GENIUS NEWS

The Newsletter for Dangerous Thinkers

(Issue 9 September 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, to the total annihilation of false values and the femininity in all of us.   That is to say, it is a list intended solely for those who value consciousness.


In the midst of serious discourse in the Craneum, Diogenes realised no one was listening. So he instead began to whistle and dance about to attract attention. Immediately, people flocked round him. Diogenes stopped and said, "You idiots, you are not interested to stop and pay attention to wisdom, yet you rush up to observe a foolish display."

A heckler in the crowd shouted out, "My mind is not made like that, I can't be bothered with philosophy."

"Why do you bother to live," Diogenes retorted, "if you can't be bothered to live properly?"


Contents:

In the News

Editorial

Beyond Ramakrishna

Absolute Folly

From the Twilight Zone

O, Wise Teacher

Subscription Information

New Genius Forum!

Genius-L at a glance

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


- Beyond Ramakrishna -

Ramakrishna was a 19th century Hindu sage from India.   He was a very simple but intelligent man, who focused the whole of his attention upon God.  The following conversation between Sapius, a new member on Genius Forum and David Quinn was inspired by some passages taken from "The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna", (Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1988).

Ramakrishana: Some people think that God cannot be realized without studying books and the scriptures. They think that first of all one should learn of this world and its creatures; that first of all one should study "science". They think that one cannot realize God without first understanding his creation. What comes first, "science" and "God"? What do you say?

Student: I too think that we should first of all know about the different things of the world. How can we know of God without knowing something of this world? We should first learn from books.

Ramakrishna: That's the one cry from all of you. But God comes first and then the creation.  When you know God you know all else; but then you don't care to know small things.

Sapius: My cry is a little different though. God is not the Creator of anything but Creation itself, and that is Totality. If all that there is, is Totality, then nothing comes before anything, unless you think it so. In another sense, God does come before everything else, in essence, i.e., in "importance", because that is the only thing that is Real, and may be we even know that, but not all have come to realize it.

David Quinn: Very good.

Sapius: In another sense, God does come before everything else, in essence, i.e. in "importance", because that is the only thing that is Real, and may be we even jnow that, but not all have come to realize it.

David Quinn: Yes, I think what Ramakrishna is getting at is that our scientific knowledge of the world is groundless and meaningless without a proper understanding of the One. Once you understand the One, you automatically understand the fundamental nature of all things. And once you understand the fundamental nature of all things, the numerous little scientific details of each object become unimportant to you. It's a bit like swimming in the ocean. Once you understand and experience the basic nature of water, then the various shapes that the ocean produces - in the form of waves, eddies and currents and so on - don't seem especially interesting or important. In the end, they're just fleeting shapes.

Ramakrishna: First realize God, then think of the creation and other things. If you know one you know all. If you put fifty zeros after a one, you have a large sum; but erase the one and nothing remains.

Sapius: I don't see how one can jump from kindergarten to college. You do need to be mentally developed to a certain degree to move to the next level of understanding, and understanding comes from experience. How can I "first" realize, (understand), God, if I know nothing about its nature. From what? by what means? can one Realize God!? What else can I look into if not creation?

David Quinn: As far as understanding the nature of Reality is concerned, one only needs to experience the world enough so as to become skilled in philosophical reasoning. One doesn't need to keep investigating the world in greater and greater detail.

Ramakrishna: One must have for God the yearning of a child. The child sees nothing but confusion when his mother is away. You may try to cajole him by putting a sweetmeat in his hand, but he will not be fooled. He only says, "No, I want to go to my mother." One must feel such yearning for God.   Ah, what yearning! He to whom the enjoyment of worldly happiness appears tasteless, he who takes  no delight in anything of this world - money, name, creature comforts, sense pleasures - becomes sincerely grief-stricken for the vision of the Mother. To him alone the Mother comes running .........

Sapius: "One must have the yearning". May be, but not all do, it depends on the experience he has gained, in other words, the causes that have led him to it, and all do not come across the same experiences. The yearnings of a child for the mother are the result of his experiences, causes, up to that point. To yearn for a God, needs more experiences, causes, than that. I don't think the yearning of a child for his mother is a good example. First of all, God does not come to you, out of love, like the Mother.

David Quinn: Ramakrishna is simply emphasizing the devotional side of things. He is pointing out that it is impossible to realize God without sacrificing your whole life for Him. It is only by abandoning *all* delusion about the nature of existence that one can perceive the Truth. Even if the mind were to hang back just a bit and cling onto the merest hint of false understanding about the nature of existence, it would be enough to keep it in total darkness. As far as God is concerned, one has to go all the way. It is all or nothing.

Sapius: Firstly, clear you mind from using inappropriate words. There is no "sacrifice", there is no "God", there is no "Him"

David Quinn: I disagree that these words are inappropriate.  "Sacrificing yourself to God" simply means making the vow to become perfectly honest and truthful in one's thinking. It means not holding back, not even a little bit, from giving yourself over entirely to the Truth. It means vowing to eliminate everything that is false in one's life.

Sapius: Okay, if you mean, dedicating yourself most earnestly to the search, I understand. Which is most definitely needed, and will eventually take you there. But, basically, although it may seem, it is actually no great effort on "your" part. (I'm not trying to insult Which "you" or something). You might find yourself struggling towards your goal. That is the fight against Maya. might seem as if Effect) in "you" are fighting, but remember, it is not "You" who is fighting. Always keep Reality {Cause & your mind.

David Quinn: Sure, one literally has to sacrifice one's self to the reality of cause and effect.

