this blog is the continuation of a genuine mystical tradition, unless you get in daily contemplative time and abstain to a significant degree from "entertainment" then you are just wasting your time and mine !
zen_mystical message board
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I think you are taking and justifying a position, it takes more detail work to go past opinions into what reads well !this is the one thing I have found again and again, no-one does any real work, like you could research what you have just said and it could take half a day of research at least to get a complex and more interesting view of freud and what insanity is and does !and what is insanity?
not justifying a position. I just thought you'd find the comparison interesting. Not everything has to be perfectly developed. It seems your autism is kicking in here ! It was a pointer to some new connection that could be of value. I spent much more than half day studying Freud in this life! - insanity is structurally indistinguishable from sanity - it is just that in insanity, some tendencies are so intensified that they no longer allow a person to function in society in a stable way ... for instance, if someone posts 10 hours a day on /r/zen trying to defend his view on what some monks said in 12 century China, that could fit into the definition above. Insanity is not irrational, in fact it can be highly rational. "The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason" - Chesterton; this is very imprecise because Chesterton was not a psychoanalyst. He's referring to the "psychosis / paranoia " family of insanity which include autism (a very mild version of psychosis)
no, it's dull and dated thinking ! freud is basically wrong and neurobiology is the correct paradigm !yes insanity can be highly rational !maybe it isn'tmaybe its just nonsense !I just really don't feel what you write with this abstract stuff is hitting the mark at all, just wasting my time to read !
Then I won't waste your time no more !
lacan/freud is sounding very like Slavoj Zizek !are you Slovakian or Croatian, I don't understand the in's and outs of the nationalities around there, an explanation would be useful !you are just not familar with the advances in neurobiology and especially brain imaging in the last ten years in the west so the whole lacan/freud thing is extremely dated now !
Yes, Slovenian. I went to the same Univ. as Žižek -/ where he also oficially teaches now, although he's almost never there. Slovakia and Slovenia are two different countries people mix them up which is completely understandable since the name is so similar and also the flags!I'm not gonna harp on the Lacan/Freud thing and I will admit I'm not familiar with the latest advanced in neurobiology and brain imaging. It's not really something that's important to me, to be honest.PS: Sorry that I sometimes delete posts. People tell me it's a bad habit. But then again, when we talk, things don't become permanent and stay there forever like on the Internet. I don't like seeng everything I say staying there forever. Sometimes I say something stupid.
*Correction; most of the times I say stupid things. Sometimes when I'm really lucky I manage to write something that is acceptable
yeah I have noticed that about you, you generally get things righter the second time !the point about writing is to develop us so we are a bit different in a positive way when we have finished !I have been my own editor for many years now and I have learnt how hard it is to tell what is worthwhile of what one writes, but space is free on the web , so I (basically?) just put everything up and don't lose any sleep over it ! :o)(
An3drew, the neurobiology paradigm is kinda weak too. There is no cogent theory of how the brain works at large yet, and the standard model of physics does not include consciousness. In neuroscience, we have stuff like the thalamo-cortical models (http://www.pnas.org/content/105/9/3593.long) and the default mode network (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Default_mode_network), but both of them are incomplete and works in progress. It will be a long time before we can make a good theory of how the brain functions at large, and I have a feeling significant understanding of math, neurobiology, and programming will all intersect in order to answer this question within the computational neuroscience field. I view the mesoscopic level of the brain, rather than the micro- and macro- scopic levels, as being the most important (check out Rhythms of the Brain by Buzsaki - the chapter on hippocampal dynamics and phase precession is very interesting), but this field is still growing.Also, imaging techniques are not as robust as people may have you believe. There are significant limitations on all the methodologies. I can go in-depth into all of this if you're interested... but I don't see it as being relevant to Chan/Zen.It will be a long time before questions like the binding problem, enactivism vs. representationalist debate, hard problem of consciousness, externalist vs. internalist, or etc. debates are settled. These are even of deeper philosophical significance, and I do not feel like incomplete sciences can address them well. This is why Godel's Incompleteness Theorem has always fascinated them...
