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Conception-less concepts

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  • Mary
    Jim and Herman, Since phenomenology and ethics are relevant to existentialism, I wouldn t mind continuing this thread. If I understand Zizek, his criticism of
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 2 8:00 AM
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      Jim and Herman,

      Since phenomenology and ethics are relevant to existentialism, I wouldn't mind continuing this thread. If I understand Zizek, his criticism of what he calls Western Buddhism involves its illusion of separation and tacit endorsement of capitalism.

      When you, Herman, wrote that "Ethical discourse, to the extent that it treats of how I or others should have been in the past, is superfluous, and is similarly an avoidance of awareness of this inchoate present. In short, the real ethical discourse is always already happening." don't you have faith in things-in-themselves with whom you are present?

      Zizek said something to the effect that Ethics is the application of free will after the fact (history) when deciding how we will/will not act in the future. I'm not referring to an addictive obsession about the future or morbid preoccupation with the past, but the simple recognition that we learn from our mistakes. And isn't a major difference between Western and Eastern forms of Buddhism that of how suffering is treated: the emphasis on eliminating personal over that of community suffering respectively?

      You, Herman, suggest we can only conquer ourselves but don't think such an entities exist. Isn't eliminating desire/eliminating suffering is an inter-subjective-objective project?

      Mary
    • tom
      Mary Buddhism has an interesting history of adapting itself to different cultures.As it moved from warmer India to more temperate China, emphasis changed
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 2 8:34 AM
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        Mary

        Buddhism has an interesting history of adapting itself to different cultures.As it moved from warmer India to more temperate China, emphasis changed somewhat from extreme withdrawal to stillness in action. There developed some schools that emphasized individual escape from suffering; and others that favored the idea of a being foregoing individual enlightenment to work for the deliverance of all sentient beings. In a broader sense, I don't think we can say any approach is wrong. Rather different paths are appropriate for different types etc. Any judgement we make reflects us as much as the one we are judging.

        Peace
        Tom
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Mary
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2011 10:00 AM
        Subject: [existlist] Conception-less concepts



        Jim and Herman,

        Since phenomenology and ethics are relevant to existentialism, I wouldn't mind continuing this thread. If I understand Zizek, his criticism of what he calls Western Buddhism involves its illusion of separation and tacit endorsement of capitalism.

        When you, Herman, wrote that "Ethical discourse, to the extent that it treats of how I or others should have been in the past, is superfluous, and is similarly an avoidance of awareness of this inchoate present. In short, the real ethical discourse is always already happening." don't you have faith in things-in-themselves with whom you are present?

        Zizek said something to the effect that Ethics is the application of free will after the fact (history) when deciding how we will/will not act in the future. I'm not referring to an addictive obsession about the future or morbid preoccupation with the past, but the simple recognition that we learn from our mistakes. And isn't a major difference between Western and Eastern forms of Buddhism that of how suffering is treated: the emphasis on eliminating personal over that of community suffering respectively?

        You, Herman, suggest we can only conquer ourselves but don't think such an entities exist. Isn't eliminating desire/eliminating suffering is an inter-subjective-objective project?

        Mary





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Mary
        Tom, I see nothing wrong with certainty and judgment, since these are positions from which to argue, change, and move on. I m not speaking of intransigence or
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 2 10:37 AM
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          Tom,

          I see nothing wrong with certainty and judgment, since these are positions from which to argue, change, and move on. I'm not speaking of intransigence or condemnation but that frustrating practice of presenting concepts as non-concepts; declaring philosophese outdated, or that other pig in a poke-- maintaining all philosophies are equal.

