do not bring up political ideology nor religion nor shit concerning gender roles…because its too polarizing and you won’t succeed in changing anyone’s mind and no one’s interested In hearing extremist manifestos
Delete/lock if it becomes a shitstorm
I remember reading genghis Khan’s supposed letters to taoist monk, Khan was asking the monk looking for higher more fulfilling way of being, but the monk admitted that he was unsure himself due to the fact that he lived as a monk and was ignorant towards the ways of the world…
As pretentious as it looks, I still think stuff like that is thought provoking
if you like “practical philosophy” , the greeks are a great place to start - epicureanism , hedonism , stoicism , etc.
do not neglect eastern philosophy because of its practicality either , scholars tend to disregard it for not being as “rigorous” or as “science” , some may even place the study of these philosophical systems as a subset of theology . though yes, religious, Buddhism (of all sects) , taoism , confucianism etc. and the sort can offer much wisdom and perspective - even schopenhauer drew much inspiration from buddhism . : )
I don’t have time for a good sit down this week (maybe on the holiday weekend), but I will say you can’t cut religious and political ideology out of a philisophical discussion; especially political contemplations.
Almost every great philosopher, and nearly all modern ones, were individuals critically examining the social order of society.
You can’t even examine eastern philosophy without at once compelling the consideration of ones role in society and society’s role unto the individual.
That monk in the OP is already a political conversation as well as a religious one.
Does the pursuit of the self require religious backing, and further does it require liberation from society?
Further, does society exist to support the liberation of the individual from society, or does an individual reclused from it to pursue their self violate a habitat that is inherent in a relationship between the two?
Further still, can an individual find their self absent of society, or have they found something else? That is, is their such a thing as a self absent of its society, or is the monk mistaken in thinking they have actually absented themselves? For only in their society can they and their vocation and path have been produced; not in, for example, the aboriginal tribal society of Australia.
And finally, does peace of the self exist as true if it is obtained by removing ones self from the trappings of its societal gambits, or has one simply chosen to learn how to balance themselves on a boat by getting off and walking on land, and therefore, finding no real balance at all, but instead stability by retreat from the challenge?
Which, given the monk, begs the question of his case, did his religion facilitate his self balance, or hinder it?
They are inherently knotted together; religion, politics, and philosophy. This is because they all come from the same core of attempting to discern how to live and how to make sense of our surrounding. They differ in approach and application, but are related to each other like in-laws whom you simply cannot ignore just for the want of avoiding an argument.
I don’t know if this is bullshit, but I feel like I remember being taught in college class that one is more likely to get long runs of 1s and 0s than alternating patterns if you ran lots of random strings of the two digits.
I don’t know what it means (and again if it is true), but the if true its kind of fascinating.
After being raised vaguely Christian, reading a lot of Eastern/Buddhist poetry and texts and analyzing my own experiences that the best life philosophy is to try to live by the golden rule, but don’t be naive in thinking people won’t try to screw you. IE; you can be kind to people and help strangers and not trust them at the same time.
OK, I ended up having a bit of time, so I’ll drop my thoughts on the topic of the OP.
Now, as it happens, this is a thought that is close to my heart. One which I spent a number of years pondering and working out for myself.
To me, this question distills down to the very essence of Buddhism, which can be summarized into one question: Can the enlightenment be attained by removing oneself from regular societal life?
My answer to this, in the shortest possible expression, is, "No."
My answer in full comes in the form of Bomanism.
Don’t bother googling that. I made it up. It stands for Balance Of Motion And Nature. It’s just a way to reference an ideological set which is a discourse on a response to Buddhism.
Though Bomanism is, in its foundation, a critical response to Buddhism, it is not a philosophy of negation, but one of positive inclusion.
To explain my answer of, "No", we first have to examine the Buddhist idea of enlightenment.
The Buddhist ideal of enlightenment is defined at one layer as occurring when an individual finds the truth of life, and reaches Nirvana. Different Buddhist traditions interpret this differently. Some hold this in a metaphysical way including a cycle of rebirth, while others do not comment on the metaphysical and instead consider that truth of life to be the end goal itself.
Regardless of the tradition, they all attribute the attainment of enlightenment to be something which is accomplished through the “Middle Way”. The basic outline of the Middle Way is a way of surpassing, transcending, or reconciling the duality that defines an individual’s inherent means of thinking; one which is seen as inherently causing discord and strife within the individual. Trapping them into a life of disharmony with their own self and the world around them; effectively constantly swinging back and forth between what is actually an artificial juxtaposition of motivations to feel and act.
This is by seeing the physical aspects of life as temporal, the very nature of life as containing non-substantial aspects (such as the mind), and seeing unification of these two through surpassing their apparent differences. It is further seen that there is an inseparability of the body from the mind, or the self from the environment.
