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Re: [existlist] Re: Against bad manners

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  • eupraxis@aol.com
    Jim, Crowley was a character, to be sure. He was philosophically well-read, and in fact just plain well-read, and his odd view on epistemology and ontology,
    Message 1 of 24 , Jan 27, 2009
      Jim,

      Crowley was a character, to be sure. He was philosophically well-read, and in fact just plain well-read, and his odd view on epistemology and ontology, which he called Magick, has more depth than is usually granted it, but it is ultimately more show than substance. Everyone has his or her own method of interpreting Crowley; I see him as a materialistic atheist who tried to maintain a vision of transcendence by the manipulation of one's own subjectivity.

      SAMSON (The Book of Lies)
      The Universe is in equilibrium; therefore He that is
      without it, though his force be but a feather, can
      overturn the Universe.

      My favorite texts are Magick in Theory and Practice; Magic Without Tears; The Confessions; The Book of Lies; and The Vision and the Voice. There is a nice compendium, reissued and updated last year, called "Portable Darkness". There are many bios out. Each one says more about the author than it does about Crowley, in my opinion. I recently read, "Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley", by Lawrence Sutin. Awful book. Skip it. My appreciation of Crowley comes down to my admiration for those who become a real scandal to Society. A dying breed.

      Wil







      -----Original Message-----
      From: jimstuart51 <jjimstuart1@...>
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tue, 27 Jan 2009 10:03 am
      Subject: [existlist] Re: Against bad manners

























      Wil,



      I haven't read any G. K. Chesterton or any Aleister Crowley,

      although I do know a bit about Crowley.



      I think if we can somehow gain a sense of awe and wonder, then that

      it a good thing. The fact that I am currently alive and living on a

      complex planet which has both natural features and the imprint of

      human beings is a strange fact indeed, and not something to be taken

      for granted in a matter-of-fact way. No doubt Bill will think of such

      talk as more sentimental nonsense from Jesus Boy, however, I don't

      think that re-gaining a sense of awe and wonder has any necessary

      connection with theism or the religious.



      Crowley is an intriguing and charismatic figure, but also a dangerous

      person to take as a role model, in my view. It is good to examine

      life, and explore areas away from the mainstream. However, I gather a

      number of Crowley's followers ended up in a mess, and Crowley wasn't

      particularly sensitive to the well-being of others.



      Jim






















      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • tom
      Jim, I have heard in recent years the distinction being made between religious and spiritual. Religous implies the acceptance of dogma and membership in a
      Message 2 of 24 , Jan 27, 2009
        Jim,

        I have heard in recent years the distinction being made between religious and spiritual. Religous implies the acceptance of dogma and membership in a particular church, whereas spiritual implies the experience of syncronicities, near death experiences, and other things that cast some doubt on the materialistic, reductionist, aetheistic paradigms. The fact that historically religions have been so entwined with various political and economic powers, tends to make a person dubious of their validity. On the other hand, of all the creation myths I find the materialistic, aetheistic idea of the cosmos and ecosystems evolving as they did being the result of randomness the most improbable. Crowley was strongly anti Christian. He had been raised in a very strict Christian atmosphere. However, Crowley was far from a reductionist, materialist aetheist.

        Tom
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: jimstuart51
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2009 10:03 AM
        Subject: [existlist] Re: Against bad manners


        Wil,

        I haven't read any G. K. Chesterton or any Aleister Crowley,
        although I do know a bit about Crowley.

        I think if we can somehow gain a sense of awe and wonder, then that
        it a good thing. The fact that I am currently alive and living on a
        complex planet which has both natural features and the imprint of
        human beings is a strange fact indeed, and not something to be taken
        for granted in a matter-of-fact way. No doubt Bill will think of such
        talk as more sentimental nonsense from Jesus Boy, however, I don't
        think that re-gaining a sense of awe and wonder has any necessary
        connection with theism or the religious.

        Crowley is an intriguing and charismatic figure, but also a dangerous
        person to take as a role model, in my view. It is good to examine
        life, and explore areas away from the mainstream. However, I gather a
        number of Crowley's followers ended up in a mess, and Crowley wasn't
        particularly sensitive to the well-being of others.

        Jim





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Susan Schnelbach
        All right, children. Play nice and no more name calling. Discussions seem to be getting a little heated and rude. Remember, this is just a discussion group
        Message 3 of 24 , Feb 7, 2009
          All right, children. Play nice and no more name calling. Discussions
          seem to be getting a little heated and rude. Remember, this is just a
          discussion group about philosophy -- it isn't important enough to get
          emotionally worked up about. Also, let's drop the political topics
          unless is directly relates to philosophy.


