Issue 19, July 2002
This newsletter is unashamedly devoted to truth, genius and wisdom, which, of course, makes it totally anachronistic and out-of-fashion. Some people even go so far as to call it "medieval" in nature. The truths that it points to are subtle, profound and hard to discern. They aren't the sort of truths that you can hold out in front of everyone, as you can a scientific result or a mathematical proof. Rather, they are like beautiful diamonds that are buried deep within the mind. Much personal digging is required if you want to cash in on this wonderful treasure. But sadly, most people are too afraid to dig, lest their whole minds cave in. And so this newsletter is really only for the courageous few. Let the morons endlessly prattle on about how these inner diamonds don't exist. It is their loss, not yours. Let them revel in their poverty. What does it matter to you? You are a fine young explorer of the spirit! May you go all the way with your explorations. May you succeed where others fear to tread!
Welcome to Genius News.
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Those who in oneness worship thee as God immanent in all; and those who worship the Transcendent, the Imperishable - Of these, who are the best Yogis?
Those who set their hearts on me
and ever in love worship me, and who have unshakable faith, these
I hold as the best Yogis.
But those who worship the Imperishable, the Infinite, the Transcendent unmanifested; the Omnipresent, the Beyond all
thought, the Immutable, the Neverchanging, the Ever One;
Who have all the powers of their soul in harmony, and the same loving mind for all; who find joy in the good of all beings -
they reach in truth my very self.
Yet greater is the toil of those whose minds are set on the Transcendent, for the path of the Transcendent is hard for mortals to attain.
But they for whom I am the End Supreme, who surrender all their works to me, and who with pure love meditate on me and adore me - these I very soon deliver from the ocean of death and life-in-death, because they have set their heart on me.
Set thy heart on me alone, and give to me thy understanding: thou shalt in truth live in me hereafter.
The man who has a good will for all, who is friendly and has compassion; who has no thoughts of "I" or "mine", whose peace is the same in pleasures and sorrows, and who is forgiving;
This Yogi of union, ever full of my joy, whose soul is in harmony and whose determination is strong; whose mind and inner vision are set on me - this man loves me, and he is dear to me.
He whose peace is not shaken by others, and before whom other people find peace, beyond excitement and anger and fear - he is dear to me.
He who is free from vain expectations, who is pure, who is wise and knows what to do, who in inner peace watches both sides, who shakes not, who works for God and not for himself - this man loves me, and he is dear to me.
He who feels neither excitement nor repulsion, who complains not and lusts not for things; who is beyond good and evil, and who has love - he is dear to me.
The man whose love is the same for his enemies or his friends, whose soul is the same in honour or disgrace, who is beyond heat or cold or pleasure or pain, who is free from the chains of attachments;
Who is balanced in blame and in praise, whose soul is silent, who is happy with whatever he has, whose home is not in this world, and who has love - this man is dear to me.
But even dearer to me are those who have faith and love, and who have me as their End Supreme: those who hear my words of Truth, and who come to the waters of Everlasting Life.
Dan Rowden: The most important thing is to value
reason and think!.
Lone Deranger: This is a binding attachhment, sir.
Non Sum: Rock on, LD! You are a rare ray of light in these darkened corridors.
Dan Rowden: Is it? How did you figure that? Oh, don't tell me, you reasoned it out! You guys are a laugh a minute.
Of course, some people, many people in fact, are attached to mere intellectual activity (e.g. Mensa types), but that is entirely different from recognising the importance and, indeed, the ultimate authority of reason with respect to philosophical matters (or any act of mental discrimination for that matter).
Non Sum: "Nothing's more important than a red wheelbarrow, glazed with rain water, surrounded by white chickens." (William Carlos Williams, poet) I guess we all have our ideas about what is 'muy importante'.
Dan Rowden: Importance, like value(s), is a relative quality; however, as soon as one begins to consider what is important, reason becomes necessary and therefore of great importance.
Lone Deranger: It still remains that valuing reason and logic over something else is based upon a binding attachhment (at the lowest level, you would still be placing attachments on the preference of results and efficiency over no results and randomness). Of course, my position is that some binding attachments are useful and needed, but I'd like to hear your stance since you are against holding binding attachments.
David Quinn: Ideally, reason should be the last attachment to give up. A wise person uses reason to disentangle himself from all other attachments, and then, and only then, is he in a position to let it drop.
The world does the precise opposite, of course - as soon as an attachment is threatened, reason is always the first thing to go.
Lone Deranger: I see. That seems suitable enough an answer - reason would be the last attachment to be dropped. But is not the desire to release yourself from attachments also an attachment and desire in and of itself? Is it not this "desire" that all people have - that so many here seem to believe - that is the cause of so many a problem on this ball of dirt we call the Earth?
David Quinn: You would have to explain how the desire to be free of attachments causes problems. I would have thought the desire to protect attachments was the underlying cause of most of humanity's problems. For example:
War - protecting attachments to land, nationhood, wealth, community, family, etc.
Domestic violence - protecting attachments to one's happiness and self-respect.
Rape - protecting an attachment to one's status within the eyes of women. Etc.
Lone Deranger: Problem is, if one goes down this route of thinking, then it all boils down to subjective personal hedonistic preferences that drive the will to enlightenment, not any sort of truths set in stone.
David Quinn: There is no conflict between the two. The search for truth is indeed hedonistic, in the sense that it is motivated by a desire for happiness and an escape from suffering. But this doesn't invalidate the existence of truth in any way. Not does it undermine the validity of the spiritual path to truth.
Lone Deranger: Can one possibly make a rational explanation of why problems and suffering are bad? Me thinks all that can be created for rational explanation is simply "It... it hurts, so it is bad!". All these choices derive from nothing more than a dislike of personal sensations that bring displeasure (hence a sort of masochistic pseudo-hedonism I suppose..).
David Quinn: Agreed.
Lone Deranger: How better is one man for trying to choose enlightenment to seek their escape from displeasure, than is a man who walks on the more simple and efficient road of having sex like a rabid bunny every second they get with anyone they can, besides that one dresses their desires up in fancy wrapping paper and the other uses honesty?
David Quinn: Even though both are motivated by hedonism, there are major differences. The core difference is that the enlightenment-seeker tries to conquer suffering through heightened consciousness and reason, whereas the sex-addict does it through distraction and forgetfulness - that is, by diminishing his consciousness.
The major advantage of the former path is that, if the truth-seeker is successful and becomes perfectly enlightened, then he conquers suffering permanently and achieves a state of perfect sanity and honesty. The sex-addict, on the other hand, can only block out suffering temporarily, at best. He still remains insane and ignorant in his mind and is vulnerable to further suffering - which, in turn, makes him prone to committing further violence and irrational behaviour in the future.
As to which of these paths is "better", this is up to the individual to decide. If he happens to value truth and honesty, then no doubt he would find the search for enlightenment far more interesting and valuable than the practice of taking constant refuge in sex.
You're right to call the desire to be free of all attachments an attachment. But that doesn't automatically make it bad. One cannot suddenly give up all attachments overnight. It's a long process that initially involves becoming attached to "good" attachments, such as reason, truth, the ideal of non-attachment, etc. Later on, as one gets closer to perfection, these attachments will themselves naturally fall away at the appropriate time.
Lone Deranger: Then, all attachments are not bad then, it is up to personal discretion... ;)
David Quinn: True. It all comes down to one's personal values.
Lone Deranger: Why are the 'good' attachments good? Why are good things good?
David Quinn: In the end, an attachment is "good" if it helps your overall goal in life. If you value wisdom, then an attachment to reason and truth is good. If you value instant relief from boredom and pain, then an attachment to sex is probably good.
(It should be noted, however, that there is a certain irony involved in desiring sex to escape pain. For the very desire for sex, or indeed for anything at all, actually creates pain. The sex-addict seeks to escape from a pain of his own making.)
Non Sum: "Good attachments" is an oxymoron. 'Time' has absolutely nothing to do with coming out from time. It appears necessary to you to take time, since to your view 'detachment' is a process, like that of mastering any skill or art. But, this is not DQ becoming proficient in "enlightenment." This is getting rid of DQ (the only attachment that counts), and that can be done instantly by what Krishna calls "the sword of discrimination." Just one heartfelt swipe of the sword, and you've beheaded the 'attachment monster', i.e. DQ.
"Behead yourself!" (Rumi)
The following discussion begins as an observation or two regarding free will and determinism but soon "descends" into yet another battle over the nature and significance of definitions and the idea that one can ascribe universality to certain points of view. It ends in the questioning of the very efficacy and power of logic itself. These are such quintessentially important matters that they deserve an airing as often as is possible. Without a proper understanding of the basic nature of logic and of definitions, philosophy simply cannot happen.........
Matt Gregory: If people are truly boundless, then their bodies are
completely inseparable from the environment. They need to breathe
and eat, etc. Their personalities and thoughts are formed from
their experiences, parents, etc. so their actions all have
determining factors, making us all empty robots.
Matthew Timpanelli: I'd hate to think this way but it seems as if destiny does exist.
David Hodges: People are not passive, but active agents, and respond to their environment, changing it. The environment you will be exposed to at future times will depend in part on the decisions you make now.
People are not fully determined by their environment, but in turn help determine their environment, in a feedback loop. Over time, the will of the individual is expressed; "programming" can be transcended, if the decision is made (i.e., makes itself) to move in that direction.
