Self as the Limit of the World

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Fil Albuquerque
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 09:47 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;163186 wrote:
Before I studied philosophy it never occurred to me that experience largely made of language, that world was largely made of language. For me, language is a naked presentation of how we chop experience into objects both concrete and abstract, which implies for me that even concrete objects are only objectified or "framed" by our seeing them as wholes, as unities. This is actually what steered me toward mathematics. I thought that number one, stripped of its contingent glyph and phoneme, was close to the notion of pure being. Pure indeterminate being. And I feel that this unifying faculty of the mind is perhaps a reduction to lowest terms of at least one aspect of thinking, if not the primary aspect.

I was also dazzled by the concept of noumena, but found myself wrestling with its logical awkwardness. And having read something of absolute idealism as the successor to transcendental idealism, it suddenly clicked for me why Fichte and Hegel did away with it. Of course it's still so useful as a pointer to the activeness of our perception, so it's more than respectable in its way. But it's quite sublime, in my opinion, that Hegel could beat Kant's dualism into a sort of monism, and I feel there is a drive toward simplicity, that Occam's razor is an aesthetic principle..

I suppose it's summed up in W's quote: "the limits of my language are the [intellectual] limits of my world." And your mention of filling in the gaps reminds me of all the modules in our human brain, that automatically do this. We are indeed pattern-finders, aren't we? This ties in to my fascination with algorithmic information theory.


---------- Post added 05-11-2010 at 10:51 PM ----------

Determinism rests its weight and its height on the idea of what is Eternal... of what cannot be undone...nor forgotten, or falsified, because its True, and its Truth, as all there is...Truth, the thing of all things, that is Necessary and sufficient in itself...the thing, which is Existence, as existence at the deepest core of what meaning and intention can carry in our limited human comprehension...Truth as the basis of togetherness, of communication and recognition and Conscience...
Whatever can be denied, only confirms it...
Whatever can be forgotten, justifies it..
Whatever can be said or thought, if it is done, it is done as word of truth... ...as Truth, is what allows it and supports it... thus bringing the purpose and justification of Cause, to the world, the only World...Universal cannot be otherwise !

Best Regards>FILIPE DE ALBUQUERQUE
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 10:06 pm
@Reconstructo,
Consider these excerpts from the Buddhist writer, Joanna Macy, who wrote a title called World as Lover, World as Self.

Quote:
Spiritual traditions have tended to look at the world in four major ways: as a battlefield, as a trap, as a lover, and as the self. The first two - as a stage set for our moral battles or as a prison to escape - are probably familiar, and have in many ways contributed to our lack of care for the world. But what of the other two? Might they shed some useful light on life in an interconnected world?

This is the focus of Joanna Macy's wonderful book,
World As Lover; World as Self, published by Parallax Press, from which we have taken the following excerpts. Joanna Macy is a scholar of Buddhism and general systems theory. She is known in many countries for her trainings designed to empower creative, sustained social action.


Quote:
...self-consciousness arose and gave us distance on our world. We needed that distance in order to make decisions and strategies, in order to measure, judge, and to monitor our judgments. With the emergence of free-will, the fall out of the Garden of Eden, the second movement began - the lonely and heroic journey of the ego.

Nowadays, yearning to reclaim a sense of wholeness, some of us tend to disparage that movement of separation from nature, but it brought great gains for which we can be grateful. The distanced and observing eye brought us tools of science, and a priceless view of the vast, orderly intricacy of our world. The recognition of our individuality brought us trial by jury and the Bill of Rights.

Now, harvesting these gains, we are ready to return. The third movement begins. Having gained distance and sophistication of perception, we can turn and recognize who we have been all along. Now it can dawn on us: we are our world knowing itself. We can relinquish our separateness. We can come home again - and participate in our world in a richer, more responsible and poignantly beautiful way than before, in our infancy.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 10:18 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;163205 wrote:

I haven't yet read much of Spengler but am very interested the idea behind the social cycle theory. I have often felt that the evolution of society is a cyclical process. Have you read any of his writings concerning this?


I've read Decline of the West, and I was surprised at how much Spengler tackled. True, he investigates cultures/civilizations as organisms, as they have a lifespan like any other organism. He is a master of connecting dots. I find his ideas on art, music, architecture, mathematics, and so on, as interesting as his ideas on the transition from culture to civilization. He wasn't what I expect. He's not at all a gloomy type. He present Goethe as a great philosopher, has some strong comments about philosophy in general. I feel that the title of his book is somewhat misleading, and also that he's underrated.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 10:49 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;163220 wrote:
Consider these excerpts from the Buddhist writer, Joanna Macy, who wrote a title called World as Lover, World as Self.


