GENIUS NEWS

THE NEWSLETTER FOR DANGEROUS THINKERS

(Issue 2 February 2001)


Welcome to the latest edition of Genius News, a monthly newsletter based on the world's liveliest email forum: Genius-L.  Genius-L is a discussion list dedicated to the nature of genius, wisdom and Ultimate Reality and to the total annihilation of false values.  That is to say, it is a list intended solely for men - of either sex.

Each edition of Genius News features some of the most inspired passages, dialogues and quotes from the previous month's postings to Genius-L, plus editorials, list archival material, cartoons, and other assorted witticisms.

It is sometimes said that genius is "the infinite capacity for giving pain."  This is very apt.  If one is not deliberately causing pain to the ego, both in oneself and in others, then what is the good of one's life?  One might as well not exist at all.  It is by challenging and overturning our cosy assumptions, habitual thought-processes, psychological refuges and mental blocks that our minds can be opened up that little bit more to the wisdom of the Infinite.

A bird cannot soar through the sky until it has broken free of its egg.



CONTENTS TABLE:

Dialogue: Cause v Condition

Stating the Obvious

Dialogue: Making Judgments

From the Twilight Zone

Editorial

Men, Children, Dogs

Dialogue: The Impotence of Science

A=A: The Key to Wisdom

Genius-L at a glance...

Spirituality and Ascetics

From the Archives

Subscription Information

The symbol will return you to this contents table from each section.


"Cause vs Condition"

 

Scientists and modern academics love making distinctions between things.  It's what they're good at it.  It keeps them occupied, stops them discovering anything serious.  One of their favourites at the moment is the distinction between a "cause" of an object and the "conditions" which make its existence possible.  This allows them to make grand pronouncements, such as "Sub-atomic particles arise without cause", and so on.  But is such a distinction real?   David Quinn says no.

David Quinn: I disagree with the idea that there is a fundamental difference between a "cause" and a "condition".  Whatever distinction can be made between them is arbitrarily created by us, for our own practical purposes - and nothing more.

Thom Adams: One could say that about anything, David.

David Quinn: Do you agree, then, that at the most fundamental level the distinction between cause and condition (whatever it may be) is non-existent?

Thom Adams:  Short answer, "yes".  At the most fundamental level of analysis, distinctions dissolve into nothingness.

David Quinn:  That is not what I meant.  I wasn't talking about the illusory nature of the boundaries between things.  I was talking about the fact that there is no real difference between a cause and a condition - other than what we make up for practical purposes.  For example, we could, for practical purposes, assert that a seed is the "cause" of a tree, while things like space, gravity, soil, carbon dioxide, etc, are the "conditions".  The reasoning?  Space, gravity, soil, etc, are also the conditions for an endless number of other things, not just for a tree, while the seed is specific to the tree itself.

The trouble with this analysis is that it breaks down very quickly when you look into it more carefully.  For example, it's easy to see that if we placed a seed on a dish in a vacuum, then it definitely wouldn't grow into a tree.  It needs the right conditions to be in place before this can happen.  On the other hand, a seed can develop into anything at all, given the right conditions - a tree, a human being, a television set, a cloud, whatever.  The seed by itself cannot develop into any of these things, but the seed-plus-"the right conditions" can develop into anything under the sun.

Thom Adams: I'd like to see that.  Have you ever demonstrated such a thing, or are you just spinning webs?

David Quinn: Where's your imagination?  It won't be long before we'll be able to put a tree-seed into a nano-tech device which will rearrange the constitutent atoms and, when added together to a batch of other atoms, pop out a TV set at the end of the process.  That is to say, tree seed + right conditions = TV set.  In short, the seed is just another "condition" of the tree, no more specific to the tree than space or gravity is.


STATING THE OBVIOUS.....

Q: Well then, what should humans be doing with the lives they have in the time left to them?

A: Pursuing wisdom - an understanding of "self" and reality.  What else?


"Making Judgments" - a discussion in two parts....

