(Issue 4 April 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.

There are two types of genius.  There is the genius of talent and the genius of wisdom.  When a person is so good at some particular task that others have difficulty comprehending it, then he is a genius of talent.  He has developed his talent beyond the horizons of ordinary mortals.  J.S Bach, Beethoven, Da Vinci, and Einstein are good examples of this.  They were basically unexceptional people, philosophically speaking, who nevertheless did exceptional things.  

The genius of wisdom, on the other hand, has little or no connection with talent.  It refers exclusively to the philosophical and mental development of a person.  A person is a genius of wisdom to the degree he is able to dwell effortlessly in Ultimate Truth.  He might be extremely talented at everything under the sun or he might have no talent at all.  It matters not.  He has opened himself up to the transcendent reality which is behind everything.  The only talent he could be said to possess is the talent for living without delusion.  

One has to look at men like Socrates, Diogenes, Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Weininger, for examples of genius of wisdom.  These men were awake to the source of all reality.  Their gaze was supremely lofty, their words disturbing.  

Contents Table

Dialogue: Consciousness & Existence

The Workaday Life


First Cartoon

From the Twilight Zone

Dialogue: To Protect and Serve

Second Cartoon

Dialogue: Unconscious Reasoning

Genius-L at a glance

From the Archives & Subscription Info.

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

Consciousness and Existence


Does the world exist beyond consciousness?  Or is everything within the mind?  Can this centuries-old problem ever be resolved?  David Quinn claims it can.  All it requires is the careful use of logic.

David Quinn:  The most rational definition of existence is "the presentation of an appearance".  In other words, a thing is said to "exist" when it presents an appearance to an observer of some kind.  Thus, it logically follows that existence is dependent upon consciousness.

Thom Adams: My definition is more complete than yours, of course, and it doesn't lead to absurdities, which your version does.  My definition is "A thing can be said to exist if it is or potentially is the object of perception or consciousness."

David Quinn: I disagree with your addition of "or potentially".  It already presumes that things can exist outside of consciousness and is therefore biased.

Thom Adams:  Do I really have to point out that your failure to include "or potentially" already presumes that things cannot exist outside of consciousness and is therefore biased?

David Quinn: Not so.  All that's assumed is that a thing only exists to the degree that it presents an appearance.  It's the very definition of existence. The fact that existence depends on consciousness is simply a logical consequence of this.

The beauty of my definition is that necessarily applies to everything in the Universe. For it is logically impossible to discover anything which doesn't present an appearance. If you disagree with this definition, then all you have to do is point to something which exists and yet doesn't present an appearance.  I assure you it can't be done.

Thom Adams:  Hmm. That's a toughie. How about the moon when you're not looking at it or thinking about it?  How about yet-to-be-discovered objects and phenomena?

David Quinn:  Pointing to the moon when no one is looking at it doesn't help, because in making your point you are unwittingly creating a moon that is still presenting an appearance.   In other words, you're imagining a moon in which no one is looking at it, and yet one that still presents an appearance to an observer of some kind.  You then subconsciously abstract the existence of this observer from the picture and believe that the moon can somehow exist when no one is looking at it.

Dan Rowden:  Also, "potentially observable" in Thom's definition needs some qualification. If that which is potentially observable actually exists, here and now, then Thom's death exists, here and now, as does every possible future event.  The Earth's non-existence, must exist, here and now.  I think his definition is the one that leads to absurdities if some qualification of "potentially observable" is not offered.


Philip: The presentation of an appearance is nothing more than that, the presentation of an appearance. Whatever you call it doesn't change universal realities.

David Quinn: In what way can a thing be said to exist beyond its appearance?

Philip: A thing may have properties that are impercievable.

David Quinn:  Well, every object under the sun could have properties that are imperceptible.  The chair that I'm sitting on could well have the brain the size of a planet for all I know, and a beautiful voice to match. It doesn't really mean anything.

If all of a thing's properties are imperceptible, then the thing itself would be imperceptible.  If a thing isn't being perceived by anyone or anything, not even by its own self, then in what sense does it exist?