A similar physical iteration of this is in particle physics, specifically quantum physics, where there can be no meaningful discussion of the distinction between a quantum subject and the measurement apparatus. That to take a measurement is to at once be part of the subject at such a scale, like a cloud attempting to measure the breeze just above the ground. Impossible. As soon as you attempt to move in to take that measurement, you have inherently affected the subject of investigation by shear volume, regardless how fine you may attempt to become - you cannot become small enough, because the smallest amount of information capable of being trafficked is the very scale with which you will be interacting.
Now, in Buddhism, one of the biggest hurdles than an individual faces is in reconciling the self. That is, that there is no self. This is the nature of anatta, or anatman; that there is no soul, no essence in the nature of living beings. This marks one of the three great truths of Buddhism. The other two being that nothing lasts (anicca), and that dissatisfaction, or suffering, is an innate part of living (dukkha).
Then there is the four noble truths, which are based on these three truths of reality.
They assert that an individual is inherently going to suffer in some form or another (dukkha), that they will be attached to a desire of some form or another (samudaya), that an end to the suffering can be achieved through eliminating the attachment of desire (nirodha), and that this can be done through the path outlined in Buddhism (marga).
Ignoring the fourth noble truth as dogmatic for the moment, we’ll only concern ourselves with the first three ideas.
We are inherently suffering
Freedom from suffering is through detachment from desire
This gets spun around these days in many ways, as well as apologetically explained as not meaning "suffering" in the typical terms, nor "desire" in the typical terms, but the straight-forward and honest consideration is that these concepts mean exactly this, regardless of how we spin them to apply.
There is no difference between torment and unrest requiring splitting the hair of what "suffering" means, nor is there a need to parse out "addiction" from "positive goals" or "subconscious wants".
This is where Bomanism begins its rejection of Buddhism.
It agrees in form with Buddhism in that there is no separation between the spiritual and physical, and that there is no separate soul within living beings, and it agrees that there will be suffering and desire.
However, it disagrees that there is no self, and disagrees that detachment form desire leads to a removal of suffering. Further, it rejects the goal of removing suffering as being a valid pursuit in the first place.
In Bomanism, you might have as well just suggested that you can give an accurate time by removing all odd numbers from time keeping. That would not be an accurate time measurement anymore than removing suffering from life is an accurate account of being a whole human who is living a full human life.
To Bomanism, there is nothing to escape from, nothing to detach from. Instead, there is only a life which should be dove into. Firstly, let’s define the self because that is important to understanding this idea in Bomanism. In Bomanism, there is no “self”. There is only the “self nature”. This is where there is a disagreement with Buddhism. Buddhism would say that there is no essence to an individual, whereas Bomanism asserts that there is an essence to an individual. That essence is everything that they are on total by consequence of existing as a physical being. What produces their behavior, actions, and thoughts - that is there essence. The basic natural occurrence of their identity as notable in being different from another human being in some fashion or another.
This is self-nature. It is inherent. It does not require attainment. You don’t need to attain your true self, or find it. It’s inherently there when you’re born and its with you always, even when you’re looking for your true self, you’re inherently acting within the parameters of your self-nature.
A mild form of disagreement with Buddhism is in the idea is that while there is agreement that there is no such thing as the difference between mind and body, Bomanism does disagree that there is such a thing as the non-substantial. This is because Bomanism sees the mind as no different from the brain.
Further, consciousness is not a floating thing without substance in Bomanism. Consciousness is, in propagation, akin to the word, "run"; that is, akin to an intransitive verb.
Consider for a moment that when someone points to a person in quick forward motion and says, "They are running.", we do not consider the act of running as a separate floating non-substantial element to their physical existence. There is no "source of running" in their body, and at the same time, there is no difference between the physical existence of their body and their running. Running is an emergent behavior of the physical constituencies, and if you were to attempt to drill down and find where "running" is contained in the body, you would never find it. You would find all sorts of indicators as to what parts of the body are involved in running, but you would never find a regional or singular locality of running anywhere in the body. Further, we are not stunned to find that when the person sits down that running no longer exists. We do not suppose that their running continues onward in some other dimension of existence, nor do we consider that the non-substantiality of running has been surpassed by a recognition of the truth that there is no running in all actuality.
No, there is running in all actuality. It simply has stopped, and it is also of no difference from the body in motion. It is a form of movement of physical constituencies in concert.
This is the case with consciousness. It just so happens to be a concert involving, in heavy part, our brain and physical actions and exchanges which we cannot watch quite as easily as observing an individual running.
That’s what consciousness is: running.
The only real difference between a human consciousness and a feline consciousness is in regards to the nature of complexity and articulated movement in the constituencies.
It would be as if to presume that a slug does not run, but a dog does.
