Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on March 29th, 2019, 9:06 am 

charon » March 20th, 2019, 2:08 pm wrote:If we can't live properly now what's the point of other lives?


There is no point if you don't remember your life. If Plato was right and we live in imagination attached to the shadows of the wall in Plato's cave, nothing can change. Everything repeats leading to eternal recurrence.

The reason for eternal recurrence begins with a concept of time which enbles it. But for now the conscious potential as the means to escape eternal recurrence was given in the 1993 movie "Groundhog Day." Phil Connors was a self centered obnoxious weatherman assigned to cover festivities for Groundhog Day. He of course looked down on it.

For some reason Groundhog Day repeated again and again. The only thing that could change was his conscious experience of the day. Gradually he became less attached to events or feel any reason to condemn them as he gradually realized the human condition it was all a part of. In short he began to "awaken" to reality rather than imagine and judge it. The idea of the movie was to raise the question what difference ir would make if we did consciously live our lives rather than imagine and judge it. It could lead to the escape from eternal recurrence.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on March 29th, 2019, 11:03 am 

Nick -

I'm sorry, but we can't go back to Plato and Hollywood movies for our understanding of life! Life is here, now, real.

When you say awaken to what is around us, i.e. be thoroughly conscious of it, that of course is right. But you're assuming eternal recurrence. One is factual, the other not.

Incidentally, as I've pointed out before, the ending to the Plato's cave story is that one of them DOES escape. But, as has happened again and again throughout history, no one wants to know about some other reality.

It's not a bad analogy. There are certainly those who have broken their bonds and 'found the light'. Either no one understands them or they're seen as a danger and ignored or destroyed.

Mind you, what this has to do with the idea of eternal recurrence, I wouldn't know. It's entirely theoretical.

What is true, however, is that as long as one has not broken the bonds inevitably the same round of mistakes is repeated. That, again, history amply demonstrates.

To leap from there to the sci-fi idea of literally living the same life over and over... what's the point? It's actually nonsensical if one cares to think about it.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on March 29th, 2019, 12:02 pm 

Charon

To leap from there to the sci-fi idea of literally living the same life over and over... what's the point? It's actually nonsensical if one cares to think about it.


Why do people contemplate what time is. Life goes on regardless and such speculstions just get in the way of our daily activities. Yet some people do. Concerns for the objective meaning and purpose of our universe are important enough to disturb daily life. It may be nonsensical but it happens.

What is moment in time? Does it repeat? If it doesn't how can it support existence? Imagine a moment in time as a point. String an infinity of points together and it becomes eternity. If a moment in time repeats, an eternity repeats. There is no reason that the universe cannot consist of an infinity of eternities It isn't a matter of belief but of opening the mind to a logical potential many far brighter than me have studied
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby TheVat on March 29th, 2019, 12:31 pm 

It isn't a matter of belief but of opening the mind to a logical potential many far brighter than me have studied


NIck, let my try to illuminate why sentences like the above - the sort that you often write here - are a poor fit with a philosophy forum that goes by the rules of discourse we set here.

1. "many....far brighter than me..." is an appeal to the fallacious argumentum ad veracundam, AKA argument from authority. You vaguely refer, but don't even specify, those who authority you imply is derived from their intelligence. Intelligence is no guarantor of a valid idea - many geniuses have been know to go off the rails when they stray beyond their area of expertise. All humans are fallible. That's why we have rules of logic and reasoned discourse to evaluate ideas.

2. "a matter of opening the mind" - this implies several dubious things. One, that anyone who disagrees with your ideas and perceptions has a closed mind. Two, it's an assertion of that which has not been satisfactorily demonstrated - that you possess an insight, and that it is correct. You've been doing this quite a lot, not just in the quote above. Your attacks on secular philosophies and atheism often seem to take this form, too. It comes across as preachy and arrogant.

Finally, this thread is about Nietzsche, and not Plato. The field of philosophy has moved on from Plato, and covered a bit of ground since then. I would request that you not enter into every thread and suggest that we all accept the elements of Platonism that you hold so dear.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on March 29th, 2019, 2:16 pm 

Nick -

Why do people contemplate what time is.


It depends what you mean by contemplate. To consider time and its implications is very wise. But if contemplation means idling away the time in amusement then it's not worthwhile.

Time is extremely interesting. We live by time, our life is ruled by it! But time as time of day is one thing and the time we invent as tomorrow's fulfilment is another. That's delusion because psychologically there's no time; life is now. We use time as a means of postponement: 'I'll be happy tomorrow' and tomorrow never comes.

Concerns for the objective meaning and purpose of our universe are important enough to disturb daily life. It may be nonsensical but it happens.


That's not what I said was nonsensical, don't misquote me. I said it was pointless to live the same life over and over. Nothing about the meaning of the universe.

What is moment in time? Does it repeat?


No, it doesn't, ever. Life is eternally new at every moment. That's the whole point. The dawn of this morning has never been before and will never be again. Every day is a new day and we don't know what it will bring. This is fact, not speculation or supposition.

