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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on April 4th, 2019, 12:14 pm 

charon » April 4th, 2019, 10:13 am wrote: Human beings work fundamentally the same as each other. The human mind is the human mind. Human psychology is universal.

This is approximately true. What isn't true is any theorist's description of "the human mind" or any theory of "universal psychology". Indeed, the study of psychology has, so far in its short life, been fraught with destructive misunderstandings and incorrect conclusions.

When you say it's all imaginary, I'm afraid you'll have to explain that.

I didn't say that it's "all" imaginary; what's imaginary is every philosopher's idea of "human nature" as a clearly defined entity.
There is nature, and humans are part of nature. Humans, like every other species, have specific characteristics in common with one another, as well as familial characteristics in common with all hominids, orderly characteristics in common with all primates, class characteristics in common with all mammals, and so on down to RNA, which we have in common will all life.
Until quite recently - and I mean, only a few decades and part of that was heretical - the sciences dealing with mind/thought/consciousness/knowledge/psychology have totally ignored the taxonomy of humans, except for the very last tiny subdivision; have behaved as if H sapiens had been specially created; absolutely separate from all other animals.
And, of course, religions and philosophies even decapitate the poor beast; separate his brain from his gut, his imagination from his heart, his mind from his body, and both from his environment.
This is where primitive people - those still living in nature - had an advantage in coping with their own impulses, reactions and behaviour.

No philosopher has a comprehensive understanding of "human nature". Ideologies are usually based on one or two obvious traits exhibited by the most visible people in the time and place of the conception of that ideology. That means, a whole lot of other characteristics, desires and needs are overlooked, disenfranchised or vilified. But that doesn't mean they go away; they always come up behind you with bared fangs.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 4th, 2019, 1:51 pm 

charon » April 4th, 2019, 1:31 am wrote:Nick -

What can allow a person to awaken to reality so as the need to be can be "taken seriously?"


They'll awaken when they're ready to awaken. Before then there's no point in trying to force it.

I've said it all before but there's really only reality and illusion. When there's no illusion then what's left is the actual. So illusion matters more. To see what is not real is more important than trying to guess at reality. And what is not real are all things the mind has created in its search for truth. What the mind creates, the myths, legends, fables, stories, aren't real. Neither are all the philosophies that seek to explain life. Neither are any of the beliefs we have invented. Neither are any of the gods and all the rest of it.

So it's the mind we have to understand. The power of the mind to invent is legendary but its inventions have no reality. To see that is to be free of invention. When the mind is free then it can see what truth is. And truth is not in the clouds somewhere, it's what is actually there. It's what the world has become, it's what we are, how we live.

But nobody wants to look at that, we'd rather go off into some fantasy or other. Your Overman is the one who has looked, examined, and gone beyond all that - gone beyond, not avoided or escaped. Then one finds out the answer to all the questions.

But all that takes great maturity and seriousness, great perseverance and application, it's not something to play around with. It must be one's life, totally, otherwise nothing happens.


Do you really believe people are governed by what they think? It seems clear to me that humanity as a whole is governed by what they emotionally value. The intellectual mind invents but IMO the emotional mind invents values and its inventions are far more dangerous

A person's intellectual mind can easily agree that it is advisable to diet and lose twenty pounds. However the emotional mind objects and believes itself entitled to satisfaction from eating and joins with the body in its love for sweets. As a result the diet lasts for a week and then old habits return.

The chief characteristic of humanity is hypocrisy. Since the mind, emotion, and sensory are usually in opposition, how else could it be? The Overman has acquired inner unity. He is master of himself. If we are honest we will admit how far we are from inner unity so say one thing and do another. This is hypocrisy.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 4th, 2019, 2:03 pm 

Serpent -

This is approximately true. What isn't true is any theorist's description of "the human mind" or any theory of "universal psychology". Indeed, the study of psychology has, so far in its short life, been fraught with destructive misunderstandings and incorrect conclusions.


I'm not talking about theory or theorists, I don't do all that, it's 100% irrelevant.

We're what we are, obvious and visible to anyone with eyes, and have been for a very, very long time. Of course there are variations and differences but the essential bedrock is the same. And you and I are perfect examples of it :-)

what's imaginary is every philosopher's idea of "human nature" as a clearly defined entity.


Oh, in that case you're probably absolutely right. Who knows what these people invent?

No philosopher has a comprehensive understanding of "human nature".


Absolutely. That's because they're philosophers. But they're human beings first and they'd do better addressing that before spinning their ideas.

Ideologies are usually based on one or two obvious traits exhibited by the most visible people in the time and place of the conception of that ideology.


Again, absolutely. That's precisely what's wrong with ideologies, they're too fixed, static, rigid, whereas life and human beings aren't. Trying to force a living entity into a neat ideological box has never worked and never will.

By the way, I wasn't trying to suggest that any law or legislation be passed that people 'should love'. That would be quite absurd. By 'the law is love' I meant the law of life. When that law is broken chaos ensues, as we can see demonstrated every day. But where it is upheld, which is rare, it's generally universally acknowledged.

You can't make people love each other, obviously. But we were talking about a good society, not a narrow, traditional, destructive one as we have now. For there to be any change in the world obviously it is we who have to change, not the government or the system. They've tried all that with revolutions, wars, tyranny, and so on; it's never worked and never will.

By transformation I mean from bad to good, not some other form of human being. That we're capable of if we want it, but apparently very few do want it. Do you mean to say the politician enjoying his power will happily give it up? Or the greedy, ambitious man his greed and ambition?

As the Buddhists (I'm not a Buddhist) rightly point out, change comes from within. It's up to us, it can't be forced. All this is very old stuff and has become a platitude and has spawned some good jokes. Nevertheless it's true and there's nothing wrong with pointing it out incessantly.

We always think the world is none of our business or it's up to politicians, etc. It's not, it's all of our responsibility. What we are matters because as we are, so is the world.

The fact, unfortunately, is that we're really terribly ignorant and therefore need an education that makes us aware of the terrible traps and dangers involved in the societies we have to live in.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 4th, 2019, 2:21 pm 

Nick -

Do you really believe people are governed by what they think?


Of course. We ARE what we think. As a man thinketh, so he is...

It seems clear to me that humanity as a whole is governed by what they emotionally value


Same thing, it's included.

A person's intellectual mind can easily agree that it is advisable to diet and lose twenty pounds. However the emotional mind objects and believes itself entitled to satisfaction from eating and joins with the body in its love for sweets. As a result the diet lasts for a week and then old habits return.


That's precisely it. The mind and heart are one. Where they become divided there's contradiction. And usually no action.

The chief characteristic of humanity is hypocrisy. Since the mind, emotion, and sensory are usually in opposition, how else could it be?


That's what we're saying. Hypocrisy takes place when the intellect dominates us. But the intellect is only a fragment of our being. It may have all sorts of noble ideals but they don't produce action. We believe in peace but are not peaceful, we believe in unity but separate ourselves, we believe we should love but don't.

WHY are we dominated by the intellect? Why has that one part become so overpowering? Is it our education which fosters it?

