Tuesday, March 11, 2008

And God Said, Keep it Simple, Stupid (3.10.10)

When philosophy uses reason to resolve a doubt, this proves precisely that its starting point is a doubt which it is striving to overcome, whereas... the starting point of a metaphysical formulation is always something intellectually evident or certain, which is communicated, to those able to receive it, by symbolical or dialectical means designed to awaken in them the latent knowledge which they bear unconsciously and 'eternally' within them. --F. Schuon

Our recent guest once again proved the soundness of Schuon's rule of metaphysical formulations and the impossibility of communicating them to those unable to receive them. The Mysteries aren't intended to be vulgarized and dispensed to any yahoo with an open hand and empty head, and they certainly weren't meant to be eagerly groped and pawed over by the grubby fingers of new age barbarians who reduce the most sublime knowledge to its ego (or usually sub-ego) level equivalent.

History is littered with caricatures of spirit. I have in my hand a hideous but typical example, in the form of a catalog I received in the mail a couple of days ago from company called Sounds True. I bring this up not just for valid purposes of mockery and ridicule, but to emphasize that there is actually great spiritual danger in treating these matters so lightly. The Mandala Healing Kit: Spark Your Sacred Geometry (for people who can't spark euclidean geometry). Loveland: Music For Dreaming and Awakening (dreaming or awakening? Make up your mind!). The Advanced Manifestation Program: Upgrade the Way You Think -- And Live (upgrade only works if you start off really stupid). Take Charge of Your Life at The Quantum Level (since you obviously can't deal with reality on this level). Explore Non-Ordinary Reality with the Wisdom Tool of the Shaman (step one: bend over).

The hucksters who propagate this debased nonsense have nothing whatsoever to do with authentic spirituality. They are poseurs, flatterers, con men and unCoonmen pretending to be as dense as their followers so their followers can strive to feel as clever as they are. A real teacher is more likely to drive you away than to make outrageous promises and ask for your money. This is why it is best to work within an established religious framework. Sure, it's less glamorous, like indexing instead of trying to find some exotic or risky way to beat the stock market. Yes, there are some people who can do that, and there are some spiritual practitioners who are able to operate outside the lines. But doing so requires an abundance of caution -- not less discipline, but more. As Bob Dylan sang, to live outside the law, you must be honest. You must know your own limitations, because Reality will eventually bring you to heel.

Ronald Reagan once said words to the effect that "the solutions are simple, but not simplistic." As a matter of fact, simple is hard. Complexity is easy. Most people are very complex, especially the intelligent ones. Their intelligence just gives them more skill at pulling the wool over their own eyes (speaking of, er, complicated people, I read yesterday that Elliot Spitzer obtained a score of 1590 on the SAT and a perfect score on the LSAT, something only achieved previously by Satan himself, the "perfect" lawyer). People are full of unconscious wormholes, psychic envelopes, secret lives, hidden compulsions, ulterior motives, and auto-hypnotic delusions. While they may appear deep, their complexity tends to conceal their essential shallowness. For mysticism is nothing more than the art of living with one's whole being at a deeper level.

Macarius, a fourth century church father, discusses the problem of mind parasites weaving their way into the unconscious in a most vivid and arresting manner: "When the prince of wickedness and his angels burrow there, and make paths and thoroughfares there, on which the powers of Satan walk into your mind and thoughts, are you not in hell, a tomb, a sepulcher, a dead man towards God?"

Well?

Before we can enter the pneumatosphere, we must begin by clearly recognizing the hopelessly fragmented, dispersed (or hardened) and fallen situation in which we find ourselves, and sincerely wish to turn it around. Everything else depends upon this first recognition, for this is the "gap" through which grace enters (interesting point today at American Thinker about how leftists are always looking for a replacement for original sin, most recently, man's Environmental Badness). It is to realize, as written by Gregory Nazianzen, that we are "an animal en route to another native land," "halfway between greatness and nothingness." Call it repentance, metanoia, or just plain disgust, but it is the beginning of the process of reorienting our life around an altogether different center of gravity. We begin to detach from the local ego and objectively observe our thoughts and emotions, which is the opening salvo of spiritual warfare. It is to formally declare war on the forces in your psyche that pull you down and drag you out, from the depth to the surface, from the center to the periphery.

Denys the Areopagite wrote that "the higher we ascend, the more our words are straitened by the fact that what we understand is seen more and more altogether in a unifying and simplifying way." As "reason ascends from the lower to the transcendent, the more it ascends the more it is contracted, and when it has completely ascended it will become completely speechless, and be totally united with the Inexpressible." From lower complexity to higher simplicity. True science - -including spiritual science -- is the reduction of multiplicity to unity.

Have you ever met a simple, straightforward person with no agenda? Someone who is honest, transparent, and grounded, and doesn't change from day to day, depending on their mood?

Achieving this is actually the preliminary spadework of spiritual practice. You might say that it is both alpha and omega, because it is both cause and outcome. To put it another way, it begins as an efficient cause but eventually becomes a final cause. You begin by pushing, but eventually you will feel yourself pulled. What might be called the "spiritual dynamic" involves a combination of our own ceaseless efforts and the recognition that our unaided efforts will get us nowhere. As Bishop Kallistos Ware writes, "without God's grace we can do nothing; but without our voluntary cooperation God will do nothing."

Here's one for you to ponder. Basil the Great, a fourth century church father, said "A mind which is not dispersed among external things, returns to itself, and from itself ascends to God by an unerring path." Was it not Matthew who wrote, "if thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light"? Yes, if thine "I" be single, many felicitous things follow. Somehow, verticality is a function of centration, of getting all of your I's on the same page.

Just to show you how much overlap there is over the vertical horizon, I will leave you with a couple of quotes from Sri Aurobindo: "What we are now, or rather what we perceive as ourselves and so call, is only an ignorant partial and superficial formulation of our nature. It is not our whole self; it is not even our real self; it is a little representative personality.... There is a secret soul in us that is our true person.... to unveil that soul and that self is one of the most important movements of Yoga."

The lower mind consists mostly of "a complex mass of mental, nervous, and physical habits held together by a few ruling ideas, desires and associations -- an amalgam of many small self-repeating forces with a few major vibrations." A person fixated at this level "respects what belongs to the domain of mind mostly for its utility for the support, comfort, use, satisfaction and entertainment of his phsyical and sensational existence." He regards the higher as "a superfluous but pleasant luxury of imaginations, feelings and thought-abstractions, not as inner realities...."