Certainty, but we’re now only talking about the difference of articulation. The slug still has a difference in movement of speed, and has a speed higher than its lowest speed. It just happens to lack the limbs capable of our definition of running. However, in both, we can find increased movement as an emergent behavior to the capacity of the creature. Similarly goes consciousness in this regard.
So non-substantiality is rejected because there is no such thing as an actually non-substantial thing in the first place. It is merely a consequence of categorical cognition we use as a means of articulating thought and forming a consequence of a premise in thinking so that we can achieve more greatly articulated forms of critical thinking. That’s it. And a thought is a physical process, not a non-substantial thing. There is no non-substantial thing as “mind”. There’s “your thoughts”, and “your thoughts” are a consequence of your brain’s movement - it’s running. And so you are your brain and no different from it, regardless how it feels.
Subjective capgras impressively highlights this in showing us that the brain can operate in such a physical manner as to cause the individual to reject their own image in the mirror as their own self, often thereby believing that they are, in spite of all other sensations, not actually really alive.
So, for this reason, self-nature is inherently attained and not something to be sought after, or dismissed as not real. It is real, and it is inherent within every living thing to the fullest of their capacity both subconsciously and consciously.
This brings us to the second aspect, then. Detachment.
Here is the critical and largest difference between Bomanism and Buddhism.
Where Buddhism would suggest that desire leads to suffering and being attached to suffering, and that one needs to be liberated from suffering to reach true attainment, Bomanism says, effectively, "Dive In!"
It says this because it’s held that you inherently have self-nature, and therefore balance of your self-nature means simply being at peace with yourself - your true and full self.
Now, you can’t possibly be at balance with your self-nature if you detach from it! Nor can you really live a full human life by detaching from regular daily life as a human in a human society! That won’t be real balance with your full self-nature; it would be balance with a muted version of your self-nature.
You are inseparable from your environment; there is no such thing as you and your environment. Only you in your environment. Your response, both subconsciously and consciously to your environment comprises an aspect of your being your self and therefore is part of your self-nature.
Further, it’s a bit of a cop-out. No one in mass volume is looking for restfulness and self-satisfaction devoid of living a regular life! They might idealize it, and they may take time to go away and detach for a while, which is healthy!, but no one is largely asking to not have life as a human within a human society.
That’s just not very useful as a solution to feeling like shit. Which is what Buddhism is essentially. Buddhism: a guide to not feeling like shit every day of your life.
Meanwhile, Bomanism is the following. Bomanism: It’s OK to feel like shit! Enjoy life goddamnit!
And that’s because in Bomanism, the ONLY way to learn your self-nature is by the tugs and pull upon your emotions that you experience in your daily life. Family, friends, work, play…everything. It all pushes and pulls on your emotions, and how they push and pull, how they cause you to feel - what vexes you, what doesn’t. What brings you joy, what angers you, and why… these tell you who you are to yourself.
They teach you your self-nature. The goal is to be at peace with your self-nature, rather than fighting or wrestling with it. If you are biologically depressive, for example, then this is part of your self-nature, and you should work on coming to terms with that as part of yourself. It’s not a shitty part of yourself - it’s PART of yourself. Removing it from ever having been a part of yourself is to remove yourself.
Now, you grow, you change, and that’s the entire premise of Bomanism. Movement. Everything is in motion. That’s what reality is. Motion. That’s all that really exists. Physical matter moving from one state to another: motion.
You don’t sit still as an identity. Your self-nature (your totality as “you” that makes up your “you-i-ness” to include your physical body, memories, experiences, environments, and relationships) is itself in motion. Like a boat. To find your balance with your self-nature is akin to learning to walk on a boat; getting your sea-legs. If you keep running to one ideology or another and grabbing it for balance, this is as if you are gaining balance on a boat by clinging to a rail. That’s not balance; that’s reliance for stability.
Getting off of the boat isn’t getting balance either. Balance is only found by being in the rocking boat, and going about what you need to do on the boat as it rocks around. Then you learn how to balance on the boat.
The same is true of your self-nature. Coming to peace with your self-nature is only going to happen by experiencing life and reflecting on what that teaches you about yourself, appreciating what has been learned, and letting things move naturally in their course - including desire; desire is normal and physiologically functional and healthy! It’s part of our evolutionary composition for a reason just like fear! If you desired nothing, then you would do VERY little, and that doesn’t benefit the community much at all, nor would you develop as a person by doing anything and interacting with other humans and animals on this planet. You might as well be a piece of plastic floating on the ocean, for all that you’re worth to yourself and the planet by avoiding desire!
Randomness is a perception.
There isn’t a natural property of randomness. We’ll never find an up or down quark of randomness.
Randomness is the situation of two or more pieces of matter having high orders of constituencies with high orders of interactions which leads to a high order of probabilities to such a point as to cause our ability to determine the result predicatively to fail.
When someone says that something is random, what that means is that a computational quantification limit has been hit. It doesn’t mean that cause and effect suddenly absented physical reality.
