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Existential Angst

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  • Mary Jo
    Woolsey says they were just stupid to think the Iraqies wouldn t do what our First Nations failed to do, unite. El Sadr wants to tell us all how to wipe our
    Message 1 of 25 , Apr 16, 2004
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      Woolsey says "they" were just stupid to think the Iraqies wouldn't do
      what our First Nations failed to do, unite.

      El Sadr wants to tell us all how to wipe our asses.

      Schools are forcing children to dope their children for control of
      the classrooms.

      Why can't I escape into poetry? Everyone needs their diversions.

      Don't think me unkind
      Words are hard to find
      The only cheques I've left unsigned
      From the banks of chaos in my mind
      And when their eloquence escapes me
      Their logic ties me up and rapes me

      De do do do, de da da da
      Is all I want to say to you
      De do do do, de da da da
      Their innocence will pull me through
      De do do do, de da da da
      Is all I want to say to you
      De do do do, de da da da
      They're meaningless and all that's true

      Poets, priests and poiticians
      Have words to thank for their positions
      Words that scream for your submission
      And no one's jamming their transmission
      'cos when their eloquence escapes you
      Their logic ties you up and rapes you

      De do do do, de da da da
      Is all I want to say to you
      De do do do, de da da da
      Their innocence will pull me through
      De do do do, de da da da
      Is all I want to say to you
      De do do do, de da da da
      They're meaningless and all that's true
    • louise
      Mary Jo, Speaking for myself, I think you should escape into poetry any time you want to. Louise ... do
      Message 2 of 25 , Apr 16, 2004
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        Mary Jo,

        Speaking for myself, I think you should escape into poetry any time
        you want to.

        Louise


        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary Jo" <alcyon11@y...> wrote:
        > Woolsey says "they" were just stupid to think the Iraqies wouldn't
        do
        > what our First Nations failed to do, unite.
        >
        > El Sadr wants to tell us all how to wipe our asses.
        >
        > Schools are forcing children to dope their children for control of
        > the classrooms.
        >
        > Why can't I escape into poetry? Everyone needs their diversions.
        >
        > Don't think me unkind
        > Words are hard to find
        > The only cheques I've left unsigned
        > From the banks of chaos in my mind
        > And when their eloquence escapes me
        > Their logic ties me up and rapes me
        >
        > De do do do, de da da da
        > Is all I want to say to you
        > De do do do, de da da da
        > Their innocence will pull me through
        > De do do do, de da da da
        > Is all I want to say to you
        > De do do do, de da da da
        > They're meaningless and all that's true
        >
        > Poets, priests and poiticians
        > Have words to thank for their positions
        > Words that scream for your submission
        > And no one's jamming their transmission
        > 'cos when their eloquence escapes you
        > Their logic ties you up and rapes you
        >
        > De do do do, de da da da
        > Is all I want to say to you
        > De do do do, de da da da
        > Their innocence will pull me through
        > De do do do, de da da da
        > Is all I want to say to you
        > De do do do, de da da da
        > They're meaningless and all that's true
      • Mary Jo
        Thanks luv. ... wouldn t ... of
        Message 3 of 25 , Apr 16, 2004
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          Thanks luv.

          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "louise" <hecubatoher@y...> wrote:
          > Mary Jo,
          >
          > Speaking for myself, I think you should escape into poetry any time
          > you want to.
          >
          > Louise
          >
          >
          > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary Jo" <alcyon11@y...> wrote:
          > > Woolsey says "they" were just stupid to think the Iraqies
          wouldn't
          > do
          > > what our First Nations failed to do, unite.
          > >
          > > El Sadr wants to tell us all how to wipe our asses.
          > >
          > > Schools are forcing children to dope their children for control
          of
          > > the classrooms.
          > >
          > > Why can't I escape into poetry? Everyone needs their diversions.
          > >
          > > Don't think me unkind
          > > Words are hard to find
          > > The only cheques I've left unsigned
          > > From the banks of chaos in my mind
          > > And when their eloquence escapes me
          > > Their logic ties me up and rapes me
          > >
          > > De do do do, de da da da
          > > Is all I want to say to you
          > > De do do do, de da da da
          > > Their innocence will pull me through
          > > De do do do, de da da da
          > > Is all I want to say to you
          > > De do do do, de da da da
          > > They're meaningless and all that's true
          > >
          > > Poets, priests and poiticians
          > > Have words to thank for their positions
          > > Words that scream for your submission
          > > And no one's jamming their transmission
          > > 'cos when their eloquence escapes you
          > > Their logic ties you up and rapes you
          > >
          > > De do do do, de da da da
          > > Is all I want to say to you
          > > De do do do, de da da da
          > > Their innocence will pull me through
          > > De do do do, de da da da
          > > Is all I want to say to you
          > > De do do do, de da da da
          > > They're meaningless and all that's true
        • jimstuart51
          Tyga, Welcome to the group. You write: What do you mean by normal ? Forgive my ignorance but I am very new here and am very fresh when it comes to
          Message 4 of 25 , Jul 10 10:09 AM
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            Tyga,

            Welcome to the group.

            You write:

            "What do you mean by 'normal'? Forgive my ignorance but I am very new
            here and am very fresh when it comes to existentialist philosophy.
            Apart from experiencing existential angst first hand, I really don't
            know that much at all.

            I suffered from depression, anxiety/panic disorder and particularly
            existential anxiety, an experience I wish never to repeat. I can
            attest from my own experience, I was well aware that I was not 'normal'.

            How does this fit into the concept of nothingness? I was under the
            impression that existentialism dealt with the no-thing, you appear to
            be saying a lot of some-thing? Again, I have no other understanding of
            existentialism except for my own experience, so it is possible that I
            do not understand."

            I realize your questions are addressed to Chris, and I am sure he will
            reply to you directly in due course, but I thought I would chip in
            with some brief remarks about angst (translated as "anxiety" or "dread").

            The term "angst" was introduced by Soren Kierkegaard in his seminal
            work "The Concept of Anxiety" (originally translated as "The Concept
            of Dread").

            For Kierkegaard anxiety is a psychological state which is experienced
            when we are aware of our freedom to act in groundbreaking and
            life-determining ways. We both desire and fear to make these
            existential leaps to absolute and irreversible action because we
            realize that we don't know exactly how things will turn out after the
            leap, and we know that life will not be the same again as we cannot
            undo the action.

            Certainly such an intense realization of one's own freedom can lead to
            extreme feelings of panic, but Kierkegaard would want to assert that
            the feeling of anxiety is present in the so-called "normal" person, as
            well as the person on the verge of mental instability.