Philip:  In what sense?  It exists independent of consciousness, it's an unknown quantity, for a time.  I can't prove it's true, and you can't prove it isn't.

David Quinn:  But I can, and have, proven that it isn't true. The key point is that if a thing has no form then it cannot exist. And a thing can only have form if it is presenting an appearance to an observer of some kind.  Therefore, nothing can exist beyond consciousness.

David Quinn:  A thing literally cannot exist without presenting an appearance of some kind.

Philip:  True, but only so by your definition of existence.

David Quinn:  Yes, but I argue that my definition is the only sensible one there can be.  If you think it is inadequate, then please provide a better one.

Philip: That which is.

David Quinn: A useless definition with no information.

Philip:  Better useless than exclusive and misleading.

David Quinn: So in other words, you can't come up with a useful definition of existence which is better than mine?   I'll take that as an admission of defeat.


Thom Adams:  I've said it before, but a thing has form even if it's not being observed.  Or are you saying that a thing fluctuates between form and formlessness depending on whether or not someone is watching it?  That it blinks in and out of existence depending on whether it's being watched?  And if it's non-existent, how does it know to pop back into existence when it's being watched. And how can it be watched if it's non-existent?

Jason:  You still don't understand the argument. You continually transport David's, and similar arguments, into the materialistic-external-reality realm.  David's arguments apply to bare perception, without any assumptions of an external (or non-external) reality. David's arguments and definitions intentionally avoid uncertainties, like materialism, because his arguments seek absolutes, and material reality cannot give absolutes. So, if we take the typical materialistic viewpoint and get rid of everything that is non-absolute in it, we are left with bare sense perception, and mind perception (thought).  The apodictic as it is sometimes known.  This is where the arguments proceed from - a position of certainty. Bare perception and conception are certain. Asserting any reality behind or beyond bare/direct perception and conception is an uncertain assumption.

With your above argument you have taken David's arguments and assumed that he means that physical/materialistic objects like chairs and people disappear when we do not observe them, and re-appear when we observe them once again. Not so. Because David's argument does not assume that the chairs or people are material.  Or for that matter or non-material either. They are merely perceptions.  Therefore, when one looks at an object and then looks away, all that is happening is that sense perceptions are changing.  First one has a perception of chair, then one does not have a perception of a chair. Does the chair cease to exist?  Well, the perception of the chair ceases to exist. If one desires certainty, one will not enter into uncertainty by asserting that the chair exists beyond perception.  However that doesn't mean it doesn't exist independently of the perception either.  It is just uncertain. David, feel free to correct my views of your argument.

David Quinn:  No, I'm definitely saying that the chair itself doesn't exist beyond consciousness.  The perception of the chair is the chair. There is no other chair beyond this. That it seems to appear and disappear depending on when we're looking at it is a significant pointer to the nature of existence.  It informs us that there is a lot more to matter than meets the eye.

I agree with you that a person like Thom approaches this issue empirically and materialistically, which greatly limits his outlook. He objects to my "idealistic" thinking because he perceives a conflict between the idea of chairs appearing and disappearing and his preconceived notions of how matter is supposed to behave. To him, matter is a fixed solid thing which stays put until physically moved. He doesn't take into account the higher metaphysical realities of the situation.

As you point out, chairs are not not really material in nature. They are illusory, momentary manifestations of formless Reality. As with all things, they appear and disappear according to causal conditions.  And part of those conditions is consciousness itself.  Hence, they continually blink in and out of existence depending on whether anyone is looking at them.

That fact that things disappear when no one is looking at them is, to me at least, a very interesting phenomenon.  It's vital that people explore this issue thoroughly if they want to gain a proper understanding of Reality.

Thom Adams: You're insane. Absolutely certifiable. You know, babies love to play peek-a-boo. They genuinely believe that something is gone, nonexistent if you will, when they can't see it or that they can't be seen if they cover  their eyes.

"Peekaboo!  Davie wavie!  Ats a goodie woobie widdle doobie!  Where's Davie?  There he is!  Peekaboo!"

David Quinn:  Baby's minds are purer, you know.  They sometimes see things more clearly than adults do.