It’s akin to infinity. Infinity truly means that something is beyond our comprehension. Many old languages, most of which are now dead languages, first formed the articulation of infinity by using the horizon as a root of the phrase or word as a reference point. That is, things beyond the horizon were effectively beyond comprehension. It didn’t imply that the horizon went on forever. It simply meant that there was a capacity that stretched beyond the facility of the mind attempting comprehension of the subject and information.
Infinity basically means, “fuck it…”
So does, “random”. It basically means, “fuck it…”
But some autistic savants can walk in and take a look at the same thing that the majority of the world would see as random, and see exact finite relationships.
Further still, a supercomputer can find orders greater finiteness to far more complex situations of constituencies to a point far beyond the extremes of what would be considered random.
It’s just a concept, but physical nature doesn’t have random in itself. It has probability, but not randomness.
If randomness was a real quantity of nature, then we wouldn’t exist. If randomness was a core principle of physical reality, then it would always outweigh the finite order by default of iteration superiority for true randomness would always have within itself a truly infinite supply of varying iterations without constituent pattern of consequence, and therefore things like entropy would not exist.
Instead, what there is, is a situation where we have an environment filled with so many tiny things (e.g. virtual particles, quarks) in such a massively large volume (the entire universe) in such a fine environment (quantum scale, or smaller, the Planck scale), that the ability to actually interact with and determine the consequence or progressive determinant relationships (causal relationship) of even a tiny fraction of this stuff is literally impossible outside of simply assigning it a probability for any behavior.
Basically…it’s all WAY too complex and too slippery to obtain a finite computation, so we can see it as random, but it’s not.
See, to me, that’s not random.
It’s incredibly complex in orders of possibilities and behavioral characteristics, but it’s not random.
If you can find a mean to something, then it has a tendency in volume. If it has a tendency in volume, then it has a tendency. If it has a tendency, then it’s not random.
It’s like the difference between the percent of a population having cancer and your chance of getting cancer. Just because you can get the former, doesn’t mean you have the latter. But just because you can’t determine your chance of getting cancer from the collective mean, doesn’t mean that your chance of getting cancer is random. It’s simply that you are too narrow of a view to determine given the complexity of the constituent systems so it takes a large volume of samples to determine the pattern.
The “random” bit is that you can’t predict the outcome, but that doesn’t mean that the physics that are operating are doing so through a random property inherent within themselves.
They are behaving exactly to their order, but that order is too varied and complex to predict a finite result.
What you can do, however, is what he did: predict the range given the mean and quatify the result by the deviation of the sample from the mean.
True random physics wouldn’t be capable of offering this option. There would be no mean. Only at best a very large range.
This thread is pretty random, as in: “without definite aim, direction, rule, or method”, the primary definition of “Random” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary;)
Arguing that something “beyond our comprehension” cannot be random seems to me untenable, - since, if we cannot understand it, we’re unable to defend the position. Instead it becomes a matter of ideology, religious belief - or pure guesswork.
The search for randomness is, in my opinion, an ongoing task for science.
Well not really, unless “some guy in Alaska” counts as coining it.
I made up the name as a title for a collection of my ideas on the subject since calling it…
(read in John Cleese voice)
“A Collective Essay in Responded Rejection in Form to the Ontological Premises of Buddhism with Retention of the Central Aim of Coping with Life Seeming to Feel so God-aweful at Times to the Extent of Existential Crisis in Some Individuals, * draws breath *…FOR the Express Purpose of Mitigating the Focus Upon Avoidance of the World with the Position that One is Perfectly Fine Feeling Like Aaabs-O-Lute Shit Sometimes Because that’s Exactly the kind of thing being Fully Present in a Life Filled with Bumbling Idiots Like Oneself Causes Just to Accomplish the Excited Position of also Feeling…JOY!”
… didn’t seem terribly convenient or roll off the tongue quite so well.
Something I really like about Buddhist ethics, is the way it differs from Christian ethics with regards to individual action.
In Christian culture you’re supposed to go out and actively “do good” (and convert everyone else to Christianity while you’re at it). If you refuse to take part in this, then you’re guilty of not following the rules - and should feel bad about yourself. Nothing is ever really good enough, though (only God is good enough), and so you live out your life in a constant state of guilt and stress about “not doing enough good deeds” and “not being a good enough person”.
In Buddhism (in Theravada Buddhism in particular), the focus is instead on abstaining from harming anyone (yourself included). “Abstaining from”, basically means: “not doing it”, or: “non-action”. You are, in other words, not supposed to go out and “do good”. In fact, doing as little as possible is often the best solution. Sit on your ass all day if you like, - as long as you’re not harming anyone, then that’s perfectly acceptable.
It is perhaps worth noting that Buddhist “minimal action” is closely related to the Taoist concept of “wu wei”: