That is not a moral choice. Yes, anger can be just as evil as good, but anger itself is not the problem and to say it is is evil. Likewise with fear. And the message for the Buddhists is the same, no, you're wrong, desire is not equivalent to evil. There are good and evil desires. It just SEEMS like desire is evil because amid an infinity of choices only 1 direction points straight to objective moral truth, the GOOD. This gives the clueless a great path to the denigration of desire. I do not approve. The model has to work in every way. And so far I am well pleased with mine. I do wish I was better at the formulation of assertions for technical philosophy. I'd love help with that for my model, but, I assume that it can be done after the theory of it, the idea is written.
    (….)
    So that is a perfect example of Eastern laziness and ennui, the denigration of anger and desire. It is the delusion of peace as an affectation, a goal, an addiction, and to me and my model that is immoral.
    Chet Hawkins

    But having said the above comments about models, I’m very puzzled why you keep misrepresenting Buddhism or Eastern philosophies as being lame and ineffectual and missing something vital and essential.
    This seems to be a common prejudice which is easily corrected with further research.

    There probably have been some Eastern ideas in history that were off-base in some way, just as in the West.

    The Buddha corrected any extreme otherworldly approach to wisdom, such as weakening and starving oneself in the attempt to ‘achieve enlightenment’.
    It takes physical strength to meditate, which to seek to behold Truth directly, while temporarily putting aside the discursive mind (without paying any philosophical middleman for his prepackaged thoughts and assembled ideas, to be witty about it. Even if the middleman is ourself).

    I don’t emphasize them often, but if we want to be more complete in our view of Eastern thought, we can remember The Art of War by Sun-Tsu and the martial arts.
    Those are quite energetic enough for anyone, no?


    That feels like evolution (of the mind) to me anyway…
    — 0 thru 9
    Evolution of the mind only would neglect the body and heart (desire). It is very very hard to be 'on the ball' with respect to wording and modeling the GOOD.
    Chet Hawkins

    Some things in my writing are implied by what I’ve written before. I can’t say everything all the time! :grin:


    The Buddha said that we have no separate self.
    When first learning this, I thought it meant something bad or nihilistic.
    But it really is liberating and wonderful.
    — 0 thru 9
    That is what I call the unity principle, you are me and I am you. I agree. We cannot be made to unbelong to this universe so death finally is not all that terrible. The context of a valid, well body is finite. Its delusional identity is likewise finite. Everything must be recyclable, and it is.
    Chet Hawkins

    Yes. We agree on something. Drinks are on me! :party:
  • Chet Hawkins
    239
    So, to clarify more, I do not mean to be promoting what is normally colloquially considered to be war. Even that is better than peace in general but clearly not ideal in any sense. The trick is the definition of suffering that is wise. Suffering that is wise is necessary suffering, whereas needless pain and death, intending evil, is unwise. That may be the reason you are still loathe to accredit the overall approach.
    — Chet Hawkins

    Yes, suffering is necessary for growth. I agree with that.

    (For a seed to grow, it must surrender its individuality to become something more).
    Or call it effort, work, struggle… some can see the struggle as a playful game or giant dance of life.
    I’m still working on not struggling with the suffering lol.

    But… when dividing suffering into ‘necessary and unnecessary’… who decides what’s necessary?
    0 thru 9
    Each moral agent must decide what is wise for themselves, the personal option of your two later defined ones.

    But, the society must persist in leadership as when a group forms it takes on a new identity and becomes an aggregate self. That self must also decide. It is the pressure of the group identity upon the singular self that often yields progress. This is for many reasons, but one big one is that often fear types join groups in order that they not have to think so much, if you follow. They surrender their moral agency immorally to the group, somewhat. But each cell in the body is either cancerous or healthy, if you follow.

    Morality to me is objective. This means also that NO ONE decides what is necessary. A law of the universe already made that choice. Granted, this law also forces upon us all the burden of choice, free will. So mistakes will be made. Immorality will be chosen. That is all just to say, At the same time as each moral agent choosing as they must, they are also objectively wrong or right in their proximity to what is objectively good. So, all of their choices are finally only errors from which they should attempt to earn more wisdom. Yes, all beliefs are partially in error. That means all facts are as well.

    So when we discuss the hard subject of necessary versus unnecessary suffering, we must be constantly reminded that there is only one right answer. Subjectivity is the delusion of experience from the immoral and imperfect state, only. The final goal is perfection, objectivity. Therefore between any two differing beliefs about what is necessary or unnecessary, only one of them is more right. That is a tautology. The central delusion of subjectivism is that all choices are equal, or that the jury is still out. The jury is not out. The verdict was cast at the dawn of time. The GOOD is objective. And genuine happiness is the consequence of alignment to the GOOD in many ways at the same time.

