Heaven sent the promised land
Looks alright from where I stand
'Cause I'm the man on the outside lookin' in
Waiting on the first step
Show me where the key is kept
Point me down the right line because it's time
To let me in
From the cold
Turn my lead
'Cause there's a chill wind blowin' in my soul
And I think I'm growing old
Flash the readies
Wot's uh, the deal?
Gotta make it to the next meal
Gotta keep up with the turning of
Mile after mile
Stone after stone
You turn to speak, but you're alone
A million miles from home, you're on your own
So let me in
From the cold
Turn my lead
'Cause there's a chill wind blowin' in my soul
And I think I'm growing old
Fire bright by candlelight
With her by my side
If she prefers, we will never stir
Someone said, "The Promised Land!"
So I grabbed it with both hands
Now I'm the man on the inside lookin' out
Hear me shout,
"Come on in!
Wot's the news?
Where ya been?"
'Cause there's no wind left in my soul
And I've grown old
- Roger Waters
it's like a whirlpool, sinking, the gravity of the void drawing you irredeemably to itself but with your back to it - you can never face the void even if you try, so distractions ensue, chat, reading, thinking, music, smoking, anything to a-void - to void the void, to do to it what it is doing to you
but even these actions of distraction are not under one's control
when i used to practice meditation i found my attention returning to the present in waves - i could control whether or not i became Present only when i remembered that being present was what i was trying to do, but controlling whether or not i was aware of this as my task was impossible
it was like falling down an infinite well and spinning vertically round and round, the thoughts like the darkness one sees in the depths - or doesn't see, since it appears as distraction, a -lack- of presence of mind - the Being Present like quick glimpses of the light as the spinning happened to turn me face upwards, but i could not maintain focus for longer than the moment given to me, the spin plummeting me back into darkness - waves: darkness, light, darkness, light, like a heartbeat
solitude is like the well but with a painful and nefarious, frightful quality, and not spinning vertically but horizontally, chat, reading, thinking, music, chat, reading - the spin goes round and round all hours of the day
and if i try to turn towards the void it becomes a wire post
clenchedfist00: on a lighter note, this is what's for dinner tonight, with certain substitions according to my wife's diet and what we have already in the house
clenchedfist00: the troll is a thing of frustration because he manifests a lack of a certain quality, we can't call it reason since a troll can use logical arguments too - the best, though far from ideal, word might be sanity
the troll uses irony to the third degree, pointing it at itself like a snake eating its own tail - e.g. "deny and deflect, it's all you libtards do" as ITSELF a blatant and obvious instance of denial and deflection, which is ironic
the troll knows that it is ironic, which makes it irony squared
the troll doesn't care and finds it humorous that you react in anger - which makes you react with even more anger! - irony to the third degree
at that point all human connection is lost, there is nothing that we might call authenticity, communication, sanity
the troll is a blind man sputtering gibberish holding a stick that he whacks you with - utter absurdity, painful absurdity
i want to say that the troll signifies the human condition in two ways, first that life is itself absurd and painful, and second, that we are ourselves "insane," the very quality of sanity that is so painfully lacking in the troll is what we crave but do not really possess, wakefulness, lucidity, knowledge of reality
we are trolls being trolled by the nature of the human condition
theKnaveofNevermore: awesome man lol and well nailed. trolls i have found are a triumph of emotion over reason almost entirely. they are fueled by petty vindictiveness and disdain, not for any one person or even humanity as a whole but themselves i think, overwhelmed by their own soul consuming fear that they are in fact as inferior as they actually feel themselves to be. i always think of fearful angry little dogs barking madly and snarling for no reason other than the intense anxiety, that they have no response for other than to lash out. the end game is always the same, to prevail, to knock the pins out from under the object of their discomfort. which in the end is themselves. it,s not always so however, there are trolls who have no sense of the harm they cause, for they are not in anyway self aware or cognisant of their own words. they seem to think they are being funny, ha ha so amusing but lack the tools to truly understand the nature of humour and in that make the novice mistake of failing to see the difference between comedy and cruelty, then there are the sadists who embrace cruelty for which there is no rational account to be made. i have met some bad ones. but more often the sad ones.
clenchedfist00: Maybe I can say it this way. To ask if a person sees the same red that I do makes no sense for the following reason: Colors are not, strictly speaking, predications of seeing, but are attributes or properties of objects seen. We do not say, "I see red" but "I see a red bird" or "I see a red car." It makes no sense to talk about seeing colors as such, without objects to adhere to.