          - Susan
        • Herman B. Triplegood
          I am reading Being and Nothingness right now. I m about halfway through it. And I am impressed. Sartre is more Cartesian than Descartes ever was. And that
          Message 4 of 24 , Feb 7, 2009
            I am reading Being and Nothingness right now. I'm about halfway through
            it. And I am impressed.

            Sartre is more Cartesian than Descartes ever was. And that isn't
            necessarily a "bad thing" either. He is making some very good points
            about the centrality of the cogito. Points that Descartes and the early
            generation of Cartesians, of course, could not have seen. Points that
            Husserl, as Cartesian as Husserl claims to be, apparently totally
            missed. But I am withholding judgment on that, for now. At least, until
            after I get to Husserl's Crisis. Maybe longer. I see some of the major
            gaps in my reading now. I need to go back and pick up Locke, Berkeley,
            Hume. But the Crisis will be my next reading task. It is Husserl's
            ostensive answer to the existentialist movement. I want to see what
            Husserl had to say about it. And...Sartre takes Heidegger to task for
            sidestepping the cogito, the fact of subjectivity, entirely. Now there
            is a point to consider. Obviously, when Heidegger says "Dasein" he
            means human being. But without consciousness taken explicitly into
            account, can that formulation really be to the point? Is that, perhaps,
            what Wil was driving at a while back when he took Heidegger to task for
            losing subjectivity in a negative theology? Anyway, there really is a
            sense in which, when it comes right down to it, we are ALL Cartesians
            in this day and age. Our subjectivity, and what that is all about, has
            become our central philosophical issue. We should not ignore that or
            try to explain it away. It seems to me that a Cartesianism and an
            Existentialism would go hand in hand. What do you all think about that?

            Hb3g

            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Susan Schnelbach <susan@...> wrote:
            >
            > All right, children. Play nice and no more name calling. Discussions
            > seem to be getting a little heated and rude. Remember, this is just
            a
            > discussion group about philosophy -- it isn't important enough to
            get
            > emotionally worked up about. Also, let's drop the political topics
            > unless is directly relates to philosophy.
            >
            >
            > - Susan
            >
          • bhvwd
            ... Discussions ... a ... get ... reductions in the stimulus package. There seems bipartisan rejection of higher spending on education. People do not like the
            Message 5 of 24 , Feb 7, 2009
              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Susan Schnelbach <susan@...> wrote:
              >
              > All right, children. Play nice and no more name calling.
              Discussions
              > seem to be getting a little heated and rude. Remember, this is just
              a
              > discussion group about philosophy -- it isn't important enough to
              get
              > emotionally worked up about. Also, let's drop the political topics
              > unless is directly relates to philosophy.
              >
              >
              > - Susan
              >Philosophy of education. It appears education is a prime target for
              reductions in the stimulus package. There seems bipartisan rejection
              of higher spending on education. People do not like the orientation
              of educational philosophy. They come from all over the political
              spectrum and dislike education for multiple reasons.
              This trite phiolophy stuff may not seem important to an educator who
              just follows the lesson plans but some people see the glaring
              philosophical failure in education as part of the WWC. That is why
              you are being cut. Is that important to you? It is to me but
              probably for different reasons. The post modernist hocus pocus with
              correctness and deconstruction is not well accepted by a growing
              majority of tax payers. Any comments? Bill
            • chris lofting
              ... Our subjectivity, and what ... The cogito perspective covers the emergence of proactive mediation dynamics where self-referencing and
              Message 6 of 24 , Feb 7, 2009
                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                > [mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Herman B. Triplegood
                > Sent: Sunday, 8 February 2009 9:43 AM
                > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: [existlist] Re: Against bad manners
                >
                <snip> Our subjectivity, and what
                > that is all about, has become our central philosophical
                > issue. We should not ignore that or try to explain it away.
                > It seems to me that a Cartesianism and an Existentialism
                > would go hand in hand. What do you all think about that?
                >

                The cogito perspective covers the emergence of proactive mediation dynamics
                where self-referencing and self-organising systems develop. Physiologically
                a sensory stimulus is met with an inappropriate, immediate, response and
                mediation develops. In lesser life forms the mediation is 'mindless' and
                covers a life form trying out its full repertoire of possible responses and
                so 'out of context' behaviours in attempts to resolve the issue
                (biochemically we get down to enzyme dynamics and the nature of catalysts).
                With neural complexity comes emergence from mechanistic dynamics of a
                teleological element in the form of pattern matching (analogy making) and
                planning and on into language formation. As such the mediation involved in
                resolving some issue is now communicatable to others and so speeds up
                learning in a social context.