The infant and I differ quite considerably in our positions, though. The infant comes to the conclusion that things only exists when he sees them because he lacks the experience and brain-power to conceive of the world objectively. His is a faulty conclusion derived from a lack of information.  By contrast, while I can conceive of the world objectively, I can also see the inherent limitations of such a conception.

I'm not denying that conceiving the world as an objective entity is useful to the practical business of survival. As far as our everyday lives are concerned, we have no alternative but to think of it in this way. It works because that is the way Nature has caused it to be. There is nothing around to upset the apple-cart, not so far at least.  But who knows what could happen in the future?  Things could suddenly start behaving strangely for no apparent reason.  The cosmos could suddenly dissolve into a sea of randomness.  A flick of a switch could turn off the computer simulation that is our universe. The dreamer who is dreaming this world could wake up.  Or whatever.  That the world seems solid and three-dimensional and reliable and objectively real is purely due to the workings of causation. There is no other basis to the world than that.


Jane: At the moment, I can only see a few ways in which your beliefs could work.  For example, we are in a Matrix. As I don't believe my body & brain are floating around in some container, I disregard that possibility.

David Quinn: You're still trying to grasp these issues in an empirical manner. It's the wrong approach.  I'm not proposing an empirical theory here. I'm not offering an alternative hypothesis that attempts to compete against the theory that the world objectively exists beyond consciousness (like you have done here).  All I'm doing is spelling out the logical consequences of the self-evident truth that form cannot exist outside of consciousness.

We must follow the truth wherever it leads, no matter how unpalatable or counter-intuitive it might seem at times.

What lies beyond consciousness is literally unthinkable. It is wholly beyond the human mind to conceptualize.  Attempting to imagine what the world is like beyond consciousness involves the misguided attempt to turn the unthinkable into the thinkable. This is the cardinal sin which you, and many others on this list, are making.  Even to merely suggest that it is possible for things to exist beyond consciousness is to turn the unthinkable into the thinkable and should be abandoned.


Jason: Do you think that the empirical model of [objective] reality can be ABSOLUTELY ruled out as a possibility?  If so, why?

David Quinn: I do rule it out absolutely.  The reason? Because forms (always being appearances) cannot exist beyond consciousness.

Jason:  Why, in the past, have you referred to empiricism as being uncertain?

David Quinn:  The uncertainty of empiricism is a different issue. It's less lofty and designed to address a cruder set of delusions.

It's a bit like that famous Zen story about the mountain/no-mountain:

"When a person starts off along the path, he sees that mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers. When he travels some distance along the path, he sees that mountains are not really mountains and rivers are not really rivers.  But then, when he becomes enlightened, he finds that mountains are really mountains after all, and rivers are really rivers."

The uncertainty of empiricism is a teaching that belongs to the first stage. It teaches people that everything we perceive through the senses is uncertain, and that what we experience as the "real world" may not be the real world at all.

Everything exists in the mind, on the other hand, is a teaching that belongs in the second and third stages.  It teaches people that there is no "real world" to begin with, other than the one that is perceived in each moment.  For the more perceptive student, it is also a pointer to the fact that consciousness doesn't really exist and that the whole issue of what lies beyond consciousness has no basis to it.  


"If not the workaday life...?"

Q: The question seems ridiculous but - what else is there?                              

A: Thought?  



 - Postmodernism Cripples the Brain and Makes People Stupid -  

by  David Quinn

"All concepts are uncertain; even this one, even yours. You will never have certainty. Never."  Thalian the Critic, Genius-L, 25/03/01  

Thalian's comment represents a line of thinking which is very common nowadays.  People everywhere seem to go along with it.  It is popular because it provides a convenient tool for people to avoid having to take reason seriously.  Even further, it has become a psychological refuge for those who want absolutely nothing to do with the concept of Truth.   In the past, people worshipped the Christian God as a means of preserving their self-serving beliefs and dishonest lifestyles.   Nowadays, they worship the great god of Uncertainty for the same reason.  The underlying motivations are the same; only the form of the god has changed.  We are still living in the Dark Ages.  Nothing has changed over the last thousand years.  Most people's minds are still thoroughly dark when it comes to the light of enlightenment.

