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Re: [existlist] zen and existentialism!!!

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  • Bill Harris
    James, You sneeky mother. When Nietzsche spoke of the limitations of science, he spoke of an infant dicipline. The idea of order was not scientific it is a
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 2, 2002
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      James, You sneeky mother. When Nietzsche spoke of the limitations of
      science, he spoke of an infant dicipline. The idea of order was not
      scientific it is a value judgement outside the rhelm of science. It came
      from the era of the crystal spheres and though it may have been at the
      cutting edge in the middle ages science does not search for order, it
      searches for reproducable expermental results. Questions of human relations
      are rarely reducable to scientific methods and so we must scurry about in
      our isms to try to explain the vain workings of our own minds. Fun, is it
      not? so for me I am thinking of changing my personal answer to philosophic
      question One: Who/ What am I , from"I am a member of the species Homo
      Sapiens" to, I am a living repository of a possible permutation of the
      molocule DNA" Bill
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "james tan" <tyjfk@...>
      To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2002 10:29 AM
      Subject: [existlist] zen and existentialism!!!


      >
      >
      >
      > ....
      >
      > quote:
      >
      > just came across two intresting articles on zen and
      > existentialism...although these are two diff
      > philosophies one can't fail to note the similarities
      > in thought and conclusion...here's the gist of it-
      >
      > Zen is the peculiarly Chinese way of accomplishing the
      > Buddhist goal of seeing the world just as it is, that
      > is, with a mind that has no grasping thoughts or
      > feelings (Sanskrit trishna). This attitude is called
      > "no-mind" (Chinese wu-hsin), a state of consciousness
      > wherein thoughts move without leaving any trace.
      > Unlike other forms of Buddhism, Zen holds that such
      > freedom of mind cannot be attained by gradual practice
      > but must come through direct and immediate insight
      > (Chinese tun-wu; Japanese satori). Thus, Zen abandons
      > both theorizing and systems of spiritual exercise and
      > communicates its vision of truth by a method known as
      > direct pointing. Its exponents answer all philosophic
      > or religious questions by nonsymbolic words or
      > actions; the answer is the action just as it is, and
      > not what it represents. Typical is the reply of the
      > Zen master Yao-shan, who, on being asked "What is the
      > Way [of Zen]?" answered, "A cloud in the sky and water
      > in the jug!" Zen students prepare themselves to be
      > receptive to such answers by sitting in meditation
      > (Japanese za-zen) while they simply observe, without
      > mental comment, whatever may be happening.
      >
      > Western interest in Zen dates from the publication of
      > the first authoritative account of the subject in
      > English, Essays in Zen Buddhism by the Japanese
      > scholar Daisetz T. Suzuki. After World War II and the
      > occupation of Japan, a great interest in Zen developed
      > in Europe and the U.S., notably among artists,
      > philosophers, and psychologists. It had a special
      > appeal for abstract and nonobjective painters and
      > sculptors. Philosophers have noted its affinities with
      > the thought of the Austrian philosopher Ludwig
      > Wittgenstein, with the theory of general semantics of
      > the American scientist and writer Alfred Korzybski,
      > and, to some extent, with existentialism as propounded
      > by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger.
      >
      > Subjectivity
      >
      > All existentialists have followed Kierkegaard in
      > stressing the importance of passionate individual
      > action in deciding questions of both morality and
      > truth. They have insisted, accordingly, that personal
      > experience and acting on one's own convictions are
      > essential in arriving at the truth. Thus, the
      > understanding of a situation by someone involved in
      > that situation is superior to that of a detached,
      > objective observer. This emphasis on the perspective
      > of the individual agent has also made existentialists
      > suspicious of systematic reasoning. Kierkegaard,
      > Nietzsche, and other existentialist writers have been
      > deliberately unsystematic in the exposition of their
      > philosophies, preferring to express themselves in
      > aphorisms, dialogues, parables, and other literary
      > forms. Despite their antirationalist position,
      > however, most existentialists cannot be said to be
      > irrationalists in the sense of denying all validity to
      > rational thought. They have held that rational clarity
      > is desirable wherever possible, but that the most
      > important questions in life are not accessible to
      > reason or science. Furthermore, they have argued that
      > even science is not as rational as is commonly
      > supposed. Nietzsche, for instance, asserted that the
      > scientific assumption of an orderly universe is for
      > the most part a useful fiction.
      >
      > any comments...
      >
      > unquote.
      >
      >
      > __________________________________________________
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      > Send your FREE holiday greetings online!
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      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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      >
      >
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      > (Includes community book list, chat, and more.)
      >
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    • Eduard Alf
      james, Your reference to Zen in relation to Existentialism is quite true. Which is what I mentioned before, in that Existentialism is not a complete
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 2, 2002
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        james,

        Your reference to Zen in relation to Existentialism is quite true. Which is
        what I mentioned before, in that Existentialism is not a complete philosophy
        in itself. It is a sort of starting point. In making yourself by your
        choices, you also create a supplementary philosophy, or at least adopt one
        that is already available.

        Zen was not fully adopted into Japan [from China] until the 12th century.

        eduard
        -----Original Message-----
        From: james tan [mailto:tyjfk@...]
        Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2002 11:29 AM
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [existlist] zen and existentialism!!!





        ....

        quote:

        just came across two intresting articles on zen and
        existentialism...although these are two diff
        philosophies one can't fail to note the similarities
        in thought and conclusion...here's the gist of it-

        Zen is the peculiarly Chinese way of accomplishing the
        Buddhist goal of seeing the world just as it is, that
        is, with a mind that has no grasping thoughts or
        feelings (Sanskrit trishna). This attitude is called
        "no-mind" (Chinese wu-hsin), a state of consciousness
        wherein thoughts move without leaving any trace.
        Unlike other forms of Buddhism, Zen holds that such
        freedom of mind cannot be attained by gradual practice
        but must come through direct and immediate insight
        (Chinese tun-wu; Japanese satori). Thus, Zen abandons
        both theorizing and systems of spiritual exercise and
        communicates its vision of truth by a method known as
        direct pointing. Its exponents answer all philosophic
        or religious questions by nonsymbolic words or
        actions; the answer is the action just as it is, and
        not what it represents. Typical is the reply of the
        Zen master Yao-shan, who, on being asked "What is the
        Way [of Zen]?" answered, "A cloud in the sky and water
        in the jug!" Zen students prepare themselves to be
        receptive to such answers by sitting in meditation
        (Japanese za-zen) while they simply observe, without
        mental comment, whatever may be happening.

        Western interest in Zen dates from the publication of
        the first authoritative account of the subject in
        English, Essays in Zen Buddhism by the Japanese
        scholar Daisetz T. Suzuki. After World War II and the
        occupation of Japan, a great interest in Zen developed
        in Europe and the U.S., notably among artists,
        philosophers, and psychologists. It had a special
        appeal for abstract and nonobjective painters and
        sculptors. Philosophers have noted its affinities with
        the thought of the Austrian philosopher Ludwig
        Wittgenstein, with the theory of general semantics of
        the American scientist and writer Alfred Korzybski,
        and, to some extent, with existentialism as propounded
        by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger.

