Organic Representation: Escape from Solipsism

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Reply Fri 6 Oct, 2006 07:49 pm
If I understand Bishop Berkely's argument correctly what he is saying is that one cannot conceive of any particular objective phenomenon or set of objective circumstances without implicating subjectivity itself. And therefore, according to Berkeley, all objectivity is imbued with the subjective (which apart from personal conception is contingent upon God). God is the super-subject which accounts for the sense of idealism in nature and which permeates nature abroad, or is immanent in all nature i.e. God is a subject in everything all the time.

To keep a pure subjectivist Idealism in tact and protect it from the absurdities of solipsism he thus removes the ridiculous notion of formal solipsism by invoking the God.

But couldn't we remove the notion of God as a super-subject and replace His omnipresence with a kind of spiritual atomism by giving life or spirit or soul to the little bits of matter which all add up to independently invoke a 'monadic' idea or representation? Might matter itself be in some sense 'alive' and capable of exhibiting independent intelligence?

That way we could do without the ever present God and also the absurdities of solipsism and still hang on to the precious Idealism in nature. God could be removed and nature could be subjectively as well as objectively 'alive' here AND there, both internally and externally. We could be free at last from the gaze of God.

Solipsism or a 'many-worlds' type of experience would be re-explained as the inner movement of a persons' mind (which is alive and sovereign) in alignment with the inner circumstantial movement of a seperate set of external events which are organic representations. This inner merging of monads means that there can be a living connection between the private mind and external natures.

It would be a self-regulated solpsism because it respects a living objectivity within the natural world.

I think that matter is itself alive. Not just in the Quantum sense but in the aggregate. The internal WILL of man is alive AND the external REPRESENTATION in nature is also alive, organic!
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Sat 7 Oct, 2006 02:49 am
@Pythagorean,
Hylozoist Esoterica...

The atoms and particles of matter were also once people, just as we ourselves were once tables and chairs and particles of matter.

-- The Pythagorean
 
pilgrimshost
 
Reply Sat 7 Oct, 2006 07:29 am
@Pythagorean,
You mean like Moby who said;
[CENTER]''People they come together,
People they fall apart
No one can stop us now
'Cause we are all made of stars''[/CENTER]
Actually I find this idea strangly comforting to think of, for whatever reason it creates a feeling of unity and oneness with the universe, could this be why some philosophers say our consiousnes is infanitly linked with the universe?
 
pilgrimshost
 
Reply Sat 7 Oct, 2006 07:52 am
@pilgrimshost,
I Was just thinking, shouldnt this be in the science section, as ive stated it also has a place in here also.
 
perplexity
 
Reply Sat 7 Oct, 2006 09:45 am
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
...Solipsism or a 'many-worlds' type of experience would be re-explained as the inner movement of a persons' mind (which is alive and sovereign) in alignment with the inner circumstantial movement of a seperate set of external events which are organic representations. This inner merging of monads means that there can be a living connection between the private mind and external natures.
It would be a self-regulated solpsism because it respects a living objectivity within the natural world.


As best it would make sense to me, that sounds like Buddhism.

Pythagorean wrote:

I think that matter is itself alive. Not just in the Quantum sense but in the aggregate. The internal WILL of man is alive AND the external REPRESENTATION in nature is also alive, organic!


But what does it mean "matter is itself alive"?

What is the test for being alive in the aggregate?

If everything is alive then nothing is dead, so all you've done with the notion is to lose the meaning of words.

--- RH.
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Sat 7 Oct, 2006 05:29 pm
@Pythagorean,
perplexity wrote:

Quote:
But what does it mean "matter is itself alive"?


It means a lot of things I guess.

But the one thing that comes to my mind is that by saying that matter is itself alive I mean that instead of the traditional notion of the soul being in the body the body is rather in the soul. We derive all of our personality, all of our explicable qualities, from the material world.

"Intelligibility" is derived from the material world, which itself has been reincarnated as material items.

The reason that we are able to, scientifically and technically, control matter is due to its understandable qualities - matter in science becomes a living extenstion of man.

Quote:
What is the test for being alive in the aggregate?


