• ENOAH
    494

    Hey. You might see (if you don't already) where we diverge--even with respect to Schopenhauer. Or, perhaps, that we do not diverge.

    I am not (despite appearances) more than 51% confident about these "beliefs" but they currently tip the scale, and that 2% becomes everything.

    I think there is a Real living body in a real living nature and universe. And as for so called "reality," (the word, already a projection), I think "I" a projection, have no business (besides self interest) denying that that's Realty, my living breathing body in nature.

    I think my body is, by its nature as being, always aware-ing "itself" which is its senses, drives, internal images/memory, feelings, and movements, all of which happen as a biologically conditioned process. We don't have to project "I am hungry" to aware-ing feeling hunger, etc.

    Now the projections, you've been generous enough to go along with, I recognize that the Body makes them and the body receives them. They're not these Cosmic Grand Projections like "Maya" if that settles any concern.

    And this is where I believe you and Schopenhauer major, stop, as I tread into the wilderness. You reason properly, acknowledging already that the projections are body's, that even if boredom is both constructed and projected, it is the very Body's (we assume nervous system) nature doing it. We cannot but artificially divide projection from body. That would seem like some archaic, Eastern no less, Maya (and maybe Im exaggerating. Point is, it is body both making and feeling boredom).

    But what I am saying is that while the projections are made by images stored in memory and restructured in the body's image-ing "organ" (I know nothing about the Science), the "Projections" per se (since, as we seem to agree, ontologically indivisible from the being from which they proceed because they are, "as projections" i.e., the "images", nothing. They are fleeting, empty, structures of images functioning to code body to feel and act in a biological system set up for autonomous conditioned response)...But, the projections "as projections" are exactly where the Narrative of suffering takes place. Neither when Buddha said it, nor Schopenhauer were they referring to anything besides the narrative of suffering (try to describe what they meant otherwise ("describe" already too late) without narrative). Boredom too. Yes both are real; and for both (Suffering and Boredom) their cause and effect is the real body. But these projections as projections have strangely, unique only to humans,* taken the helm of the body's real consciousness, its aware-ing of its drives and actions in nature, and has displaced them with stories. Unique among all creatures, we don't attune to reality, we attune to the projections as projections. The Reality remains. It's just attuned to the "television." Reality, so attuned, becomes the character "I" and emotes "boredom" instead of being Reality, and feeling restless.

    It is that just described, which is the why of suffering, and why attuning to one's aware-ing might help (though I agree, might be "psychologically" impossible; but not becausevthat reality is the projections as projections; it is not). Call it psychological if that makes it palatable; say that the projections I insist upon as evolving an autonomy and displacing our organism, is pure psychology; either way, I cannot but settle here for now.

    *explaining how is complex etc. Also, I feel almost embarrassed for us that we don't realize the projections are unique, they don't make us special or privilege us. We are conceited apes riding on unicycles in pink frilly dresses and think the unicycle and dress are where it's all at.
  • ENOAH
    494


    Less adequately pondered is the fact that much of what it is that the two have in common was taken by Schopenhauer from Kant. — Bryan Magee, Schopenhauer's Philosophy

    I'm surprised, but i can see that, even
    being a novice re Schopenhauer, and only marginally more familiar with Kant. However, my experience has been that there are parallels of all degrees of patency/latency in many philosophies. While I have cringed in the past when people have said so, and I get how cliche it sounds. It holds true.

    Nice that he mentions Tao of Physics, too.Wayfarer
    :up:
  • ENOAH
    494
    last remark. I did not comment on Zapffe because I know even less than I do on Schopenhauer. But that I am definitely going to read into. Thanks again.
  • schopenhauer1
    10k
    Yes both are real; and for both (Suffering and Boredom) their cause and effect is the real body. But these projections as projections have strangely, unique only to humans,* taken the helm of the body's real consciousness, its aware-ing of its drives and actions in nature, and has displaced them with stories. Unique among all creatures, we don't attune to reality, we attune to the projections as projections. The Reality remains. It's just attuned to the "television." Reality, so attuned, becomes the character "I" and emotes "boredom" instead of being Reality, and feeling restless.

