Sunday, March 22, 2015

The mundane essence of most of it.

We wonder at the people doing dreadful things, how could this happen. We only ask 'how' of course, if we have a glimmer that the world is not, black and white. In fact, that may be the only generalization that holds most of the time: Reality cannot be divided into two things.

And, skipping the binary nature of rational thought itself, which we address frequently in other posts, let me suggest now, that this tendency to divide everything into two, is basic to the human ego (hence its prevalence) and specifically, can shed light on how, 'people can do dreadful things.' It may turn out that horribleness is just an extension of that which is ordinary, ordinary, because it defines us all. 

The human ego must separate itself from the world when people grow up. Whether of not this division of self from world is a coherent stance, it in fact happens to us all, and so, must be healthy on various levels.

For example liberals often mouth off about how selfish rich people are, and seem to think the rich are the source of all evil, that a flattening of wealth will produce human progress. Any real progress must include questioning such simplistic analyses. We use it here as an example of this division of self and the rest, the world, and how such a division into two, is a sign something has been very confused in the analyzing. My example of the self and an alternate world of wealthy selfish people is meant to illustrate the inadequacy of binary approaches. But by way of a segue to our last example, let me mention that among other things, the rich provide a variety in the world and variety is critical to growth, although, of course, there are varieties of variety.

Another ordinary approach is that where the self is the judge of the evil of the rest of the world. This I hope I have explained already, is a basis of everyday psychology. The division into two; the self as defined as separate from the rest of the world; and that otherness, the rest of the world, as the source of the problems faced.

When we criticize people who do horrible things, we reveal our own ignorance, for these people are acting on the same psychological function as that which helps define us all. The evil is 'out there'; the evil (problems) could not be WITHIN ourselves: for such division is a necessary aspect of creating a human ego---- separating yourself out from the world. The people we criticize are puppets themselves and so how can someone with insight call "THEM" evil? Dividing the world into us and them is one of the oldest, and certainly one of the most illusory, motivations in human history. Motivations which may be necessary, but that does not mean everyone has to believe in the division. Not everyone has to believe in these motivations, just most.

This division certainly seems to be obvious in stuff happening now in the middle east. I am not saying we do not wage war against them. I am saying we do not assume they are different from us. For we all fall into, indeed are defined by, this mental proclivity for dividing the world into two. And if we assume the world falls into us versus them, then we are just imitating those people we dislike. For how 'they can do terrible things' is because all the problems in their world are "out there," and therefore personal, internal alteration or growth in thinking is not even called for. That, and yeah, they're pissed off. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Aquinas Anyone?

The writings of St. Thomas Aquinas have a lot in common with those of modern scientists.

Both were concerned to diagram, to connect, to define, every aspect of experience, with a kind of imperialistic ambition. The result for both sets of writings is that of a load of cartons piled up. Moving house, or embarking on a voyage.

Except that Aquinas left room to move, in the world he diagrammed. His flow chart allowed for flow. Or let's say the cartons have holes in them, like for a pet carrier. 

His modern counterparts cannot move because they cannot step back and get a sense of what has been accomplished. Their world is defined by exclusionary principles with no basis in science, and so their procrustean sleeping bag in fact is more binding than restful. 

Aquinas's concern to include Aristotle, which is a kind of intellectual binding, is actually liberating because it inspires growth, original thinking. The comparable rule binding modern scientists, variations of the principle of verification, results in excisions of reality that in fact, are blinding. 

There is room in the world Aquinas sketches, for questions about the content of the cardboard itself.  Modern science, insisting they can answer that kind of question, wind up with babbling on subjects like free will, or nothingness. Their rejection of metaphysics is at the cost of espousing a metafizzle.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Just some questions

How come is there no word for not believing in evil. About god, who is really competent to say? But an existence of evil seems to be one thing everyone can agree on. 

No one challenges this concept, no one wonders the word cannot be discarded. No one hesitates to use the word "evil" for fear of being misunderstood. Who wonders there are no synonyms, for a word universally apparently --- needed. Lots of words for that clown called a devil, satan, the tempter.Just like words for some god. But evil itself, seems to be an incontrovertible axis of the world, so obviously extant that no verbal glosses are critical. Some define it differently, but who is ready to toss the concept.  

Not everybody's got a god, but everybody's got an evil. Whether you call it that word or not, you know there is "evil." There seems to be something the matter with the world. And imagine the counter-examples that would be thrown at you if you dared suggest, there is no evil. 

The faith of people that there is such a thing as evil must be functional, based on the above observations. And functional is the next question and we can address it soon in this forum.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Seeing is NOT believing, anymore

Seeing is NOT believing in a world where all images are manipulated. I am not talking about the unreliability of eye-witness testimony, so much in the news recently. My reference is to the ubiquity of photo manipulation. 

In our world all photographs are manipulated, processed, photoshopped. This is an intelligent assumption to make when you gaze at any photo that comes to your attention. Your first reaction should be, this is fake. I have noticed however, when mentioning this to sophisticated people, a reaction of shock. 

There are a number of unpleasant results from this widespread alternation of photographs. Here I do not mean people presented with unrealistic body images they try to imitate. That has been going on for millenia. I may elaborate on this in another post. 

There are pleasant results from this common tinkering with the images that flow across the web, and our consciousness. The sky is brighter, human sympathy may in fact be becoming enlarged. 

And in fact, this development of widespread tinkering is part of larger changes, ultimately, for the good, though the results are typically seen by one's children. I just say--- assume a picture is fake, the first time you see it.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Groundhogs and Shadows

How many grounds does a groundhog chuck
if a groundhog could chuck mysteries--Grok
This- at least one: 
where are the shadows of words?
For every speech has one;
I would say ---every word has a shadow,
every word  is a nest, with  a bird 
the intellect cannot detect--
But that confuses the metaphor of  a grandchuck's shadow.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The real story behind a real headline

The real story behind a real headline. Which headline is

I am sure the article is comparing 2000 vs the 17 lives lost in the terrorist attack on the office of a satirical magazine in Paris, last week. No doubt wondering how the media could focus on lives lost on such a smaller scale.  

The reason for the discrepancy is not primarily racism, or media obtuseness. The real reason is that the media felt some of their own were attacked. "Their own" being fellow scribblers. Their attention followed their hearts. 

This phenomenon is not apparent just in humans. My case though is built on the observation of the way toddlers look at each other in passing cars. Their little heads swivel first to another child in another car, before other possible topics of interest. Same thing with geezers.

Now, this I have noticed for years. What only recently came to my attention is that dogs do the same thing. Again, it was passengers in passing cars that alerted me to what is a widespread, one assumes genetic, interest in others similar to oneself. Dogs also swirl their heads to observe another dog in another vehicle. 

This analysis points to the basic causes. It does not rule out other factors playing a part. But we first need to understand the original impulses if we are to evaluate any possible remedies. 

In this case the underlying cause is the interest writers have, in other--- writers. And they cannot help it. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

He had a what

There's a space there--- a gap -- which can be extended.
Just some dings for the dumb
you get, that you want to be the 'dumb'..... This may be way to much to put out in public....