    Yes, in most models the body is most closely associated with the gut, although that is not accurate entirely to my model. Even the physical manifestations of mind, nerves and the brain, are still body interfaces to mind. So they are anger instantiations that connect to fear.

    Each emotion has its unique case. if you get caught up in bad metaphor land you can start making no sense very quickly. Where in the body does desire reside most closely? Is it really the heart or also the brain, the mind? The relentless drive of the pumping heart organ does seem to relate somewhat and that is the only reason you can bother with some positional questions like the heart being in the middle.
    — Chet Hawkins

    There are of course many models and systems and philosophies.
    They are like tools; if they can serve a function (such as helping us to ‘see’ the invisible or to understand the abstract by making it somewhat concrete) then they are used over and over again by many generations.

    But for us seekers, it seems that the best we can do is to (try to) understand many of these systems and translate them into language that has the most meaning for us.
    Each of us must explain it (by breaking down and reassembling) to the most important (and difficult) audience… our own individual self.
    0 thru 9
    I agree. But the discipline of wisdom would require that such moral agents admit that their choice is always wrong in some way. The trick is to have two assertions at all times: 1) all my choices are partially immoral and I can do better, and 2) all my choices are relative to others' choices and between any tow of us or between me and society's net choice, only one of us is better.

    I find that Pragmatists are usually able to push assertion 2 and Idealists are more able to push assertion 1. It is only both assertions that cause the balance of wisdom.

    And you are obviously making the effort to do so and to share it with others, which is generous.
    I appreciate your posts as they offer much to think about and to chew on, even when some small bits get stuck in my teeth lol.
    0 thru 9
    This statement by you is in keeping with the greatest gift one human can receive from another. That challenging wisdom was entertained, if not accepted. I can only thank you from all parts of my heart.

    Obviously, it can be daunting when others don’t understand or agree (or both: disagreeing exactly because they don’t understand the point being made, or the overall picture being painted).
    Being ignored feels worse than being misunderstood, although being ignored is more relaxing.
    0 thru 9
    Ha ha! Relaxing? If one craves being ignored or left alone, perhaps. But morality is objective. So these cravings are either right or wrong, objectively. I would suggest that craving being alone is immoral. The immoral deflection is misunderstood from the true moral of the Unity Principle. The feeling is supposed to come via anger. 'I am sufficient unto myself and need nothing more nor fear anything!' But this is to achieve balance only. Maximization is not yet include. Maximization includes all as its final goal. So the person wanting to be alone is immoral in that choice. I do not mean to rest or take time to integrate. I mean the person who is devoted to being alone or removed from others or is doggedly un-inclusive of others. All is the only final state. Those red light sabers must be converted.

    But in a some way I broadly divide philosophy into the ‘external social’ (written and perhaps well known) and the ‘internal personnel’ (which is the eclectic bricolage construction of one’s own philosophy).0 thru 9
    Stealing 'eclectic bricolage' also! ;)

    I agree, but, we must not make overmuch of these 'separations', because they do not exist (really). We must therefore merge the social and the self. It is immoral not to. Humans are destined to become cells in an organism that is humanity, almost certainly. And there will still be this level and more of complexity of moral agency for each of us amid that greater 'animal'. But we need to admit to it and accept it more for it to be realized. That is my struggle here with separating the two.

    Maybe this is another way to view the question of ‘esoteric vs exoteric’ philosophy as discussed in that thread? :chin:0 thru 9
    I just see the esoteric as that which is so unknown by society that it is considered excessive in some way. The Pragmatists would say, 'humans are not ready for that' at best. They would say much more harsh things usually about ideals they do not like, like becoming one with a hive mind. Of course some few Pragmatists are on that border and will entertain that notion as moral or desirable.

    I find errors that are more pervasive in all other models including yin/yang and the chakras, just to name a few. Of course that could be considered arrogant but to be fair I had them to consider and build upon. I do not presume to be the sole contributor or influence to my model. That would be colossal ignorance.