The Overman has acquired inner unity


I wouldn't know. We've invented a super-being, the opposite of what we are. Whereas it would be far more useful to realise the state we're in and act on that. We don't need examples and heroes for that, we just need to look at ourselves, what we are and how we live. Seeing what we are as we are is probably the first and last step.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 4th, 2019, 2:39 pm 

Charon

As the Buddhists (I'm not a Buddhist) rightly point out, change comes from within. It's up to us, it can't be forced. All this is very old stuff and has become a platitude and has spawned some good jokes. Nevertheless it's true and there's nothing wrong with pointing it out incessantly.

We always think the world is none of our business or it's up to politicians, etc. It's not, it's all of our responsibility. What we are matters because as we are, so is the world.

The fact, unfortunately, is that we're really terribly ignorant and therefore need an education that makes us aware of the terrible traps and dangers involved in the societies we have to live in.


We don't want to know what we are. We prefer to strive for self esteem rather than self knowledge. To make matters worse the great ideas which further awakening to reality are abandoned and ridiculed in favor of imaginary self esteem. From Jacob Needlemn's book "The American Soul:"

Our world, so we see and hear on all sides, is drowning in materialism, commercialism, consumerism. But the problem is not really there. What we ordinarily speak of as materialism is a result, not a cause. The root of materialism is a poverty of ideas about the inner and outer world. Less and less does our contemporary culture have, or even seek, commerce with great ideas, and it is the lack that is weakening the human spirit. This is the essence of materialism. Materialism is a disease of the mind starved for ideas.

Throughout history ideas of a certain kind have been disseminated into the life of humanity in order to help human beings understand and feel the possibility of the deep inner change that would enable them to serve the purpose for which they were created, namely, to act in the world as conscious individual instruments of God, and the ultimate principle of reality and value. Ideas of this kind are formulated in order to have a specific range of action on the human psych: to touch the heart as well as the intellect; to shock us into questioning our present understanding; to point us to the greatness around us in nature and the universe, and the potential greatness slumbering within ourselves; to open our eyes to the real needs of our neighbor; to confront us with our own profound ignorance and our criminal fears and egoism; to show us that we are not here for ourselves alone, but as necessary particles of divine love.

These are the contours of the ancient wisdom, considered as ideas embodied in religious and philosophical doctrines, works of sacred art,literature and music and, in a very fundamental way, an indication of practical methods by which a man or woman can work, as is said, to become what he or she really is. Without feeling the full range of such ideas, or sensing even a modest, but pure, trace of them, we are bound to turn for meaning.


Attempts at spirit killing and metaphysical repression all have the effects of destroying ideas essential for Man to change.

"Who were the fools who spread the story that brute force cannot kill ideas? Nothing is easier. And once they are dead they are no more than corpses." - Simone Weil


How much of the modern world is sustained by imagination made possible by creating corpses?
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 4th, 2019, 2:45 pm 

How much of the modern world is sustained by imagination made possible by creating corpses?


What does that actually mean, Nick?

Probably much of the world is indeed sustained by imagination. I'd say that a lot of the corpses were the very product of that, not that creating corpses made imagination possible.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 4th, 2019, 3:17 pm 

charon » April 4th, 2019, 2:45 pm wrote:
How much of the modern world is sustained by imagination made possible by creating corpses?


What does that actually mean, Nick?

Probably much of the world is indeed sustained by imagination. I'd say that a lot of the corpses were the very product of that, not that creating corpses made imagination possible.


You misread the quote. Simone suggests that IDEAS can be killed and then they are nothing more than corpses.

I have written about secular intolerance, spirit killing, and metaphysical repression for example. They are defended and justified. This means that the great ideas must be discussed outside of university dictates. For example this discussion between Jeffrey Mishlove and Jacob Needleman can only be for the minority not yet indoctrinated into denial. But the good thing is that such insights do exist and serve a human need being replaced by enchantment with technology leaving a person empty so they turn to drugs including alcohol.

http://www.williamjames.com/transcripts/needle.htm
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on April 4th, 2019, 3:28 pm 

charon » April 4th, 2019, 1:03 pm wrote: But they're human beings first and they'd do better addressing that before spinning their ideas.

I rather think that's what Nietzsche was doing. But we can each do that only from the perspective of the social milieu in which we attain the age of majority. And as you've pointed out, in most cases that's from some state of disintegration. Even in periods of relative security and optimism, civilized man is missing his other half; is looking at his fellow cripples and describing them as "human nature".

By 'the law is love' I meant the law of life.

It still isn't true. The law of life is biology, which entails imperatives completely devoid of affection, along with the co-operative and empathic ones.
When that law is broken chaos ensues, as we can see demonstrated every day. But where it is upheld, which is rare, it's generally universally acknowledged.

That's got more than a whiff of idealism.

You can't make people love each other, obviously. But we were talking about a good society, not a narrow, traditional, destructive one as we have now.

Is that true? If I were to compare them to all societies in written history, I wouldn't call post-industrial western societies narrow or traditional. Destructive, yes, in many ways, some of them the same as the ways of previous, more traditional societies, some new and novel.

For there to be any change in the world obviously it is we who have to change, not the government or the system. They've tried all that with revolutions, wars, tyranny, and so on; it's never worked and never will.

Then we're not merely screwed but riveted to the wall.

By transformation I mean from bad to good, not some other form of human being.

How do you figure for that to happen without a change in the forms of social organization?

That we're capable of if we want it, but apparently very few do want it.

We pretty much all want it, but we either can't quite figure out what ' it' is or have been given someone's imaginary ideal to strive for.

Do you mean to say the politician enjoying his power will happily give it up? Or the greedy, ambitious man his greed and ambition?

Actually, have had a little ponder, rumple-di-tum... yes.
As soon as he discovers that he's been stuffing himself with potato chips while craving blueberries. He's never satisfied, never content, and doesn't know why.

The fact, unfortunately, is that we're really terribly ignorant and therefore need an education that makes us aware of the terrible traps and dangers involved in the societies we have to live in.
[/quote]
More education? That was Athena's routine.
We're being stuck in classrooms - and I'm quite happy that most of these are god-free zones - one quarter of our lives. It's still not enough, or the wrong kind, or wrongly motivated or whatever.
Who's going to bring the right kind of education off which mountain?
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 4th, 2019, 7:37 pm 

Nick -

You misread the quote. Simone suggests that IDEAS can be killed and then they are nothing more than corpses.


Ah, right. To be honest, I didn't read the quote at all, I only read your bit.

I quite liked the Needleman interview although I don't agree with him at all about a couple of things. When he says we live in two worlds, I think that's wrong. What two worlds? Does he mean this earthly life and the spirit world? Very few do that. In fact it's not a very good idea at all.

So what does he mean? There's just this world, isn't there? This is all we have and all we need. The mind needn't be tethered to this world, though. It can soar way beyond thought and enter unknown spaces. But don't say that means two worlds, it's not.

There's really just life, which is everything. Life includes the mundane, the esoteric, the world of ideas, the intellect and emotions, and everything else. But it also means all the things that lie beyond the boundaries of our consciousness. Our consciousness is actually very limited. We think going outside it is something dramatic but it's not. We're outside it the moment we forget ourselves, the moment there's extraordinary beauty, in moments of joy, when we love and aren't thinking of ourselves.

It just happens, that's all, but it's been turned into some massive mystery only understood by Socrates or something! That's all nonsense. The real problem is we're so immersed in our business, problems, various self-centred struggles, that it hardly happens at all. So we make a problem out of it, something far distant to attain. And then the attainment of it becomes yet another problem because we can't attain it, it just happens of itself.

