inb4 not literature. How is it not literature? Definition (Wikipedia): "Literature consists of written productions, often restricted to those deemed to have artistic or intellectual value." Other definition (Brittanica): "Literature, a body of written works. The name has traditionally been applied to those imaginative works of poetry and prose distinguished by the intentions of their authors and the perceived aesthetic excellence of their execution."
>>7651817 Fair point. I think it's also fair to say though, that if it were "just" a lawbook or a history book, without aesthetic or intellectual merit (the things that define literature), without powerful stories and memorable characters, it would have been way less influential.
>>7651821 huehue. look at me im so cool atheist. I disregard religion because im so cool and post-modern. I have actually never read the bible but i love to argue against things i have no clue about. huheuheuheuhue
>>7651885 That's beside the point. Whether you are an atheist or not, if you think the Bible has not influenced our world you are wrong. Moreover, if you believe that it's stories have no literary value, you are absolutely blind to culture you live in.
The rationalists of any rationalism hate this situation, since they cling, out of despair before their sterility, to their fantasies of objectivity, reality (more or less floating around, but we cannot see it!), truth, universality, even though, for millenia, they have been failing to show us a knowledge that is not personal.
**Little introduction. Rationality through the notion of causation.**
How to gain knowledge ? what is worthy of being called a knowledge ? Let's take the word ''causation'' to illustrate the quest: can causation be otherwise than a choice to tack the word ''causation'' onto to events ? why the perpetual quest of the necessity ?
Let's begin with the formalization of the various reasonings : the formal languages are just a superior level of abstraction of the abstractions of the natural languages, with some implicit fantasy of being more communicable than the natural ones.
we have dozens of and dozens of formal languages and the particular goals of the people formalizing languages is really the formalization of ''reasonings'' which means the inferences [=going from one sentence to another one].
we have plenty of method of reasonings, the most famous is the deductive reasoning, a bit less formalized is the inductive reasoning. the other reasoning are not trendy enough to be stated here. Since the deduction is trendy, the deduction has been formalized by various people, each people formalizing what they think is ''deduction''. Today, we have dozens of deductive formalized languages, and so far nobody on earth knows what causation is, what necessity is, what sufficiency/contingency is, outside of the notion of the various formalized logical deductions.
the question that the rationalists fail to see is not ''what is causation'', but ''why do you talk about causation ? why do you get up in the morning , invent the word ''causation'', take it so seriously, having faith so much in it, that you try day after day to know what it is and you miserably fail to have result beyond some fantasized formalizations ?
**Let's look at the side of sciences.**
The physicists do not know what causation is. The physicist talks about causality, which is the causation in time. The causality is saying ''the cause precedes in time the effect'', whereas causation is ''the cause causes the effect''. The problem is that the physicist have no idea what time is (beyond its formalization as the real line, or some other abstractions generating the real line) and even less causation. It is choice to tack the word ''causation'' onto to events. ''causation'' is a perspective: a choice to call an event ''cause'' of some other event called ''effect''; the people who choose to have faith in causation have the task to say what causes lead to what effects. and they demand to be paid for this; and they say that if we do not share the faith in their ''causation'', we are misguided.
Because physicists have no idea what they are doing, at least since the day when the moderns said ''hey I no longer need God as an hypothesis, math explains the world, epic win''. Then the classical liberals fantasized a social progress [=acceptation of their doctrine (the human rights) to other nations] caused by the ''progress of science''. Of course, nobody on earth knows what social progress is, and even less what is a progress in science.
So the physicists take the causation to be the logical entailment of ''well formed formulas'', because they do not know better. It means that causation is ''the various rules of inferences'' in whatever deductive logic the physicists choose to work. And there remains, for the physicists, the faith that, indeed, ''mathematics describe the world'', like our formula of a black hole exists because black holes totally exist somewhere in space, and black holes totally exist somewhere, because we derived a formula that we, good rationalists, call 'the mathematical definition of a black hole''.[In fact, the experimental physicist observes, at best, the effects of a black hole on its environment]. Since physicists and other rationalists have no justification of their claims, they choose the path of the (intellectual) terrorism in claiming that ''only the religious sheep and the degenerate empiricists, skeptics, relativists, solipsists do not agree with us; plus science give us rockets and cars and computers... see how science is good ! less pains and better pleasures for everyone, thanks to us, the good rationalists ! Science totally works guys, we are spot on defiling empiricism with our rationalism, trust us !''.