You still get cool stuff in neurobiology such as Henry Molaison and Clive Wearing:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vwigmktix2YYou should read what Clive Wearing said in his journal:"In a diary provided by his caretakers, Clive was encouraged to record his thoughts. Page after page is filled with entries similar to the following:8:31 AM: Now I am really, completely awake. (marked out)9:06 AM: Now I am perfectly, overwhelmingly awake. (marked out)9:34 AM: Now I am superlatively, actually awake.Earlier entries are usually crossed out, since he forgets having made an entry within minutes and dismisses the writings–he does not know how the entries were made or by whom, although he does recognize his own writing. Wishing to record "waking up for the first time", he still wrote diary entries in 2007, more than two decades after he started them."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clive_Wearing
lol, i am abit like that :o)
consciousness is a false problem !I have been following the imaging and neurobiological research for years and it's fait accompli as the tautological brain paradigmof course research is endless...............there are interesting aspects like how neurons sort of cascade and avalanche in a manner to access quantum space..............
Consciousness is a real issue. The question of whether it has a strict identity with neural activity is more of a philosophical one (i.e., is neural activity and qualia the same thing?) that is not easy to address. Eliminativism and token-token reductionism are both crazy positions. We can get more into that, if you want. I am not very fond of people like Patricia Churchland or Daniel Dennett. We can definitely say our mental lives depend on proper brain functioning for its existence (i.e., contingency), but we cannot say they have a strict identity (i.e., the same identical thing - neural activity - reductionism).I am a Neuroscience undergrad major and I will get my degree next semester. I am almost done with Neuroimaging and my other classes this semester.I can say Neuroimaging is very useful, but we don't have a cogent framework of how the brain functions at large yet. We just have bits and pieces here, but until we have a theory of the brain, we can't really derive many principles about how it functions at large. It's like a fragmented picture where we have no idea how to put all the pieces back together. Like I said, the Default Mode Network and Thalamocortical Models are far from providing a cohesive picture yet. Also, you seem to posit research proceeds in a linear fashion where we "reach" a point wherein we get a better picture, but that too is disputable (e.g., check out Thomas Kuhn or Paul Feyerabend).Also, EEG (measuring the electrical dipoles summated outer cortical neurons that are parallely oriented), MEG (measures the magnetic field perpendicular to the electrical current) and fMRI (an indirect measure of paramagnetic deoxygenated hemoglobin) are all from the macroscopic level. What about mesoscopic level which is more important than the micro- and macro-? We know even less at that level! We haven't even reverse engineered a crayfish yet (i.e., put it in a software like AnimatLab).I will go a step further and say we don't even have the functional language to address the hard problem of consciousness. We have no way to formalize the answer because it involves too much at once. The neuron doctrine itself is disputable as you hint at.Honestly, while this is cool stuff, I think philosophy should be viewed as separate from scientific enquiry. Scientific enquiry can strengthen philosophical inquiry though. I think the stuff the Indian philosophers debated about (i.e., the Carvakans, Buddhists, Jains, Hindus, and etc.) had universal value, Same with other cultures (e.g., China had more than just Daoists and Chan Buddhists). I do not like the Continental Tradition with Zizek or Lacan or Derrida as much because they get too wordy and obfuscate their main points.
there's something completely different about jacques derrida compared to any of the others (Lacan, zizek)while you understand consciousness as a separate issue you constrain yourself and your understanding, but honestly the price of really sorting it out is not worth it :o)
I still think understand the neural correlates of consciousness is very valuable.I still view neuroscience as a young, but very interesting, field. The brain is vitally important for every element of our mental lives. Frontal lobe dysfunction is strongly correlated with rash behavior and violent tendencies. The examples of proper brain health to our mental lives are innumerable. Moreover, understanding neurobiology and memory, a class I'm almost done with, is very useful in helping others with memory deficits and etc.But in terms of philosophical enquiry, I do not view neuroscience as providing much of a perspective. I find neurophilosophers like Thomas Metzinger as a waste of time. I do not view neuroscience as useful in understanding Chan or self-realization in poetic expression, what this blog seems to deal with.