But "Mind is a passage, not a culmination": "Destiny in the rigid sense applies only to the outer being so long as it lives in the Ignorance.... But as soon as one enters the path of spiritual life, this old predetermined destiny begins to recede. There comes in a new factor, the Divine Grace, the help of a higher Divine Force other than the force of Karma.... It is here that the hostile forces playing on the weaknesses of the past nature strive to prevent the rapidity of the progress and to postpone the fulfillment."

In short, while the initial task is to turn from complexity to simplicity, from fragmentation to unity, there are forces within us that naturally wish to preserve their prerogatives and maintain the status quo. Hence the need for spiritual warfare -- for inner vigilance, for watchfulness, for facing oneself, for separating from those things that separate us from spirit, for building the Inner Citadel and abiding in your own personal slackatorium.

One commences with a method, but the work is taken up by a Grace from above, from That to which one aspires or an irruption of the infinitudes of the Spirit. --Sri Aurobindo

81 Comments:

Blogger Jill said...

Thanks Bob for a fabulous post. There's so much to think about and ponder, especially "From lower complexity to higher simplicity."

3/11/2008 09:45:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

Speaking of Elliots and useless, vacant complexity, the composer Elliot Carter is a prime example. His compositions are so ridiculously complex, so much so that even the most adept instrumentalists literally find them impossible to play. No accident, I think, that his compositions are also punchless and without spiritual resonance or depth. Of course, he seemed to win a Pulitzer Prize every year, being propelled by the frantic lobbying of the NY Times.

Just as the left is always trying to find a surrogate for original sin, it's also fond of making complexity a surrogate for genuine depth.

If only someone could save them from going insane from their useless and pointless knowledge. (in this case,knowledge = complexity, not gnosis)

3/11/2008 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I think of the simplicity of classic Asian art, that conveys so much with just a few well-placed lines, or of modal jazz that is structured around one or two abstract chords, a la Kind of Blue.

3/11/2008 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger James said...

Awesome Bob. I work with computers. You are dead right when you say complexity is easy. It takes a lot of work and a lot of thought to create something simple. I think that is a universal principle.
I've never read anyone who lays out the spiritual path in so few words. Bravo and Thanks.

3/11/2008 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

When Sounds True showed up in the 90s, it seemed promising. Started by a lady whose teacher is Reginald Ray (a Westerner, whose Buddhist teachers were the 16th Karmapa and Chogyam Trungpa), she seemed sincere in her intent.

But while her recorded programs have been varied, and a cut above Nightingale-Conant (Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins, Deepak, etc), they are, in my opinion, just as Bob represented them.

"Metaphysical hustlers come in dozens,
for a dime..."

More recently, a man regarded as a master in a field I am familiar with recommended to his students the work of Lynne McTaggart (yes, Sounds True offers her audio program), who wrote The Field. As far as I can tell, this book is "The Secret + Science," and the last third of the book is all about "using" The Field for personal success and wealth.

Why are such teachers associating with this stuff?

There's got to be better material to study -- in fact, just pondering today's post and applying its ideas would take one far!

3/11/2008 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"Why are such teachers associating with this stuff?"

Simple, Walt - because it sells.

People are always looking for a magic bullet to success. They will foolishly waste time and money on things that promise material wealth and happiness, while studiously ignoring the things that would truly benefit them (because that usually involves weeding out the mind parasites, putting in a lot of elbow grease, and often doing away with the things they think they really need). The truth is, most people become wealthy by working hard and making sacrifices, both in the horizontal and vertical senses. But people don't want to hear that - they'd rather just win a lottery, or start a website that magically rakes in the dough, even though those things are so unlikely to happen as to be virtually impossible. They don't want to hear that true happiness is not about constant thrills, it's about being content within yourself and counting your blessings. Those things are simultaneously too simple to sound valuable to the desperate, and at the same time more challenging to accomplish than they'd like.

Additionally, it makes them feel special or more important to have access to some secret formula that gives them an edge over everyone else (see also Stuff White People Like).

3/11/2008 11:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Episteme said...

The opening quote from Schuon demonstrates a curious confusion; that Metaphysics is something separate from Philosophy and that they employ different methods.

This is, of course, not true. Metaphysics is a major branch of Philosophy, in some views the most significant branch.

'the starting point of a metaphysical formulation is always something intellectually evident'

Yes, this is called A Priori. The idea of the a priori is a very old one and is used in Philosophy, both in Metaphysics and in other areas as well, all the time.

Its not that people who disagree, such as myself, with the things you assert a priori don't understand the idea or method of a priori, but that we simply don't see the things you suggest are self-evident and necessarily true are in fact self-evident or necessarily true.

Now, you can say that we don't have ears to hear or eyes to see, but we can just as well say you are seeing things which don't exist or asserting necessities where there are only contingencies.

If one wants to resolve such a disagreement[which it seems many of you do not, which to me suggests either cowardice, laziness or insecurity] there are two possible methods. One is what I originally suggested, which is to judge such a priori claims on the 'fruits' that they produce. But since we can't seem to agree on what Fruits are produced by someone who is aware, a priori, of Truth, we have to resort to a different method; reductio ad absurdum.

If someone asserts, a priori, that something, lets say Principle X, is necessarily and self-evidently true then they are saying that there is no way to consistently think or function without resort to, or acceptance of, Principle X.

If I disagree with the person asserting Principle X and say that it is not self-evident and/or necessarily true, they must demonstrate that my rejection of Principle X entails contradiction in my thinking and/or functioning. For if I am able to adequately and competently think and function without resorting to or accepting, even implicitly, Principle X it must be the case that Principle X is not necessarily and universally true.

3/11/2008 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Bright Bridge
all at once he saw
a way forward opening
seekers know his arc

3/11/2008 11:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Episteme said...

And to the idea of Simplicity, I agree with Einstein that

"Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler."

3/11/2008 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Today's post "sounds true" indeed, and not in the sense of a string of logical arguments. Rather in a more primal sense, like the sound of a musical instrument that is finely tuned. It seems so very obvious, I would be tempted to think that any random passer-by could read it and think: "Of course! That's how it must be!"

And yet... I have shed so much from my life (I can't even say pruned, for it is more like things withered and fell off) but the vital mind will without fail find something to latch onto, to create yet another diversion.

3/11/2008 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

episteme - I see it now. You are so full of yourself that you have no idea how empty you are. I'm certain the blind will follow you anywhere - go find them, please.