There is something very amusing about a person who is convinced that everything is uncertain and who staunchly defends this position against all opposing points of view.  His underlying certainty shines out from behind his words and mocks them.  It's a bit like a rich man smugly claiming that money isn't important to him.  Or a pastor screaming at the top of his voice that we must accept Jesus' teaching of unconditional love - or else.  The words immediately conflict with the reality of the person's attitude and behaviour.   But even more than this, the assertion that everything is uncertain is literally a contradiction in terms.  When a person asserts that everything is uncertain, he is asserting that under no circumstances whatsoever can a person comprehend what is absolutely true.  No one, not a Buddha, not a genius, not even a saint, can use their minds to get around this.  No matter who you are, or where you live, or when you are born, you are forever doomed to ignorance and uncertainty.  There can never be an instant in which this can be surmounted.  At no point can the Golden Rule ever be broken.  We are bound by it for all of eternity.  Thus speaketh the uncertaintist.

Herein lies the comedy.  The uncertaintist treats his assertion as though it were an absolute truth - the very thing he claims cannot be found by us.  Thus, in establishing the Golden Rule he unwittingly breaks it.  He becomes the most foolish of creatures, the unconscious hypocrite.   Naturally, the uncertaintist usually responds to this by saying that no, he isn't asserting it as an absolute truth and no, he isn't certain that is actually true.  It is, he says, merely the best conclusion that he has come up with the evidence available.  But this doesn't hold up when you analyze it.  If it really were the case that he was uncertain that everything was uncertain, then he would have no basis for claiming, as a universal truth, that no one can comprehend the absolute truth.  He would have to acknowledge that it may be possible to know it, after all.  But the uncertaintist doesn't do this - no, he emphatically claims that we can never break the Golden Rule.

This isn't just an intellectual issue, of course.  It's also an issue of character.  Little do they know it, but those who attach themselves to the view that everything is uncertain reveal themselves to be emotional haters of Truth.  It is one thing to be genuinely uncertain of everything, but it is quite another to assert it as a dogmatic truth.  After all, if a person is genuinely uncertain of everything, then he must necessarily be uncertain over whether uncertainty is all there is, and whether Truth can be known.  He has no logical basis for deciding that it can't be known.  Thus, if he does decide that it can't be known, then it shows that he is being irrationally driven by his emotions.   I could forgive a person for being an uncertaintist if he displayed a great hunger for Truth and was making sincere efforts to overcome his uncertainty.  That would make his uncertainty a terrible affliction rather than a comfortable dwelling place.  But to swan around smugly declaring that everything is uncertain and Truth can't be known is surely the height of hypocrisy.  





From The Twilight Zone:

  Given as an example of something which exists yet presents no appearance:

"A cubic centimeter of empty space."      


To Protect and Serve....


The "feminine" aspect of mind is such an essentially important matter with regard to the quest for wisdom that it really deserves its very own publication - but getting to the crux of the issue involves going into battle against deep-seated biological and psychological urges to protect the feminine, to protect women.  More than that, there's a natural tendency to seek to preserve those things from which we derive significant benefit, and make no mistake about it, man derives a great deal of psychological sustenance from the feminine.  "Woman" represents his only source of true comfort in the face of the harshness of existence, the only source of relief from the demands and trials of his own consciousness.  It is entirely understandable, then, that he would strive to preserve such a precious commodity.  But there is much more to the story than surface appearances and one must unravel those outer layers and get to the core reality of the feminine if one is to make a sound judgement about its true value. The following earnest discussion is a good example of how difficult it can be to get to that core reality - to the real matter of what, in fact, is the feminine........

Philip:  If women are comfortable as sources of comfort what's it to you?  Sometimes comfort comes in mighty handy.

Dan Rowden: I suppose so, but at what cost?  Men need to examine the basis of their need for such comfort and the cost for women in the necessary demand upon them to remain a source of that comfort.  To need the comfort of a woman is to be barely worthy of life.  No man ought be called a man on the basis of such a need; "child" would be more appropriate.  One has to look into the nature of that need to see where the problem lies.  One has to look into the nature of ego.