            Kierkegaard would say that the experience of anxiety is the result of
            certain limitations of character, but he also maintains that if we
            learn from our experience of anxiety we can develop into more
            substantial human beings. He develops his account within the framework
            of his Christian outlook, but his psychological insights can be of
            great benefit to the non-Christian reader of his work.

            Kierkegaard argues that strictly speaking our experiences of anxiety
            do not have an object. Unlike fear, which does have an object (the
            thing feared), anxiety is anxiety about nothing, however he also
            wishes to argue that there are certain things in ourselves and our
            environment which are the cause of anxiety, so he does talk about
            anxiety about something in a secondary sense.

            I certainly recommend "The Concept of Anxiety" as one of the classic
            texts of existentialist literature.

            Jim
          • tyga
            ... Hi Jim, I appreciate the response. I don t really know much of Kierkegaard. I haven t had any formal education in philosophy, I have read snippets here and
            Message 5 of 25 , Jul 11 6:44 PM
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              jimstuart51 wrote:
              > Tyga,
              >
              > Welcome to the group.
              >
              > You write:
              >
              > "What do you mean by 'normal'? Forgive my ignorance but I am very new
              > here and am very fresh when it comes to existentialist philosophy.
              > Apart from experiencing existential angst first hand, I really don't
              > know that much at all.
              >
              > I suffered from depression, anxiety/panic disorder and particularly
              > existential anxiety, an experience I wish never to repeat. I can
              > attest from my own experience, I was well aware that I was not 'normal'.
              >
              > How does this fit into the concept of nothingness? I was under the
              > impression that existentialism dealt with the no-thing, you appear to
              > be saying a lot of some-thing? Again, I have no other understanding of
              > existentialism except for my own experience, so it is possible that I
              > do not understand."
              >
              > I realize your questions are addressed to Chris, and I am sure he will
              > reply to you directly in due course, but I thought I would chip in
              > with some brief remarks about angst (translated as "anxiety" or "dread").
              >
              > The term "angst" was introduced by Soren Kierkegaard in his seminal
              > work "The Concept of Anxiety" (originally translated as "The Concept
              > of Dread").
              >
              > For Kierkegaard anxiety is a psychological state which is experienced
              > when we are aware of our freedom to act in groundbreaking and
              > life-determining ways. We both desire and fear to make these
              > existential leaps to absolute and irreversible action because we
              > realize that we don't know exactly how things will turn out after the
              > leap, and we know that life will not be the same again as we cannot
              > undo the action.
              >
              > Certainly such an intense realization of one's own freedom can lead to
              > extreme feelings of panic, but Kierkegaard would want to assert that
              > the feeling of anxiety is present in the so-called "normal" person, as
              > well as the person on the verge of mental instability.
              >
              > Kierkegaard would say that the experience of anxiety is the result of
              > certain limitations of character, but he also maintains that if we
              > learn from our experience of anxiety we can develop into more
              > substantial human beings. He develops his account within the framework
              > of his Christian outlook, but his psychological insights can be of
              > great benefit to the non-Christian reader of his work.
              >
              > Kierkegaard argues that strictly speaking our experiences of anxiety
              > do not have an object. Unlike fear, which does have an object (the
              > thing feared), anxiety is anxiety about nothing, however he also
              > wishes to argue that there are certain things in ourselves and our
              > environment which are the cause of anxiety, so he does talk about
              > anxiety about something in a secondary sense.
              >
              > I certainly recommend "The Concept of Anxiety" as one of the classic
              > texts of existentialist literature.
              >
              > Jim
              >
              >
              Hi Jim, I appreciate the response.

              I don't really know much of Kierkegaard. I haven't had any formal
              education in philosophy, I have read snippets here and there and do find
              it very interesting.

              In regard to existential angst, I can only really speak for myself. What
              I experienced was a total, or should I say absolute, meaninglessness. If
              I have to try to compare it anything, it would be an overwhelming
              awareness of emptiness, a bottomless void of non existence. I believe it
              was the moment my mind became aware of its own inevitable oblivion, with
              no hope for a solution, it panicked.

              I believe the cause of anxiety is the fear of death and consequently the
              motivator for most of human activity.

              regards,

              tyga
            • jimstuart51
              Hi Tyga, I think different people experience anxiety in different ways. You describe powerfully your own experience of anxiety as a result of the sudden
              Message 6 of 25 , Jul 12 10:45 AM
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                Hi Tyga,

                I think different people experience anxiety in different ways.

                You describe powerfully your own experience of anxiety as a result of
                the sudden realisation that inevitably you would die and death would
                be the end.

                You conclude your post with this sentence:

                "I believe the cause of anxiety is the fear of death and consequently
                the motivator for most of human activity."

                I am not sure I agree that "the cause of anxiety is the fear of
                death" is the case for everybody. As I say people are different, and
                whist the realisation of the individual's own forthcoming death may
                be the cause of anxiety in some people, I don't think this is the
                cause of anxiety in everybody.

                In my own case I think I have suffered anxiety when I have reflected
                upon my ethical failures and I have worried that I would continue to
                make wrong judgements and harm others rather than acting in a way to
                benefit them.

                Jim
              • Nitai Joseph
                I am fairly new to this list, and I have by no means familiarized myself with the thoughts of anyone regularly mentioned in the discussions here, and thus
                Message 7 of 25 , Jul 12 11:50 AM
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                  I am fairly new to this list, and I have by no means familiarized
                  myself with the thoughts of anyone regularly mentioned in the
                  discussions here, and thus remain silent for the most part. The other
                  reason being I often find political rants composed cryptically, which
                  I opt not to involve myself in.

                  With regards to the discussion of anxiety at hand, I believe anxiety
                  simply boils down to a fear of pain and unpleasant/neutral
                  experiences. This may seem overly simplistic but I truly find it to be
                  at the heart of all anxiety. Death is a huge one for so many people
                  because the uncertainty, and the consequent possibility of discomfort.
                  Yet still so many people do not move towards pursuing a meaningful
                  life and inquiring into a metaphysical reality. In the Hindu epic,
                  Mahabharata, upon returning from traveling extensively all over India,
                  the king was asked what the most amazing thing was. He replied that,
                  "Everyone everywhere is dying, but nobody thinks it will happen to
                  them." Actions speak louder than words.

                  With regard to Jim's anxiety stemming from the fear of future ethical
                  deviations; in my assessment, his concept of what is pleasurable has
                  nobly expanded to include benefiting others, therefore not doing this,
                  or worse, doing the opposite, is anxiety inducing. So I think there is
                  a large spectrum beginning with selfish and extending to altruistic
                  anxiety. Rather than uproot anxiety, we should at least first try to
                  make it a result of noble desires, either that or stop desiring
                  altogether. Good luck with the latter.