String an infinity of points together and it becomes eternity.


But that is not eternity. Time is a single, undivided movement. It's we, with our minds, that split it into separate moments. There are no separate moments, there's just the present in which everything is. That's a fact; all time is now. Everything is in the present.

The word eternity means out of time. It means timelessness. What is timeless is eternal, not an unending continuity of time going on forever. When time ends there is the eternal.

It isn't a matter of belief but of opening the mind to a logical potential many far brighter than me have studied


Opening the mind doesn't mean indulging in speculation, myth, fantasy, and imagination. If you'll forgive my saying so, it's not philosophy either.

Too much imaginative amusement is called philosophy. Philosophy is the love of wisdom, of truth, of understanding, and there's no understanding in idle speculation, inventing all kinds of non-factual things. Understanding is not the understanding of theories but the understanding of actuality, and that actuality is our daily reality.

If we put our energies into understanding ourselves, because we are at the centre of everything we call life, we would be very wise. But spinning endless words, ideas and theoretical scenarios is not wise, it's a waste of time, energy and life.

The mysteries of life are not the mysteries we invent. It's foolish to invent things that don't exist when we don't even understand the things which do. Wouldn't you say that? We are surrounded by mysteries but instead of looking there we speculate and invent. How extraordinary we are!
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby hyksos on March 29th, 2019, 3:16 pm 

(I wanted to add a marginal note here.) Nietzsche wrote a lot about Plato and Aristotle. The curious reader is referred to the following,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dawn_of_Day

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_in_the_Tragic_Age_of_the_Greeks

https://archive.org/details/dawnofday029675mbp/page/n2

https://www.academia.edu/32342502/Philosophy_in_the_Tragic_Age_of_the_Greeks_-_Friedrich_Nietzsche

I do not have time in my real life to dig through all this.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby hyksos on March 29th, 2019, 4:07 pm 

Finally, this thread is about Nietzsche, and not Plato

So more specifically the thread is about eternal recurrence, which is a fine and interesting topic from Nietzsche.

Nevertheless, in years past, the internet has been home to what I call "Nietzsche fanboys". Realizing that I may be digressing a few meters away from the "core topic" of the thread, I wanted to throw some items out there in a Nietzsche thread. What I want to do first is enumerate a list of facts that "Nietzsche fanboys" are wholy unaware of. Science and biology has exploded since the interval of the lifetime of Frederick Nietzsche. Let me just start listing some items as they come to me ...

  • Nietzsche and Schopenhauer were soaked up to the neck in German philosophy of their time and place. German philosophy was almost entirely situated around Hegel at the time. Nietzsche, being a product of his time can mostly be interpreted as a response to that, or a rejection of it, or however you want to say it. In any case, to be a "respected philosopher" of the mid-19th century Germany, you had to "speak the language" of Hegelianism, or you were not respected as an academic. Nietzsche was absolutely capable of speaking Hegelianism. If you are not academically trained in Hegel and something called German Idealism , then 80% of Nietzsche's output makes absolutely no sense.
  • Absolutely and vehemently Nietzsche did not derive his "Will TO Power" dictate from a deep and thorough understanding of evolutionary biology. Do not mince my words. We have very good reasons for believing that Nietzsche perhaps rejected Darwinian evolution. This topic will not be resolved or solved on this forum. Academics can barely reach a consensus. The quotes of (N) indicate that Darwin's theory of evolution stood in opposition to the Will-to-Power underlying all living organisms. To be factually honest, (N)'s writing output is large, yet (N) had very little to say about evolution in all his writing.
  • Unlike today in 2019, the concept of Vitalism was considered a perfectly valid scientific theory to describe life and existence of life in the universe. Nietzsche wrote extensively about how the Will-to-Power is some kind of "spirit essence life force" that underpins all of physical reality. He several times wrote that animals, plants, insects, men and trees are "manifestations" of this underlying Will-substance, vital essence stuff
  • Nietzsche fanboys often project onto him as some kind of anti-christian atheist superhero, who would never divulge into mystical concepts like "vital essences" which "underpin" all organisms. Unfortunately, a strong argument can be made that both Nietzsche and Schopenhauer were vitalists. This did not make them stupid , uneducated, mystical or otherwise. Due to German Idealism (and Hegel) these concepts of vital essences were considered completely scientific in the 19th century. That is to say, even the most educated Germans took these ideas seriously.
  • Certain portions of (N) indicate that he thought that anyone who would even suggest that time had a beginning could only be asserted by the "worst of ignoramuses" {or something like that, dig the exact quote up later} He does not develop the topic in a thorough and systematic manner. Merely just a harsh indictment of anyone who would suggest such. The modern theories of Cosmology find a beginning of time to be perfectly mathematically reasonable, and worse for (N) totally supported by evidence. That is not to say that a Big Bang happened and this is a fact. All these theories of cosmology are theories --- (ready at any time to be overturned by falsifying evidence). Nevertheless, the whole situation where a Beginning-Of-Time is considered totally logically reasonable, is missed by Nietzsche.
  • In 2019, walk into any given university. The entire faculty of the cosmology department will say that Time beginning is perfectly fine and even evidentially supported. Interestingly enough, by the time you get to Albert Einstein (circa 1912ish) it is still just naturally assumed that time stretches infinitely into the past. Einstein inserted a cosmological constant to "make sure" that Steady State assumption is satisfied.