Sapius: There is nothing "you" do, that has not Caused you to do.

David Quinn: Well, only the person who has fully sacrificed his self can truly say this ..... and mean it.

Sapius: Attaining this understanding, definitely does not take a life time of any 'sacrifice'. May I know, what is it that you actually 'sacrifice'? Emotions? Anger? Ego? Worldly comforts? Maya?

David Quinn: One's ego-centered existence.

Sapius: When you say "sacrifice to Him", who might this "Him" be?   By saying "Him", you attribute a kind of personality to the Totality.

David Quinn: Only for stimulation purposes. It's often useful to conceive of Truth in poetic ways which appeal to the irrational, emotional side of our personalities. It can help us keep our minds focused on what is important.
Truth is certainly impersonal in the sense that it is not a person or a being. But it is personal in the sense that it is our true nature and our parent. She is our Mother Nature who brought us into being and sustains our every moment of existence.

Sapius: Once you do understand the nature of Reality, Totality, there is nothing left for you to "Know" as such, and you know that too. The understanding becomes your nature for the rest of your life. You can never forget it. Just living by it, is what follows.

David Quinn: The trouble is, most of those who come to know Truth, or have an insight into its nature, are reluctant to apply this understanding to every aspect of their lives. This is understandable, of course, given that it involves a complete sacrifice of one's life. So what happens is that they tend to compartmentalize their understanding and confine it to a tightly sealed portion of their minds. They do this in order to maintain their ego-centered existence. Every now and then they can dip into "the Truth" which is locked away in their minds and use it to enhance their ego-centered lives, a bit like using a pinch of spice to enhance a nicely-cooked meal. Becoming emotional, for example. It's all very well saying that the emotions are illusory, but if they are continuing to arise in your mind then it's a sure sign that you haven't yet sacrificed the whole of yourself to the Truth. (Of course, this is not to say that a person who doesn't experience emotions is automatically a wise person. For he could be suppressing his emotions, which isn't a very wise thing to do.)

Sapius: How can an understanding, have lapses of non-understanding? Once you understand, you understand.

David Quinn: If a person doesn't sacrifice himself entirely in the reality of Truth, and therefore continues to compartmentalize it in his own mind, then he will, at best, continue to oscillate back and forth between his ego-centered existence and his wisdom consciousness.

Sapius: Once you do have the understanding, and the fact that you are still a 'jiva', i.e., "Alive", you will still "experience" illusions, as in the illusion of existence, through your sense that will not abandon you. But they mean nothing to you any more. All you've got to do is, simply remember Reality all the time.

David Quinn: Again, only the person who has completely sacrificed himself can do this, and I've never met anyone who has managed it.  Sure, some people are able to constantly recall to mind a certain vision of Truth, but that is not the same thing as immersing yourself in full enlightenment twenty four hours a day. It's like the difference between constantly carrying around a book about space travel and actually travelling to other galaxies in a space ship.

Sapius: I know, what you mean by "hang back just a little bit". You hang back in the sense that some of your emotions do get the better of you at times. Which means that although you have the "understanding", it has not yet become your nature, and you might blame yourself for it, which in turn might frustrate you further. Tell me if it is so.

David Quinn: I'm essentially referring to the process of mental compartmentalization. A person ceases to "hang back" when his mind is no longer compartmentalized and his whole existence is absorbed in the simplicity of Truth. Becoming angry or upset is simply a sign that these compartments still exist. Other signs include mental confusion, mental dullness, distractedness, the existence of attachments, the distortion of facts, irrational thinking, lying, pettiness, flattery, acquiesence to soulless people, etc.

Ramakrishna: Men may be divided into four classes: those bound by the fetters of this world, the seekers after liberation, the liberated, and the ever-free.  Suppose a net has been cast into a lake to catch fish. Some fish are so clever that they are never caught. They are like the ever-free. But most of the fish are entangled in the net. Some of them try to free themselves from it; they are like those who seek liberation. But not all the fish that struggle succeed. A very few do jump out of the net, making a big splash in the water. Then the fishermen shout, "Look!   There goes a big one!" But most of the fish cannot escape, nor do they make any effort to get out.   On the contrary, they burrow into the mud, net and all, and lie there quietly, thinking, "We need not   fear anymore; we are quite safe here." But the poor things do not know that the fishermen will drag   them out with the net. They are like the men bound to the world. Those in bondage are sunk in worldliness and forgetful of God. Not even by mistake do they think of   God. If they get any leisure they indulge in idle gossip and foolish talk, or they engage in fruitless work. If you ask one of them the reason, he answers, "Oh, I cannot keep still, so I am making a   fence." When time hangs heavy on their hands they perhaps start playing cards.

Sapius: There is no-thing that is ever-free. Even free-"will", which is as free as it can be, is a prisoner of God (Totality)

David Quinn: Although we can never be free of God, we can certainly be free of ignorance and delusion, which is essentially what concerned Ramakrishna.

Ramakrishana: Brahman [the Infinite] is beyond knowledge and ignorance. It is beyond maya, the illusion of duality. The world consists of the illusory duality of knowledge and ignorance. It contains knowledge and devotion, and also attachment to "woman" and "gold"; righteousness and unrighteousness; good and evil. But Brahamn is unattached to these. Good and evil apply to the jiva, the individual soul, as do righteousness and unrighteousness; but Brahman is not at all affected by them.

Sapius: Very True, that's as far as God (Totality) in concerned. How ever, the 'jiva', soul, cannot enjoy that kind of 'un-attachment' for he is a 'jiva', creation in God, and God is not!

David Quinn: I'm not sure that I am following you. Why can't an individual attain the state of perfect non-attachment?

Sapius: I don't mean that. You can surely be "mentally" "non-attached" to "emotions", in fact all the time, in the sense, although you still have all those emotions "within" you, for you are still alive and kicking, you do "Know" the illusion in them. ALL those "emotions" come now inder your total mental control, and hence, they hold no real importance or meaning to you. For you have indeed realized and understood the nature of Reality. Non-attcahment doesn't mean non-existent, as long as you are alive, i.e., a "Jiva".

Ramakrishna: What Brahman is cannot be described. All things in the world - the Vedas, the Puranas, the Tantras, the six systems of philosphy - have been defiled, like food that has been touched by the  tongue. Only one thing has not been defiled in this way, and that is Brahman. No one has been able to say what Brahman is. Suppose a man had seen the ocean, and somebody asks him, "Well, what is the ocean like?" The first  man opens his mouth as wide as he can and says, "What a sight! What tremendous waves and sounds!"   The description of Brahman in the sacred books is like that. The rishis of old attained the Knowledge of Brahman. One cannot have this Knowledge so long as there is the slightest trace of worldliness. How hard the rishis laboured! Early in the morning they would go  away from the hermitage and spend the whole day in solitude, meditating on Brahman. At night they  returned to the hermitage and eat a little fruit or roots. They kept their minds aloof from the objects of sight, hearing, touch and other things of a worldy nature. Only thus did they realize Brahamn as   their inmost Consciousness.

Sapius: I disagree. This Knowledge (understanding) of Brahman (Totality) can be attained with some traces of "worldliness". For what is your 'existence' but traces of "worldliness"!?

David Quinn: I think what Ramakrishna means by "worldliness" is any activity that isn't motivated by the desire to realize God. In other words, any activity that reinforces the ego.


EDITORIAL

- The Psychology of the Skirt -

by David Quinn


The salient feature of the skirt is its large opening underneath, which exposes the genital area to the rest of the world. This is no coincidence, by any means. It is a direct reflection of a woman's psyche. Mentally and emotionally, a woman is in a constant sexual relationship with all things in the universe. Things don't just happen to her; they overwhelm her. She is taken by them and carried far away. She is forever passive and exposed to such a possibility. She knows it and even revels in it, and the skirt is a potent symbol of this.

The opening of the skirt exists as though to allow the world unfettered access to her innermost treasure. Through the opening, she can be probed and groped without warning. A sudden breeze can twirl the skirt playfully, before racing though the opening and up her legs as though in erotic pursuit. The slightest carelessness when sitting down can create an opening where none should be. A stranger could, without warning, lift up her skirt and expose her for all the world to see. She is vulnerable, a mood which she experiences erotically. She lives in trembling anticipation of what might happen. Excitement courses through her veins and gives her personality that little bit more zip.

When a woman puts on a skirt she enters into a relationship of trust with the rest of the world. As a protective defense, the skirt is flimsy, almost non-existent. And yet she puts it on because she trusts the world not to take advantage of her vulnerability. This places her in the position she likes best - that of being passive, helpless and innocent. If someone forces himself upon her, she immediately becomes the victim. It's not her fault that she didn't erect better defenses. She is innocent and helpless, barely aware of what is going on.

What gives the skirt its power is its flimsiness. As a defense, a man could breach it whenever he wishes. And yet he doesn't even make the attempt. He holds back out of respect for her. The woman interprets his holding back as a testament to her powers as a woman. It is her virtues as a woman, her personality and physical attractiveness, that keeps men from overwhelming her paltry defences and taking advantage of her. And so the skirt provides the woman with a double dose of erotica - not only does it create a sense of vulnerability that comes with being helpless and semi-exposed, but it provides proof of her ability as a woman to cast spells over men.

The skirt always brings to mind two contrasting images of woman - the "innocent girl" and "the whore" - but rarely in equal strength. The latter tends to be a lot weaker than the former. Woman is at her most erotic when the whorish elements are all but concealed and only hinting at their existence. But it is that very hinting which highlights the "virtues" of the woman, much like how the black night sky highlights the presence of the moon. Her appearance and clothing suggests that she is always on the verge of whoredom. The fact that she never seems to cross that line is proof that she is indeed a virtuous woman.

Through the skirt, and other related apparel, the woman can confine her display of sexuality to her outer garments and keep her mind virtuous and seemingly free of all sexual cunning. The contrast between her mind (the innocent girl) and her clothing (the whore) not only disarms men with their mixed messages, but each element of the equation serves to enhance the other. The girlish innocence seems even more innocent and virtuous in contrast to the background whorishness, and the whorishness itself seems more erotically appealing with the presence of the innocence.

Taken together, these two elements form the essential substance of what a woman is. If a woman were to eliminate all signs of the whore from her being (which would be an act of real virtue), then she would no longer appear virtuous. She would appear as she really is - a bland non-entity. A woman's existence and significance is wholly dependent upon her sexuality. Take that way and she becomes nothing.

The skirt is primarily an erotic tool that has evolved over the centuries to keep men spellbound to the importance of caring for women. It has no other function than that. It teases men with the erotic possibilities of womankind and maintains their interest in the woman's world. The skirt suggests to the man that having his way with its owner will be effortless and easy, and so he is kept intrigued with the promise of easy rewards ....... to the point where he is prepared to work fourteen hour days for her benefit.


- The Price of Success -

The Sydney Morning Herald, 28/07/01


Like other extraordinary athletes, Ian Thorpe is a complex character.

Take this week, for instance. Some journalists see him in the corridor near doping control - an area usually barred to the media - and say casually, "Hi Ian, great swim." Thorpe looks like a startled rabbit. They see the confusion crossing his face. The media should be outside, not inside. What is going on? Where is his man? For all his poise and maturity, he suddenly looks like a little boy lost.

"He likes to have it right and organized to the point that he knows what he is doing, " says Doug Frost, his coach for the past ten years.

Australian Swimming pampers its team members like no other. There are psychologists, massuers, a dietician. They are told where to go, what to eat, how to swim. Anything extraneous, such as having to think for themselves, is removed so as not to distract their focus on swimming. When they finish a swim there are three minders with mini-radios in their ears to escort them past the barricaded media - who might ask a distracting question - and off they go to the warm-down pool, then it's on a bus to the confines of the team hotel.

Comment: Successful people have to banish all disturbing thoughts from their minds in order to concentrate on being successful. They willingly sacrifice their souls for acclaim and glory. Thinkers have to banish all concern for success and fame if they want to keep their minds free for true thoughts. They willingly sacrifice their reputation and status for the sake of their souls.


- Narcissistic poetry and suicide -

The Australian, 26/07/01


The writings of Sylvia Plath and eight other poets who commited suicide contain words and language patterns that give hints about their eventual fate, according to researchers.

Using a computer program that examines word use in text, the researchers analyzed 156 poems by nine poets who committed suicide and 135 poems by nine poets who did not.

The researchers found that the suicidal poets gravitated towards words indicating their detachment from others and preoccupatioin with themselves. "The key finding is that we were able to disinguish features of people's mental health by the language they use, " said James Pennebaker, a University of Texas psychology professor. "The words we use, especially what often appear to be the unimportant words, say a lot about who we are, what we're thinking and how we're approaching the world."

The study appears in the American journal "Psychosomatic Medicine".

Apart from Plath (1932-1963), the researchers also looked at the works of John Berryman (1914-1972), Hart Crane (1899-1932), Sergei Esenin (1895-1925), Adam L. Gordon (1833-1870), Randall Jarrell (1914-1965), Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930), Sarah Teasdale (1884-1933), and Anne Sexton (1928-1974), all of whom took their lives.

It compared their works to poets matched as closely as possible by natonality, era, education and gender. All the poets were American, British or Russian.

The comparison group included Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919-present), Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918), Denise Levertov (1923-1997), Robert Lowell (1917-1977), Osip Mandelstam (1891- 1938), Boris Pasternak (1890-1960), Adienne Rich (1929-present) and St Vincent Millay (1892-1950).

The poets who committed suicide used many more first-person singular self-references such as I, me and my, and fewer first person plural words than did the non-suicidal poets.

"Issues of identity, isolation and connection to others is revealed in pronoun usage," Professor Pennebraker said in an interview. "One of the most telling words of all is the word 'I'. People who are suicidal or depressed use 'I' at much, much higher rates, and there's also a corresponding drop in references to other people."

The suicidal poets also generally reduced their use of communication words such as 'talk', 'share', and 'listen' over time heading towards their deaths, while non-suicidal poets tended to increase their use of such words.

The suicidal ones also used more words associated with death, but surprisingly the amount of words with negative emotion (e.g. hate) or positive emotion (e.g. love) did not vary significantly between the groups.

Professor Pennebaker said previous research has found that the incidence of suicide is much higher among poets than among other literary writers and the general public, and that poets are more prone to depression and bipolar disorder, also called manic depressive illness.



- Stop Bitching About Men, says Matriarch -

The Guardian, August 10, 2001

 

The novelist Doris Lessing believes men are the new silent victims in the sex war, "continually demeaned and insulted" by women without a whimper of protest.

Lessing, who became a feminist icon with the books The Grass is Singing and The Golden Notebook, said a "lazy and insidious" culture had taken hold within feminism that revelled in flailing men. Young boys were being weighed down with guilt about the crimes of their sex, she told the Edinburgh Book Festival in Scotland, while energy which could be used to get proper child care was being dissipated in the pointless humiliation of men. "I find myself increasingly shocked at the unthinking and automatic rubbishing of men which is now so part of our culture that is hardly ever noticed," the 81-year old Zimbabwean-born writer said.

"I was in a class of nine and ten year olds, girls and boys, and this young woman was telling kids that the reason for war was the innately violent nature of men. You could see the little girls, fat with complacency and conceit, while the little boys sat there crumpled, apologizing for their existence, thinking this was going to be the pattern of their lives.

"This kind of thing is happening in schools all over the place and no one says a thing. It has become a kind of religion that you can't criticize because then you become a traitor to the great cause, which I am not.

"It is time we ask who are these women who continually rubbish men. The most stupid, ill-educated and nasty woman can rubbish the nicest, kindest and most intelligent man and no one protests. Men seem so cowed that they can't fight back, and it is time they did. "

Comment: It will never change. This kind of thing has been going on since time immemorial. Women have always been rubbishing and humiliating men; it's just that nowadays they are able to get away with it virtually scot-free. Even the laws are now in favour of it.

What's funny is that it is precisely this attitude which perpetuates the conditions of male superiority. For it is male dissatisfaction which drives men to seek success and achievement in great things. And it is precisely women's smug complacency which makes them so passive and stagnant. Women are constantly shooting themselves in the foot with their "feminist" ideologies, but they are too dense to realize it.



- Suicide by mail order -


A Canadian group is offering Australians a mail order suicide kit, which includes a customized plastic bag for suffocation, to skirt Australia's anti-euthanasia laws.