Quote:
...self-consciousness arose and gave us distance on our world. We needed that distance in order to make decisions and strategies, in order to measure, judge, and to monitor our judgments. With the emergence of free-will, the fall out of the Garden of Eden, the second movement began - the lonely and heroic journey of the ego.

"Nowadays, yearning to reclaim a sense of wholeness, some of us tend to disparage that movement of separation from nature, but it brought great gains for which we can be grateful. The distanced and observing eye brought us tools of science, and a priceless view of the vast, orderly intricacy of our world. The recognition of our individuality brought us trial by jury and the Bill of Rights.

Now, harvesting these gains, we are ready to return. The third movement begins. Having gained distance and sophistication of perception, we can turn and recognize who we have been all along. Now it can dawn on us: we are our world knowing itself. We can relinquish our separateness. We can come home again - and participate in our world in a richer, more responsible and poignantly beautiful way than before, in our infancy."

I have often meditated on this concept. I see evolution as something that occurs in myriads of different ways. Our spiritual evolution has declined severely since modernity, however, the evolution of our awareness about material reality has skyrocketed. Now we are at a time when we are yearning to unite the two somehow, however, no one remembers what it means to be spiritual as it has been lost in the many translations over the past 500 years.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 11:10 pm
@Reconstructo,
The irony is that in Western culture, evolution as portrayed by science has become the negation of everything spiritual, whereas if you look at biological evolution as an expression or a vehicle of the evolution of consciousness, the whole panorama has spiritual value. But this is not in scope for most Western philosophy. Hegel and the German romantics and idealists might have understood it, but as far as the mainstream is concerned, the watchmaker is indeed blind.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 11:21 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;162863 wrote:
Well it seems you committed that very fallacy by assuming that two aspects of reality being "one" is suggesting that they are identical. Two things can be different and still be part of the same whole. Whenever the One is talked about it is understood always as a whole that is sometimes described about by looking at its parts. But those parts are always one, i.e. they only exist as a whole/one.


Certainly. As I said, X and Y can be members of the same class, Z, without being identical. I am not sure what you have in mind by "an aspect of reality" however. Nor am I sure what the phrase, "exist as" means in this context.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 11:25 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;163252 wrote:
Certainly. As I said, X and Y can be members of the same class, Z, without being identical. I am not sure what you have in mind by "an aspect of reality" however. Nor am I sure what the phrase, "exist as" means in this context.


That is important, and I should have been more thoughtful of my wording.

Would it help to say they exist together as a whole?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 11:45 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;163256 wrote:
That is important, and I should have been more thoughtful of my wording.

Would it help to say they exist together as a whole?


I am not sure. It would depend on whether that implied that they do not "really" exist. To say that dogs and cats "exist as animals" whatever that means, ought not to imply that dogs and cats do not exist. Philosophers like Spinoza and Hegel, and other "holists" do tend in that direction if they are not already there.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 11:45 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil. Albuquerque;163213 wrote:

Unity is therefore the essential word in Truth, but what would be its purpose without the Temporal apartness on the epiphenomena of the World ?

Could One be without this ?


I agree. Without contraries there can be no progress nor purpose. No drama. This is the down side to Parmenides, and perhaps Spinoza. Also this ties in with the number 2. Forgive my number theme. Perhaps it ties in with what you are saying though. The One is meaningless in the absence of a multiplicity. Joyce's last book featured HCE as a castle (made of digital bricks, ones) and ALP, his wife, who I interpret as a symbol of continuity and plurality. I see human existence as this river winding around this castle. Kojeve presents the Begriff, which stands for Science or Concept, as a permanent rainbow that spread over the flux. It's memory and abstraction from memory that provides us with truth, and I think it's the Future that provides us with purpose. This Future, which can be conceived as a project, is composed of the Past (memory) but can transcend or improve upon the past. We can move away from error, progress dialectically. If the self is the limit of the world, this limit can be opened, expanded. The self evolves. This is why I like negative one (or perhaps "i") as a substitute for the One of Parmenides. (After already being attached to this little metaphor/symbol, I was pleased to discover that e^(pi*i) = -1. e makes a great symbol for evolution. pi is a great symbol for eternity. i works as a rotational operator in trig and electronics. one is root of all number and negativity is inversion. Not bad for a statement that happens to be both true and useful.
Smile
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 11:47 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;163267 wrote:
I agree.
Smile


You do? But what is it you agree with?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 11:50 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;163232 wrote:
Now we are at a time when we are yearning to unite the two somehow, however, no one remembers what it means to be spiritual as it has been lost in the many translations over the past 500 years.