Long story short -- to try to summarize where I'm going with all these points. Nietzsche is not your atheist superhero.

Nietzsche neither predicted or seemed to know how explosive Evolution by Natural Selection was going to be soon. Out of the gigantic corpus of output, (N) wrote maybe 2 paragraphs about the theory, (max?) E-N-S is going to come to dominate everything about how all of science talks about life. Molecular biochemistry did not even become a scientific discipline until the late 1940s. That required molecular microscopy to be invented. Today we can assert that all life forms on this planet contain DNA, and that the base pairs are identical in every single organism. from the whale, to the cheetah, from the tree to the green mold on your bread in your kitchen , same base pair nucleotides, identical to the atom. At the time Nietzsche's principle output (circa 1870-1890), science had not really discovered the structure of atoms, and so arguments about whether substance is continuous or made of "molecules" persisted.

Godel's theorem was cataclysmic, and struck at the heart of all logic and mathematics. Literally issues that had not been visited since the time of Aristotle had to be re-vised dramatically. You have to get back into issues raised by PLATO'S CAVE. (::cough::cough::)

Quantum Mechanics was cataclysmic, and struck at the heart of the nature of reality in a way that is still not resolved. I would assert even that QM is as revolutionary as athenian greece was to Western Civ. (let me double down on this. In 2019 we sit on an internet debating about whether empty space has energy in it. For Christ sakes, we discuss how Heisenberg permits virtual particles to pop out of empty space and do things to the Higgs mechanism!!! This is how far we have come from 1889.)

Natural Selection and Evolution were cataclysmic -- for reasons already given above.

Nietzsche is writing in a tradition of German Idealism. As above at the outset, if you don't know this, 80% of what Nietzsche writes is incomprehensible.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on March 29th, 2019, 5:29 pm 

Vat

1. "many....far brighter than me..." is an appeal to the fallacious argumentum ad veracundam, AKA argument from authority. You vaguely refer, but don't even specify, those who authority you imply is derived from their intelligence. Intelligence is no guarantor of a valid idea - many geniuses have been know to go off the rails when they stray beyond their area of expertise. All humans are fallible. That's why we have rules of logic and reasoned discourse to evaluate ideas.


The bottom line is that I have the humility to admit there are those far more intelligent than me in the real meaning of the word. You consider it a weakness while I consider it a strength

2. "a matter of opening the mind" - this implies several dubious things. One, that anyone who disagrees with your ideas and perceptions has a closed mind. Two, it's an assertion of that which has not been satisfactorily demonstrated - that you possess an insight, and that it is correct. You've been doing this quite a lot, not just in the quote above. Your attacks on secular philosophies and atheism often seem to take this form, too. It comes across as preachy and arrogant.


You have limited yourself to dualism. With you it is either agree or disagree, yes or no, affirm or deny . The “I don’t know”. The idea of impartial contemplation is apparently foreign to you. I can write that I believe in the vertical third dimension of thought which brings meaning to dualistic science. It may be absurd for you but fits in with my appreciation of philosophy. It isn’t my insight because I learned it from others. The fact that I introduce it doesn't mean anyone has to believe it.

Finally, this thread is about Nietzsche, and not Plato. The field of philosophy has moved on from Plato, and covered a bit of ground since then. I would request that you not enter into every thread and suggest that we all accept the elements of Platonism that you hold so dear.


I was answering the OP which stated

[quote]Nietzsche's concept :
‘This life, as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh… must return to you—all in the same succession and sequence—even this spider and this moonlight between the trees and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned over again and again—and you with it, speck of dust!’[/quote

This is eternal recurrence as was used in the movie. I know some involved with the movie and the intent of the movie. It clearly is not wanted here

Nietzsche and Plato agreed that Man on earth lives in a state of imagination. This is too insulting to consider.

It is a shame. With a little sincere impartiality in respect of philosophy it could have lead to a discussion on time and dimensions. Like Plato It is too old fashioned. Christian Platonism is rejected so I am rejected. I’m used to it. It is the norm for secularism. You’ve won but what have you won? People will never appreciate the theory which explains eternal recurrence. Is that really a win?

http://www.rahul.net/raithel/otfw/dimensions.html

So keep arguing yes and no. I will find people open to the reality of what reconciles yes and no. Plato understood it but he is too old fashioned. It is more fun to restrict yourself to dualism and argue yes and no.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on March 29th, 2019, 5:51 pm 

Nick_A » March 29th, 2019, 8:06 am wrote:For some reason Groundhog Day repeated again and again. The only thing that could change was his conscious experience of the day.