Anything that I see or think that I see can be pointed to; if I say that I see a red car I can point to it. But try to point to "red" without pointing to any object that has the property of being red
You might say the color is an experience that cannot be doubted whereas the existence of the object can - but here we would still have to say that one has the experience of seeing a (possibly) nonexistent red object, not of "seeing red."
You might also say that sometimes we DO say that we see a color, e.g. when testing for colorblindness: "What color do you see?" "Green." But this is a kind of shorthand for, "That section of the piece of paper is green." If you asked the person taking the test what object the green color was a property of, they would answer, "the piece of paper you are holding up." If they didn't say this there would perhaps be more serious issues at hand than colorblindness.
This is why I say it makes no sense to ask if one person sees the same red as another - and hence why it is thought of an "unsolvable" or "very difficult" problem.
What if we reformulate the question this way: How do I know that what I see as a red car is not what you see as a green car, and yet we both call these properties red? This presents problems of its own, but I won't go into them here. I'm content (for now) to point out this one small but important distinction.
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clenchedfist00 in reply to theKnaveofNevermore: it was amazing, kind of a deconstructed sushi, the tuna was fully cooked, crusted with sesame seeds, with a brown rice pilaf, liquid aminos, sesame oil, lime, pickled ginger and wasabi on the side... my wife's idea... but ah heyulped
clenchedfist00: a word about existentialism in philosophy (as opposed to, say, literature).. academic philosophers tend to dislike this term, since only one philosopher, sartre, ever called himself an existentialist (while camus and heidegger repudiated the term) and because it tends to be difficult to say what the term involves... i think this might be a bit pretentious and pedantic of philosophers, always insisting as they do on definitions that meet philosophical criteria even when the term begins to be used outside of philosophy, so i am okay with the "plebian" use of this term... but i do think some rigor is appropriate here too
as sartre used the term, existentialism is a philosophy grounded in the assumption that existence precedes essence. . the essence of a chair for example being the definition of a chair - what makes it a chair, which can be used to specify a category "all chairs" that would include anything that meets the definitional criteria.... its existence would be what is sometimes called the fact of its "insantiation" - that in this case there IS an object belonging to the category "all chairs"
the notion of "precedes" is ontological, meaning that what "precedes" something is more real fundamentally than it - we should ask: which one can exist without the other? much of the mainstream philosophy up until the existentialist period assumed that essence precedes existence - that essence (chairness) can exist without any instantiations of that essence (chairs).... whereas chairs could not exist without "chairness".... the existentialists, mostly implicitly, assumed the opposite, thus giving the primacy and foundational character to the physical world, stripped of any particularly human perceptions and interpretations, that characterizes so much of how we think today (e.g. darwinian evolution is very difficult to believe and take seriously without this assumption)
the rest of what we think of as existentialism - the concerns with the meaning of human life and mortality, the strange reconfiguring of language in (what is at least intended to be) poetic ways, etc. - is a mark of the movement in our "plebian" definition, but is not exclusive to it... if we add these into the mix we have some justification for calling kierkegaard, nietzsche, camus, sartre, and a larger number of slightly less well known thinkers existentialists - but the term ought to be limited strictly enough to recognize the vast variety of strands of philosophy that came about in the late 19th and 20th centuries, much of which have little or nothing to do with existentialism - but often share the assumption that existence precedes essence
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clenchedfist00 in reply to theKnaveofNevermore: interesting, i had no idea it predated kierkegaard... i'd be interested to know more about that, especially the german stuff, they seem to have a penchant for profundity
you are right that not everyone is meant to contemplate these things... it takes a certain sickness of soul to produce that kind of desperate standing-over-the-whole, to dare to challenge reality as a whole and attempt to tame it with words
theKnaveofNevermore: yeah, man, no connection to philosophy but i was reading last night, a tiny blurb on some religious issues, and calvinism was a feature point, i know less than nothing about all the various branches of christian theology but that one , the calvinists struck me as being an exceptionally bleak bunch, seems it is their contention some people are born with hell as their only possible destination, and those meant for heaven are preordained to ascend to godly reward in heavens grace. what the hell man, born bad. no hope of redemption. i don't know, seemed pretty dark , anyway, what i was getting at is the small wonders that can for the common man open the door to a larger reality, that anyone can graze the surface of the existential, just getting out of bed in the morning and wondering out loud to the heavens 'why', what the hell am i doing. is my life not my own, can i not just roll over and go back to sleep. , well that might be as existential as some of us get, but that might be enough.