Matt Gregory: People make active decisions, but it's ultimately an illusion. A person's decisions are based largely on his experiences, his education, his physical composition, etc. What it boils down to is causality, in that any decision a person makes must be caused, uncaused or a mixture of the two. If it is caused, then it will be fully determined by its causes. If it is uncaused, then it would be random and have no causal connection to anything. If it is partially caused and partially uncaused, then the decision would be a combination of determination and randomness. In any case, there is no way for a person to obtain any real control over the decision making process.
People are not fully determined by their immediate environment, but everything that is within a person ultimately comes from the environment. The will is an illusion, an inescapable one due to the fact that we cannot be aware of every single cause that goes into our decisions, but an illusion nonetheless.
Matthew Timpanelli: This is really a world based on science, of course i believe there are more factors that are unknown to us, perhaps these factors dictate more than our science. This is a world of chemical changes and events, the reasons for these chemical events are unknown though.
Matt Gregory: How can the world be based on science, though? Science is the study of the world, so the world must have come first with its basis already established. And the reasons for anything are unknown, because any reason for something must have reasons behind it, and more reasons behind those, ad infinitum.
Matthew Timpanelli: Who is to say that we cannot recreate the universe with our very existence?
Matt Gregory: We can create systems, but the universe can't be created.
Matthew Timpanelli: Why not?
Matt Gregory: Well, assuming that "universe" is defined to be "all there is" (and that's the definition I always use for that term; not sure what definition you're thinking of) it follows that there can be nothing to create it with, since there can be nothing outside of it.
Matthew Timpanelli: I usually define it as all that is was and will be.
Matt Gregory: Works for me.
Matthew Timpanelli: The will be part leaves room for creation.
Matt Gregory: Well, when you define something, it's usually conducive to keep your definition the same throughout the course of the argument. If you define something to be a certain thing and then start talking about only a part of that thing you have defined, then you're actually talking about two different things. All there is and was may create all there will be, but the universe is all of these.
Matthew Timpanelli: I'm not making exceptions, im saying we cant be sure of anything.
Matt Gregory: You've made an exception to your definition of "universe" by saying that there can be something outside of it after defining it in such a way that nothing can be outside out of it. You're taking an impossible situation and talking about it as if it were possible.
Matthew Timpanelli: Right, im not speaking of two things though, im just saying that the universe can be created from within itself. Im saying that for your theories to be correct something outside the universe must exist, but you say nothing can exist outside the universe. I dont believe anything can exist outside the universe. Neither can you by simple definition.
Matt Gregory: The universe cannot be created because creation requires (for example) time and space, yet time and space are within the universe, so the universe is beyond time and space.
Matthew Timpanelli: Sure if you believe that there is only one fate for the universe in the future? Even if there is but one fate can that fate not be influenced by the consciousness the universe contains?
Dan Rowden: The Universe will always be itself. That is not its "fate", that is its nature. I don't think you've stopped to consider what Matt G. is saying to you when he says that the Universe is beyond time and space. "Fate" is a meaningless term to apply to the Universe because the Universe contains all fate; it is not bound by any kind of fate. It cannot be other than what it is. It doesn't have options, it doesn't have a past or a future. You are projecting the change and potential that occurs in and for finite systems onto the non-finite Universe, and that is not legitimate.
Matthew Timpanelli: We shall never know everything about the universe but
what appears to be true from our specific point of view.
Matt Gregory: Which is why I like philosophy because it's not dependent upon a specific pov in terms of its validity.
Matthew Timpanelli: Of course its based on specific POV's, everything is. Where there is consciousness there is a POV.
Matt Gregory: Some things are true for all pov's.
Matthew Timpanelli: Unless there is some higher consciousness or something outside the universe that can never be proven IMO.
Matt Gregory: That's not possible, Matthew. You've stated that you define "universe" as all that is, was, and will be. You'll have to change your definition if you want to make exceptions. It makes no difference if there is some higher consciousness because, as you said earlier: "Where there is consciousness there is a POV."
If there is a pov, then what is true for all
pov's remains true for that pov.
Matthew Timpanelli: Any theory is based on a POV even though its meant to be free of them. You just simply cannot escape it.
Matt Gregory: So is this not true for all pov's?
Matthew Timpanelli: That is simply what I see from my POV.
Matt Gregory: So what's the problem? You've made a statement, from your own pov, about all pov's.
Matthew Timpanelli: Nothing is seperate from a POV, we've established that. So how can something be valid based on this knowledge?
Matt Gregory: Because now that we know what a pov is, we can find knowledge that cannot be falsified by any pov.
Matthew Timpanelli: How can we do that if all that we know is based on a limited POV? mine different from yours, whose to say who's right and who is wrong. That would take some sort of higher consciousness which would contain their own POV. So its impossible.
Matt Gregory: I just want to know if your statement is true or not.
Matthew Timpanelli: Certainly true from my perspective, but i dont believe anything to be ultimately true. If your trying to say that i contradict myself that is because one must adopt my theory to disprove them. I think this technique is a way to understand things better. It is an essential part of it.
It is not a study, it is a philosophy. People here seem to mix the two together. We cannot seperate ourselves from the universe so all our laws and such are based on our creation of the universe. Our creation of logic, and laws and rules. We create a base to study upon when the base is not really there, its is contrived for us to relate to the empirical realm. What is really there is unknown.
Matt Gregory: Throughout this thread, you've basically been making the case that you're incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong, which is fine, but you're extending that incapacity to everyone else, which is not fine, because you lack the capacity to do so, by your own admission. If you have the capacity, then you should admit it, but then you'll have to admit that other people might have that capacity as well, and I don't think you want to do that.
Matthew Timpanelli: To say that I have the capacity to be true would contradict my whole theory.
Matt Gregory: The fact is, a pov is only limited in an empirical sense. It is not limited in a logical sense. Logic is not crippled from having a pov. In fact, a pov (or to put it more concretely, consciousness) is necessary for logic to even occur.
Matthew Timpanelli: You cannot just state something like that to be true and leave no evidence of validity. Logic is a creation of our understanding of the world, it is not something that is there. It is something that we think is there.
Dan Rowden: Logic is based on A=A, the laws of identity, contradiction etc. It is impossible for a self-aware being to not operate in the realm of logic (though they may not be fully aware that this is so). Logic is the immediate and necessary consequence of consciousness (discrimination). Our consciousness is not something that we merely "think" is there; it is something that cannot be denied or refuted (here we return to the basic observation that "something is"). The manner in which it is ultimately "there" is a matter for thought and examination, but the brute fact of it is not open to [coherent] question.
People who deny logic in the way you are attempting are being ignorant in the extreme, since it requires logic for them to even begin to articulate any such point of view. Once this is comprehended, and the nature of definitions is comprehended, every point you've tried to make in this discussion evaporates into the ether of false thinking.
If what you say is not true, it is worthless; if what you say is true, it contradicts itself making it false - all of which adds up to the fact that what you say cannot be valid.
Matthew Timpanelli: I am not stating any of this to be proven true, Im stating it to be what i believe based on facts.
Dan Rowden: That distinction is irrelevant. The real "fact" here is that your position cannot possibly be true, therefore there is no point in even holding onto to it as a belief or theory or suchlike. It's in the same boat as "all knowledge is uncertain".
Matthew Timpanelli: I can never be completely sure.
Dan Rowden: That statement is a perfect example of your current lack of insight into logic, your "feel" for logical consequence. The statement contains a flat-out contradiction which makes it absurd. Unfortunately, you indulge in this kind of contradictory thinking on a regular basis. At the very least you need to rethink the way you express your ideas.
Maybe you should say something like: "I don't see any way that I can ever be completely sure of anything." That would reflect your position rather than make you look like someone who can't see a contradiction even when they're indulging in one and when its repeatedly pointed out to them.
Matthew Timpanelli: My effort is to try to explore the existence of truth or lack there of. We can not just assume they exist.
Dan Rowden: That is certainly commendable, yet, we must, necessarily assume the existence of truth for any search for it to be other than insane. Who in their right mind goes searching for the Lost Continent if they don't first assume (i.e. hypothesise) that it exists? And, more to the point, one cannot coherently do other than assume Truth exists. The denial of its existence constitutes an assumption of its existence! But that contains a piece of logic that is precisely what is being missed here.
Dan Rowden: Matt Timpanelli wrote: "unless there is some
higher consciousness or something outside the universe that can
never be proven IMO. Any theory is based on a POV even though its
meant to be free of them. You just simply cannot escape it."
Unfortunately this response completely ignores "Universe" as defined to be the Totality of all that is. There can be nothing "outside" the Universe by definition. And, frankly, any definition of the term "universe" that means other than all that is, makes nonsense of the very term Uni-verse.
Of course, Matt Gregory has already pointed this out, but for some reason Matt Timpanelli is choosing to ignore that and, even worse, is making arguments via ideas/assertions that he clearly(?) knows to be false. I don't know about Matt G., but it's making my head spin!
Matt Gregory: Me too. I can't really put my finger on it, but it's almost as if he's making the argument that we cannot define something unless some impossible contradiction is true.
Matthew Timpanelli: Thats exactly what im saying. And thats what your saying about me. I stated quite clearly this is not what I believe to be true but something that must be true for Matt G to be valid, since by definition nothing can be outside of the universe nothing can be proven true for all POV's.