        Subjectivity

        All existentialists have followed Kierkegaard in
        stressing the importance of passionate individual
        action in deciding questions of both morality and
        truth. They have insisted, accordingly, that personal
        experience and acting on one's own convictions are
        essential in arriving at the truth. Thus, the
        understanding of a situation by someone involved in
        that situation is superior to that of a detached,
        objective observer. This emphasis on the perspective
        of the individual agent has also made existentialists
        suspicious of systematic reasoning. Kierkegaard,
        Nietzsche, and other existentialist writers have been
        deliberately unsystematic in the exposition of their
        philosophies, preferring to express themselves in
        aphorisms, dialogues, parables, and other literary
        forms. Despite their antirationalist position,
        however, most existentialists cannot be said to be
        irrationalists in the sense of denying all validity to
        rational thought. They have held that rational clarity
        is desirable wherever possible, but that the most
        important questions in life are not accessible to
        reason or science. Furthermore, they have argued that
        even science is not as rational as is commonly
        supposed. Nietzsche, for instance, asserted that the
        scientific assumption of an orderly universe is for
        the most part a useful fiction.

        any comments...

        unquote.


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      • james tan
        bill, ain t ur mother, nor sneeky. recently there seems to be some debate concerning whether morals are objective or subjective. u said: Questions of human
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 4, 2002
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          bill,

          ain't ur mother, nor sneeky.

          recently there seems to be some debate concerning whether morals are
          objective or subjective. u said: "Questions of human relations
          are rarely reducable to scientific methods and so we must scurry about in
          our isms to try to explain the vain workings of our own minds. Fun, is it
          not?" unquote. i think you hit the nail of its head concerning the issue of
          whether moral is absolute and objective. another side issue is this: there
          is a severe lack of clarity in the way words like 'objective' and
          'subjective' is used. between george and eduard on this issue of morality, i
          tend to sympathise with george's view, although sometimes i think my only
          disagreement with eduard is a matter of the way he use or understand words
          such as 'objective', 'absolute', etc. if we take the scientific method as
          being objective, i agree with you that when it comes to human affairs, be it
          morality or depression, esp to understand human behaviours, subjectivity is
          a better construct than objectivity.

          imagine the old universe.....dust, planets, stars, matters, moving at high
          velocity across vast space, for millions and billions of years. imagine
          their 'loneliness'. those dust is concerned with morality and goodness?
          objective morality is to be found in this cosmos from the time beginning
          from which man draw their moral codes? are those dust lonely? is there a
          purpose to those cosmic travelling? these questions bring out one point:
          there is a distinction between human and the rest of the universe. the law
          of gravity applies to all object that possess mass, all objects, the dust,
          planets, including the body of humans. this is objective, perhaps absolutely
          true; it doesn't matter what we feel about it. if one man jump from the
          world trade center for whatever reasons (nature is not interested in those
          reasons), we may feel tragic, and his mother and girlfriends may cry, but
          the law of gravity will not stop its effect just because of its tragic
          nature. words like 'lonely', 'tragic', action like crying or any human
          action, suggest one thing that is not in nature objectively: that is,
          values, meaning, purpose. to say that something is tragic, or wrong, or
          good, or immoral, brave, etc, etc, is to presuppose values. nature herself
          has no such values; it does not give a hoot whether eduard is a coward or
          not. and values are inherently non-objective; it is only relative to human.
          it is something humanly constituted, for a purpose. purpose is also
          non-objective. the print u see on the screen now are composed of electrons
          shooting, it can be weighed by physicists, the intensity of light reflected
          measured by instruments, etc, but which scientific instuments can give us
          the meaning of the words? and for that matter, any actions of humans? i
          agree with u, bill, that no scientific theories or instuments can tell us
          'objectively' meaning. beauty is in the eyes of the beholders, not inherent
          in nature herself, and meaning is in the minds of list members. eduard will
          see a squirrel crawling up a tree eating his fruit, and think it beautiful;
          some other guy may think it disgusting and hateful. i and my friend will see
          a girl with a certain outstanding feature; he will think she is dashingly
          beautiful for that, while i may think it spoils the whole face. is there a
          'right' answer? nature has made her this way, but beauty is in the eyes of
          beholders. ie, it is relative to the person seeing it. ie, it is subjective.
          what is objective, though, is that she HAS that feature.

          morality serves a purpose: it is a construct (meaning it is human invented,
          not inherent in nature, and man only perceive through constructs, which may
          varies from culture to culture, man to man, and any commonality is just a
          matter of degree, not absolutely) to keep society of fellow humans in order,
          ultimately to serve the evolution, if not the maintainence, of human
          species. as such, it is again subjective. let take another example. jim may
          use wood for burning to keep the winter cold away, or to make a hut in the
          wilderness, others may use it for making papers, but there is no correct
          function built into the wood. in the sense that nature has no intrinsic aims
          or goals of its own, there is no purpose. but morality serves a human
          purpose. (in a sense, morality is not even the business of god, for the
          simple reason that he is not human and living among us as humans even if he
          exists). morality differs among cultures and this alone hint at the
          subjectiveness of it. perhaps for eduard, murder, for an example, is
          absolutely and objectively wrong; well, good for him and socieity. his
          so-called objectivity is the subjectivity of eduard. but make no mistake
          about it: not everybody impute or constitute or construct the way he does
          about murder. i will even overlook all the 'unless'. eduard may think those
          who disagree that murder is absolutely and objectively morally wrong is
          mistaken; but in the final analysis, at the end of the day, and in a sense
          (no offense meant), what eduard think does not matter. he can think all he
          wants, say all he wants, assert all he wants (this list is composed, in a
          large proportion, of subjective assertions), whatever is produced out of his
          'system' is something that matters only to him, whatever statements he make
          about the world or universe. or morality.

          kierkeggard said: truth is subjectivity. and i think it is precisely because
          of any subjective nature that make it meaningful to one as an individual.
          (this is not to say that i endorse killing, it is just a idle chat on the
          nature of morality and killing). do the objective research and inquiries of
          physicists and scientists really affect the conflicts that we as individuals
          face in our daily lives? does kant's concern about synthetic a priori has
          any bearing on the choices we make as individuals? can the proofs of god's
          existences by catholic theologians provide us with faith? coming to think of
          it, although at one time i used to scorn at the christian's reliance on
          faith, i have a different outlook now. it is not that bad, for the simple
          reason that it is their faith which make their lives meaningful
          (subjectively) and passionate (i mean, the ones who understood the real
          significance of their faith; not every so-called christians do). every
          system of thoughts have their points of departure, or premises and
          assumption, and it is in the nature of premises to be beyond verification.
          even for pure maths of number theory, they have axioms which themselves
          cannot be proven but have to be assumed before the rest can be proved. for
          the existentialists, it is human freedom and the intentionality of human
          consciousness. for the christian it is christ the god and saviour. for
          shakespheare's play "lear", we have to accept lear's inexplicable conduct at
          the beginning of the play. why is one thing assumed over another? is there
          any objective reason for it? ultimately, it is subjectivity, expressed in
          one's choice, a discontinuity of reason and objectivity, kierkegaard's leap
          of faith.