You know, to worship the things of the mind, of thought, of the intellect, is actually very materialistic. We think materialism is confined to money, cars, clothes... you know, the material things of the world. But the man immersed in his mind and the products of the mind is also materialistic because thought is the world.

Do you understand that? Thought is the world, not of nature, but of man, of ourselves. All the things of man have been created by himself by his thought. So thought is the world and to be lost in the world is to be held by matter. That's why the spiritual life is not a life of thought, it's a going beyond of that into other realms.

But those realms are not two worlds, they are one. We may separate them intellectually but they are one. And one can live in both if one has the necessary sensitivity.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 4th, 2019, 8:10 pm 

Serpent -

It still isn't true.


Oh, yes, I think it is. Consider your own life. Put away the books and look at the actual thing. Isn't your life a moral exercise? If you strip away the superficial things around it isn't it matter of right and wrong?

That's ultimately all. At the end of each day there's just what was okay and what was not okay. What I did right, what I didn't do, what I did wrong... that's all.

That's the 'law of love' because when you get messages from your mind that something in behaviour was wrong, examine it and you'll see. If you're serious enough, obviously. It probably won't bother the glib very much but that doesn't matter, they'll see it one day. They'll have to, it's the only way out of the difficulty. And the whole world is doing that. There is only that, if one has the eyes for it.

Then we're not merely screwed but riveted to the wall.


Not at all, that's the point. It can all be changed, and should be.

How do you figure for that to happen without a change in the forms of social organization?


To see oneself as one is and to see things as they are. The very seeing itself is change.

We pretty much all want it


Exactly. Now, WHY? Because it's beckoning and we know it. It's completely and entirely possible and, at least somewhere in us, we know it. Because it's the only way out and we know it. Even though we may not be able to figure it out yet, we know it. So we should pursue that above all else. We should fan the flame till it becomes a fire.

He's never satisfied, never content, and doesn't know why.


Quite. But it's not hard to figure, is it? You can't go around cutting throats all day and not relate it to the emptiness inside you. Unless you're very, very thick, of course :-)

More education?


Rather a much better education, one that really prepares us for life in a ghastly world. Now all they care about is exams.

Who's going to bring the right kind of education off which mountain?


What, like Moses and the tablets? :-)

Well, who indeed? I think if I had children, and was aware of all this, I'd have to think very, very carefully about where I sent them and what I did with them. Fortunately I don't, so all I do these days is make a nuisance of myself on a talklboard. But that's probably good enough.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on April 4th, 2019, 10:52 pm 

Very fine sentiments.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 5th, 2019, 4:00 am 

They'd be even finer if we lived them.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 5th, 2019, 3:16 pm 

Charon

I quite liked the Needleman interview although I don't agree with him at all about a couple of things. When he says we live in two worlds, I think that's wrong. What two worlds? Does he mean this earthly life and the spirit world? Very few do that. In fact it's not a very good idea at all.


I’ve written of Plato’s divided line as a description of basic vertical universal structure. Below the line is the visible world. Our senses react to the visible world. The intelligible world is above the line and the limits of our senses. However the intelligible level can be experienced by noesis, intuition, or higher mind. We are aware of higher mind but are governed by the sensory lower mind or what we call reality. Recognition of higher values comes from the intelligible world but becomes devolved into the sensory world and interpreted into all forms of self justifying egoism

The human problem is our inability to reconcile these two levels of reality,above and below the line, in our being. Reconciliation is a function of our emotional nature. It has become corrupt and the dark horse in Plato’s chariot analogy. We have the potential to feel objective quality by means of conscience but what we call conscience is just indoctrinated beliefs

https://www.livescience.com/18183-leona ... n-man.html
Leonardo da Vinci's drawing of a male figure perfectly inscribed in a circle and square, known as the "Vitruvian Man," illustrates what he believed to be a divine connection between the human form and the universe. Beloved for its beauty and symbolic power, it is one of the most famous images in the world. However, new research suggests that the work, which dates to 1490, may be a copy of an earlier drawing by Leonardo's friend.



From this perspective Man is a microcosm of the living universe consisting of levels of reality structured from top to bottom. We could reflect universal reality or what I know of as universal purpose in the same way the East recognizes dharma as universal truth. But the ability to feel quality beyond animal conditioning necessary for conscious reconciliation is increasingly being lost in favor of indoctrination. The Vitruvian man would be evolved Man. It is our potential. But Man in society is content to live in the lower parts of our collective soul in as Nietzsche said “wretched contentment” so conscious evolution can only be for the small minority willing to awaken to the human condition. As a whole our species is content to live in hypocrisy and without the need to reconcile our higher and lower natures so the lower can receive from the higher rather than the influences from higher being corrupted to serve the need for self justification serving the imagination of the lower. How to become able to objectively "feel" when the world is against it and depends on indoctrination into what to know to support its illusions

Excerpted from a letter Simone Weil wrote on May 15, 1942 in Marseilles, France to her close friend Father Perrin:

At fourteen I fell into one of those fits of bottomless despair that come with adolescence, and I seriously thought of dying because of the mediocrity of my natural faculties. The exceptional gifts of my brother, who had a childhood and youth comparable to those of Pascal, brought my own inferiority home to me. I did not mind having no visible successes, but what did grieve me was the idea of being excluded from that transcendent kingdom to which only the truly great have access and wherein truth abides. I preferred to die rather than live without that truth.


Does such a level of conscious humanity exist? We don't know but what we do know is that society will do whatever it can to kill the incentive to strive for it at the expense of indoctrination necessary to sustain its quality of existence.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby PaulN on April 5th, 2019, 8:25 pm 

What society? Are all cultures presently the same in their attitude towards spiritual seeking beyond "animal conditioning"? You have not really made that case, nor really defined the indoctrination you keep referring to. Also, your epistemology seems to stop at Plato. There have been some developments in that area...
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 5th, 2019, 9:02 pm 

PaulN » April 5th, 2019, 8:25 pm wrote:What society? Are all cultures presently the same in their attitude towards spiritual seeking beyond "animal conditioning"? You have not really made that case, nor really defined the indoctrination you keep referring to. Also, your epistemology seems to stop at Plato. There have been some developments in that area...


Paul, do you have an example of a modern society which has as its goal the creation of individuals capable of leaving the confines of Plato's cave? Nietzsche spoke of the Overman who is the greatest of Man inside the cave. His will to power dominates it. But what modern society has the goal of freedom from the values of cave life produced by enculturation in the cause of becoming human as opposed to an indoctrinated automaton?

What are the developments in that area you refer to that I've missed?
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 5th, 2019, 10:08 pm 

Nick -

Sorry, but you keep repeating the same thing all the time. It's the intellect which has divided all this. There aren't compartments such as higher and lower. That's just a verbal description, an idea, but not the fact.

I don't see any point in my saying this and you keep repeating that these divisions exist. You're describing a pictorial image, an invented schema, not a reality.

The human problem is our inability to reconcile these two levels of reality


That's because there's nothing to reconcile. Having divided everything you talk of reconciliation, but there never was any division in the first place.

Does such a level of conscious humanity exist? We don't know but what we do know is that society will do whatever it can to kill the incentive to strive for it at the expense of indoctrination necessary to sustain its quality of existence.