what I have found useful is the research in recent years showing the brains of those with autistic spectrum disorders/reorders as structurally different, that is the herd is the way it is because it has "herd brains"real understanding is extremely rare and it can't occur unless the brain is certain way !btw einstein's brain was structurally quite different with very enhanced inter hemispheric connectivity amongst other things no doubt !http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-10/fsu-who100413.php
Frequent mindfulness training has also been shown to positively affect brain structure. I wrote an essay about it. I can link it to you, if you're interested. There is generally increased grey matter density in the insula, some fronta-temporal areas, and etc in those that practice MT. Some DTI studies have also shown there are more denser, mylienated connections in some areas (my paper addresses that).The macroscopic structural differences are interesting, but I wish it was possible to view the mesoscopic dynamical changes... that will be in a long time when new imaging technologies come out.
Andrew, why do you think Derrida is special among the post-modern philosophers?Reading Sepehr G. I remembered why I don't accept reductionism ( mind = brain) - it's a very simple metaphor. If I say "Mind is not the brain" - someone will show me example of how brain damage affects the mind. But then I always say: look at the radio or TV receiver. If you damage it, you can't see anything. It won't show the channels, just scrambled noise. Yet, to infer from that : therefore, the channels, the newscasters, the words coming from the tv set, were all "produced" by the TV would not be really correct. The brain is like a radio receiver for the Mind - perhaps the best we know of - but the Mind itself is something else. It is in everything. the Greek philosopher Heraclitus called it Logos and said only fools think the Logos is some private thing. It is shared by all. So I think Sepehr G. is right, that no matter how much brain scanning we do, we won't come to any answers about the essence of Zen or philosophical questions. But I also suspect you're right to say "consciousness is a false problem" - this is why we need philosophy, to question the questions themselves, the problems themselves. Questions are never innocent. "What is consciousness?" - already presupposes too much. Is there such a thing, how can we prove there is, what if it's just an illusion?
it took me a long long time to understand Jacques derrida, but basically he's a mystic ! also head and shoulders intellectually above most other philosophers and actually one of the all time greats like heraclitus and schopenhauer
Derrida a mystic, interesting. In my student years I mostly focused on Heidegger. I believe he was a major influence on Derrida (his Destruktion influenced Derrida's deconstruction). One day I'll have to study Derrida. My problem with postmodern philosophers especially French is that sometimes they're complicated on purpose - they love jargon that sounds cryptic and impenetrable. They can be voynichy. But I remember reading some things from Derrida I really liked, such as his analysis of giving / the gift - was brilliant. Grammatology was impenetrable. Perhaps I was too young.
derrida is really very zen, he's always eroding the frame of reference you approach him from !
I think what distinguishes good philosophy from bad or useful from useless is to get out of the "field of uroboros" problem where (wherein?) a herd of uroboros is just fenced in a pasture and set to graze which imo your post on mind being a tv or radio receiver is !it's just a collection of meaningless recursions which don't go anywhere and all the skill is in being able to create something meaningful out of what is the meaningless recursion that we know as life ! ; o ()
An3drew, I can understand your like for Derrida, but I feel as if you misinterpret Schopenhauer.He's pretty much like a Neo-Advaitan in Kantian clothes. Also, what Zakaj says is pretty similar to Schopenhauer's Will-in-Itself. Schopenhauer was actually a dual-aspect theorist though...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39S8nFA_50UAre you referring to Schopenhauer's aphorisms, ethics, or etc.? I can definitely say his metaphysics wouldn't be your cup of tea especially since it resembles existence monism.
"derrida is really very zen, he's always eroding the frame of reference you approach him from !"What about "zen" as a frame of reference? or "mysticism"? why do you think those are adequate to approach Derrida?
sepehr, schopenhauer is quite readable,you are just going on the opinions of others and need to do some reading yourself !http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/s/schopenhauer/arthur/
zajak, you really have to tackle the ouroboros, pasturing them only goes in the same old circle!-------------schopenhauer and heraclitus are about the only philosophers i can read direct the rest make me ill : o) derrida really shines in audio and video, there's some very good you tubes of him, i think the woman interviewer was in love with him so it has an intensity !