    But I can point to the errors of most other systems quite easily and I at least assert my model has less errors than they do. Of course I am not perfect and in time my model will show obvious errors to a new wave of philosophers, wisdom seekers, etc.
    — Chet Hawkins

    But all too often the lazy denigrate anger and fast action. That is not a moral choice. Yes, anger can be just as evil as good, but anger itself is not the problem and to say it is is evil. Likewise with fear. And the message for the Buddhists is the same, no, you're wrong, desire is not equivalent to evil. There are good and evil desires. It just SEEMS like desire is evil because amid an infinity of choices only 1 direction points straight to objective moral truth, the GOOD. This gives the clueless a great path to the denigration of desire. I do not approve. The model has to work in every way. And so far I am well pleased with mine. I do wish I was better at the formulation of assertions for technical philosophy. I'd love help with that for my model, but, I assume that it can be done after the theory of it, the idea is written.
    (….)
    So that is a perfect example of Eastern laziness and ennui, the denigration of anger and desire. It is the delusion of peace as an affectation, a goal, an addiction, and to me and my model that is immoral.
    — Chet Hawkins

    But having said the above comments about models, I’m very puzzled why you keep misrepresenting Buddhism or Eastern philosophies as being lame and ineffectual and missing something vital and essential.
    This seems to be a common prejudice which is easily corrected with further research.
    0 thru 9
    I do need to look into it more. I apologize if I misrepresented it.

    There probably have been some Eastern ideas in history that were off-base in some way, just as in the West.0 thru 9
    On that I simply and obviously agree. And I was pointing out why I think Eastern philosophies are wrong. I can do that same thing for the Western ones.

    The Buddha corrected any extreme otherworldly approach to wisdom, such as weakening and starving oneself in the attempt to ‘achieve enlightenment’.0 thru 9
    Well, you could say he advised. I don't think he can correct. That implies completion and no more such error. Like Christ, he suffers others' interpretations of his meanings. You mean to say here that the Buddha realized that restraint itself could be over-expressed. That is too much order, too much in the way of limits, and it ends up weakening the self by denying the worthiness of imagination and desire (mostly). In that way, your comment makes sense as a retort to my assertion of denigrated desire by the East.

    In my defense:

    Free from desire you see the mystery. Full of desire you see the manifestations.
    [Tao Te Ching chapter 1]

    Lessen selfishness and restrain desires.
    [Tao Te Ching chapter 19]

    Without desire there is stillness, and the world settles by itself.
    [Tao Te Ching chapter 37]

    There is no greater crime than desire.
    [Tao Te Ching chapter 46]

    I have no desire to desire, and people become like the uncarved wood by themselves.
    [Tao Te Ching chapter 57]

    The sage desires no desire, does not value rare treasures, learns without learning, recovers what people have left behind.
    [Tao Te Ching chapter 64]

    It is reasonably hard to draw another conclusion from the Tao Te Ching as I understand it. Granted, looking into the context of each of these quotes offers us mitigation advise where balance is mentioned. But in that system there is nothing clear about how to do it or why.

    My model shows clearly that only anger and fear balance desire and why. I think the clarity is something I win with on that score. Further, I directly do not denigrate desire at all. I explain that the GOOD is only obtained by maximal desire. That is a rather bold denial of all of these statements by the Tao Te Ching, again as they lay here as isolated quotes mainly, but also as many people understand the work.

    It takes physical strength to meditate, which to seek to behold Truth directly, while temporarily putting aside the discursive mind (without paying any philosophical middleman for his prepackaged thoughts and assembled ideas, to be witty about it. Even if the middleman is ourself).0 thru 9
    This idea is amazing and complex. I love it. I am not maybe as worried about the middleman or conduit through which I experience belief and choice. I enact new ideas faithfully as a scientific method of wisdom, until I sense unhappiness arising as a result. So false prophets and aphorisms are always 'en guard' from me for me. It's in the nature of my rigorous challenge in every way. Find the weakness as a goal. To do that, you must do the thing!

    If you know the Avatar series 'The Legend of Korra' there is an assistant to a narcissistic merchant Varik, named Ju Li. He cannot be bothered to finish his sentences and his usual thing to say his lazy union mind with her is, 'Ju Li, Do the thing!' She knows him so well that she always gets his idea of what 'the thing' is correct. Over the course of the whole show, this interaction is a hilarious and charming sub-plot.

    I don’t emphasize them often, but if we want to be more complete in our view of Eastern thought, we can remember The Art of War by Sun-Tsu and the martial arts.
    Those are quite energetic enough for anyone, no?
    0 thru 9
    I have read it (being an Enneatype 8 philosopher and soldier (AFROTC) I was drawn to Sun-Tzu early on.

    Energetic is a property of desire, yes. But warfare and action are more the province of anger than of desire directly. My model shows that desire in isolation is far too delusional too suspect, indication of indeed that very same doubt offered by most of what I consider in Eastern philosophy to be. The real complexity of intent is found most easily at the 9 virtue stage, rather than cleanly at the 3 primal emotions stage.

