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Re: In real time

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  • Herman B. Triplegood
    Jim: Yeah I got carried away there. But there is more peeling off of the layers of the onion to do here. The arguments are lacking. Not so much because they
    Message 1 of 34 , Mar 3, 2009

      Yeah I got carried away there. But there is more peeling off of the
      layers of the onion to do here. The arguments are lacking. Not so
      much because they are not cogent enough. But because what they are up
      against is something irremediable.

      How does one reconcile the im-mortality of consciousness with the
      mortality of the body that is the factical condition of that
      consciousness? The mortality is real. But so is the im-mortality. The
      coexistence of the two is the irreconcilable paradox, the reef,
      against which the arguments are dashed to pieces.

      But what I mean when I say "im-mortal" here isn't what we normally
      mean, i.e., continuance after the body is gone. That's why I am
      sticking the hyphen in there. Read it like you would im-mediate. What
      is im-mediate? What is not extended over a period of time.. What is
      im-mortal? What is not bodily.

      Why does Sartre use the very old Greek word ekstasis to describe the
      temporality of consciousness? As does Heidegger? Because
      consciousness is all about time and temporality. Finite time. Finite
      temporality. Yes. There is no other kind. But a temporality, a
      temporalizing that is, nevertheless, a free temporality, i.e., a

      It seems paradoxical, even contradictory, to say that something is,
      at the same time, transcendental, but also finite. But that is

      I'll drag up an interesting passage from Sartre's Being and
      Nothingness that might, I hope, capture some of what Sartre has to
      say about the concept of mortality and how that concept, in no way,
      can apply to the very essence of what consciousness is. There is also
      another passage from one of Plato's dialogues that I will try to
      track down for you. I think it was in the Phaedrus. But I am not sure
      about that right now.

      The thing I am trying to get at, here, is that we can't really think
      of the "soul" or consciousness or for-itselfness in thing-like terms.
      It is only for a for-itself kind of being, a consciousness, that
      death, meeting death, can even be an issue. But, contra Heidegger, I
      think Sartre is right to say that it is not death that makes us what
      we are, It is who we are that makes our death what it is.

      And what is it? Precisely? The incomprehensible possibility! That is
      the real reason why the arguments are not cogent and can never be.
      But there is something else driving the whole dialogue. Not a quest
      for a certainty about what death is. But a quest to overcome the
      misunderstood finitude of death through a definitive act that, so to
      speak, im-mortalizes death itself. The fateful choice. That act
      actually begins, I think, in the Crito. And it ends, I think, in the

      Socrates achieves that im-mortality. He demonstrates it, in actus.
      Not by means of argumentation. Not through propositions and
      syllogisms. But by actually dying. We are dealing with something,
      here, that outstrips the syllogism. Something that surpasses any
      knowing. And yet, it can, in a sense, be understood, grasped, taken
      hold of. Existentially. Not epistemologically. We can resonate, very
      deeply, with what Socrates chose to do at that very moment at the end
      of his life. We can grasp it, not because we can know it. But because
      we can be it.

      This isn't about some kind of vicarious im-mortality through the
      loving or awe inspired memory of those who survived, or who now read
      all about Socrates in retrospect. It goes much deeper than that. It
      was a real event. It was immediate. It was at hand right then and
      there. It was a moment of vision, of insight, deep clarity, in the
      sense that a mass has a moment of inertia. It was a momentum of

      Consider what Seneca has said. Fate guides those who are willing. It
      drags the rest along in chains. This means, I think, that those who
      are free live in the moment for the future. And those who are not
      dwell in the past and lose the moment. The Apology is about the past.
      The Crito is about the moment. The Phaedo is about the future.

      But the true moment of temporality is not punctive. It is ekstatic.
      Like standing at the summit of Mount Everest and seeing the curvature
      of the horizon off in the distance, and being, simultaneously, at the
      summit and also at the horizon. That imagery, I suspect, must come
      from the Timaeus, from Plotinus, and from Boethius. It is the
      sempiternal character of human temporality. And it is, in essence,
      what freedom is all about.