As I say, I believe the capacity of science to control matter is one test. But the concept of Philosophical Idealism is the true test as it suits best what I mean. Idealism in philosophy can be regarded as the exhibited intelligence of representation in the natural world, as a living corollary to the inner movements of the mind. That thought in its immanent structure could affect external representation, via a kind of providential momemt of experience. As the Greek presocratic Thales says: "All things are full of Gods".
 
perplexity
 
Reply Sat 7 Oct, 2006 05:42 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:

..... intelligence of representation in the natural world, as a living corollary to the inner movements of the mind.

.....That thought in its immanent structure could affect external representation, via a kind of providential momemt of experience. ...


Again, that sounds like Buddhism.

Are you familiar with the Dhammapada, etc?

-- RH
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Sat 7 Oct, 2006 06:02 pm
@Pythagorean,
perplexity wrote:

Quote:
Again, that sounds like Buddhism.

Are you familiar with the Dhammapada, etc?


I am not familiar with the Dhammapada, etc.

However, I should say that I have noticed the connections between the ancient Greek philosophers (which is where I get inspiration) and the philosophy of the East. It is hard not to notice the kinship of spirit between the two. So I ask you perplexity: are you familiar with the Greeks, I mean especially the presocratics?


It would be valuable scholarship to compare notes on the two. Do you know of any book that does so?

-- Marcus (The Pythagorean)
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Sat 7 Oct, 2006 06:36 pm
@Pythagorean,
perplexity,

Ralph Waldo Emerson refers in his work of transcendental experiences where the outer encounter in nature (representation) corresponds to the inner life of the mind (he calls this "The Oversoul"). And in 1845, Emerson's Journal records that he was reading the Bhagavad Gita and Henry Thomas Colebrooke's Essays on the Vedas.

It's not Buhddism but it is Eastern.



-- Marcus (The Pythagorean)
 
perplexity
 
Reply Sat 7 Oct, 2006 08:34 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:

So I ask you perplexity: are you familiar with the Greeks, I mean especially the presocratics?


No. not really, not directly. What I have picked up came second hand, via commentaries. As with Buddhism a full scale indulgence gets to be a bit too cliquey for me.

Perhaps it might be fun though if I quote here and there from the Dhammapada, to see what you know from elsewhere to correspond to it.

It begins with this:


1. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.

2. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow


"Mind" is sometimes translated as "Heart".

-- RH.
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Sat 7 Oct, 2006 10:24 pm
@Pythagorean,
perplexity, that is good counsel. Less trouble surely comes to he who acts with a pure heart and mind:)

I could not find an equivalent among the presocratics for your venerable quote. But I dug up a metaphor from Plato's Phaedrus so I'm not empty handed.

Quote:

"The wing is the corporeal element which is most akin to the divine, and which by nature tends to soar aloft and carry that which gravitates downwards into the upper region, which is the habitation of the gods. The divine is beauty, wisdom, goodness, and the like; and by these the wing of the soul is nourished, and grows apace; but when fed upon evil and foulness and the opposite of good, wastes and falls away."


I think the major similarities between the presocratic Greeks and Buddhism is that the Greeks also see that the "logos" (any account of the world, or the world itself, or any account of Being, or Being itself) is alive and only by gesturing or metaphor do we 'capture' or indicate the truth. And this is what Heraclitus refers to when he says such things as:

Quote:

Nature loves to conceal herself

It disperses and gathers, it comes and goes.

Into the same river you could not step twice, for other <and still other> waters are flowing.

The straight and crooked way of the woolcarders is one and the same.

The road up and the road down is one and the same.



According to Heraclitus the world which happens around us, in us, and as us, is in a process of complex and constant change. Like a rushing river, things always overflow the concepts by which we seek to identify them and, in so doing, call for a kind of non-identity thinking, the goal of which is to reveal the non-identity of things and the concept under which they are usually identified. Non-identity thinking operates for the sake of the objects of language, by using concepts to unseal the non-conceptual without making it their equal. It's what some philosophers call 'anti-philosophy', on the conception of philosophy as metaphysics, which latter (by seeking to comprehend things by means of the most general identifying concepts of all) is identity thinking par excellence.