The physicists fail to see this situation, because they do not learn math (and they admit that they do not care about the situation, leaving these question to the ''philosophers''). mathematicians fail to see this situation because they do not learn logics (and they do not care). Being the most decent of the three, the logicians do not care much about ''connecting back their formalizations onto the world''...
**what happens in the side of the philosophy of science ?**
The philosophers of science say that ''okay guys, our various reasonings and logics are kind of rubbish, totally manufactured by us, but we have no idea on how to spend our day [nor on how to justify our demand of our monthly salary... thanks to the moderns who managed to get paid, by the people, in order to spout models after models, speculations after speculations] so we might has well take logic seriously and say that logic describes the world. And, for many, it is the classical logic which is the best logic to talk about ''truth'' [classical logic is the typical formalization of what a few people think how truth behaves].
What these people fail to grasp is that knowledge is not gotten from exiting things in the world, from doing things, but in doing the exact opposite: knowledge is gained in ''doing nothing'', to speak casually. Existing things leads to sterility because any choice of calling its output a ''result'' depends on space and time. the physicists know this limitation of induction, and the first thing that they say is that ''any physical equation must be, in casual language, ''independent of time and space [which means, behave well under the symmetry group of whatever formalization of spacetime they choose to work in]''.
Of course, this situation reveals the total lack of reflection of the physics to escape space and time. he admits thus that he cannot think without space and time. And since he despises his sterility, he falls back to the oldest trick, which is *the objectification of the claim*, turning the claim into a **necessity** (to make it less personal, to try to avoid people understand that this claim remains a personal choice). He claims thus ''it is necessary to think in terms of space and time, even if I have no idea what time and space are ! if you refuse what I say, you are doing things wrong !''.
This excitation ''to gain knowledge'' is the best illustrated by the [linear] perturbation of the mathematical entity called the ''action'' by the physicists: if you have an action and perturbs it, you gain the ''laws of motions'' of your system. This is what the physicist believes, since he is a good rationalist: they choose to take the induction seriously, which leads to further abstractions, tack on those a few deductive claims from the inductive claims, then their task is to order those deductive abstractions, in terms of utility [=to describe things whic means to predict things, they say]. Of course, the essence of any inductive claim is the choice, by their proponents, to claim that ''this results hold (trust us!)'' until... the same proponents chooses to claim ''this same results no longer hold''. In one word, the Induction works until it no longer works. Is this situation worthy of being called knowledge ? The rationalists and their wishes to ''predict events'' live in the future, or, rather, in the past in order to hope for a better future. Only those rationalists fail to see their stance as pure nihilism.
Now, how to gain knowledge and not a lamentable result like the rationalists have been attaining ? by contemplation like good empiricists, instead of manipulation like good rationalists. The strange thing is that the contemplation begins not by an epistemological wish, but by the ''good life''.
We gain knowledge as soon as we leave induction, which means as soon as we leave any rationalism, we leave some faith in speculations, fantasies; which means that we remain empiricist, but not a polluted version of empiricism like the rationalists have been doing for centuries, if not more.
>>7651940 So we accept that there is no reason to excite things in order to gain knowledge. we are far more interested in the question ''why do bother going into the world and why do I seek knowledge ?'', rather than ''what happens if I excite things and I pray very hard for some other unknown people being able to repeat the experiment ?''.
The process is thus : we want to be happy, we notice that we are not, we wonder why, we notice that it is because mundane hedonism [=taking seriously our desires/ideas/self/what we feel] is poorly effective to be happy [we must work hard to get riches, then we must keep our riches, then we get a bit of pleasures from them, then they disappears (since we spend them), so we work hard anew to get new riches. Even worse, there is, sooner or later, a lassitude towards the fruits of our hard work (everybody in relationship knows this). Why do we get bored from all the entertainment we buy thanks to we hard work ??], we notice that everybody around we does the same and are not really happy. this mundane life is full of woes.... Plus we have faith that we will die, because we look around and see hundreds of people being miserable perishable pricks like we. people are we and we are people. => we abdicate before the lack of results from hedonism, we want to leave this lack of relevance forever (and we know how to). we know thus that it is not worth it to go into the same hedonistic quest day after day, week after week, up to year after year; that we are not different, nor better than others in our misery.