James: Mark Twain was once asked what human beings would be without women. "They would be scarce, sir. Almighty scarce." It is not deluded or pathetic to acknowledge the role of women as essential to human life.

Dan Rowden:  But there's little relationship between the necessary biological function women perform in terms of reproduction and the mentality the feminine aspect of mind brings to the world.  One can accept the necessity of the former without the latter being likewise accepted.

Psychologically, what the feminine brings to human life is barely even understood, and when understood, ought not be acknowledged as anything other than pristine egotism.  Keep in mind throughout any discussion we might have on this issue, that I am speaking from the perspective of the valuing of consciousness and wisdom.  The observations and judgments I make pertain to those goals; I'm not interested in the kinds of goals that society normally sets for itself, like "happiness", which would create an entirely different set of judgments.

James: Children require mothers to bear, breastfeed and protect them.

Dan Rowden: Certainly, but that speaks to the biological dimension of things; I acknowledge, for now, the necessity of that.  I'm far more interested in what underlies that which we refer to as "nurturing" and where such a thing actually takes a child psychologically.  In my opinion, feminine nurturing takes children nowhere that is good.  It locks them into unconscious roles and attachments that form the basis of just about every human psychological malady (aside from the pathological) and just about every form of human suffering.

James:  Hardly.  Human suffering begins and is most salient with physical discomfort, in the form of hunger, pain, heat, cold, sickness and the realization of mortality, none of which, my friend, you can lay at the feet of a particular gender.

Dan Rowden:  I said just about every form of human suffering. In saying that I was excluding physical pain for what are probably obvious reasons. Anyway, for most of us, physical discomfort accounts for a lesser portion of the suffering in our lives.  By "suffering" I mean any kind of unhappiness or displeasure of dissatisfaction, insecurity etc.  Most people experience this in some form and to some degree every day of their lives, and for a good part of that day, more than likely.  And remember that there is a psychological element to physical pain as well............

James: The psychological discomforts you refer to, while I do not belittle their importance in factoring the mental health of an individual, are tied into every facet of life, and women here, I agree, play a greater role, although one wonders whether this is a biological, mental, or societal effect.

Dan Rowden:  A bit of all these I would say, but remember the old saying: "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." Women are generally those that have the greater influence over the development of young children.  That is undeniable. By the time a child reaches the age of reason, their essential mentality is already set in place, via biological and "nurturing" forces.  Just which of these plays the more significant role is a yet unanswered question, and I don't think it will be answered any time soon.  My feeling on the nature/nurture debate is that one reinforces the other.  Society helps reinforce the biological forces that helped make it what it is.

As that debate proceeds we can nevertheless examine the end result of whatever that recipe of forces may be.  Indeed, without a proper understanding of the nature of that end result, we won't really know why we're looking at those moulding forces in the first place. That is, there's limited value in looking at the causes of something if you don't know what it is you want to change.

Mothers build societal attitudes in children; they build the ego in children; the significance of their role cannot be underestimated.  You have to nip a problem in the bud before it flowers.  You have to address the early causes not the later symptoms of a problem.

James:  My question remains, though; I infer from your writings here that mothers should not be the ones to raise children; what is your suggested alternative?

Dan Rowden:  I don't mind if mothers are raising children - if they are doing so less ignorantly and egotistically than is currently the case. Of course, there's no immediate or easy solution to this state of affairs; the bottom line is that people have to become wiser.  That's the only real solution.  However, there's no reason why we can't encourage women to take a different approach to things, no matter how minimal the effect may be.  You have to start somewhere, and I guess what I'm really saying is that that "somewhere" is a better understanding of the true nature of the problem.  That understanding has to begin with the individual.  And one might also observe that even if a problem seems too large to be fixed, it doesn't mean that you, as an individual, need participate in it.