    It is that just described, which is the why of suffering, and why attuning to one's aware-ing might help (though I agree, might be "psychologically" impossible; but not becausevthat reality is the projections as projections; it is not). Call it psychological if that makes it palatable; say that the projections I insist upon as evolving an autonomy and displacing our organism, is pure psychology; either way, I cannot but settle here for now.
    ENOAH

    What is "Reality" here? What is this "real" Real of the Body you mean? This again, just sounds like there is a "something" we can get back to with the right frame-of-mind. I mean, I have heard of something akin to ego-death, but that brings up some other notions. True, our psyche is constructed and mediated through language and learning mechanisms, and is largely a socially-derived phenomenon, but how could it be different, for the human? We evolved thus.
  • ENOAH
    494
    but how could it be different, for the human? We evolved thus.schopenhauer1

    Yes. Im not self deprecating, just being honest, maybe I lack the skill in logic. I don't see how that accurate statement precludes that our evolution included an "emergent" (not restricted to any scholarly/academic use) system of signs which evolved a law and dynamic of its own which are "other" than everything else in nature; made not of energy and matter, but of images operating to form "order" meaning/narratives out of the "chaos" always-only-being-doing of what really is. I won't explain all the details of how this might have evolved in this space. But I've learned about it in many forms from Plato to Kant and thereafter.

    You're right, there is no dichotomous reality. But humans are attuned to something operating as an orderly narrative, when that's not what is really happening.

    Hmm. It's an artificial layer on top of reality. Like makeup isn't the face though one might only know a face through the make up. Hmm because that was risky. Disregard.

    For us reality is necessarily mediated through the projections firing off autonomously in the brain, not what the senses immediately see. And this only for humans. How just an organic evolution. It is very "other".
  • schopenhauer1
    10k
    For us reality is necessarily mediated through the projections firing off autonomously in the brain, not what the senses immediately see. And this only for humans. How just an organic evolution. It is very "other".ENOAH

    So I agree that humans have a running narrative of reasons and explanations and goals and emotional responses, etc. etc. that come from having a linguistic-based mind, and the dynamics of our brain. This indeed does make us distinct from other animals. However, I don't see how it could ever be different for the human animal. This is how we survive and live in the world. There is no secret knowledge that then "drops" the pretense of a linguistic mind that evaluates, reasons, explains, etc. It is how humans function and is part of the socialization process, which cannot be bypassed. The human creates a self and places the self in relation to the world, and judges itself accordingly.

    What Schopenhauer was saying about Boredom, is beyond merely having nothing to do and tedium. Rather, it is a sense of non-fulfillment in our being. You see, it could NEVER be any other way because our very impetus for doing anything is driven by this angst. The angst drives the kaleidoscope of actions we take, for whatever goals, survival or otherwise. What he is implying is that, if existence was fully satisfying unto itself, we wouldn't need goals. We would simply exist. But we don't. We are becoming...

    If we were to think about it in neoplatonic or medieval, or gnostic terms, we can say that a "perfected" state, one of purely "being" (not becoming) would be one where we would wont for nothing. There would be no need for need. That isn't our state. It is precisely the dis-satisfaction that drives us to do anything at all. And it could not be any other way, otherwise, we would not exist. And all of a sudden, Schopenhauer's idea of the extinguishing of the Subject-Object comes into form, as that is somehow the opposite, some sort of state of being and not becoming. Now, is that obtainable? Different question.

    So I guess my contention is that in no possible world is there a state of satisfaction. It is all becoming from the dissatisfaction. Boredom in this sense is not just the "emotional state of x, y, z" but rather, the very test for which when we run out of end goals and actions, we are looking at our very becoming/willing nature at work itself, without any content. It's the engine's fumes as it keeps working but nothing to do. You can try to ignore it, anchor yourself, distract it, or otherwise.
  • ENOAH
    494
    I'm starting with your last statement.

    my contention is that in no possible world is there a state of satisfactionschopenhauer1

    Yes, we definitely diverge here.


    I don't see how it could ever be different for the human animalschopenhauer1

    Here I mostly agree with you. I wont reiteratethe qualifier yet. Before humans developed language at lets say a level that included a basic grammar and a bunch of words, were we therefore different?
    come from having a linguistic-based mind, and the dynamics of our brain.schopenhauer1

    There is no secret knowledge that then "drops" the pretense of a linguistic mind that evaluates, reasons, explains, etc. It is how humans function and is part of the socialization process, which cannot be bypassed.schopenhauer1

    I agree with all of that. Unless you wish, I won't explain how its not inconsistent.