                  Nitai
                • tyga
                  ... Hi Jim, Yes, you are quite correct in your estimation, however just to clarify, I was mainly referring to existential anxiety . I understand what you are
                  Message 8 of 25 , Jul 12 6:28 PM
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                    jimstuart51 wrote:
                    > Hi Tyga,
                    >
                    > I think different people experience anxiety in different ways.
                    >
                    > You describe powerfully your own experience of anxiety as a result of
                    > the sudden realisation that inevitably you would die and death would
                    > be the end.
                    >
                    > You conclude your post with this sentence:
                    >
                    > "I believe the cause of anxiety is the fear of death and consequently
                    > the motivator for most of human activity."
                    >
                    > I am not sure I agree that "the cause of anxiety is the fear of
                    > death" is the case for everybody. As I say people are different, and
                    > whist the realisation of the individual's own forthcoming death may
                    > be the cause of anxiety in some people, I don't think this is the
                    > cause of anxiety in everybody.
                    >
                    > In my own case I think I have suffered anxiety when I have reflected
                    > upon my ethical failures and I have worried that I would continue to
                    > make wrong judgements and harm others rather than acting in a way to
                    > benefit them.
                    >
                    > Jim
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------
                    >
                    >
                    Hi Jim,

                    Yes, you are quite correct in your estimation, however just to clarify,
                    I was mainly referring to 'existential anxiety'. I understand what you
                    are discussing as 'general anxiety' which does indeed have many
                    different triggers and takes many different forms of expression. There
                    are probably as many types of general anxiety as there are people that
                    suffer from it, I suppose.

                    I'll attempt to clarify my comment though about the cause, in my
                    opinion, of anxiety. (I'm referring here though mainly to my conception
                    of existential anxiety.)

                    I tend to subscribe to the "Third Viennese school of psychotherapy",
                    although I am certainly no academic on the subject, I do appreciate some
                    of its premises. For instance I agree that man has three fundamental
                    motivators, the search for power, the search for pleasure and the search
                    for meaning, however, I believe all these supposed needs are motivated
                    by a single catalyst, the fear of death.

                    I expect that most people here have hear of or even read the books,
                    "Man's search for Meaning", ( Victor Frankl ) and "The denial of Death"
                    ( Ernest Becker ). After reading both of these books, I felt it would
                    probably be back peddling to indulge in works that tend to splash around
                    the edges, if you understand my analogy. I could be wrong but that is my
                    rough estimation at this time. As I said, I am certainly no academic, my
                    interest is simply a practical one.

                    The general anxiety of which I believe you are referring to would be an
                    overflow, so to speak, of this constant state of fear and its consequent
                    necessity for denial, in my opinion. The fear of death contributing to
                    the denial of death and the denial contributing to the neurotic
                    behaviour as observed in general anxiety.

                    regards,

                    tyga
                    <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychotherapy>
                  • tyga
                    ... Hi Nitai, I think you make some good points but I only really want to reply to one point and hopefully add to it. You said, Rather than uproot anxiety, we
                    Message 9 of 25 , Jul 12 6:50 PM
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                      Nitai Joseph wrote:
                      > I am fairly new to this list, and I have by no means familiarized
                      > myself with the thoughts of anyone regularly mentioned in the
                      > discussions here, and thus remain silent for the most part. The other
                      > reason being I often find political rants composed cryptically, which
                      > I opt not to involve myself in.
                      >
                      > With regards to the discussion of anxiety at hand, I believe anxiety
                      > simply boils down to a fear of pain and unpleasant/neutral
                      > experiences. This may seem overly simplistic but I truly find it to be
                      > at the heart of all anxiety. Death is a huge one for so many people
                      > because the uncertainty, and the consequent possibility of discomfort.
                      > Yet still so many people do not move towards pursuing a meaningful
                      > life and inquiring into a metaphysical reality. In the Hindu epic,
                      > Mahabharata, upon returning from traveling extensively all over India,
                      > the king was asked what the most amazing thing was. He replied that,
                      > "Everyone everywhere is dying, but nobody thinks it will happen to
                      > them." Actions speak louder than words.
                      >
                      > With regard to Jim's anxiety stemming from the fear of future ethical
                      > deviations; in my assessment, his concept of what is pleasurable has
                      > nobly expanded to include benefiting others, therefore not doing this,
                      > or worse, doing the opposite, is anxiety inducing. So I think there is
                      > a large spectrum beginning with selfish and extending to altruistic
                      > anxiety. Rather than uproot anxiety, we should at least first try to
                      > make it a result of noble desires, either that or stop desiring
                      > altogether. Good luck with the latter.
                      >
                      > Nitai
                      >
                      >
                      Hi Nitai,

                      I think you make some good points but I only really want to reply to one
                      point and hopefully add to it. You said,

                      Rather than uproot anxiety, we should at least first try to
                      make it a result of noble desires, either that or stop desiring
                      altogether. Good luck with the latter.


                      I believe this is quite correct, that if one finds anxiety an
                      unavoidable consequence of the human condition, then at least attempt to
                      channel that anxiety in positive pursuits, whatever is most beneficial.
                      The other thing is, that we can stop desiring, which I believe is a
                      wholly much more appropriate path to take, given the circumstances. The
                      problem then arises, stop desiring what exactly? How would this be
                      achieved and could one exist without desire anyway?

                      I think you have proposed what I consider at least, to be the only real
                      question worth asking, how to end suffering?

                      regards,

                      tyga
                    • jimstuart51
                      Hi Tyga, I take it that your central claim is that the root cause of existential anxiety is the individual s fear of his own death and his subconscious attempt
                      Message 10 of 25 , Jul 13 1:48 AM
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                        Hi Tyga,

                        I take it that your central claim is that the root cause of
                        existential anxiety is the individual's fear of his own death and his
                        subconscious attempt to deny the reality of his forthcoming death.

                        Particular anxieties, like the one I mentioned in my own case, are to
                        count more as cases of general anxiety and not of specifically
                        existential anxiety.

                        I'm not so sure of this for a number of reasons. First I'm not sure
                        that it is easy, or even possible, to distinguish between
                        specifically existential anxiety, and a more general anxiety.

                        Second, Kierkegaard, who introduced the category of existential
                        anxiety, specifically related it to freedom, to human choice. We are
                        anxious, according to Kierkegaard, because we both want and fear to
                        take the plunge in a critical life-defining situation. (Not a
                        superficial choice like which brand of coffee to buy, but a
                        fundamental one like whether to leave one's native country, or to get
                        married, or to join the communist party, or abandon one's parent's
                        religion, or to betray one's partner.)

                        The Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy may be based on the belief
                        that the fear of death is the root of existential anxiety, but I'm
                        not so sure.

                        Jim
                      • jimstuart51
                        Hi Nitai, Welcome to the group. You write: With regards to the discussion of anxiety at hand, I believe anxiety simply boils down to a fear of pain and
                        Message 11 of 25 , Jul 13 2:01 AM
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                          Hi Nitai,

                          Welcome to the group.