3/11/2008 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

epi - It's becoming clear that you despise (perhaps hate) what many of us believe here in this little coongregation. Else why do you return? What is your motivation for being here if not for the vain hope of dissuasion. Unless...you are painfully aware of what you lack and hope to perhaps find it here? You're human, after all. Perhaps you should stop to really listen, rather then just waiting to speak.

3/11/2008 12:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

The question we need to ask is not whether we are pleasing to a given troll, but on the contrary whether a given troll is pleasing to us; it is out of the question, for a blog such as ours, to make a given troll’s stay as agreeable as possible. We owe him nothing, he owes us everything; we can have no motive to desire his visit, it is he who desires to see us and who therefore must make himself intelligible and acceptable; we do not ask anything of any troll -- it is clearly trolls who ask something of us, otherwise they would not come.

3/11/2008 12:31:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

hmm, epi not only stands above Schuon, but also above the Founding Fathers who held some truths to be self-evident and who didn't feel the need to intellectually validate it - as if it could be intellectually validated on the material plane that that kind of intellectualism exists. As Godell proved (this via Bob) there is much we know as truth that we can never intellectually prove.

epi, you bloated jackass, do yourself a favor, do everybody a favor, just leave. You may leave thinking we're all your deluded inferiors, but just leave. You may leave thinking we're all intimidated by you and don't really think of you as a thoroughly mundane, self-inflated ass, but just leave. Life is short, epi, you don't want to be casting your pearls before swine, right? leave, don't come back.

3/11/2008 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Bob - I will refrain (for once) from referencing the myriad of validating scripture that came to mind as I pondered today's post. What a treasure. Thanks yet again.

3/11/2008 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Nomo, some of us here quite enjoy your validating scripture. Please, don't refrain!

3/11/2008 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Hi Episteme. I don't think agreeing has much to do with anything here. It is not that kind of place. It is like... say, you get into a concert hall while a concert is in progress and has been for a while, and you start telling people that you disagree with the music or the orchestra or the composer. Sorry, but that doesn't really matter. That's not why we are here.

3/11/2008 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Anyone notice the other night, under cover of darkness, that Old Yeller (Inty) swung by, to express respect for epi's intelligence, and punch the air toward the Raccoon Den?

In. cor. ri. gi. ble.

3/11/2008 12:48:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Epi,

I read and think about what you say with an open mind, so I don't want this to sound dismissive. You are aware that you're chasing your tail, right?

3/11/2008 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger gumshoe said...

"interesting point today at American Thinker about how leftists are always looking for a replacement for original sin, most recently, man's Environmental Badness)"

Bob -
i haven't been able to keep up with your postings,
so i may have missed your commentary on this very interesting Am Thinker article:
______________________________
March 01, 2008
Ten Commandments for a Biblical Psychology and Psychotherapy
By Kalman J. Kaplan

http://tinyurl.com/3cgyqt
______________________________


the author attempts to point out and questions the weight psychology and psychotherapy has given to Greek sources of myth...and seems to suggest this choice might
exacerbate psychological problems rather than aleiviate them.

i sense
there is a conflict between
Judeo/Christian religious tradition
and the Greco/Roman that is much deeper than we "moderns" imagine.

3/11/2008 01:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Bob. Great post. I needed that.

3/11/2008 01:46:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

I dunno, I feel somewhat abashed over responding to epi's flatlander intellectual calisthenics, and yet - here we have what I feel is an excellent example of my Village of the Blind paradigm. (as many of you are painfully aware, I will happily trot out my VoB paradigm at every possible opportunity)

In any event, the blind-since-birth person - here played by epi - has never been graced with eyesight and perceives only through touch, smell, hearing, and a certain spatial sense of up/down/sideways-ness. Meanwhile, certain individuals who have been graced with eyesight have informed epi that there is such a thing as color. This is something that epi cannot perceive, nor can he imagine the perception itself. He is indeed adept within the confines of his perceptions, but the concept of color is literally beyond him.

Thus when epi declares that he can just as rightfully say there is no thing such as color, he is being correct - within the confines of his own perception, which is of course, his entire existence. There is no contradiction in his thinking, his reasoning is not flawed - within the confines of his own perception. Still, he demands proof of color via his own limited perceptual capacity. Sighted Person hands epi a stone and says, "epi, this stone is reddish in color." Epi feels stone, smells the stone, launches into philosophical spiel that includes everything known about stone-ness, everything that can logically deduced re stone-ness, and then concludes by saying that nothing in the field of stone-ness can account for this thing called "color". Epi has heard of the ancient philosophers and their occasional reference to color, which he has come to believe is a sensation produced by a heightening of the senses of touch and smell. What else does he with which to reckon?

And so Epi asks, "if I grip this stone as hard as I can, will I then perceive color?" No, epi, you will not, the eyesighted people tell him. "If I hold this stone under my nose and smell it for an entire week, will I then perceive color?" No, epi, you will not. At that point, epi believes the sighted cannot prove to him that color exists - and he is right!

As epi's un-sighted comrades congratulate him for showing the color-claiming mystics up, the sighted decide to form their own village where they can base their lives on their sighted-ness.

Unfortunately, epi keeps showing up in the new village, barking out the same old stuff. He's really starting to annoy them.

3/11/2008 07:05:00 PM  
Anonymous ropata said...

Hail fellow creatures! I am reporting from the semi-socialist utopia of New Zealand; where the women wear trousers and gumboots, and the men head overseas. I've been reading your radnom shenanigags and bobfoolery for a year or so, just thought I'd pop up to greet you all.

This was one of the best encapsulations of all that I have come to love about Gagdad Bob and his therapeutic injections of reality into an increasingly discombobulated cultural intercourse.

I am currently emerging from a lifetime of disconnection from my "true self"; my false self (and associated parasites) had pretty much taken over, and I was flailing about the Christian life, barely (but thankfully by grace) still able to maintain a vertical connection to the Father. Horizontal thinking was (still is) a large obstacle to overcome, I have been figuring out relational boundaries and practicing a self-awareness technique called "ABC" (activating event; belief pattern; consequence) whenever the false self tries to make a comeback.

I tried integrative therapy for over a year; it helped me to accept my self and defragment, but not to overcome sin. I tried fasting and praying; it was effective for a season, but the false self was not dealt with. In my case there was some initial damage to my self-image, then it became a self-sustaining parasitic swarm. Yuk yuk yuk. It has taken years of encouragement and kindness from the Holy Spirit for the lost "me" to come out of my cave and connect authentically with people again.