The fashion in modern spirituality, particularly in modern Buddhism, is to praise the values of universal tolerance and non-judgmentalism above all else.  We should be tolerant and respectful of all cultures and beliefs, we are told, regardless of how irrational or insane they might be.   It's virtually reached the stage where any form of mental discrimination is regarded as a sin in itself.

The following two-part conversation is between Kevin Solway, a self-proclaimed enlightened sage, and Thomas Knierim, a self-proclaimed unenlightened person.   The first part deals with the implications of claiming unenlightenment, while the second deals with the issue of tolerance towards other cultures.

Kevin Solway: The Buddhist tradition consists of individuals of varying degrees of ignorance, but as with all religions, the vast majority of Buddhists are extremely ignorant - probably more so than the general population.  Consequently their view of karma and rebirth is also extremely ignorant.

Thomas Knierim: It seems that you deem most of humanity rather dull-witted and that Buddhists are therefore no exception.  According to your own words there are only a few exceptional individuals, including Kevin Solway of course, who outshine the rest of humanity.  I find this problematic, because it does neither reflect wisdom nor compassion, but only arrogance.

Kevin Solway: Your statement here shows that you see yourself as a true judge of the wisdom and compassion of other people.  I've asked you before how it is that you think you are qualified to be such an ultimate judge, but you refuse to answer.  Unless you can provide any reason for why I should place any value on your lofty judgements of yourself, and low
judgements of others, there's no reason why I should take what you say above seriously.

Thomas Knierim:  Why?  Because I don't agree with you?  Ask yourself who of us actually thinks he is right, Mr. Enlightened.

Kevin Solway: I don't disguise how I think of myself.  Also, I don't make judgements about things for which I don't have sufficient information to do so.

In everything you say, you pretend to know what you are talking about.  That is, you pretend to be enlightened.  Yet you lack the responsibility or character to openly admit that this is how you think of yourself.

Thomas Knierim: I would be lying if I told you that I think I'm enlightened.  That would indeed be pathetic.

Kevin Solway: If you believe you are unenlightened, then please explain why it is that you make so many judgements about what is Truth and what isn't, and about other peoples' levels of wisdom or lack of wisdom.  Do you think it's appropriate for unenlightened people to be acting in such a way?


Jeffrey Millenium: ...... Additionally, in fung shui, the oddly colored house on the block should not be trusted.

Dan Rowden: Well, yes, I can see the sense in that in terms of our brainless herd mentality; if people choose to pander to that, squashing their individuality, then good luck to them.  It doesn't surprise me that the Chinese might have that kind of mindset.  Especially a post-revolution China.

Thomas Knierim: I can't help to notice that you speak out of cultural prejudice here.  What you call "brainless herd mentality" is a mentality that grows out of a collectivistic, hierarchical society that respects the traditions of the elders.  This mentality is neither better nor worse, neither wrong nor right, but simply different from our own.

Kevin Solway: Who are you to judge who is speaking out of cultural prejudice?  Your arrogance is quite astonishing.

In respect to the mentality that doesn't value individuality, you said: "This mentality is neither better nor worse, neither wrong nor right".  Who are you to judge which mentality is better or worse, or of equal value?  I don't think I've ever come across a person who is so incredibly judgemental!

No doubt, in line with your philosophy, you would judge the mentality of Nazism to be neither better nor worse than any other mentality, niether wrong nor right.  What you are enunciating isn't even nihilism . . . it is nothing at all.  It doesn't even warrant any consideration.

Thomas Knierim: Nazism causes useless suffering.  Therefore, it is wrong.

Kevin Solway: Not valuing individuality causes ignorance.  Therefore it is wrong. You seem to think that only your values matter.  You are right, and everyone else is wrong.  You condemn other cultures for what you perceive to be their faults, but if anyone else does the same thing, you brand them racist, or having "cultural prejudice".   In other words, you demonize anyone who doesn't share your values.

Thomas Knierim: Do I?  Can you give me some examples?