Of course there are different levels of sensitivity. But the word level doesn't mean there are actual compartments such as higher and lower divided from each other.

but what did grieve me was the idea of being excluded from that transcendent kingdom to which only the truly great have access and wherein truth abides (Weil)


I'm not interested in Weil's young agonisings about being excluded from heaven or something. By her own admission she was fourteen and adolescents do get these sorts of wacky ideas. I expect she got over it.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 10th, 2019, 6:29 pm 

Charon

Sorry, but you keep repeating the same thing all the time. It's the intellect which has divided all this. There aren't compartments such as higher and lower. That's just a verbal description, an idea, but not the fact.

A clam is an example of an organism living by pure reaction. Consider it representative of the bottom level.

Above it at a higher level of being are animals whose being includes emotional reactions. A dog for example lives by both physical and emotional reactions. Man not only lives by physical and animal emotions but is also capable not only of a greater degree of associative thought but also of self awareness. This is the highest quality of being the earth can produce.

Nietzsche wrote concerning the Overman:

"I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome. ... The overman is the meaning of the earth.Let your will say: the overman shall be the meaning of the earth! I beseech you, my brothers, remain faithful to the earth, and do not believe those who speak to you of otherworldly hopes!


Fallen human being living in contradiction producing hypocrisy and what Nietzsche called wretched contentment has the potential to become the Overman and the highest quality of being arising from the earth.

Science studies the external world and our being interprets its results producing the myriad of opinions we all experience. Science is valuable for studying the external world and the benefits of materialistic results but how can we study our inner world and begin to “know thyself” rather than imagine ourselves? The following is simple review of a discussion between Ken Wilber and Jacob Needleman. They are both aware of how little we know of our inner world. This raises the question of how we can expect to experience wisdom without first making the necessary efforts to know thyself?

https://integrallife.com/meaning-earth/
What is our purpose? Why are we here? What does the Earth need from us? These are the questions explored in The Unknown World: Notes on the Meaning of the Earth by acclaimed philosopher Jacob Needleman. Listen as Jacob and Ken take an in-depth look at The Unknown World, framing man’s role on the planet in a completely new and fresh way and moving beyond the usual environmental concerns to reveal how the care and maintenance of a world is something vital and basic to our existence as authentic human beings.

The “unknown world” that Jacob refers to is the inner world, the subjective world of direct and immediate experience, the world of consciousness and creativity and, yes, spiritual illumination. The outer world, on the other hand, is the world that we can touch and taste and measure with our five senses, the physical world of mass and energy and location. These inner and outer worlds are inextricable from, interpenetrated with, and irreducible to one another. And though the inner world has been carefully charted and explored by some of history’s greatest philosophers, sages, and scientists, only the outer world of extreme scientific materialism finds any real mainstream credibility. The inner world yet has been abandoned by today’s intellectuals, and largely forgotten by the masses. The universe has been gutted of its interiors—exteriors alone are considered “real”, leaving us to scrape for meaning in the empty, hollow shell of reality.

But we are born of this world, we are indivisible from this world, and if we want to truly understand the world and our place in it, we must embrace and enact the totality of our knowledge, wisdom, and insight, inside and out. We can no longer allow the inner world to remain unknown. As Jacob says, “If the world is alive, it is either growing or dying,” and because humanity is evolution’s latest and greatest experiment on this planet, we are the ones to decide which way it goes.

The evolution of our planet depends upon the evolution of our species. We are have created enormously complex challenges for ourselves and for our world, challenges that require an entirely new level of intuition and problem solving. Now more than ever we need to recover the timeless wisdom and effortless compassion of the inner world; to integrate our hearts with our minds and our souls with our senses. We are called to seek a new synthesis of knowledge and wisdom for the 21st century, an embodied understanding of ourselves and our world, an empirical mysticism to supplement an empirical science—a discovery that could itself represent one of the greatest evolutionary steps our planet has taken since we stood up on two legs.


Where animal man as Nietzsche suggests is the meaning of the earth what is the meaning of the universe and the earth within it? Is science sufficient to answer this question. Consider these qualities of intellect?

https://woodybelangia.com/2014/04/17/th ... ided-line/


The four segments of the Divided Line

This is the beginning of a series of posts on the Divided Line Analogy, which can be found at the end of Republic, Book VI (509d-511e). I maintain that the Divided Line Analogy is is the hermeneutic key to understanding the purpose of the Republic as a whole, and the proper proportions of everything else in the Republic are revealed by it. The Analogy is so compact that it will take some development to convey its structure and meaning. Perhaps the best way to begin is not with the geometrical construction of the line (as the dialogue does) but to begin where Plato ends, by labeling its four segments:

EIKASIA — translated variously as “imaging” or “imagination.” My preferred definition of eikasia is Jacob Klein’s: “the power to see an image as an image.” Eikasia is a grasp that mere appearance is defective, that the image is not the original, thatthe shadow, sign or reflection is not the thing. Eikasia is the basis of all cognitive achievement, both perceptual and intellectual. All power of thinking with signs is based on a prior power of eikasia. It is a power particularly prominent when perception is ambiguous, such as when a change in distance creates a change in size or when a stick placed in the water appears broken. Eikasia is disturbed by the instability of appearance and initiates a search for an objective resolution to its subjective dissatisfaction. Eikasia adds a question mark to the data of appearance.

PISTIS — translated variously as “trust” or “belief.”Pistis is an opinion that resolves the unstable defects of mere appearance. It is the satisfaction of the dissatisfaction opened up by eikasia. I see the stick broken in water; I trust in the basic integrity of the stick. I see a person growing smaller when she walks away from me; I trust that the size is as stable as the tangible object. Whereas appearances can be contradictory, one cannot act in opposite directions at once. Pistis resolves the ambiguity; it is the resolution that makes action stable and fixed, to keep one from chasing the tail of shifting appearances. One good example comes from a previous stint that I had as a pilot. These are a variety of sensory illusions that can be inflicted upon a pilot, particularly in the absence of a visible horizon when flying in clouds. One of these is a condition called “the leans,” in which cues from one’s inner ear can make it seem like one is flying other than at level, even when everything is level. “Trust your instruments!” — this was the constant refrain in flight school. If the gyro says you are level, you are level, even if your sense of balance screams otherwise. Pistisis a resolute trust in an opinion that has proven reliable against the ambiguity and inconstancy of perception. We would be paralyzed without this power. One glaring downside though is that pistis, by steeling itself against shifting perception, makes itself immune to counter-evidence. As a result, pistis is never self-critical of its own commitments.

