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Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) never left his place of birth except for a brief stint as a lecturer in a nearby village. He lived and died in Kaliningrad (now Konigsburg), Russia. While tutoring, he published science papers, including “General Natural History and Theory of the Heavens” in 1755. He spent the next 15 years as a metaphysics lecturer. In 1781, he published the first part of Critique of Pure Reason. He published more critiques in the years  to come preceding his death, on February 12, 1804, in Kaliningrad.He was barely five feet tall and extremely thin, and his health was fragile. Toward the end of his life he became increasingly antisocial and bitter over the growing loss of his memory and capacity for work. Kant became totally blind (Ack- http://www.notablebiographies.com)

At the age of 22 he wrote:”I have always fixed upon the line which I am resolved to keep… Nothing shall prevent me from keeping it.” Everything else he relegated to it. He thought of marriage but by the time he decided the lady in question married one who meanwhile proposed. He remained a bachelor. He presevered despite ill health and obscurity. Never did a book so startle and upset the philosophic world as his.
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Critique for a title does not indicate Kant is criticizing Reason but it just means a critical analysis of pure reason from ‘impure’ reason. Pure in the sense knowledge does not come through our senses but is independent of all shared experience. For example Knowledge in mathematics is true no matter what our future experience be. Two plus two is four whether the moon in furthering distance from the earth or not. Such a change in the future will lengthen days and nights necessitating a change in our internal clocks as well. Experience of ‘gut feeling’ as to passing of time or needing sleep as our biological clocks may change. Kantian pure reason is truth inviolable. Mind of man is not passive wax upon which sensation and experience write their will.

In order to have a casual understanding of his importance as a philosopher and his work Ccritique it  shall suffice to say the entire 19th century philosophic thought revolved around his speculations and in our age  it influenced Jean Paul Sartre greatly. His magnum opus runs to more than 800 pages and in discarding examples and analogies he made it very daunting for the beginners to understand him directly. It is often safer to approach him from expositions of lesser mortals. It is like understanding Jehovah at the Mount Sinai through his prophet Moses.

Immanuel Kant didn’t explain his thought by examples lest he should add more pages needlessly. As a parting thought let me add: analogies are like fishes of the sea and it could include from anchovies to the whales. These are merely incidental to the quintessence of the sea under the influence of the wind or without. Philosophy of man accommodates analogies from nature but are not really called for.

benny

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1.
Problem of universe is a step into the unknown. Imagination works where Nature is the medium. Between mind and reality it builds a bridge.

2.
Mind compresses and focuses on a specific problem at any time; memory of a smell rides piggyback on Now to the past.
When we look at past with rose-tinted glass we are less harsh as from a wider experience in life; mind can focus only one idea at a time.

3.
Nothing new under the sun; a free-masonry of ideas at the unconscious end and you fit idea rationally to time-space. Mind is a state of awareness.
Here is one to round this post off. Positive intelligence permeates everything from Time-Space framework. If in imagination I make an image and call it God how can you prove me wrong? It merely bridges through evidences I glean in nature. God being Time and Space (Eternal God and Omnipresent) does not need imagination whereas I would need it to serve any given purpose on hand.
Mind as I defined is an awareness and it is called Cosmic Mind. Thus Nebuchadnezzar may dream and Daniel can interpret it to him because the medium is common. The unconscious part of the human brain is the seat of will. We follow our desires and will, and find reasons to justify our actions rationally. In the post of Number Game I mentioned the extra-ordinary way in which late Srinivasa Ramanujan wrote down mathematical functions that came to him in dreams before his death. You find what you seek. His knock on the door of mathematical problems was heard. That is all.
How do we limit our life experience to insignificant level when we dismiss what our conscious mind cannot digest! Instead we should use both parts of our brain to get the best out of life.

I wish you a Happy New Year to you all.
benny

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The laws of nature have their natural claim on all. We may defy the gravity of our Earth in order to fly outward bound. Use the gravity of the planets like Venus or Jupiter to escape on an intergalactic flight. We use the higher gravity of these planets as though we are catapulted expending less fuel to achieve our object. Yet there is one law that holds its own rule: we shall not go past the speed of light.
Only way to break that rule for a Christian seems to be to use his imagination. Imagination sets you instantaneously right in the presence of God. St. Paul speaks of God ‘dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man can see..'(1 Ti 6:16). Here it becomes clear as to its nature. Imagination is of a different medium than what we call as physical or material.
At the basic level we are atoms, molecules. When we die (or at the dissolution of material form) there is no dissolution or death as such to our atoms. In one of my earlier posts I had mentioned while explaining the law of entropy we are timeless. In the manner a complex form as an apple or a human body, it must turn from its organized state to simple and loose state of atoms. It denotes a period of time. An atom can never separate into its fundamental particles. Thus we may safely say at fundamental level of atoms we are all timeless. Imagination is squarely rooted in this timeless state.
Imagination therefore would imply a faculty that the physical state at its upper end cannot build by itself. Instead it is drawn from this extreme state of timelessness.
It is soul’s time travel.
Each of us exercises this mode of travel. It runs on faith. When we are young and full of vigor we don’t have to think of our body. Our trust is implicit that we may walk or jump or do what you will. It is just the same, faith. We exercise faith our body is adequate to discharge its functions. Or it may be at a higher plane we sharpen our mental faculties as a HG Wells or Jules Verne could, to defy what is not yet present. With imagination faith of a carnal body and mind adds a dimension to the limits of time-space.
God is omnipresent and omnipotent. Imagination is therefore unnecessary to the divine Will. Not so for a Christian. With imagination our souls can seek His presence and our prayers are also heard. Law of Light Years may have their rule but for our soul no such rule makes sense.