          to the extent that sometimes we attribute human quality to non human things.
          color may be 'warm' or 'cold', a musical note 'sharp', a landscape
          'melancholy'. and dear eduard will say the universe has a 'purpose' and
          morality 'objectivity'. a little confusion will not kill anyway; for with
          the intellectual confusion, the aesthetic joy of seeing squirrel running
          around is still possible. one don't have to know the biology of pregnancy to
          get pregnant. passion will do, which to kierkeggard is more important than
          knowledge, the subjective passion over the objective knowledge. imagine a
          'scholar' who talk, teach, educate about making love but never get down to
          making love itself; what a sorry sight of a pathetic man.

          zen is one of those area which appreciate the importance of the subjective.
          u don't see these zen masters analysing and deducing; instead, they simply
          describe what exist, to them subjectively experienced. they do not care much
          about the theories and prejudice of society or culture of how things
          'should' be, but how things is. they are not worried about being charged for
          lack of objectivity as a scientist would. for them, there isn't much of a
          distinction between objectivity and subjectivity. no theories, no hope, no
          idea of a absolute essence of how thing ought to be, no faith, no desires,
          they see things just as they are.

          you said: am a member of the species Homo Sapiens" to, I am a living
          repository of a possible permutation of the molocule DNA" unquote. no, i
          would rather say....you are you. lets forget about theories, about
          evolution, about genetics, about being american, about.....you are not
          evolved, you just are.

          james.






          From: "Bill Harris" <bhvwd@...>
          Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
          Subject: Re: [existlist] zen and existentialism!!!
          Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2002 14:33:32 -0600

          James, You sneeky mother. When Nietzsche spoke of the limitations of
          science, he spoke of an infant dicipline. The idea of order was not
          scientific it is a value judgement outside the rhelm of science. It came
          from the era of the crystal spheres and though it may have been at the
          cutting edge in the middle ages science does not search for order, it
          searches for reproducable expermental results. Questions of human relations
          are rarely reducable to scientific methods and so we must scurry about in
          our isms to try to explain the vain workings of our own minds. Fun, is it
          not? so for me I am thinking of changing my personal answer to philosophic
          question One: Who/ What am I , from"I am a member of the species Homo
          Sapiens" to, I am a living repository of a possible permutation of the
          molocule DNA" Bill
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "james tan" <tyjfk@...>
          To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2002 10:29 AM
          Subject: [existlist] zen and existentialism!!!


          >
          >
          >
          > ....
          >
          > quote:
          >
          > just came across two intresting articles on zen and
          > existentialism...although these are two diff
          > philosophies one can't fail to note the similarities
          > in thought and conclusion...here's the gist of it-
          >
          > Zen is the peculiarly Chinese way of accomplishing the
          > Buddhist goal of seeing the world just as it is, that
          > is, with a mind that has no grasping thoughts or
          > feelings (Sanskrit trishna). This attitude is called
          > "no-mind" (Chinese wu-hsin), a state of consciousness
          > wherein thoughts move without leaving any trace.
          > Unlike other forms of Buddhism, Zen holds that such
          > freedom of mind cannot be attained by gradual practice
          > but must come through direct and immediate insight
          > (Chinese tun-wu; Japanese satori). Thus, Zen abandons
          > both theorizing and systems of spiritual exercise and
          > communicates its vision of truth by a method known as
          > direct pointing. Its exponents answer all philosophic
          > or religious questions by nonsymbolic words or
          > actions; the answer is the action just as it is, and
          > not what it represents. Typical is the reply of the
          > Zen master Yao-shan, who, on being asked "What is the
          > Way [of Zen]?" answered, "A cloud in the sky and water
          > in the jug!" Zen students prepare themselves to be
          > receptive to such answers by sitting in meditation
          > (Japanese za-zen) while they simply observe, without
          > mental comment, whatever may be happening.
          >
          > Western interest in Zen dates from the publication of
          > the first authoritative account of the subject in
          > English, Essays in Zen Buddhism by the Japanese
          > scholar Daisetz T. Suzuki. After World War II and the
          > occupation of Japan, a great interest in Zen developed
          > in Europe and the U.S., notably among artists,
          > philosophers, and psychologists. It had a special
          > appeal for abstract and nonobjective painters and
          > sculptors. Philosophers have noted its affinities with
          > the thought of the Austrian philosopher Ludwig
          > Wittgenstein, with the theory of general semantics of
          > the American scientist and writer Alfred Korzybski,
          > and, to some extent, with existentialism as propounded
          > by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger.
          >
          > Subjectivity
          >
          > All existentialists have followed Kierkegaard in
          > stressing the importance of passionate individual
          > action in deciding questions of both morality and
          > truth. They have insisted, accordingly, that personal
          > experience and acting on one's own convictions are
          > essential in arriving at the truth. Thus, the
          > understanding of a situation by someone involved in
          > that situation is superior to that of a detached,
          > objective observer. This emphasis on the perspective
          > of the individual agent has also made existentialists
          > suspicious of systematic reasoning. Kierkegaard,
          > Nietzsche, and other existentialist writers have been
          > deliberately unsystematic in the exposition of their
          > philosophies, preferring to express themselves in
          > aphorisms, dialogues, parables, and other literary
          > forms. Despite their antirationalist position,
          > however, most existentialists cannot be said to be
          > irrationalists in the sense of denying all validity to
          > rational thought. They have held that rational clarity
          > is desirable wherever possible, but that the most
          > important questions in life are not accessible to
          > reason or science. Furthermore, they have argued that
          > even science is not as rational as is commonly
          > supposed. Nietzsche, for instance, asserted that the
          > scientific assumption of an orderly universe is for
          > the most part a useful fiction.
          >
          > any comments...
          >
          > unquote.
          >
          >
          > __________________________________________________
          > Do You Yahoo!?
          > Send your FREE holiday greetings online!
          > http://greetings.yahoo.com
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > _________________________________________________________________
          > Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger: http://messenger.msn.com
          >
          >
          >
          > Our Home: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
          > (Includes community book list, chat, and more.)
          >
          > TO UNSUBSCRIBE from this group, send an email to:
          > existlist-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >









          _________________________________________________________________
          Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger: http://messenger.msn.com
        • Bill Harris
          James, thank you for the excellent post. Gems like that can lift a fellows consciousness. I was reading Poe and found a reference to a transcendental state in
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 4, 2002
          • 0 Attachment
            James, thank you for the excellent post. Gems like that can lift a fellows
            consciousness. I was reading Poe and found a reference to a transcendental
            state in which he could realise a pureness of being, not thought, not
            emotion, but perfect being. He claimed that every other thought he had
            constructed could be reduced to language. Yet that "state" was exempt from
            linguistic intrepretation. Agape, the buddist contemplative state, auto
            hypnosis, transcendental meditation, rapture all come down to a good
            feeling. They do not take us beyond or give us extraoidinary powers. They
            are complimentary mental states from which we can gain personal benefits,
            but beyond that they are dead ends. I suppose I would encounter less
            objection to drug enduced euphoria being limited, but I consider it to be
            personally limitless since it can lead to death. I think just being, even in
            a state of great pleasure, does not feed the bulldog. Bill
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "james tan" <tyjfk@...>
            To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Friday, January 04, 2002 4:55 AM
            Subject: Re: [existlist] zen and existentialism!!!