The $US30 "exit bag" and $US16 guidebook to suicide drugs is endorsed by some Australian voluntary euthanasia groups, who assist in the marketing of the package but do not sell the "clear strong industrial plastic" bags directly to Australians.

The advertisement says Canada's Right to Die Network spent a year developing the "hand-made, customized plastic bag for use in self-deliverence".

"Until such time as the laws are changed to grant terminally ill and incurably ill people a choice in how they will die, the use of the plastic bag (with appropriate sedatives) is considered essential by a variety of international experts, " the Ottawa-based company says.

"The customized exit bag is made of clear strong industrial plastic. It has an adjustable collar (with elastic sewn into the back and a six-inch Velcro strip in front) for a snug but comfortable fit.

"It comes with a flannelette lining inside the collar so that the plastic won't irritate sensitive skin. And it comes with an optional separate terry-cloth neckband to create a 'turtleneck' for added comfort and snugness of fit."

The Canadian advertisement also says, " Here is what one purchaser from Australia said: 'I am a life member of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of NSW. I have inspected your bag at our local office. You have done a very good job, especially on the collar. I would like to order one of your bags for the time my lifestyle will be reduced as I have a terminal illness."


- O, Wise Teacher -

 

How does the Genius approach people? Are his intentions negative? Positive? Neither? Is there, in fact, any basis from which an ignorant person can sensibly judge the actions of a sage?

Wise-Teacher: The term of Peace is not a contradiction. Put it like this. A genius wouldn't "rain" on someone's "parade" so to speak.

Dan Rowden: Of course he would; why would he not? Indeed, how could he not? Does a genius speak the truth? Are all people open to the truth? Clearly they are not, therefore when a genius speaks the truth he puts the sword to people's false concepts, to which they are usually quite emotionally attached. There is not surer way of raining on someone's parade than to reveal the falsity of their most treasured concepts.

It may not be the intention of the genius to cause angst, but it is an inevitable consequence of speaking the truth.

Wise-Teacher: A genius is not a negative person, he or she is positive.

Dan Rowden: It is utterly impossible to be other than simultaneously negative and positive. Whatever we affirm, we necessarily deny its opposite. If you are positive about peace, aren't you not negative about war?

Wise-Teacher: I am not a negative person, even though to you my last post might seem that way. I said that he had alot to learn because I would think he would know this, or have a theory of it already. That's all.

Dan Rowden: Not wanting to offend anyone or approach them negatively can very easily, and most often does, descend into the realm of inane gibberish in no time flat. Whether one adopts a positive or negative stance towards someone should depend on that individual's level of development. For example, if I'm dealing with a Christian who holds to the belief in an inherently existent, eternal soul, a belief which I know to be false, I cannot help but approach him negatively. If I try to be positive and speak to him about the value of truth and so forth, all that will happen is that I will reinforce his ego and delusions because he will place his false beliefs within the context of truth. I'll probably give him the impression, wrongly, that he has some kind of relationship to truth, which he doesn't. So, there is no option but to take a negative approach to him and make plain the falsity of his beliefs.

It may be negative from his perspective but it is very positive from the perspective of the promulgation of truth and wisdom. As I often say, Nietzsche expressed the logic well when he said: "The great scorners are the great reverers."

Vijay: is it not possible that reinforcing a particular individual's ego now could later lead him to give great consideration to the value of his "delusion" due to a later event?

Dan Rowden: Do you mean that if he falls deeper into belief that the jolt he might receive further down the track will be more significant and cause a greater shift in his mentality? If that's what you mean, I suppose it's possible, but experience suggests to me that the more deeply attached a person becomes to any particular belief, the harder it is to change their thinking in any way. And remember that "truth" is something authentically valued by only a rare few. Everyone else simply values it as an abstract virtue because it gives their beliefs more ethical or emotional weight.

Vijay: And is it not possible that your "negative approach" could shut him off completely from thinking about his beliefs? Ithink the truth is behind the intent and not what is technically said

Dan Rowden: Yes, that's possible, but what is lost thereby? Such a person was never open to reason anyway. The idea is to approach people skillfully. If you cause them to begin to entertain some doubt over the veracity of their views, then you have some hope of getting somewhere. But you only have to express a hint of criticism for most people to perceive you as being negative towards them and their beliefs. Indeed, you only have to be remotely analytical about something for people to respond this way. That is just how it is.

A lot of people are so psychologically dependent on some belief or other, for their very emotional stability, that it is probably impossible to have any effect on them at all. Not every seed one casts falls on arable soil.

Vijay: He might have been open to reason if the first possibility (falling deeper into belief and the jolt) was true. "he" would be lost in that case. and you are doing it for him, right?

My point is, how do you know (as a certainty) that the negative approach is the only way? how do you know who will be shut off or who will listen to you? because even if you use their replies/reaction to find out, you may have lost them in just that much time. How do you know if the seed is not really poison?

Dan Rowden: When one approaches an individual the outcome can be to either awaken the human in him or to ripen his animal karma. There's no magical system by which one can divine which outcome will occur. It is always an uncertain judgment call.

I never said it [the negative way] is the only way. It isn't. But in many cases it will be inevitable as there is necessarily negativity in all positivity, and when any attachment is challenged, in whatever way that occurs, the possessor of that attachment will perceive negativity. What will proceed from that will depend on where his values really lie.