clenchedfist00 in reply to theKnaveofNevermore: calvinists do not believe in free will... they say some are predestined for hell, others for heaven... if you become christian and live nobly then most likely you were predestined for heaven from the start... if you fall away or leave the faith then you must have been predestined for hell - ha!
clenchedfist00: this one is dedicated partially to Kim Chi (the chatter, not the fermented cabbage)
Every event in my life as a lesson. This must be a belief that all events, from best to worst, have a lesson to teach me, and that there is no "upper limit" - that I cannot, at least in this life, exhaust the lessons.
The skeptic is bound to dismiss or at least doubt this. But what exactly is being doubted? We might say there is insufficient evidence - but what sort of evidence? Perhaps the skeptic wants to say there is insufficient evidence for any REASON WHY this would be the case - a cause, like a "Lesson Giver" (God) or a mysterious force or energy that manifests the lessons. After all, to say that everything, down to the last detail, is designed with us in mind or is somehow a reflection of our nature seems pretty far-fetched. Right?
Instead of treating it in terms of evidence, let's follow the contours of what the actual experience would be for a person who believed this. She would view every single event in her life as though it was a lesson - which is to say that it contains wisdom, not just in general but for her, in her exact circumstances and exactly as she is at the moment of the event. Even a rain drop could be contemplated, and at the end of the contemplation she would have learned something, become a better person, grown in some way. Therefore she would always be looking for these lessons, and, since she believes she cannot exhaust them, would never suffer lack of confidence that any event contains an ample amount of lessons to mine.
Is a belief in a Cause of this "hidden wisdom" in the events of her life essential to this attitude? Consider a different case - suppose a hardnosed skeptic set out to disprove this theory by honestly contemplating a rain drop. The contemplation, plausibly, might look like this:
"It's just a rain drop. Nothing magical about it - a random event in a random and absurd universe. And the only reason I can even sit here contemplating it is because human beings have overcome superstition and built these buildings that protect us from the elements - sitting around a campfire chanting or praying didn't build this building - human beings did, using their ingenuity, logic, science, technology. Even the umbrella I am about to unfold is the product of human agency - there's nothing supernatural or mystical about a damn umbrella or a damn rain drop!"
Suppose as he was leaving and opened up his umbrella it became for him a symbol of human agency and rationality - one that simultaneously performed the functions of symbol and tool, the incarnation of his philosophy in action. He continued to think of the umbrella this way and used it as a metaphor in his writings. On one fateful night his child was deathly ill, and he said to her, "I will be your umbrella. It will be okay."
Clearly he came away from the five minute contemplation of the rain drop with more wisdom than he started with. Yet he didn't have to "believe" anything, in fact belief would have only changed the KIND of lesson he drew from the rain drop - not the quality or quantity of the lesson. What function then does a belief in any explanation of this process perform?