-- Marcus
 
perplexity
 
Reply Sun 8 Oct, 2006 02:48 am
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:

I think the major similarities between the Greeks and Buddhism is that the Greeks also see that the "logos" (any account of the world, or the world itself, or any account of Being, or Being itself) is alive and only by gesturing or metaphor do we 'capture' or indicate the truth.


Yes, there does appear to be this difference between the insecurity of the modern desire for certainty, as compared to the disposition of those before us who were so much more comfortable with the paradox and the metaphor, to the extent that life itself would be seen as a metaphor to represent a deeper truth.

Pythagorean wrote:

Like a rushing river, things always overflow the concepts by which we seek to identify them and, in so doing, call for a kind of non-identity thinking, the goal of which is to reveal the non-identity of things and the concept under which they are usually identified.


This exactly corresponds to the Buddhist concept of "Anatta", one which the modern mind is often seen to struggle with, one of the greatest paradoxes of Buddhism being the doctrine of "noself" alongside practical advice such as this:

Let one not neglect one's own welfare for the sake of another, however great. Clearly understanding one's own welfare, let one be intent upon the good.

(Dhammapada, 166)

Pythagorean wrote:

Non-identity thinking operates for the sake of the objects of language, by using concepts to unseal the non-conceptual without making it their equal. It's what some philosophers call 'anti-philosophy', on the conception of philosophy as metaphysics, which latter (by seeking to comprehend things by means of the most general identifying concepts of all) is identity thinking par excellence.


"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place"

(George Bernard Shaw)

--- RH.
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Sun 8 Oct, 2006 07:00 pm
@Pythagorean,
perplexity, you seem to have left me in the lurch with your irony. So let me ask you a basic question here:

Is the "noself" a moral imperitive? By that I mean what is it that distinguishes the "noself" from the traditional "ego"?

-- Marcus
 
perplexity
 
Reply Sat 21 Oct, 2006 05:04 pm
@Pythagorean,
I am not sure that I know what a moral imperative is, if not a non sequitur.
Morality is about choice, and particularly about the difficulty of choice.
Imperatives are the opposite, about the deprivation of choice.

With regard to cause and consequence and I find that it depends on which particular self one is most concerned with, the me self or the you self.

Other people they are not always best pleased to be treated as if they do not exist.

That is not though why I was slow to respond to this thread. I had somehow failed to notice the last response, inadvertency rather than deliberation.

-- RH.
 
boagie
 
Reply Fri 12 Jan, 2007 03:51 pm
@perplexity,
"But what does it mean "matter is itself alive"?
It means a lot of things I guess.

"But the one thing that comes to my mind is that by saying that matter is itself alive I mean that instead of the traditional notion of the soul being in the body the body is rather in the soul. We derive all of our personality, all of our explicable qualities, from the material world."

This is not unlike a fish's relationship to his watery home-----no? Yes,we derive our personality,personal identity and probably even our temperament from the outside world.Humanity is entirely operated from without,but as you indicate,he/she is not without.

"Intelligibility" is derived from the material world, which itself has been reincarnated as material items."

Every thing, intelligibility and unintelligibable is derived from the physical world, it is our only source,it is who we are,it is what we can think.Certainly apparent reality is our creation,ultimate reality escapes us do to our limited senses.

The reason that we are able to, scientifically and technically, control matter is due to its understandable qualities - matter in science becomes a living extenstion of man."quote: Pythagorean

We can understand it because it is what we are,we are born of it,we are an extenstion of it.

This is an intrigueing premise you have introduced Pythagorean!!
 
Edvin
 
Reply Fri 29 Feb, 2008 10:53 am
@perplexity,
perplexity wrote:

"Might matter itself be in some sense 'alive' and capable of exhibiting independent intelligence?"


Many theories are developed that concider the earth in a sense of being alive. Gaia theory is one of them. Put bluntly it argues that the earth shows all the traits of an organism, without actually being alive. Self regulating mechanisms etc...

perplexity wrote:

It would be valuable scholarship to compare notes on the two. Do you know of any book that does so?


Zen and the art of motorcyckle maintenance does to a large extent deal with the merging of western ideas with eastern philosophy. To do this he presents an very lucid contemplation upon the ol' greeks and show how they went from monism to dualism through aristoteles time. Very interesting. (That is not the whole of the book though, alot more in there than what I just mentioned)Surprised
 
 

 
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