DIANOIA — translated variously as “thinking” or “thought” or “thinking-things-through.” Dianoia is hypothetical, calculative thinking. Just as eikasia is “the power to see an image as an image,” so dianoia is “the power to think an opinion as an opinion.” Dianoia can be thought of as a higher-type of eikasia applied to pistis itself (Jacob Klein’s idea). It is the recognition in opinion of the defect inherent in mere opinion. Both pistis and dianoia are based in opinion. In fact, the same opinion can be taken up in the manner of either pistis or dianoia. (This identity of opinion is perhaps the reason that the two segments on the line necessarily have the same length at the end of the geometric construction.) Whereas pistis contrasts itself favorably with the hesitancies and dissatisfactions created by eikasia, dianoia reintroduces dissatisfaction with its own defects by comparing itself to noesis. Dianoia is an intermediate between pistis and noesis. Whereas pistis lacks self-criticism and is content with the seeming-true of its settled opinion, dianoia is essentially self-critical — particularly in exposing the biases that can make the false seem true and the true seem false. It attempts to replace seeming with measurement, i.e. the application of intelligible ratios. Dianoia is alert to counter-evidence. Both eikasia and dianoia reach outside themselves toward the completion/perfection provided by pistis and noesis, respectively. Dianoia remains wedded to hypotheses and its progress is always step-wise and temporal, always aiming toward the “unhypothetical first principle of everything.” (Rep. 511b)

NOESIS — translated variously as “insight” or “understanding” or “intellection.” Noesis is both the immanent light of anticipated wholeness within dianoia and a transcendent desideratum outside of dianoia. Noesis is the unknown ‘X’ of form/eidos toward which dianoia extends. Noesis is the place of settled knoweldge. The Divided Line is itself a dianoietic image of dianoietic extension toward noesis, reaching from within dianoia outward toward noetic wholeness. The line assumes a known ratio (the relation of image to original) and applies it to a known basis (opinion) in order to direct a search toward what is an as yet unknown noetic consummation. We are told that (pure) noesis is not at all hypothetical, but begins, moves through and ends with forms. (Rep. 511b) Whereas dianoia reaches toward the whole by considering the parts and their relations, noesis is a grasps of the whole in its undivided integrity. Noesis is similar to pistis in that it provides a resolution to the unsettled questioning of its lower power (eikasia:pistis::dianoia:noesis). But whereas pistis achieves it resolution by closing itself off to higher questions, remaining content with the seeming-true, noesis is the originating source of higher-order questions and is the contentment in the really-true. Noesis is the implicit perfected understanding that makes the imperfect questionable. Noesis is an immediate grasp of truth, without the step-wise stepping from hypothesis to hypothesis that is characteristic of dianoia. Noesis is a flash of active insight that comprehends at once the answer that had been the goal of dianoia’s questioning. Noetic understanding is the goal of the Republic, but sits outside its essentially hypothetical structure. Noesis is a truth that cannot be stated directly; it is insight that cannot be communicated without a corresponding insight in the other. No string of words will ever suffice to replace it — communication of noesis must be indirect and protreptic.

We would probably agree about the relationship between eikasia, pistis, and dianoia, but would differ on noesis. Noesis is what makes wisdom possible. The Overman can do anything but has yet to experience what to do as a cosmic man serving a universal purpose as opposed to animal Man expressing its will to power as the ultimate meaning of the earth.

I think this is our primary difference. You seem to be a rationalist believing that objective human meaning and purpose can only be reveled through dianoia. In contrast I believe that dianoia is just one tool we have in pursuit of what philosophy calls the love of wisdom. At some point a person with the love of wisdom will open to receive a noetic experience. He will be rejected by the rationalists if he pursues it but if he can avoid having to drink the hemlock he will be a step ahead :)
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 10th, 2019, 9:00 pm 

Nick -

Above it at a higher level of being are animals whose being includes emotional reactions. A dog for example lives by both physical and emotional reactions. Man not only lives by physical and animal emotions but is also capable not only of a greater degree of associative thought but also of self awareness. This is the highest quality of being the earth can produce.


I know, levels of awareness. Nothing to do with separate compartments.

So why, if we're the highest quality of being the earth can produce, are we so miserable, corrupt, violent, and so on? The poor earth isn't doing very well, is it?
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 10th, 2019, 10:34 pm 

Charon

Naturally there are people who have risen above the commonplace mind. But don't let's invent superheroes out of things we don't really understand.

I've never denied the so-called Overman but one cannot understand it unless one is there oneself. It's not by one's own hand one is an Overman. One isn't 'over' something anyway, one is free. That's quite different.


I still believe in the psychology of “being” If human being is capable of relative quality it means there must be the potential for the Overman. Do you believe that the being of all humanity is the same and we are all doomed to a life of attachments to imagination? I know it is politically incorrect to speak of the relativity of human being but for anyone open to the question of why they are not an Oveman, they have to begin with the premise of the relative quality of human being.

I'm not interested in Weil's young agonisings about being excluded from heaven or something. By her own admission she was fourteen and adolescents do get these sorts of wacky ideas. I expect she got over it.


She never did. She was always a seeker of truth at the expense of pleasure and wretched contentment. Susan Sontag wrote of Simone:

Yet the person of Simone Weil is here as surely as in any of her other books—the person who is excruciatingly identical with her ideas, the person who is rightly regarded as one of the most uncompromising and troubling witnesses to the modern travail of the spirit.


It is accepted that modern philosophy is to impress the little people and those who preach it must be hypocrites. Simone was different. Her need to join this minority in the domain where truth abides made anything else impossible.

N. how can we study our inner world and begin to “know thyself” rather than imagine ourselves?


C.By studying it. That is, oneself, all day, every day. Not by reading books.

But as a whole we don’t know how. We don’t even know how to begin.

Through diarrhoea? Oh, no, it's something intellectual... I don't do that. I won't read it, it's gobbledegook.

See, you don't actually reply to my posts, you just use then as a springboard to write another tract of your own, repeating what all sorts of different people say. One day you'll have a thought of your own. That would be nice.


Now that’s a switch. Usually the secularists only accept what dianoia can verify. Anything else questions the supremacy of rationalism Are you rejecting the value of dianoia?

Everything in my previous post concerns what is essential I believe for furthering the goal of philosophy as the love of wisdom. The great question is how to transcend the world of opinions in order to acquire knowledge. That is not my thought but an essential philosophical question. Maybe I’ll have a noetic experience which will have meaning which will not degenerate into self justifying opinion. Why not?
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 11th, 2019, 12:35 am 

charon » April 10th, 2019, 9:00 pm wrote:Nick -

Above it at a higher level of being are animals whose being includes emotional reactions. A dog for example lives by both physical and emotional reactions. Man not only lives by physical and animal emotions but is also capable not only of a greater degree of associative thought but also of self awareness. This is the highest quality of being the earth can produce.


I know, levels of awareness. Nothing to do with separate compartments.

So why, if we're the highest quality of being the earth can produce, are we so miserable, corrupt, violent, and so on? The poor earth isn't doing very well, is it?


We are miserable because we exist out of balance. Man has the ingredients to make us the highest quality of being the earth can produce but they are out of balance. We exist in opposition with ourselves.

If we had the consciousness we are capable of our intellect, emotions, and sensory perception would be in balance. the human condition has made it so that intellect, emotion, and sensation are held together by imagination

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh


A very deep idea and another reason why wretched contentment reigns supreme. If society as a whole realized why it was miserable it would change. When suffering becomes familiar the fear of change retains the status quo. The Overman will have conquered imagination which keeps humanity in bondage. But when people are unable to let go of their own suffering for the need to become what humanity is capable of, what can expected other than corruption, violence, and so on? Imagination is a cruel mistress.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 11th, 2019, 8:10 am 

Nick -

imagination which keeps humanity in bondage


What do you mean by imagination?
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 11th, 2019, 8:30 am 

Sorry, there's a post before that. I didn't see it.

We don’t even know how to begin


To study ourselves? To look at what we are? Is that difficult? Look at what the world is, which isn't hard to see, and move inward. Are we thinking like that too? Can't you discover that?

