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59636Re: Let nothing be

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  • Jim
    Apr 1, 2013
      Mary,

      Perhaps given the title of your post and what you write, you are suggesting we have reached the limits of our discussion of being and nothing, and it is time just to allow our thoughts on these matters to lie as they are.

      However what you have written has stirred my thought in new directions, so I'll respond to some of what you write.

      You write: "The tendency to consider both nothing and being as theoretical isn't unreasonable, it seems to me. It is thought questioning itself, which is crazy wisdom in the best sense of the term."

      Yes, this is how I see it. I would put it in my own terms by saying that nothing and being are concepts, or ideas in our minds. For me, nothing implies absence or lack, whilst being implies a presence, an existence.

      Being seems to be the most general term for a thing or process which exists. For example we can identify human beings. More generally we can identify beings which are alive. More generally still we can identify material objects (material beings). But at the most general level of abstraction, being just seems to pick out anything that exists, any thing, or process, or presence.

      Perhaps Hegel's logical point is that when we get to this extreme level of abstraction being cannot be distinguished from nothing. However I need to tackle Hegel's "System of Logic" before I can comment more on his thought about being and nothing.

      You also write: "Perhaps to 'worship' either science or philosophy are both misdirections, and the mystical approach is closer to Nothing's resistance to determination."

      Certainly `worship' is not a word I would use. Both philosophy and science have an anti-authoritarian methodology built into them. If I accept Einstein's theories just because Einstein put them forward, I am not exhibiting the scientific attitude. Similarly if I accept Hegel's or Zizek's ideas just because these philosophers held them, I am not doing philosophy properly.

      In both cases, the student philosopher and the student scientist should aim to critically examine the arguments and theories put forward and advance slowly. This is easier in the case of philosophy as we just have to read attentively. The problem with science is that ordinary people like you and me don't have the time, the background knowledge, the money or the facilities to do the experiments for ourselves. So I think it is reasonable to take generally agreed scientific conclusions on trust. Thus for example, I believe, based on what I have read, that scientists have established beyond reasonable doubt that the earth is heating up, and this is due to human activity – chiefly the release of carbon gases into the atmosphere.

      As for mysticism, I am not sure. I can become still and have a sense of awe and wonder when perceiving the world around me, or just thinking about being and nothing, but I had no mystical experiences of the sort Dick used to write about.

      Jim



      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
      >
      > In order for Nothing and Being to exist, there must be even less than nothing and/or more than being. In this imaginary realm, even the words 'exist' and 'be' lose meaning. The tendency to consider both nothing and being as theoretical isn't unreasonable, it seems to me. It is thought questioning itself, which is crazy wisdom in the best sense of the term. I've decided for the time being to let nothing be nothing. Otherwise it loses its nothingness. Perhaps to 'worship' either science or philosophy are both misdirections, and the mystical approach is closer to Nothing's resistance to determination. Nothing is nothing, and it doesn't get any better than that.
      >
      > Mary
      >
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