Not so. He also had control of his own actions, and when he behaved differently, he was able to affect what happened to other people and thus influence their behaviour as they responded to his.

Gradually he became less attached to events

No, he had never been attached to events: he had merely witnessed them from a distance, superficially.
He became more concerned about and affected by other people.
It was not about letting go: it was about forming attachments.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby BadgerJelly on March 29th, 2019, 8:06 pm 

Nick -

This is eternal recurrence as was used in the movie.


Groundhog Day is nothing like what Nietzsche meant by “eternal recurrence”. I’m bored of the obsession with Plato in every thread too, but I do understand how one can be taken in by a certain idea and want to apply it to everything.

It may be worth relating what Nietzsche thought of Plato if you wish but you’ll have to read Nietzsche first.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 1st, 2019, 11:08 am 

The bottom line is that I have the humility to admit there are those far more intelligent than me in the real meaning of the word. You consider it a weakness while I consider it a strength


Your protestations of humility and dimness of mind are beginning to sound strangely ego-centered, Nick. I do wish you'd stop it.

You haven't answered my post, by the way. In fact, you've done what the people in the cave did when they were shown an alternative, which is ignore it.

There is no point whatsoever in living the same life repetitively. It might make a good movie but in real life it's nonsense and has no bearing on reality.

Besides, it's also true that we don't learn from experience. We've had thousands and thousands of years of stupid, self-destructive behaviour. We've obviously learnt nothing from it because every day we're doing exactly the same thing again and again, generation after generation.

So, if other lives are a reality, guess how we're going to lead them? Ridiculous. Anyway, carry on, it's a wonderful entertainment!
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 1st, 2019, 4:47 pm 

Charon

Your protestations of humility and dimness of mind are beginning to sound strangely ego-centered, Nick. I do wish you'd stop it.


Humility is not an attribute for secularism in which everything is considered equal. OK

You haven't answered my post, by the way. In fact, you've done what the people in the cave did when they were shown an alternative, which is ignore it.


You insist on equating analytic contemplation with conscious contemplation even though I wrote of the difference several times. Analysis is a function of the lower mind while conscious contemplation is a function of higher mind. Entering conscious contemplation requires abandoning associative thought and opening to intuition.

There is no point whatsoever in living the same life repetitively. It might make a good movie but in real life it's nonsense and has no bearing on reality.

Besides, it's also true that we don't learn from experience. We've had thousands and thousands of years of stupid, self-destructive behaviour. We've obviously learnt nothing from it because every day we're doing exactly the same thing again and again, generation after generation.


That is the point. Living by animal reactive consciousness just produces the same results. Only becoming capable of human conscious witnessing the world and freedom from blind emotional reaction makes change possible. That is what Phil Connors in the movie learned. We haven’t learned anything because as a whole we haven’t consciously experienced the human condition

So, if other lives are a reality, guess how we're going to lead them? Ridiculous. Anyway, carry on, it's a wonderful entertainment!


Our lives repeat in eternity as I showed in the link to the six dimensions.
Of course it is ridiculous to you since you have never pondered the logic of such ideas. You prefer to mock what you don’t understand. Child abuse must be wonderful entertainment. Just consider some kid in high school whose mind is beginning to open and he makes the mistake of asking a secular philosophy prof if our lives repeat. They will be scorned as well. All the great ideas of the past having the purpose of opening minds must be scorned This is basic child abuse easily leading to metaphysical repression. The profs can laugh about it. Who knows, they may even agree that even though this kid’s body survived abortion they can still kill the awakening seed of the soul. This is why we cannot really discuss philosophy; the great ideas are rejected by means of negative emotion.

I wonder how many young eagles have been killed from being mocked into the belief that they were chickens? It must be very entertaining

There’s an old, well known story of a chicken farmer who found an eagle’s egg.
He put it with his chickens and soon the egg hatched.
The young eagle grew up with all the other chickens and whatever they did, the eagle did too. He thought he was a chicken, just like them.
Since the chickens could only fly for a short distance, the eagle also learnt to fly a short distance.
He thought that was what he was supposed to do. So that was all that he thought he could do. As a consequence, that was all he was able to do.
One day the eagle saw a bird flying high above him. He was very impressed. “Who is that?” he asked the hens around him.
“That’s the eagle, the king of the birds,” the hens told him. “He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth, we are just chickens.”
So the eagle lived and died as a chicken, for that’s what he thought he was.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on April 1st, 2019, 6:17 pm 

Nick_A » April 1st, 2019, 3:47 pm wrote:
That is the point. Living by animal reactive consciousness just produces the same results.