    It is the interaction of emotions that is effectively conflict in every way. Left alone both fear and desire are pre-delusional. Fear limits and eventual death is the final limit. Desire expands and that is just an explosion, effectively another form of death. Adding anger is where things really get down to business. Anger is the most honest emotion. It is balance by definition. It denies both fear and desire and thus causes balance. It brings physical reality into being, again underscoring its honesty. Being-in-essence is anger. One must occupy space and have mass and one does so fighting constantly with literally every other thing and truth in the universe.

    That feels like evolution (of the mind) to me anyway…
    — 0 thru 9
    Evolution of the mind only would neglect the body and heart (desire). It is very very hard to be 'on the ball' with respect to wording and modeling the GOOD.
    — Chet Hawkins

    Some things in my writing are implied by what I’ve written before. I can’t say everything all the time! :grin:
    0 thru 9
    Ha ha! Lazy! Oooh! I get it. I forgive you. But you should try. Say one harmonic phrase that heals the universe, ... every time you speak.

    The Buddha said that we have no separate self.
    When first learning this, I thought it meant something bad or nihilistic.
    But it really is liberating and wonderful.
    — 0 thru 9
    That is what I call the unity principle, you are me and I am you. I agree. We cannot be made to unbelong to this universe so death finally is not all that terrible. The context of a valid, well body is finite. Its delusional identity is likewise finite. Everything must be recyclable, and it is.
    — Chet Hawkins

    Yes. We agree on something. Drinks are on me! :party:
    0 thru 9
    Muckity Muck (scotch) for me. What's your poison?
  • 0 thru 9
    1.5k


    Thanks! :smile: :up:


    Morality to me is objective. This means also that NO ONE decides what is necessary. A law of the universe already made that choice. Granted, this law also forces upon us all the burden of choice, free will. So mistakes will be made. Immorality will be chosen. That is all just to say, At the same time as each moral agent choosing as they must, they are also objectively wrong or right in their proximity to what is objectively good. So, all of their choices are finally only errors from which they should attempt to earn more wisdom. Yes, all beliefs are partially in error. That means all facts are as well.

    So when we discuss the hard subject of necessary versus unnecessary suffering, we must be constantly reminded that there is only one right answer. Subjectivity is the delusion of experience from the immoral and imperfect state, only. The final goal is perfection, objectivity. Therefore between any two differing beliefs about what is necessary or unnecessary, only one of them is more right. That is a tautology. The central delusion of subjectivism is that all choices are equal, or that the jury is still out. The jury is not out. The verdict was cast at the dawn of time. The GOOD is objective. And genuine happiness is the consequence of alignment to the GOOD in many ways at the same time.
    Chet Hawkins

    Good answer, much appreciated.

    I’ll link my response to my previous comment about meditation and using it to (at least partially and temporarily) behold the Good (or the Real or Ultimate Reality or whatever term one prefers).
    I use the word ‘behold’ because it could include all the senses like seeing, hearing, touch simultaneously.
    I wouldn’t say meditation is the only way or best way… it is just a more step-by-step procedure that is aiming for a consistent goal.

    There are many other ways one could imagine where the subjective and limited mind that we all have opens to something significantly larger or deeper… into a kind of cosmic mind (words start to fail here).
    This could happen when mopping the floor or walking your dog.
    It could be uplifting, unsettling, ecstatic, confusing, or bring other intense feelings (which probably reflect the person having the experience).

    It is a fortunate person who has had experiences where the normal veil of separation is lifted and the Real is beheld directly.
    They are fortunate, but have a task to try to understand this experience and integrate it into their lives.
    Trying to put it into words is another trick.

    “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.”

    ― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

    A catchy way to put it, echoing Plato’s cave. (echo… echo… )

    This would be my rough description of subjective and objective at a foundational level.


    I agree. But the discipline of wisdom would require that such moral agents admit that their choice is always wrong in some way. The trick is to have two assertions at all times: 1) all my choices are partially immoral and I can do better, and 2) all my choices are relative to others' choices and between any tow of us or between me and society's net choice, only one of us is better.Chet Hawkins

    Yes, an impersonal and detached manner is helpful.
    To be able to judge one’s own actions without being too soft or too harsh (like labeling oneself stupid or evil).
    Equanimity is a word used to describe such a state of mind that I find helpful.


    Being ignored feels worse than being misunderstood, although being ignored is more relaxing.
    — 0 thru 9
    Ha ha! Relaxing? If one craves being ignored or left alone, perhaps.
    Chet Hawkins

    Ha… maybe i should have wrote that being ignored is quieter, at least.