          Mary

          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "tom" <tsmith17_midsouth1@...> wrote:
          >
          > Mary
          >
          > Buddhism has an interesting history of adapting itself to different cultures.As it moved from warmer India to more temperate China, emphasis changed somewhat from extreme withdrawal to stillness in action. There developed some schools that emphasized individual escape from suffering; and others that favored the idea of a being foregoing individual enlightenment to work for the deliverance of all sentient beings. In a broader sense, I don't think we can say any approach is wrong. Rather different paths are appropriate for different types etc. Any judgement we make reflects us as much as the one we are judging.
          >
          > Peace
          > Tom
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: Mary
          > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          > Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2011 10:00 AM
          > Subject: [existlist] Conception-less concepts
          >
          >
          >
          > Jim and Herman,
          >
          > Since phenomenology and ethics are relevant to existentialism, I wouldn't mind continuing this thread. If I understand Zizek, his criticism of what he calls Western Buddhism involves its illusion of separation and tacit endorsement of capitalism.
          >
          > When you, Herman, wrote that "Ethical discourse, to the extent that it treats of how I or others should have been in the past, is superfluous, and is similarly an avoidance of awareness of this inchoate present. In short, the real ethical discourse is always already happening." don't you have faith in things-in-themselves with whom you are present?
          >
          > Zizek said something to the effect that Ethics is the application of free will after the fact (history) when deciding how we will/will not act in the future. I'm not referring to an addictive obsession about the future or morbid preoccupation with the past, but the simple recognition that we learn from our mistakes. And isn't a major difference between Western and Eastern forms of Buddhism that of how suffering is treated: the emphasis on eliminating personal over that of community suffering respectively?
          >
          > You, Herman, suggest we can only conquer ourselves but don't think such an entities exist. Isn't eliminating desire/eliminating suffering is an inter-subjective-objective project?
          >
          > Mary
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • tom
          Mary I am not necesarily saying all philosophies are equal. I am saying that our evaluation of a philosophy will reflect our own psychological type as much as
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 2 2:48 PM
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            Mary

            I am not necesarily saying all philosophies are equal. I am saying that our evaluation of a philosophy will reflect our own psychological type as much as the philosophy we are evaluating. I see unity and individuality as aspects of our being; and certain people are inclined a bit more toward one than the other. Introversion and extraversion are examples of other opposites.I understand different schools of Buddhism evolved to connect with different types, and with differtent cultures and conditions.

            Of course, ideology tends to be seen more as a means than an end in Buddhism. There was a saying that Buddhism was like a raft to take a person from one shore to the other, and the raft can be discarded once the destination is reached.

            Peace
            Tom
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Mary
            To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2011 12:37 PM
            Subject: [existlist] Re: Conception-less concepts



            Tom,

            I see nothing wrong with certainty and judgment, since these are positions from which to argue, change, and move on. I'm not speaking of intransigence or condemnation but that frustrating practice of presenting concepts as non-concepts; declaring philosophese outdated, or that other pig in a poke-- maintaining all philosophies are equal.

            Mary

            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "tom" <tsmith17_midsouth1@...> wrote:
            >
            > Mary
            >
            > Buddhism has an interesting history of adapting itself to different cultures.As it moved from warmer India to more temperate China, emphasis changed somewhat from extreme withdrawal to stillness in action. There developed some schools that emphasized individual escape from suffering; and others that favored the idea of a being foregoing individual enlightenment to work for the deliverance of all sentient beings. In a broader sense, I don't think we can say any approach is wrong. Rather different paths are appropriate for different types etc. Any judgement we make reflects us as much as the one we are judging.
            >
            > Peace
            > Tom
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: Mary
            > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2011 10:00 AM
            > Subject: [existlist] Conception-less concepts
            >
            >
            >
            > Jim and Herman,
            >
            > Since phenomenology and ethics are relevant to existentialism, I wouldn't mind continuing this thread. If I understand Zizek, his criticism of what he calls Western Buddhism involves its illusion of separation and tacit endorsement of capitalism.
            >
            > When you, Herman, wrote that "Ethical discourse, to the extent that it treats of how I or others should have been in the past, is superfluous, and is similarly an avoidance of awareness of this inchoate present. In short, the real ethical discourse is always already happening." don't you have faith in things-in-themselves with whom you are present?
            >
            > Zizek said something to the effect that Ethics is the application of free will after the fact (history) when deciding how we will/will not act in the future. I'm not referring to an addictive obsession about the future or morbid preoccupation with the past, but the simple recognition that we learn from our mistakes. And isn't a major difference between Western and Eastern forms of Buddhism that of how suffering is treated: the emphasis on eliminating personal over that of community suffering respectively?
            >
            > You, Herman, suggest we can only conquer ourselves but don't think such an entities exist. Isn't eliminating desire/eliminating suffering is an inter-subjective-objective project?
            >
            > Mary
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Herman
            Hi Mary, ... If I am always present with things-in-themselves , how can they be things-in-themselves? Either they depend on moi in some way, and are
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 3 4:37 PM
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              Hi Mary,

