From Frank Herbert: Mankind has sunk into the mire and vanity of knowing. In the past, and hopefully again in the future, he will attain to the way out of chaos through understanding by living.
It seems to me that Epicurean hedonism is not a means or an end concerning anything truly meaningful.
The conventional wisdom is that "I know that I know nothing." Does anyone even know that? It's conceivable that we all know more than we think we do, in certain respects. Who knows? Socrates, who was famous for his dictum, also believed that we are born with perfect knowledge from previous lives, and the unfolding of life is the process of rediscovering it. So even he, whom everybody quotes as knowing that he knew not, believed in some sense that we all know much more than we realize.
Nietzsche's scheme of Eternal Recurrence is a very affirmative philosophy. It implies that if you had everything to do over again, you must not wish to have anything go differently. That is, you must live your life to the full or not live it at all. It is also a harbinger of the multiverse. Everything will repeat an endless number of times, and of course this is the essence of why you must regret nothing, as it is set in stone. (On the other hand, the multiverse is a more forgiving concept, because everything that is possible will happen).
The primary mark against Nietzsche was his total and utter lack of regard for compassion. He freely asserted it, which probably makes matters worse.
It is true that existence is one, but in reality we have to make some distinctions.
What would the Buddha have had to say about Nietzsche's philosophy?
Becoming is all right, but if one does not have a healthy relationship with being, he will be lost.
The fatal flaw of Utilitarianism is that, in the end, the truth has nothing to do with happiness.
Nietzsche was a genius, but in the end he was an atheist-materialist, and thus in error.
Nietzsche focuses his contempt for slave-morality much more on the Christians than the Jews, whom he seems to have felt achieved some kind of redemption lately.
It occurs to me that action-based languages, where verbs and process are emphasized, are superior to noun-based languages insofar as all acts of perception and communication are acts of process and interaction. Examples of the former would be Chinese or Navajo, and the latter perhaps English or Latin. It also occurs to me that noun-based languages may condition our thoughts in ways that are unrealistic. For example, we might say "It is raining." What is the "it" that "is" doing the "raining"? How sound or unsound is this implicit objectification?
I think that in one sense we are all equal, and that in another we are not. Highlighting one or the other has its time and place.
I think, therefore I am? More like, I perceive that I am, therefore I might be.
One glaring problem I have with the Hindus and Buddhists is their will to passivity. Calm acceptance is a good thing, but believing one is a helpless spectator and cannot affect the game in the slightest is I think unconstructive.
To determine whether a set of beliefs is religious or philosophical, ask the question: "Is there worship?"
Socrates was ugly, and Plato was fat. It doesn't matter how one looks -- the only things that hinge on it are sex and popularity.
Thing is, most religions are constructed around real and deep truths. In reality, though, the construction is invariably corrupt and shoddy.
Language can refer to absolutely anything, but it cannot make one understand just anything.
There is a single question that answers many: Are you an Aristotelian or a Platonist?
I feel that sociobiology plays a huge role in species from humans to ants to elephants to fish. I do think we can become freed of these imperatives, however, based on certain ways of living. For example, I highly doubt that a Tibetan monk worth his salt is governed exclusively by genetic, sociobiological drives. The whole point of such philosophies is to cultivate awareness of, and freedom from, such programming. So I feel the picture is very complicated.
I don't know, I suspect.
People put too much faith in logic.
Optimism is fine if you don't mind being wrong all the time.
People can only accept that for which they are prepared. One cannot understand something for which one is not ready. One cannot communicate meaningfully with most people on this planet.
True randomness would have to be defined as 1/infinity. Can anything be truly random based on this definition?
The world may be shitty, but the only thing that will ever change with respect to one's experience of it is oneself: is you. The only thing that can really change is one's own perspective. Everything else is likely to remain more or less the same. That's the best advice you'll get about where to look for whatever it is you're looking for.
Transcendentalism sounds good, but if you look at it, you will see that it is inherently dualistic. The notion is that we must transcend the mundane to reach the divine. In truth, reality is one singular movement, with the divine located everywhere.
Logic is only as valid as the axioms it assumes. And a lot of those assumptions I observe are foolish, even though the majority is certain.
Undoubtedly, everything I think is wrong. But I'm doing my best as a human to have some semblance of regard for the truth.
Ultimately, yes, it is all one, but it is good to make distinctions. Mass and energy are really the same, but we all know that for practical purposes, they are different. Mind, body and soul are all one, at bottom, but how could we make any sense without defining these words? Existence is unity, though multifaceted, and there are many quasi-independent levels, interacting in marvelous ways. As always, perspective is useful.
In establishing the veracity of a proposition, it is usually best to have evidence supporting it. However, there are true statements that cannot be proven, or even supported by extant evidence. They are still true.
The matter, energy and consciousness of which you are constituted are infinitely old. In this sense, you are not "you" at all.
In my experience, what usually ends up happening is something you had never even thought of.