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The unconscious mind (often simply called the unconscious) is all the processes of the mind which are not available to consciousness. The term unconscious mind was coined by the 18th century German romantic philosopher Friedrich Schelling and later introduced into English by the poet and essayist Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The concept gained prominence due to the influence of Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. The unconscious mind can be seen as the source of dreams and automatic thoughts. (Wikipedia)

Some actions – like moving a finger – are initiated and processed unconsciously at first, and only after enter consciousness.

Philosopher Walter Jackson Freeman III writes “our intentional actions continually flow into the world, changing the world and the relations of our bodies to it. This dynamic system is the self in each of us, it is the agency in charge, not our awareness, which is constantly trying to keep up with what we do.*” To Freeman, the power of intention and action can be independent of awareness. ( * Freeman, Walter J. How Brains Make Up Their Minds. New York: Columbia UP, 2000. Page 139.)

We think and act rationally but do we understand what it implies? One who wants to kick the habit of smoking may linger on wondering when or how to do it. He knows it is slowly incinerating his lungs and one day he quits it altogether. Suppose the coming weekend he is in company and they are headed towards a bar. If he chooses to sit with them in the smoking section he may excuse himself that he did not want to cut their pleasure of a smoke. Or was it he was craving a secondary smoke and his mind had tricked him? Our mind is a divided house. We may say we keep an open house. Only that when we want to empty our bowels we keep the door shut. Open house in short is not always what it says. Our mind is not what we like to believe. We say we are rational. Are we really? How come then we irrationally succumb to prophets and dolts alike. We accept heaven for someone else’s word. Similarly we listen to some fool’s prattle and when he says,’such and such race is subhuman’ we accept it without a murmur. It happened in Nazi Germany. Or a half-baked science fiction writer cobbles up Scientology ‘weird evil cult’ as Rupert Murdoch said the other day) celebrities are ready to join. Our rational mind knows it is a moron’s path to bliss as one who take bath salts for kicks. The nature of mind is such that people are dying to believe and ‘weirder the better.’ There has never been a proof of religion as consistently put to test and found true. Yet why people still harp on it? Our brain is a divided house.
I can make Donald Duck pass for a Deity and have churches built for worship. If so why don’t I do it? The trouble is I may in the end come to believe myself in the joke.‘ I consider that as truly tragic.
PS Philosopher Schopenhauer signified this unconscious part of mind as the Will. We seek pleasures from within ourselves and even if these are less honorable we still pursue it. Then we rationally explain our actions. We are not seeking a course because reasons are already existing outside ourselves.
benny

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During the bitter struggle for Stalingrad in the Second World War the Germans had the initial advantage but the element of surprise was worn thin by the indomitable courage of the Russians who were fighting for the Motherland. The Russians would not give up and were reduced to fight for every street. In this close combat snipers were an essential part. Vasily Zaitsev was a hero who killed some 300 Germans. He was awarded by the Party for his crucial role.
If one reads German invasion of Soviet Russia the siege of Stailngrad is reduced to a few pages and the role of Vasily may be told in a line at the most. Suppose we were to look at the whole WWII the role of Vasily, most certainly will be left out. In simplification some shift in focus is necessary.
It is like reducing the earth to the size of a golf ball. There shall be no Grand Canyon or the Himalayas. It will be smoother than the golf ball. We are all players in terms of history. Only that we don’t get written about. Our waking lives we may not have place for anything else but of ourselves. Yet we have become non-persons in the human narraive of time and place.
benny

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Remote control it is not, press I well
Surfing channels of reason, my eyes fail-
If Nature stayed true to will and please
My senses-Ah it would be worth my while.

In this age of instant gratification can Omar Khayyam be relevant to us? I believe the quatrain form could be used to convey our spiritual confusion or love for Immensities that comes in byte-size, only we call it passing time. Nature changes: seasons after seasons on the treadmill of Time, is the riddle that was poets of every age and clime had to come to terms with.
Who is using the remote control, by the way?
It is somewhat like the theatre of the Absurd. One who makes Nature keep renewing the face of the earth affects us as well. Lacking in time we require certainties and only certainty that we end up with is what one might call as Chance.
Thanks to our attention-deficit we also keep checking out what is all available whenever we want some entertainment. Instead we are inundated with bits and snatches of man’s art, news of the mart that would not even feed the appetite of a louse. Who is using the remote control and what for?
benny

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A Human Scale©
One evening a beggar approached Rabbi Benn Weiss and said that he was an angel in disguise.” Never mind these tatters, Rabbi,” he said in a conspiratorial tone, “I am indeed an angel sent down to find how many in this City of Peace are worthy to be called His own. So I shall ask you to buy me dinner.”
They were before sidewalk restaurant. “Of course!” Rabbi said and treated him to a hearty meal while he stuck to the usual. The stranger remained by his side even after he had paid the bill and wanted to go home.
It was late.
“I need a place to stay for tonight, Rabbi.”
“Try Wayfarer’s Lodge over there. It is free and clean.” ”You gave me dinner and why refuse me now?”
Benn Weiss interrupted him saying,” A poor man’s dinner is no bother, But to have you under my roof, is more than a man like me can afford.” “But I am an angel!”
“Go tell that to your archangel, my friend. He sent you didn’t he?”
Rabbi Benn Weiss walked on.
Moral:Truth when is stated in human terms must satisfy common sense and sound appropriate for the circumstances.
benny

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