Kevin Solway: Once again, saying that Dan is "culturally prejudiced", which is essentially branding him "racist", in the same way that the Nazis used to brand people "Jews".  Why on earth do you yourself condemn the kind of culture/mentality that condemns other cultures for not complying with their own ideas?

Thomas Knierim: Condemnation of other cultures causes useless suffering.   Therefore it is wrong.

Kevin Solway: Yet that is exactly what you are doing when you condem the culture that condemns other cultures. 


FROM THE TWILIGHT ZONE:

"The existence or nonexistence of God is not susceptible to logical proof. "


EDITORIAL

"Sex and Ideality"

By

Dan Rowden

"A woman cannot become a "sage."  I have disdain for that particular word.  A woman can only become believable when she has overcome her femininity.  A woman must become a man before she can become wise or aware.   It is one of the hardest things to do -- to completely forsake one's feminine desires and inclinations." From a post by Marsha Faizi ----21/01/2001.

One cannot stand passively before the great mysteries of existence and hope that one will somehow be blessed by providence with wisdom, and do so probably on no more substantial grounds than that one is sufficiently beauteous as to be worthy of such an endowment.  But this is precisely the manner in which the feminine aspect of mind - in both sexes - stands before all things in Nature.  To have to fight for something, to have to march into conscious battle for some ideal or goal is a thing entirely foreign to the feminine.  It is, indeed, contrary to the whole pathos of the feminine that any thing, any benefit, any object of desire, should not be naturally bestowed upon it merely as a consequence of its existence.  The formula is expressive of the most pristine egoism: feminine = worthiness = fate.

It is not without considerable angst, however, that women, being predominantly feminine, live this kind of passivity.  The average woman lives in constant fear that she is indeed unworthy of all that ought be her natural due.  When life does not proceed in such a way as would befit her station, aside from her often incouncellable indignance, she is consumed with doubt as to her worthiness.  But wait!  That is not quite the truth of it.   One can easily go astray on this point.  It is not her worthiness she doubts, but, more accurately, her femininity, for this is the spring from which her worth issues.  If she is to be granted those things which Nature and Man have conspired to ordain as rightly hers, namely, anything she desires, then she must be, as perfectly as she can, that which is known to her as the beneficiary of the gifts of God and Man - i.e. she must be feminine.

But herein lies the most significant difference between the sexes; that which sets them apart in both poetic effect and in practical reality: man is made worthy by what he achieves; woman, by being most properly what she is - feminine.  It is one of the great ironies of the history of humanity that Man has built so much of his own worth on the back of one of his greatest achievements, one of the greatest expressions of imagination and romantic ideation that one might believe possible of even the greatest of Gods - the social fiction of "Woman".  It is ironic in that Man finds worth for himself in the creation of a thing that finds its own worth in being a thing - created!

An ideal is not something that is within the reach of minds that are simply passively willing; it is something that must be attained by the exercise of will itself.  There is a vast difference between the exercising of will and merely being willing.  It is the difference between passivity and activity.  It is the difference between the feminine and the masculine.  One must forge an understanding with one's own sweat and blood and the ore of one's reason and not be content to buy it as some handsome trinket from a fancy jewellery store.  I tell you the world is full of counterfeit knowledge!

One must take Nature - and one's own mind - by the throat and violently shake the truth out of them.  One cannot settle for half measures.  One must pursue knowledge, wisdom and the character that only comes through aggressive and uncompromising introspection with a will and a purpose that is unmistakably a characteristc of the masculine in Man, and is, contrariwise, unmistakably not of the nature of the feminine.


Children, Dogs and Misanthropy

Q: Why are you so loving and caring with animals and children but not adult humans?

A: Adult humans have a great many egotistical skills at their disposal. Interaction with them takes a lot of work (wherein one is interacting with them egotistically); children and pets are simple compared to that.  You can project all sorts of things onto a dog.


"The Impotence of Science"

Can science really disprove anything?  Can it give us any genuine knowledge?  Or is it forever doomed to tentativeness and uncertainty?  The following three-part dialogue explores this issue.

Thomas Knierim: Science can never prove anything with absolute certainty, while it can disprove things with absolute certainty.