            > bill,
            >
            > ain't ur mother, nor sneeky.
            >
            > recently there seems to be some debate concerning whether morals are
            > objective or subjective. u said: "Questions of human relations
            > are rarely reducable to scientific methods and so we must scurry about in
            > our isms to try to explain the vain workings of our own minds. Fun, is it
            > not?" unquote. i think you hit the nail of its head concerning the issue
            of
            > whether moral is absolute and objective. another side issue is this: there
            > is a severe lack of clarity in the way words like 'objective' and
            > 'subjective' is used. between george and eduard on this issue of morality,
            i
            > tend to sympathise with george's view, although sometimes i think my only
            > disagreement with eduard is a matter of the way he use or understand words
            > such as 'objective', 'absolute', etc. if we take the scientific method as
            > being objective, i agree with you that when it comes to human affairs, be
            it
            > morality or depression, esp to understand human behaviours, subjectivity
            is
            > a better construct than objectivity.
            >
            > imagine the old universe.....dust, planets, stars, matters, moving at high
            > velocity across vast space, for millions and billions of years. imagine
            > their 'loneliness'. those dust is concerned with morality and goodness?
            > objective morality is to be found in this cosmos from the time beginning
            > from which man draw their moral codes? are those dust lonely? is there a
            > purpose to those cosmic travelling? these questions bring out one point:
            > there is a distinction between human and the rest of the universe. the law
            > of gravity applies to all object that possess mass, all objects, the dust,
            > planets, including the body of humans. this is objective, perhaps
            absolutely
            > true; it doesn't matter what we feel about it. if one man jump from the
            > world trade center for whatever reasons (nature is not interested in those
            > reasons), we may feel tragic, and his mother and girlfriends may cry, but
            > the law of gravity will not stop its effect just because of its tragic
            > nature. words like 'lonely', 'tragic', action like crying or any human
            > action, suggest one thing that is not in nature objectively: that is,
            > values, meaning, purpose. to say that something is tragic, or wrong, or
            > good, or immoral, brave, etc, etc, is to presuppose values. nature herself
            > has no such values; it does not give a hoot whether eduard is a coward or
            > not. and values are inherently non-objective; it is only relative to
            human.
            > it is something humanly constituted, for a purpose. purpose is also
            > non-objective. the print u see on the screen now are composed of electrons
            > shooting, it can be weighed by physicists, the intensity of light
            reflected
            > measured by instruments, etc, but which scientific instuments can give us
            > the meaning of the words? and for that matter, any actions of humans? i
            > agree with u, bill, that no scientific theories or instuments can tell us
            > 'objectively' meaning. beauty is in the eyes of the beholders, not
            inherent
            > in nature herself, and meaning is in the minds of list members. eduard
            will
            > see a squirrel crawling up a tree eating his fruit, and think it
            beautiful;
            > some other guy may think it disgusting and hateful. i and my friend will
            see
            > a girl with a certain outstanding feature; he will think she is dashingly
            > beautiful for that, while i may think it spoils the whole face. is there a
            > 'right' answer? nature has made her this way, but beauty is in the eyes of
            > beholders. ie, it is relative to the person seeing it. ie, it is
            subjective.
            > what is objective, though, is that she HAS that feature.
            >
            > morality serves a purpose: it is a construct (meaning it is human
            invented,
            > not inherent in nature, and man only perceive through constructs, which
            may
            > varies from culture to culture, man to man, and any commonality is just a
            > matter of degree, not absolutely) to keep society of fellow humans in
            order,
            > ultimately to serve the evolution, if not the maintainence, of human
            > species. as such, it is again subjective. let take another example. jim
            may
            > use wood for burning to keep the winter cold away, or to make a hut in the
            > wilderness, others may use it for making papers, but there is no correct
            > function built into the wood. in the sense that nature has no intrinsic
            aims
            > or goals of its own, there is no purpose. but morality serves a human
            > purpose. (in a sense, morality is not even the business of god, for the
            > simple reason that he is not human and living among us as humans even if
            he
            > exists). morality differs among cultures and this alone hint at the
            > subjectiveness of it. perhaps for eduard, murder, for an example, is
            > absolutely and objectively wrong; well, good for him and socieity. his
            > so-called objectivity is the subjectivity of eduard. but make no mistake
            > about it: not everybody impute or constitute or construct the way he does
            > about murder. i will even overlook all the 'unless'. eduard may think
            those
            > who disagree that murder is absolutely and objectively morally wrong is
            > mistaken; but in the final analysis, at the end of the day, and in a sense
            > (no offense meant), what eduard think does not matter. he can think all he
            > wants, say all he wants, assert all he wants (this list is composed, in a
            > large proportion, of subjective assertions), whatever is produced out of
            his
            > 'system' is something that matters only to him, whatever statements he
            make
            > about the world or universe. or morality.
            >
            > kierkeggard said: truth is subjectivity. and i think it is precisely
            because
            > of any subjective nature that make it meaningful to one as an individual.
            > (this is not to say that i endorse killing, it is just a idle chat on the
            > nature of morality and killing). do the objective research and inquiries
            of
            > physicists and scientists really affect the conflicts that we as
            individuals
            > face in our daily lives? does kant's concern about synthetic a priori has
            > any bearing on the choices we make as individuals? can the proofs of god's
            > existences by catholic theologians provide us with faith? coming to think
            of
            > it, although at one time i used to scorn at the christian's reliance on
            > faith, i have a different outlook now. it is not that bad, for the simple
            > reason that it is their faith which make their lives meaningful
            > (subjectively) and passionate (i mean, the ones who understood the real
            > significance of their faith; not every so-called christians do). every
            > system of thoughts have their points of departure, or premises and
            > assumption, and it is in the nature of premises to be beyond verification.
            > even for pure maths of number theory, they have axioms which themselves
            > cannot be proven but have to be assumed before the rest can be proved. for
            > the existentialists, it is human freedom and the intentionality of human
            > consciousness. for the christian it is christ the god and saviour. for
            > shakespheare's play "lear", we have to accept lear's inexplicable conduct
            at
            > the beginning of the play. why is one thing assumed over another? is there
            > any objective reason for it? ultimately, it is subjectivity, expressed in
            > one's choice, a discontinuity of reason and objectivity, kierkegaard's
            leap
            > of faith.
            >
            > to the extent that sometimes we attribute human quality to non human
            things.
            > color may be 'warm' or 'cold', a musical note 'sharp', a landscape
            > 'melancholy'. and dear eduard will say the universe has a 'purpose' and
            > morality 'objectivity'. a little confusion will not kill anyway; for with
            > the intellectual confusion, the aesthetic joy of seeing squirrel running
            > around is still possible. one don't have to know the biology of pregnancy
            to
            > get pregnant. passion will do, which to kierkeggard is more important than
            > knowledge, the subjective passion over the objective knowledge. imagine a
            > 'scholar' who talk, teach, educate about making love but never get down to
            > making love itself; what a sorry sight of a pathetic man.
            >
            > zen is one of those area which appreciate the importance of the
            subjective.
            > u don't see these zen masters analysing and deducing; instead, they simply
            > describe what exist, to them subjectively experienced. they do not care
            much
            > about the theories and prejudice of society or culture of how things
            > 'should' be, but how things is. they are not worried about being charged
            for
            > lack of objectivity as a scientist would. for them, there isn't much of a
            > distinction between objectivity and subjectivity. no theories, no hope, no
            > idea of a absolute essence of how thing ought to be, no faith, no desires,
            > they see things just as they are.
            >
            > you said: am a member of the species Homo Sapiens" to, I am a living
            > repository of a possible permutation of the molocule DNA" unquote. no, i
            > would rather say....you are you. lets forget about theories, about
            > evolution, about genetics, about being american, about.....you are not
            > evolved, you just are.
            >
            > james.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > From: "Bill Harris" <bhvwd@...>
            > Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
            > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
            > Subject: Re: [existlist] zen and existentialism!!!
            > Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2002 14:33:32 -0600
            >
            > James, You sneeky mother. When Nietzsche spoke of the limitations of
            > science, he spoke of an infant dicipline. The idea of order was not
            > scientific it is a value judgement outside the rhelm of science. It came
            > from the era of the crystal spheres and though it may have been at the
            > cutting edge in the middle ages science does not search for order, it
            > searches for reproducable expermental results. Questions of human
            relations
            > are rarely reducable to scientific methods and so we must scurry about in
            > our isms to try to explain the vain workings of our own minds. Fun, is it
            > not? so for me I am thinking of changing my personal answer to
            philosophic
            > question One: Who/ What am I , from"I am a member of the species Homo
            > Sapiens" to, I am a living repository of a possible permutation of the
            > molocule DNA" Bill
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: "james tan" <tyjfk@...>
            > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
            > Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2002 10:29 AM
            > Subject: [existlist] zen and existentialism!!!
            >
            >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > ....
            > >
            > > quote:
            > >
            > > just came across two intresting articles on zen and
            > > existentialism...although these are two diff
            > > philosophies one can't fail to note the similarities
            > > in thought and conclusion...here's the gist of it-
            > >
            > > Zen is the peculiarly Chinese way of accomplishing the
            > > Buddhist goal of seeing the world just as it is, that
            > > is, with a mind that has no grasping thoughts or
            > > feelings (Sanskrit trishna). This attitude is called
            > > "no-mind" (Chinese wu-hsin), a state of consciousness
            > > wherein thoughts move without leaving any trace.
            > > Unlike other forms of Buddhism, Zen holds that such
            > > freedom of mind cannot be attained by gradual practice
            > > but must come through direct and immediate insight
            > > (Chinese tun-wu; Japanese satori). Thus, Zen abandons
            > > both theorizing and systems of spiritual exercise and
            > > communicates its vision of truth by a method known as
            > > direct pointing. Its exponents answer all philosophic
            > > or religious questions by nonsymbolic words or
            > > actions; the answer is the action just as it is, and
            > > not what it represents. Typical is the reply of the
            > > Zen master Yao-shan, who, on being asked "What is the
            > > Way [of Zen]?" answered, "A cloud in the sky and water
            > > in the jug!" Zen students prepare themselves to be
            > > receptive to such answers by sitting in meditation
            > > (Japanese za-zen) while they simply observe, without
            > > mental comment, whatever may be happening.
            > >
            > > Western interest in Zen dates from the publication of
            > > the first authoritative account of the subject in
            > > English, Essays in Zen Buddhism by the Japanese
            > > scholar Daisetz T. Suzuki. After World War II and the
            > > occupation of Japan, a great interest in Zen developed
            > > in Europe and the U.S., notably among artists,
            > > philosophers, and psychologists. It had a special
            > > appeal for abstract and nonobjective painters and
            > > sculptors. Philosophers have noted its affinities with
            > > the thought of the Austrian philosopher Ludwig
            > > Wittgenstein, with the theory of general semantics of
            > > the American scientist and writer Alfred Korzybski,
            > > and, to some extent, with existentialism as propounded
            > > by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger.
            > >
            > > Subjectivity
            > >
            > > All existentialists have followed Kierkegaard in
            > > stressing the importance of passionate individual
            > > action in deciding questions of both morality and
            > > truth. They have insisted, accordingly, that personal
            > > experience and acting on one's own convictions are
            > > essential in arriving at the truth. Thus, the
            > > understanding of a situation by someone involved in
            > > that situation is superior to that of a detached,
            > > objective observer. This emphasis on the perspective
            > > of the individual agent has also made existentialists
            > > suspicious of systematic reasoning. Kierkegaard,
            > > Nietzsche, and other existentialist writers have been
            > > deliberately unsystematic in the exposition of their
            > > philosophies, preferring to express themselves in
            > > aphorisms, dialogues, parables, and other literary
            > > forms. Despite their antirationalist position,
            > > however, most existentialists cannot be said to be
            > > irrationalists in the sense of denying all validity to
            > > rational thought. They have held that rational clarity
            > > is desirable wherever possible, but that the most
            > > important questions in life are not accessible to
            > > reason or science. Furthermore, they have argued that
            > > even science is not as rational as is commonly
            > > supposed. Nietzsche, for instance, asserted that the
            > > scientific assumption of an orderly universe is for
            > > the most part a useful fiction.
            > >
            > > any comments...
            > >
            > > unquote.
            > >
            > >
            > > __________________________________________________
            > > Do You Yahoo!?
            > > Send your FREE holiday greetings online!
            > > http://greetings.yahoo.com
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > _________________________________________________________________
            > > Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger: http://messenger.msn.com
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Our Home: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
            > > (Includes community book list, chat, and more.)
            > >
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            > >
            > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
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            > Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger: http://messenger.msn.com
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          • Eduard Alf
            Bill, james just doesn t get it. All this talk of physics and dust and people falling out of the WTC. My position is that there are some ethics that are
            Message 5 of 7 , Jan 4, 2002
            • 0 Attachment
              Bill,