                The essential feature of the cogito is DELAY in response and we can see this
                at work in the laboratory where when learning there is a delay of at least
                half a second in responses until the habit has formed at a level where
                awareness is no longer needed and the delay disappears as we fall back on
                stimulus/response. The initial discovery of this delay element in
                experiments raised some issues about consciousness for those not willing to
                accept that a lot of our behaviour is unconscious. See such as:

                Pockett, S., Banks, W., & Gallagher, S., (eds)(2006)"Does Consciousness
                Cause Behavior?" MITP

                The emergence of a sense of self takes about two years to develop post
                birth. This sense has been identified in humans, monkeys, dolphins, birds,
                elephants etc where the common test is the 'mirror' test - getting the life
                form to recognise itself in a mirror. The DIFFERENCES are in the huge mass
                of neurons and their rich connectivities that we have as humans compared to
                other neuron-dependent life forms. The rich connectivities are essential and
                our long development time (upto early 20s for frontal lobe development
                completion) gives us a huge advantage in developing proactive mediation
                skills. The dynamics of our symmetric nature as a determined species (and so
                a closed system) is extended to cover local context interactions (open
                system dynamics), positive feedback (and so high levels of discretisation
                and amplification), high sample rates (differentiating with high precision),
                where such contribute to the development of self-organising systems - we
                take on unique identity that can contribute to the species as a whole.

                Environmental pressures bring out a demand for more and more
                distinction-making and so more and more border creations (positive feedback
                at work). What THIS does is let loose what lives on borders -
                complexity/chaos dynamics. As such a social whole will start to fragment and
                life in general 'speeds up' and become less determined, more competitive,
                and we move into probabilistic thinking over deductive thinking.

                The movement into probabilistic thinking introduces us to a realm of
                uncertainty/doubt and THAT realm is the ground from which mediation dynamics
                is born. This realm is useful in that it aids in 'refining' the deductive
                thinking of symmetry, we refine our instincts/habits and so benefit from
                energy conservation as we age. HOWEVER, we also note that the fragmenting of
                a whole into parts or 'lesser wholes' also leads to emergence of new wholes
                (gets into economic dynamics, corporation formations, monopoly capitalism
                etc); we see the dynamics of self-organisation at work where a dynamic
                context demands change to keep up with development, and that includes
                fragmentation/re-configuration; symmetry without direction becomes sterile,
                decadence, 'post modern' ;-) Overall there is a movement from the
                cooperative to the competitive to the cooperative etc - in a sociological
                sense this is a movement from the egalitarian to the aristocratic to the
                egalitarian etc and is covered in recent work on small world networks etc.

                The development of consciousness as language covers the emergence of
                mediation dynamics in dealing with local contexts and as such grounds
                language/consciousness in uncertainty. This ground is discoverable when we
                move to meta-level analysis of specialist languages - such as Gödel's focus
                on mathematics or Heisenberg's focus on basic physics. NOT understanding the
                dynamics of the neurology has led to a perspective of uncertainty being the
                ground of the universe when in fact it is only the ground of mediation.
                Certainty is in the realm of the UNCONSCIOUS in the form of
                instincts/habits/memories. What is implicit in this is that to maintain the
                precision possible in mediation we have to (a) store the mediation processes
                and (b) never stop mediating since to do so is to surrender to symmetry and
                so live off instincts/habits and so fall back on approximations, on generals
                and so lose local context sensitivity (and that includes the dynamics of
                subjectivity).

                The essential feature here in regard to consciousness is in its emergence
                from relational space, mediation space, and so its dependence on movement,
                on dynamics, to exist. If there is nothing to mediate we fall back on
                instincts/habits aka auto-pilot. This focus presents us with the perspective
                of the monadic of Leibnitz (symmetry bias, the 'one', a closed system) and
                the dyadic perspective of Descartes (anti-symmetry/asymmetry where a parts
                perspective can be transcended by emergence of a unique form out of
                relational space - this can also elicit paradox).

                Given the dynamics of existentialism, the lived perspective that demands
                mediation at all times with local context, so its grounding is in the cogito
                and with that comes the at time chronic sense of uncertainty.