                          You write:

                          "With regards to the discussion of anxiety at hand, I believe anxiety
                          simply boils down to a fear of pain and unpleasant/neutral
                          experiences. This may seem overly simplistic but I truly find it to
                          be at the heart of all anxiety."

                          I think your view is too narrow, and does not do justice to the
                          accounts of existential angst in the works of Kierkegaard, Heidegger
                          and others.

                          As I said to Tyga, Kierkegaard linked the state of anxiety to human
                          freedom. It's not just that we fear pain – even if we lacked freedom
                          completely, we would still feel pain. No, the idea, as I see it, is
                          that we realize the power we each possess to determine the course of
                          our own lives, and also the lives of those around us. We realize we
                          can do good or great harm, and we realise that we have full
                          responsibility for what we do.

                          Anxiety comes to the fore most strongly when we are contemplating
                          doing something bad – we desire the bad thing, yet fear the
                          consequences. Possibly the wholly good person does not experience
                          anxiety at all.

                          Admittedly if we killed all desire in ourselves, we would remove
                          anxiety as well, but that life-denying eastern ideal is no part of
                          existentialism.

                          Jim
                        • tyga
                          ... Hi Jim, My ideas about anxiety came about through my own experiences with anxiety and some reading as I mentioned. I suggest existential anxiety as a
                          Message 12 of 25 , Jul 13 4:07 AM
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                            jimstuart51 wrote:
                            > Hi Tyga,
                            >
                            > I take it that your central claim is that the root cause of
                            > existential anxiety is the individual's fear of his own death and his
                            > subconscious attempt to deny the reality of his forthcoming death.
                            >
                            > Particular anxieties, like the one I mentioned in my own case, are to
                            > count more as cases of general anxiety and not of specifically
                            > existential anxiety.
                            >
                            > I'm not so sure of this for a number of reasons. First I'm not sure
                            > that it is easy, or even possible, to distinguish between
                            > specifically existential anxiety, and a more general anxiety.
                            >

                            Hi Jim,

                            My ideas about anxiety came about through my own experiences with
                            anxiety and some reading as I mentioned. I suggest existential anxiety
                            as a result of the fear of death and its consequent denial as an attempt
                            at living with some sense of peace which I believe is different from
                            general anxiety which is more of an personality issue rather than an all
                            pervading causality, if you know what I'm driving at.

                            What I am attempting to describe is probably made more difficult by the
                            fact that I have very little knowledge of mainstream philosophy or
                            terminology to call upon in support of my ideas.

                            > Second, Kierkegaard, who introduced the category of existential
                            > anxiety, specifically related it to freedom, to human choice. We are
                            > anxious, according to Kierkegaard, because we both want and fear to
                            > take the plunge in a critical life-defining situation. (Not a
                            > superficial choice like which brand of coffee to buy, but a
                            > fundamental one like whether to leave one's native country, or to get
                            > married, or to join the communist party, or abandon one's parent's
                            > religion, or to betray one's partner.)
                            >

                            Yes thank you for the clarification, it seems I really ought to
                            familiarise myself with the works of Kierkegaard. It seems I have been
                            using existential anxiety in the wrong context from which it was
                            originally intended.

                            > The Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy may be based on the belief
                            > that the fear of death is the root of existential anxiety, but I'm
                            > not so sure.
                            >
                            > Jim
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > ------------------------------------
                            >
                            >
                            I'm not so sure neither, as I said, I'm really not that well versed, I
                            just have an idea and hope that I make sense, if I don't make sense
                            people like yourself are often willing to steer me in the right
                            direction, with rational debate of course.

                            regards,

                            tyga
                          • tyga
                            ... Hi Jim, I am curious, how does existentialism differ from the life-denying eastern ideals ? I don t expect for you to reply at great length but I do find
                            Message 13 of 25 , Jul 13 4:13 AM
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                              jimstuart51 wrote:
                              > Hi Nitai,
                              >
                              > Welcome to the group.
                              >
                              > You write:
                              >
                              > "With regards to the discussion of anxiety at hand, I believe anxiety
                              > simply boils down to a fear of pain and unpleasant/neutral
                              > experiences. This may seem overly simplistic but I truly find it to
                              > be at the heart of all anxiety."
                              >
                              > I think your view is too narrow, and does not do justice to the
                              > accounts of existential angst in the works of Kierkegaard, Heidegger
                              > and others.
                              >
                              > As I said to Tyga, Kierkegaard linked the state of anxiety to human
                              > freedom. It's not just that we fear pain – even if we lacked freedom
                              > completely, we would still feel pain. No, the idea, as I see it, is
                              > that we realize the power we each possess to determine the course of
                              > our own lives, and also the lives of those around us. We realize we
                              > can do good or great harm, and we realise that we have full
                              > responsibility for what we do.
                              >
                              > Anxiety comes to the fore most strongly when we are contemplating
                              > doing something bad – we desire the bad thing, yet fear the
                              > consequences. Possibly the wholly good person does not experience
                              > anxiety at all.
                              >
                              > Admittedly if we killed all desire in ourselves, we would remove
                              > anxiety as well, but that life-denying eastern ideal is no part of
                              > existentialism.
                              >
                              > Jim
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > ------------------------------------
                              >
                              >
                              Hi Jim,

                              I am curious, how does existentialism differ from the "life-denying
                              eastern ideals"? I don't expect for you to reply at great length but I
                              do find this topic particularly interesting, I would appreciate a
                              greater understanding of the differences?

                              regards,

                              tyga
                            • jimstuart51
                              Tyga, I am not an expert on eastern philosophy and religion, but my understanding is that Buddhism and other eastern philosophies argue that the chief aim in
                              Message 14 of 25 , Jul 13 10:49 AM
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                                Tyga,

                                I am not an expert on eastern philosophy and religion, but my
                                understanding is that Buddhism and other eastern philosophies argue
                                that the chief aim in life is to end suffering, and the way to do
                                this is to remove desire.

                                I don't deny that this remedy to the problem of suffering does have
                                some truth to it, but it seems to me that this approach throws out
                                the baby with the bathwater, and if we work to remove all our
                                desires, we end up withdrawing from life, and not throwing ourselves
                                into life.

                                On my understanding, existentialism is all about living a life of
                                action and commitment, whereas eastern philosophy recommends a
                                passive approach to life.

                                These are just my views, I may be misrepresenting existentialism or
                                the eastern outlook, or both.