So judging from painful personal experience, Bob has hit the head on the nail! :)

ka kite ano e hoa maa.

[captcha: expelzkh]

3/11/2008 07:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Episteme said...

The village of the blind analogy is not an apt one.

The sighted people would obviously be much better at nearly every task they engage in when compared to their blind counterparts. The blind could never be made to sense color or fully understand what it is, but they would be well aware of how inadequately they would fare when up against a sighted person in just about every way. The sighted people would be better hunters, farmers, tool makers, game players, etc. Sighted people would easily avoid obstacles which would impair the blind.

In short, this would be a case where the claim to being aware of a whole other aspect of reality would be easily judged by evaluating the 'fruits' produced by such knowledge.

So what exactly are the fruits produced by this capacity of awareness that I, and many others it seems, apparently lack? What great advantages do you have being aware, as you think you are, of Truth? If you really see this whole part of reality that I can't see, what is it that you can do that I can't?

3/11/2008 07:43:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

Some questions betray such an absence of light, that responding to them is a complete waste of time. To put it another way, your questions betray the answers from which the questions flow.

3/11/2008 07:59:00 PM  
Anonymous terrence said...

AT 3/11/2008 07:43:00 PM, Episteme said... ‘The village of the blind analogy is not an apt one.’

He then went on to demonstrate, yet again, how completely apt the VofB is, in reference to himself. He, yet again, demonstrates the old saying ‘There are none so blind, so those who WILL (as it were) not see”.

3/11/2008 08:11:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

And of course, in his mechanical, purblind manner, epi takes the Village of the Blind analogy much too literally, extrapolates meaninglessly, and misses the point all together - as usual.

BTW, harking back to Bob's post the other day re language paralleling the holographic and multidimensional - I recall reading somewhere that Aurobindo thought that the first evidence of the SuperConscious influx into the human spirit was that of poetry, lyrical expressiveness. Now of course, the spirit touched by the divine need not literally manifest poetry - there are all kinds of poetic manifestation - but still, a certain lyricism, to greater and lesser degrees, is evidenced in those who are spiritually attuned.

Notice how epi's posts/prose seem devoid of sparkle, of life? There's something stultifying mechanical about his expression, something dead, without resonance. You can hear the gears clicking and the levers pumping, but . . . no radiance. It's like listening to the language of a praying mantis.

Lyricism is a language unto itself with its own subtleties. It conveys meaning and message. Obviously lost on epi.

And yes, epi I could prove, have proved that my life is more expansively functional than yours - but you wouldn't be able to comprehend, see it. You're blind, remember?

3/11/2008 08:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Dusty said...

"The blind could never be made to sense color or fully understand what it is, but they would be well aware of how inadequately they would fare when up against a sighted person in just about every way."

No, not really. The blind persons can't see a quality (color) that is beyond them, and therefore, in an attempt at understanding, will collapse the higher qualities into quantities, and apply all kinds of logic to fill in the holes.

"The sighted people would be better hunters, farmers, tool makers, game players, etc."

But in this case, the color represents quality; so the task that those that who are embodying the higher quality are non-existent, or outside the range of vision, to the persons who are disembodied (cut off) from the quality. In other words, it appears as though this blog, as well as how most of us spend our daily lives, are useless delusions.

"Sighted people would easily avoid obstacles which would impair the blind."

Well yes, that's true.

"In short, this would be a case where the claim to being aware of a whole other aspect of reality would be easily judged by evaluating the 'fruits' produced by such knowledge."

You can't eat this fruit until you evolve the stomach to digest it, which means that your not even qualified to evaluate those people that your after, and they know this.

"If you really see this whole part of reality that I can't see, what is it that you can do that I can't?"

That's a really dumb question from someone calling themselves episteme. The answer is...knowing, and all action that eventually flows from it, though fruits do take time to ripen. :)

3/11/2008 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Will, I know Epi has really been you all along. To think I will fall for it again, ha! Just like Bob's retirement last month. Okay, keep taking the piss out of us...The entertainment value alone is priceless! It has provided and provoked many great comments. There couldn't really possibly be someone that dense, could there?

3/11/2008 08:45:00 PM  
Anonymous dusty said...

"Notice how epi's posts/prose seem devoid of sparkle, of life? There's something stultifying mechanical about his expression, something dead, without resonance. You can hear the gears clicking and the levers pumping, but . . . no radiance. It's like listening to the language of a praying mantis"

Why then are so many of them attracted to this place? Is it because what's written spurs anxiety due to reality conflicts, or is there a secret attraction and pull towards something mysteriously, though seemingly insane and non-existent, beyond.

Well, I guess those two are kind of the same thing--the problem is the door.

Reminds me of a passage out of Frithjof Schuons biography that seems on topic:

"When one is unfamiliar with the atmosphere of ashrams, monasteries, or spiritual communities, one maybe astonished by the presence of such people in the proximity of spiritual masters...[these have been called].. "impossible people," always critical, mediocre, psychopathic, or paranoid, for whom the light has an irresistible attraction..."

3/11/2008 08:56:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Well, Lisa, in a way, you are correct!!

Epi might very well be my inner dense-ness, a zombie-projection made flesh, the intellect cut loose from the Source and living out a nightmarish half-life. Well, he's Bob's, too, as well as of a whole host of others here.

AND MAYBE YOURS, TOO, LISA.

(next episode - Lisa thinks she sees a lipsticked, high-heeled epi in line at Starbucks and she flees in horror, wanting to believe it is only a trick of the brain)

3/11/2008 08:59:00 PM  
Anonymous dusty said...

Whatever Lisa. I don't think Will could fake that well. Either that, or I'm blind. And what would he have to gain from it?

3/11/2008 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Don't get testy, Dusty. Will does this every couple of months or so, yet lately it has been longer, just to mess with us and keep us on our toes or at least giggling!

I'm sure you are correct about that Will, maybe even me too! Were you spying on me at Starbucks again. Actually, I have discovered the best thing about Starbucks, their coffee liquor- delicious with a cup of skim milk, really does the body good! This weekend I got in a little spat with someone because I didn't like his answer! I would have preferred to just blow past it with a whatever, but was made to accept the reality that I was being unreasonable. I blame Starbucks! Uggh. Humans when will they ever learn!?;)

3/11/2008 09:07:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>Why then are so many of them attracted to this place?<<

A good question, Dusty. Let me ponder.

