Monday, September 14, 2015

Faith

Life is a process of acting with no proven certainty that our actions will turn out the results we want. If that doesn't involve faith I don't know what does. No matter what group you belong to this faith is venerated and applauded.

Often, we bind ourselves not so much to acts as to the outcomes we expect to transpire because of the acts we perform.  What we desire is not always what we expect.   

Cliche

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, I'm sure the road to heaven is paved with good decisions.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Abstract Reasons

Every part of the orchid is needed, not just the bloom. We need more philosophers, more artists, more people willing to do the hard jobs. The emphasis on science is good, but it must be backed by philosophy and art. Without a reason for doing what we do, whatever it is, the action is not grounded in reason. Without the abstract reasons the concrete actions are performed without life and zest, and ultimately the mission fails.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Upanishads

How do we embody the transcendent and the immanent? We recognize them first. Sunlight is transcendent because it covers the earth and passes through millions of miles to reach us. When love rises above distraction it is transcendent, because it covers all we see and suffuses everything that distracted us from it. All this is within us manifesting itself as a river flowing out of us. This is the immanent.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

A Response to a Question Concerning Mythology

The screaming babies are the reason Noah gets drunk. He has no choice about them, because, according to the story, God is the one who shuts the door to the ark. Part of the lesson may be that we are powerless in the face of divine action. But I think a better lesson is that sometimes we have to take a stand even if no one joins us. As far as being "socially unacceptable" goes, there are other more plausible stories, such as when the Buddha comes upon a man who is grieving the loss of his only son who died the previous night. The Buddha simply goes up to the man and says, "If you had not been so attached to your son you would not now be suffering." Then there's the story of Jesus walking with his disciples and suddenly saying, "Eat my flesh and drink my blood. For my flesh is true meat and my blood true drink." I don't think either of them was right, but I guess the lesson is that sometimes we have to be brazen. Noah saves his family so they can repopulate the earth. Myths are often violent, indicating that there is an uncontrollable aspect to existence. In that sense, if they weren't violent they would not be accurate.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Motives and Desires

Motive is constructed.  Desire arrises.  I have no unconscious motives.  I have unconscious desires.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Mythology

The story of Noah is a great human myth, because after he does the great deed he gets drunk. Mythology illustrates and elucidates truths in ways that enter us deeply and would be otherwise forgotten. Mythology provides context for the features of our psyche, and the context provided is the larger mind of all of us. Samuel Johnson noted that one of the primary purposes of literature is to remind us of things we need to be reminded of, and Aristotle was right about catharsis.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sight

You can't say that you see it if it isn't seen.

A Psychology Experiment

I've thought of a good experiment. Take 100 people of roughly the same intelligence level with the same skill set, let them sleep in a room which is so hot they can barely fall asleep, and record their dreams. Then repeat this experiment with the same group at different room temperatures. Also, have a control group of 100 people with the same characteristics sleep each night in a room with an average agreed level of relative comfort.  Have both groups sleep in the same kind of bed.  Then compare the vividness, distress or euphoria, and length of the different dreams and see if any similarities or dissimilarities arose between the settings. What do you think?