    But in a some way I broadly divide philosophy into the ‘external social’ (written and perhaps well known) and the ‘internal personnel’ (which is the eclectic bricolage construction of one’s own philosophy).
    — 0 thru 9
    Stealing 'eclectic bricolage' also! ;)

    I agree, but, we must not make overmuch of these 'separations', because they do not exist (really). We must therefore merge the social and the self. It is immoral not to. Humans are destined to become cells in an organism that is humanity, almost certainly. And there will still be this level and more of complexity of moral agency for each of us amid that greater 'animal'. But we need to admit to it and accept it more for it to be realized. That is my struggle here with separating the two.

    Maybe this is another way to view the question of ‘esoteric vs exoteric’ philosophy as discussed in that thread? :chin:
    — 0 thru 9
    I just see the esoteric as that which is so unknown by society that it is considered excessive in some way. The Pragmatists would say, 'humans are not ready for that' at best. They would say much more harsh things usually about ideals they do not like, like becoming one with a hive mind. Of course some few Pragmatists are on that border and will entertain that notion as moral or desirable.
    Chet Hawkins

    Yes I agree!

    Good point about humanity needing to (and destined to) become more interdependent on a deep mental level (or spiritual level).
    We are psychologically torn in two, ripped into little bits that go flying in the air while we try to identify with some of the shreds
    We are ALL of them, and more… but we are so used to being labeled and numbered, that we end up doing it to ourselves out of sheer habit.

    As a cold comfort, we also tell ourselves that we are wealthy, righteous, and high-tech.
    But we don’t know how wretched, poor and naked we’ve been trained to be.


    In my defense:

    Free from desire you see the mystery. Full of desire you see the manifestations.
    [Tao Te Ching chapter 1]

    Lessen selfishness and restrain desires.
    [Tao Te Ching chapter 19]

    Without desire there is stillness, and the world settles by itself.
    [Tao Te Ching chapter 37]

    There is no greater crime than desire.
    [Tao Te Ching chapter 46]

    I have no desire to desire, and people become like the uncarved wood by themselves.
    [Tao Te Ching chapter 57]

    The sage desires no desire, does not value rare treasures, learns without learning, recovers what people have left behind.
    [Tao Te Ching chapter 64]

    It is reasonably hard to draw another conclusion from the Tao Te Ching as I understand it. Granted, looking into the context of each of these quotes offers us mitigation advise where balance is mentioned. But in that system there is nothing clear about how to do it or why.

    My model shows clearly that only anger and fear balance desire and why. I think the clarity is something I win with on that score. Further, I directly do not denigrate desire at all. I explain that the GOOD is only obtained by maximal desire. That is a rather bold denial of all of these statements by the Tao Te Ching, again as they lay here as isolated quotes mainly, but also as many people understand the work.
    Chet Hawkins


    Ok… good point. I could see how someone might get the idea that the TTC is condemning desire plain and simple.
    I guess one way over that potential stumbling block is the context of the TTC as a whole.
    There are other quotes that highlight more simple desires, like not traveling but just savoring the place you are at.
    And the wish / desire to be at one with the Tao, the Way of nature and the universe.

    Some other translations use the words greed, avarice, ambition, addiction along with the word desire to give a meaning of something gone too far, an apple starting to rot.

    But now I see where you were getting that idea…

    Here’s a website that breaks down the Tao Te Ching word by word, including the Chinese characters.


    It takes physical strength to meditate, which to seek to behold Truth directly, while temporarily putting aside the discursive mind (without paying any philosophical middleman for his prepackaged thoughts and assembled ideas, to be witty about it. Even if the middleman is ourself).
    — 0 thru 9
    This idea is amazing and complex. I love it. I am not maybe as worried about the middleman or conduit through which I experience belief and choice. I enact new ideas faithfully as a scientific method of wisdom, until I sense unhappiness arising as a result. So false prophets and aphorisms are always 'en guard' from me for me. It's in the nature of my rigorous challenge in every way. Find the weakness as a goal. To do that, you must do the thing!
    Chet Hawkins

    Yes! Thanks. :up:


    And you are obviously making the effort to do so and to share it with others, which is generous.
    I appreciate your posts as they offer much to think about and to chew on, even when some small bits get stuck in my teeth lol.
    — 0 thru 9
    This statement by you is in keeping with the greatest gift one human can receive from another. That challenging wisdom was entertained, if not accepted. I can only thank you from all parts of my heart.
    Chet Hawkins

    Wow, thank you very much!


    Yes. We agree on something. Drinks are on me! :party:
    — 0 thru 9
    Muckity Muck (scotch) for me. What's your poison?
    Chet Hawkins

    Haha… wine for sipping, weed for tripping! :yum:
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