It clicks. we understand that there is no point to continue to envy; once we understand this, we want to do the contrary of what we have done so far in our pathetic existence : do the contrary of being agitated. we want to be still, even though we are not so still (otherwise we would be happy), yet we have no doubt about this new perspective on life [we clearly see that other hedonists are sad just as we were before, and we know why].
What happens when you do not move, when there is nothing to do, when boredom happens ? First we try to do not move, physically, but we notice that we fail. as soon as we try to stop moving, we dwell in the fantasies of our mind, we move physically, as if we despise being still. This hate of being still is interesting... Why do we hate being still, to the point of doing the opposite most of the day, that is to say, exciting things all day long and when facing the sterility of excitations, we try to justify our behavior thanks to the manufacture of a faith in rationalization-objectification, so that ''we gain knowledge when things are excited '' ?
>>7651942 We try anew to be still. We try to keep our consciousness [=the thing which knows] [not mind!] on the object whereof we are conscious, as still as possible : we no longer dwell in the speculations of our mind, we try to be still towards our 5 other senses. We stop moving physically: we sit and do not move, we lay down and do not move, we stand-up and do not move. Our body does not move. when our body no longer moves, the sense of touch disappears, just like when we ''smell nothing'', when there is a neutral odor, just like when ''we hear nothing'', when there is less noise than regularly. Our body disappears, to better leave our consciousness (and the object whereof we are conscious). [as an aside, consciousness alone does not exists, feelings does not exists, reality alone does not exist: you have these three things always tied with one another, and if you suppress one, you suppress the other two]
Then we notice that the breath keeps moving. but at least the movement repeats itself: the breath moves in cycles; the small cycles in which we can decompose the breath is in-breath, out-breath. The new question becomes: how can we be still towards the breath, since the breath moves in cycles? Well, to be still towards an do object which moves, we must move with the object. we will thus be still with respect to this object, no matter what movement of this object.
to be still towards the breath means that : -when we breath out, we know that we breath out, WHEN we breath out [not an instant before, not an instant after] -when we breath in, we know that we breath in, WHEN we breath in [not an instant before, not an instant after]
[there can be other things moving in cycle, typically the heart beat, but it is faint and far to speedy for most people to be conscious when heart beats happen. the breath is what is in the foreground, therefore, the breath is what matters]
there it is: we are still towards the breath, we are still towards the other senses which disappears, since THINGS DISAPPEARS when we keep being conscious of them and nothing happens. Once your senses disappear, we are conscious of ''our consciousness'', and things happen: the jahnas arrive ! The method to study the consciousness, by the consciousness itself, is to get rid of as many displeasure as possible. this is what the buddhists do in their meditation. **the point is that there is no longer a distinction between epistemology, ontology, ethics and happiness.**
>>7651944 The jhanas are hedonism of the consciousness, while ordinary hedonism is materialistic, of the body; but even the jhanas are hard to get and their effects disappear, once we are no longer in them, sooner or later ! just like with mundane hedonism ! another deception... which leads you to know that, sooner or later, you will get rid of those jhanic fruits...
Thanks to the jhanas you study the consciousness itself and see before your eyes what you knew since the day it clicked: that your consciousness is not as permanent, nor as personal as you expected before leaving your pathetic hedonism, just as you understand that the body, the mind, the emotions, the tastes, the ideas are not you and and that the attachment to them prevent you from being happy.
Why this method leads to result worthy of being called ''knowledge'' ? because the results: -transform us -transform us without reversibility [you cannot go back to a previous state, the good news is that these states make us happier than before] (and this is the whole point of the endeavor : to escape the impermanence which is the weakness of induction)
Happiness is thus the destruction of the avidity towards pleasures, the destruction of the aversion towards pains, the destruction of the ignorance of the sterility of hedonism of the body and hedonism of the consciousness.
What replaces the things destroyed ? equanimity, benevolence, charity, certainty that you are no longer an hedonist, certainty that you are happy and that nothing remains to be done in this life. The results which are the certainty in this perspective of being still, is called ''stream-entry'' by the buddhists.
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