Dan Rowden: To my mind, what you are doing is something along the lines of taking flat out contradictions and using them as valid refutations of concepts that may be applied universally or absolutely. It's like switching from one perspective to another without acknowledging the absence of any logical connection between them. In other words, it's switching from one definition to another and using one to argue against the other, which isn't valid because the basis of each defined "thing" becomes different.
In short, the person starts to do the proverbial apples and oranges thing.....
That nothing can be outside the Universe is something proven true for all points of view, since it cannot be false for any point of view (this is because, and take heed of this part very carefully - someone defining "Universe" differently from me is thereby not talking about the same thing as me - use of the same word being irrelevant).
The problem here, Matthew, is that you still haven't quite figured out the meaning and significance of definitions. No-one, and I mean no-one who has lived, does live, or will ever live can falsify my definition of "Universe" - therefore, what I say about it is true from my point of view, certainly, but it also necessarily true from all points of view. It simply cannot be otherwise.
Man, Woman, Science and Rationality
By Kevin Solway
Man dreads the feminine because he fears the loss of his own individuality and identity. This is man's classic weakness, highlighting a major flaw in his character. But is he so bad? Should a man not fear the loss of his individuality, his reason, and his dignity? Woe is he who does not fear the loss of his soul!
Man's dread of the feminine is said to be the fuel behind his repression of women throughout history. Maybe so, but this is no excuse to do away with male reason! On the contrary, if man's rationality and strength were made perfect he would feel no such threat from woman, as he would have no need of her emotional services, and would no longer need to keep her subservient to his will.
The solution is not to make man abandon his identity in favour of the feminine, but to encourage both men and women to take reason to its completion. Many believe rationality to have reached its limits and become unproductive. They say reason is not enough by itself, and that we must now turn to the heart within, using feelings in conjunction with reason. O ye of little faith! You have not yet begun to use reason, yet claim to have exhausted it! You have abandoned reason and the "either/or" as though it were a burden! I beg of you, either reason or feelings, but please, not both! You choose reason only when it suits you, and feelings, or should I say fantasy, when it suits you. Even on those rare occasions when you do resort to reason it is only to try to justify your fantasies.
The women of this world, of both sexes, say that the age of men is over because his science has failed to provide us with ultimate values. Yet science is not to blame. The fault lies entirely with the miserable so-called scientists who have limited themselves to what is physically and demonstrably provable. They have carved out a small niche for themselves and called it science, yet it is not science. They conveniently ignore the fact that many truths are not experimentally and physically provable, and that many truths are not demonstrable under any circumstances to those who lack sufficient intellectual courage to see them. In the hands of these fools has science become a mere tool, one among many, to aid in the survival of the ego. One moment these bumbling scientists espouse science, and the next they worshipfully extol emotional feelings and religion!
Scientific truth is the one and only Truth, yet the morons who call themselves scientists wouldn't have any idea about such a thing. The truly scientific mind is the mind that seeks Ultimate Truth at all costs and without compromise. Such a mind is infinitely remote from the scientists and philosophers of today.
The desire for Truth and the love of reason is indeed an emotional passion, but no ordinary passion, for it ends in the destruction of passion. However, if you use reason only sparingly and without complete love, as do the scientists, then your reason will be no more than ordinary greed, used opportunistically and inconsistently. In such a dilapidated state of mind you will have no right to proclaim reason above the feminine emotions. If you do not follow reason to completion your inconsistency will leave you open to a thousand criticisms. You will be told you are suppressing feelings - and you will be - as you will lack the power to utterly destroy feelings as they should be destroyed. You will be a hypocrite, living a double life with double standards.
Scholars cannot see beyond the emotions. To them, the emotions and feelings are a permanent fixture that can only ever be repressed, never extinguished. They regard those who seek the perfection of reason to be unrealistic and egotistical idealists, and will laugh at them. These impostors give science a bad name. Please do not take them as representative of science, but rather see them as the parasites they are.
Man may be the more rational of the sexes, but do not expect too much of him: he falls on a regular basis. His falling, however, does not necessarily mean he is on the wrong track. Let it be remembered that no matter how good one's intentions, until one has achieved absolute perfection, one's activity will be not be without fault. As long as there is striving there is lacking. Man strives, therefore he lacks. He appears cloddish, foolish, unnatural as he moves in unfamiliar ways traversing new ground.
Woman moves differently. She is consistent, in that she does nothing. She does not strive, so does not fail. Her lack of embarrassing slips is not so much evidence that she is on the right path, as it is proof she is going nowhere.
Man is substance and therefore has something to lose. Understandably he fears woman, who threatens to deny him any higher striving. In contrast, woman has nothing to fear from man, as she has no identity to lose. Man fears re-engulfment by the mother, but woman never left the mothers womb - never became a self. Man is like water trying to flow uphill, and woman is the lake below, waiting to catch him should he fall. Woman is of the earth, is the earth, and extols the earth. Man is a homeless wanderer, extols the stars, reaches for the stars . . . and looks foolish when he falls short.
Only when your consuming passion for truth is so strong that passion itself is consumed, only then will you be without fear of woman or man. You will then have made a clean break from the womb, and become the Mother of all mothers. Only then can you rightly and deservedly speak of reason as being the superior passion. Only then will your desires be entirely without desire and your loves without love. Until that time you are too much of a woman.
The resurgence of the feminine philosophy of feelings is a serious threat to science and reason. Don't get me wrong, I will support any woman who tries to develop her mind, or any demand upon men to be more consistent and rational. I will not, however, tolerate the spread of feminine values to the detriment of Truth. Science has failed not because of men, but because there is all too much of a woman in man. Man is not masculine enough!
We are told that if we relied more on our feelings than on reason, there would not be so much violence in this world. We are led to believe that reason is the cause of war and violence! But I tell you, reason is only harmful when it used to justify the feminine in us, the emotions and feelings. Woman's thought is intuitive and unstructured. Man's thought is lateral and connected. That is, he is capable of both the intuitive and the rational. We must not deny him his reason.
I am told that rationality makes one uncaring and cold. Then I must be truly hateful and icy cold, for there are few more rational than I. Yet I bring the end of the ice-age!
Irena: All that is is all that there will be. All that there
will be is all that there is. Nice. Succinct. But what about All
that there isn't? By that I mean humans assume the universe is
all they do and will know, all that they can comprehend. But
surely as humans we should allow that there maybe things beyond
our comprehension, and even beyond our capacity to comprehend,
and though we may include that incomprehensiblity into a theory
of All, it does not necessarily complete our concept of all.
When you assume numbers continue into infinity you don't really know, not for certain, you say numbers and all that. Already you see you are lacking all the data. Life for you maybe all you will ever know, but this doesn't mean all of life is only what you'll ever know. Ditto for concept of All in general. It becomes a meaningless catchall...HAHAhahaha oops
Matt Gregory: Our concept of All is complete because it's not necessary for every element of a set to enter our consciousness in order for it to be a complete idea. The definition of the set makes it complete, in that whenever something enters our awareness, we can take that thing and see if it fits within our definition. The definition draws a boundary between what is in the set and what is not. Taking numbers as an example, if we define a number as a string of digits (for brevity's sake), then any string of digits is a number and everything else is not. It's easy to take any object/idea/thing in the universe and see whether it fits within that definition or not. So we've drawn a boundary between numbers and non-numbers.
The concept of the All is the clearest definition possible. It has no boundary, so there is nothing that doesn't fit within it. Every thing, whether it is known or unknown, is included in the All. I don't find it meaningless, I find it the most meaningful thing of all. (ha)
The Courier Mail
by Fran Metcalf
22 June 02
THERE'S nothing new about bullying.
It's been a cruel schoolyard and workplace tactic since time
began, and its devastating effects on people's physical, mental
and emotional health are well-documented.
But traditionally it's been viewed as a crime committed by men. Girl bullying has largely been dismissed as "bitchiness" but that's all changing. Female bullying has become a hot topic among national and international academics. The keynote speaker at this week's Queensland Guidance and Counselling Association conference in Brisbane was UK child psychologist Dr Val Besag who has studied bullying among girls for years. Besag says the way girls bully differs markedly from boys but can inflict deeper, longer-term scars than most boyish schoolground scraps. She says girl bullying has historically been downplayed because it usually occurs between friends.
But this is precisely what makes
it so nasty and destructive, according to University of South
Australia lecturer and educational psychologist Barbara Spears
who is completing a PhD on girl bullying. Bullying, she says, is
not the sole domain of one gender but while boys tend to use
physical violence, girls focus on the emotional.
Their ultimate aim is to exclude, ostracise and socially isolate their victim and they do this through subtle, often secretive, and indirect means silent treatment, spreading rumours, deliberately breaking up friendships and looking their victim up and down with disdain. Because of their tactics, academics refer to girl bullying by a different name "relational aggression". Girls inflict this emotional violence for much longer than the average male, driving a slow, painful campaign of calculated torture which can involve manipulating shared intimacies and honing in on known insecurities: weight, sexual activity etc.
Text messaging on mobile phones and the Internet allow a bully to attack anywhere, anytime and to reach an unlimited audience.
But for all the damage that old-fashioned gossip, lies and innuendo can cause, technology has provided girls with possibly the most deadly weapon of all. Text messaging on mobile phones and the Internet allow a bully to attack anywhere, anytime and to reach an unlimited audience with their slander. In one case, Spears says a group of girls created a website about one of their peers for the explicit purpose of degrading, insulting and defaming her with sexual innuendos and insults about her physical appearance.