One has to look more closely at what feminine nurturing is and what it produces.  We really need to address some of the mythology of the female nurturing here, and, indeed, some of the mythology surrounding Woman in general: females are biologically designed to relate to young children better than men. Females relate more directly to children and their subtle emotional states and needs (they recognise emotional cues far better than men), but there's two issues here: 1) the ability to recognise needs, and 2) the way in which one responds to them.  When a woman nurtures a child she does so much more than simply attend to a child's emotional needs; she does more than comfort that child - she also binds that child to her. She helps build an attachment in that child that is so strong - as a bunch of comfortable sensations for the child; as a bunch of ideals in a man - that Woman becomes the most significant factor in that child's consciousness, as a source of comfort to the male child, a source of identity to the female, and a source of direction to them both.

That bond to Woman is carried into the child's adult life and whilst it evolves from a more sensory, immediate, visceral attachment to something more abstract, it nevertheless plays a huge role in the entire motivational force of the actions of that adult. Mothers push their male children out into the world, out into a sort of quasi-independence, but it is not authentic independence; it is not the kind of individuality that may lead to truly great things, but one which causes his every act of courage, will, resourcefulness and creativity to be for her benefit - that is, for the benefit of Woman, of society.

Mothers mould little worker drones out of their male prodigy. This is what female nurturing is really all about.  I'm interested in stripping away the false piety and poetic forces that surround it so that we can see it for what it really is and thus make a sound judgment about its nature.

James:  As am I, yet you seem unwilling to acknowledge that _any_ good flows from women and their roles in the lives of men and children. I'm not arguing that woman = virtue; far from it, I know that they are, as Dave Sim put it, the viper and the scorpion, as well as the woman and the angel, yet it seems to me that out of a social context, we don't know what women are capable of, intellectually at least, because of the very prejudices you and I share.

Saying that women are the problem seems to me to be a premature statement, although I believe that feminine could certainly be the problem.  Would the world be made better if all women were to pass from it?  I certainly do not believe so, do you?

Dan Rowden:  Yes, I do.  We'll probably have to get deeper into what the "feminine" actually is for you to understand why.  The feminine aspect of mind is the real issue, not women; women are simply the most perfect expressors and the best case study of that aspect of mind.

James:  I ask you if you think this is a thing inherent in women themselves, or part of the role society constructs for them, or whether it matters at all?

Dan Rowden:  The question is, do women have any real existence out of a social context?  Women are certainly locked into a particular social role by virtue of evolutionary, biological and social forces, but then so are men.  It's just a quirk of fate, really, that men have a greater capacity to perceive that situation and make a choice to be an individual.  Their role in society is more cipher-like already so they have a head start, even if they tend not to make too much use of the advantage they have in that area.

James:  A life totally devoid of women is missing factors.

Dan Rowden:  It would be, yes, but let me just stress, again, I'm not really talking about women, per se, but the feminine, which exists in both sexes but is more fully expressed by biological women.  If someone said to me that they'd discovered an aspect of the female brain, that when addressed properly, gave rise to changes, en masse, that were amenable to wisdom, and that in the male brain only very rare examples could ever be expected, I would be the first to advocate a world with only women.  The reason being that I'm primarily interested in wisdom. I'm really only interested in gender to the extent that certain aspects of mind can be linked to it.

James: e.g. Propagation of species,

Dan Rowden:  Sure, but it doesn't follow that women can't exist and have a non-feminine psychology.  It's the psychology that matters, not the physiology.

James:  pleasant curves, soothing/sexy voices,

Dan Rowden:  But that sort of aesthetic attachment can blind you to more important stuff.  Succumbing to unconscious biological stimuli is part of the problem.

James: maternal imperatives,

Dan Rowden:  Look at how overpopulated the world is then tell me this is a good thing.  We don't need these unconscious drives to know that we need to replicate to survive.  It's because of these powerful drives that we're in as much trouble, environmentally, as we are.

James:  and in my opinion most important; duality of nature.  Without women to provide context, there are no men, for part of what it is to be a man is to stand opposite a woman.

Dan Rowden:  So, you think we need evil just so that we can say good exists?  Wisdom takes one beyond gender duality.