David Quinn: Being able to disprove a theory with absolute certainty is the same thing as being able to prove with absolute certainty that a theory is incorrect.  So you seem to be saying that science is capable of making absolute claims, after all.

Thomas Knierim: I have made the distinction between proof and disproof on intention, because proving an assertion or a theory is different from disproving an assertion or theory.  Science is capable of the latter, but not of the former.

David Quinn: The distinction you make between proof and disproof isn't real.  For example, when scientists "disprove" the theory that the sun revolves around the earth, they do so by "proving" that the earth revolves around the earth.  Proof and disproof are two sides of the same coin.

Other examples: scientists "disprove" the theory that fire can survive without fuel by "proving" that fire always needs fuel.  They "disprove" the theory that the universe is six million years old by "proving" that it is 15 billions years old.  They "disprove" the theory that eating apples causes cancer by "proving" that apples lack carcinogenic properties.  And so on.  In the end, all disproofs are proofs, just as all proofs are disproofs.  Thus, to say that science is capable of absolute disproof, but not absolute proof, is nonsensical.

Thomas Knierim: You err.  While science disproved that the sun rotates around the earth it did not prove that earth rotates around the sun.  It only provided overwhelming evidence that it does, and that it is much more plausible.  The theoretical framework accommodating the latter hypothesis (provided by Newton) is superior.

David Quinn: To the degree that the "overwhelming evidence" is in doubt for the earth going around the sun, to that same degree the disproof for the sun going around the earth is also in doubt.  The two always go together.


Kevin Solway: Even scientifically falsifiable statements can't be falsified with 100% certainty, no matter whether they are trying to prove or disprove something.

Thomas Knierim: Kevin, do you really understand what Popper was saying?

David Quinn: Kevin is obviously using a higher standard of falsification than the one Popper used.  Popper pretended that the scientific disproof automatically constituted the final word; Kevin is pointing out that even the disproof itself is inherently uncertain.  Thus, science cannot really disprove anything.  Popper's principle of falsifiability basically states that a piece of knowledge isn't meaningful unless it is open to falsification - that is, tested by empirical observation and/or logic.

But what of the falsification itself, the scientific disproof?   After all, it too is a piece of knowledge.  If it is to be meaningful, then it must be open to falsification.  But if it is open to falsification, then it cannot constitute an absolute disproof.  Thus, according to Popper's own logic, science cannot meaningfully disprove anything.

Thomas Knierim: Very clever.  You think you have invalidated Popper?

David Quinn: No doubt about it.

Thomas Knierim: Behind your back you have replaced "falsified by observation" with "falsified by a theory" in order to make your contra-argument possible.  In other words, you put words and meanings in Popper's mouth that he never wished to express.  This deserves to be called a trick. You should not assume that you can deceive your readers so easily.

David Quinn: As far as my argument is concerned, it doesn't matter whether you use "falsification " to mean "falsification by observation" or "falsification by a theory".  The conclusion remains the same.  If a scientific disproof is absolute in nature, then it can no longer be open to falsification (either by empirical evidence or by theory).  And if it is no longer open to falsification, then it is meaningless according to Popper's own criteria.

In other words, a scientific disproof is either absolute in nature and therefore meaningless, or it is only a provisional, tentative statement at best and therefore not really a falsification.


Kevin Solway: Let's say that you listen for falling trees, and don't hear or detect any noise whatsoever.  Does that absolutely falsify the statement "A falling tree makes noise"?  Certainly not!   The trees in question may have made noise, but you just didn't hear it, or couldn't detect it with your equipment.

Thomas Knierim: If there is no audible sound, and if even instruments cannot detect any sound waves, then there is no noise.  Hence, the statement is falsified.  The word noise is defined as loud sound.   The word tree is defined as woody plant.  If the woody plant produces anything instead of loud sound while falling, such as neutrino emission, or ultra-violet light, then that is no noise.

Kevin Solway: There may be a loud audible noise, but it may not be audible to you, or your instruments (which may have temporarily broken-down).   Just because you, or your companions don't detect any noise, doesn't mean there is no noise.  Everyone else might hear the noise.