"It's a bit bigger than the toilet wall or a note passed in class," Spears says.
Apart from a greater audience, technology provides anonymity which enables bullies to get away with harsher, more damaging games, says counselling psychologist, professional speaker and author Evelyn Field. "Notes always went around a class but a lot of nasty stuff can be given on e-mails and mobile phones and computers that never would have been put on notes," she says.
Technology can, in fact, enable some bullies to hide. One Brisbane mother said her daughter Kate (not her real name) was bullied with nasty e-mails from one of her closest friends. At first she thought it was a joke but, after time, she became upset and sick. It was discovered the girl was using another friend's e-mail service. "It was really bad language and it was messages like nobody likes you, you're a show-off and you're ugly that sort of thing," says the mother who wished to be known only as Mary.
At the heart of the issue for the bully, says Mary, was feelings of insecurity and anxiety about the strength of her friendships within the group and seeing Kate as a threat to making bonds. Mary says her son was also bullied at school, but it had been physical abuse. "The difference between girls and boys is that the boy bully likes to be acknowledged and recognised as strong and powerful but for a female it's more than often around jealousy and it's so shrouded because they don't want anyone to know that they're the bullies so it's very subtle," she says.
University of South Australia professor Ken Rigby, who has studied bullying for the past 12 years, says there's no way of telling whether girls are becoming increasingly more aggressive towards their peers than in the past. "People's sensitivities have generally risen to people who practise hurtful behaviours we've seen that with sexual and racial harassment," he says. Rigby says two or three children in each class will be hurt by bullying which sometimes causes suicidal and other psychological problems well into adulthood. Bullies and those who go along with the game often don't understand that their behaviour is hurtful.
Girls see it as bitchy, not bullying. In a Queensland classroom of Year 5 girls, one girl became the victim of indirect bullying. Rumours were spread that she liked a boy in Year 7 and her peers said she needed to go on a diet because she was fat.
When counselled, the girls reported not viewing their behaviour as bullying. They saw it as being "bitchy" or "catty". "Once it was named and brought out in the open, a lot of the power was taken away," school guidance counsellor Mary Williams says. "We talked to the girls about power who are they willing to give their power to and how this enables that person to control them and affect the way they feel about themselves."
Field, who wrote Bully Busting (published by Finch), says relational aggression hits its target more often with girls because their friendships are so important to them and they're better at subtle, non-verbal communication. "Girls are more responsive to the use of eye, face and body language and this can be used in a positive way to be emotionally responsive and supportive to friends or in a negative, destructive way to pick up the vulnerability in another girl," she says.
Friendships for 13 and 14-year-old girls are everything. Field says it's through affiliating with a small tribe that girls form their identity, get a feeling of belonging and acceptance and develop self-esteem and confidence. "Boys tend to hang around together, playing a game of football or something in a big group but girls want to affiliate with a small group," she says.
It's within this tribe that
bullying most often occurs, particularly during Years 9 and 10
when teenage girls are at the peak of forming an identity and
jostling for power and positions within their social groups. Once
they get to Years 11 and 12, says Field, they have a a better
sense of who they are, have more confidence and are less needy of
a tight group affiliation.
A big problem for the girls, their parents and their schools is pinning down that cleverly subtle and often secretive offending behaviour. "How do you define that look, that rolling of the eyes, the shoulder shrug or the way they look you up and down?" Field says. "And how do you tackle that? It's so underhanded."
She says parents can play a pivotal role in changing their child's behaviour by encouraging empathy, in the case of a bully, and teaching them assertiveness skill in the case of a victim. "If that doesn't work, talk to the school, look at a book or if my child was badly bullied, I would be getting professional help because usually four to six sessions with a psychologist can be all it takes to deal with the pain of being bullied and then to teach them what to do when they are being teased," she says.
Rigby agrees that parents play a pivotal role but also says the environment and bystanders have equal impact. "Parents who are cold and overcontrolling can lead to kids wanting to take their frustrations out on other children," he says. "But bullying is very much stimulated by the ethos of a particular school if tough, rough kids are admired, those capable of doing that will engage in it.
"The social factors are more important than the individual personality factors. While most children believe bullying is wrong, in practice, a remarkable number of children watch and encourage it."
Rigby says that the inability to
identify bullying behaviour is why many anti-bullying programs
within schools are having limited success. "It's important
to recognise that a great deal of harm is insidious and cannot be
counted by rules of consequences," he says. "The only
way to get around it is to bring it into the open with children
and talk about it."
He says anti-bullying education should start with role-playing with children in preschool and exploring their feelings about teasing. Research has found that the loss of self-esteem, confidence and self-worth from school bullying can leave scars that often last through the adult years. Rigby says many people in their 20s, 30s and 40s report that being bullied at school left them with ongoing problems such as an inability to join new groups of people or engage in activities. "It can involve depression and suicidal thinking," he says. "But relational aggression is something we experience our whole lives. It doesn't stop when we leave school we find it in families and workplaces too."
Picking on men
The Sunday Mail
by KRISTY SEXTON
30 June 02
THE battle of the sexes has taken a new turn,
with men bearing the brunt of the nation's jokes in advertising
campaigns. Commercials depicting scantily-clad women are being
replaced by men who are ridiculed as stupid and incompetent.
Academics say the trend is a backlash against years of
advertising campaigns which portrayed women as sex objects. In
the latest Coon Lite cheese commercial, a couple are featured
sitting on a couch, tucking into a toasted cheese sandwich. When
the man says he loves Coon Lite the woman calls him an idiot for
not realising she was talking about turning off the light.
A feminine hygiene commercial portrays a woman who smiles lovingly at her confused partner and indulgently murmurs "idiot" when he fails to realise her tampons are not the diet pills that he mistakes them to be.
A Huggies nappy commercial features a mother who croons "silly daddy" to her baby after her husband mistakenly tells his wife their baby has a dry nappy, when it is wet. Then there is the print ad for an electronic washing machine which implies all men are lazy with the caption "Man lifts finger" under a picture of a button being pressed. Billboards featuring men are also becoming more raunchy. Aussie model Travis Fimmel, clad in a pair of white jocks, is the star of the latest Calvin Klein advertisement. The daring billboard was removed from a busy London intersection because it was causing traffic jams last month. Voodoo hosiery advertisements are controversial; one of them has a young woman leading two naked men on a leash, another has a woman sitting on two naked men.
Alan McKee, president of the Cultural Studies Association of Australia and lecturer at the University of Queensland, said it would be considered "unacceptable to portray women in the same light" (as the men in those ads). Dr McKee said: "It would be seen to be sexist to portray women in the same light as being the butt of jokes. Feminism over the past 30 years has completely changed the way we look at gender, and social relationships are continually changing. "What we have here is organisations showing men what it feels like to be portrayed in a certain way, and that's when change really starts to happen. Still, I don't think all men would be particularly happy with this style of advertising."
A spokeswoman for Dairy Farmers, manufacturer of Coon cheese, defended the commercial, saying it had been well received by the public. She said the commercial was not meant to offend men and was simply a "fun, tongue-in-cheek look at the opposite sex".
Janet Hogan, spokeswoman for Streamline, which created the Voodoo hosiery billboards for Kolotex, said the naked men advertisements were all about "girl power" and not meant to be offensive. A spokesman for the Advertising Standards board said it had not received any complaints about the commercials. However, it had received 14 written complaints about the Voodoo billboard featuring men on a leash. He said there were no plans to remove the billboards and the panel had found that while some people had different perceptions of the advertisement, "the campaign represented a satirical comment on a patriarchal world".
"There is no power in logic"
David Quinn: Here is an interesting psychological question: Why is the erect penis not allowed to be shown in the mainstream media, or even in R-rated porn films?
Dan Rowden: Because it's too overlty symbolic of male power and domination? Or maybe because hardly anyone has wide-screen TVs....
Matthew Timpanelli: I think a penis makes most people uncomfortable. The male anatomy itself is quite grotesque. Not in line with our current ideals of beauty. Years ago in the Renassiance the male anatomy was hanging all over the place. I guess that's probably due to Michaelangelo's alleged homosexuality.
David Quinn: On the other hand, in those days, the penis was always depicted as very small, reflecting their belief that man's loftiness vastly outshone his animal sexuality. The same was true for the ancient Greeks. These days, by contrast, whenever a penis is depicted, it tends to be very big .....
The argument that the penis is ugly doesn't work for me because (a) limp penises, which are just as ugly as erect ones, are allowed to be shown in the mainstream media, and (b) the vagina is just as grotesque as the penis, and yet it too is shown quite frequently.
Dan's argument that the erect penis represents man's power and domination also doesn't work for me because even during those times in the past where the fashion was to glorify man's dominance, the erect penis was rarely depicted or shown.
Matt Gregory: I think it's obvious that seeing an erect penis makes women horny. They don't show it on the tube because women are horny enough as it is. Even seeing the word "erection" paralyzes many women.
Marsha Faizi: My God. Paralyzed by a penile erection. I cannot tell you how many times that has happened to me. Hell, I am practically paralyzed now just seeing it written here.
Like many women, I can enjoy a penis but only if it is attached to a man in whom I am interested. Since I am exceedingly picky about men -- to the point that I am not interested in any -- I am not interested in a penis. If I wanted a dick, I could buy one. It's not a big deal.