OK, I've pondered. In epi's case, judging from his general tone, I'm thinking it's a matter of his wanting to exercise his nerdish know-it-all-ness. An exercise in ego, in other words. How many of us would wander into a site more inclined toward epi's perspective and continue arguing, challenging, etc? Very few of us, I would wager, simply because we know it's a lost cause, and more importantly, because we generally lack the ego-need to prove ourselves in that manner.

Overall, it should be remembered that the Light does attract the dark - moth to the flame sort of thing. In this fallen world, the dark is almost gravitationally pulled toward the Light, wants to extinguish it, is challenged by it past the point of reason. It's deeper motivations, I think, are clear, even if its particular carrier is not so aware.

And no, I'm not saying epi is evil. He is blind, though, and proud of it, an unhealthy combo.

3/11/2008 09:18:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Lisa, now you've got dusty half-believing that I actually am epi, and no, dusty, I am not.

Thing is - with a little training and mastery of the lingo and thought-framing, I could be epi, think like him, express myself like him. Basically, you wouldn't know the difference.

However, epi could not be me.

There's a moral/lesson there.

3/11/2008 09:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

That reminds me -- growth is a matter of containing what once contained you.

Similarly, you can never totally eliminate mind parasites, but you can contain them, i.e., become "larger" and more capacious than they are.

3/11/2008 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

I'm beginning to like this Epi.

Epi said, "If you really see this whole part of reality that I can't see, what is it that you can do that I can't?"

Simple - believe and love.

Oh yeah, and get the best wv's ever: fzthtnnm (beat that!)

3/11/2008 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

That explains the tight fitting jeans, thanks Petey! I thought it was just the cupcakes!

3/11/2008 09:47:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Dusty, one more thing - another reason not many of us would loiter around an epi-like site while trying to champion our cause is because the sheer oppressiveness, the airlessness of such an environment would be too much to bear for any length of time.

Epi and his ilk might think it because we're intimidated by the intellectual challenge and whatnot, but trust me, we're talking two very different species of human here - the epi-like site's atmosphere is unbreathable, toxic to our kind. The lack of spiritual radiance, of sparkle and the high-frequency vibe is very oppressive.

You'll note that our atmosphere is clearly not truly toxic to their kind, thus they keep coming in to loiter and to do what they can to lower the frequency.

3/11/2008 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Wow.

Mountain climbing with depth charges... excellent post today.

"While they may appear deep, their complexity tends to conceal their essential shallowness. For mysticism is nothing more than the art of living with one's whole being at a deeper level."

Along with a double grand-slam meal at Denys.

Today's gonna take some digesting.

Ahhh...yummm....

3/11/2008 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Episteme said... "The opening quote from Schuon demonstrates a curious confusion; that Metaphysics is something separate from Philosophy and that they employ different methods. "

From the heights to the flats in two clicks.

epi, try the grand slam at Denys, you need it.

3/11/2008 10:11:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Well, citizens of One Cosmos, I believe it's that time of the year again, the time for my annual reading of my troll poem. So gather 'round the fire, friends and listen to my tale of . . .

THE TROLL PRIMEVAL

trolls come and go
like days of sun and days of snow -

one pictures them as tiny things
with crooked backs and insect wings -

and eyes that roll like a drunkard's moon,
and florid breath, aye, one could swoon -

from whence they come? well, no one knows,
but a school of thought says: from Black Holes!

with their clamminess and dark thought ramble-ly,
some think they're of the mushroom family,

that they grow in forests where the sun is nil
and sprout small legs eventually, but still

others think that their rife debasement
means they were conjured in some voodoo basement -

each theory has merits I must entertain
for as we have noticed, as they appear yet again,

all of them, down to the last nutter
is as though designed by cookie-cutter:

the garbling, the syntax, the fever of brain . . .
the notions themselves - they're all the same!

what if - no, it cannot be -
yet they bend the mind towards conspiracy

most foul and thoughts all undone
for what if there's not many a troll . . but one!

Aye, one massive troll, always in flux,
the size of one of those Monster Rally Trucks -

let's say it lives in the death valley gloom,
because, c'mon, who's going to rent it a room?

it's got glowing red eyes and giggles a lot
as it squats huge over its cowering lap top

as it posts its dribble and nonsensical spume
under one of many a nom d' plume,

be it "Copi" or "Benedict", the dithering fuss
(when the troll is drunk, it's default "anonymous")

and when the troll shifts buttocks on the dried up rivers,
somewhere a Richter needle shivers -

all right, OK, this is only a guess -
perhaps I need an aspirin and a good eve of rest -

but when the hour is wee and the lights dim,
and your thoughts begin to churn grim,

you'll wonder if the fluttering leaves
aren't really fat massive fingers working the keys -

but enough! you all have your own memes -
goodnite, sleep well - and oh yes - sweet dreams!

3/11/2008 10:17:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

footnote to THE TROLL PRIMEVAL -

* - the names Copi and Benedict refer to two trolls of yesteryear, both formidable in their own trollhood. However, future upgrades of TROLL PRIMEVAL will include the replacement names of Inty and Epi. As the theme of the poem suggests, this replacement is not meant to connote any qualitative difference with respect to troll-ness.

3/11/2008 10:33:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

A note to epi whilst I'm out on my midnight creep:

You ask re the Village of the Blind analogy, "So what exactly are the fruits produced by this capacity of awareness that I, and many others it seems, apparently lack?"

As I said, the fruits are already apparent to those who have the eyes, ears, etc. However, the sighted villagers have not been sighted for that long, not in historical terms. The manifestations of the fruit will become much more evident in tangible, concrete terms in time.
As these seem to be the only terms accessable for you, you'll have to wait.

I suppose one precursor would be the collapse of the USSR, the current moribund state of Russia, in particular. It, too, was dependent on a dead intellectualism, a god that failed.

No, I'm not saying you're a marxist, only that you drink from the same trough.

3/11/2008 11:09:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Episteme,

What you seek is here. That "still small voice" which you are unconsciously following back to this blog realizes that. In order to get what you want but don't yet know that you want it, the path is simple.






Just send $19.99 to:

What I Need
1937 Calabasas DR,
Concordville, CA 9680...........

I'll throw in a free "Wisdom Tool of the Shaman", just for you.

3/11/2008 11:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Episteme said...

Not a single attempt to actually answer the question honestly or straightforwardly.