David Quinn: There isn't a scientific theory or disproof under the sun which isn't vulnerable to being overturned with new evidence. We might discover, for example, that the observable universe is actually a virtual reality simulation and that, in the "real world", the sun goes around the earth. Poof! Out goes your iron-clad disproof [of the sun going around the earth].

Thomas Knierim: Invoking science fiction scenarios is a clear sign that you are running out of arguments.  You have effectively left the world of logic and entered the world of phantasy.  This had to be expected. It is therefore not necessary to address your point. You have invalidated yourself. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

David Quinn: Any evidence that science doesn't yet know about, or hasn't been established via the usual scientific principles, necessarily falls into the category of "science fiction."  So to conclude that my virtual reality scenario is invalid and should be dismissed without further thought, just because it is "science fiction", is clearly ridiculous.  If you want to do that, then you'll have to dismiss every other future scientific discovery from the equation as well.

This would be a very strange thing to do, given that the process of falsification specifically involves the incorporation of new, as-yet-discovered evidence.  So at bottom, what you're seem to be arguing here is that a scientific disproof can be regarded as "absolute" if we ignore all possible future evidence that could overturn it!

Thomas Knierim: If you use the idea that the universe is a virtual reality simulation as a premise, then the conclusions drawn from this premise are just as "true" as the premise itself.  Since the premise is in this case pure fantasy, if not the result of excessive Keanu Reaves movie consumption, then your conclusions have just the same quality.  In other words, they are not credit-worthy.  These are the rules of Aristotelian logic.  Your argument is therefore defeated.

David Quinn: I wasn't using the simulation example as a premise, only as an illustration.  The actual premise that I'm using is that neither you nor I know exactly what evidence science will discover in the future - in regards to anything.  It is precisely this ignorance which makes all of our scientific disproofs less than 100% absolute and certain.



"A=A: The Key to Wisdom"

 

David Hodges: What does A=A mean?  If this is a self evident truth, what is the truth that is represented by these symbols?  I've thought of several different senses in which A=A can be taken: (1) 'A' = 'A' :  When we make a definition, a label, then that definition or label 'A' means exactly what we have defined it to mean, no more or less.

David Quinn: Yes, this is the basis of accurate logical thought.

David Hodges: (2)  A = 'A' : the thing itself (A) is identical to the definition or label we have made up ('A'); all that we can talk about is the stuff that is in our heads, not stuff that may or may not be "out there".

David Quinn: No, A=A doesn't refer to this.  The affirmation of A=A as the underlying principle of logic and truth doesn't require one to adopt any particular belief or viewpoint.  Regardless of whether things exist beyond the mind or not, neither position is supported or opposed by A=A.

A=A comes into play the moment we construct definitions and start thinking about them.  For example, if we define the mind to be the totality of all there is, then A=A dictates that nothing can exist beyond the mind.  And so on.

To me, it constitutes the vital link between logic and existence.   If a thing exists in any way, then it necessarily has a form of some kind (i.e. A).  If a thing has a form of some kind, then it means that it doesn't have any other kind of form.   It's very existence as a form automatically precludes the possibility of it possessing any other form.  That is to say, A=A.

A=A can be thought of as the fleshed out version of A.  It is what the abstract mind creates out of direct perception in order to in engage in logical thought.  'A' is what we directly perceive in each moment; A=A is our reasonings about what we perceive.


Genius-L at a glance....