The world is divided in almost every way, nationally, socially, religiously, etc etc. Are we contributing to that? Are we nationalistic? Are we clinging to some religious belief as opposed to other beliefs?

If we are then we're supporting division, right? That means conflict in the world, obviously. So, if one is interested in peace we must stop being nationalists, religious adherents, social labels, and all the rest of it.

But we won't. Nobody's interested, so the world continues in its chaotic mess. This is a fact.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 11th, 2019, 10:27 am 

Nick -

Look, I'm trying desperately not to answer you by writing a book! It's hard because I can see what's going on.

You've read a great deal of Plato, obviously, and now we're including Nietzsche and the Overman and all that.

I can't really get into that. I could, but I don't think it's relevant.

We are where we are now. The world is what it is now.

What worries me is that you're not actually going to listen. Not that I want you to hang on my every word, but I'm not sure you're receptive.

However, here we are. What's the matter with us? Throughout the whole history of man there has always been this issue, the condition of human beings and their search for some kind of answer to it all. And at the end of literally thousands and thousands of years we are as we are now.

Every culture since the beginning of man, the Greeks and before, the Indians, the Orientals, the Africans, the West... every one has their own version of the same thing. That should be recognised right from the start otherwise we'll just get lost in one version, and that's no good.

All these versions have one thing in common, which is morality. Being good. Doing the right thing. Behaving with morality, love, integrity, honesty. From the Greeks to Jesus to Buddha and all the rest, that's the connecting factor.

To have peace, to be happy, live rightly. That's it in a nutshell. Would you disagree with that? Well, it's the fact anyway.

So what's the problem with it all? I'll tell you. It's because, though they might agree with it, apparently it's not so easy. So you have two things, the ideal way of behaviour and the actual ways of behaviour. And the two don't meet.

So either one ignores the whole thing and just carries on with the usual way or one tries hard to live up to the wonderful ideals put before us. And fails generally.

If no one cares, it's very simple. Carry on being ambitious, self-centred, violent, ideological, cruel, and so on. Who cares? Society will only disapprove when you really step over the line but generally you can get away with most of it.

But there's a catch, and this is where it becomes a bit mystical or however one cares to put it. We don't get away with it. Unless there's something wrong with the brain, like psychopathy, sooner or later we start to look at ourselves and question our life. We can't help it, it's what happens.

No one who has ever lived has escaped from that. It's the way of life, it's the law of life. It may take a very long time but sooner or later a person will begin to admit their faults, behaviour, and so on. There are examples practically every day in what we read, see, what people tell us, and so on.

So life is a moral or spiritual exercise. When it gets really bad we eventually buckle down and try to live right, treat others properly, behave ourselves, and all that.

We can pretend it's not happening or try to be pious, also a pretence. We can put on an outward show and appear innocent but deep down what is essentially the truth will out.

That's what life is doing, that's what's happening. It's a process.

There's a further catch. A person who is knowingly virtuous is not virtuous. Someone who is conscious of their virtue has missed the bus. We are conscious when there's a problem, when something nags at us, when there's a contradiction inwardly. When there's no problem there's no consciousness of it. That is spiritual freedom. Like physical health, there's no consciousness when there's no issue. So the person who is conscious of their goodness, who knows very well how humble they are, is far from it.

Therefore virtue is not something to be strived for. It's not something to achieve or attain. All one can do is check when something goes wrong and put it right. That's all. If one doesn't see that then the problems will go on and on and one is lost.

It's far, far better to be as one is than to pretend virtue. Really one should totally abandon all idealism, all thought of being or becoming virtuous because idealism make one a hypocrite. So to be what one is, whatever it may be, and be simple and honest about it is the way.

So real humility isn't ever self-knowing, it's never conscious of itself as goodness or humility. That is innocence and inward beauty.

As regards the issue of God or the other thing beyond all this there's nothing we can do. One can believe in something, repeat a belief, prostrate oneself hoping for salvation, become a follower or something, but it will elude us.

Those who are innocent never think like that because that state is sufficient to itself. It doesn't want anything more, it doesn't seek. It is innocent and that's all. And to such a mind may come what is holy. That can never be invited in or pursued and if it comes it can never be held. We cannot possess it or say we have acquired it. It may find us but that is a different thing.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 11th, 2019, 4:42 pm 

Charon

However, here we are. What's the matter with us? Throughout the whole history of man there has always been this issue, the condition of human beings and their search for some kind of answer to it all. And at the end of literally thousands and thousands of years we are as we are now.

Every culture since the beginning of man, the Greeks and before, the Indians, the Orientals, the Africans, the West... every one has their own version of the same thing. That should be recognised right from the start otherwise we'll just get lost in one version, and that's no good.

All these versions have one thing in common, which is morality. Being good. Doing the right thing. Behaving with morality, love, integrity, honesty. From the Greeks to Jesus to Buddha and all the rest, that's the connecting factor.

To have peace, to be happy, live rightly. That's it in a nutshell. Would you disagree with that? Well, it's the fact anyway.

You’ve written a very meaningful post and the fact that I may disagree doesn’t detract from its value. However I believe the greatest worldly need is the need for prestige. Being good is one thing but when it is without prestige it easily becomes its opposite. The need for prestige is compensation for our inability to recognize objective human meaning and purpose. Without this objective recognition we are left with prestige to validate our worth from a societal worldly perspective. Consider these three quotes: one by Marx, another by Hitler, and the final one by Simone Weil

"The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism” Karl Marx

The [National Socialist] Party...is convinced that our nation can achieve permanent health only from within on the basis of the principle: The common interest before self-interest.
Adolf Hitler

Humanism was not wrong in thinking that truth, beauty, liberty, and equality are of infinite value, but in thinking that man can get them for himself without grace. Simone Weil


Marx and Hitler appear to be writing something meaningful but history has proven how quickly such ideas become their opposite. Simone Weil explains the reason for it. The question becomes what grace is.

So real humility isn't ever self-knowing, it's never conscious of itself as goodness or humility. That is innocence and inward beauty.

As regards the issue of God or the other thing beyond all this there's nothing we can do. One can believe in something, repeat a belief, prostrate oneself hoping for salvation, become a follower or something, but it will elude us.

Those who are innocent never think like that because that state is sufficient to itself. It doesn't want anything more, it doesn't seek. It is innocent and that's all. And to such a mind may come what is holy. That can never be invited in or pursued and if it comes it can never be held. We cannot possess it or say we have acquired it. It may find us but that is a different thing.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Humility is a normal attribute of the human essence. However, the struggle for prestige governs the world. Freedom from this need made possible by the help of grace opens the path to conscious evolution and the return to the source of our existence. One of the greatest harms IMO of secularized religion is its insistence on a personal god. Grace permeates our universe and is what makes evolution or the return of universal substance to the source possible. It is known in the East as the Breath of Brahma. All secular influences serve to deny the help of grace in their own way assuring the collective being of Man on earth will remain as it is. However the individual has a potential the collective being of Man denies.

I define imagination as a personal and social influence as the effect of habitual acquired preconceptions. The more we allow ourselves to become indoctrinated the more we sacrifice the ability "to be." Then the cause of peace and the horrors it brings as determined by the influence of the tyrant will become normal and justified
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 11th, 2019, 6:55 pm 

Nick -

Being good is one thing but when it is without prestige it easily becomes its opposite


No, it can never become its opposite. Goodness is goodness, it doesn't have an opposite. The bad is the bad and the good is the good.