                                Jim


                                > Hi Jim,
                                >
                                > I am curious, how does existentialism differ from the "life-denying
                                > eastern ideals"? I don't expect for you to reply at great length
                                but I
                                > do find this topic particularly interesting, I would appreciate a
                                > greater understanding of the differences?
                                >
                                > regards,
                                >
                                > tyga
                                >
                              • bhvwd
                                ... ourselves ... floundering as post modernism attempted to supplant existentialism with an outlook that lacked dynamism and approaches the cyclic approach
                                Message 15 of 25 , Jul 13 1:05 PM
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                                  --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "jimstuart51" <jjimstuart1@...>
                                  wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Tyga,
                                  >
                                  > I am not an expert on eastern philosophy and religion, but my
                                  > understanding is that Buddhism and other eastern philosophies argue
                                  > that the chief aim in life is to end suffering, and the way to do
                                  > this is to remove desire.
                                  >
                                  > I don't deny that this remedy to the problem of suffering does have
                                  > some truth to it, but it seems to me that this approach throws out
                                  > the baby with the bathwater, and if we work to remove all our
                                  > desires, we end up withdrawing from life, and not throwing
                                  ourselves
                                  > into life.
                                  >
                                  > On my understanding, existentialism is all about living a life of
                                  > action and commitment, whereas eastern philosophy recommends a
                                  > passive approach to life.
                                  >
                                  > These are just my views, I may be misrepresenting existentialism or
                                  > the eastern outlook, or both.
                                  >
                                  > Jim
                                  > Jim, I think your representations are sound but the west is
                                  floundering as post modernism attempted to supplant existentialism
                                  with an outlook that lacked dynamism and approaches the cyclic
                                  approach of the eastern philosophies. This leaves the west with two
                                  or more generations that are adrift and goalless. The dynamic of
                                  linear progress has not been replaced and the west is left to move
                                  without steerage through any number of isms that clash wildly with
                                  one another. Gridlock is the outcome and stagflation becomes the
                                  product.
                                  I know many are depending on the young Obama to energise our
                                  efforts. I have listened to him closely as of late and like what I
                                  am hearing. I am beginning to discern a new approach that engages
                                  our young in the vital work of rebuilding infrastructure and
                                  returning to a dynamic of progress. Building useful things can make
                                  life a joy and can answer the so often felt lack of meaning. I have
                                  never heard Obama even mention existentialism yet none of his many
                                  plans seem to contradict our old philosophy.
                                  The capitalist Chinese have tapped a great well spring of personal
                                  energy within their society. The Buddhist cyclic approach is gone
                                  and a hearty dynamism charges into a huge attempt to have a better
                                  life. Only the young can accomplish such monumental tasks and what
                                  it is called is of little importance.
                                  On Monday we will resume the contest to survive neoconservitism. It
                                  would be better if we could skip these final six months. I am
                                  planning to work, even though it may be essentially fruitless in the
                                  greater scope of things. Giving up is no option since that would be
                                  the worst example to give the young. What do you think? Bill
                                  >
                                  > > Hi Jim,
                                  > >
                                  > > I am curious, how does existentialism differ from the "life-
                                  denying
                                  > > eastern ideals"? I don't expect for you to reply at great length
                                  > but I
                                  > > do find this topic particularly interesting, I would appreciate a
                                  > > greater understanding of the differences?
                                  > >
                                  > > regards,
                                  > >
                                  > > tyga
                                  > >
                                  >
                                • jimstuart51
                                  Bill, I agree with everything you say. As you say, post modernism is a negative force as it does not encourage the individual to decisive action. I don t know
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Jul 13 2:28 PM
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                                    Bill,

                                    I agree with everything you say.

                                    As you say, post modernism is a negative force as it does not
                                    encourage the individual to decisive action.

                                    I don't know much about American politics, but if Obama is inspiring
                                    the young and talking of rebuilding the infrastructure of your
                                    country, then that sounds good for all of us.

                                    Finally I agree that us old ones should try to set an example to the
                                    young, even if we don't always feel like it, due to our decreasing
                                    energy levels.

                                    Jim


                                    > > Jim, I think your representations are sound but the west is
                                    > floundering as post modernism attempted to supplant
                                    existentialism
                                    > with an outlook that lacked dynamism and approaches the cyclic
                                    > approach of the eastern philosophies. This leaves the west with
                                    two
                                    > or more generations that are adrift and goalless. The dynamic of
                                    > linear progress has not been replaced and the west is left to move
                                    > without steerage through any number of isms that clash wildly with
                                    > one another. Gridlock is the outcome and stagflation becomes the
                                    > product.
                                    > I know many are depending on the young Obama to energise our
                                    > efforts. I have listened to him closely as of late and like what I
                                    > am hearing. I am beginning to discern a new approach that engages
                                    > our young in the vital work of rebuilding infrastructure and
                                    > returning to a dynamic of progress. Building useful things can
                                    make
                                    > life a joy and can answer the so often felt lack of meaning. I have
                                    > never heard Obama even mention existentialism yet none of his many
                                    > plans seem to contradict our old philosophy.
                                    > The capitalist Chinese have tapped a great well spring of
                                    personal
                                    > energy within their society. The Buddhist cyclic approach is gone
                                    > and a hearty dynamism charges into a huge attempt to have a
                                    better
                                    > life. Only the young can accomplish such monumental tasks and what
                                    > it is called is of little importance.
                                    > On Monday we will resume the contest to survive neoconservitism.
                                    It
                                    > would be better if we could skip these final six months. I am
                                    > planning to work, even though it may be essentially fruitless in
                                    the
                                    > greater scope of things. Giving up is no option since that would
                                    be
                                    > the worst example to give the young. What do you think? Bill
                                  • Aija Veldre Beldavs
                                    ... do you consider the protest activity of Myanmar or Tibetan or any number of other Far Eastern monks in history as life-denying, or do you consider them
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Jul 13 2:38 PM
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                                      > Admittedly if we killed all desire in ourselves, we would remove
                                      > anxiety as well, but that life-denying eastern ideal is no part of
                                      > existentialism.
                                      > Jim

                                      do you consider the protest activity of Myanmar or Tibetan or any number
                                      of other Far Eastern monks in history as "life-denying," or do you
                                      consider them atypical or "western"?

                                      ...rather typical to fully glory in the rich variety of one's own
                                      spirituality, while stereotyping that of others, but could it be
                                      (consistent with existential individualism)less important what religious
                                      or philosophical representational system a person favors, as what in
                                      fact they do in relation to others?

                                      aija
                                    • jimstuart51
                                      Aija, Yes, I did in fact think of the protests of the Buddhist monks in Burma recently as a counterexample to my claim that Buddhism encourages passivity. I m
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Jul 13 3:08 PM
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                                        Aija,

                                        Yes, I did in fact think of the protests of the Buddhist monks in
                                        Burma recently as a counterexample to my claim that Buddhism
                                        encourages passivity.

