torsdagen den 25:e juni 2009

Whitehead and Zoroastrianism

Dear Dino

Husserl was a giant already by 1915 and had an enormous influence on American thought. Phenomenology was not a European phenomenon only in any way. Especially not among philosophers proper.
And a proper phenomenology is what Whitehead is lacking. There are qualitiative differences between our experiences as we all know when judging them afterwards. There is an enormous difference between seeing a proper spring in the middle of the desert and just seeing a hallucination of a spring in the desert. Often the difference between life and death. Great philosophy is not avoiding difficult issues but rather confronting them head on.
But I like Whitehead and would happy to refer to him as a VERY Zoroastrian thinker. I was just pointing out the possible faults in his thinking, in hindsight. That's all. A recommended read indeed!
- Dölj citerad text -


Ushta
Alexander

2009/6/25 Special Kain



Dear Alexander,

Heidegger wasn't big in the United States at the time. "Process and Reality" was first published in 1929, so he couldn't take Heidegger or Husserl into consideration when finalizing his process metaphysics. This combining is now up to us!
His views on reality somehow were a response to René Descartes and the mind-body dualism as the reigning paradigm. And he didn't believe that we'd be living inside our minds only - where do you get this impression from?
We're used to draw a distinction between the physical world and our fleeting thoughts and ideas, mistaking this man-made distinction for something ontological and stressing one aspect's superiority (materialism/physicalism vs. idealism/spiritualism). So he tried to avoid such reductionisms.
Could you please elaborate on your combining Whitehead with Heidegger and Lacan?


Ushta, Dino


--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Do, 25.6.2009:


Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Panentheism and process philosophy
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Donnerstag, 25. Juni 2009, 22:16

I disagree in that Whitehead takes the distinction of "realness" for granted without making a proper phenomenological analysis first. What does he mean with "real"? No answer. Why would different forms of "realness" even be compared? No answer. It would have helped if Whitehead would have been immersed in Husserl and Heidegger beforehand. Then his "naivety" regarding "realness" could have been avoided. My point is that there is a qualitative difference between different degrees of realness: Such as reality vs The Real in Lacanian psychoanalysis and cores vs margins of paradigms in paradigm theory. We do not live within mind alone, we live within a constant interaction of mind and surrounding world.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/6/25 Special Kain



Dear Alexander,

In what way do you disagree with Whitehead's definition of "realness"? What's your counterproposal?

Ushta, Dino

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Do, 25.6.2009:


Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] Panentheism and process philosophy
An: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Datum: Donnerstag, 25. Juni 2009, 12:07

Exactly!!!
Whitehead is an extremely fascinatiing philosopher, probably the most fascinating mind to come from American philosophy, one of my personal favorites. Although I should add that I do disagree with his definition of "realness" and I also prefer pantheism to panentheism. But I would definitely agree that Whitehead is a Zoroastrian philosopher. Very much so. Zarathushtra was the first proper process philosopher, Heraclitus was the Greek Zarathushtra, et cetera.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/6/23 Special Kain



Dear friends,

Zarathushtra was the first in a row of process philosophers, such as Heraclitus, Laozi, Gottfried Leibniz, Baruch Spinoza, Henri Bergson, G.W.F. Hegel, Friedrich Nietzsche, Charles S. Peirce and his pragmatist contemporaries, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Alfred North Whitehead, David Hume and Gilles Deleuze. Process philosophy is especially linked with Alfred North Whitehead, whose panentheism seems to be exactly the same as Zoroastrian panentheism (if one favours the panentheist approach).

