Donkey and Carrot

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Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2009 04:16 am
I have tried to step outside myself and play psychologist. I like to use the carrot on a stick and donkey analogy. The carrot is our ideal. The donkey is the rest of us. Movement. I also like to use the symbol "o" for this carrot. Are we programmed to seek the transcendent, the heroic, the ethical? Is there a culture drive in man? My theory is that there is, but it's application is flexible. Therefore we have wars and arguments, all powered, in theory, by the same energy, the same "carrot" behind it all in different masks. Yes, my theory implies that carrots wear masks.

My theory is that this carrot-desire is inescapable, so I could not even formulate my theory if this theory were not in service of my ideal of myself as "heroic psychologist who faces ugly truths." But to see this from the outside forces me more into an ironic or comic role. Anyone relate to this theory? Are we all chasing the carrot? Are we hardwired to do so?

http://www.mattwardman.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/q-donkey-carrot-stick.jpg
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 26 Dec, 2009 01:47 am
@Reconstructo,
Anyone see what I'm aiming at here?
 
Quinn phil
 
Reply Sat 26 Dec, 2009 03:24 am
@Reconstructo,
The Carrot is everything. God, A better society, The truth. We may get further and further and further and further and further, but will we ever be satisfied? What I believe is, we may meet our goals sometimes., but we will always formulate new ones. Does the carrot wear a mask for everyone that he tricks? Or maybe I should say, whoever the carrot, "Leads", does he wear a different mask, to please them? We can not characterize the carrot as good or evil, first of all, because it's inanimate, in this analogy, and because we as a people make up what the carrot is.

Maybe one day the donkey will stop, admitting defeat. He realizes that the carrot is too fast, and he'll never catch him at this rate. When he stops, and the carrot falls to the floor as he bends over, he'll realize that the carrot is right under his nose. He has to stop chasing it, and just reach his mouth out and take a bite.
 
prothero
 
Reply Sat 26 Dec, 2009 11:57 am
@Reconstructo,
well, Karen Armstrong would say "man is a meaning seeking creature".
Yes, humans seek to find transcendent meanings and causes and futhermore seek to bring the divine to their level in myths, symbols, rituals, and religions.
Perhaps the most seductive power in the world is to convince others that you hold the secret to the universe, control access to the divine to the transcendent.
 
Quinn phil
 
Reply Sat 26 Dec, 2009 12:53 pm
@prothero,
prothero;114434 wrote:

Perhaps the most seductive power in the world is to convince others that you hold the secret to the universe, control access to the divine to the transcendent.


Well, I try not to be seduced when the time comes; But I suppose I'm seduced daily, now.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 26 Dec, 2009 03:26 pm
@Quinn phil,
Quinn;114382 wrote:
The Carrot is everything. God, A better society, The truth. We may get further and further and further and further and further, but will we ever be satisfied? What I believe is, we may meet our goals sometimes., but we will always formulate new ones. Does the carrot wear a mask for everyone that he tricks? Or maybe I should say, whoever the carrot, "Leads", does he wear a different mask, to please them? We can not characterize the carrot as good or evil, first of all, because it's inanimate, in this analogy, and because we as a people make up what the carrot is.

Maybe one day the donkey will stop, admitting defeat. He realizes that the carrot is too fast, and he'll never catch him at this rate. When he stops, and the carrot falls to the floor as he bends over, he'll realize that the carrot is right under his nose. He has to stop chasing it, and just reach his mouth out and take a bite.


You seem to understand what I meant. The only thing I would say is that in my theory of the carrot, we can never stop seeking it. Some will seek it by refusing to seek it....
 
Quinn phil
 
Reply Sat 26 Dec, 2009 03:32 pm
@Reconstructo,
That's the Buddhism argument, almost. I agree with you, slightly, but if someone has already reached a goal (Of not seeking a goal, for instance), then they have stopped. They stop chasing the carrot, they don't want it anymore. Just go and eat some vegetables in the garden, that aren't tied to a string or a stick, suspended so that you can not eat them.