Rather, I suggest that every event contains lessons, not because an otherwise absurd collection of atoms (the universe) is given some "extra" properties, but because events come to us ALREADY saturated with meaning, much of which is not immediately apparent. That is part of the nature of an event as such, part of the nature of human experience. Even a rain drop always appears to me as part of an unfolding story, since it occurs in a context in which I am always involved in some activity - getting gas on the way to work, smoking a cigarette on a hotel balcony flirting with the idea of divorce, running from the car to the house without an umbrella - even "doing nothing" creates context, and therefore all rain drops and all events MEAN something to me, not because they have extra properties but because that's what an event is.
Metaphysical speculation on the "causes" of the meanings of events, I suggest, can only serve to distract from and distort their nature - turning them into objects of scientific or empirical scrutiny. Yet that attitude, if accompanied by the skepticism that metaphysical speculation makes possible, is so far removed from the attitude of "openness to lessons" that characterizes the spiritual person as to prevent what is otherwise a rich tapestry of meaning from being unveiled.
clenchedfist00 in reply to theKnaveofNevermore: lol idk it was the age of the music video and everyone was expected to "come original" with wild and random "artistic" imagery... seems to me these guys did the 90s equivalent of splicing videos of them performing with random youtube clips... that was so common i think that people took it as a whole "style" of music video
clenchedfist00 in reply to tularcitas: lol i love her she is genuine and she reminds me of a girl i had a crush on when i was a teenager... she is so unabashedly forward, wasted, carnal, she takes this sort of thing to such a level that it has almost the beauty and grace of much more refined and restrained forms of expression... she is utterly unique, full of personality and authenticity
or am i talking about my 9th grade crush? hmm
clenchedfist00: "It is a fault to wish to be understood before we have made ourselves clear to ourselves. It is to seek pleasures in friendship and pleasures which are not deserved. It is something which corrupts even more than love. You would sell your soul for friendship."
- Simone Weil
clenchedfist00: "As Rosenzweig sees it, the philosopher is a being who is incapable of accepting the process of life and what he calls 'the passing of the numbness wonder has brought." Such a relief comes too slowly.
"A number of critics of the traditional metaphysical enterprise have noted that the philosopher seeks an imaginary position, one outside the flow of time. He seeks to view everything, even himself, as if he were an 'outsider'; he seeks to view the world as if he were not in it, to view it 'from sideways on', as John McDowell has put it. By describing this imaginary position as a place outside the current, outside the demands of life and the flow of time, Rosenzweig suggests that this sort of philosophy stems from a 'fear to live' (p. 102). But at the close of 'Understanding the Sick and the Healthy,' just before the epilogues, Rosenzweig gives a deeper diagnosis:
'We have wrestled with the fear to live, with the desire to step outside the current; now we may discover that reason's illness was merely an attempt to elude death. Man, chilled in the full current of life, sees, like that famous Indian prince, death waiting for him. So he steps outside of life. If living means dying, he prefers not to live.' (p. 102)"
- Hilary Putnam, from the introduction to Franz Rosenzweig's "Understanding the Sick and the Healthy: A View of the World, Man and God"
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theKnaveofNevermore: hmm, well for me science is all about reality, the sticks and stones of it,, all else in my world as it pertains to 'possibility or existentialism', as interesting as it is to speculate upon is essentially sophistry i hate to say. philosophy is a strictly human affectation having no baring " i think" on reality outside of our limited/unlimited consciousness. we may endlessly postulate on the meaning of it all, contemplating upon our navels will the ends of time, and while i would not say it is an entirely fruitless endeavor, ( an existential code, as fusty called it, may eventually be stumbled over shedding light on the universe in its entirety, not an uncool development really) i do not really think it will offer us the answers we seek anytime soon. but there are minds enough in this world to to take human thought in a multitude of directions with out any real fear of having left stones unturned, there is room enough for all forms of thought and i would not go so far as to say one is less worthy of attention than any other, i just know which i hold closest to my own heart as being my personal truth. i fear i might be one of the trepidatious pedestrians was casting aspersions upon, we are just trying to cover our butts, placing our filthy lucre on every horse in the race, even if i do double down on Richard Feynman,s filly for the trifecta. so i,m flexible but still within the realm pragmatism i think, certainly not an absolutist about anything really. i lack that kind of conceit. hahah. a drug addict must always be mindful of his or her limitations, in all things.