That didn't enter into the thought-experiment. If it did, it would be immaterial, anyway, since animals with reactive consciousness (whatever that is) never produce the same result twice. Each animal experiences every moment of its own unique life. No repetition. Not even of the habitual motions of actions that take place several times a day. Watch a real live animal sometime.
Hey, just be aware of a real live anything for an hour.
Endlessly repeating other people's ponderings and homilies does produce the same result: you bore everyone right out of your thread.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on April 1st, 2019, 6:21 pm 

Child abuse must be wonderful entertainment.

Child abuse???
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 1st, 2019, 7:44 pm 

Nick -

You insist on equating analytic contemplation with conscious contemplation


Analytic contemplation is conscious contemplation. You must be conscious of what you're doing in order to analyse.

But the real question is whether it's contemplation at all. The word means to gaze on, not to analyse or otherwise dissect. So one might ask whether true contemplation is a conscious activity at all. I suggest it's not. The person who says 'I am contemplating', isn't. I don't know what they're doing but it's not contemplation.

Analysis is a function of the lower mind while conscious contemplation is a function of higher mind.


There's no higher or lower mind, there's just mind. Mind is what we use to analyse, plan, calculate, and so on. Mind is the thinking process. Again, contemplation is gazing, not thinking. Someone engaged in thought is not contemplating, they're thinking.

Only becoming capable of human conscious witnessing the world and freedom from blind emotional reaction makes change possible


Is change merely the freedom from blind emotional response? What do you mean by freedom? Freedom means the absence of any kind of conditioned thought.

Our lives repeat in eternity as I showed in the link to the six dimensions


Your link is only a theory. It says so - 'The Theory Of Six Dimensions'. A theory is not a fact. You have not showed us anything about lives repeating by posting a theory.

Of course it is ridiculous to you since you have never pondered the logic of such ideas


It's ridiculous to anyone with half an ounce of sense, Nick. Theory is not fact. Show me a fact, not some imaginative theory about unprovable things.

You prefer to mock what you don’t understand.


Oh, I think I understand it only too well. Theory means someone invented it, in this case someone called John Raithel.

All the great ideas of the past having the purpose of opening minds must be scorned This is basic child abuse easily leading to metaphysical repression. The profs can laugh about it. Who knows, they may even agree that even though this kid’s body survived abortion they can still kill the awakening seed of the soul.


There are some very strange things going on in your head, aren't there?

I have a feeling that the more we respond to your posts the worse it's going to get. I hope I'm not right.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 2nd, 2019, 1:31 am 

Charon

Analytic contemplation is conscious contemplation. You must be conscious of what you're doing in order to analyse.


No, a computer analyses quite well without conscious contemplation. It is the same with us. Analysis is a mechanical process rather than a conscious one.

But the real question is whether it's contemplation at all. The word means to gaze on, not to analyse or otherwise dissect. So one might ask whether true contemplation is a conscious activity at all. I suggest it's not. The person who says 'I am contemplating', isn't. I don't know what they're doing but it's not contemplation.


Mechanical contemplation is based on dualism. Conscious contemplation opens the mind to a triune perspective. The value of the contradiction for a philosopher is that it invites conscious contemplation of the contradiction which cannot be reconciled by didactive thought


Analysis is a function of the lower mind while conscious contemplation is a function of higher mind.


There's no higher or lower mind, there's just mind. Mind is what we use to analyse, plan, calculate, and so on. Mind is the thinking process. Again, contemplation is gazing, not thinking. Someone engaged in thought is not contemplating, they're thinking.


This is where IMO you are guided by a great misconception. You are not the only one. Most of secularism will agree that the rational mind is our highest form of thought. But is it? This will not make the thought police happy but I will refer again to old ideas and this time first by Plotinus. It would be the same for Plato:

“Knowledge has three degrees – opinion, science, illumination. The means or instrument of the first is sense; of the second, dialectic; of the third, intuition.” — Plotinus


They assert that the highest degree of knowledge is beyond the domain of the dialectic but comes to us through higher mind or intuition.

Plato in the Divided Line Allegory refers to four degrees of knowledge:

• noesis (immediate intuition, apprehension, or mental 'seeing' of principles)
• dianoia (discursive thought)
• pistis (belief or confidence)
• eikasia (delusion or sheer conjecture)


A person begins in delusion and easily leads to beliefs. Discursive thought questions belief which is where secularism stops and begins to argue beliefs. Yet some can see how foolish it is for the person seeking wisdom and strives to experience the level of conscious reality within which opposing beliefs are reconciled. Rational thought can reach its limits inviting higher mind to reconcile duality through conscious contemplation. A zen koan trains the monk to move beyond dependence on reason to experience the truth of the human condition

A zen koan is a paradox to be meditated upon that is used to train Zen Buddhist monks to abandon ultimate dependence on reason you seem to hold as the highest form of reason and to force them into gaining sudden intuitive enlightenment.

Parables in the Bible serve the same function inviting the reader to consciously contemplate and experience meanings not available to discursive thought.

Is change merely the freedom from blind emotional response? What do you mean by freedom? Freedom means the absence of any kind of conditioned thought.