And what is prestige? Don't we have that now? Don't we seek it? And is it desirable? Isn't prestige to have others look up to you? Is that what we want?

The need for prestige is compensation for our inability to recognize objective human meaning and purpose.


I wouldn't say that. The need for prestige is conceit.

we are left with prestige to validate our worth from a societal worldly perspective.


Ah yes, but then such prestige depends on the values of the environment. Those values may be quite false and generally are. We look down on the road-digger and kiss the feet of the MP or councillor. We worship status and prestige, it feeds the ego. No decent person seeks or desires that.

Humility is a normal attribute of the human essence.


Is it? I don't see much evidence of that, do you?

However, the struggle for prestige governs the world.

Well, you've said it. Exactly.

One of the greatest harms IMO of secularized religion is its insistence on a personal god.


I've never understood what 'personal god' meant. One we invent ourselves? Or that the churches propagate? Obviously those are not god, they're what we invent.

All secular influences serve to deny the help of grace


Secular means of the world. The religions that exist are of the world. Would we agree to that?

However the individual has a potential the collective being of Man denies.


What do you mean by the collective being of man? Aren't we all the collective? Isn't our fundamental consciousness collective? If you stipulate an individual as opposed to the collective then he must be without that consciousness. Is that possible?

I define imagination as a personal and social influence as the effect of habitual acquired preconceptions.


The dictionary defines imagination simply as the ability to project mental pictures or concepts. I think you may be giving it another meaning but I'm not sure.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on April 11th, 2019, 8:57 pm 

Nick A -- Above it at a higher level of being are animals whose being includes emotional reactions. A dog for example lives by both physical and emotional reactions. Man not only lives by physical and animal emotions but is also capable not only of a greater degree of associative thought but also of self awareness. This is the highest quality of being the earth can produce.

Above/below, high/low are positions and hierarchical relations designated by whom? Never by anyone who says: I'm on a lower level of awareness than a bat, which can fly in the dark, while I walk into doorframes even in the daytime, or a butterfly that can find its way 3000 miles to a place even its parents have never been, while I can't get back to Kitchener without a GPS.
These categories are arbitrary and anthropocentric; according to set of exclusively human values.
Even if they were accurate,
This is the highest quality of being the earth can produce.

would still be a wholly untested proposition. Also highly improbable, given that Earth is relatively young and Evolution hasn't handed in its notice yet.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 11th, 2019, 11:14 pm 

Serpent » April 11th, 2019, 8:57 pm wrote:
Nick A -- Above it at a higher level of being are animals whose being includes emotional reactions. A dog for example lives by both physical and emotional reactions. Man not only lives by physical and animal emotions but is also capable not only of a greater degree of associative thought but also of self awareness. This is the highest quality of being the earth can produce.

Above/below, high/low are positions and hierarchical relations designated by whom? Never by anyone who says: I'm on a lower level of awareness than a bat, which can fly in the dark, while I walk into doorframes even in the daytime, or a butterfly that can find its way 3000 miles to a place even its parents have never been, while I can't get back to Kitchener without a GPS.
These categories are arbitrary and anthropocentric; according to set of exclusively human values.
Even if they were accurate,
This is the highest quality of being the earth can produce.

would still be a wholly untested proposition. Also highly improbable, given that Earth is relatively young and Evolution hasn't handed in its notice yet.


I may be wrong but you appear to be a rationalist who is guided by what the senses can verify by science. If this is the case the these levels of being written of must be foolish to you.

I am a universalist so approach reality from a universal rather than a worldly perspective limited by the senses. Where science provides your foundation for reason, my hypothesis as it relates to my search for objective meaning begins with the Great Chain of Being. Where you begin with facts and try to discover laws, I begin with the laws I’ve learned and seek to verify them through facts.

The Great Chain of Being is n ancient idea and is still alive in the world regardless of the dominance of secularism within which it is irrelevant.

Ken Wilber is brilliant thinker and he bases a lot of his philosophy on the Great Chain of Being. For example:

http://www.kheper.net/topics/Wilber/Gre ... Being.html

One of the central elements in Ken Wilber's teaching is the concept of the Great Chain of Being, an unbroken continuum or spectrum of levels of being - or as I would term it an ontological gradation - from God or the Absolute down to matter. Although the Great Chain of Being represents a central element of what Aldous Huxley (following Leibnitz) called the Perennial Philosophy and Huston Smith the Primordial Tradition, it is probably not as universal as is sometimes claimed. This concept is found in sophisticated form in Middle and Neoplatonism and Gnosticism in the late Classical World. From Neoplatonism it spread to Christianity and the Islamic world, and it was also assimilated into Kabbalah. In India it plays a big part in Kashmir Shaivism and other traditions, although it is never as widespread as it is in the West, due to a preponderance of Monism. In Taoism it appears in only undeveloped form. In the philosophical and naturalistic West it reaches a culmination in the 18th through to early 19th century continental philosophers (especially evolutionary schools of German Idealism and Nature Philosophy), and was never as strongly developed in the East. In the late 19th and 20th century it was revived by Theosophy and Hermeticism (Theon, Golden Dawn, etc), and in India in the teachings of Sri Aurobindo. Theosophical versions are influential in aspects of the New Age movement.


Another source:

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Great-Chain-of-Being

The Great Chain of Being, also called Chain of Being, conceptionof the nature of the universe that had a pervasive influence on Western thought, particularly through the ancient Greek Neoplatonists and derivative philosophies during the European Renaissance and the 17th and early 18th centuries. The term denotes three general features of the universe: plenitude, continuity, and gradation. The principle of plenitude states that the universe is “full,” exhibiting the maximal diversity of kinds of existences; everything possible (i.e., not self-contradictory) is actual. The principle of continuity asserts that the universe is composed of an infinite series of forms, each of which shares with its neighbour at least one attribute. According to the principle of linear gradation, this series ranges in hierarchical order from the barest type of existence to the ens perfectissimum, or God……………………………….


The idea isn’t to believe the Great Chain scientifically but rather open to visualizing this vertical chain. It opens the mind. Of course the modern world rejecting a universal source must reject the Great Chain and a student in a secular university will face condemnation for introducing something believed so idiotic. But once a person can ignore all the condemnation they quickly learn that the Great Chain can answer certain essential philosophical questions impossible for the world of the senses.

I understand why you think as you do but it is insufficient for anyone who is drawn to universalism and its basic expression as the Great Chain of Being.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on April 12th, 2019, 12:08 am 

Nick_A » April 11th, 2019, 10:14 pm wrote:I may be wrong but you appear to be a rationalist who is guided by what the senses can verify by science. If this is the case the these levels of being written of must be foolish to you.

Not foolish so much as narrow-minded, prejudiced and egotistical. Well, okay, ignorant, too.

I am a universalist so approach reality from a universal rather than a worldly perspective limited by the senses. Where science provides your foundation for reason, my hypothesis as it relates to my search for objective meaning begins with the Great Chain of Being. Where you begin with facts and try to discover laws, I begin with the laws I’ve learned and seek to verify them through facts.

Fact-finding and identification will be problematic if you disdain senses, reason and science.

I understand why you think as you do but it is insufficient for anyone who is drawn to universalism and its basic expression as the Great Chain of Being.