              james just doesn't get it. All this talk of physics and dust and people
              falling out of the WTC.

              My position is that there are some ethics that are common to all societies.
              A mother's love for her child. The desire for happiness. The restriction
              that you should not go out killing others of the society. A society which
              condones arbitrary killing of its members is society which will fail.

              Of course we could argue this forever. The difficulty lies in the words.
              My interpretation of "subjective" is something whose determination rests
              with the individual. I may see a pen as red, you may see it as blue. A
              statement of "the pen is red" is purely subjective. I interpret things that
              are "absolute" are those things which are outside the individual. That is
              of the society into which the individual is thrown. They are statements of
              conduct that exist prior to your own existence. Societies that are
              successful do not tolerate arbitrary killing. Such would be in
              contradiction to the objectives of the society itself. If the moral were
              subjective, then you would find the alternative of "thou shalt kill".

              If we are get into Zen, then this is a good example. Surely the whole focus
              of Zen is towards the objective and away from the subjective. james says
              that for Zen there is an "appreciation for the subjective". Yet even a
              cursory examination of this philosophy indicates that the idea is to release
              oneself from the subjective. That is, to experience what is there by
              itself. The whole idea of the Koans; "One hand clapping". "What do you do
              when you see the Buddha". "What was your face before you were born"; are to
              release the student from the subjective. In releasing from the subjective,
              what is it that the student finally sees? Surely it is the objective.

              But then I really don't expect to have a discussion which focuses
              specifically on the issue at hand. It is easier to divert it towards dust
              and what not.

              I object to the statement that, "whatever is produced out of his 'system' is
              something that matters only to him". This is only another tactic to avoid
              the issue. I can only presume that james is not aware that the moral
              commandment of "thou shalt not kill" happens to be a basic tenant of the
              Judo-Christian religion.