Inner freedom is the ability “to be.” All the great teachings in one way or another assert that we are slaves to the human condition. Many philosophers were and are aware of this situation. Didn’t Nietzsche speak of “wretched contentment?” Jacob Needleman wrote a book about it

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/10/1 ... needleman/

“This is the entire essence of life: Who are you? What are you?” So proclaimed Leo Tolstoy in the diaries of his youth. “I: how firm a letter; how reassuring the three strokes: one vertical, proud and assertive, and then the two short horizontal lines in quick, smug succession,” eighteen-year-old Sylvia Plath marveled in her own diary a century after Tolstoy as she contemplated free will and what makes us who we are. Indeed, these three smug lines slice through the core of our experience as human beings, and yet when we begin to dismantle them, we begin to lose sight of that core, of the essence of life. What, then, are we made of? What, then, makes us?
In I Am Not I (public library), philosopher Jacob Needlemanpicks up where Tolstoy and Plath left off, and enlists more of humanity’s most wakeful minds — from Nietzsche and Kierkegaard to William James to D.T. Suzuki — in finding embrocation for, if not an answer to, these most restless-making questions of existence. Out of the inquiry itself arises an immensely hope-giving offering — a sort of secular sacrament illuminating what lies at the heart of the most profound experiences we’re capable of having: joy, love, hope, wonder, astonishment, transcendence.

These are not hip questions inviting dualistic debate but instead questions of the heart still remembered and respected by some. The freedom to be requires coming to grips with the most ancient philosophical question: Who Am I?

It's ridiculous to anyone with half an ounce of sense, Nick. Theory is not fact. Show me a fact, not some imaginative theory about unprovable things.


This is where we have our basic disagreement. You are concerned with what to know and I am concerned with how to understand. You want facts and I say without acquiring a human perspective facts become meaningless. A human perspective requires opening the mind to a quality of reason higher than discursive thought which is denied in modern secularism which by definition denies a source for higher conscious reality so must restrict itself to discursive thought

There are some very strange things going on in your head, aren't there?

I have a feeling that the more we respond to your posts the worse it's going to get. I hope I'm not right.

Yes, If you explore philosophy with a desire to understand rather than deny strange things may go on in your head as well. That is why I admire Simone Weil. She had the courage, intelligence, and need to look – to gaze upon with conscious detachment rather than judge. How is it that one young woman could be capable of what learned men twice her age were and are incapable of regardless of the growls of the thought police?

A phrase used by the title character in the play Hamlet , by William Shakespeare. Hamlet suggests that human knowledge is limited: There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy [science].


Old but oh so true.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 2nd, 2019, 1:40 am 

Serpent » April 1st, 2019, 6:21 pm wrote:
Child abuse must be wonderful entertainment.

Child abuse???


“The danger is not that the soul should doubt whether there is any bread, but that, by a lie, it should persuade itself that it is not hungry.” ― Simone Weil.

Simone is providing a most elegant description of the effects of metphysical repression. When schools with their attitudes destroy the attraction to eros or the middle ground between Man and his creator in the minds and hearts of the young, it is a very damaging form of child abuse.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 2nd, 2019, 9:40 am 

Nick -

Analysis is a mechanical process rather than a conscious one.


Right, I think I see how you're using the words. Yes, analysis is a fairly mechanical operation. One simply breaks things down, looks for causes, and so on.

When you use the word conscious, however, you don't mean that. You're referring, I take it, to a higher level of mind, one that perhaps is simply aware and observes.

Would that be it?

I'm afraid I wouldn't put it like that, and I'll tell you why. Well, I would put it like that but I wouldn't use the word conscious.

It's not that I'm sticking to my definition of conscious as opposed to yours, which would be childish, it's that I want to be quite sure what word actually means.

When are you conscious? I'm not talking about being physically awake as opposed to being asleep or unconscious. I'm asking when are we conscious of something psychologically.

We're conscious of our body when there's pain, right? When there's a physical pain or discomfort we become aware of it. When we're healthy we forget the body, we don't say we're conscious of anything.

Surely it's the same psychologically too? We're only conscious when something goes wrong, when there's a conflict, an upset, when something's not right. If there's nothing wrong we forget ourselves, we just get on with living.

I think that's right. It's not dogmatic or peculiar. If there's no block of any kind we just live and move. Now you're saying there's conscious contemplation.

As I said, the word contemplation means to gaze upon, to look at, meditate, and so on. Is that a conscious process? Or a self-conscious process, if you like?

Analysis is a conscious process. One applies oneself deliberately to it, sifting, separating, seeking out causes, and all that. One doesn't do it willy-nilly, one does it because one wants to find something, the answer to a problem or something one doesn't understand. We hope that by analysing and finding the cause of a problem we'll solve the problem. I think that's right.

Now is contemplation like that? I don't know if you see what I mean. Is contemplation something one does deliberately, hoping for an answer, an insight? And, if we do, is that actually contemplation at all?

