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41435RE: [existlist] Stunned by Superstition

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  • Chris Lofting
    May 31, 2007
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      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: existlist@yahoogroups.com [mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com] On
      > Behalf Of Exist List Moderator
      > Sent: Thursday, 31 May 2007 4:54 PM
      > To: Existlist Existlist
      > Subject: [existlist] Stunned by Superstition
      >
      > Susan and I are remodeling an older house, which has led us to the
      > suite of cable stations dedicated to such matters: DIY, Discovery
      > Home, HGTV, TLC, and a few others. I present this as background only
      > because of the audience/participants in these shows: most of the
      > people are highly "educated" and they have moderate to high incomes.
      >
      > So far we have seen a psychologist trying to design around Feng Shui,
      > a teacher with crystals, two doctors with I Ching in gold letters on
      > their attic ceiling, and a handful of other seemingly intelligent
      > people engaged in superstitions as a way to get more out of life.
      >

      Post modern age - any metaphor will do. What is sensed is the possibility of
      getting a FEELING of meaning from what Science interprets as rubbish - the
      point is that the scientific interpretation is based on EXPRESSION and the
      literal and so fails to take into consideration any essences and the
      figurative even though the focus of science is on essences!

      What is common across successful esoteric specialisations is .... their
      foundation in self-referencing and so elicitation of emotional resonance by
      a few well placed, well selected, words and symbols.

      > The great irony is that these people, with their educations, are
      > still looking for some universal controlling power. I met a dean
      > earlier this year who was into numerology and "native American
      > astrology." I didn't know there was such a thing, but it makes sense
      > that superstitions are universal in humanity's desire to explain
      > everything they don't understand.
      >

      With the push for differences (goes with the push of unique identity) comes
      the mixing of differences to generate more differences and so the
      development of hybrids - and there is a plethora of such these days. What
      enables this mixing is the sameness behind the differences and so we can
      entangle whole disciplines to create a hybrid that will also generate
      'meaning' and more precise than the two elements joined to form the hybrid.

      This entanglement also brings out the sensation seeking bias that elicits a
      'need' for the 'new' the 'latest' etc This bias comes out in socioeconomic
      systems such as capitalism where anything is exploited to generate income
      and the focus on the new, the different, is attractive to the singular
      consciousness as it is to the particular/general with ITS focus on social
      dynamics, hierarchies etc.

      > What really gets me is that many of these people dismiss "religion"
      > while rushing to yet another obscurant, another religion.
      >

      They dismiss the semantics, attracted to fundamentalism and so gurus etc and
      so go for the syntactic - all meaning is in position in relation to others
      (social hierarchy) or to some ideal self (psychological hierarchy).

      The natural fragmentation of the species into conscious individuals leads to
      a focus on self-regulation (and so DIY, self-help books, courses etc)

      See comments on history in my draft "Language of the Vague" -
      http://members.iimetro.com.au/~lofting/myweb/Vague.pdf

      > The challenge for someone like myself is to avoid rushing blindly to
      > science or math as the other alternative, as if there is a single
      > explanation for every human experience, if only I could gather enough
      > data. Obviously, no one person can / will have all the answers before
      > humanity goes poof or dies off from natural causes.
      >

      We can map the generalities. For example, the 'completion' of competitive
      processes is on development of instincts/habits and so to fit in to a
      context (be it of one's own creation of with someone elses). This is an
      energy conserving act where the good habits, the 'best practice' allows
      context to push and one operates 'smoothly' in the context.

      Of particular interest is the focus on perpetual training to keep one's
      skills (and so position etc). Thus the push for instincts/habits elicits
      exposure to differences to try and refine the instincts/habits but this is
      often beyond what is necessary.

      > No real scientists pretend that answers are certain or that math is
      > perfect beyond the basics. Like physics, theoretical math reaches a
      > point of contradiction making it really fascinating and beautiful.
      >

      Theoretical mathematics is a manifestation of self-referencing, as are all
      pure forms of some specialisation. Being such it will contain the
      symmetry/asymmetry dynamic that comes with these metaphors and so is able to
      generate seeming 'paradox'.

      > But like all the superstitions, science doesn't tell me the answers
      > to what it means to live a good, meaningful life. I have to define
      > what is good for myself. If I turn to the Bible, Koran, Book of the
      > Dead, or whatever else humans have been inspired to write, I will
      > still be left with contradictions and paradox. There are no clear
      > "right" answers because one rule seems to always contradict another.
      >

      The usual cause of paradox/contradiction is our consciousness in its
      misinterpretations of part/whole dynamics. The writings you mention are
      products of consciousness and so will contain all aspects of, including the
      ability to create paradox.

      What is of interest is that the METHOD of self-referencing leads to infinite
      loops and so some think the method is at fault in some way. BUT this
      thinking indicates a perspective of the method being made, rather than being
      derived from a billion or so years of heuristics.

      The success of self-referencing has outweighed the costs of such and we
      instinctively put on limits to self-referencing through pragmatism (don't
      waste energy on diminishing returns) or on sensory resolution loss. As such
      it is IMAGINATION that takes us past the sensory resolution issues and into
      the infinite and so all is 'in principle'.

      > Philosophy, as Jaspers said, is best lived. I do my best to do the
      > "right" thing by most of humanity, while admittedly adhering to
      > Camus' acknowledgment that family is still special to me and has some
      > greater value that I can't defend with logic.
      >
      > I don't live according to superstition or science. I live according
      > to what I think is right. Problem is... I'll never know if I was right.
      >

      An aspect of the singular is you can write your own history, and re-write it
      seconds later. The realm of the random/miraculous allows for that - and it
      seeds the concept of being 'born again' - a concept that shares space with
      the sense of 'freedom'. Zen gets into a lot of this (and so aspects of
      Buddhism)

      Chris.
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