Re: [psychiatry-research] Essay Note: "Here are my thoughts on Life"
- "My momma always said, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."--- Forrest GumpFrom: Robert Karl Stonjek <stonjek@...>
To: Psychiatry-Research <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 3:41 PM
Subject: [psychiatry-research] Essay Note: "Here are my thoughts on Life"
When a depressed Iranian chap came onto my Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology list and said:
"Life is nothing really..i see nothing have value in thins world!! why we live!! what we do !! who make us ,,why Im
human not animal while a sheep will be animal not human!! why i borne in the east while other one in the west!! who decide about our destiny!!!!!"I replied:Here are my thoughts on Life
Life is everything you have. Ultimately, you can't have more than life.
Life is everything you give. You can give no more than your own life.
Life is everything you take. Ultimately you can take no more than life.
Life is where you are, it is where you want to be and it is the vehicle to get you there.
The past was not arranged. An opportunity for a life became available and before you were anything at all you took that opportunity and you continue to do so to this very moment.
The purpose of life may vary with the circumstance in which life is to be found, but the purpose of YOU is to be the conduit through which life, already existing for some three and a half billion years here on Earth, finds some way to penetrate into the otherwise lifeless future.
Don't fight life. Let life be your guide. Let it flow into flesh, love and art, knowledge and innovation, or to just continue to flow through you just as it is doing so in this moment...that is all that life asks of you. It isn't much. Embrace it, and allow life to embrace you.
I am not the least bit interested in furthering this adversial thread but I do have a question that I don't think will engender controversy. Can you indicate what the underlying property or properties that Indo- European languages have that make it easier to form abstract nouns? If I am not presuming too much, can you give an example of a language where this is not the case and highlight the relevant underlying differences with Indo-European languages?
On 08/03/2013 9:19 AM, Roger Lass wrote:
If one can show that, yes. I think I have nothing more to contribute to this particular discussion. Or at least I don’t seem to have been able to make my point clear, and I don’t want to get into a long polemic (which we’re approaching). We seem to be facing each other across a semipermeable wall. If I can figure out a clearer way to say what I mean that I feel has a better chance of convincing you I’ll open it up again. For now, judging from the responses, this is becoming rather gladiatorial, and the list shouldn’t be made to watch our performance. So let’s agree for now that neither of us can fully convince the other.
----- Original Message -----
From: Roger Lass
Sent: Friday, March 08, 2013 12:43 AM
Subject: RE: [psychiatry-research] Essay Note: "Here are my thoughts on Life"
You argue well. The points you make here are good ones. But just because you CAN name a category by abstraction from a group of others doesn’t necessarily give it an ontological status. The fact that something can be conceptualised and turned into an abstract noun (something that Indo-European languages do particularly easily, but not all languages do with the same promiscuity as far as I know) doesn’t mean that it necessarily has a referent when it’s used. Just because there’s a word ‘unicorn’ and you can even describe them, doesn’t mean there are unicorns. Except in a special world in which we adopt what Coleridge called ‘willing suspension of disbelief’, which is a necessary world for civilised people. That’s just the general existence point; I wouldn’t accuse you of this kind of name-mysticism. But I’m still not convinced. Maybe neither of us can convince the other, which is not impossible.
The counter argument to "just because you can name a category.." is the argument that "just because you can point out that category is really only a particular cluster of underlying properties...". In school, we were told that the solid table is an illusion. What we called 'table' was just a collection of vibrating atoms etc etc.
In other words, just because we can identify the underlying properties from which a cluster is formed and named doesn't mean that it is *any less* real than any other such cluster of properties. And when we carefully examine the things in the world that we have already named and treated as real we find that they are All clusters of properties, just like life is, but less obviously so.
Let us say that if some part of nature treats a collection of properties as a thing in itself then it is safe for us to also do so, and life is certainly one of those properties so treated...
Robert Karl Stonjek