2011/7/26 hampus lindblad
Dear Alex and Dino,
Thank you for your thoughts!
Dino, what's your definition of being a full-time nihilist? I'm probably using the terms sloppily too, but I'll try to improve my accuracy as we go along. And what's the significant difference between existential nihilism and existentialism in your view?
Now I'm just going to try taking a mental dump right here, hoping it won't stink so much as to make it unbearable for all you innocent bystanders.
Maybe I should have written fatalism instead of determinism. Or would that just bring in more confusion? But I think nihilism gives us the freedom to genuinely "create". It sort of sets the stage (by not setting it).
Then enters consciousness, eventually followed by self-consciousness, beginning to stare into the abyss. And suddenly that strange loop that we have woken up into. Now we can't create independent meaning for the same reason that there can be no independent matter, all is process, so what we are left with is "taste" for lack of a better word. Ethics is a form of taste. Decoration, both of the interior and the exterior. So we obviously don't have power over what physically happens to us, but through thought it is at least possible to achieve the power to shape what those events and experiences MEAN TO US. What mirrors back. And that is enough to turn everything on it's head. And maybe even trigger similar thought patterns in others happening to be in our vicinity. From microcosm to macrocosm. Like meme propagation. Basically I think that if we focus on the awareness of the strange loop, within the moment, then we create for ourselves at least some degree of movement in regards to surfing the causal wave of process. Or maybe I'm just full of it? :)
On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 6:19 PM, Special Kain
I don't think that there ever is nihilism and determinism combined. Personally, I think that it is impossible to be a full-time nihilist, because there always is something that we hold to be true.
The same goes for Descartes' radical doubts, for example. Even such radical Cartesian doubts require LANGUAGE, and language requires SOCIAL MEANING: socially shared practices and uses of SIGNS that already existed long before I was born. This is where I agree with Peirce's radically pragmatic critique of Cartesianism.
What you probably meant was existentialism. We were thrown into this world - without ever been asked - and we will be kicked out one day. There is misery and random suffering for no reason at all. There is no god, there is no greater purpose in life, there is no life after death. And yet we're technically doomed to give meaning to existence and co-create values. This is where such great thinkers as Zarathushtra, Nietzsche, Rorty and - to a lesser extent - Derrida step in!
--- hampus lindblad
Von: hampus lindblad
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Asha, Druj, and Ashavahishta
Datum: Dienstag, 26. Juli, 2011 15:13 Uhr
What I don't understand, and still would like an answer to, is what sentences of mine there are that warrant these explanations? Where and how did I trivialize the concept of asha? Or suggest that Mazdayasna has anything to do with detailed divine recipes of what to do, when to do it, and wearing what type of silly hat? Without a clear answer to that the sum of this thread will not add up and make sense to me, despite the fact that I feel that I completely agree with most of it's parts.
Sorry if I seem sensitive but I just want to get this right. Well, that and the suspected fact that my dopamine levels are probably fairly low at the moment.
If we act according to who we are, or rather who or what we identify ourselves to be, how do we then go about being as creative and constructive as possible in the process of identifying ourselves? I feel that the koan boils down to the relationship (of the relationships, of the the relationships...) between self-consciousness and what process philosophy tries to describe. I want nihilism without determinism. GIMME!
Ushta [in theory],
On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 12:50 PM, Special Kain
The Gathas talk about WHAT we should do (contributing to progress, developing a constructive mentality, being righteous etc.), but never about HOW we should do it. Such formalisms are for other religions where you're being told what to do in different specific situations.
Instead, The Gathas are full of Zarathushtra's questions. He was seeking answers. And yet he suggests every person make up their own mind and decide for themselves which path they want to go.
--- Alexander Bard
Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] Asha, Druj, and Ashavahishta
Datum: Montag, 25. Juli, 2011 21:50 Uhr
There is not a single example in the entire Gathas of "what is the right thing to do".
Zarathushtra is correctly not interested in specific choices but in "mentalities" and thereby in "self-identities". His idea of a society of asha is simply what we would refer to as a "civilization".
To him, there are no indepedent choices, choices are the results of contemplation first and foremost concerning "who we are to ourselves". As ethical beings.
So you don't become your acts as much as you act according to who you are: Thoughts, words, actions...
2011/7/25 hampus lindblad
I agree, and have in reality never stated anything differently... You are reading into my text something I didn't express.
Decisions are often collective and complex and made within a large frame, yet it is the sum of the myriad of individual "decisions" based on that cluster effect that shapes the world both around and within us. What matters is not who is to blame - or to be credited - for the "choice" in a particular situation, but that the "choice" is asha.
On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 7:06 PM, Alexander Bard
I don't think we should trivialize a concept like asha by making it an issue of individual choice, that in itself is quite 18th century bourgeoise to be honest. Decisions are often collective and complex and made within a large frame. If there ever is to be peace between Israel and Palestine it will never come about through just one decision by one person in one situation but must be organized on a far higher level, especially politically.
2011/7/25 hampus lindblad
Yes, but then the next question arises about how to pragmatically break the druj chain of causality. How to insert asha awareness into the mind of the Hamas member about to launch the katyusha rocket, or the IDF soldier with his finger on the trigger, just about to squeeze off a shot whilst aiming at a group of protesters? There's a quite staggering amount of forgiveness needed in order to even begin to turn this positive feedback loop around.
Words might be the origin of actions, but that doesn't diminish the truth in the saying that actions speak louder than words. And I'm sure you agree.
On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 6:39 PM, Alexander Bard
Israel vs Palestine is quite simple:
Any worldview which starts with the assumption that one belongs to a superior race or religion which motivates the stealing from and even killing of other races or religions is druj at its very heart.
Living in peace with and respect of your fellow human beings is asha.
2011/7/25 hampus lindblad
I confess to still not being able to follow you. Do you not think it somewhat unfair to belittle the social scientist's aspirations to increase the level of understanding within his or her field of research? It's very natural that one, generally speaking, can not come to the same type of "hard" facts and conclusions within the social sciences as is possible within research dealing with the strength of materials or the atomic weight of chemical elements. The reason for this I would say is simply a problem of potential precision in measurement and the extreme complexities associated with experiments in social science; thus resulting in a much wider margin of error. But that does not make social science any less scientific nor the exploratory ambitions of social scientists any less noble than those of let's say nuclear physicists or chemists. In other words, they do the best they can with what data is available to them...
And I disagree with your tango example as well. Asha could never dance passionately with Druj. When Asha would lead right, Druj would go in the opposite direction. Or perhaps even knee Asha in the balls and thus put a swift end to the dance altogether. Asha only dances with Asha.
I would rather say that the mental image you conjure up with the highly skilled and passionate dancers is actually a very effective metaphor of Asha in action. If we could only somehow force all Israelis and Palestinians to regularly dance tango with eachother then I'm sure the troubles there would soon be over. Dancing is all about making things work, and ideally work in a way that is beautiful to behold or partake in. What is that if not Asha?