Shardrol: I think it has to do with our current cultural schizophrenia about sex. Sex is considered great as an idea - everyone should be very concerned with sex & their own sex appeal. But this is sex as a symbol for success: a successful person should be young, smart, sexy & rich. It has almost nothing to do with actual sex.
The sex act itself in mainstream media is always shrouded in some kind of 'tasteful' presentation. People may grunt & groan a lot, & thrash about under the sheets, but we do not see the actual connecting body parts. The vagina as well as the erect penis is never shown. There may be a daring glimpse of pubic hair but never the 'wide open beaver' shots you find in porn.
David Quinn: In R-rated porn, which here in Australia means the kind of porn that is considered acceptable by the mainstream, wide open beaver shots are shown quite frequently, while the erect penis is not shown at all.
Shardrol: I have to admit it's been a while since I made any firsthand investigation of porn but I think it's quite different here. An R rating will get you breasts & perhaps some buttocks, but no explicit genitalia. I believe even an X rating doesn't involve erections or vaginas. For that you need to go to pure porn, which isn't rated.
David Quinn: I've been watching a bit of R-rated porn lately - purely out of intellectual curiosity, of course - and here in Australia at least, R-rated porn shows virtually everything contained in a standard sexual encounter, with the glaring exception of the erect penis. Clear shots of the vagina and clitoris, cunnilingus, vaginal penetration with a dildo, etc, are all shown openly. Even erect penises within clothing and underwear are shown. But as soon as the penis comes out into the open, it is immediately censored out. This seems quite insane to me and needs an explanation.
Matthew Timpanelli: I agree with Sardrol that sex is an underground thing. I mean, I don't know what women talk about, but men don't usually go around talking about the specifics in a sexual encounter, like "So I threw her on the bed and her wide open beaver..." It's not a social thing for men. I have heard that women explain details, which is most likely true.
If this is the case perhaps the reason for no erections is that men are too homophobic, and this is a male dominated society.
David Quinn: And yet the X-rated porn industry, which prominently feature erect penises, is huge in Western society. The biggest money-spinner on the internet is hardcore porn. So clearly, if a homophobia is a factor, it is one that men easily conquer.
Matthew Timpanelli: It's a private thing for men. No man goes around saying, "Yo, I got this great porn with huge erect penises". They are afraid of being labeled as homosexual, it's the way things are. Few men are comfortable enough with their sexuality to say I like to watch penetration from an exaggerated phallic object. When in reality the reason may be because the male prefers to watch the complete domination of a woman.
Yes, the porn industry is huge, tremendous, but let's see if daddy brings up this topic at the dinner table.
Shardrol: This relates to the actually quite hilarious distinction between 'porn' & 'erotica'. Porn is material that is produced with the sole purpose of sexually arousing the consumer whereas erotica means doing it more tastefully, with a bit more subtlety. Erotica gives people deniability - they are not just reading / watching this stuff to get their rocks off, it's Art.
David Quinn: Too true!
Shardrol: An erect penis is not art. It is too clearly blatantly sexual. A penis at rest can be art, because then it becomes just another part of the human body. Same for the vagina, even though it doesn't change its form very much. We think of these things as grotesque in order to distance ourselves from our animal nature.
David Quinn: I've always found the vagina to be a grotesque thing and not just because it reminds me of our animal sexuality. I mean, what is a vagina but a moist, smelly, germ-ridden pit surrounded by a mass of hair? It's not exactly the most aesthetic object in the universe.
I AM: I don't know, man...It has always smelled and looked like a pretty little flower to me. Seeing it on TV or porn doesn't alway show it's true colors. Sometimes you have to get to know it, just like any other person you meet.
Shardrol: Female breasts are not grotesque - we all learn to like them as babies - so that is a body part that everyone can enjoy without a lot of conflict.
David Quinn: Unless, of course, you think of them as udders..........
Shardrol: The reason I referred to this as cultural schizophrenia is because we don't, for the most part, want to deny our animal nature in actual practice (celibacy is not popular), we just don't wish to be reminded of it in too raw a form.
David Quinn: That's partly it, but I believe there is a lot more to it than that. What an erect penis represents is the combination of raw sexuality and masculinity, which makes it a potent mix. Masculinity is inherently purposeful, independent, a law unto itself. If it becomes consumed by sexual desire, then it becomes even more anti-social than normal and represents a potential danger to everyone. For it means that masculine consciousness has lost control of itself and become unreachable by reason.
Something is normally considered to be evil is it purposefully and relentlessly trying to harm us. Since an erect penis combines these twin traits of purposefulness and threat, it comes close to embodying evil.
Still, this doesn't answer the question of why erect penises are never shown in the mainstream media. Other forms of evil are happily shown, but not this particular one.
Shardrol: I think you're onto something here. An erect penis is a threat to social order & stability. It's a willful vector of chaos. Marriage functions to contain & control male sexuality, which would otherwise be highly disruptive to organized life. Hmm, now I'm starting to sound like Desmond Morris. Anyway, I agree with you.
Matt Gregory: I still think it's because of male executives trying to keep their wives and daughters from thinking of sex, and women's unwillingness to "fight for the right" because of the whole "slut" thing. I think women are basically seen as unfaithful and untrustworthy.
Shardrol: I think you make a good point as well, Matt.
Matt Gregory: I don't know what I'm saying. I can't think clearly about this topic. Sexuality is the worst curse ever bestowed upon me, I think. The whole thing makes me bitter.
Shardrol: Men may be interested in seeing female body parts but are usually less interested in having to confront the reality of another man's penis being involved. I suppose the absent penis is meant to be that of the viewer who projects himself into the scene. It is said that women are more likely to identify with other women so they too may enjoy depictions of a man with an invisible dick mounting a naked woman. But when it comes to genitalia I don't think women are any more interested in viewing other women's vaginas than men are in viewing other men's erect penises. However, I should hastily add that I am for the most part grossly ignorant about this sort of thing, being a solitary sour old crone myself.
David Quinn: It is easy enough for a man to identify with another man's penis and thus to experience the sexuality displayed on the screen vicariously. Most men, I imagine, would get a lot more out of the experience seeing the penis than not seeing it. So I don't think you're on the right track here.
You're point about an erect penis being a threat to social order & stability is a lot closer to the truth. The whole of civilization rests on the male's ability to compartmentalize his mind. Compartmentalization allows the male to suppress and contain potentially disruptive things like his sexuality and his emotions, so as to keep a large proportion of his mind free to attend to the "nobler" aspects of life - e.g. maintaining and improving the workings of society. The image of a male with an erection seems to undermine this compartmentalization process. It makes everything fuzzy and symbolically brings civilization to the edge of collapse.
However, I think there is an even deeper explanation of why there is a relentless taboo on erect penises. What the erect penis does is bring the entire realm of sex into vivid contrast with the loftier aspects of humanity, which only serves to highlight the underlying evil of sex. The sight of a woman's genitalia doesn't create this conflict because, in general, a woman doesn't embody anything noble in her mind. There is no real conflict between who she is as a person and her sexual features. But a man with an erection is an entirely different matter. Seeing him, one cannot help but observe sexuality through the prism of masculine nobility. The sight is so disgusting for most people that the overwhelming desire arises to block the penis out of sight. The censored penis is thus a visible symbol of humanity's fundamental guilt about sex.
Matt Gregory: Let me get this straight. You're saying that when someone sees a naked man with an erection they immediately think of humanity as a whole?
David Quinn: I'm saying that they perceive the contrast between masculine purity and the evils of sex - at least on a subconscious level.
That's why in hardcore porn films, the male actors are invariably very animalistic and narcissistic in their personality and features. It serves to minimize the contrast and the suffering that is associated with it. Watching a more noble kind of male engaging in these films would be unbearable.
Matt Gregory: Also, I'm having a hard time seeing how everyone could associate masculinity with nobility. As far as I know, most people think of masculinity as equivalent to male sexuality and that all men are pigs, just out to get laid.
David Quinn: It's really only women who say this, and they only do it as a way of compensating against an inferior complex that they inherently possess towards men. In other words, most women believe deep down that men are the superior sex in virtually all areas of life, which is why they continually have to denigrate them in order to retrieve some sense of power
Suergaz: Dave, that's such a cliched thing to say!
David Quinn: Cliches are often true.
Suergaz: You know the most beautiful women do not need to denigrate men! Even some of the plainer ones find themselves in something higher!
David Quinn: A woman's wisdom is her beauty. A man's beauty is his wisdom.
Leo Bartoli: There are many highly-conscious reasons [for why erect penises are never shown], but at bottom, for the most part, it comes down to Woman's insatiable need to control Man. This could be further divided into two parts; for reasons of practicality/security and for reasons of pleasure.
Woman has been covering Man's penis from the beginning, and has always been it's gate-keeper, deciding the whens and hows of its exposure according to her idea of what's best. This tendency and control is deliberately maintained, with some strategic adjustment, well beyond motherhood.
Woman has forever jockeyed for total control of the penis, of an erection. Her entire existence, Her very purpose in life, depends on that one thing which She has not, up to this point, been able to fully master.
Dan Rowden: What's the mechanism, Leo, by which women control the appearance of the erect penis in mainstream media?
Leo Bartoli: What's the mechanism by which Woman controls anything?
Dan Rowden: Just answer the question, Leo. I want to see your version of it (as it's applicable in this specific context), not simply give you mine.
Leo Bartoli: Why should I bother? Are you suddenly teachable?