              On 3 June 2011 01:00, Mary <josephson45r@...> wrote:

              >
              >
              > Jim and Herman,
              >
              > Since phenomenology and ethics are relevant to existentialism, I wouldn't
              > mind continuing this thread. If I understand Zizek, his criticism of what he
              > calls Western Buddhism involves its illusion of separation and tacit
              > endorsement of capitalism.
              >
              > When you, Herman, wrote that "Ethical discourse, to the extent that it
              > treats of how I or others should have been in the past, is superfluous, and
              > is similarly an avoidance of awareness of this inchoate present. In short,
              > the real ethical discourse is always already happening." don't you have
              > faith in things-in-themselves with whom you are present?
              >
              >
              If "I" am always present with "things-in-themselves", how can they be
              things-in-themselves? Either they depend on moi in some way, and are
              therefore not in-themself at all, or the distinction between me and them is
              an invalid one.



              > Zizek said something to the effect that Ethics is the application of free
              > will after the fact (history) when deciding how we will/will not act in the
              > future. I'm not referring to an addictive obsession about the future or
              > morbid preoccupation with the past, but the simple recognition that we learn
              > from our mistakes.
              >

              Yes, but when are we mistaken, and therefore, what are we learning? Are we
              succesfully learning how to not suffer?


              > And isn't a major difference between Western and Eastern forms of Buddhism
              > that of how suffering is treated: the emphasis on eliminating personal over
              > that of community suffering respectively?
              >

              While there are differences between regional Buddhisms, I think the focus of
              Buddhism overall is that the distinction self / other, and self / not-self,
              is a moot one.



              > You, Herman, suggest we can only conquer ourselves but don't think such an
              > entities exist.
              >

              Yes, and I accept that analytically that doesn't make sense.


              > Isn't eliminating desire/eliminating suffering is an
              > inter-subjective-objective project?
              >
              >
              Sure. But if we start of with delusional premises, isn't it possible that
              suffering occurs precisely because of an investment in such delusional
              premises?


              Cheers


              Herman

              Mary
              >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Mary
              Hello Herman, ... The distinction is valid. Both exist and give cause anxiety, suffering, and joy-- the eternal process. ... Yes, and as importantly, learning
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 4 9:57 AM
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                Hello Herman,

                --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Herman <hhofmeister@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hi Mary,
                >
                > On 3 June 2011 01:00, Mary <josephson45r@...> wrote:
                >
                > >
                > >
                > > Jim and Herman,
                > >
                > > Since phenomenology and ethics are relevant to existentialism, I wouldn't
                > > mind continuing this thread. If I understand Zizek, his criticism of what he
                > > calls Western Buddhism involves its illusion of separation and tacit
                > > endorsement of capitalism.
                > >
                > > When you, Herman, wrote that "Ethical discourse, to the extent that it
                > > treats of how I or others should have been in the past, is superfluous, and
                > > is similarly an avoidance of awareness of this inchoate present. In short,
                > > the real ethical discourse is always already happening." don't you have
                > > faith in things-in-themselves with whom you are present?
                > >
                > >
                > If "I" am always present with "things-in-themselves", how can they be
                > things-in-themselves? Either they depend on moi in some way, and are
                > therefore not in-themself at all, or the distinction between me and them is
                > an invalid one.

                The distinction is valid. Both exist and give cause anxiety, suffering, and joy-- the eternal process.