(January 2001)

 

"It sometimes does people good to take them seriously . . . for no other reason than the fact that nobody else does. Kevin Solway

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If one condemns anything at all is it because of "non-compliance" to one's own values.   There can be no other basis for it.
Dan Rowden

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There's nothing wrong in thinking of yourself as superior, as long as you are conscious of what you are doing, and are honest and upfront about it. Kevin Solway

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What never ceases to amaze me is with what eagerness a man becomes putty in a woman's hands; how willingly he becomes her prey.  I could mold you in my image, if I wanted to do so. Marsha Faizi

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Philosophy, unlike science, does not attempt to unite into a whole system -- rather, it is many different thinkers bickering.  Do not think of it as a whole and disprove it on the faults of one (or many) of its participants. David Schnur

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The life of the purely masculine is not an easy way.  It would be far easier for both men and women to be completely feminine; submissive; to fall into line with the dictates of society and be done with it....... Marsha Faizi

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The feminine is the feminine -- plain and simple.   There are no nice words to describe it.  Femininity is the vaginal wrench upon the penis.  A woman holds a man by his dick.  She can grasp him in a vice and never let go.  If he twists, she can tighten.  She can make his life miserable and, yet, hold him to her forever.  Life with a woman is a life of misery. Marsha Faizi

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Femininity kills stimulation of thought and it thwarts freedom of movement.  It locks and holds and abuses.  It takes advantage.  Marsha Faizi

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In my way of thinking, a person is mature to the degree that he or she is in union with what is ultimately true, the Absolute.  I suppose some and even most adults are perhaps barely aware of ultimate Reality, it's quite unfamiliar to them except perhaps at a very deep, buried, subconscious level.  From all appearance, I've witnessed this in men and women alike, and also in myself, my own immaturity.  That is why I say I'm at this time in my life mostly feminine, because the true God doesn't occupy the majority of my mind nor my being, as a sense of Reality takes many years to sink firmly into ones psyche; there remains a good amount of immaturity seeking expression. Leo Bartoli

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I think one can say the following are true:

# Consciousness is - a thing is perceived.

# One thing implies two things because consciousness creates a definitional boundary between the thing and that which is not the thing.  Or you could say that the definition (boundary) is an attribute of consciousness.

# To the two things a third is added - the changing thing.  Consciousness creates the impression of time, which is seemingly sequential change in an object.  Or you could say the impression of time (or change) is another attribute of consciousness.  From there the complex dualistic world is just a step away. Bob Willis

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Wisdom isn't valued much today, as it's easy to be relatively comfortable in modern society.  If you are as comfortable as you would want to be, who needs wisdom?  What do you need wisdom for, if you've already got beer, TV, etc.? David Hodges

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Men are not expected to be "wise".   Men are expected to provide for women (and children) and not complain about it. David Hodges

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One eliminates the ego by, firstly, thinking about its nature.  The idea of eliminating it is absurd without an understanding of its nature, which would inform the question of whether such a thing ought be eliminated in the first place. Dan Rowden


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Everything we do has consequences which, like ripples in a pond, spill out from us and affects countless other things in the Universe.  Every time we breathe out, for example, we are creating endless effects - mostly within the local atmosphere, of course, but sometimes spilling out into the larger world beyond.  Added to this, our every thought and action has endless consequences in human society and beyond - through the example we set, the things we say, our reponses to situations, etc.  Even our lack of thought and action - in the sense of our not doing the right and noble thing - has endless consequences.  These endless effects and conseqences are our "future lives".  Even after our deaths, we are still busily creating future lives - even if it's only to push up the daisies from six feet under. David Quinn

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One of the things I don't like about the usual Buddhist view of rebirth is that it is too neat and compartmentalized to be realistic.  It doesn't take into account the essential messiness of Reality.  It doesn't take into account its infinite complexity.  A Bodhisattva could be marshalling his incarnations in a skilful manner and steadily working his way towards full Buddhahood, when a virus suddenly infects him and turns him to a raging, frothing lunatic.  The messiness of Reality has intruded upon the nice, neat spiritual path and caused a near-Buddha to plummet back to the animal/hell realms.  That is karma. David Quinn

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It's important to face the truth that the Universe cares not one whit for us.  Just as the ocean is entirely indifferent to the waves that are formed on it, Nature couldn't care less whether we live or die.  We are but a twinkle in Nature's eyes and the slightest movement on Her part could be enough to cause us to vanish completely, together with our karma and future lives and spiritual attainments - everything.  We are totally insignificant in every department.  We might as well not exist at all, for all the difference it would make.  