    What Schopenhauer was saying about Boredom, is beyond merely having nothing to do and tedium. Rather, it is a sense of non-fulfillment in our being.schopenhauer1

    Yes, I understood that earlier and have been enriched by the discovery that Schopenhauer had that idea. Thank you.

    is driven by this angst.schopenhauer1

    Ok, I do believe I understand your explanation plus how it properly reflects Schopenhauer. And I am repeating myself, but from different angles. "This angst" is essential.

    The angst has to have a basis in the body and its organic feeling, here I, you/Schopenhauer agree.

    But you(s) "settle" there. You say boredom is built-in to the human being organically (or, I guess, some fancy surrogate like "being" but I'd question why). Hence ultimately the inescapable pessimism*. It is built-in to our very chemistry (people in a more social theory framework say same re violence, which I would equally contest).

    I say, yah, it is pretty much inescapable because it's built-in, but it's not built-in to our bodies, but rather built-in to "our running narrative of reasons and explanations and goals and emotional responses, etc. etc. that come from having a linguistic-based mind, and the dynamics of our brain" those autonomous movements of signifiers, "culture" if that's palatable, but not what we really are, a restless organic being. Suffering like its root Boredom are mechanics of Mind.

    we were to think about it in neoplatonic or medieval, or gnostic terms, we can say that a "perfected" state, one of purely "being" (not becoming) would be one where we would wont for nothing. There would be no need for needschopenhauer1

    That is what one would imagine pure being to be while that one is trapped in becoming. But being is nature, pure and simple. Why wouldn't it be unless the "one" deciding has a vested interest in elevating other. There is no other. It is made up of images projected from reality to reality. But in that loop, is boredom and suffering.




    *(looked into Zapffe by the way, lamented his poor existence. I might be fixated as he was by an error. Thank God Mind's positive)
  • schopenhauer1
    10k
    That is what one would imagine pure being to be while that one is trapped in becoming. But being is nature, pure and simple. Why wouldn't it be unless the "one" deciding has a vested interest in elevating other. There is no other. It is made up of images projected from reality to reality. But in that loop, is boredom and suffering.ENOAH

    But again, I am having trouble what you envision this "being nature, pure and simple" is. And I am also perplexed how it is you think humans can ever get to it, overriding our innate linguistic-based/signifier capacities:

    but rather built-in to "our running narrative of reasons and explanations and goals and emotional responses, etc. etc. that come from having a linguistic-based mind, and the dynamics of our brain" those autonomous movements of signifiers, "culture" if that's palatableENOAH

    That is part of what it is to be a human being.

    To reiterate the point you said:
    Before humans developed language at lets say a level that included a basic grammar and a bunch of words, were we therefore different?ENOAH

    But it is precisely because humans "developed" language (along with other cognitive mechanisms related and intertwined with it), that is our way of being as human in the world. That is part of the human ways of living and survival.
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    So I agree that humans have a running narrative of reasons and explanations and goals and emotional responses, etc. etc. that come from having a linguistic-based mind, and the dynamics of our brain. This indeed does make us distinct from other animals. However, I don't see how it could ever be different for the human animal.schopenhauer1

    Don't overlook the significance of trance states and sacred silence, which humans also 'have access to' (to express it in modern terminology). For example, in the yoga sutras, there are references to 'nirvikalpa samadhi'. 'Nirvikalpa' is derived from the negation (nir) of vikalpa (mentation, thought forms, vritti). So that state is one of complete abeyance of discursive thought. In Buddhism, there is a Pali term 'papañca' meaning 'conceptual proliferation' or 'mental elaboration'. Suffice to say that internal mental chatter is the default state of humanity, excacerbated by our media-saturated culture. It is the subject of the delightfully-named 'Honeyball Sutta' which explains how beings become enmeshed in never-ending chains of emotional reactivity and attachment, resulting in 'taking up rods & bladed weapons, of arguments, quarrels, disputes, accusations, divisive tale-bearing, & false speech.'

    So speech and discursive reason are indeed central to the human way of being in the world, but they are not the be-all and end-all of existence. And I think this was something Schopenhauer would have understood.
  • ENOAH
    494
    I am having trouble what you envision this "being nature, pure and simple" is. And I am also perplexed how it is you think humans can ever get to it, overriding our innate linguistic-based/signifier capacities:schopenhauer1

    The first part I need to think of how I'm understanding/expressing this.