James:  I believe we function better, and define ourselves more clearly, because of the presence of the feminine.  Obviously, I think that the all-encompassing feminine nature of today's society is bad, it's why I'm here, but a total elimination would remove the dichotomy we need.  Yin and Yang, in balance, to return to all Yang would leave us with the same # of problems we have now.

Dan Rowden:  That doesn't make much sense if it can be shown that most of our problems stem from the unconsciousness of the feminine aspect of mind, (again, in both sexes), which is what I'm claiming.  This so-called "balance" is never really a balance at all; it almost always leans heavily toward the feminine, to emotion and passivity, to the unconscious herd. I don't see why we need any such dichotomy. I don't need the feminine to define myself. I don't advocate "identification" with the masculine; I advocate its use as a necessary tool for enlightenment.



Unconscious Reasoning....


Alex: I have often had a "feeling" that something would evolve in a certain way, without being able to explain exactly why, only to find out later that I was right all along. When I talk about this feeling, it is not a feeling like that of love or affection, it seems more like when you've forgot something but know that is there somewhere, it is "on the tongue".  Also I find that if I have to think something through, I sometimes do not really need to think about at all, I just need to "initialize" the thoughts, and then get back to it after a day or two - and when I get back to it, the solution will often seem evident.

This leads me into thinking that we can reason without really being aware of it, that is on an sub-conscious level. I'm sure a lot of theories about the workings of the brain could support this, but what I'm really interested in, is hearing what you guys think - does it sound plausible? And would this be a "valid" way of pursuing truth?  

Dan Rowden:  Sounds like intuition to me.  The problem with this kind of experience is that we tend to place emphasis on those occasions when our intuitive feelings seem to "come true", and completely forget about the more frequent occasions when we get it wrong.   You have to actually consciously address the issue at some point to establish its validity.   I'm sure sub-conscious mental connections are being forged all the time, but it doesn't mean they automatically produce valid results.  I think we've all experienced "sudden" insights, intuitive "flashes", apparent solutions to a problem that appear to pop out of nowhere, but even these have to be scrutinised by conscious reasoning to be validated.   I would say that potentially useful mental processes occur on a sub-conscious level but that actual "reasoning" is, by definition, done consciously.  Any data is worth consideration and the substance of our intuitive feelings ought not be dismissed out of hand, but there's no way that anything other than the conscious scrutiny of issues is a valid path to truth.  

Alex:  Yes, it does sound like intuition - to me it even sounds like what is often called female intuition, although I think most women are not aware that it is simply the sub-conscious level working.  But that observation does not rule out that it can be of great help if we learn to recognize when to trust it, if that is possible at all of course.   What if the thought-processes going on is not only similar but actually identical, and the reason they feel different is because our window of exposure to the sub-conscious is very limited?  Would the definition of reasoning still rule out the sub-conscious?

Dan Rowden:  I think there's a great deal of mythology surrounding feminine intuition.  Women "perceive" things that men do not because women have greater sensory acuity over a range of areas. They are more attuned to the immediate than a man.  She'll know that he is having an affair because she notices the faintest hint of perfume, the tiniest smudge of lipstick on his clothes, the smallest change in his personal hygiene habits and so forth.  He won't have a clue how and why she knows because he does not sense any of these things.  Compared to her, he is a sensory dullard.  There's nothing mystical about female intuition; she simply gets more "information" about the world in any given moment than the man does.

And if a mental process is sub-conscious, we don't, by definition, know what its like.  It's purely speculative to suggest that it may be like conscious reasoning.

Alex: I could say you are imagining they are not identical . But somehow you seem to find a purpose for it?  

Dan Rowden:  Imagining them to be one way or the other is really a waste of time, so I don't actually do either.


Genius-L at a glance....