Here are some of Whitehead's metaphysical claims:
1) The laws of nature have evolved over time and keep evolving.
2) The world is a tangle of interrelated events. Such actual events are the "things" that everything is made of. The same pertains to seemingly solid objects: they're just a bundle of events repeating.
3) Dreams, hopes, fantasies are just as real as chairs, trees, rocks or washing machines. To believe that such solid-as-a-rock entities were more real than our ideas, dreams and desires is wrong. Seemingly solid objects and fleeting ideas are equally real.
4) Everything is striving to live more intensively. To live intensively is the highest value. It is what gives VALUE and MEANING to one's existence. It's about increasing the intensity, complexity and strength of one's experience. This is key in Whiteheadian self-creation.
5) All things are gatherings of events. Seemingly solid objects are nothing but repetitions of the same events (for repetition see Deleuze). Such repetitions create societies, for example. Human societies are nothing but events repeating.
6) The universe is creative. We all are creative. We're constantly creating ourselves and the world we live in, as much as the world is constantly creating itself and us. The guiding principle of all existence is creativity.
7) God is in a constant state of becoming. Even God is a "creature" of universal creativity, co-creating this world with us.
8) What's important about education is giving yourself intellectual style. His approach towards self-creation is purely aesthetic!
9) Thus, Whitehead's approach is holistic and monist.

For further infotainment, please visit:

http://www.iep. utm.edu/w/ whitehed. htm
http://www.iep. utm.edu/p/ processp. htm
http://plato. stanford. edu/entries/ whitehead/
http://plato. stanford. edu/entries/ process-philosop hy/

Ushta,
Dino // sticking to a pantheist understanding of process philosophy

Panentheism and process philosophy

Exactly!!!
Whitehead is an extremely fascinatiing philosopher, probably the most fascinating mind to come from American philosophy, one of my personal favorites. Although I should add that I do disagree with his definition of "realness" and I also prefer pantheism to panentheism. But I would definitely agree that Whitehead is a Zoroastrian philosopher. Very much so. Zarathushtra was the first proper process philosopher, Heraclitus was the Greek Zarathushtra, et cetera.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/6/23 Special Kain



Dear friends,

Zarathushtra was the first in a row of process philosophers, such as Heraclitus, Laozi, Gottfried Leibniz, Baruch Spinoza, Henri Bergson, G.W.F. Hegel, Friedrich Nietzsche, Charles S. Peirce and his pragmatist contemporaries, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Alfred North Whitehead, David Hume and Gilles Deleuze. Process philosophy is especially linked with Alfred North Whitehead, whose panentheism seems to be exactly the same as Zoroastrian panentheism (if one favours the panentheist approach).

Here are some of Whitehead's metaphysical claims:
1) The laws of nature have evolved over time and keep evolving.
2) The world is a tangle of interrelated events. Such actual events are the "things" that everything is made of. The same pertains to seemingly solid objects: they're just a bundle of events repeating.
3) Dreams, hopes, fantasies are just as real as chairs, trees, rocks or washing machines. To believe that such solid-as-a-rock entities were more real than our ideas, dreams and desires is wrong. Seemingly solid objects and fleeting ideas are equally real.
4) Everything is striving to live more intensively. To live intensively is the highest value. It is what gives VALUE and MEANING to one's existence. It's about increasing the intensity, complexity and strength of one's experience. This is key in Whiteheadian self-creation.
5) All things are gatherings of events. Seemingly solid objects are nothing but repetitions of the same events (for repetition see Deleuze). Such repetitions create societies, for example. Human societies are nothing but events repeating.
6) The universe is creative. We all are creative. We're constantly creating ourselves and the world we live in, as much as the world is constantly creating itself and us. The guiding principle of all existence is creativity.
7) God is in a constant state of becoming. Even God is a "creature" of universal creativity, co-creating this world with us.
8) What's important about education is giving yourself intellectual style. His approach towards self-creation is purely aesthetic!
9) Thus, Whitehead's approach is holistic and monist.

For further infotainment, please visit:

http://www.iep.utm.edu/w/whitehed.htm
http://www.iep.utm.edu/p/processp.htm
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/process-philosophy/

Ushta,
Dino // sticking to a pantheist understanding of process philosophy

Zoroastrianism and tribal instincts

Dear Dino and Friends
I would even go as far as to say that the whole idea that Society gains from a plurality of views and lifestyle choices was invented by Zoroastrianism. And was as such practiced in the early days of the Persian Empire, under Cyrus The Great.
This Prodigem person has been removed from the Ushta List since he broke about every rule we have for decent behavior on this forum. Racist attacks are not acceptable here, neither is religious isolationism, as we have repeatedly pointed out.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/6/23 Special Kain



Timothy Leary was the first to call us a bunch of domesticated primates, and we was totally right. We're tribal animals. We will always seeks ways to connect with each other. 90% of what we really say is related to our tribal instincts, no matter how many words or strategies we use. Even gossip and media use has to do with being part of or trying to join a community! We want to spend time and share the fun with like-minded people. We even think in groups. We're switching between different subcultural identities, from pop faggot to gloomy Gothic chick, from androgynous Glam Rock superstar to drug-crazed Goa Trance rabbit.
Zoroastrianism is the philosophical religion that is perfectly in tune with our tribal instincts, since it's a religion of inclusion and expanding solidarity. Building, maintaining and expanding communities is sacred to us. Globalization and new interactive media have pushed the gates open and facilitate such activities that are sacred and much cherished in Zoroastrian philosophy. If there's any philosophical response to such profound and all-pervasive changes, it's our religion.

Ushta, Dino

--- Special Kain schrieb am Di, 23.6.2009:


Von: Special Kain
Betreff: AW: [Ushta] Hey There Anti-Democratic Conspirators OF True Aryan Voice I'm Back
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Dienstag, 23. Juni 2009, 22:04

Dear Prod,

Times change, and we change with them. Cultures meet and won't part unchanged in an increasingly globalized world. What this cultural globalization process, which is not necessarily the same as homogenization - not at all! -, needs now is expending solidarity and tolerance, rather than demonization and racist "othering". Zoroastrianism is a religion of INCLUSION, not rejection!!! Building and expanding communities is sacred to us. This doesn't mean that we're supposed to uncritically welcome everything that would come along with cultural globalization. We're not going to tolerate any intolerance, even not yours.

Ushta, Dino

söndagen den 21:e juni 2009

Gathas' view of Good and Bad

Dear Friends

I believe the point is that Zarathushtra is an ETHICIST. He is preoccupied by what makes us who we are to ourselves. That is what ethics is all about. Zarathushtra's ideal is to live an ethical life, which made his doctrine extremely radical at the time, and it still is. Radical egalitarianism, pro-science (even if there was no scientific discourse at the time, Dino, there certainly was a scientific mindset at play, especially in The Gathas), the understanding that MInd and Outside World are different worlds altogether. Hitler's worldview was just narcissistic and banal aesthetics with no ethics involved at all. As you would expect from a psychotic dictator. You could not be further removed from that than Zarathushtra is. And as for killing life, and this sometimes being correct, this is when removing one "life" leaves place for further life. Of course this is complex and open to arguments when practiced, but the principle remains right because it is founded in the love of this world (and the ethical imperative to love the world, no matter what, Zarathushtra's strong ethical principle) as opposed to the making of oneself as a bitter enemy against the world. Never forget that Hitler began his worldview as hatred and revenge in the ditches of the First World War. Making yourself a "victim of life itself" is the total opposite of the Zoroastrian mindset.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/6/21 Special Kain



Dear Prod,

The only problem is that science as we know it didn't exist at the time, so science wasn't involved. And even science abandoned the notion of objectivity, replacing objectivity with intersubjective agreement and functionality. Good is whatever is widely agree on to be good in a given situation or a cultural setting. Thus, there's always a cultural bias involved (rather than scientific discoveries, since this cultural bias is also interfering with science, see heteronormativity in evolutionary biology and zoology). And even economies play a major role, since economic interests often shape scientific and philosophical interests.
In this sense we can't say that the Nazis were objectively evil (or objectively good). There was no immaterial and astral entitiy called "Div" floating through the streets in German cities in the 1930's, secretly programming the people to make objectively bad choices. Life is much more complex than cartoon characters!
There are constructive habits and there are destructive habits. So, I agree with Kamran that good and evil should be dealt with differently: namely, ethically. Whatever pushes, supports and strengthens LIFE is good, whatever denies it is bad. But what about abortion and euthanasia? This is where Kamran's metaphor is getting even more complicated.