    The part about how humans can override, yes, as I've said, I recognize the problem and it's degree. But I do not close it off for reasons given.
  • ENOAH
    494
    Suffice to say that internal mental chatter is the default state of humanity, excacerbated by our media-saturated cultureWayfarer


    I could rest there. But I'm compelled to add, and what is the source/nature/structure of that chatter? If a god created us did it have this chatter in mind? If we are organic beings formed by the evolution of cells, is the chatter a formation of cells? Is there a time when our ancestors, the species homo sapiens roamed about without the chatter?
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    If a god created us did it have this chatter in mind? If we are organic beings formed by the evolution of cells, is the chatter a formation of cells?ENOAH

    Actually the sources I referred to, and I think Schopenhauer, don’t posit that dichotomy between naturalism vs Divine creation. That, I think, is very specific to (post) Christian culture.
  • ENOAH
    494
    sorry, I was stretching the hypothetical.
  • schopenhauer1
    10k
    I could rest there. But I'm compelled to add, and what is the source/nature/structure of that chatter? If a god created us did it have this chatter in mind? If we are organic beings formed by the evolution of cells, is the chatter a formation of cells? Is there a time when our ancestors, the species homo sapiens roamed about without the chatter?ENOAH

    No because "inner speech" or "self-talk" has evolved WITH being a homo sapien. You cannot extricate that which is inbuilt into our evolutionary cognitive framework. It's not just that language is something socialized- our brains are primed for language, and eventually at some development a sense of "self" usually enters the picture along with planning, social interactions, problem-solving, memory and learning, and providing various counterfactual scenarios in our mind that this allows for, which helped us survive. I am not denying this is part of why humans also suffer more greatly, but I would not agree that it is something that can be turned off. Neural structures like long-term potentiation, episodic memory, language centers are there because that is how we evolved.

    Books like this might help envision what I mean:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Language_Instinct

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Symbolic_Species
  • ENOAH
    494
    You cannot extricate that which is inbuilt into our evolutionary cognitive framework.schopenhauer1

    Yes, I understand that that is challenge. Interesting, though. I trust your interpretation of the reasoning. Yet, I have found "theories" in Western Philosophy no less, which either promote a hypothesis that the Mind and its projections are constructs and as such, other than real EDIT or rest on such a premise for related hypotheses.

    My sense is that these are radical and contested views from the perspective of more conventional philosophy.

    Your efforts have helped guide my perspective going forward, even if not changed my perspective outright.

    I will keep trekking and inquiring.
  • frank
    14.6k

    Schopenhauer was a hard determinist. He said this was a source of solace. Whatever the human race is, it was bound to be, since the beginning of time.
  • Gnomon
    3.6k
    I still think the opening few sentences of WWR are among the immortal utterances of philosophy:
    The world is my idea”.
    Wayfarer
    I can see why Kastrup might endorse Schopenhauer's analytical Idealism, and why you could appreciate his notion of a Mind Created World. But I have never been able to get on board with his Debbie Downer*1 "wanh, wanh, wah" Pessimism and Roseanne Rosannadana "it's always something" Cynicism. Hence, I've never attempted to actually read any of his "succinct" prose. All I know of his work is limited to his aphorisms. One of which inspired my latest contrarian blog entry*2.

    Was Schopenhauer right : that the world is a sh*thole, and human sh*t is the worst kind? So, abandon all hope, ye who enter this hell on Earth? Or was the Buddha right : that the world is a sh*thole, but willful humans can look up at the holy seat and follow the light to get out of nastiness, and into Nirvana? It may be true that sentience is the ability to suffer, but it's also the ability to know and to enjoy.

    Is it true that optimistic Idealism is self-refuting? Leibniz said this sh*thole is the best possible world --- considering the compromised circumstance : that God & Satan are competing to run this defiled paradise. But his hopeful Idealism was ridiculed by Voltaire's cynical sarcasm*3. If this imperfect world is "my idea" why is it far less than ideal?