Dan Rowden: The reason, specifically, that I'm asking for an explanation of what you think is the dynamic of female control over men - in this instance - is that I think you are wrong to assert it.
It is not women who are disturbed by the vision of an erect dick. They have no reason to be. For women it excites their natural sexual passivity, submission and receptivity and it also unconsciously symbolises their power over men. It is men who have a problem with because it is men who experience that sense of a loss of consciousness, control and "civilization" that David was talking about. Women experience no such thing.
And it's worth noting that the censors who stop erect penii from being shown have traditionally been men. Contemporary censorship, with a slowly increasing female contribution and influence, is actually relaxing these "standards" and it is increasingly possible to see erect penii in the mainstream media.
Leo Bartoli: At best, it's a reflection of changing attitudes in some women, not proof that Woman hasn't much control. Men do what suites women. Their pleasure depends on it.
I The Master: Leo does have a point here. The female controls the erection in every possible way, always has, always will. Its existence only has context and purpose in relation to a female, therefore rendering the male powerless over how it is percieved (and dealt with, censored, etc).
Dan Rowden: Leo doesn't really have a point at all. He's employing a "one size fits all" method of argument. That is, he's making a sweeping and somewhat platitudinous point about female control over men as if that argument applied in the same way and to the same degree in any and every circumstance. It doesn't.
It is precisely the loss of power, control, consciousness etc, that David was talking about that causes the desire to censor. This is an explicitly masculine response. Women may ape the social morality imposed by men with relation to public nudity of this form, but that doesn't mean it is women who are in the background, inducing this social morality. If you think it is, you'll have to come up with some reasons as to why women would want it.
Leo's argument, which amounts to "women want to control men in all possible ways" doesn't work in this instance because I find it more meaningful (i.e. more accurate) to think that women would attempt to exercise control over men by talking away their desire to censor this symbol of their loss of consciousness, of their unmitigated adoration of, and attachment to, women.
And there's another point to be made here, and that is the erect penis is a symbol of man's animal and base attachment to the female, which stands in direct conflict with the more important and overriding force in his psyche - that of the ideation of "Woman".
The erect penis is as much a symbol of the destruction of Woman (because it represents the animal, not the ideal) as it is of consciousness and civilization, as David suggested. Indeed, those things are intimately connected. The erect penis represents the abandonment of those things in relation to women that generally loom largest in the male psyche - the ideation of Woman.
Women have no real sense of any of this and therefore I think it is incumbent on those who argue for female control to give a non-platitudinous explanation of the psychological reasons for that desire for control - in this instance.
Leo Bartoli: Dan, the explanation of David's [that the censored penis is an expression of guilt] doesn't really answer the question, isn't specific to exposure of erections, for instance. It's clear that David, and maybe you, Dan, are viewing the matter much too subjectively (ie "so disgusting") to get to the bottom of it. You're projecting your own impressions and reactions onto and into people who possess a very different psychological makeup.
David Quinn: I personally don't find the penis disgusting. But it's evident that a lot of people do, judging by the constant need to censor it out. That disgust needs to be explained.
Leo Bartoli: You mean the censoring needs to be explained, any male disgust is only a minor factor and would readily be trampled, discounted, if contrary to Womans will.
David Quinn: Like Danny, I think you constantly overstate your case in these matters, which is a sign of a lazy thinker.
Leo Bartoli: Forget Danny, just speak for yourself. If I'm going to take you seriously, there is no conclusion to draw other than you're in denial, and as I've suggested in the past, quite possibly due to the fact that there isn't room enough for the reality of your own powerlessness and dependency on the feminine-minded in your life. You can't accept the fact that you're a mere puppet on strings they command, as is even God Itself, and at the same time respect them enough to remain familiar, or even alive for that matter. But I hope I'm wrong.
David Quinn: Even God is a mere puppet at the hands of women .....? Surely, this is taking your worship of womanhood a bit far! Simply dismissing everything that happens in the world as the dictate of Woman is not only all-too-easy and convenient, but it also belittles men in a false way. For it implies that men have no capacity to make judgments and decisions independently of Woman. Or to put it another, it is denying the existence of the male soul.
In this specific case, it may well be that men in the past have decided, as an independent moral action, not to graphically show the penis. But you've already ruled out that possibility because of your lazy dogmatism.
Leo Bartoli: Are you losing sight of the question you posed?
David Quinn: I don't think so. It may be that the censored erect penis is a direct expression of men's relationship to Truth. It is a way of saying that, even though they are hedonistically engaging in porn, they have not completely given themselves over to unconsciousness. They have not totally forgotten God.
Leo Bartoli: I'm not denying the existence of the male soul, only pointing out that in our world men in the main are powerless, and when it seems not it is only because there's no significant conflict with Womans will; either that or the law hasn't quite yet caught up with them.
Dan Rowden: Leo has a point only insofar as Woman represents a significant part of man's overall sense of "civilization", and man's sense of civilization is a factor in the equation. She therefore constitutes a contributing factor in the general reasons that men might move to restrict the appearance of the erect penis in mainstream media. However, it is only one factor and not the whole story as Leo would have it.
It also has little to do with women, as such. "Woman" is not a feminine construct. It is a purely masculine ideation and women have no relationship to it other than their unconscious striving to live up to it. They certainly have no relation to it on any abstract, intellectual level.
Women have no mental relation to, and therefore cannot possibly directly influence the factor of male disturbance at the loss of consciousness and nobility that the erect penis represents for them; it is entirely a matter for the masculine mind and women have no part in that except for their indirect role as a source of sexual attraction for men.
Are we to say, according to Leo's theory, that the herdsmen of the Andes, when rutting their Alpaca for sexual release are under the exotic spell of their flock? That their unwillingness to present their erect penii to all and sundry - to wave it about for Sunday entertainment, so to speak - is because of the unconscious control exercised over them by the Alpaca fems? I don't think so.
Lone Deranger: Off the topic of erect penises for a moment, fascinating a topic as it be to all we truthseekers, why the shunning of man's animal nature? Is this a blow to some's ego to think themself to have anything to do with the animal world?
David Quinn: It's not so much the shunning of man's animal nature, but the shunning of the will to unconsciousness. A man with an erection is a man who is narcisistically obsessed with his own physical sensations and thus dwelling at the lowest mental level possible, short of death. The glorification of sex is essentially the glorification of unconsciousness.
Master: What is it that allows
certain individuals to achieve a higher level of consciousness/awareness?
Or perhaps more importantly, what is it that inhibits it?
One explanation I have reasoned is the following; to decrease the stress of consciousness. Most human organisms, as a survival mechanism. shut down the brain's infinite capacity early in life, so it becomes hard wired into a closed circuit, a finite loop of perception. Does anyone else have thoughts on this?
David Quinn: I reckon you pretty much hit it on the head. People reduce their mental horizons in order to reduce their levels of stress. This is particularly true of older people (30+) who rely heavily on strong attachments such as career and family to get them through the day. When you're younger, you have fewer attachments and you are still exploring what life has to offer, and so you are still open to the possibilities of philosophy. But once you hit thirty that zeal for exploration begins to diminish and you start wanting to settle down in life. A life of truth becomes increasingly unattractive.
Also, the more truthful you become, the more alienated you become from the rest of humanity. Almost every encounter with other human beings becomes a tension-filled clash. Your truthfulness irks and scares those who value their false attachments, which only serves to increase your stress levels. This is probably the biggest reason why people avoid truth like the plague. Abandoning the ideal of truth enables them to snuggle up more comfortably with one another and creates a more harmonious social life.
Non Sum: Christ, DQ, first you're a sexist, now you're an ageist; what next? So very many elderly philosophers and sage types throughout history, and you seem to have missed most all of them. I won't bore you with a list, but you can start late with Socrates and move on up short to Russell. I find "strong attachments" to be the rule across all ages as well.
David Quinn: I dare say those elderly sages that you mentioned had started on the philosophic path very early on in life. You can't just miraculously jump from being an ordinary person to a sage in a short space of time, especially if you are middle-aged. You have to start the process when you are young, so that you can grow naturally into it. If you try to bend a middle-aged tree, it snaps.
Non Sum: You failed to make this distinction in your earlier comment.
I The Master: You make a very interesting point about those tension-filled clashes, David. You got me thinking about it. It seems that those clashes occur even if you don't directly interact with someone, the tension is already there, as if people, virtually anyone, can sense something different about you, and it threatens them. Would you agree with that, or is that awareness or perhaps neurosis only in the mind of the beholder?
David Quinn: Most people can probably pick it up non-verbally. A thinker tends to have an strong air of independence about him, which people easily sense. The cold glint in the eye, the thoughtful expression, the relaxed posture, the lack of grovelling towards others - all this creates an impression that this person is anti-social, lofty and unconventional. You can't hide your true thoughts, no matter how much you try. They tend to permeate your entire body.
I The Master: Also, is there any hope for those who have become firmly attached to false ideals, to change? What is the best way to get through to them? They always seem more inclined to believe the lies of the many than the truths of the few, in their view the value of a belief rests entirely on the prevalence of it.
David Quinn: That is the million dollar question! It depends on the situation. Most people are so firmly entrenched in their falseness that they would need a big shock to their world-view before they can become receptive to wise thought. In some cases, you can facilitate this by making outrageous statements that offends them so much that everything suddenly seems upside-down to them. But you need to do this skilfully. Backing up outrageous statements with iron-clad reasoning can be very effective. However, with many people even this is not enough, for they are just too close-minded. There is nothing can really do for these people.