                                        I'm not sure I am guilty of your criticism: "to fully glory in the
                                        rich variety of one's own spirituality, while stereotyping that of
                                        others".

                                        I'm not sure what my own spirituality is, which I am fully
                                        glorifying. Clearly I prefer my own spirituality to that of the
                                        Other. If I didn't I would abandon my own spirituality and embrace
                                        his.

                                        Further I did not intend to defend anything which might be
                                        called "western spirituality". I am opposed to western corporate-
                                        consumer capitalism, so my spirituality is very different from the
                                        typical westerner.

                                        I'm not sure if I am stereotyping eastern spirituality. I do have a
                                        criticism of Buddhism: that the goal of killing all desire throws the
                                        baby (of valuing action and commitment) out with the bathwater
                                        (suffering). I do think this particular Buddhist doctrine is life-
                                        denying. But, as you say, it does not seem to stop Buddhist monks
                                        engaging in life-affirming protests against injustice.

                                        Finally, yes, actions speak louder than words, and on my reading of
                                        existentialism, it is actions that count, and words and beliefs are
                                        just floss in comparison.

                                        Jim


                                        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Aija Veldre Beldavs <beldavsa@...>
                                        wrote:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > > Admittedly if we killed all desire in ourselves, we would remove
                                        > > anxiety as well, but that life-denying eastern ideal is no part
                                        of
                                        > > existentialism.
                                        > > Jim
                                        >
                                        > do you consider the protest activity of Myanmar or Tibetan or any
                                        number
                                        > of other Far Eastern monks in history as "life-denying," or do you
                                        > consider them atypical or "western"?
                                        >
                                        > ...rather typical to fully glory in the rich variety of one's own
                                        > spirituality, while stereotyping that of others, but could it be
                                        > (consistent with existential individualism)less important what
                                        religious
                                        > or philosophical representational system a person favors, as what
                                        in
                                        > fact they do in relation to others?
                                        >
                                        > aija
                                        >
                                      • tyga
                                        ... Hi Jim, No I m no expert neither, I think I know even less about eastern philosophy than do about the western variety. I do know a few things though which
                                        Message 19 of 25 , Jul 13 3:48 PM
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                                          jimstuart51 wrote:
                                          > Tyga,
                                          >
                                          > I am not an expert on eastern philosophy and religion, but my
                                          > understanding is that Buddhism and other eastern philosophies argue
                                          > that the chief aim in life is to end suffering, and the way to do
                                          > this is to remove desire.
                                          >
                                          > I don't deny that this remedy to the problem of suffering does have
                                          > some truth to it, but it seems to me that this approach throws out
                                          > the baby with the bathwater, and if we work to remove all our
                                          > desires, we end up withdrawing from life, and not throwing ourselves
                                          > into life.
                                          >
                                          > On my understanding, existentialism is all about living a life of
                                          > action and commitment, whereas eastern philosophy recommends a
                                          > passive approach to life.
                                          >
                                          > These are just my views, I may be misrepresenting existentialism or
                                          > the eastern outlook, or both.
                                          >
                                          > Jim
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          Hi Jim,

                                          No I'm no expert neither, I think I know even less about eastern
                                          philosophy than do about the western variety. I do know a few things
                                          though which I have managed to pick up over the last couple of years. In
                                          my limited understanding I think both styles actually have quite a bit
                                          in common.

                                          I think the fundamental difference though, is that in western
                                          philosophy, we prefer the clinical approach, based almost entirely on
                                          rational, logical and possibly even mathematical precision. I believe
                                          this is called a top down approach.Where as the eastern approach is much
                                          more intuitive, relying fundamentally on experience related to self
                                          realisation, that one becomes aware of their absolute interconnectedness
                                          to the universe. I believe this is a bottom up approach. I could be
                                          wrong but I thought the differences between these approaches were about
                                          as close of an comparison as I could manage to find.

                                          There is no throwing anything out though, as far as I am aware, the
                                          highest purpose of eastern philosophy is self realisation through
                                          increased awareness. Attempting to throw stuff out would be similar to
                                          denial, which I don't think fits with the eastern philosophical
                                          ideology. Through the process of self awareness and consequently
                                          awareness in general, it becomes increasing apparent that ones
                                          attachment to physical reality is far less tangible than we might
                                          imagine. I think the eastern philosopher actually prescribes to the idea
                                          that 'everything is meaningless', that once this has been understood a
                                          truer understanding of ones self and the universe can be appreciated
                                          rather than discarded.

                                          I believe the existentialist actually perceives and appreciates a very
                                          similar idea, that ultimately there is no inherent meaning nor purpose
                                          to life or the universe, that ones own awareness of being here at this
                                          moment, is probably the only thing we might say with any certainty. I
                                          think the existentialist might lean toward a nihilistic understanding,
                                          where the eastern philosopher might lean toward an absolute
                                          understanding. Am I making sense?

                                          regards,

                                          tyga
                                        • thalayur jayaraman
                                          Tyaga my dear friend, Don t generalize on Eastern philosophy saying that it advocates withdrawal from life.Eastern philosophy teaches one as to how to
                                          Message 20 of 25 , Jul 13 6:28 PM
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                                            Tyaga my dear friend,
                                            Don't generalize on Eastern philosophy saying that it advocates withdrawal from life.Eastern philosophy teaches one as to how to approach life in an enlightened manner.
                                            DHARMA, ARTHA, KAMA. MOKSHA are the four ends of life.
                                            They are Sanscrit words.
                                            Dharma deals with ethical living.It means that which sustains every thing.
                                            Artha is about acquisition of wealth. Remember, this is surely not life denying.
                                            Kama is enjoyment.Kama Sutra deals with enjoyment of sex.You will agree that this is not withdrawal from life.
                                            Moksha is the ultimate goal of liberation.
                                            Life is a school for learning.
                                            All ends are important.
                                            Eastern philosophy is subtle but has tremendous clarity.
                                            SAYEE (TK JAYARAMAN)
                                            tkjcustoms@...






                                            ----- Original Message ----
                                            From: tyga <tyga@...>
                                            To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                            Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2008 3:48:07 PM
                                            Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Existentialism v's Eastern philosophy


                                            jimstuart51 wrote:
                                            > Tyga,
                                            >
                                            > I am not an expert on eastern philosophy and religion, but my
                                            > understanding is that Buddhism and other eastern philosophies argue
                                            > that the chief aim in life is to end suffering, and the way to do
                                            > this is to remove desire.
                                            >
                                            > I don't deny that this remedy to the problem of suffering does have
                                            > some truth to it, but it seems to me that this approach throws out
                                            > the baby with the bathwater, and if we work to remove all our
                                            > desires, we end up withdrawing from life, and not throwing ourselves
                                            > into life.
                                            >
                                            > On my understanding, existentialism is all about living a life of
                                            > action and commitment, whereas eastern philosophy recommends a
                                            > passive approach to life.
                                            >
                                            > These are just my views, I may be misrepresenting existentialism or
                                            > the eastern outlook, or both.
                                            >
                                            > Jim
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            Hi Jim,

                                            No I'm no expert neither, I think I know even less about eastern
                                            philosophy than do about the western variety. I do know a few things
                                            though which I have managed to pick up over the last couple of years. In
                                            my limited understanding I think both styles actually have quite a bit
                                            in common.