Ushta, Dino



--- prodigems888 schrieb am So, 21.6.2009:


Von: prodigems888
Betreff: [Ushta] Gatha's view of Good and Bad
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Sonntag, 21. Juni 2009, 0:41

Zarathustra has a very objective and non-biased analysis of what is considered Good in the world and what is Bad.
He draws his conclusions by an endless and progressive scientific observation of the human society, nature, and incorporates the laws and findings of all sciences including physics, biology, chemistry, psychology, etc into depicting what is a Good action and what is a Bad One. Obviously what Hitler did for the supremacy a certainly Evil and Demonic. The spirit of Div was with Hitler and the Nazi party. You have seek deep into Hitler's life and German culture to find who were the divs and if there was any Godly at all. Maybe it was all a battle between two Evils and Divs worldly exploitive Jews and Racist Hating Nazis in a Evil Conquest for Power. It is not necessary that in every war there is a Good side and Evil side. There could be two Good sides but one Is Better. There also could be Two Evil Sides they are equally Evil or One is Less Evil or More.

Ushta
Prod

fredagen den 19:e juni 2009

What to make of the events in Tehran?

I agree with Dino.
But there is also an enormous difference between claiming to be good for somebody rather than to be just good as in objectively good (as opposed to be bad for somebody rather than just to be objectively bad). For example: There are good parents and there are bad parents, there are good bosses and there are horrible bosses. The difference here between good and bad is how good or bad the parents/bosses are in the relation to the children/the employees.
And that is after all where Zarathushtra is at. He is adamant at selling what his "goodness" is all about.
And don't forget that contrary to many powerholders today, Zarathushtra was born and stayed the underdog for most of life. Maybe that's the side of him that Dino and I see, his underdog side?
What interests me most is how much of contemporary Shia has roots in Zoroastrianism. This issue is endlessly fascinating and also most important today when others ask us this question.
Please keep on reading and tell us what you find!!!
Ushta
Alexander

2009/6/19 Special Kain

- Dölj citerad text -

Dear Parviz,

Yes, it's good to stress that Zarathushtra was just another fallible human being, driven by a desire for power, like you and me. Not a holier-than-thou prophet. He was raising questions and contemplating, using his own mind and drawing several conclusions that his contemporaries and the ones to follow his path could take, adjust and build on. This is nothing new.
But I'd like to stress that Zarathushtra wasn't concerned with good guys fighting villains. He was concerned with people who would have constructive habits and people who would have destructive habits. Of course, he was most convinced of his own ideas - that's just perfectly human! After all, we're most interested in ourselves and our ideas. If you want people to do as you like, just let them do the concluding and believe that the ideas were theirs. If you want people to think you were a good conversationalist, just let them talk about themselves, nod a few times and ask pointed questions. And they will enjoy your company.
We can now say that his ideas were incredibly progressive and still matter even today: gender equality, religious tolerance, building communities, expanding solidarity, ecological recycling and aesthetic self-creation through education. Which framework would better suit the problems we're facing today in an increasingly networked global society?