Whilst there is no certainty in such matters, the wise person, having the best possible understanding of psychology and attachment etc, is in the best position to make sound judgements. It is possible that you might send an individual reeling even deeper into unconsciousness. All you're doing is to help ripen his karma. But as I say, the sage is in the best position to judge possible outcomes with particular individuals.

If what you want from me is the concession that one cannot know for certain the outcome of one's interaction with others, I'm happy to give it. One is always working within the realm of probability in such matters

Vijay: This is what i was getting at. while the sage could be the most accurate judge, he isn't a certainty, and i, personally, don't think it is worth the risk (however small) to act like i know what's best for someone else. do you think it is?

Dan Rowden: Well, you're not really acting as if you know what's best for them, you're acting to bring about your own goals and to express your own values. They may in fact not value knowledge and may be quite happy being ignorant. Life is ultimately a battle of goals and values. There's no getting round that.

Vijay: the question i'm dealing with in these posts isn't with the approach, but with the intention. where does the truth lie? can it lie in the negative approach? yes. can it lie in a positive approach? i think so. can it lie in no approach at all? i think so.

Any approach is a catalyst, just as no approach is a catalyst. You said: "why would a genius (as a person that speaks the truth) not rain on someone's parade? how could he not?"

Maybe because he respects that a person is in control of his own life, and thus the fate of the person is not the genius's responsibility. and the said "truth" that the genius possesses lies with his intention and expectation towards the other person, which happens to be nothing.

Dan Rowden: The only way a sage would leave an individual alone is if that other person is sufficiently developed that he no longer needs the sage's input, or, the sage perceives no potential in a person. An ignorant person is most assuredly not in control of their lives and a sage's purpose is such that he will not ignore ignorance. An unconscious person, by definition, doesn't really know where he wants to be precisely because he's never thought about the matter sufficiently to be other than unconscious. He is simply where he is. His lack of consciousness stands in opposition to my purpose and values, and, as I have said, life is a war fought on those fronts. I don't claim to have any real chance of winning that war, but an occasional battle or two, which is all I require to preserve wisdom, is good enough. That is, dropping the metaphors, if I can help raise the consciousness of one or two people that will be something.

Whilst it may be so that everyone has at least some tiny spark of potential for wisdom, it would be foolish not to concentrate on those rarer individuals who have been reborn into the human realms (that is, have developed a real conscience) since their potential is much greater. They have some hope of attaining wisdom in their lifetime. Most do not. The probability of most people attaining wisdom in their lifetime is so low that I don't find it altogether unwarranted to describe them as having no potential. One can say that a cow has some potential for becoming a human being or a severely brain damaged person for becoming a sage, but why would one waste their time pursuing such a goal when those with clear potential, and who simply need a push or two in the right direction, exist?

Working within the bounds of probability just means that the sage is not attached to notions of outcome. If his plans go completely astray he is not the least bit fazed by it. He knows everything is at it must be.

Vijay: I have enough faith in others that they can do it without your "help"

Dan Rowden: Then why is it that 99.9% of humanity is hopelessly deluded and wise people as rare as the stars at midday? If the sage's purpose involves something like the survival of wisdom, his purpose necessarily requires the medium of human consciousness and therefore other people become necessary to his purpose. For my part, I know that I can stimulate people's minds in the correct direction.

Vijay: what is the correct direction? is this direction an absolute? when/how does speculation in this direction turn into knowledge of the truth instead of mere compliance (if applicable)?

Dan Rowden: The direction of the renunciation of delusion driven by the application of reason to the essential questions of self and existenceinto belief and the jolt. And, yes, this direction is absolute.


From the Twilight Zone:

"I think you have to accept that within the Absolute there will be things that are not known."


- Absolute Folly -


Modern society is extraordinarily tolerant. So tolerant, in fact, that it is more than willing to put up with claims made about what is and is not real that completely contradict themselves. This is never more evident than in the context of the issues of truth, knowledge, and absolutness. It is more than a little amusing to witness people confidently asserting that they know nothing, that no-one else knows anything and that there are no absolutes. The following dialogue is full to the brim with the ironic humour that is necessarily created when this issue arises:

Jay: The fact is that truth is relative.

Kevin Solway: Is that "fact" true? If it is true, then is it only true sometimes? When is it not true? What conditions would make that fact false? If it is only sometimes true that truth is always relative, then it means that truth is sometimes absolute, which would mean that it can never be true that truth is always relative.

Jay: Truth is a degree of truthfulness.

Kevin Solway: To what degree is that statement true? 5%? 10%? Under what conditions would that statement be totally false?

Matt Timpanelli: Truth is time sensitive, there is no static truth,

Dan Rowden: What about that assertion? Is that a static truth? If that assertion is valid then it contradicts itself as there must be at least one truth that does not change; namely, that all things change.

Matt Timpanelli: Belief is the truth to the owner of the observation, a black hole to one who knows nothing about science is fiction, science will never be fact or truth until it explains all things, which will never happen or at least not in our life time.

Dan Rowden: Well, make up your mind, either it will never happen, or it will happen some time in the future. But, if it may happen some time in the future, what happens then to your "there is no static truth" assertion?

Jay: Dan, I have to admit I agree entirely with him. I brought this to issue several weeks ago and you skirted around the fact that truth is relative. Truth is a degree of truthfulness.

Dan Rowden: I skirted around nothing of the sort. That last assertion is one of the most silly things any person has uttered in human history. The concept of a degree of truthfulness can only have meaning if there is assumed to be an absolute and final degree of truthfulness; therefore, the statement becomes absurd. At the very least you might want to attempt to construct a different way of expressing your meaning.