    In the OP, found Schopenhauer's "denial of the will to live" --- what 180 labeled Antinatalism*4 ---off-putting. Since he was influenced by Buddhism, why didn't Schop find inner peace? Why didn't he follow the eightfold path to Nirvana? Schop's ironic Idealism seems to imply that he & we project our dismal depression onto our mind-made worldview. That's contrary to a traditional notion of "Ideal" as perfect and all good. Like Voltaire, he derided Leibniz's Theodicy , that this is the best possible world. But, unlike the Stoics, he didn't advise that we create the best possible life from an imperfect world.

    Schopenhauer's assessment of the human condition seemed to be similar to that of the Buddha : "the cause of suffering is Desire" ; and of Stoicism : "Stoicism teaches that we should discern our desires carefully"*5. But both of those philosophies offered a way to a more positive outlook. Yet Schop took a darker branch of the Buddha's path of enlightenment*6. One commentator observed : "If he was indeed depressed, it was depression as an intellectual disposition, not the usual sense of the word "depressed" {see Carlin quote below}. Consequently, I find his harsh intellectual analytical Realistic Idealism to be depressing --- intellectually of course, not emotionally. :worry:


    *1. Debbie & Roseanna are Saturday Night Live characters

    *2. Schopenhauer’s Will as Intention :
    In his 1818 book, The World as Will and Representation, philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer “identifies the thing-in-itself — the inner essence of everything — as will: a blind, unconscious, aimless striving devoid of knowledge”. Hence the material world, as represented in a conscious mind, is more like a challenging ever-changing dynamic system than an inert material object. For most humans though, Willpower is presumed to be both self-control and control over the environment. Hence, neither “aimless” nor “devoid of knowledge”. Will is intentional in the sense that an idea ─ a desire, need, goal ─ in the metaphysical mind is directed out into the physical world, as-if the immaterial mind had some ability to affect material objects. I’m not talking about mind-over-matter magic, but about human technology, the application of knowledge (information) for practical physical purposes : i.e. Science.
    http://bothandblog8.enformationism.info/page19.html

    *3. Voltaire is a cynic (someone who believes people are selfish) and a misanthrope (someone who dislikes humanity)
    https://webpages.uidaho.edu/engl_258/lecture%20notes/voltaire_and_candide.htm

    *4. Side note : the Wiki entry on Antinatalism has a picture of Schopenhauer.

    *5. Desire is want --- lack of something needed --- but it's also the motivation (Will) to acquire something to fill that need.

    *6. The dark philosophy :
    "Schopenhauer developed a distrust of people in general, a depressed view of the world, an inability to maintain close relationships with anyone ..."
    https://eternalisedofficial.com/2022/03/25/philosophy-of-



    main-qimg-f69dc755c15c0edc8181ad5d31932b34-lq
  • schopenhauer1
    10k
    I can see why Kastrup might endorse Schopenhauer's analytical Idealism, and why you could appreciate his notion of a Mind Created World. But I have never been able to get on board with his Debbie Downer*1 "wanh, wanh, wah" Pessimism and Roseanne Rosannadana "it's always something" Cynicism. Hence, I've never attempted to actually read any of his "succinct" prose. All I know of his work is limited to his aphorisms. One of which inspired my latest contrarian blog entry*2.Gnomon

    This is extremely uncharitable... This is dismissive, trivializing, mocking, etc. all with admittedly not reading much of his ideas. This is a transparent smear campaign!

    But, unlike the Stoics, he didn't advise that we create the best possible life from an imperfect world.Gnomon

    As if this is a given that it MUST be the case that this is possible or a moral imperative. I question your assumptions.

    I suggest you read some of my previous posts on here to discuss some of his ideas rather than just smear him from a distance.
  • ENOAH
    494
    Poor guy. Thank you.
  • Gnomon
    3.6k
    This is extremely uncharitable... This is dismissive, trivializing, mocking, etc. all with admittedly not reading much of his ideas. This is a transparent smear campaign!schopenhauer1
    I wasn't talking about , but about a dismal worldview that is not amenable to my own. From comments by other philosophers, I concluded long ago that "his ideas" were not conducive to rational philosophy*1*2*3. As depressed Hamlet said, "there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. To me, it is a prison". He wishes that his “thinking” would allow him to live out his life in ignorance, insentient of the tragedies of his polarized political world, in which fatherly kings can be slain, by a treacherous mother. The Will of the world may seem "aimless", in that it is not aimed at yours truly. But, the Will of a human is aim-able by intention.