              It is interesting that james himself has seen fit to resort to a simplistic
              moral statement ... "you are not evolved, you just are". Actually I kind of
              like it.

              eduard
              -----Original Message-----
              From: james tan [mailto:tyjfk@...]
              Sent: Friday, January 04, 2002 5:56 AM
              To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [existlist] zen and existentialism!!!


              bill,

              ain't ur mother, nor sneeky.

              recently there seems to be some debate concerning whether morals are
              objective or subjective. u said: "Questions of human relations
              are rarely reducable to scientific methods and so we must scurry about in
              our isms to try to explain the vain workings of our own minds. Fun, is it
              not?" unquote. i think you hit the nail of its head concerning the issue
              of
              whether moral is absolute and objective. another side issue is this: there
              is a severe lack of clarity in the way words like 'objective' and
              'subjective' is used. between george and eduard on this issue of morality,
              i
              tend to sympathise with george's view, although sometimes i think my only
              disagreement with eduard is a matter of the way he use or understand words
              such as 'objective', 'absolute', etc. if we take the scientific method as
              being objective, i agree with you that when it comes to human affairs, be
              it
              morality or depression, esp to understand human behaviours, subjectivity
              is
              a better construct than objectivity.

              imagine the old universe.....dust, planets, stars, matters, moving at high
              velocity across vast space, for millions and billions of years. imagine
              their 'loneliness'. those dust is concerned with morality and goodness?
              objective morality is to be found in this cosmos from the time beginning
              from which man draw their moral codes? are those dust lonely? is there a
              purpose to those cosmic travelling? these questions bring out one point:
              there is a distinction between human and the rest of the universe. the law
              of gravity applies to all object that possess mass, all objects, the dust,
              planets, including the body of humans. this is objective, perhaps
              absolutely
              true; it doesn't matter what we feel about it. if one man jump from the
              world trade center for whatever reasons (nature is not interested in those
              reasons), we may feel tragic, and his mother and girlfriends may cry, but
              the law of gravity will not stop its effect just because of its tragic
              nature. words like 'lonely', 'tragic', action like crying or any human
              action, suggest one thing that is not in nature objectively: that is,
              values, meaning, purpose. to say that something is tragic, or wrong, or
              good, or immoral, brave, etc, etc, is to presuppose values. nature herself
              has no such values; it does not give a hoot whether eduard is a coward or
              not. and values are inherently non-objective; it is only relative to
              human.
              it is something humanly constituted, for a purpose. purpose is also
              non-objective. the print u see on the screen now are composed of electrons
              shooting, it can be weighed by physicists, the intensity of light
              reflected
              measured by instruments, etc, but which scientific instuments can give us
              the meaning of the words? and for that matter, any actions of humans? i
              agree with u, bill, that no scientific theories or instuments can tell us
              'objectively' meaning. beauty is in the eyes of the beholders, not
              inherent
              in nature herself, and meaning is in the minds of list members. eduard
              will
              see a squirrel crawling up a tree eating his fruit, and think it
              beautiful;
              some other guy may think it disgusting and hateful. i and my friend will
              see
              a girl with a certain outstanding feature; he will think she is dashingly
              beautiful for that, while i may think it spoils the whole face. is there a
              'right' answer? nature has made her this way, but beauty is in the eyes of
              beholders. ie, it is relative to the person seeing it. ie, it is
              subjective.
              what is objective, though, is that she HAS that feature.

              morality serves a purpose: it is a construct (meaning it is human
              invented,
              not inherent in nature, and man only perceive through constructs, which
              may
              varies from culture to culture, man to man, and any commonality is just a
              matter of degree, not absolutely) to keep society of fellow humans in
              order,
              ultimately to serve the evolution, if not the maintainence, of human
              species. as such, it is again subjective. let take another example. jim
              may
              use wood for burning to keep the winter cold away, or to make a hut in the
              wilderness, others may use it for making papers, but there is no correct
              function built into the wood. in the sense that nature has no intrinsic
              aims
              or goals of its own, there is no purpose. but morality serves a human
              purpose. (in a sense, morality is not even the business of god, for the
              simple reason that he is not human and living among us as humans even if
              he
              exists). morality differs among cultures and this alone hint at the
              subjectiveness of it. perhaps for eduard, murder, for an example, is
              absolutely and objectively wrong; well, good for him and socieity. his
              so-called objectivity is the subjectivity of eduard. but make no mistake
              about it: not everybody impute or constitute or construct the way he does
              about murder. i will even overlook all the 'unless'. eduard may think
              those
              who disagree that murder is absolutely and objectively morally wrong is
              mistaken; but in the final analysis, at the end of the day, and in a sense
              (no offense meant), what eduard think does not matter. he can think all he
              wants, say all he wants, assert all he wants (this list is composed, in a
              large proportion, of subjective assertions), whatever is produced out of
              his
              'system' is something that matters only to him, whatever statements he
              make
              about the world or universe. or morality.

              kierkeggard said: truth is subjectivity. and i think it is precisely
              because
              of any subjective nature that make it meaningful to one as an individual.
              (this is not to say that i endorse killing, it is just a idle chat on the
              nature of morality and killing). do the objective research and inquiries
              of
              physicists and scientists really affect the conflicts that we as
              individuals
              face in our daily lives? does kant's concern about synthetic a priori has
              any bearing on the choices we make as individuals? can the proofs of god's
              existences by catholic theologians provide us with faith? coming to think
              of
              it, although at one time i used to scorn at the christian's reliance on
              faith, i have a different outlook now. it is not that bad, for the simple
              reason that it is their faith which make their lives meaningful
              (subjectively) and passionate (i mean, the ones who understood the real
              significance of their faith; not every so-called christians do). every
              system of thoughts have their points of departure, or premises and
              assumption, and it is in the nature of premises to be beyond verification.
              even for pure maths of number theory, they have axioms which themselves
              cannot be proven but have to be assumed before the rest can be proved. for
              the existentialists, it is human freedom and the intentionality of human
              consciousness. for the christian it is christ the god and saviour. for
              shakespheare's play "lear", we have to accept lear's inexplicable conduct
              at
              the beginning of the play. why is one thing assumed over another? is there
              any objective reason for it? ultimately, it is subjectivity, expressed in
              one's choice, a discontinuity of reason and objectivity, kierkegaard's
              leap
              of faith.

              to the extent that sometimes we attribute human quality to non human
              things.
              color may be 'warm' or 'cold', a musical note 'sharp', a landscape
              'melancholy'. and dear eduard will say the universe has a 'purpose' and
              morality 'objectivity'. a little confusion will not kill anyway; for with
              the intellectual confusion, the aesthetic joy of seeing squirrel running
              around is still possible. one don't have to know the biology of pregnancy
              to
              get pregnant. passion will do, which to kierkeggard is more important than
              knowledge, the subjective passion over the objective knowledge. imagine a
              'scholar' who talk, teach, educate about making love but never get down to
              making love itself; what a sorry sight of a pathetic man.

              zen is one of those area which appreciate the importance of the
              subjective.
              u don't see these zen masters analysing and deducing; instead, they simply
              describe what exist, to them subjectively experienced. they do not care
              much
              about the theories and prejudice of society or culture of how things
              'should' be, but how things is. they are not worried about being charged
              for
              lack of objectivity as a scientist would. for them, there isn't much of a
              distinction between objectivity and subjectivity. no theories, no hope, no
              idea of a absolute essence of how thing ought to be, no faith, no desires,
              they see things just as they are.

              you said: am a member of the species Homo Sapiens" to, I am a living
              repository of a possible permutation of the molocule DNA" unquote. no, i
              would rather say....you are you. lets forget about theories, about
              evolution, about genetics, about being american, about.....you are not
              evolved, you just are.

              james.