If I am ever to reach some sort of medium, where I am satisfied with all of my opinions on the world, then I will stop chasing the carrot. In my mind, I have already won it.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 26 Dec, 2009 03:48 pm
@Quinn phil,
Quinn;114459 wrote:
That's the Buddhism argument, almost. I agree with you, slightly, but if someone has already reached a goal (Of not seeking a goal, for instance), then they have stopped. They stop chasing the carrot, they don't want it anymore. Just go and eat some vegetables in the garden, that aren't tied to a string or a stick, suspended so that you can not eat them.

If I am ever to reach some sort of medium, where I am satisfied with all of my opinions on the world, then I will stop chasing the carrot. In my mind, I have already won it.



I think we humans experience moments of contentment. I suppose I think the carrot tends to re-assert itself as these moments pass. I use the symbol "o" for this carrot, and "x" for the mask of the carrot. X changes for a person. One year they want to learn judo. Another year silence is the truth. Another year linguistic philosophy. Another year believing nothing is the proper method. X changes, but the O behind it pulls us on. Of course this is all just analogy, but I find it useful. Every person you meet and every writer you read tends to hint at some x. We can call it religion or ethic or ideal or philosophy. We can call it a person's game. Most confident humans pride themselves on some accomplishment/pursuit/realization....
 
Quinn phil
 
Reply Sat 26 Dec, 2009 04:23 pm
@Reconstructo,
Right, right. And there will always be a carrot. I wonder if we can ever take off it's mask, and reveal it. We as philosophers are like the Mystery Gang, trying to find this "Carrot" (Truth, Realism, God.)

But, are there maybe people who are un-atracted to this carrot? People who are classifies as "un-caring", maybe?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 26 Dec, 2009 04:32 pm
@Reconstructo,
I think other people chase the carrot in non-intellectual ways. Basketball players, drug dealers, cops, politicians. It's my theory that all these strings run thru the same "o."

I think of it as a spiritual itch. It's probably biological like hunger and lust but it feels different.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 06:25 pm
@Reconstructo,
Me chase carrot. Ineluctably Asinine..........
 
Quinn phil
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 06:58 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;114482 wrote:
I think other people chase the carrot in non-intellectual ways. Basketball players, drug dealers, cops, politicians. It's my theory that all these strings run thru the same "o."

I think of it as a spiritual itch. It's probably biological like hunger and lust but it feels different.


Is it safe to say that o=goals?

Is "o" my want to get up from my seat right now and finish my homework, or is "o" my want to become an English major of some sort? Is "o" my want to get up and get some more food, or is "o" my want to finish the Twilight Zone series, completely?

Do we have many different "o"'s? or is it the same o, that can wear many different masks all at the same time?

I think o(x)=goals. This is a solid argument, Recon. Is this your original idea? =o
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 07:50 pm
@Quinn phil,
Quinn;115980 wrote:
Is it safe to say that o=goals?

Is "o" my want to get up from my seat right now and finish my homework, or is "o" my want to become an English major of some sort? Is "o" my want to get up and get some more food, or is "o" my want to finish the Twilight Zone series, completely?

Do we have many different "o"'s? or is it the same o, that can wear many different masks all at the same time?

I think o(x)=goals. This is a solid argument, Recon. Is this your original idea? =o


For any particular goal I would use the matheme "x." "o" is the energy of the "spiritual" instinct that makes us pursue our many x's.

As we get older, we trade one x for another. A person could say that O is the itch and that x's are different ways to scratch the itch, different interpretations/conceptions of the goal.

I can't claim to have invented it. Lacan uses mathemes and Jung talks of archetypes. You might say that "O" is a matheme for the Self-archetype. But I wanted to get away from Jung. I think Lacan used mathemes because words obscured his point sometimes. A matheme is a hieroglyph.

I >< X >< O.

The I must infer the O, as the I only experiences X. I look around and see many different spiritual/ethical/philosophical goals/virtues, but what I do not see is goallessness. So I infer that man has an instinct or an itch for truth/god/righteousness/power, etc. You can see that no one name can finish describing the O. If the O is hunger, then all the varieties of food are Xs.
Matheme - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jungian archetypes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Deckard
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 03:51 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;114170 wrote:
I have tried to step outside myself and play psychologist. I like to use the carrot on a stick and donkey analogy. The carrot is our ideal. The donkey is the rest of us. Movement. I also like to use the symbol "o" for this carrot. Are we programmed to seek the transcendent, the heroic, the ethical? Is there a culture drive in man? My theory is that there is, but it's application is flexible. Therefore we have wars and arguments, all powered, in theory, by the same energy, the same "carrot" behind it all in different masks. Yes, my theory implies that carrots wear masks.