    Sure, sh*t happens, but I don't have to sit sourly in the stinky sh*thouse, breathing its stench, after the bad stuff has been "eradicated" from my person. On a more positive note, I found the Buddha-like quote below, about not dwelling on depressive thoughts. A more balanced worldview does not have to be "deluded". The Carlin quote above, echoes the Buddha, in that desire for an unattainable perfect world can be the cause of psychological suffering. Maybe Schop should heed his own advice. Compared to images of the serene Buddha, Schop's portraits as an old man look pretty grim.

    If Schop's absurd, perverse, strife-filled world is "Idealism", I prefer the imperfect Real one, where I can sit quietly in my little relatively strife-free zone of willful ignorance, and read a book, without thinking tragic thoughts. I apologize if I indirectly offended you in my post to Wayfarer. It was not a critique of Schop's corpus of work, but of his gloomy opinion of cosmic Will, especially as it manifests in human behavior. :smile:



    *1. Arthur Schopenhauer was among the first 19th century philosophers to contend that at its core, the universe is not a rational place. Inspired by Plato and Kant, both of whom regarded the world as being more amenable to reason,
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/schopenhauer/

    *2. In the sphere of thought, absurdity and perversity remain the masters of the world, and their dominion is suspended only for brief periods.
    ___ Arthur Schopenhauer

    *3. As a man thinketh, so is his worldview
    “Do not eat the bread of a miser,
    Nor desire his delicacies;
    For as he thinks in his heart, so is he."

    ___ Proverbs 23:7

    arthur-schopenhauer-439585.jpg
  • schopenhauer1
    10k

    If you read my profile you will see I disagree with just about every sentiment you expressed, including the "pessimism bad because its sad.. nom nom nom"
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    I have never been able to get on board with his Debbie Downer*1 "wanh, wanh, wah" Pessimism and Roseanne Rosannadana "it's always something"Gnomon

    Grow up mate. Schopenhauer is for Big School, not kindy.
  • ENOAH
    494


    I'm reading from Will and Representation. Now, I'm skipping around.

    Will. He speaks about as if it were an almighty scoundrel, etc. leading to the impression that the will is something "else". Separate. I won't even confuse it with a separate from "what".

    I'm going to read before I conclude. But until then, here is a loose, but to me, compelling, picture.

    Schopenhauer was not blessed with Husserl, Heidegger, and then all of the stuff that followed from existentialism to functionalism, structuralism, linguistics, postmodernism, psychoanalysis (and these are the blessings my limited narrative can enumerate), and he was barely exposed to Buddhism, the way, he would have been today. How can we disregard those limitations when honestly extrapolating? Extrapolating not to conclude with truth, but to clear the forest for a proper sense of what is worthy of interpolation.

    So he intuits this autonomous thing, the will, and you tell me it's one and the same as the self, and Rationality, and those (among other things) constitute a unified, whole and real human being.

    Or, is it, will is (in a Spinoza/panpsychism/Vedanta way) survival, the being of everything? In which case, what are these attributes or dualities?

    Either way, owing to where he was along his (with humility, this) particular path

    1. He was expressing qualities as dualities. Either forcing them into a monism to suit his narrative, or recognizing that only a single of the "dualities" like, will*, is real, the rest are projections. *though I observe he mis-defined "will" if by it he meant the insatiable etc; he mis-alotted some things to will etc..

    2. His pathatic (as in pathos) pessimism is rooted in not realizing that the scoundrel stuff, the boredom, the suffering, isn't our will, there is hope; though the "scoundrel" has a powerful hold. Ironically, our will is that supple. The hope is in the interpretation that the dualities are projections; and correcting his error that insatiable follows naturally with survival. The will if that is organic being, is balanced. The dualities are insatiable.

    Schopenhauer generally got everything right, and to him history owes a debt, but assuming his "the will" is the real being, (so far) he was mistaken in locating dissatisfaction and suffering there.
  • schopenhauer1
    10k

    Before I answer I’ll let someone else try here. I’ll let this breathe. @Wayfarer any comments?
  • ENOAH
    494



    First, apologies to both of you. Please ignore if it is frustratingly butchering Schopenhauer. For my part, I am grateful to him.