An optimist might find promise in our move toward information. I like the word "geist" which unites the ideas of mind and spirit.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 11:50 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;163266 wrote:
I am not sure. It would depend on whether that implied that they do not "really" exist. To say that dogs and cats "exist as animals" whatever that means, ought not to imply that dogs and cats do not exist. Philosophers like Spinoza and Hegel, and other "holists" do tend in that direction if they are not already there.


Well everything "really" exists in some form or another. The hard part is distinguishing how they exist, or in other words, their essence.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 11:54 pm
@Reconstructo,
And I can't help but note that "cats" and "dogs" are themselves classes. And that even an individual cat or dog is a class, which organizes our many experiences of..."Fluffy. " And even these experiences are bound to be described in terms of classes. For if Fluffy pees on the rug, it's only a "rug" because it belongs to a class. And "class" belongs to a class. We really think so much in classes,generalities, that the real is nakedly rational, for those who want to see it. I've argued this before, but the word "rational" is so associated with prudent and/or desirable that I am rarely understood. Or so it seems to me. Smile
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 11:54 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;163270 wrote:
Well everything "really" exists in some form or another. The hard part is distinguishing how they exist, or in other words, their essence.


That is certainly not true. Mermaids don't exist. Not in any form or other. The notion that something exists in one form (way) but not in another form (way) is just sheer confusion. There have been a number of threads on this topic, so this is just, deja vu all over again.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 11:55 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;163269 wrote:
An optimist might find promise in our move toward information. I like the word "geist" which unites the ideas of mind and spirit.


That would work if what most meant by mind today could be used synonymously with the word spirit, but that is a hard bridge for moderns to make.

When you are stuck in your own body, and you posses an individual spirit, it is impossible to understand how spirit is a substance which can evolve.

I find it very promising that we are gaining more awareness about the material world, but we are doing so in a way that is separating materiality from spirituality, hence the mind-body distinction. If mind is reduced to observable behavior, then it rips the spirit out of the definition. Thus a distinction is now necessary.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 12:05 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;163269 wrote:
An optimist might find promise in our move toward information. I like the word "geist" which unites the ideas of mind and spirit.


Then, by all means, be my geist.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 12:29 am
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;163275 wrote:

When you are stuck in your own body, and you posses an individual spirit, it is impossible to understand how spirit is a substance which can evolve.


I think that we are rooted in our bodies, but that language allows us to "incarnate" the "spirit" of others, even those long dead. And also that our experience of life is largely conceptual,or "spiritual." Of course there is an eros involved, as well. I realize that "spirit" is more than a little associated with what might be regarded as superstition. For me, this is why geist is a potent word, because it doesn't disconnect the spirit from mind, or even the body if we are looking at Hegel's use of it.

For me the incarnation myth is a suggestion of the immanence of spirit. I don't separate spirit from language, for instance. We could view the history of Western philosophy as a dialectical evolution of spirit/geist/logos. As the evolution of self-consciousness. What is the self? What the world? Wittgenstein compares solipsism with naive realism, and he has a point. If we remove the duality, the two are equivalent. Now I'm not suggesting that, but rather looking at the self-world dichotomy, as well as the mind-body dichotomy as useful but logically questionable ways of interpreting experience.

---------- Post added 05-12-2010 at 01:33 AM ----------

MMP2506;163275 wrote:
If mind is reduced to observable behavior, then it rips the spirit out of the definition. Thus a distinction is now necessary.


I see what you mean. And I see that these ideas I am fond of, the dissolution of various dichotomies, are probably not going to catch on, or get much respect. It's not absurd to call them poetry, even if a strong case can be made for them. Practical life demands certain distinctions. I live with a Nietzsche /Rorty sort of pragmatism, but I'm glad that Hegel made his case. It strikes me as the peak of metaphysics. I don't think I would have enjoyed it unless Kojeve and Wittgenstein had put their spin on it. (I am guilty of idiosyncratic assimilation of Wittgenstein..._
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 09:00 pm
@Reconstructo,
Let's see what we can do w/ this one.
 
 

 
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