I expected better.

3/11/2008 11:25:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>Not a single attempt to actually answer the question honestly or straightforwardly<<

It was both honest and straightfoward, but not so far as you are able to discern.

3/11/2008 11:32:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

And I had expected better.

3/12/2008 12:21:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Ahhh-h-h....

A pleasure to wake up to!

And now, another day at the office: growing my container and cultivating my fruit!

3/12/2008 03:51:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Wow! The VoB paradigm AND the Troll Primeval poem on the same day!
A hearty TW to Will! Thanks Pal! :^)

3/12/2008 05:36:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

epi, you didn't follow the links to your previous incarnation did you? Or did you read them and just wanted to go through typing the comments in your own unique 'style'?

If you had read them, you would have seen your comments you made here today, and the blind analogy - although that time Will put it into a cool Gno play (in which yours truly had a speaking part. Still waiting for the movie version with Lisa doing some martial arts moves - hopefully in her trapeze outfit... but I digress). I'll refrain from rewordgitating a response, and while just noting your lack of depth perception, refer you to an OptAumitrist I know at the The I Doctor".

3/12/2008 05:44:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Walt said "... Anyone notice the other night, under cover of darkness, that Old Yeller (Inty) swung by..."

Heh, I did... but he seemed so peaceful and content with his "Van got a dressing down" comment, that I didn't have the heart to swat him. I figured I'd toss him (and us) a bone, and let sleazing dogs lie.

3/12/2008 05:51:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Lisa said "...Actually, I have discovered the best thing about Starbucks, their coffee liquor..."

(Ixnay on the arbucksSta... Ximeze's watching... just sayin')

3/12/2008 06:00:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Will said "what if - no, it cannot be -
yet they bend the mind towards conspiracy

most foul and thoughts all undone
for what if there's not many a troll . . but one!"

More! (and pass the marshmellows... Lisa! No double roasts!)

3/12/2008 06:07:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

epissedmeoff said "If I disagree with the person asserting Principle X and say that it is not self-evident and/or necessarily true, they must demonstrate that my rejection of Principle X entails contradiction in my thinking and/or functioning."

If principle X is "The world is Spherical and revolves around the sun, and if you use a teleoscope you can see the Truth of this to be self evident", and you come in and then assert as "No, the world is flat and anyone can plainly see that the sun rotates around us"... and you're the tenth person to make the assexertion...there's a strong liklihood that people will not feel a need to go into to detail to correct you, especially when they know that you are going to refuse to look into the teleoscope - let alone acknowledge that it exists.

In short - bug off.

3/12/2008 06:18:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Van said...
Walt said "... Anyone notice the other night, under cover of darkness, that Old Yeller (Inty) swung by..."

Heh, I did... but he seemed so peaceful and content with his "Van got a dressing down" comment, that I didn't have the heart to swat him. I figured I'd toss him (and us) a bone, and let sleazing dogs lie."

Hey Van! I swatted that ol' bag of rabid bones for you! I gnew you needed yer beauty sleep. :^)
Maineman and Hoarhey helped out.

But it was a drive-by rabid rant.
I hate wastin' my anti-rabid rant smackdowns on drive-by's.
Especially the rabidly retarded kind.

3/12/2008 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"The Mandala Healing Kit: Spark Your Sacred Geometry (for people who can't spark euclidean geometry). Loveland: Music For Dreaming and Awakening (dreaming or awakening? Make up your mind!). The Advanced Manifestation Program: Upgrade the Way You Think -- And Live (upgrade only works if you start off really stupid). Take Charge of Your Life at The Quantum Level (since you obviously can't deal with reality on this level). Explore Non-Ordinary Reality with the Wisdom Tool of the Shaman (step one: bend over)."

That was too funny not to repost again in the comments! :^)

3/12/2008 06:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Episteme said...

Van, your counter example of

"The world is Spherical and revolves around the sun, and if you use a teleoscope you can see the Truth of this to be self evident"

isn't an appropriate counter example at all. It confuses Necessary with Contingent, a priori vs a posteriori and Universal with Contextual.

But I applaud the effort to actually offer a reasoned counter argument.

3/12/2008 07:46:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Good morning folks! I'm doing a little dead-threading since I was too tired last night to do much more than throw out a couple of snarks over at LGF. (thanks for the +'s, Ben!)
Eight hours with a pressure washer will do that for you. Who needs dope?
The following is 100% snark free:
Epi, I'm going to take a wild chance that you're really looking for something, and not just coming around here for the abuse.
Do you want to experience what Will, and Bob, and the rest of the gang here are talking about? You can. Here's how.
Start with prayer. Be as absolutely sincere as you can be, and pray. Here's a good beiginning:
God, for this one day, I place my life, and my will in your care. Show me the way that you would have me follow. Teach me the path on which you would have me walk. Grant me the humility to do these things.
It doesn't matter if you do not believe in God. Act like you do; pray like you do. And keep it up. Your cynisism will be fully refunded if you should decide to quit.

JWM

3/12/2008 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Dougman said...

Episteme-
"What great advantages do you have being aware, as you think you are, of Truth? If you really see this whole part of reality that I can't see, what is it that you can do that I can't?"

I can sympathize(spelling?) where you're coming from.

I don't think I can give you an answer that would wholely satisfy you straight forward so I'll try an example.

Are you familier with 3-D pictures?

For years I could not for the life of me see beyond the crazy flippin' image that was printed on the paper, but others could see what was imbedded within that same picture.
Until one day it slowly revealed itself to my mind.
Now I can see inside those pictures with no problem at all.
Until I saw it for myself I could not believe that would be possible to do that.

Have you ever tried looking at some of those pictures?

3/12/2008 08:00:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

cynicism.
i can haz spelng

JWM

3/12/2008 08:18:00 AM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Okay, Epi. You are correct that no one has bothered to tell you what the "fruits" are, but that's only because they know -- I suppose in this case, beieve -- that you will continue to deny the value of seeing color no matter how well your question is answered.

But here's a concrete answer, which I assume will just prove my point: the keyboard you're typing on, the Pieta, and the periodic table.

3/12/2008 08:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Episteme said...

Its very interesting to see all the comments predicated on the assumption that I am somehow Spiritually, or as I prefer, Metaphysically, vacant and inexperienced.

The truth is quite to the contrary. I am a long practicing Buddhist, experienced both in terms of Buddhist Philosophy and Meditation. I am no stranger to being mindful and open to what experience and perception have to reveal or convey.