clenchedfist00: to accept that acceptance itself ebbs and flows, to be in a state in which I have not the strength to accept, and yet somehow to accept this fact
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clenchedfist00: surrender is not caring who's right... a desperate and avoidable submission in which one resists an enemy until one runs out of energy and falters... the white flag is raised and one surrenders... this carries with it even more bitterness and opposition than fighting, since it involves the definitive loss of that fight
in terms of fate acceptance and surrender do not speak the same language... to accept a hard fate vs to surrender to a hard fate - as subtle as it may be, the sense of the word "fate" is vastly different between the two.... for one who is able to accept, fate by the definition of one who surrenders no longer exists - and vice versa... accepting occurs in an different world from submission where fate is concerned... I exist in both worlds, one at one time and one at another - but though in the one world I hold up acceptance as the ideal, I have not yet attained it... come to think of it, though, far less was I ever able to successfully surrender!
theKnaveofNevermore: people always forget about that third and most tragic F in the triumvirate of survival. we all recall the flight, and the fight response, but the oft overlooked , intentionally overlooked response is the fear inspired freeze. when the will to live has utterly failed and death is surrendered to with out fuss or bluster. we do not talk about that one, it,s frightful and the stuff of nightmares.
clenchedfist00: willpower is the ability to perform actions which are applications of my worldview and/or life philosophy, when such actions are out of accordance with my desires
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clenchedfist00 in reply to theKnaveofNevermore: no not "looking for a cool place to drop dead " (lol) but preparation for death in the sense of relating to mortality
funny that you mention the "god damn life" issue when discussing exploration - don't you think the exploration might be fueled by this discontent? and if so, is the goal ultimately to discover something? or, after discovering it, to say finally, with a deep sigh, "at last, i can live my life with fulfillment, wholeheartedly, for finding what i was looking for i can now live the life i couldn't before"? the purpose of the discovery of new lands is not the discovery itself but the hope that after building a city there we might stand watching our children playing in the town square and be reminded of how we felt before our lives became " one god damn thing after another," that utter joy of play, making memories and friends - the whole time we are seeking to revive ourselves, seeking to rebuild the earth that has chasmed out from beneath our feet, so that we can finally Stand again
to me every philosophy, every religion, every new age movement, every carl sagan and karl marx longs for this, it is their New Jerusalem
what does this have to do with death? well, we must learn that building such a foundation cannot be achieved without a profound sacrifice, and part of this sacrifice is understanding that it cannot belong to us, that it never did, we must learn to see it as Other, to Love it so much that even our own appreciation of it is irrelevant... i am getting carried away, this is my story, it may not be anyone else's
theKnaveofNevermore: oh absolutely i understand that, mortality has ever been an issue in my mind, some would call it a relentless fatalism i wear around my neck like curse, i have no illusions about immortality, existence is finite to my reasoning and frankly i,m oft convinced i will be killed in some useless and pedestrian fashion at any given time or place, like getting hit by a car crossing the street, this would be a very pedestrian way for me to croak. but i never have taken life for granted, and it is as easily taken as it is given. not to sound paranoid but the reaper is gunning for me i know it, so i will not be provoking his largess with daunts like jumping out of perfectly good planes or eating fugu, no matter how fun or delicious it is. bad enough i must share the roads with lunatics with legitimate death wishes. the people in my town all believe wholeheartedly in reincarnation so getting killed on the way to work can only be an improvement in their realities. i just wish they would stop trying to take me with them. namaste seriously however i agree, the search for something new as always been prompted by the hopes of self betterment, opportunity if you will, for yourself, for an improvement in living standards for family. and there was a time in our relatively short history, when striking out to find something new, was a reality, back in a time when the world was large and unknown and a stick could indeed be planted in the ground and all that could be surveyed in all directions claimed for ones own. over the next