                                            I think the fundamental difference though, is that in western
                                            philosophy, we prefer the clinical approach, based almost entirely on
                                            rational, logical and possibly even mathematical precision. I believe
                                            this is called a top down approach.Where as the eastern approach is much
                                            more intuitive, relying fundamentally on experience related to self
                                            realisation, that one becomes aware of their absolute interconnectedness
                                            to the universe. I believe this is a bottom up approach. I could be
                                            wrong but I thought the differences between these approaches were about
                                            as close of an comparison as I could manage to find.

                                            There is no throwing anything out though, as far as I am aware, the
                                            highest purpose of eastern philosophy is self realisation through
                                            increased awareness. Attempting to throw stuff out would be similar to
                                            denial, which I don't think fits with the eastern philosophical
                                            ideology. Through the process of self awareness and consequently
                                            awareness in general, it becomes increasing apparent that ones
                                            attachment to physical reality is far less tangible than we might
                                            imagine. I think the eastern philosopher actually prescribes to the idea
                                            that 'everything is meaningless' , that once this has been understood a
                                            truer understanding of ones self and the universe can be appreciated
                                            rather than discarded.

                                            I believe the existentialist actually perceives and appreciates a very
                                            similar idea, that ultimately there is no inherent meaning nor purpose
                                            to life or the universe, that ones own awareness of being here at this
                                            moment, is probably the only thing we might say with any certainty. I
                                            think the existentialist might lean toward a nihilistic understanding,
                                            where the eastern philosopher might lean toward an absolute
                                            understanding. Am I making sense?

                                            regards,

                                            tyga





                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          • tyga
                                            ... Hi, I think you might have gotten some messages mixed up. I didn t nor do I say that eastern philosophy is a withdrawal from life. I think I said that in
                                            Message 21 of 25 , Jul 13 9:16 PM
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                                              thalayur jayaraman wrote:
                                              > Tyaga my dear friend,
                                              > Don't generalize on Eastern philosophy saying that it advocates withdrawal from life.Eastern philosophy teaches one as to how to approach life in an enlightened manner.
                                              > DHARMA, ARTHA, KAMA. MOKSHA are the four ends of life.
                                              > They are Sanscrit words.
                                              > Dharma deals with ethical living.It means that which sustains every thing.
                                              > Artha is about acquisition of wealth. Remember, this is surely not life denying.
                                              > Kama is enjoyment.Kama Sutra deals with enjoyment of sex.You will agree that this is not withdrawal from life.
                                              > Moksha is the ultimate goal of liberation.
                                              > Life is a school for learning.
                                              > All ends are important.
                                              > Eastern philosophy is subtle but has tremendous clarity.
                                              > SAYEE (TK JAYARAMAN)
                                              > tkjcustoms@...
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              Hi,

                                              I think you might have gotten some messages mixed up. I didn't nor do I
                                              say that eastern philosophy is a withdrawal from life. I think I said
                                              that in my limited understanding eastern philosophy teaches a deeper
                                              appreciation of life and the universe, or something along those lines.

                                              regards,

                                              tyga
                                            • jimstuart51
                                              Hi Tyga, Thank you for your thoughtful post #44729. I think there is some truth in your way of drawing the distinction between western philosophy and the
                                              Message 22 of 25 , Jul 14 2:29 PM
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                                                Hi Tyga,

                                                Thank you for your thoughtful post #44729.

                                                I think there is some truth in your way of drawing the distinction
                                                between western philosophy and the eastern approach. However, I'm not
                                                sure such generalisation is particularly useful. Within western
                                                philosophy there are many different approaches. For example there are
                                                big differences between the analytic approach and the continental
                                                approach. Similarly I would imagine that there are many distinct
                                                approaches within the eastern tradition.

                                                Aija has criticised me for stereotyping eastern thought, so I am
                                                going to try to avoid generalisations from now on, however I think
                                                you are absolutely correct to say that:

                                                "the eastern approach is much more intuitive, relying fundamentally
                                                on experience related to self realisation, that one becomes aware of
                                                their absolute interconnectedness to the universe."

                                                I think this idea of the interconnectedness of all things is becoming
                                                more popular in the West now. Quite a few philosophers and scientists
                                                have endorsed, in recent years, the idea of the Gaia hypothesis:

                                                "The Gaia hypothesis is an ecological hypothesis that proposes that
                                                the biosphere and the physical components of the Earth (atmosphere,
                                                cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere) are coupled together to form
                                                a complex interacting system. This system is proposed to act in a
                                                homeostatic fashion that preserves climatic and biogeochemical
                                                conditions on Earth that are suitable for living organisms. Named
                                                after the Greek Titan of the earth, the hypothesis is frequently
                                                described as viewing the Earth as a single organism." (wikipedia)

                                                I am also attracted to this idea, which is a useful idea in the
                                                battle to save our planet from the threat of climate change.

                                                In fact, I think the eastern idea of interconnectedness is to be
                                                preferred to the western ideas of atomism and individualism which
                                                have dominated western philosophy since Descartes.

                                                If I think of myself as a non-detachable part of a complex whole, I
                                                am less likely to behave selfishly or violently.

                                                Jim
                                              • tyga
                                                ... Hi Jim, I hope you don t mind me cutting your posts up in this fashion, I find it much easier to digest and respond than attempting to compose an entire
                                                Message 23 of 25 , Jul 14 3:54 PM
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                                                  jimstuart51 wrote:
                                                  > Hi Tyga,
                                                  >
                                                  > Thank you for your thoughtful post #44729.
                                                  >
                                                  > I think there is some truth in your way of drawing the distinction
                                                  > between western philosophy and the eastern approach. However, I'm not
                                                  > sure such generalisation is particularly useful. Within western
                                                  > philosophy there are many different approaches. For example there are
                                                  > big differences between the analytic approach and the continental
                                                  > approach. Similarly I would imagine that there are many distinct
                                                  > approaches within the eastern tradition.
                                                  >

                                                  Hi Jim,

                                                  I hope you don't mind me cutting your posts up in this fashion, I find
                                                  it much easier to digest and respond than attempting to compose an
                                                  entire reply.

