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RE: Digest Number 92

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  • Rajiv Pande
    Dear Yana, The Krishna story goes like this. The scene : a raging battlefield. Arjuna the warrior has Krishna advising him at every step, as his mentor. In the
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 2, 1999
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      Dear Yana,
      The Krishna story goes like this. The scene : a raging battlefield. Arjuna the warrior has Krishna advising him at every step, as his mentor. In the midst of a psychological crisis, Arjuna wants to know, what his existence on earth means. Krishna says," The five horses that drive your chariot are your five senses. The chariot itself your body." Arjuna is intelligent, and being quick on the uptake, says, "so that means I am the driver of this chariot?". Krishna replies, "No, my friend", and his wisdom is deep, "the driver is the Mind, you are the one who sits behind the driver"
      In essence Krishna is distinguishing between the physical mind and the non-physical consciousness. This has a good deal of significance if we are to understand that introspection is a good psychological tool. The only argument that anti-introspectionists put forward is, "How can the organ which sees itself be the organ that is seen?" (i.e. the mind cannot study itself). No doubt it would be analogous to trying to lift yourself off the ground by pulling up your own shoelaces! Or making a bus go faster by pushing hard on the seat in front of you! Even Newton's laws require an external force. Therefore consciousness must be somehow always eternally external, if it has to have any control over the self, to even begin to act upon the self. It is "Ekstatic", in Sartre's words, which can also be translated as "transcendental".
      Regards
      Rajiv
    • Rajiv Pande
      Dear all, Can we talk about Sartre s definition (Glossary of Terms) of Ekstasis ? It also covers the philosophical concept of past, present and future. I
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 2, 1999
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        Dear all,
        Can we talk about Sartre's definition (Glossary of Terms) of "Ekstasis"? It also covers the philosophical concept of past, present and future.
        I quote from Being and Nothingness, "Key to Special Terminology"
        Ekstasis: Used in the original Greek sense of "standing out from". The For-Itself is separated from itself in three successive ekstases:
        (1) Temporality: The For-itself nihilates the In-itself (to which in one sense it still belongs) in the three dimensions of past, present and future.
        (2) Reflection: The For-itself tries to adopt an external point of view on itself
        (3) Being-for-others: The For-itself discovers that it has a self-for-the-other, a self which it is, without ever being able to know or get hold of it.
        How DIFFICULT it is to understand Sartre!!!!!
        Matters would be simplified if we follow the basic guidelines that I do.
        The For-itself is what is called the non-physical consciousness, eternally external to physical being (or being-in-itself). It is eternally transcendental. This enables the creature to exercise control over its self (over it's being-in-itself). It is only an external agent that can act upon something. (The potter is external to his pottery)
        "Nihilation" means, "to make nothing of", but this nihilation is vital. We have to draw back to leap. We have to soften rigid mental structures before we overcome our prejudices and phobias. This requires us to regress into a twilight zone, the dark areas being the Mind, the bright areas our living consciousness. Consciousness has the power to control the Mind, to modify and re-mould it as required. Consciousness is a living value, the exercise of which requires effort and orientation. Consciousness in fact is the orientation principle, the original system of feed-back control.
        About past, present and future, for the time being, consciousness is the nihilation of the present. Your comments first, (I want to see if I stand on firm ground)
        Regards
        Rajiv
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