Like Matt T. you seem incapable of making the further step of logic that your assertion demands. The assertion that all truths are relative is one that is exceedingly brainless. If it is true for all of us it ceases to be relative, doesn't it? If it is untrue for even one of us, as it is for me, then it ceases to be true for any of us.

Jay: What exactly is true for all man, animal, element, and time? What one thing is true for everything and infinity? There aren't any absolutes in this world or any other. When you delve into your mind expanding, be sure to shrug your absolutes and open doors of understanding, learning and especially free thinking.

Dan Rowden: Why ask me? All you have to do is look to your own claims to get an answer to that question. Anyway, here's a little sample of them to whet your appetite: all their truths will be true only for them; none of their truths will be absolutely true.

As for my own examples: none will exist and not exist at the same time; none will have a definitive origin; none will be able to conceive of a square circle; all will exist relative to what they are not; none will be the equivalent of the totality of all that is; none will arise or exist uncaused; none will occupy the same space. How's that for starters?

Matt Timpanelli: This whole discussion is about truth, if i dont believe in a static truth then why even bother with trying to prove them true. sometimes you guys make no sense, I keep repeating myself. This is all going in circles, its actually getting irritating, I never thought i was stupid or unsure, I simply say I call it like i see it, there are no absolutes or static truth because you can't prove anything. No one can be certain of anything because of the break in the chain link (an question unanswered) Is there a God? Why are we here? Is there a Soul? How did the universe begin to exist? Is this all real at all? sure you can try to prove and make assertions but nothing will be accomplished. This is why it is fruitless to try to prove anything.

Kevin Solway: How do you know this for sure? If you are only partially certain, to what degree are you certain that nothing can be proven? What if you are wrong?

David Quinn: I've had a giggle watching this conversation unfold. It's just amazing the size of the mental blocks people have concerning this issue. The way they can look you in the eye and say with a straight face that they are absolutely sure that there are no absolutes and that anybody who thinks differently is necessarily deluded.

It's a very strange form of "open-mindedness" these people display. They are open-minded about everything in the universe, except for the reality of absolute truth!! Their open-mindedness is actually a form of close-mindedness, designed to protect themselves from thinking too deeply about anything........

Being the timid, cloddish people that they are, I can see that they need a little religious guidance in their lives. So I've graciously decided to come to their assistence and offer them a bit of advice on how they should orgainze their thoughts:

Ten absolute principles for the relativist to live by

1. There are no absoute truths, and that is the absolute truth!
2. All truths are relative, except for the many truths this statement is built upon.
3. No truths are static and nothing can ever change this.
4. Everything is uncertain, apart from what I believe in.
5. Everyone is biased, except for when I utter my philosophical pronouncements.
6. All values are relative, although mine just happen to be superior.
7. There is no objective truth, a fact which no one can ever escape.
8. Everyone is trapped in their subjectivity, except for when I discern the facts of the universe.
9. No one is better than anyone else, and those who disagree with this are just plain stupid.
10. No one is ever wrong, except those blighters who oppose me.

Repeat over and over. Remember: Close your mind to absolute truth and become open-minded.

Matt Timpanelli: If i am wrong then i'd have to crawl up into a ball and whither away, who cares its not the truth im looking for, i am stating my theories purely for the philosophical value it has.

David Quinn: There is a awful lot of confusion and misunderstanding about this issue. It has to be one of the least understood subjects by people today, for which we can largely thank postmodernism. It is important to realize that for something to be "permanently true", it doesn't have to be permanently existing. It only has to be incapable of being falsified. The link between permanent truth and permanent existence isn't really there.

2+2=4, for example, is always true, even if it is not always existing. It is always be true because it can never be falsified. There can never be an instance in which 1+1 equals something other than 2 (unless, of course, we change the definitions).

So even in those periods when no one is actually conceiving of 1+1=2, and therefore 1+1=2 isn't actually existing as an entity, it still isn't being falsified. Hence 1+1=2 qualifies as a permament, static truth.

Matt Timpanelli: Your misunderstanding me, If i say that there is no reality at all and you cant prove there is a reality then 1+1=2 is nothing. There is no math no universe no nothing and the truth in that is that you can not prove that this is real, therefore truth is what i make it to be just because you say something doesnt have to exist to be true, how does that make sense, that doesn't give truth to anything my whole point is that is a million years ago 1+1=3 then there is no static truth you cant prove to me that the universe was tottaly different and thats my point. a million years ago the earth could have been flat and there is nothing anyone can say or do that can prove it wasnt like that, because no one will really know today 1+1=2 of course but a million years from now what if we find out that 1+1=10 prove to me that won't happen

David Quinn: Since I experience a world in each moment, I already know the reality is not nothing. In any case, even if reality were nothing, it still wouldn't falsify the truth of 1+1=2. All it would mean is that it would be non-existent. For it to be falsified, it would have to be demonstrated that 1+1 can equal something other than 2.

I may not be able to prove it to you because you seem very stuck on this idea that nothing can be proved. But I have proved it for myself and, in the end, that is all that matters to me. 1+1=2 is a conceptual truth, based on definitions. The only way 1+1 could possibly equal 3 is if we change the definitions.

Matt Timpanelli: A million years ago the earth could have been flat and there is nothing anyone can say or do that can prove it wasnt like that, because no one will really know

David Quinn: Well, that's a different matter. The flatness of the earth is an empirical assertion - i.e. an assertion made about the physical world. I agree with you that we cannot be certain of anything that's empirical. The earth could have been flat a million years ago, or the world might have only started up as simulation a couple of hundred years ago. Who knows? We can never rule these possibilities out, which makes our scientific and empirical knowledge inherently uncertain.