(March 2001)


Of course, one should be wary of any kind of "reflex".  Non-conformist reflexes aren't really any better [than conformist].  One of the difficulties we face is our inability to fully disengage from conventional notions of "success".  If you're not working hard and accumulating "stuff" or improving your social standing in some way, you're basically being anti-social.  It's understandable, really; society can only measure your value on the basis of what benefit it perceives itself as deriving from you.  Any wish you might have to improve yourself as an individual is a bit too "removed".  Self-improvement is something you're supposed to do on your lunch-break, not something you "drop-out" to do.  Dropping out is anti-social because it says to society that society is not the solution to your "malady" and probably the cause of it.  Dan Rowden


there is nothing wrong with judgment, and i find that the only ones who fear it are the ones who are afraid to be judged themselves, due to a moralistic outlook on life.  David Schnur


In society, genuine individualism is a kind of maladjustment.  I'm not at all interested in a deluded society's notion of what it means to be well adjusted.  A person who is well adjusted by society's standards is almost certainly a moron by mine.  Dan Rowden


I'm thinking, damn, I'm going to be dead soon, and that's that. Is this how I want to have spent my life - working for a fucking insurance company?! I just don't have time to be dicking around like this!  It is absolutely bloodless - completely anemic. It has no life in it.  David Hodges


I just wrote a sixteen digit decimal number on a piece of paper;  it exists for me;  does it exist for you?  Bob Willis  


To place all the blame on women for mens' misfortunes and hardships is rather ignorant if you ask me.  Philip  

Anyone who does that is certainly being ignorant.  In the end both sexes are chained by their own desires relating to the other sex, the subsequent dynamic of which we tend to describe in terms of the others' control over us, which is really only a half truth.  The sexes most assuredly wield power over each other but are only enabled in that by the attachment of one sex to the other.  When it comes to the power that women have over men, it is more accurate to say that men hand over that power as a result of their ideations regarding women and femininity (and one has to consider the not inconsiderable forces of biological roles).   It's a simple enough equation: both sexes desire from the opposite what they lack in themselves.  When you express such needs you necessarily hand power over to that other.  To need someone is to necessarily grant them power over you.  Dan Rowden  


As a man, you can't really blame women for exploiting you, if you let them; you can only blame yourself, for allowing yourself to be exploited.  David Hodges


It amazes me that anyone can take the leap of faith it must take to get married.  The balls they must have!  Like freakin' basketballs!  Damn!  David Hodges  


If you don't control or conquer your desires, after a while your desires control and conquer you. Dan Rowden


Well, let's look at this, this God.  If you're going to call this God a being then He instantly becomes other than all-that-there-is.  Why?  Because all things, including "beings", gain their definition in contrast to what they are not.  A thing is what it is by virtue of the fact that it isn't something else.

The only other option for God is to be all-that-there-is, but such a God is no "being" but rather as formless and as utterly undefinable as Reality itself. This God, whom we could call Reality, can't be punching out thoughts as there is no place for such thoughts to manifest, given that he occupies all of Reality and is in fact Reality.   

So this being-God then is a thing, and things are most necessarily parts of Reality, so all of Reality could not possibly be the thought of this God since he himself is part of Reality. Leo Bartoli


From The Genius Archives....

    Wed, 28 Jan 1998

Kevin Solway:  But you should remember that everyone starts with selfishness (if we include those in the unconsciously selfish category) so anything such a person does will be selfish to some degree.  Those who are smart use their selfishness constructively.  Selfishly desiring knowledge and wisdom is much better than selfishly desiring love and sex, which includes selfishly desiring to please others through love and sex.

Irena: But what then of Eros and Agape?

Kevin Solway: Agape is only for the most advanced souls.  Desiring knowledge and wisdom leads eventually to agape - that is, it does if one desires knowledge and wisdom earnestly enough, and if one is prepared to make the necessary sacrifices.

Eros is left gradually behind, as are all the other kinds of love, which are finite in nature.  In Heaven, otherwise known as Nirvana, or the Kingdom of God, there is only agape.  That's why it is so unpopular. People generally want fun, not Truth.


All images in this publication are taken from "The Devil's Gallery"

Compiled and edited by David Quinn and Dan Rowden

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

Front Page Issue 1 Issue 2 Issue 3 Issue 5 Sex and the Sage Issue 6 Issue 7 Issue 8 Issue 9 Issue 10 Issue 11

Issue 12 Issue 13 Issue 14 Issue 15 Issue 16 Issue 17 Issue 18 Issue 19 Issue 20 Issue 21 Issue 22 Issue 23 Issue 24