                                                  It has become increasing obvious to me even in the short time I have
                                                  been on this list, that it would do me well and improve communication,
                                                  to study at least the major works of the various western philosophers.
                                                  An obvious conclusion but not one that was immediately apparent to
                                                  myself but I think we are probably all prone to dementia moments from
                                                  time to time. I think there is a suitable list available on the
                                                  existential primer. I expect it would take me at least six months to
                                                  develop a basic understanding about the ideas and philosophies discussed
                                                  here in order that our conversations can be on more or less the same
                                                  wave length or there about.

                                                  > Aija has criticised me for stereotyping eastern thought, so I am
                                                  > going to try to avoid generalisations from now on, however I think
                                                  > you are absolutely correct to say that:
                                                  >
                                                  > "the eastern approach is much more intuitive, relying fundamentally
                                                  > on experience related to self realisation, that one becomes aware of
                                                  > their absolute interconnectedness to the universe."
                                                  >

                                                  Wonderful, I am happy at least I was able to understand that much. :)

                                                  > I think this idea of the interconnectedness of all things is becoming
                                                  > more popular in the West now. Quite a few philosophers and scientists
                                                  > have endorsed, in recent years, the idea of the Gaia hypothesis:
                                                  >
                                                  > "The Gaia hypothesis is an ecological hypothesis that proposes that
                                                  > the biosphere and the physical components of the Earth (atmosphere,
                                                  > cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere) are coupled together to form
                                                  > a complex interacting system. This system is proposed to act in a
                                                  > homeostatic fashion that preserves climatic and biogeochemical
                                                  > conditions on Earth that are suitable for living organisms. Named
                                                  > after the Greek Titan of the earth, the hypothesis is frequently
                                                  > described as viewing the Earth as a single organism." (wikipedia)
                                                  >
                                                  > I am also attracted to this idea, which is a useful idea in the
                                                  > battle to save our planet from the threat of climate change.
                                                  >
                                                  > In fact, I think the eastern idea of interconnectedness is to be
                                                  > preferred to the western ideas of atomism and individualism which
                                                  > have dominated western philosophy since Descartes.
                                                  >
                                                  > If I think of myself as a non-detachable part of a complex whole, I
                                                  > am less likely to behave selfishly or violently.
                                                  >
                                                  > Jim
                                                  >

                                                  I understand and agree, what you propose above is a much better solution
                                                  to our global problems than the previous perspective that has dominated
                                                  our world for far too long in my opinion. I think there is probably two
                                                  precautions though that I can think of at this moment worth considering.
                                                  One, the concept of individual creativity and diversity does not get
                                                  lost and two, objective rationality doesn't decrease proportionally to
                                                  an holistic increase, in that a return to a dark age of religious
                                                  fanaticism would definitely be a step backwards rather than forwards. I
                                                  think neither fascism nor communism are viable propositions.


                                                  I think a focus on what is most beneficial and a greater understanding
                                                  of our own personal responsibility in how the world is shaped, would go
                                                  a long way in establishing a successful, sustainable and profitable
                                                  future for everyone. A civilisation of enlightened consciously aware
                                                  beings is much more beneficial and desirable than a civilisation of
                                                  greedy unconscious consumers, in my opinion.


                                                  regards,

                                                  tyga
                                                • jimstuart51
                                                  Hi Tyga, We seem to be in agreement for the most part, so let me just comment on your words of caution: I think there is probably two precautions though that
                                                  Message 24 of 25 , Jul 15 5:30 AM
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                                                    Hi Tyga,

                                                    We seem to be in agreement for the most part, so let me just comment
                                                    on your words of caution:

                                                    "I think there is probably two precautions though that I can think of
                                                    at this moment worth considering.
                                                    One, the concept of individual creativity and diversity does not get
                                                    lost and two, objective rationality doesn't decrease proportionally to
                                                    an holistic increase, in that a return to a dark age of religious
                                                    fanaticism would definitely be a step backwards rather than forwards.
                                                    I think neither fascism nor communism are viable propositions."

                                                    I don't think an acceptance of the interconnectedness of everything is
                                                    a threat to individual creativity and diversity. There is plenty of
                                                    diversity in the natural world, and arguably, such diversity is
                                                    necessary for the earth as a whole to be in a healthy equilibrium.

                                                    Second, I think objective rationality can fit perfectly well in a
                                                    holistic framework. In fact an individual is only rational if she
                                                    attempts to shape her beliefs and feelings into a coherent and
                                                    consistent whole.

                                                    I have certainly no desire to see a return of religious fanaticism or
                                                    fascism, but I do not think a holistic outlook that emphasises the
                                                    interconnectedness of everything need lead to either of these unwanted
                                                    outcomes.

                                                    As for communism, it has never really been tried. The Soviet model was
                                                    a form of totalitarianism, whereas communism, as conceived by its
                                                    philosophical adherents, was to be a political situation in which
                                                    freedom, justice and human well-being flourished.

                                                    Jim
                                                  • ccorey@frontiernet.net
                                                    I study, almost entirely, western philosophy and existentialism but I can say this: If you were in he opinion of JPS pure desire is the product of a complete
                                                    Message 25 of 25 , Jul 15 2:24 PM
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                                                      I study, almost entirely, western philosophy and existentialism but I
                                                      can say this:

                                                      If you were in he opinion of JPS pure desire is the product of a
                                                      complete nihilation of being hence the appropriate state for becoming
                                                      God which, according to ?Human Emotions,? is man?s true and absolute
                                                      desire. (hmmm?) So in the ?absence of all desire? one would be in
                                                      possession of pure being (for-itself.)

                                                      In the past, Christianity has suggested Eastern religion to be ?life
                                                      denying? since it recommends meditations towards ?emptiness.? But in
                                                      defence of the Eastern way of thinking one must ?empty? oneself of
                                                      contradicting western conceptions ?in order to reach true
                                                      enlightenment.? Standing at the still point, as T.S. Eliot would say,
                                                      in a space between thoughts or in the absense of thoughts. This is the
                                                      way.

                                                      I might be speaking in platitudes here but Krishnamurti says it best
                                                      when ?really? considering the desire you speak of:

                                                      ?We know, do we not, the desire which contradicts itself, which is
                                                      tortured, pulling in different directions; the pain, the turmoil, the
                                                      anxiety of desire, and the disciplining, the controlling. And, in the
                                                      everlasting battle with it, we twist it out of all shape and
                                                      recognition; but it is there, constantly watching, waiting, pushing.
                                                      Do what you will, sublimate it, escape from it, deny it or accept it,
                                                      give it full rein - it is always there. And, we know how the religious
                                                      teachers and others have said that we should be desireless, cultivate
                                                      detachment, be free from desire-which is really absurd, because desire
                                                      has to be understood, not destroyed.


                                                      -c-
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