You say "people don't do the work" - and then you say something like "derrida shines on video - there's some very good you tubes of him"Watching YouTube videos of a philosopher is really "doing the work"?
he's not a native English speaker, so you need more information than the printed page provides for him and video and audio does that!plus there is natural sympathy between him and the interviewer which helps!I can appreciate one who has studied the endless verbal turge of Heidegger being traumatized by my recommendation and actually preference of derrida on video and audio !actually there is a video of heidegger on youtube and I also found that much more informative than his writings !http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_vYz4nQUcs
Why do you need audio and video to understand non-native English speakers? Do you need audio and video to understand Dostoevsky, therefore, or Schopenhauer, or Heraclitus?I searched "turge" and couldn't find the meaning. My spell-checker tells me it's not a real word. But it sounds like you're belittling philosophy - without even having "done the work" - without having studied the masterworks!You're attached to what is ultimately inessential - images and emotions. Perhaps this is why poets cannot be good philosophers. I can't think of a good one. Hölderlin wrote a good essay on Fichte, but that was a one-hit wonder. Nietzsche was both, but his poems are incredibly ugly. It seems the two skills don't come in pair.You consider something as inessential as the interviewer woman's emotions for Derrida interesting compared to Derrida's theory! That shows an effeminate attitude towards philosophy. You're probably more interested in a thinker's personality and life than his theory.Heidegger once said that all we need to know about Aristotle is that he was born, he lived, and he died. Those three biographical facts are all we need to know to understand him. What that means is that to know a thinker, don't look at his face, his voice, his slips of tongue, his mannerisms, his relationships to others - but go and look at his work! Only the work counts.This redeems you. I will not judge Andrew Levine by looking at his amateurish attitude to philosophy, I will not judge Andrew by looking at his smug posts on Reddit in which he "lols" at others from his patriarchal high-horse - instead, I will look at his work - his poems! My appreciation there does not depend on anything else. Work alone matters!
(I just remembered Plato was a poet before meeting Socrates. After meeting Socrates, he burned all his poems. Burning all his poetry was his first act of philosophy! Perhaps if later Plato met the 7th Patriarch, he'd burn all his philosophical texts?)
the difference is and I have tried to explain it is that if you tackle the ouroboros and master it then you can short cut philosophy and philosophers, like for instance understanding derrida through the videosyou are calling it amateurish but actually it transcends philosophy which is limited, sort of a pasturing the ouroborous so to speak and that's is actually why I like derrida because he transcends philosophy :o)its your very inability to see what I am talking about that limits you !why would I think that derrida being interviewed by a woman that loved him was important for instance ?why did I link to that video of Heidegger, it wasn't the stuff he wrote but the goethe quote that was important and why was that important ?what I write is like a surface on quite a deep sea, you are welcome to explore or ignore that depth as you will :o)(
What do you mean by mastering the ouroboros? No longer being enslaved to problems of recursion?
the eyein the needlesotospeak !
I don't understand.
Needle at sea bottom
So you (Sepehr - btw. is that a real name? Sounds really cool!) - and Andrew have some direct mystical insight and you're pointing at it with these metaphors? "the language of the uncreate" ? Like an idiolect only enlightened people can understand ?
I'm unenlightened so I don't understand.
this is a sufi story about the mystic rabia basri!she lost a needle and started to look for it in a well lit area of the house, others joined her but after much searching, they still could not find it !she then told them it had actually been lost in a dark corner where it is difficult to find and made the criticism that people try to understand ultimate reality in a similar way, only looking where they can see easilyand are amongst the familiar !
This is what she told them: "This is what you people do . You are looking for happiness in the worldly pleasures . But it is not there . You will find it in helping the sick and the weak, in giving charity to the poor and in remembering the God"
nah that's bullshit !
Being cryptic is, too.
you want the needle to be in a familiar place that's why you think it's cryptic, but cryptic is just the needle telling you it's not where you think it is !