Many of you have compared, in various ways, Understanding Truth to perception. While this comparison has some sense to it, it also breaks down before one goes to far with it. Truth is not an object. We can say, metaphorically, that we see it with 'our mind's eye', but this is, ultimately, a metaphor. Understanding is quite distinct from Perception.

Truth is singular, that is to say, Without Duality. Therefore Truth cannot be in any way considered an object to be perceived, for if one could perceive it there would then be something which is 'other' or 'external' to Truth. But this would be duality which contradicts the very nature of Truth.

Metaphysics then, owing to its primary subject matter, Truth, is Metaphysica Negativia, Negative Metaphysics.

Since Truth is characterized by what is not rather than what is, it cannot, by definition, be Perceived, but rather only Understood.

3/12/2008 09:17:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

This is exactly why Budhism is a turn off. It is a cold and sterile substitute for religion. It's fine as a sort of science of the mind, but I've seen a lot of folks just like yourself who turn to Budhism as a sort of escape from their religious upbringing (or lack thereof). You would rather believe that you are somehow, perfectable, that you can, with enough effort on your part, acheive the enlightenment of the masters than admit that you are a fallen creature in need of grace.
No humility required. No grace available. I will now echo Will:
Go away.

JWM

3/12/2008 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

epissedmeoff said "... Van, your counter example ... isn't an appropriate counter example at all. It confuses Necessary with Contingent...."

It seems appropriate to continue the dead-threading, so epi, stop there, look deep into your mind, find that point in your philosophy where Kant snuck in his Necessary vs Contingent gimmick, and rip it out wholesale. Find the parts that weave into it, and repair the damage - do that, and you may begin to regain your depth perception - the blind may learn to see.

I don't mean to keep referencing old posts of mine, but since you keep making old arguments, it seems only fair. From Would you trust a liar who told you he was going to lie to you? - pt 5:

One way Kant attempts to throw trees into your face, is with his extensive use of “necessary" and "contingent" statements or truths. The classic example of "2+2 equals Four is a necessary truth", and that there can not be round squares - because we cannot imagine (hear Descartes echoing through here?) it otherwise. Their purpose is to trick you into looking so closely at the particulars, that you miss the sleight of hand removal of the wider context within which they both reside - all issues of the molecular structure of water and your experiences of life here on earth, in reality, are removed from your consideration by the Kantian 3 card monty player who says "But Ice sinking in water, is merely a contingent truth, because we can easily imagine ice sinking to the bottom of a glass of water.", as he whisks reality, unseen and out of your attention, off of the table without your even relaizing it.

It is as if they are stymied by anything deeper than the perceptual level concept. Circles & Squares are too two dimensionally defined by their appearance for even them to deny. But anything whose conceptual depth is deeper than those 2 dimensions, and their conceptual grasp is strained, their mental gripping power too weak (Hume suffered from the same lack of conceptual gripping power 'Principle'? Too darn heavey) like an Ostrich, they seem to think “If I can’t see it’s properties, it must not be important”.

What that actually means, is that they've divorced their thoughts from having any connection to the real world. They've lost the understanding that reality IS. Things are. Squares are 4 sided objects where each side is of equal length - in that the length of the sides are all properties of a square, in the same way as the properties of Ice are just as integral to it. Just as they like to rip the meaning out of a word, while cherry picking it's desirable connotations to be used regardless of it's actual meaning - they do the same thing when having you imagine Ice as having the "look" of Ice, maybe being cold also, but then scrapping away all the other properties of ice such as being lighter than water. Ice is Ice - it is defined by all of its properties, you can’t separate its buoyancy from its temperature, its essential properties are reflective of what it IS, you cannot pick and choose them.

Whenever you hear them talking about whether something "could be true or false in some other universe", you should reject it outright as the worst of hypothetical garbage designed to divorce truth from that which makes it true, divorcing mind from body, thought from reality. Whenever you hear them start “Imagine a universe where…” they are not only going to play “lets pretend”, but then try to convince you that their conclusions formulated in their pretend world should take precedence over yours, and then even that their pretend world is more real than the real real one we live in. It is the source of all of their 'errors', and their disappointment in, and neurotic rejection of Life, and which can be seen in their art, literature and failed lives.

3/12/2008 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Epi,

That was great! Now I see the Light! I can't believe how blinded I was by Bob! Your last post was so Spirit filled and full of Life! Please forgive my blindness!
Now, could you give the address of your blog/website so that I might partake of some more of your particularly deep insight and inspiration?
BTW, do you mind that I call my new guru Epi?

3/12/2008 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Or maybe I'll call you my new Buddahbuddy! How's that?

3/12/2008 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

epissedmeoff said "... the assumption that I am somehow Spiritually, or as I prefer, Metaphysically, vacant and inexperienced. "

No, not inexperienced, read the post again - over experienced, over complex, over analysed, analysed to the point of examining every molecule of the sphere, removing them and laying them out with their schematic flat upon the table to analyse it fully, and then concluding that 'its actually a circle, not a sphere - look, no depth here, nosiree'.

"Truth is singular, that is to say, Without Duality. Therefore Truth cannot be in any way considered an object to be perceived, for if one could perceive it there would then be something which is 'other' or 'external' to Truth. But this would be duality which contradicts the very nature of Truth."

And yet you speak of it as something outside of yourself. Perhaps the language limit should give you a pass there... but Truth is less something to be perceived, than being that from which the perceiving is done; and unless you use both of your eyes of perception, you will see without depth perception, and unless you actively perceive, you will see the flat undifferentiated image - even if steroscopic.

3/12/2008 10:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Bring out your neural nets for some buddhaflaw correcting!

3/12/2008 11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Episteme said...

Van, its curious that you associate the distinction of necessary and contingent specifically with Kant. While he certainly employed this distinction, the distinction has a long and detailed history both preceding and following Kant and he didn't employ it in any particularly different way than others had before and after.

There is no necessity to posit alternative universes simply because one utilizes the necessary/contingent distinction. Also, you are potentially unaware of the distinction between metaphysical necessity/contingency and epistemological necessity/contingency. A good work to get an understanding of the difference is Naming and Necessity by Saul Kripke.

Its also curious that you direct so much criticism to Kant's work[improperly for the most part] since one of Bob's basic distinctions, between the Vertical and Horizontal, Upper and Lower, is right in line with one of the paradigmatic Kantian distinctions, between the Noumena and Phenomena The only real disagreement between you and Kant is concerning what kind of access we have to Noumena and what form that access takes. So while you may disagree or reject part of Kantian epistemology, you wholly accept his basic metaphysic.