                Chris
                http://members.iimetro.com.au/~lofting/myweb/AbstractDomain.html
              • chris lofting
                ... The path to higher education is a path to de-socialisation (social fragmentation as individuals learn to fight for themselves). The core focus on
                Message 7 of 24 , Feb 7, 2009
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                  > [mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of bhvwd
                  > Sent: Sunday, 8 February 2009 9:48 AM
                  > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: [existlist] Re: Against bad manners
                  >
                  > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Susan Schnelbach <susan@...> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > All right, children. Play nice and no more name calling.
                  > Discussions
                  > > seem to be getting a little heated and rude. Remember, this is just
                  > a
                  > > discussion group about philosophy -- it isn't important enough to
                  > get
                  > > emotionally worked up about. Also, let's drop the political topics
                  > > unless is directly relates to philosophy.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > - Susan
                  > >Philosophy of education. It appears education is a prime target for
                  > reductions in the stimulus package. There seems bipartisan
                  > rejection of higher spending on education. People do not like
                  > the orientation of educational philosophy. They come from all
                  > over the political spectrum and dislike education for
                  > multiple reasons.

                  The path to higher education is a path to de-socialisation (social
                  fragmentation as individuals learn to 'fight' for themselves). The core
                  focus on education is socialisation at the primary/secondary/cheap-tertiary
                  levels. The other form of education is education for understanding and that
                  can be considered 'dangerous' to the current crop of politicians etc. High
                  level tertiary education or extreme specialist master-apprentice education
                  can be interpreted as a waste of money - it does not maintain the capitalist
                  turn-over requirements of goods and services within a generation. The
                  standard sequence of PROCESS is defined by four categories - production,
                  distribution, filtration, exchange. These then break down into:

                  production: re-production, new production
                  distribution: external, internal (aka consumption)
                  filtration: unconditional, conditional
                  exchange: competitive, cooperative

                  re-production is less costly than new production.
                  unconditional filtration is less costly then conditional (the latter where
                  quality control is in the hands of subjectivity rather than imposed from
                  without).
                  competitive exchange is less costly than cooperative in that the latter sets
                  up dependencies that can 'block' extremes where it is in extremes that
                  capitalism makes money (the current crisis was predicated some time ago and
                  many 'in the know' got out then - mindful greed dominated mindless greed -
                  or else used the bail-out money 'inappropriately')

                  Extended education expands the 'filtration' realm and that is detrimental to
                  capitalism that prefers that area to be only dominated by 'market forces'.

                  The high end education is thus sold to capitalism to cover the R&D costs or
                  else are covered in joint university/corporate development. The latter is an
                  issue in that it can 'corrupt' 'education for understanding' in that the
                  understanding is copyrighted etc and access restricted and so if filtration
                  cannot be stopped other than for 'market forces' then it is managed by
                  capitalism itself - potential filtering rules etc are restricted/delayed in
                  publication/release or made too costly for the average person to acquire.

                  The attraction of higher education is for the more asymmetric thinkers
                  where, on the other hand, most are maintained at a symmetric level of
                  thinking, social/dream-like, repetition, reflection etc (all properties of
                  symmetry) dominate.

                  AN issue is with the selling of PhDs where the requirements have become
                  increasingly specialist (to a level of being potentially meaningless outside
                  of a very few) or commercially sponsored and/or dumbed down - symmetrised.
                  In a country where education is mostly free, public scrutiny of PhD work can
                  raise eyebrows from a social perspective (usually brought to attention by
                  the press) - 'why are we spending hundreds of thousands on some research PhD
                  into the life cycle of a specialist worm living in a 1/2 acre plot of grass
                  on the south side of a particular mountain when our schools and hospitals
                  are short staffed due to lack of funds?' etc etc etc

                  Note that these days, due to the past conservative government, public
                  university comes with fees in the form of a government loan that is then
                  paid off (automatically deducted from one's salary as part of tax) after one
                  has graduated and starts to earn an income beyond a certain amount. There
                  is also a second level of entry into university through paying upfront for
                  those who did not make it with high entry scores.

                  Most of that government got THEIR degrees for nix. The public universities
                  also had their funding cut and were encouraged to seek out funds from
                  corporations and so opened up issues of possible 'corruptions' - something
                  already present in selling degrees, dropping standards to attract overseas
                  students with money etc etc.

                  From a SPECIES perspective, the development path has been to the emergence
                  of reason from emotion and consciousness from reason. The DEMAND is to
                  educate the brain, more so our frontal lobes/pre-frontal cortex and so how
                  to use top-down regulation of our primate instincts; to use delay to refine
                  our instincts if not to suppress them. Without that level of education all
                  we have are 'smart apes' (as well as issues where our physiological
                  development is slower than the demands of a consciousness-dominated society
                  and we can be forced to 'grow up' prematurely).

                  Chris
                  http://members.iimetro.com.au/~lofting/myweb/AbstractDomain.html
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