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • james tan
              bill, yeap. james. ps: i think i was carried away trying to illustrate the differences between the constructs of being subjective and objective . some could
              Message 6 of 7 , Jan 4, 2002
              • 0 Attachment
                bill,

                yeap.

                james.

                ps: i think i was carried away trying to illustrate the differences between
                the constructs of being 'subjective' and 'objective'. some could understand,
                some just cannot (which they project by saying i'm the one who cannot get
                it, which doesn't matter, does it? afterall, it is his subjectivity that
                matter to him personally, and that is really what matters, to him. all is
                happy.)


                From: "Bill Harris" <bhvwd@...>
                Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                Subject: Re: [existlist] zen and existentialism!!!
                Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2002 13:15:57 -0600

                James, thank you for the excellent post. Gems like that can lift a fellows
                consciousness. I was reading Poe and found a reference to a transcendental
                state in which he could realise a pureness of being, not thought, not
                emotion, but perfect being. He claimed that every other thought he had
                constructed could be reduced to language. Yet that "state" was exempt from
                linguistic intrepretation. Agape, the buddist contemplative state, auto
                hypnosis, transcendental meditation, rapture all come down to a good
                feeling. They do not take us beyond or give us extraoidinary powers. They
                are complimentary mental states from which we can gain personal benefits,
                but beyond that they are dead ends. I suppose I would encounter less
                objection to drug enduced euphoria being limited, but I consider it to be
                personally limitless since it can lead to death. I think just being, even in
                a state of great pleasure, does not feed the bulldog. Bill
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "james tan" <tyjfk@...>
                To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Friday, January 04, 2002 4:55 AM
                Subject: Re: [existlist] zen and existentialism!!!