In other cases, simple philosophical discussion can serve as a catalyst for their making mental breakthroughs. Or even them merely observing how you live your life, or perform in certain situations, can be very stimulating for them. It just depends.
Matthew Timpanelli: David, do you believe solitude to be a good way to find the path to truth more clearly.
I always felt that if I hadn't been so comfortable being alone that most of my thoughts about truth would have gone unrecognized by myself. Like if I have a long term relationship, I would always have my mind on my girlfriend and our relationship rather than thoughts about myself and my nature and the nature of things.
I watched a short film called "Thirty-Two shorts" about canadian pianist Glen Gould. A main theme in the movie was solitude, why is it that the more intelligent people prefer to live a life of solitude, is it this idea of egotism that I discussed in the ego and genius thread. I always felt that people like Issac Newton who were so intelligent and able to see so much in the world around them just wound up being unable to be social beings, more or less because no one understands them. Why is it that people like Newton and Gould are so intelligent yet can not be comfortable with reality and are unable to escape their egotistical nature?
Non Sum: I am all for "solitude," but that may be my own person bias based on my own taste for it. The best rule is to follow your own nature, as it is your only path home to your Self. If you feel drawn to solitude, then that's the way for you.
I saw the movie "Thirty-Two Shorts" as well, very good. Gould was "extremely eccentric" to say the least, and this in itself must have had some bearing on his forced reclusiveness. It may be that the common run of folks tends to bore and fatigue, rather than solitude being such a draw in itself. After awhile, one even developes a taste for it.
I remember watching how poorly most took to being thrown back on themselves while in solitary confinement. It was an actual 'torture' to them, for lack of acclimatization and inner resources. I was kept in solitary longer than any of the others, but to me solitude was an old friend and so I thrived. I got the nickname "The ghost" from the pallor gained from my prolonged, and
"I am never bored anywhere; being bored is an insult to oneself." (Jules Renard)
WolfsonJakk: I also saw that film. There is really no need for community if you understand your place in the Universe. Most people are petty out of ignorance. In the distant past, this emotional understanding would have doomed our species, but now it may provide a modicum of emotional peace for certain individuals who would not have otherwise pondered it.
If all humans accepted the irrelevancies of community and the pursuit of material gain, certain individuals would no longer be able to live of the fat of this phenomenon of economy (i.e. collect their welfare checks) and would have to kill/grow their food. If globally adopted, this situation opens up a whole slew of difficulties for a small planet with more than 6 billion solitary, large mammal predators. There would be a wide-scale slaughter of humans by humans in order for the population to reach a self-supporting number. It would be the intelligent that survived...especially the intelligent cannibals. :)
The cream rises to the top. It is a law of physics. The fruits of labor by petty, unenlightened individuals are necessary at this time for the effective development of the enlightened, but their company is not.
Shardrol: Are you enlightened?
WolfsonJakk: No. I believe I am on the right path though. I see enlightenment as a process. Also, enlightenment can come in degrees. The intellectual component can come suddenly, but often the emotional component does not cooperate so quickly. I still have ego.
Dan Rowden: One of the more significant requirements for philosophic thinking is the ability to calm the mind and allow reason to flow uninhibited. Meditation, one might call it. For some people an environment which is secluded and minimises distraction may be necessary; for others this may be less so - they may be able to achieve this stillness of mind in most any circumstance. History is littered with examples of those who have adopted a solitary existence for the purpose of creativity. That's no big mystery. Their solitary existence is merely a practical means to a creative end.
But there's a difference between a life led in physical removal from the world and one led in mental removal from the world. The truly solitary soul is one which can move within the world and yet not be drawn into its mentality. This is where the notion of "attachment" is so important. A life led in self-imposed "solitary confinement" can certainly lessen the chances of certain attachments being expressed in a more gross and overt way, but it doesn't get rid of the attachment itself. The idea, say, that ascetic monks of either Christian or Buddhist persuasion free themselves (or will free themselves) from their attachments to something like sexual desire, merely on the basis of their having distanced themselves from the physical, practical source of that desire, is seriously misguided. At some point the thinker must face the demons of his attachments - those things which inhibit and tie down the freedom of his mind; those things which constrain the mind like the clipping of a bird's wings.
One has to be a solitary being, in one sense, to be an individual and allow the mind to express itself, but this needn't entail physical removal from society or any given environment, as that can often be nothing more than artifice. One has to come to value that individual mind very, very highly, and in that valuing the seeds of the solitary life are sewn.
As to the question of why some people achieve higher levels of awareness than others, and what might set them on that path more than others, there are probably a few important factors, such as a natural propensity for masculinity of mind, a relatively independent childhood, certain events which occur in one's life and cause paradigm shifts in one's perspectives, exposure to the right kind of intellectual simulation etc etc. However, I think the most cogent response to that question, however inadequate or
platitudinous it may seem to some, is simply: different karma.
Matthew Timpanelli: I agree totally, that was actually what I was looking for, So in cases like Issac Newton and Glen Gould, they were only comfortable with their physical detachment from society. Perhaps if they hadn't detached themselves, they might not have achieved so much.
I guess this is the distinction then from a genius and an intelligent being. The genius can be genius inside or outside of society. The intelligent being can only accomplish their genius detached from society. I think this idea of attachment is very important. The totally unattached person is enlightened, and is the true self.
Shardrol: What do you mean by karma, Dan?
Dan Rowden: In this instance, just the totality of causes that have made us who and what we are at any given time. When we attempt to model which of these may be more significant than others, or which are the most significant, we can only ever speculate. I have some clues as to which events in my life, for example, have influenced me the most, but I can't be sure of any of it, such that I could construct any kind of hierarchy or order of import.
I The Master: Would that be karma from a previous life, or based on what you have done in this life?
Dan Rowden: That's a slippery question. It all rests on how those terms are being defined and conceived of. I don't hold to the idea of literal reincarnation (transmigration). For me, our "past lives" are our causes and our "future lives" our effects. So, I'm certainly not talking about karma in the sense of reaping the rewards or otherwise of deeds from past lives - in the way that is normally understood.
I The Master: Is it fair to say that no matter what mistakes or wrong decisions you make in life, if your karma is good you will end up where you are supposed to be, regardless of any self-sabotage?
Dan Rowden: No, I don't think it's "fair", or more to the point, accurate to say that. And there is no such thing as a "where you're supposed to be". That kind of idea implies some sort of cosmic consciousness, a cosmic mind directing the fate of everything. In truth, there is only cause and effect. There's a difference between determinism and predestination - the former is a reasonable idea; the latter, not.
I The Master: So you would deny that some kind of consciousness would lead me to this forum, to glean new kinds of information? It was purely an accident, no other forces involved?
Dan Rowden: No, I wouldn't deny a form of consciousness led you here. Yours did, didn't it? I wouldn't even deny the possibility that a form of consciousness that controls you exists and brought you here (e.g. some kind of alien lifeform providing entertainment for their kiddies - or, in the case of many men, their wives); what I'm denying is that Nature expresses any purposeful consciousness.
However, your being here is certainly not an "accident". Accidents don't really exist in the sense that everything is caused. Your being here is determined but not predestined. The latter term usually indicates the idea of a purposeful consciousness at work. Nature (causality) is not like that.
I The Master: What is the balance of karma in the world, it would seem there is a lot more bad than good, why is this?
Dan Rowden: Is there really a lot more bad than good in the world? From what perspective? I mean, I agree that there is and the reason for that is ignorance and delusion, but that judgment arises relative to my own values and goals and has no objective reality. From Nature's point of view, there is no good or bad - things just are.
Of course, that fact doesn't insubstantiate my perspective and judgments in any way, since they just are as well.
Chris Saik: Discuss the following: "It is
delusional to assert that we are more than the sum of our parts."
Non Sum: Isn't this a truism? The concept of a "gestalt," seems to operate all around us, all of the time. Why would "we" be the exception to this general rule? On the physical level, we are organisms--who would assert that any organism is just 'a bag of organs', or brains just 'a collection of neurons'?
Dan Rowden: I'm not even sure I know what the phrase intends. I would say that we are not more than the sum of our parts, on the basis that what the sum of our parts generates (e.g. consciousness) is part of who and what we are.
Dissemble or rearrange those parts and we lose certain generated phenomena and gain others. If a certain arrangement of parts generates certain effects, are those effects not part of what that arrangement is?
Matthew Timpanelli: I believe that we are alot more than the sum of our parts. We are flesh and bone and air and space, we are you and you are I. A part of me has reached out to you and you to I, so I am not a part of your sum, etc....
LiberalPuppet: I also believe that we are more than the sum of our parts. If you were to dissect us chemical by chemical the total value of these now useless parts would be about $3.50. I personally think that thought and emotion and conscious being is worth an immeasurable amount more than the sum of our parts. Our emergent property (thought) is an ability that only we humans possess (as far as we know). If you were to rearrange us (in a physical sense chop up our bodies and put them together in different ways) we would indeed lose our ability to think and our ability to be. This question then borders on whether there is something out there after this physical existence and whether we are "imbued" with the gift of being with cannot be destroyed by something in this physical world that we've let ourselves believe in.