      Philosophical discourse pretty much breaks down, and it "gives way"
      to poetry in the face of this eternal ekstatic flight to the horizon
      of possibilities that freedom has thus become. It "gives way" to pure
      lyricism. What can be "understood" here about freedom cannot be
      directly said. Even though we talk about it. And, not surprisingly,
      we are almost always, invariably, misunderstood for that very reason.
      Nor can it, really, contra the early Wittgenstein of the Tractatus,
      be shown either.

      It can only be danced. Sung. Dramatized. Enacted in a thousand ways.
      But "explained" through none.


      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "jimstuart51" <jjimstuart1@...>
      > Hb3g,
      > I asked (47244): Why are the 'hopeful' arguments for the
      > of the soul 'dashed to pieces' by Socrates' suicide?
      > You replied (47260): They are not. Each one is shown, in turn, to
      > lacking. But Socrates' imminent death, of course, is the context.
      > My response now: I can agree with what you say here, but you seemed
      > to be saying the opposite in your post 47228, when you wrote:
      > "Every hopeful argument for a continuance of life after death is,
      > the end, dashed to pieces by the brutal reality of the act of
      > compulsory suicide."
      > Anyway, thanks for the clarification.
      > Jim
    • chris lofting
      ... The neuron goes back 600 million years to sponge life and so well before us . The dynamics of the neuron reflect a form of spectrum acquisition where all
      Message 34 of 34 , Mar 4, 2009
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        > [mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Herman B. Triplegood
        > Sent: Thursday, 5 March 2009 11:46 AM
        > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [existlist] Re: In real time
        >Why does this "part" depend upon that "whole" in order
        > to functionally be just what it is?
        > Why do we have concepts of "part" and "whole" anyway?

        The neuron goes back 600 million years to sponge life and so well before
        'us'. The dynamics of the neuron reflect a form of spectrum acquisition
        where all sensory data 'feeds' into one area (through what is call Amplitude
        Modulation, AM radio, WAVE focused) and that data gets discretised into a
        pulse train (Frequency Modulation, FM, PULSE focus) representing the
        spectrum of that whole and so a PARTS LIST of that whole. That data is
        distributed to other neurons or directly onto muscle through release of
        hormones etc to get the muscle to contract.

        A feature of the neurology is where a feedback system developed across
        collectives of neurons where the output of one fed back into one input and
        this creates an Exclusive OR loop and so development of a form of memory.
        Formations that develop in the input areas of neurons serve to represent
        memories as instincts/habits and so filters of data that can contribute to
        neural responses to data - as can issues of neuron synchronisation with
        other neurons etc (this also gets into division of labour etc).

        The formation of collectives of neurons reflect an interesting property of
        self-referencing, the collective will behave 'AS IF' a single neuron (but
        with increase in bandwidth and so able to process a lot more data). Here we
        get into 'fractal' dynamics and complexity/chaos behaviours.

        We can trace this property of the neurology all the way up into the
        hemispheres of our neocortex and from there to the abstraction notions of
        anti-symmmetry(XOR, partials focus, aspectual, local context) / symmetry
        (wholes process, EQV, non-local context).

        Sensory input covers aggregation of various inputs into a complex 'whole'
        that is then open to analysis through spectral breakdown into 'aspects' -
        sensory paradox demonstrates this feature where a complex line drawing is
        'broken down' into objects but not fully discretisable from that drawing -
        see examples in http://members.iimetro.com.au/~lofting/myweb/paradox.html

        These dynamics cover soma processing of data as they do psyche processing of

        Of interest is that the parts realm comes with properties that allow for
        emergences and so 'new' wholes are possible. This realm is dominated by
        positive feedback (discretisation and amplification) whereas the more whole
        realm is biased to negative feedback (integrating, error correcting,
        'getting closer to' etc)

        The label of 'parts' is object focused and one can focus more on 'aspects'
        where such includes static and dynamic relationships.

        It is the use of LABELS that can transcend the single context focus of the
        basic neurology and so move us into language usage etc. and the development
        of consciousness and the instinctive notions of 'partness' and 'wholeness'

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