                >
                >
                >
                > > Zizek said something to the effect that Ethics is the application of free
                > > will after the fact (history) when deciding how we will/will not act in the
                > > future. I'm not referring to an addictive obsession about the future or
                > > morbid preoccupation with the past, but the simple recognition that we learn
                > > from our mistakes.
                > >
                >
                > Yes, but when are we mistaken, and therefore, what are we learning? Are we
                > succesfully learning how to not suffer?

                Yes, and as importantly, learning to avoid causing suffering. Why is this wrong?

                >
                >
                > > And isn't a major difference between Western and Eastern forms of Buddhism
                > > that of how suffering is treated: the emphasis on eliminating personal over
                > > that of community suffering respectively?
                > >
                >
                > While there are differences between regional Buddhisms, I think the focus of
                > Buddhism overall is that the distinction self / other, and self / not-self,
                > is a moot one.
                >
                >
                >
                > > You, Herman, suggest we can only conquer ourselves but don't think such an
                > > entities exist.
                > >
                >
                > Yes, and I accept that analytically that doesn't make sense.
                >
                >
                > > Isn't eliminating desire/eliminating suffering is an
                > > inter-subjective-objective project?
                > >
                > >
                > Sure. But if we start of with delusional premises, isn't it possible that
                > suffering occurs precisely because of an investment in such delusional
                > premises?

                Without difference, there is no communication. If you were to say that there is a universality and particularity in our inter-subjectivity, I could agree. If you were to say particular manifestations of being unfold from and enfold into a common ground which through science, art, and philosophy, we are partially capable of representing and abstracting from this changing whole, then I could agree. You can't avoid dealing with other by denying its existence, but you can develop an ethics based on the universal while acknowledging the particular. Difference is everything. I think this is the lesson of existentialism and dialectical reason.

                Mary
              • Herman
                Hi Mary, ... Nothing wrong with that as far as I can tell. ... Without difference, there is no communication. If you were to say that
                Message 7 of 8 , Jun 6 6:02 PM
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                  Hi Mary,

                  On 5 June 2011 02:57, Mary <josephson45r@...> wrote:

                  >
                  >
                  > Hello Herman,
                  >
                  > >
                  > > Yes, but when are we mistaken, and therefore, what are we learning? Are
                  > we
                  > > succesfully learning how to not suffer?
                  >
                  > Yes, and as importantly, learning to avoid causing suffering. Why is this
                  > wrong?
                  >
                  >
                  Nothing wrong with that as far as I can tell.


                  <snipped for brevity>


                  > >
                  > Sure. But if we start of with delusional premises, isn't it possible that
                  > suffering occurs precisely because of an investment in such delusional
                  > premises?

                  Without difference, there is no communication. If you were to say that there
                  > is a universality and particularity in our inter-subjectivity, I could
                  > agree. If you were to say particular manifestations of being unfold from and
                  > enfold into a common ground which through science, art, and philosophy, we
                  > are partially capable of representing and abstracting from this changing
                  > whole, then I could agree. You can't avoid dealing with other by denying its
                  > existence, but you can develop an ethics based on the universal while
                  > acknowledging the particular. Difference is everything. I think this is the
                  > lesson of existentialism and dialectical reason.
                  >
                  >

                  I agree that difference is everything. It's all there is, even.

                  I'm probably of on a tangent now, but I'd say that the evolutionary function
                  of language and therefore communication in human societies is to deceive ie
                  misrepresent, not to represent. In the struggle for life, language confers
                  an adaptive advantage to those who use it to lie.

                  Cheers


                  Herman




                  > Mary
                  >
                  >
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Mary
                  Herman, But it s an equal advantage:) Besides, there is fortunately an abundance of fine literature that proves the exception. Mary
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jun 7 11:45 PM
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                    Herman,

                    But it's an equal advantage:) Besides, there is fortunately an abundance of fine literature that proves the exception.

                    Mary

                    --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Herman <hhofmeister@...> wrote:

                    > I'm probably of on a tangent now, but I'd say that the evolutionary function
                    > of language and therefore communication in human societies is to deceive ie
                    > misrepresent, not to represent. In the struggle for life, language confers
                    > an adaptive advantage to those who use it to lie.
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