Is it contemplation as long as it's deliberate, motivated, something one does to get a result from it? Is it contemplation when there's effort, any form of struggle, or hoping to achieve something?

I say it's not, and I'm quite categorical about it! Such action, though it may be called contemplation or meditation, is not the real thing. It's actually a self-centred activity based on one's desire, the desire for an answer or an experience. It's not contemplation at all, in fact.

So one sees that the state of contemplation can't be consciously pursued, it's something that comes upon one unasked. One may be out walking, or sitting in a field, or riding in a car, and the moment one becomes conscious of it, it's gone.

It's only in that state, which is a state of complete self-forgetfulness, that insights occur. One can't possibly pursue an insight or make it happen, it's impossible. Therefore, as you rightly point out, whereas analysis is a mechanical process the state of the contemplative mind is utterly non-mechanical and therefore something unconscious.

I won't go into any other points now because I think this one's sufficient for this post.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on April 2nd, 2019, 10:42 am 

When schools with their attitudes destroy the attraction to eros or the middle ground between Man and his creator in the minds and hearts of the young, it is a very damaging form of child abuse.


As contrasted with a religious education?
I know to which kind of abuse I would rather subject a child.

But never mind. You've shown your colours.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby TheVat on April 2nd, 2019, 12:35 pm 

I'm not locking this, but could we agree that there are entrenched positions here and little prospect of seeing the other's position? That one member thought I equated humility with weakness (a position I've never remotely espoused or expressed) adequately shows the failure to read carefully or make a good faith effort to understand words as written. When you start making a Strawman of everyone else's ideas, then it's time to consider that typing back and forth isn't working for you. But to accept that would take, what's the term, oh yes: humility.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 2nd, 2019, 1:23 pm 

You don't need to lock another one, Vat. It's not a conflict of positions, Serpent hasn't read or understood what NickA meant by child abuse. It's got nothing to do with sex or physical abuse, Nick is protesting against the repression and brainwashing of young minds. And quite rightly too.

At least, I'm assuming that's what he meant :-)
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 2nd, 2019, 2:37 pm 

charon » April 2nd, 2019, 1:23 pm wrote:You don't need to lock another one, Vat. It's not a conflict of positions, Serpent hasn't read or understood what NickA meant by child abuse. It's got nothing to do with sex or physical abuse, Nick is protesting against the repression and brainwashing of young minds. And quite rightly too.

At least, I'm assuming that's what he meant :-)


You are right. I'll return to your previous post later when I have more time. It is thoughtful and deserves a thoughtful reply. So far you are the only one I've met willing to try to understand another's position rather than to judge from misguided preconceptions. That is why I think we can discuss these thing rather than condemn.

Anyhow just so you know, I was really hit with this idea of metaphysical repression when I read of it in this profound discussion between Jacob needleman and Richard Whittaker. It just ooes to show what dialogue can be. When I read this section and knew it to be true I couldn't find a name for it other than child abuse.

http://www.conversations.org/story.php?sid=1

.........................I remember I was a freshman at Harvard, in one of my first philosophy classes there. The professor started by asking—like I do sometimes, like professors do—what do you expect to get out of philosophy? I put up my hand and said, "I want to know why I'm living, why we die. Does God exist? What are we here for?" I went on an on like that, and I could see around me that there was this silence. My throat got dry, and I just felt awful. At first I'd thought that I was going to speak for the whole human race. And the professor, of course, was saying, "Yes. Go on." He knew he had one. Finally I just couldn't go on any more. Then he said, "Yes. But you see, that's not philosophy. If you want to know those things, you have to see a psychiatrist or a priest. This is not philosophy." It was such a shock.

I recovered quite well, but I had to find a few other people who shared my hunger. It is the hunger you're speaking of. That is what Plato called eros—a word that's come down to us which has taken on a sexual association. But for Plato it had to do, in part, with a striving that is innate in us, a striving to participate with one's mind, one's consciousness, in something greater than oneself. A love of wisdom, if you like, a love of being.

Eros is depicted in Plato's text, The Symposium, as half man, half god, a kind of intermediate force between the gods and mortals. It is a very interesting idea. Eros is what gives birth to philosophy. Modern philosophy often translates the word "wonder" merely as "curiosity," the desire to figure things out, or to intellectually solve problems rather than confronting the depth of these questions, pondering, reflecting, being humbled by them. In this way, philosophy becomes an exercise in meaningless ingenuity.
I did learn to play that game, and then to avoid it.

My students at SF State were very hungry for what most of us, down deeply, really want from philosophy. When we honor those unanswerable questions and open them and deepen them, students are very happy about it, very interested in a deep quiet way.

RW: It is really very hard to find that, I believe.