David Quinn: We're essentially no different to a car. In one sense, a car is no more than the sum of its parts because no matter how you rearrange the parts, nothing materially new is ever created. On the other hand, it's only when the parts are assembled correctly that the car can actually function properly as a cohesive unit. So in that sense, something new has been created.
This is true for all things.
Quotes of quality from Genius-L and Genius Forum
The fact that no two thinker's circumstances and brains are alike doesn't necessarily mean that every thinker's truths are different. Logic is still logic and is applicable to all mental realms. This is why someone like myself who is a 21st century Australian can come to the same primal truths as Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese man, or Najarjuna, a 1st century Indian, or Kierkegaard, a nineteenth century Dane. We are all different and yet our truths are exactly the same. David Quinn
The Totality is infinite by virtue of the fact that nothing can exist outside of it to bind or finitize it (as it necessarily includes utterly everything). There is no point where The Totality ends and something else begins. It is non-finite. As to what specific forms actually exist inside the Totality - for example, whether there are infinite dimensions or many worlds, etc - that is a scientific question. David Quinn
Mankind has only one problem, and that is we believe the artificial is adequate. We mistakenly believe that our approach and philosophies of life will reap the peaceful and prosperous benefits we all seek. We believe that something other than the genuine Truth, some approximation, will serve humanity well enough. We have lost the skill to sense subtle changes and effects and consequently have come to believe our best ideas are adequate substitutes for God, or ultimate Truth, or any other genuine article. Leo Bartoli
By its nature, conscious knowing cannot know every single detail of the Universe. This is because the act of consciously knowing something is necessarily a finite activity, which involves a process of blocking out, in each moment, everything in the Universe that the mind is not focusing upon. Without this blocking out process, there could be no mental focus and no conscious knowing. David Quinn
The purpose of studying philosophy is to learn
to think. Philosophy teaches one to think; to think rationally.
It is not the purpose of philosophy to teach one to emote. I
think that we are born knowing how to emote; and it is the
feminine nature of man that supports and nourishes emotion.
Everyone does it. It is emotion that causes such storms around
the ego that prevent the species of man from obtaining, at the
least, desire to overreach itself; to evolve. Thinking is a
discipline more than a natural disposition. It is the ability to
think that differentiates human from animal and it is conscious
refinement and exercise of thought that separates what is merely
human from Godliness.
I think it is the placement of value on emotion that differentiates myself from others. I may yet experience the remnants of emotion from time to time but I place no value whatsoever on such experience. It is inevitable that one ceases to experience what one does not value. When I was a child, I valued emotional comfort and I sought comfort -- to be held and rocked and petted. As an independent adult human being, I place no value on such comfort. I don't require it in any form. In fact, the thought of it disgusts me. Affection, adult to adult, is degrading. It astonishes me how many so called adults live for affection. They crave it and will do anything to get it. Such emotional want makes of man a slave; stunts him; spiritually aborts him; keeps him in a childlike state. Marsha Faizi
Emotions are not reasons. The woman who throws
her infant against the wall could use emotion as an excuse for
her act -- "I was feeling so down and he was crying and I
could not shush him. I was feeling so tired that I got real mad
and I threw him."
Not very subtly, this is an illustration of what emotion can do. Emotions are irrational. It is emotion that causes one to get married and have children. Marriage is not a rational act. Love causes one to waste innumerable hours in egotistical desire for another person or, rather, to waste time in desire for the figment of one's imagination. Love, as much as hate, is a factor in murder. Murder is an irrational act that stems from emotion. Suicide is an irrational act that stems from emotion.
If anything, it is emotion that instills apathy. One who is caught up in his emotions is most apathetic because he is self-centered. Emotions revolve around self; the egotistical self -- the "I wants" and "I must haves." Nothing else matters but satisfaction of self.
"I cry because I am lonely" is a completely apathetic statement. Even "I am sad because there are starving people in the world" is a statement of apathy. Conversely, "I am happy because I won the lottery" is also an apathetic statement. Such states of emotion effect nothing; accomplish nothing. They are nothing more than whirlwinds around the ego; blow-hard storms; dramas. Marsha Faizi
The trouble with discussing reality with most
people, is that they don't believe that Truth can be discerned,
thus they immediately scoff at the idea and never give it real
thought. They are afraid to test themselves. They are comfortable
with the lies. This would be unbearable for anyone with a
Where are the wise ones? Where are those who possess a fearless intellect? Where are those who can give up joy and pain and veer off of the endless path to face the dead end?
Instead of letting the warrior engage in final combat, the general is content to watch from a distance, and throw barbed words in an attempt to drive the conquering force of Truth away.
Instead of allowing the poison to kill the enemy, they offer the enemy a weak antidote that keeps them alive a bit longer, to continue the fight another day. For without the never-ending battle to keep them occupied, they would be lost.
It would be frustrating for one of Truth to watch this battle played out again and again, without much result. Yet, here and there, a warrior gradually comes to his senses and throws down his spears.
Of what real relevance is God? Would your life change dramatically if it were proven that God does not exist, that you were a grain of sand falling through time towards your death?
What is it within you that fights for life? Why not fight for death? What is the difference between illusion and reality?
Most people dare not walk this road. Chris Saik
The illusion of authority, or even the delusion or error of agreement without basis can be serious pitfalls for the thinker. It is imperative that at all times he holds fast to the fact of the auhority of his own reason in all matters. Agreement without understanding is as erroneous as disagreement and should be avoided at all cost. Agreement and disagreement mean nothing in themselves. Without a personal understanding of Reality, expressions of either are necessarily expressions of delusion.
I The Master: I notice an awful lot of the talk here is around the
subject of who is deluded, and who is not. Well, I will state my
impression up front and say that Dan, David and Marsha are
definitely not delusional. A few others are borderline, and a few
others again are really misguided.
WolfsonJakk: I am curious of the motivation behind this statement. With your first post here, is it an attempt to draw up sides with yourself well placed on the side you prefer? Or is it a defensive, pre-emptive statement?
I The Master: Actually a bit of both. I think Dan and David are very wise, I'm most interested in what they say, and I don't see the point of not acknowledging that. I'm not really taking sides though, I don't want conflict.
I think you and several others here have some interesting points too, but it doesn't contain the consistency of truth that you find in what Dan and David post.
Dan Rowden: I'd be very careful here. Consistency, on its own, doesn't mean much. Even idiotic fanatics can be consistent in their own way. But when you say "consistency of truth" I can't help but wonder the basis upon which you judge what we say to in fact be "truth".
I The Master: Well, that's a bit disappointing. I thought you would have uphold the truth, and defended what you are saying, rather than attack someone who is in actual agreement with you.
Why would you question the validity of what you are saying? Surely you know it to be true. Why would you need validation from a mere prole such as myself?
Dan Rowden: I don't, of course. I am asking why you think what I'm saying is true. I know quite well it is, but I want to know why you think it is.
I'm not attacking you; I'm asking the basis upon which you have reached that agreement. I'm not interested in people agreeing with me unless it's for the right reasons and the only "right" reason is their own personal understanding. I'm simply warning you against the lure of the illusion of authority. It's one of the most important things any person can learn.
It's great if what I say resonates with you, but I'm not in the guru business and you'll find that I am, at times, more strident with those that say they agree with me than those that say they disagree. Hopefully, you'll understand the reasons for that.
Nature and the Infinite
Mike: I am not sure that the statement 'God is infinite' has any meaning. It may be part of a poetic or obscure metaphorical statement.
Kevin Solway: Surely it only means what is says, that is, God = The Unlimited. That is, they are different words for the same thing.
Mike: To re-define 'infinite' as 'unlimited' is not helpful.
Kevin Solway: Who's redefining it? "Finite"
means "limited" therefore "infinite" means
Nature is everything, by definition, so it cannot exist "in" time and space, because time and space are a part of Nature. It would be a silly idea to stipulate that there are things outside of Nature, because that would destroy the usefulness of the concept of
Nature, which, normally, is meant to signify everything.
Mike: The usefulness of the concept of nature is that it defines that which is distinct from the divine.
Kevin Solway: But Nature is not in any way distinct from the divine, and there is no reason to pretend that it is. We can do science perfectly well in the full knowledge that Nature is The Unlimited and The Totality. As I say it is nonsensical to exclude particular things from Nature. It would be like saying "Nature is everything except this coffee-cup". It has minimal use, and ruins a perfectly good concept.
Sub-categories are useful for doing Science, but Nature is not one of them. For example, the matter which is directly associated with our presumed "big-bang" ("big" relative to us, but possibly minuscule relative to someone else) should be called something like a "matter-bubble", or a cosmatom (cosmic atom) or suchlike, because there is no chance whatsoever that it is the Universe, which, by definition, is all that is.
All images in this publication are taken/adapted from "The Devil's Gallery"
Disclaimer: editorial opinions expressed in this publication are those of its authors and do not, necessarily, reflect the views of subscribers to Genius-L or Genius Forum. Dialogues adapted from Genius-L and Genius Forum have been edited for the purpose of brevity and clarity. Certain spelling mistakes and typographical errors have been corrected to preserve meaning.
Index Issue 1 Issue 2 Issue 3 Issue 4 Sex and the Sage Issue 5 Issue 6 Issue 7 Issue 8 Issue 9 Issue 10 Issue 11
Issue 12 Issue13 Issue 14 Issue 15 Issue 16 Issue 17 Issue 18 Issue 20 Issue 21 Issue 22 Issue 23 Issue 24
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