3/12/2008 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Dougman said...

Epi

Your lack of a direct answer to a direct question is a direct answer in itself.
You have never been exposed to a 3-D picture.
You Googled it to return here with "The Minds Eye."

Am I right,
Is that the Truth?

3/12/2008 12:15:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Gosh, late to the Party again!

Will said:
"another reason not many of us would loiter around an epi-like site while trying to champion our cause is because the sheer oppressiveness, the airlessness of such an environment would be too much to bear for any length of time."

Van, are we gonna have to rename you
Van the Scuba-Man, or something to connote those Bio-suits the military took to the ME for the first Gulf War?
I'm think'n of that scene from Jarhead "Luke, come to the Dark Side...." thru a gas-mask (almost wet my pants laughing the first time I saw that)

Protective Flogger-gear to enhance survival upon entering a toxic cloud. Ok, answer this honestly: I'll bet the Bat-cave has an air-lock-chamber for decontamination. Am I right? Or does your wife just take you out & hose you off like a dog that's been rolling in something dead?

And yes, did see the unspeakable java with no soul rib.

3/12/2008 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Ropata:
Welcome to the den, glad you could pop up

Does ropata translate as something into English?

How about "ka kite ano e hoa maa"

Maori by chance?

3/12/2008 01:13:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Man that Epi is good it'ne? That's my Buddahbuddy for ya!
The left side of his head must be HUGE!

3/12/2008 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Dougman said...

"The phrase "mind's eye" refers to the human ability for visual..."

Okay, I srewed that part up.

Still curious if you can see the image within the picture tho.
Can you?

3/12/2008 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

epissedmeoff said "...both preceding and following Kant and he didn't employ it in any particularly different way than others had before and after."

Yes it existed long before Kant, but not used it in the way Kant did, and it couldn't be used in the way it is now, without Kant's usage. I'll try digging up the specifics later.

"There is no necessity to posit alternative universes simply because one utilizes the necessary/contingent distinction."
In the way you're likely using it, probably not, in the way I'm using it - it you posit and accept the imagine ice that sinks in normal earth h20 conditions - I say that you are radically altering the very structure of matter down to the sub-sub atomic level in order to do it, and so yes, you would require a different universe to have such a thing happen.

" Also, you are potentially unaware of the distinction between metaphysical necessity/contingency and epistemological necessity/contingency"
Better terminology would be Metaphysically given - that which occurs without any human intervention, and the man-made, that which is altered due to human design or 'chance' encounter.

The nature of Ice is metaphysically given, it is determined by the nature of the universe. The ice sculpture that was formed and built down at Joe's Ice Sculpture and Bikini shop, mixed with various chemicals and designed to sink and burst into flames on impact with the bottom of the tank - that would be the man-made - but to alter the ice from its metaphysically given behavior, Joe would have to obey the laws of nature, in order to cause the desired behavior. Or as Bacon said, 'Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed'.

"Its also curious that you direct so much criticism to Kant's work[improperly for the most part] since one of Bob's basic distinctions, between the Vertical and Horizontal, Upper and Lower, is right in line with one of the paradigmatic Kantian distinctions, between the Noumena and Phenomena..."

That implied conflict does occasionally crop up here, and I tend to think it is more semantical, in any real and substantial way, Kant can't 'Coon - otherwise I wouldn't have lasted the first months.

Kant set about laying out his philosophy with an agenda, as he put it, to deny knowledge in order to save faith (Personally I don't think that says a lot about the faith he claimed to have had), and he gimmicked and shaded in order to bring that about. There are many things he says that seem quite good and profound, but as you trace them down to principles, at root, it's corrupt. In short hand - Descartes made (or revived) the root error(I tend to think an honest error), Rousseau seized upon it and gave it purpose (I think knowingly - he was a disgusting person), and Kant inspired with it, gave it an intellectual foundation (meaning BIG, not sound - I waffle on whether or not he knew what he was doing was wrong, but he believed that his ends justified his means, which doesn't leave much separation), and all of the folly of modernism - post or otherwise, hinges upon what he accomplished - even those who think they rejected his philosophy, bought into the effects of it.

"...The only real disagreement between you and Kant is concerning what kind of access we have to Noumena and what form that access takes. So while you may disagree or reject part of Kantian epistemology, you wholly accept his basic metaphysic."

Ni!... ehm... negatory. Argh... program compiled, gotta go, more later.

3/12/2008 03:48:00 PM  
Anonymous ropata said...

ximeze,
Hi there! thanks for the hello. Yeah I've sprinkled some Maori phrases around..

Ropata = Robert
ka kite ano = see you later
e hoa maa = my friends

What the heck does "ximeze" mean??
Also FYI I stole will's poem, hope that's OK.

3/13/2008 05:32:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Ropata:
Thanks for the translations - always love learning new languages.

Will is alway generous with his material & I'm sure he'll be flattered. When the Arkives come back, check comments around Christmas '06 for some great Will poems.

As for my handle, ximeze = siamese (cat) in honor of my favorite breed - xi pronounced as in xenophobe. Also a hint as to my 'real' name.

For pun-lovers:

xi = the 14th letter of the Greek alphabet & the cardinal number that is the sum of ten and one

meze = assortment of snacks: an assortment of snacks served with drinks as an appetizer or a light meal in Greece and Southwest Asia, e.g. stuffed vine leaves, small pastries, or grilled sausages
[Early 20th century. < Turkish< Persian maza "taste, relish"]

Being a cardinal-foodie myself & coming from a multi-lingual background where mix & match language use is the norm, it seemed fitting.

3/14/2008 12:29:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Humm, that ought to have been xi (zai) as in the Z/S sound that starts the word xenophobe.

3/14/2008 02:43:00 PM  
Anonymous ropata said...

ahh, I thought Siamese came into it..

3/14/2008 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

I never did get to get back here - got waylaid by my wife and neighbors determined to keep me from my computer. We had a nice faux spring day, you know, the kind Ximeze and Julie keep taunting Maineman & me with, so they decided to have a bonfire and ply me with tripple stouts (good thing too, not another moments peace between then and now). All my comments went up in smoke....

Oh well, better to put them into practice than html.

Ximeze's real name... like xenophobe... siamese... ummm... Xena?

3/14/2008 05:03:00 PM  

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