That, plus a couple more walls o'cut&paste, won't change the facts.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 12th, 2019, 12:51 am 

Charon

No, it can never become its opposite. Goodness is goodness, it doesn't have an opposite. The bad is the bad and the good is the good.


There is the objective good written of by Plato and the subjective interpretations of goodness. More often than not subjective conceptions of goodness do not reflect the objective good,

And what is prestige? Don't we have that now? Don't we seek it? And is it desirable? Isn't prestige to have others look up to you? Is that what we want?


Yes, the struggle for prestige dominates the world. Most want it. For those who have experienced their nothingness in relation to human being it is no longer necessary to defend what they have experienced they don’t have

I wouldn't say that. The need for prestige is conceit.


Is it really conceit or just the need to feel value and have it verified by society?

Humility is a normal attribute of the human essence.


Is it? I don't see much evidence of that, do you?


I don’t see much evidence for the influence of the inner man or the potentials we are born with. The outer man or our personality governs our lives and humility just gets in the way in the struggle for prestige.

I've never understood what 'personal god' meant. One we invent ourselves? Or that the churches propagate? Obviously those are not god, they're what we invent.


I agree. Conceptions of the personal god seem to describe god in the image of man with the same need for prestige. Praise God and he will reward you. One hand washes the other. I don’t see the sense of any of this.

Secular means of the world. The religions that exist are of the world. Would we agree to that?


Yes and no. As I understand it, the ancient teachings began with a conscious source. Over time they became adapted to serve worldly desires.

They exist in the world on what is called the exoteric level. Those who are drawn to meaning beyond the confines of the exoteric level will search for the means to enter the esoteric level or achieving conscious understanding. Finally the esoteric level can lead to the transcendent level where the teaching is actualized in the being of Man.

What do you mean by the collective being of man? Aren't we all the collective? Isn't our fundamental consciousness collective? If you stipulate an individual as opposed to the collective then he must be without that consciousness. Is that possible?


The collective being of Man on earth as I understand it is a living organism which can devolve into collectives we call societies. A society is an animal reacting to natural and cosmic forces as other animals do in the world. Coniser life in the jungle. It reacts to natural laws and self aware consciousness in unnecessary. A society is a creature of reaction which is why everything remains the same. Plato called it the Beast

In Book VI of his Republic Plato critiques those who are "wise" through their study of society):

I might compare them to a man who should study the tempers and desires of a mighty strong beast who is fed by him--he would learn how to approach and handle him, also at what times and from what causes he is dangerous or the reverse, and what is the meaning of his several cries, and by what sounds, when another utters them, he is soothed or infuriated; and you may suppose further, that when, by continually attending upon him, he has become perfect in all this, he calls his knowledge wisdom, and makes of it a system or art, which he proceeds to teach, although he has no real notion of what he means by the principles or passions of which he is speaking, but calls this honourable and that dishonourable, or good or evil, or just or unjust, all in accordance with the tastes and tempers of the great brute. Good he pronounces to be that in which the beast delights and evil to be that which he dislikes...


The dictionary defines imagination simply as the ability to project mental pictures or concepts. I think you may be giving it another meaning but I'm not sure.


Yes, I am using the word imagintion in relation to the struggle for reality in the same way the East uses the word maya

Maya, (Sanskrit: “magic” or “illusion”) a fundamental concept in Hindu philosophy, notably in the Advaita (Nondualist) school of Vedanta. Maya originally denoted the magic power with which a god can make human beings believe in what turns out to an illusion.


Consciousness and imagination (maya) are mutually exclusive. When a person is experiencing conscious self awareness they are free of imagination. When imagination is dominant a person is just a creature of reaction reacting in accordance with indoctrinated habitual preconceptions
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 12th, 2019, 11:59 am 

Nick -

There is the objective good written of by Plato and the subjective interpretations of goodness. More often than not subjective conceptions of goodness do not reflect the objective good


Oh, lord, how complicated! Forget what others have said, apply this to real life and to yourself. That's the way to the truth, not through others' ideas and interpretations.

What is goodness? Be simple. Doesn't it imply love, wholeness, integration, harmony? And what is 'badness'? The self, isn't it? Selfishness, egotism, self-centred motives, and all that?

The two aren't comparable. They're not opposites, it's either one or the other. The two can't co-exist together. That's all really.

For those who have experienced their nothingness in relation to human being it is no longer necessary to defend what they have experienced they don’t have


That's right. If we negate the idea of trying to 'be something', which is what the lust for prestige implies, then ultimately it means being nothing at all...

Which, of course, is what we're all afraid of. We don't want to be nothing, anonymous, nobody important, so we strive constantly to be something and continue being something.

That sort of life is really utterly miserable, a constant stress and friction. But to the person who, with great intelligence, abandons all that there's a vast measure of peace and contentment.

Is it really conceit or just the need to feel value and have it verified by society?


Both probably. There's not much point in being a great somebody unless it's recognised.

The outer man or our personality governs our lives and humility just gets in the way in the struggle for prestige.


Yes, the personality governs everything. I wouldn't say humility gets in the way of prestige, though. I'm not sure humility has much to do with it. The humble aren't concerned with trying to be important and those who want to be important aren't humble. It doesn't enter.

As I understand it, the ancient teachings began with a conscious source. Over time they became adapted to serve worldly desires.


Absolutely. The beginnings of the serious religious teachings were probably begun by those who perceived beyond the mortal mind. Then, probably when the priests took over, it all became something else.

The collective being of Man on earth as I understand it is a living organism which can devolve into collectives we call societies.


Yes, man is a living thing, individually and collectively, and naturally he has formed societies which in turn also become a sort of living thing.

But man and his societies being living things doesn't mean they're without fault. Any society reflects the nature of those who compose it. If we are violent so will our society be. What the members of any society are like can very easily be judged by looking at the society they have created through the years.

I am using the word imagintion in relation to the struggle for reality in the same way the East uses the word maya


I think we have to be very, very careful with the use of this idea of the world as illusion. Very careful indeed.

We are not an illusion. After all, we didn't make ourselves. Life is real. The world is not an illusion, it's real. Let's be quite clear on that. Even if it was an illusion it's still only too painful, divided, problematical, and in some respects quite ghastly.

But we can have illusions. Our mind creates illusions, many of them. The self itself may be an illusion, individuality may be an illusion. Our relationships may be more or less illusory, based on romantic ideas about each other. Religious beliefs are full of the most nonsensical things. Idealism may be perfectly illusory, and so on.

So what matters is to be free of illusion. And, if there's no illusion at all, what is there then? Only what is real, that which actually is. And what actually is is what we are, our actual daily life, the problems of it, our struggles, violence, lack of any love, the loneliness, and so on.

The fact that we think is not an illusion yet that thinking can create illusions. What the mind creates isn't real, it's conceptual, but we need to think, it's essential to do anything. So one has to be very careful with what the mind does.

I know the whole philosophy about the world not being a reality, that the truth is something different. I think that's been misunderstood. It's a complex subject and this will be too long. Another time, maybe.

Consciousness and imagination (maya) are mutually exclusive. When a person is experiencing conscious self awareness they are free of imagination. When imagination is dominant a person is just a creature of reaction reacting in accordance with indoctrinated habitual preconceptions


But consciousness itself is not an illusion. That's the essential point. We may be full of illusions, and suffering because of them, but the fact that we are conscious, aware and awake, is not an illusion.
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