However, logical truths such as 1+1=2 are a different kettle of fish entirely. Because they conceptual in nature and do not rely on empirical evidence for their support or validity, they are utterly beyond the uncertainties of the empirical realm. It's important to be very clear in one's thinking about this issue, because it is the means by which one can begin to access higher forms of knowledge. Unfortunately, most people tend to make a total botch of it.

Matt Timpanelli: You still are being closed minded here; of course the world is round today but what if i told you the universe changes because humans create the universe, then all science is faulty and 1+1 may equal 3 because arithmatic is subject to change with human recreation of it; I am not speaking in terms of logic but of philososhical significance. We truely know nothing and once that is known the universe is yours

Dan Rowden: Right, so even though you're not completely certain that you're right about these matters, you're prepared to declare the inherent limitations of the minds of others. Hmmm......

And if you say you know nothing, why isn't that the equivalent of saying that you know at least one thing - that is, that you know nothing? And further more, how is it, exactly, that you have established this? By thinking that you know a thing or two about a bunch of things, no doubt. In other words, examine how it is you've come to this conclusion and try and tell me that that process doesn't involve your knowing certain things (or believing that you do without declaring it as knowledge). Every time you pixelate, Matt, you contradict and defeat yourself.

If you were to just say you are uncertain about these matters, or that you believe certain things, it wouldn't be so bad, but your assertions are formulated in such a way that they inevitably express the very things you deny.

Matt Timpanelli: 1+1 can equal 3 just like how i can say the world was once flat and now it is round

Dan Rowden: They are completely different issues. The latter is to do with uncertain empirical inference and modelling; the former is to do with truths that exist because of the way the terms are defined. The earth has never been defined to be flat (indeed, humanity, apart from small pockets of peoples has never believed the world to be flat). I+1=2 will always be true in any possible world in any possible time. If the definitions change over time, we are then talking about different things. We are no longer dealing with 1+1=2 as the terms of that equation are currently defined. We are talking about something else entirely

Matt Timpanelli: If the universe changes then everything changes along with it even math

Dan Rowden: That's like saying that at some time in the future it may become true that Matt Timpanelli never existed. How does that make sense?

Also, is means that the logically impossible may become possible, but then, if that is so then it was never actually logically impossible to begin with, which means that logical impossibilities cannot exist, but then, again, if that is so then there is something that is absolutely true, namely, that logical impossibilities can never exist, but then, again, again.....

Your viewpoint leads to absurdity.



GENIUS-L at a glance:

Ok, so God is infinite.  But what are the implications of that?  For one thing, no specific qualities or properties can be attributed to God.  An infinite God cannot be said to possess some qualities and not others, right?  Furthermore, an infinite God cannot be sensibly said to "exist" because existence if a property of finite things.  A thing is said to exist because it can be differentiated from what it is not.  That is, existent things have boundaries, otherwise they would be the totality of all that is.  Saying an infinite God "exists" is a contradiction in terms. Elsewhere you claimed that God is the author of all existence.  Since God exists, you claim, God must have brought about his own existence.  That's a pretty neat trick. Dan Rowden


First and foremost, the philosopher needs to be solitary in mind.   If that is lacking to begin with, then it wouldn't really matter if he entered into a relationship as he wouldn't have anything to lose by it.

If he is solitary in mind, however, then entering a relationship can be extremely dangerous.   Women, in particular, demand a great deal from the person they are forming a relationship with.  They expect their partners to connect with them and form a proper "partnership".   They expect them to be sympathetic and actively concerned for their values and goals.   They don't want someone who is aloof and unresponsive to their needs.   In short, they don't want someone who is solitary-minded.
So the philosopher would have to abandon his independence of mind to some degree in order to make the relationship work.  He would have to turn his gaze away from the stars and heavens, so to speak, and concentrate his attention upon the petty demands of his "partner".    It would be like a bird abandoning his wings in order to take care of a pig who loves nothing better than to roll around in the mud.    It would be unnatural and insane.

On the other hand, a relationship could well be beneficial if the philosopher still has unresolved issues inside him which are eating away at him and disturbing his thought.   Forming a relationship in this instance would be like lancing boil and allowing the puss to drain away.  Once the puss is out of the system, the philosopher could resume his flight into the Infinite.   But, of course, this too is an enterprise fraught with peril as it involves forming strong bonds with an irrational person, and one very rarely escapes such a bondage unscathed. David Quinn


Music, though a worthwhile study, has nothing to do with philosophy.  It is a language that has nothing to do with truth or reality.  Music and math are often compared as relative disciplines.  I can see that. Marsha Faizi


I believe the world would be a far better place to live in if people related to each other through wisdom and intelligence, rather than through emotions and sex. David Quinn


There's no such thing as an infinite number (nor an infinite number of things), all numbers are finite.  Leo Bartoli


Enlightening others certainly seems like the most natural purpose for an enlightened being to have because it is the most expressive of the sage's nature, but one can look at it at an even more basic level than that, in that the sage propagates wisdom just by existing and being who he is.   One could say that the sage's purpose is just to continue being a sage.    He brings wisdom into the world by default, because he is wisdom. Dan Rowden


NEW!

GENIUS FORUM

Genius Forum is a new web-based discussion board for those who prefer that style of discussion to email forums. It will serve as a companion forum to Genius-L and, like Genius-L, high quality contributions will be used in the pages of Genius News. Go there now and check it out!

http://pub.ezboard.com/bgeniusnews


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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