Ushta, Dino


--- Parviz Varjavand schrieb am Fr, 19.6.2009:


Von: Parviz Varjavand
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] How to have a "Good Trip"?
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Freitag, 19. Juni 2009, 7:57

Hi Alex,

Forget about current events and look at 1700 BC and times of Zaratustra. The game is as old as man. All Zaratustra has to do is call himself "Good" and the guys he is against "Bad" and "Divs". Next you destroy all evidences that may prove that the Divyasna might not have been such bad guys, and you win. If you read the Gahan with this in the back of your mind, the picture you get does not come out as pretty as Jafarey or Shahzadi or Azargoshasb or Sassanfar or Doostkhah or Moghadam or Vahidi or Razi or Shooshtari or Poordavood want you to get. These are all the Gahan translators in Farsi that I am concentrating on so far. All you have in hand is Z. telling you how "Good" he is and how "Bad" others are who are not with him. Next I will examine the English translations and see if the game is the same there too. I am always for the underdog and feel that the Divyasna must not have been such bad guys, they just got tricked out of power by the oldest trickster in history.

Mehr Afzoon,
Parviz

--- On Thu, 6/18/09, Alexander Bard wrote:


From: Alexander Bard
Subject: Re: [Ushta] How to have a "Good Trip"?
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Thursday, June 18, 2009, 4:57 PM

So what DID you find during your re-reading of The Gathas at this interesting time?
Just as you know, we are following developments in Iran every minute, as best we can. Iranian authorities seem to be doing their best to slow down and minimize the reporting. But a lot is getting through, especially through Facebook and Twitter.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/6/19 Parviz Varjavand

Dear friends on Ushta,

Caught in Tehran at a very interesting time, I decided to take my mind off my other problems by doing an in depth study of the Gahan (Gathas). I was hoping that like Dina and Jafarey I would get positive insights from this work, but I am sorry to say that my "Trip" has not been a good one so far. Please do not advise me to change my mental attitude in order to get on a good "trip". This is what all religions tell their followers. Nothing wrong with my attitude.

Love you all,
Parviz

söndagen den 14:e juni 2009

Egalitarianism vs. elitism

Dear Dino

To begin with, I'm 48 years old, and I've learned that other people's stupidities are often my own stupidities too. Or rather, while others have their stupidities, I have mine. Better then to focus your life on empowering other people rather than putting them down. Or attack their bad taste, their lack of aesthetics (their becoming) rather than attacking them (their being). The Zoroastrian approach is therefore to say that people have stupid thoughts, say stupid words and do stupid things and that this is unfortunate. But not that they ARE stupid. That does not lead to any improvment or make you any happier. Neither is it particularly true.

Ushta
Alexander

2009/6/13 Special Kain

- Dölj citerad text -


I'm perfectly aware of the fact that Nietzscheanism is a philosophy of becoming, just like Zoroastrianism, which is one of the few philosophical religions. And I'm not making a statement about the human condition. The way you see it, it seems that there's an element of Deleuzian elitism in Zoroastrian egalitarianism? Do you think that realizing that other people's stupidity simply is contingent entails tolerance?

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Fr, 12.6.2009:


Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] Egalitarianism vs. elitism
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Freitag, 12. Juni 2009, 23:26

It's true that Nietzsche SEEMS to put down people in their being but once you understand his philosophy of becoming (his distinct trademark from early to later days) this makes no sense. He clearly attacks people for their mindsets and their behavior, cleary not part of their being, not given qualities in any way. So my advice to you, as a Nietzschean Zoroastrian, is to think the same way. You can loathe cultural traits for all you want (as you should), just don't mistake this for being the people who behave in such a way, Had they born in a different environment, they would have been very different people et cetera. Egaliatrianism challenging people to expand themselves, that is what Zoroastrian ethics is all about.
Ushta
Alexander

2009/6/12 Special Kain



Nietzsche revised his philosophical concepts several times, so there are different ideals (and only few of them properly thought through or elaborated) in different books. There's one hell of a difference between "Birth of Tragedy", "Thus Spake Zarathushtra" and his last writings. What is his aristocratic ideal - shall we call them THE ARTISTOCRATS? If anything, Nietzscheanism is a philosophy of mirth and the effusive joy of playing. And he did put other people down, indeed. He was sceptical towards people, "the last people", his "overmen" etc. I remmond Michael Tanner's take on Nietzsche's philosophy.
Secondly, I didn't complain about who people are, but how they behave (towards me, my friends or simply the ones I care about). And most people don't want to be educated nor empowered in that sense, since they don't believe in intelligence. They're socially retarded cowards. It seems that intelligence is not rewarded. Or maybe I'm just having a bad day.
Any suggestions?