                > bill,
                >
                > ain't ur mother, nor sneeky.
                >
                > recently there seems to be some debate concerning whether morals are
                > objective or subjective. u said: "Questions of human relations
                > are rarely reducable to scientific methods and so we must scurry about
                in
                > our isms to try to explain the vain workings of our own minds. Fun, is it
                > not?" unquote. i think you hit the nail of its head concerning the issue
                of
                > whether moral is absolute and objective. another side issue is this:
                there
                > is a severe lack of clarity in the way words like 'objective' and
                > 'subjective' is used. between george and eduard on this issue of
                morality,
                i
                > tend to sympathise with george's view, although sometimes i think my only
                > disagreement with eduard is a matter of the way he use or understand
                words
                > such as 'objective', 'absolute', etc. if we take the scientific method as
                > being objective, i agree with you that when it comes to human affairs, be
                it
                > morality or depression, esp to understand human behaviours, subjectivity
                is
                > a better construct than objectivity.
                >
                > imagine the old universe.....dust, planets, stars, matters, moving at
                high
                > velocity across vast space, for millions and billions of years. imagine
                > their 'loneliness'. those dust is concerned with morality and goodness?
                > objective morality is to be found in this cosmos from the time beginning
                > from which man draw their moral codes? are those dust lonely? is there a
                > purpose to those cosmic travelling? these questions bring out one point:
                > there is a distinction between human and the rest of the universe. the
                law
                > of gravity applies to all object that possess mass, all objects, the
                dust,
                > planets, including the body of humans. this is objective, perhaps
                absolutely
                > true; it doesn't matter what we feel about it. if one man jump from the
                > world trade center for whatever reasons (nature is not interested in
                those
                > reasons), we may feel tragic, and his mother and girlfriends may cry, but
                > the law of gravity will not stop its effect just because of its tragic
                > nature. words like 'lonely', 'tragic', action like crying or any human
                > action, suggest one thing that is not in nature objectively: that is,
                > values, meaning, purpose. to say that something is tragic, or wrong, or
                > good, or immoral, brave, etc, etc, is to presuppose values. nature
                herself
                > has no such values; it does not give a hoot whether eduard is a coward or
                > not. and values are inherently non-objective; it is only relative to
                human.
                > it is something humanly constituted, for a purpose. purpose is also
                > non-objective. the print u see on the screen now are composed of
                electrons
                > shooting, it can be weighed by physicists, the intensity of light
                reflected
                > measured by instruments, etc, but which scientific instuments can give us
                > the meaning of the words? and for that matter, any actions of humans? i
                > agree with u, bill, that no scientific theories or instuments can tell us
                > 'objectively' meaning. beauty is in the eyes of the beholders, not
                inherent
                > in nature herself, and meaning is in the minds of list members. eduard
                will
                > see a squirrel crawling up a tree eating his fruit, and think it
                beautiful;
                > some other guy may think it disgusting and hateful. i and my friend will
                see
                > a girl with a certain outstanding feature; he will think she is dashingly
                > beautiful for that, while i may think it spoils the whole face. is there
                a
                > 'right' answer? nature has made her this way, but beauty is in the eyes
                of
                > beholders. ie, it is relative to the person seeing it. ie, it is
                subjective.
                > what is objective, though, is that she HAS that feature.
                >
                > morality serves a purpose: it is a construct (meaning it is human
                invented,
                > not inherent in nature, and man only perceive through constructs, which
                may
                > varies from culture to culture, man to man, and any commonality is just a
                > matter of degree, not absolutely) to keep society of fellow humans in
                order,
                > ultimately to serve the evolution, if not the maintainence, of human
                > species. as such, it is again subjective. let take another example. jim
                may
                > use wood for burning to keep the winter cold away, or to make a hut in
                the
                > wilderness, others may use it for making papers, but there is no correct
                > function built into the wood. in the sense that nature has no intrinsic
                aims
                > or goals of its own, there is no purpose. but morality serves a human
                > purpose. (in a sense, morality is not even the business of god, for the
                > simple reason that he is not human and living among us as humans even if
                he
                > exists). morality differs among cultures and this alone hint at the
                > subjectiveness of it. perhaps for eduard, murder, for an example, is
                > absolutely and objectively wrong; well, good for him and socieity. his
                > so-called objectivity is the subjectivity of eduard. but make no mistake
                > about it: not everybody impute or constitute or construct the way he does
                > about murder. i will even overlook all the 'unless'. eduard may think
                those
                > who disagree that murder is absolutely and objectively morally wrong is
                > mistaken; but in the final analysis, at the end of the day, and in a
                sense
                > (no offense meant), what eduard think does not matter. he can think all
                he
                > wants, say all he wants, assert all he wants (this list is composed, in a
                > large proportion, of subjective assertions), whatever is produced out of
                his
                > 'system' is something that matters only to him, whatever statements he
                make
                > about the world or universe. or morality.
                >
                > kierkeggard said: truth is subjectivity. and i think it is precisely
                because
                > of any subjective nature that make it meaningful to one as an individual.
                > (this is not to say that i endorse killing, it is just a idle chat on the
                > nature of morality and killing). do the objective research and inquiries
                of
                > physicists and scientists really affect the conflicts that we as
                individuals
                > face in our daily lives? does kant's concern about synthetic a priori has
                > any bearing on the choices we make as individuals? can the proofs of
                god's
                > existences by catholic theologians provide us with faith? coming to think
                of
                > it, although at one time i used to scorn at the christian's reliance on
                > faith, i have a different outlook now. it is not that bad, for the simple
                > reason that it is their faith which make their lives meaningful
                > (subjectively) and passionate (i mean, the ones who understood the real
                > significance of their faith; not every so-called christians do). every
                > system of thoughts have their points of departure, or premises and
                > assumption, and it is in the nature of premises to be beyond
                verification.
                > even for pure maths of number theory, they have axioms which themselves
                > cannot be proven but have to be assumed before the rest can be proved.
                for
                > the existentialists, it is human freedom and the intentionality of human
                > consciousness. for the christian it is christ the god and saviour. for
                > shakespheare's play "lear", we have to accept lear's inexplicable conduct
                at
                > the beginning of the play. why is one thing assumed over another? is
                there
                > any objective reason for it? ultimately, it is subjectivity, expressed in
                > one's choice, a discontinuity of reason and objectivity, kierkegaard's
                leap
                > of faith.
                >
                > to the extent that sometimes we attribute human quality to non human
                things.
                > color may be 'warm' or 'cold', a musical note 'sharp', a landscape
                > 'melancholy'. and dear eduard will say the universe has a 'purpose' and
                > morality 'objectivity'. a little confusion will not kill anyway; for with
                > the intellectual confusion, the aesthetic joy of seeing squirrel running
                > around is still possible. one don't have to know the biology of pregnancy
                to
                > get pregnant. passion will do, which to kierkeggard is more important
                than
                > knowledge, the subjective passion over the objective knowledge. imagine a
                > 'scholar' who talk, teach, educate about making love but never get down
                to
                > making love itself; what a sorry sight of a pathetic man.
                >
                > zen is one of those area which appreciate the importance of the
                subjective.
                > u don't see these zen masters analysing and deducing; instead, they
                simply
                > describe what exist, to them subjectively experienced. they do not care
                much
                > about the theories and prejudice of society or culture of how things
                > 'should' be, but how things is. they are not worried about being charged
                for
                > lack of objectivity as a scientist would. for them, there isn't much of a
                > distinction between objectivity and subjectivity. no theories, no hope,
                no
                > idea of a absolute essence of how thing ought to be, no faith, no
                desires,
                > they see things just as they are.
                >
                > you said: am a member of the species Homo Sapiens" to, I am a living
                > repository of a possible permutation of the molocule DNA" unquote. no, i
                > would rather say....you are you. lets forget about theories, about
                > evolution, about genetics, about being american, about.....you are not
                > evolved, you just are.
                >
                > james.
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > From: "Bill Harris" <bhvwd@...>
                > Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                > Subject: Re: [existlist] zen and existentialism!!!
                > Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2002 14:33:32 -0600
                >
                > James, You sneeky mother. When Nietzsche spoke of the limitations of
                > science, he spoke of an infant dicipline. The idea of order was not
                > scientific it is a value judgement outside the rhelm of science. It came
                > from the era of the crystal spheres and though it may have been at the
                > cutting edge in the middle ages science does not search for order, it
                > searches for reproducable expermental results. Questions of human
                relations
                > are rarely reducable to scientific methods and so we must scurry about
                in
                > our isms to try to explain the vain workings of our own minds. Fun, is it
                > not? so for me I am thinking of changing my personal answer to
                philosophic
                > question One: Who/ What am I , from"I am a member of the species Homo
                > Sapiens" to, I am a living repository of a possible permutation of the
                > molocule DNA" Bill
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: "james tan" <tyjfk@...>
                > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                > Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2002 10:29 AM
                > Subject: [existlist] zen and existentialism!!!
                >
                >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > ....
                > >
                > > quote:
                > >
                > > just came across two intresting articles on zen and
                > > existentialism...although these are two diff
                > > philosophies one can't fail to note the similarities
                > > in thought and conclusion...here's the gist of it-
                > >
                > > Zen is the peculiarly Chinese way of accomplishing the
                > > Buddhist goal of seeing the world just as it is, that
                > > is, with a mind that has no grasping thoughts or
                > > feelings (Sanskrit trishna). This attitude is called
                > > "no-mind" (Chinese wu-hsin), a state of consciousness
                > > wherein thoughts move without leaving any trace.
                > > Unlike other forms of Buddhism, Zen holds that such
                > > freedom of mind cannot be attained by gradual practice
                > > but must come through direct and immediate insight
                > > (Chinese tun-wu; Japanese satori). Thus, Zen abandons
                > > both theorizing and systems of spiritual exercise and
                > > communicates its vision of truth by a method known as
                > > direct pointing. Its exponents answer all philosophic
                > > or religious questions by nonsymbolic words or
                > > actions; the answer is the action just as it is, and
                > > not what it represents. Typical is the reply of the
                > > Zen master Yao-shan, who, on being asked "What is the
                > > Way [of Zen]?" answered, "A cloud in the sky and water
                > > in the jug!" Zen students prepare themselves to be
                > > receptive to such answers by sitting in meditation
                > > (Japanese za-zen) while they simply observe, without
                > > mental comment, whatever may be happening.
                > >
                > > Western interest in Zen dates from the publication of
                > > the first authoritative account of the subject in
                > > English, Essays in Zen Buddhism by the Japanese
                > > scholar Daisetz T. Suzuki. After World War II and the
                > > occupation of Japan, a great interest in Zen developed
                > > in Europe and the U.S., notably among artists,
                > > philosophers, and psychologists. It had a special
                > > appeal for abstract and nonobjective painters and
                > > sculptors. Philosophers have noted its affinities with
                > > the thought of the Austrian philosopher Ludwig
                > > Wittgenstein, with the theory of general semantics of
                > > the American scientist and writer Alfred Korzybski,
                > > and, to some extent, with existentialism as propounded
                > > by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger.
                > >
                > > Subjectivity
                > >
                > > All existentialists have followed Kierkegaard in
                > > stressing the importance of passionate individual
                > > action in deciding questions of both morality and
                > > truth. They have insisted, accordingly, that personal
                > > experience and acting on one's own convictions are
                > > essential in arriving at the truth. Thus, the
                > > understanding of a situation by someone involved in
                > > that situation is superior to that of a detached,
                > > objective observer. This emphasis on the perspective
                > > of the individual agent has also made existentialists
                > > suspicious of systematic reasoning. Kierkegaard,
                > > Nietzsche, and other existentialist writers have been
                > > deliberately unsystematic in the exposition of their
                > > philosophies, preferring to express themselves in
                > > aphorisms, dialogues, parables, and other literary
                > > forms. Despite their antirationalist position,
                > > however, most existentialists cannot be said to be
                > > irrationalists in the sense of denying all validity to
                > > rational thought. They have held that rational clarity
                > > is desirable wherever possible, but that the most
                > > important questions in life are not accessible to
                > > reason or science. Furthermore, they have argued that
                > > even science is not as rational as is commonly
                > > supposed. Nietzsche, for instance, asserted that the
                > > scientific assumption of an orderly universe is for
                > > the most part a useful fiction.
                > >
                > > any comments...
                > >
                > > unquote.
                > >
                > >
                > > __________________________________________________
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                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
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