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Posts Tagged ‘philosophy’

In 1928 at Neidenburg in the East at the local elections Nazis got only 2.3% of the votes cast. After the Great Depression the Nazis did not have a party office there. Neither did Hitler visit the place to drum up support. By 1933 the Nazi party got 53 % in Germany( actual figures I cannot vouch for.I am quoting this secondhand-b).

Nazi Manifesto was still the same as at the time of its founding and in 1933. People in Germany were dejected with the economy and disruptive Communists were for rejecting democracy. In such a flux energy of each German was in ferment and was ready for taking.

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Energy of individual is in full flow when he sells himself to an idea. Look at the post-war Germany what with the hyperinflation and political chaos man on the street was waiting for one father figure who would guide him out of the woods. Defeated and humiliated German had already sold to fall in and Adolf Hitler seized the chance. Having got so much energy from so many Hitler like the Piedpiper of Hamelin led Germany to ruin.

Integration principle shows the pernicious influence of Nazi cult surviving even though National Socialism as a political movement was finished. Its evil has worked its way into the pores of the national life. Neo-Nazis for example.

Here are two principles at work:

How come the first Woodstock festival was a roaring success while the second music-fest was a colorless affair?The natural outgrowth of social changes of 69 was energy that each participant brought there. It is like a flash flood that made a path upturning the whole social landscape. The youth had laid claim to have a say in their destiny that let old fogeys who represented the Establishment give in. Eastern philosophy, music and a new moral order that experimented with multiple lifestyle choices connected to give the social changes its structure. It was natural while the music fest at the Woodstock 30 years later was organized. The first demonstrated Integration principle in creating something new from many influences already in flow.

 

A similar phenomena we see in the founding of the Church. When John the baptist began his ministry people were agog with expectation. Coming of Messiah had gripped all. Similarly there was a great gathering on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem and all those who were there because their master had promised them an outpouring witnessed something extraordinary. Holy Spirit came down in many tongues.

 

 A Church that is organized is like a man with an idea seeking counsel from PR man. He simply kills the spontaneous fire in his soul to get so many on the bandwagon! It happened to Christianity where the Church of Rome became a power unto itself. The originality of the teachings of Jesus became diluted with passage of time. Within the first fifty years the Early Church was busy wrestling with the question of how best it could reconcile the gentile and Jewish converts into its hold.

Integration principle must trade off with Inversion principle.

benny

 

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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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In continuation of the last fable of Dec.20, think of parallel worlds represented by the tree of Life. Here is Quatrain #2 from The Rubaiyat-Benny Thomas.
# 2-2 tree border

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“At the Creation Time each life form was allotted equal levels of energy to which behemoths complained. Their complaint was, “You have counted us equal with insects which are so many.” “Our energy level is same..”
“Trim yourself to make the most of it.” Advised the Keeper of the Celestial Park.
Taking heed of his advice they became in course of time, elephants which were half the size of their forefathers. Complaints of injustice did not come from the behemoths alone. Bees were angry too. They saw mites lolling whole day among the herds of cattle. They complained to the Celestial Keeper that holding same levels of energy with those lazy blood suckers was unfair. “We buzz all day and by sundown we are a wreck!”
“Make your constant toil, something to remember by.”
The result was that they began producing honey which pleased all. “Give them bees, whatever energy left of mine,” said bears who loved it above everything else.
“Why such kindness?” the Keeper could not understand.
“I am thinking of my cubs.” One wise old bear said,” perhaps self interest. Call what you will.”

In every action and reaction energy is carried across. Every cause and every effect in the loom of Cosmic Nothingness works non-stop. How the wicked prosper by downright villainy stands out. Simple folks believe they are benefited by their lawlessness. But how long? The upright and simple folks also prosper with energy as in this story. Can the bears or flowers thank enough the bees for their yeoman service?
Perhaps a supernova scatters energy suddenly upping the chances of survival for some weak species. Laws of Compensation and Negation are moral co-valence of Supreme Intelligence.
benny