Ushta,
Dino


--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Do, 11.6.2009:


Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] Egalitarianism vs. elitism
An: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Datum: Donnerstag, 11. Juni 2009, 23:31

Dear Dino

Hmmm... I believe this is a vulgar take on Nietzsche's "aristocratic ideal". Sounds more like Ayn Rand than Nietzsche.
Nietzsche is not talking about what people ARE but about how people BEHAVE.
So his ethical imperative is to educate and empower people and make them change their behavior through a positive existentialist shift of self-identity. This is identical to Zoroastrian ethics about self-identity (I am what I think, I am what I say, I am what I do, I identify with my thoughts, words and deeds). But Nietzsche, while being upset with the stupidities of this world, does not put people down. His philosophy is all about becoming and not about being, remember?

Love
Alexander

2009/6/11 Special Kain



Dear friends and fellow Zoroastrians,

According to Zarathushtra's philosophy, all people are born equal and should be treated as equal, irrespective of race, gender, age, religious faith or sexual orientation - but also irrespecitve of merit? To me Zoroastrianism seems to be egalitarian in every respect. There is no hierarchical relationship between mind and body. There is no hierarchical relationship between heaven and life down here on this shady planet. But what about Nietzschean elitism?
I have always strongly supported Nietzschean elitism, simply because most people I've met so far were boring, tediously stupid and predictably fake. Most people are semi-consciously vegetating, mistaking random biochemical "flashes" for thinking something through thoroughly (before making a DUMB choice). They like being complicated, because being complicated allegedly makes them interesting or sensitive or important .. or whatever they have tricked themselves into believing about themselves. To see them as equals was hard to swallow. Is it OK to become the most devious Machiavellian the world has ever seen? I guess so. This stupidity, ignorance and fakeness really bothers me. Aren't we supposed to defeat such moronism? Couldn't Nietzschean elitism be the appropriate response?

Ushta, Dino

torsdagen den 11:e juni 2009

Egalitarianism vs. elitism

Dear Dino

Hmmm... I believe this is a vulgar take on Nietzsche's "aristocratic ideal". Sounds more like Ayn Rand than Nietzsche.
Nietzsche is not talking about what people ARE but about how people BEHAVE.
So his ethical imperative is to educate and empower people and make them change their behavior through a positive existentialist shift of self-identity. This is identical to Zoroastrian ethics about self-identity (I am what I think, I am what I say, I am what I do, I identify with my thoughts, words and deeds). But Nietzsche, while being upset with the stupidities of this world, does not put people down. His philosophy is all about becoming and not about being, remember?

Love
Alexander

2009/6/11 Special Kain



Dear friends and fellow Zoroastrians,

According to Zarathushtra's philosophy, all people are born equal and should be treated as equal, irrespective of race, gender, age, religious faith or sexual orientation - but also irrespecitve of merit? To me Zoroastrianism seems to be egalitarian in every respect. There is no hierarchical relationship between mind and body. There is no hierarchical relationship between heaven and life down here on this shady planet. But what about Nietzschean elitism?
I have always strongly supported Nietzschean elitism, simply because most people I've met so far were boring, tediously stupid and predictably fake. Most people are semi-consciously vegetating, mistaking random biochemical "flashes" for thinking something through thoroughly (before making a DUMB choice). They like being complicated, because being complicated allegedly makes them interesting or sensitive or important .. or whatever they have tricked themselves into believing about themselves. To see them as equals was hard to swallow. Is it OK to become the most devious Machiavellian the world has ever seen? I guess so. This stupidity, ignorance and fakeness really bothers me. Aren't we supposed to defeat such moronism? Couldn't Nietzschean elitism be the appropriate response?

Ushta, Dino