    "And in all the other forms of the principle of sufficient reason, we shall find the same emptiness, and shall see that not time only but also space, and the whole content of both of them, i.e., all that proceeds from causes and motives, has a merely relative existence, is only through and for another like to itself, i.e., not more enduring."

    The empty, for another like to itself, not more enduring, is, whether or not he expressed it as such, the relative constructions and projections of Mind. The location of suffering.

    The more enduring is the living organism, the human body aware-ing its feelings, movements, sensations, without regard for the projections. The location of enduring.

    The latter is impossible for the former to access; and so, yes, humans suffer inevitably, in their projections. But the latter is still there, still enduring, suffering when in pain, alone or hungry; blissful when fed, painless and bonding.

    Note: the suffering projections indirectly code the body attuned to mind to feel suffering. That's where Zazen or forms of Yoga might alleviate suffering by highlighting the aware-ing of body, reducing attendance upon the Narratives of suffering.

    Worst case scenario, why can't Schopenhauer inform history in unexpected ways? Isnt history itself, let alone Schopenhauer, always changing?
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    First, apologies to both of you.ENOAH

    I think you need to slow down a bit. You make many rapid-fire comments, very much stream of consciousness - which is fine, it's part of the appeal of this medium, one of the reasons I've now made 21k entries here :yikes: . But philosophers like Schopenhauer are deep and hard to understand (speaking as a student, not as an authority!) Read, digest, and contemplate.

    Myself, I like to believe that Schop. was 'the last great philosopher'. But then, there's Wittgenstein and Heidegger, also great, so it doesn't quite work. But he was the last great idealist philosopher, and as such deserves a special place in the pantheon (spoken as an advocate for idealism). But take time to take it in - I'm not wanting to idolize him, but he's a really substantial philosopher, material you can read for a lifetime. There's time, at least, for that.
  • ENOAH
    494
    I think you need to slow down a bit.Wayfarer

    Of course. I'm getting carried away. I'll follow your good advice.
  • schopenhauer1
    10k

    Schopenhauer was not blessed with Husserl, Heidegger, and then all of the stuff that followed from existentialism to functionalism, structuralism, linguistics, postmodernism, psychoanalysis (and these are the blessings my limited narrative can enumerate), and he was barely exposed to Buddhism, the way, he would have been today. How can we disregard those limitations when honestly extrapolating? Extrapolating not to conclude with truth, but to clear the forest for a proper sense of what is worthy of interpolation.ENOAH

    But you realize that these folks were blessed with Schopenhauer's insights FIRST. And just because they came later, doesn't mean, as an axiom, they improved upon it.

    So he intuits this autonomous thing, the will, and you tell me it's one and the same as the self, and Rationality, and those (among other things) constitute a unified, whole and real human being.ENOAH

    Eh, that seems not quite right. Will is not one-and-the-same as Self and Rationality. Rather, Will is identified as the noumena of Kant- the Thing-in-Itself. It is what underlies reality, and cannot be known as one knows a simple idea, as it is beyond time/space/causality and the interconnectedness of the Principle of Sufficient Reason (that there is a reason or cause of various events and knowledge).

    Or, is it, will is (in a Spinoza/panpsychism/Vedanta way) survival, the being of everything? In which case, what are these attributes or dualities?ENOAH

    Yes this is more akin to what he meant. Survival of individuated/individual beings are a direct manifestation of the underlying Will.

    1. He was expressing qualities as dualities. Either forcing them into a monism to suit his narrative, or recognizing that only a single of the "dualities" like, will*, is real, the rest are projections. *though I observe he mis-defined "will" if by it he meant the insatiable etc; he mis-alotted some things to will etc..ENOAH

    This is loaded language, and I wouldn't quite use the word "qualities", unless you qualify where in the text. But he is saying that whilst Will is the Noumena, the Thing-in-Itself.. this insatiable blind, aimless, striving "force" or principle, co-commitant/co-existing with it is Representation, which is another aspect of Will. If Will is blind and its main principle is "striving", then how can it strive without having "becoming" in some sense? And so Will's expression via Representation is to have a subject that perceives, experiences, and knows objects (which also have a subjective side to them.. even basic forces and vegetation it seems in his philosophy).

    And the subject, as Kant proposed, is mediated by a priori categories such as time/space/causality, such that when it looks upon the object, it manifests the idea of the object in space/time/causality and the PSR (the world of phenomenon).