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“What is the meaning of life?” one asked Confucius. They were passing through a hill country. It was spring. As they climbed down the philosopher said,” It is in the spirit of that old man down there, in his gaiety…see him on a spree, with the butterflies overhead and worms stirring about his feet..”
“I don’t believe your eyesight is sharp enough to see all that from here.” The man was skeptical.
“Perhaps you are right. But my spirit could move into that of the old man and know.” Confucius replied. “Still it doesn’t explain the meaning.” The man murmured.
Next they moved through the plains. They came across a large crowd weeping about a dead body. The widow was almost a child and curiously enough the philosopher thought her smiling inwards as if death came as deliverance; later in the evening the man who was with the philosopher asked, “What is the meaning of life? We were among the dead today.”
Confucius said,” Life holds mysteries and death is merely letting the youth free from the yoke of the old.” The man again asked the master, “What is the meaning of life?”
Confucius pretended as if he didn’t hear him. He said,” I have to go to the City on an urgent business. You may come if you want to.” He nodded.
Before they entered the City they had to pass through a village, which was almost deserted except for the womenfolk and children. Upon enquiries they were told that a great prophet had come to the nearby village holding sermons about the life after death. Meanwhile a man came into view. When the philosopher was told that he was the only one who stayed back, he wanted to speak to him.
Confucius asked if he weren’t interested in the life after death? The man said, “First things first. Being poor I must look after the needful things first, my family needs me. Who will look after them in this life if I were to run after a life which neither the prophet nor anyone else has seen, let alone lived it?”
Turning towards the man who was constantly pestering him as to the meaning of life, the philosopher said, “If you really want to know the meaning, here is the man for you.” With these words he pressed on towards the City.
* Riddle of your life no one can solve but yourself. If you have succeeded you may be pointed out by many as a pioneer. There are so many ways of doing it. To be a pioneer it must be self-evident and can throw light on many knots people needlessly make. Don’t take my word it. Try it yourself.

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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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Universal Peace
Rabbi Benn Weiss was sure that he was being shadowed. “Hey Jake can you tail my shadow?” Of course I did as I was told. When I told him that the man had been on the job for 10 years passing on his movements daily to his boss, who sat in a shadowy section of The City of Peace, the rabbi quaked in his shoes. Next day to his relief the shadow was ran over by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol.
“ Sorry for his messy body, left on the pavement unattended.” Benn Weiss said deathly pale.” Think of it Rabbi!” I said to buck him up,”You shall not be followed again.”
I was wrong.
Rabbi soon found three shadows tailing him. “ Oh my goose is cooked!” Rabbi Benn Weiss gasped, “ The Prince of Peace, bless his name is come and this is the year of Universal Peace! But I am still haunted!”
Rabbi Benn did eventually use his contacts and found that his liberal leanings for a rabbi drew the attention of Homeland Security.
The insider confided that HS had indeed deputed one to check him out. ‘But when he died in rather strange circumstances we had to make sure. So Justice and Immigration department also had to come in, ’ admitted the anonymous source.
We had found our usual spot. While the rabbi took his glass of buttermilk his hand trembled. “ The Messiah is come; but still the old order goes on at full steam ahead.”
“Don’t worry,” I confided,” I know how the system works. The Anointed One is too good to see behind the woodwork. But a day come, he shall not get up from his throne without scratching himself. Too late it would be then.”
Rabbi stared at me. He slowly got my drift. He nodded. “Aha I get it now” he exclaimed, “No wonder Peace has to be hard fought in. Ah the peace of a graveyard!”
benny

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The Secret Of the Rainforests

In a rainforest the ground cover receives only filtered sunlight. Whereas plants in the middle growing from branches of trees get more share of light. They get light but not as much as trees at the crown. These tree canopies receive sunshine directly from sunrise to sundown. If the ground cover and plant life on the middle were to survive they would require the wind to do its job. The wind has been at work for months and years striking the canopies together gradually wearing away here and there, letting more sunshine in. In time it so does, by a gust of wind some trees shall be sent down, clearing the way for the ground cover to survive; fire also does its own bit. These are not disasters but Nature’s way of clearing the old and useless so the rainforests may still flourish. Do we call the wind as cruel? Or blame the trees for denying the ground cover adequate sunlight?
Nature’s way of things in this instance can be applied to life of every man and woman. Change is a secret. It has its own rules. But rules apply on physical realm where everything changes. Our youth is no guarantee; much less can we crow about our material possessions. Happiness is that state of life and keeps itself whole and impervious to changes. It is in fact an higher state of life of working with Nature. We did not came into being by exercising our will; nor will we prevent death from sweeping us away. This too shall soon pass but happiness is placing ourselves beyond the Rule of Changes.

Happiness of trees is regardless of age or external circumstances; we humans are no less special.
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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“Life the great Natural he is, can’t find the purpose so he relies on man and woman to keep reminding him. So shall we live well and play a little joke on him? He will believe he represents a moral purpose. If we were to do just the opposite equally would he believe it was his purpose.”
I speak for myself but just the same by trying to live well in the light of my conscience, I represent all who similarly want to live well. It cannot be otherwise. Life demands it.

benny, presently in Norway

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