hill laid manifest destiny. to be plucked from the tree for those with pluck enough to do it. pluck enough, or pure desperation to strike out and survive someplace else beyond the pale. that is wild and untamed and waiting for someone who is looking to be the master of his or her own destiny. beyond the pale, it,s a roman concept, in those heady days when rome began expanding north in an unrelenting fashion, claiming new territories for the golden eagles flying the banners of rome SPQR, senatus populusque romanus the senate and peoples of rome. those outposts out on the untamed frontiers were the fearful last vestiges of the civilized world that lay well behind them to the south. a head beyond the walls of their encampments was driven a great wooden stakes impaled into the ground marking the furthest point their arrows and ballista bolts would fly, beyond that point, beyond the impaled stakes rome could offer you no help. to travel beyond the pale was to to take that step boldly into the unknown country. but i wildly digress. sorry i got rather tangential on you there. anyway, as you said it,s about sacrifice man, it,s the human compulsion, and not merely human, it is life,s compulsion to survive, to eke out an existence or parish trying. i took some inspiring pictures once years ago in alquonquin park, pictures of trees growing in places they had no cause to be growing in, right out of side of shear rock cliff faces, with networks of roots spreading out in all directions clinging desperately to the rocks finding purchase in any nook or cranny they could to hold the tree to the cliff face, like the tree was holding on by its fingertips to keep from falling to its death. a dramatic and inspiration thing to behold. life against all odds. a salmon does not ask why it must kill it self to get upstream, it only understand it must.
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theKnaveofNevermore: interesting, so essentially our inability to come to a consensus in regards to our perception of reality generally is as a result of a limitation in language and our overall ability to properly express it. seems the fault does not lie in language as much as it lies in our fundamental inability to intellectualize the issues surrounding the quantifiable aspects of reality it self. give a painter an unlimited palette of colours to draw from, if he can not paint a moose, is it the paints fault.
clenchedfist00 in reply to theKnaveofNevermore: I think W (in the later phase, that of the Investigations) would say it is not a problem with language but with certain dubious uses of it that have even more dubious psychological motives behind them (he calls these uses metaphysics, and they are MISuses of a language which functions just fine otherwise).... he never expands on the motives but I think he might have in mind something like a need to discover "the meaning of life" when such a thing, if it exists, would have nothing to do with Truth in the philosophical sense.... looking for love in all the wrong places in other words
he doesn't say life has or doesn't have a meaning... he seems content to point out that misusing language (metaphysics) is not going to discover it... I once read an essay about the meaning of life from a Wittgensteinian perspective, I cannot seem to find it now... but it claimed that the problem itself can not be solved, that there is no such thing as a solution, but rather that one may find oneself not needing to ask the question - and nothing has changed in terms of belief or knowledge... the storm passes and one feels alive again
the author failed however to show sensitivity towards those for whom it never passes
theKnaveofNevermore: okay, i think i see, so language as far as metaphysics and the nature of reality are concerned have within them obvious limitations in regards to being able to convey any kind of reasonable or translatable explanation. a bridge too far as it were, uncharted and unknown territory for which we lack a means of making it adequately understood in the layman,s tongue. well finding a way to explain the meaning of life in such a way that would be seen by all as the final and penultimate resolution to the question would i think be well beyond us, i agree with wittgenstein in that regard, an interesting question that no doubt needs to be asked but one for which no answer will adequately placate the soul. this is where acceptance enters in i think. if the storm of questions do not pass you by, build a cozy shelter and weather it out and try to be content in the knowledge that sometimes the act of questioning is more a significant achievement than conjuring up an answer to that very question. the question being the answer essentially. i think there for......blah blah.
clenchedfist00 in reply to theKnaveofNevermore: ah well, try this one
if that doesn't work and you are still interested, it is the third movement of symphony no. 1 (nicknamed the "nordic" .) by Howard Hanson, allegro con fuoco