JN: Some years ago I had a chance to teach a course in philosophy in high school. I got ten or twelve very gifted kids at this wonderful school, San Francisco University High School. In that first class I said, "Now just imagine, as if this was a fairy tale, imagine you are in front of the wisest person in the world, not me, but the wisest person there is and you can only ask one question. What would you ask?" At first they giggled and then they saw that I was very serious. So then they started writing. What came back was astonishing to me. I couldn't understand it at first. About half of the things that came back had little handwriting at the bottom or the sides of the paper in the margin. Questions like, Why do we live? Why do we die? What is the brain for? Questions of the heart. But they were written in the margins as though they were saying, do we really have permission to express these questions? We're not going to be laughed at? It was as though this was something that had been repressed.

RW: Fascinating.

JN: It's what I call metaphysical repression. It's in our culture and It's much worse than sexual repression. It represses eros and I think that maybe that's where art can be of help sometimes. Some art.................



I thought for a long time what modern philosophy is supposed to be as opposed to the classical definition of the love of wisdom. As described the young who feel the questions of the heart are being destroyed on the inside What better term for the process than child abuse? I'm glad you weren't compelled to fall into the "insult" trap and instead consider what is meant.

Eros is depicted in Plato's text, The Symposium, as half man, half god, a kind of intermediate force between the gods and mortals. It is a very interesting idea. Eros is what gives birth to philosophy. Modern philosophy often translates the word "wonder" merely as "curiosity," the desire to figure things out, or to intellectually solve problems rather than confronting the depth of these questions, pondering, reflecting, being humbled by them. In this way, philosophy becomes an exercise in meaningless ingenuity.
I did learn to play that game, and then to avoid it.


This excerpt pertains directly to our comparison of conscious contemplation and analysis. It also pertains to the OP of the Beauty thread. Wonder and curiousity.. Do they have to be opposed? It is all related.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on April 2nd, 2019, 3:08 pm 

charon » April 2nd, 2019, 12:23 pm wrote:You don't need to lock another one, Vat. It's not a conflict of positions, Serpent hasn't read or understood what NickA meant by child abuse.

Indeed, Serpent is quite capable of reading and comprehending borrowed wisdoms even as lofty as Nick_A's.
It's got nothing to do with sex or physical abuse, Nick is protesting against the repression and brainwashing of young minds. And quite rightly too.

So was I.

Do you not feel that it would be more fair to refrain from such overheated rhetoric as "child abuse must be wonderful fun" - at least until we have measured and compared the degree and kinds of intellectual and emotional repression practiced in secular and religious schools? That is, of course, after we've discounted whatever corporal punishments are applied to underscore the importance and insure the durability of the belief-system being promoted by each.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby TheVat on April 2nd, 2019, 3:17 pm 

FWiW, I took the phrase "child abuse," in this context, not to be literal in the legal sense, but a polemic device in condemnation of brainwashing sorts of education.

But let's not indulge in the simplistic practice of making all public education a dark monolith of mind control. Some systems are more that way than others, some more bent on producing corporate drones and such. Some children, who have parents that value intellectual and spiritual freedom and curiosity, find that that home influence confers some protection from what is stultifying in schools. And some public school teachers offer more intellectual freedom than others. Really, given a pluralistic society, school has to leave religion at the door and stick with academic subjects. It's not reasonable to expect schools to take on all aspects of a child's upbringing. And I think having Eros in school....well, that hasn't worked so well for vulnerable students, has it?

Few here would argue against wonder and curiosity in school, however. Trust that most of us find some wonder and even spiritual states of reverence and a sense of the cosmic, even in hard sciences.
Science was once called "natural philosophy," and remains a branch of philosophy that is concerned with the empirical and the epistemology of what can be observed.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on April 2nd, 2019, 3:23 pm 

Not that it's got anything to do with repeating the same life.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby hyksos on April 2nd, 2019, 4:24 pm 

Nick_A has become the subject of the thread.

Nietzsche was moved to a back burner about 7 posts ago.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 2nd, 2019, 4:34 pm 

Nietzsche


Who?

Oh, him. Well, I'm sure he must have been right about something :-)
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 2nd, 2019, 4:47 pm 

Nick -

Thank you for your post.

I have to say I've no idea what this word 'eros' means in relation to schools. Presumably not homosexuality. And if it does mean that then I've no comment. Boys of a certain age will be boys, I suppose. I don't really know. Probably homosexuality and pre-adolescent sexual experimentation are two different things.

If, however, it means love in schools (instead of authority and 'discipline') then I'd say about time too.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 2nd, 2019, 4:53 pm 

Vat -

I think Nick's love of Platonism is just the way he's made and it's probably not going to go away. We'll just have to be tolerant :-)

It's certainly a lot clearer than Nietzsche ever was. I've no idea what he's on about most of the time. I'm definitely not one of his ubermensch. In fact, I don't think I've ever encountered an ubermensch. Do they actually exist?
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on April 2nd, 2019, 5:36 pm 

charon » April 2nd, 2019, 3:53 pm wrote: In fact, I don't think I've ever encountered an ubermensch. Do they actually exist?

Yes. On the same plane of existence as Plato's ideal circle.
The big difference is that no actual circle ever claims to be the ubercircle.
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