    Now here is where it gets tricky, and kind of questionable for me.. The objects for Schopenhauer, are akin to some kind of Platonic Forms. These Forms are the direct manifestation of Will unmediated by a subject. So if we were to have a nested relationship it would be Will > Subject-Object > World as an Idea to a knower (Mediated world of time/space/causality).

    My commentary:

    Since Schopenhauer is hugely complex, it's hard to distill all of it without having questions left over. One of mine is WHY is it that Will has the double aspect? And I guess, that if it's main principle is that of striving, striving needs to have ends to strive towards and thus this system of subject-objects that present itself beings who are becoming (for something). But it can never reach a "real ends" because Will is always and ever present, and if it is ever present, it cannot stop but doing what it does, which is striving (creating subjects-for-objects) so that it can express/manifest itself.

    So what does that mean for us? It means that we are but grist for the mill (Will). That is to say, Will cares not for its individuated expressions that are its manifestations. We end up suffering as being taken along for its ride as beings who strive constantly, being expressions of Will.

    Schopenhauer's main answer to the question, "What then is to be done?" is to participate in artistic reflection (as that will give our willing nature a brief glimpse at the sublime of objects without desire). It is purely experiencing the Will without willing, if you will.. Also deep acts of self-sacrificing compassion can get us to briefly pause our willing nature, and finally, ascetic repose. If we deny-the-will to the point of getting beyond our own subject-object nature, we can perhaps escape.
  • Manuel
    4k


    So you do like that Schopenhauer wrote what he did, or would have you preferred him not write?

    I once thought I read you saying something along the lines of, Schopenhauer should've stayed quite or something along those lines.

    But, you are also ironic so, it might have been that.



    There's a lot of stuff in Schopenhauer and one need not take it whole. I think his pessimism has a grain of truth to it, maybe more than a grain, but I think he also exaggerates a little. I don't think life is THAT bad. But it can be very bad.

    As for his metaphysics and epistemology, there's a lot of it which I personally find very insightful. However, having read Hume later than I should have, I am torn between S' views on the nature of the will and causality as opposed to Hume's.

    So, it's complex. He is one of the last best system builders and one can only admire his honesty about many topics; while maybe thinking he was a not-so-nice person.
  • Gnomon
    3.6k
    I have never been able to get on board with his Debbie Downer*1 "wanh, wanh, wah" Pessimism and Roseanne Rosannadana "it's always something" — Gnomon
    Grow up mate. Schopenhauer is for Big School, not kindy.
    Wayfarer
    OK. I'll leave the grown-up philosophy to those who are able to gnaw on tough gristly meat. But his fatalistic worldview (amor fati) is not for me. Although Siddhartha was also moved by the suffering of his huddled masses of countrymen --- several thousand years before Schopenhauer's insight --- at least he proposed a self-help attitude that might make the toughness more palatable. Other than a few quotes & wiki articles, I know little about scowling Schop, and I'm content to leave it that way.

    I'm currently reading a historical novel, Hawaii, by James Michener. He doesn't pull any punches, as he describes innumerable instances of "man's inhumanity to man" over many centuries. In a scene on a Leper's Island --- where those infected, through no fault of their own, were banished to suffer & die, out of sight & touch of the unaffected fat & happy Hawaiians --- an uninfected Chinese woman, who volunteered to go to the miserable colony with her leprous husband, years later asked about a missionary who had died of the disfiguring disease, "did he suffer?". The reply was, "here everybody suffers". To me, that sounds like Schop's world. But I prefer the world of the stubborn stoic woman, who was the heroine of this episode. She didn't wallow in misery & self-pity, but -- with low expectations --she got to work and made a good life out of the bad hand she was dealt. I suspect that Schop's idealistic expectations of life were too high, out of his reach.

    Optimism is not about looking the other way, but focusing on what's within arm's reach. "Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power." — William James. :smile:

    Schopenhauer ended up saying that the meaning of life is to deny it . . . .
    When Schopenhauer explicitly asks the question (in On Human Nature), it is this sense of it he appears to have in mind. His answer is depressing. The point or purpose of life is to suffer. We are being punished for the crime of being born, punished for who we are, namely, the nasty thoroughly egoistic will.
    https://iep.utm.edu/mean-ear/


    If Schop's world is inherently irrational, how can we find enobling meaning in suffering?
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