My theory is that this carrot-desire is inescapable, so I could not even formulate my theory if this theory were not in service of my ideal of myself as "heroic psychologist who faces ugly truths." But to see this from the outside forces me more into an ironic or comic role. Anyone relate to this theory? Are we all chasing the carrot? Are we hardwired to do so?

http://www.mattwardman.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/q-donkey-carrot-stick.jpg


Does Carrot, Donkey and Stick correspond to Id, Ego and Superego respectively?
 
bmcreider
 
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 12:11 pm
@Reconstructo,
I would have to agree that the carrot is inevitable to chase. Whether it is the pursuit of non pursuit, much like anti conformity conformists (punk rock, for ex), people are trying to scratch that spiritual itch.

I think those that aren't exactly strong minded, not to be rude, are the ones that fall prey easiest to religion. The more feeble minded, the easier it is to convince them and have them express physically (attending church, prayer, hooping, hollering, dancing, singing) their spiritual desires. These types aren't one to question authority, and if that authority be malice, then you may have a Charles Manson situation or a Jim Jones affair.

However, those people do purport a type of bliss that comes with such easy goals as physical, shallow rituals. Ignorance is bliss, and I do not mean to belittle the fundamentally religious too much.

Because, we on this forum like to think of ourselves, and others who are "philosophically minded" as having a deeper, richer understanding of life and its mental mechanics. However, like anything we like, it has addictive qualities, #1, and it takes more and more to make us satisfied, we build a tolerance, #2. The more knowledge we attain, the more we realize the effort for complete understanding is futile, it can never happen, there are many more questions to be answered for every answer we get.

This same carrot twist I think can be applied to anything. I compared die hard religious fanatics to amateur philosophers - but money is also another thing which you can never have enough of.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 06:58 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;116036 wrote:
Does Carrot, Donkey and Stick correspond to Id, Ego and Superego respectively?


I never thought of it that way but it's a nice connection. I would say the carrot relates to Freud's ego-ideal. The stick provides projection and the donkey desire. The donkey is desire? Then perhaps all three considered together represent the "spiritual-cultural" self.

---------- Post added 02-06-2010 at 08:04 PM ----------

bmcreider;123047 wrote:


I think those that aren't exactly strong minded, not to be rude, are the ones that fall prey easiest to religion.


I don't think it's as simple as strong or weak mindedness. I think circumstance dominates here. If a child is given a world-view by those who dominate his world, father and mother, then it's not weakness to assimilate this view but simply human nature.

I also wonder if some are born with more spirit-lust or symbolic-response. Religion offers potent myth and Christianity offers the poetry of the King James' translation.

Of course I see your general point here and agree. Openmindedness takes a sort of courage, what Keats called "negative capability."
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:11 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;116036 wrote:
Does Carrot, Donkey and Stick correspond to Id, Ego and Superego respectively?


What reason would we have to think it does, or that it does not?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:50 pm
@Reconstructo,
Freud's system was strange in that he used pronouns as symbols. I, it, over-me. Vague, dry, ascetic poetics. Donkey and carrot is good old fashioned pictorial analogy.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:54 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;125568 wrote:
Freud's system was strange in that he used pronouns as symbols. I, it, over-me. Vague, dry, ascetic poetics. Donkey and carrot is good old fashioned pictorial analogy.


So, that's why we should think it?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 08:23 pm
@Reconstructo,
Is the word "it" as metaphor equivalent to (in painting) the black monochrome? Do we scrape the content from the canvas so that the canvas itself can be considered as content. Do we paint painting?

Is Heidegger's Being equivalent to Malevich's suprematism somehow?

Back to the topic. I've got the person who is presumably arguing with me on ignore, and know only that he is probably chasing the carrot of his own greatness just now. A show for self and others, just like my own.

I can't talk now, Mom -- I'm busy incarnating my future world-historical greatness. Is it comedy, literature, or philosophy to confess/parody/mock this desire for "world-historical greatness"? Do we disarm it by naming it? Is detachment the goal of naming? We can only negate/criticize what we have a name for, right?
 
 

 
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