Because humans are too stupid to realize the truth, they figure that they already know what it is.
The insistence upon empiricism has grown rather ridiculous. How much sense does it make, really, for a human to say that some phenomenon cannot possibly exist if humans are unable to perceive it? The fraction of reality that falls upon human senses at any given time is quite small. The world given by empirical data does not encompass the entire continuum of experience.
I have some experience with academic philosophy, but I do not particularly jibe with the whole elaborate and rigorous and systematic approach to logics based upon axioms which are as couched in subjectivity as anything at all and could be bonkers compared to the actual truth. It seems to me that much of the enterprise is based upon axioms which are in fact false. Call me intellectually lazy if you want; I prefer using my own reason and intuition to feel for the truth as best I can, and I feel I can give academic philosophy a run for its money much of the time.
Nothing is absolute about the premises or consequents of human logic, which is necessarily couched in emotion and desire.
It is true that our minds operate based upon neurological constructs formed by sensory stimuli during our formative years. However, other aspects of neurological function have absolutely nothing to do with sensory input. It seems that Locke's "Tabula Rasa" is not the whole story.
Nietzsche's concept of master and slave morality clearly has considerable merit. But the notions of cruelty as virtue and compassion as weakness diverge from my experience.
It's a misunderstanding of both science and religion to believe the two are mutually contradictory, or in any way incompatible.
Ignorance and certitude make an abominable combination.
Complexity comes from being, not being from complexity.
It's curious to me that so many in the modern, secular world are obsessed with denying God's existence and denying that there could possibly be any order inherent in Nature (which might somehow suggest existence beyond the mundane). Why is this? So far as I know, most societies throughout human history have not embraced this quirk. Indeed, we dress up our nihilism with elaborate and ornate costumes, but it is still an insistence upon a fundament of accidents and meaninglessness. Why do we do this?
It can be decidedly useful to differentiate between that which is manmade, and that which isn't. To use, as a convention, the labels 'unnatural' and 'natural' to refer to these categories can also be useful, and using them in this way does no real harm. In point of fact we all know that we have a planet here that was at one point unaltered, and in the last few millennia has been altered considerably. To deny the reality of these very specific alterations seems silly, and to posit that we ought not use the aforementioned convention to describe them -- because everything under the sun is technically "natural" -- seems unnecessary. The dichotomy of 'man and nature' need not be avoided if we are consistent and scrupulous in our definitions.
In every human thought and concept, there is an element of truth, and there is an element of falsehood. The proportion varies with the quality of the thought.
Academic philosophy is the systematic attempt to understand the non-systematic.
Reason has its time and place, and can construct rich systems of thought, but it does not operate at a level fundamental for Nature. Reality favors a form of paradox over one of dualism or the dialectic. As modern humans, some of us feel perhaps unduly proud of our logics, whereas those peoples whose continuum is more fully centered on a paradoxical way of seeing and living may be at a closer approach to the core of Nature's truth.
Where do people like Richard Dawkins get their bestselling information? Nature does not in any way indicate, one way or another, whether or not there is truly a God, or gods. One might just as well get his information about this from the Kardashians as from Dawkins. He's smart, and he's a good biologist, but honestly, he should stick to biology.
Language always has its uses -- even with non-ordinary states. These states probably cannot be described with language, true. But on the other hand, we can refer to visionary experiences, and this can excite recognition or make people curious to learn more. This is a useful and meaningful way to apply language to these experiences. Though, indeed, the map is not the territory, it is still good to keep language around!
It's all well and good to internalize Korzybski and to say that the map is not the territory. But usually, when people think they've got to the territory, they're still looking at the map.
The Eastern traditions are wise, admirable, sophisticated and truthful, but they seem to condone perhaps an excessive passivity that may be counter to a more assertive mindset. The capacity not merely to exist but also to assert can be valuable.
I don't consider myself a success. I don't consider myself a failure. I consider myself outside of that category altogether.
Are things a generality in every possible existence, or are there existences which are beyond, or somehow alternate to, things? Could one "exist" in a reality without subjects and objects?
Koans: Where is the place at which subject and object are indistinguishable?
Yoga means union. How can oneness align with itself?
What is the meaning of silence to a deaf person? Darkness to a blind one?
Is the silence after a thunderclap louder than the silence before?
I agree with Alan Watts that "this is it." However, "it" would be a lot more pleasurable were the modern specimen not so corrupted and damned to suffer.
Causality and chance are probably both extensions from a deeper reality that is common to both. In other words, to see them as mutually exclusive opposites misses the truth.
I fear death not because I expect oblivion, but out of the anticipation of violent cataclysm. For practical purposes, it does not seem to be the end of anything.
We should spend our lives deepening and enriching ourselves, not worrying about trivial distractions like wealth and fame.
I am indebted to the immortal words of David Bohm, who emphasized the notion that existence is one undivided, flowing movement, and that wherever we see division, distinction or conflict, we have only to realize that we are the ones who put it there.