People with the Christian mentality cannot cope with this reality and have to invent things in their minds that will comfort them and make them feel important and wanted.  Their God is an impenetrable fortress they have created to shield themselves from Reality, and the Buddhist conception of rebirth is, in most cases, exactly the same. David Quinn

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One can only, realistically, judge things using one's own values.  What other people value is of no concern to our values (unless we choose to value what they value to some extent - which would be silly - because their values may well oppose ours).  For example, one person may value the continuation of the human race, while another may seek the destruction of the human race.  In this cases it doesn't do either any good to value what the other person values. Kevin Solway

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Logic is only a tool, but it is the only tool for measuring what is true and false (right and wrong).   Intuition by itself provides nothing by comparison to what logic does.   It is like the difference between unconsciousness and consciousness, darkness and light. Kevin Solway

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The superior man is automatically fair, because his superiority is in nothing other than fairness (truthfulness). Kevin Solway


"Spirituality and Ascetics"

 

James: Sex is distracting, but so are all lusts, passions, cravings, desires and ego.  I genuinely miss sex, I suppose, if I could remember it, but it seems I am really not so very close to enlightenment after all these years of introspection, and while I have a sort of intuitive/intellectual grasp of reality now, why is it that we laud individuals who have achieved elimination of ego, when by doing so they have in effect removed their individuality from the picture?

David Q: Enlightenment isn't something which is automatically found by giving up sex, or indeed any other kind of lust or passion.   Rather, it is found by giving up ignorance about the nature of Reality.  That is the specific task one has to accomplish before one can become enlightened.

Usually when people engage in ascetic practices, all they end up doing is replacing one set of deluded attachments (e.g. sex, family, career, wealth, etc) with another (e.g. religious dogmas, mystical delusions, self-righteousness, pride, etc).  So as far the path to enlightenment is concerned, most ascetics don't make any headway at all.  To use Jesus's terminology, they are still too rich and fat to pass through the eye of the needle.

The process of eliminating the ego and becoming enlightened is all about removing the false elements of one's personality and individuality.  It isn't about eliminating one's individuality altogether.  Quite the opposite, it is about nurturing the wise elements of one's personality and allowing them to blossom and flower.

James: I understand that, from a certain perspective, I am immortal and unchanging, and that we are all one and all good.  I mean, I feel a connectedness with all human life and the universe, and it seems that physical immortality would be almost as horrible as our current impermanence.  I see why religion is a slippery slope of mad justifications, but what is the point of an enlightened life versus an unenlightened one?

David Q: Well, to put it simply, one sees the "point" in becoming enlightened when the unenlightened life is no longer bearable.  It is one's hatred of ignorance, and the suffering it creates, which drives one to seek enlightenment.


FROM THE GENIUS ARCHIVES....

29th Nov 1997. 

I have also been accused of misogyny and I am a woman.  I think that is quite funny since, having worked with large groups of females, I have had the chance to observe their self hatred and the hypocrisy that abides with that.  Women, in groups, will destroy one another without a bit of remorse and, indeed, feel quite justified in so doing.  Once a group of women has decided that some other of them is unworthy of acceptance, they will destroy her and I have never seen any stopping of it.

I do not hate women.  I hate no human being.  However, I do judge women by my standards, the same that I judge men, and I have met few independent women.  Most women live with strong faith in compromise and the value of it.  They do not mind at all that they cut themselves in half or quarters or eighths.  They are willing to split themselves and abide in something that, to me, is far less than life.  I call it half-life or still-life.   Men do this, too, but they usually, at least, pay their own bills.
Marsha Faizi


All images in this publication are taken from "The Devil's Gallery" http://www.theabsolute.net

Compiled and edited by David Quinn davidquinn000@optusnet.com.au and Dan Rowden danrowden@optusnet.com.au

Disclaimer: editorial opinions expressed in this publication are those of its authors and do not, necessarily, reflect the views of subscribers to Genius-L.  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.

    Copyright 2000 - 2007 David Quinn & Dan Rowden

 

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