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> Is That All There Is?, The Philosophy Thread
stargazer
post Feb 1 2010, 12:45 AM
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I've been thinking about the notion of perception, illusion, and being. I'm reading Tolle's The Power of Now. It is horribly written and I've drug my feet reading it. BUT, I am able to hang in there to get the meaning of the book. There was this one part of the book that really struck me. For example, how much of my life experience I based on my senses. When I think about death or things ending, it is not so much about the actual finality, but, the fact that I will not be able to SEE (with my eyes) a person, place, thing, etc. So, I had to think about if I did not have the ability of sight. How would my quality of life or how I felt about my life change? I realized in that moment how much of a baby I am about the amount of privilege I have in my life through the use of my senses, my limbs, my body. I was aware how I cripple myself through my own mind and create my own suffering. What would it mean if I let go this perception of myself? My perception of myself, others, the world, has created my own unhappiness. If I let go, I may actually experience something...pain, joy, whatever. Through my own perceptions, I create my own illusions, my own fantasy land, my own suffering.

So, I have all this great insight and I'm slowly working through it and allowing me to feel the freedom which comes with free will, ownership of my own shit, and being responsible...being responsive. Ugh. As liberated as it might sound to the reader of this post...I can actually feel a tension in my body as I let go of this armor I created for myself. It is like slowly working through letting go of a heavy burden I've carried for most of my life.

Sorry for the rambling, long post for any lurkers. I've just been terribly self reflective tonight. I mean, a FB quiz told me 2010 was the year of Perspective for me. And FB quizzes don't lie! tongue.gif Gosh, I hope you people know I am joking here. rolleyes.gif


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stargazer
post Dec 29 2009, 04:47 PM
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Thanks niki and zoya for your input!

zoya, yeah, I know you know what I'm talking about. Heh. wink.gif

QUOTE(niki @ Dec 28 2009, 09:31 AM) *
In some ways I feel like the person I was in my 30s is a complete stranger (alien, even) to the person I am continuing to become.


I think you explained exactly how I feel when I reflect on my 20s.

QUOTE
But as for the impermanence of life itself, I've had a number of spiritual experiences in the last 10 years that have convinced me beyond doubt that reincarnation is real, and that growth is a process that develops not simply over lifetimes but over milennia. As I've watched my parents, aunts, uncles, my first wife, and numerous freinds pass on one by one, understanding this has given me great calm and even a bit of excitement about what comes next.


Yeah, I think I'm more aware of where I fall in the food chain of life this holiday season. I know I am still young at 34, but, something just felt different this past week. Sometimes, I wish I did not have that level of awareness or thought that much about being, nothingness, or existing. But, I realize that my outlook about life has helped me to be proactive at making changes in my life and expressing gratitude to the people in my life.

Thanks again for your input, niki. smile.gif


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niki
post Dec 28 2009, 08:31 AM
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QUOTE(stargazer @ Dec 27 2009, 06:56 PM) *
I've been thinking of the issue of imperanence. I'm not sure what happened, but, since Wednesday evening, I've been contemplating the issue of not existing..... I wonder if part of my preoccupation with existence is related to my difficulty with the unknown and/or knowing alot of things are coming into fruition to me.... I'm finally coming into my own. Quite frightening.


It all makes a lot of sense to me, as someone older who went through a lot of the changes you describe, with a lot less consciousness at the time than you have. In some ways I feel like the person I was in my 30s is a complete stranger (alien, even) to the person I am continuing to become. If anything, I feel closer to the person I was at 20, full of hopes, beliefs, idealism. Today I have that idealism back, tempered by what I think is a pretty healthy dose of realism. But as for the impermanence of life itself, I've had a number of spiritual experiences in the last 10 years that have convinced me beyond doubt that reincarnation is real, and that growth is a process that develops not simply over lifetimes but over milennia. As I've watched my parents, aunts, uncles, my first wife, and numerous freinds pass on one by one, understanding this has given me great calm and even a bit of excitement about what comes next.

[Bravo, by the way, about the PhD decision. I keep thinking about that. There's a program at Pacifica that I drool over. I'll be paying off student loans the rest of my life as it is. I wonder if I can find any way at my age to justify more?!]
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zoya
post Dec 28 2009, 07:15 AM
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uh huh.
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hey, yo... you KNOW I know what you're talking about!!!! scary but exciting.

...and unfortunately I can't expound upon that any more because I have a date with the Victoria & Albert museum!

((((star))))
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stargazer
post Dec 27 2009, 06:56 PM
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QUOTE(crazyoldcatlady @ Oct 25 2009, 12:36 PM) *
not to derail or redirect, but my new existential musings have been gravitating toward the idea of permanence and impermanence, especially in the context of technology (yay futurism!).


I've been thinking of the issue of imperanence. I'm not sure what happened, but, since Wednesday evening, I've been contemplating the issue of not existing. Like, the world before me and the world after me. Basically, me not existing anymore. Well, it scared me and made sleeping difficult. Not sure if it is fearing my own death or what. Trying to figure out what motivated these thoughts and feelings. The christmas cards and family get togethers which remind me the people in my life are getting older and I'm getting older. I mean, I just remember that I felt relatively good going into the holidays.

At the same time, I wonder if part of my preoccupation with existence is related to my difficulty with the unknown and/or knowing alot of things are coming into fruition to me. I'm so used to pushing against the grain...to know if I change how I approach things in my life...good things and people will come into my life. So, maybe, the radical change that things do not feel like a fight anymore, a death from the woman I thought I was, and I'm finally coming into my own. Quite frightening. I will complete a dream of finishing my doctoral program. I have good friends in my life. My intention to meet a life partner in 2010...well, it may happen. Why does that scare me so much?? And I find myself crying about these changes in my life. Like, I finally feel ready for it to happen. And it is happening.

I don't know if I am making sense. I'm not sure if anyone can relate to what I just posted. But, I felt like I had to get this out of me to help me process the combination of fear I'm experiencing right now. sad.gif


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crazyoldcatlady
post Oct 25 2009, 11:36 AM
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hee hee doodle, we have some wikked smaht busties in here, i've had to go back and re-read some posts to make sure i knew fully what s/he was saying.

not to derail or redirect, but my new existential musings have been gravitating toward the idea of permanence and impermanence, especially in the context of technology (yay futurism!). the internet is probably the biggest paradox; it ensures that the individual's word can (more or less) be immortalized, while the typed word also has a hand in abolishing history (I'm thinking of the prep school in new england that trashed their library books in favor of a few mac's & pc's, and the ensuing outrage). In a paper-less society, it seems like there are two opposite extremes: your present and future are being immortalized, but your past is being forgotten or re-written (that sounds like hyperbole wink.gif )


the corollary to this ides is privacy vs. celebrity. how hard, in the future, will it be to stay off the grid (or at least remain just a small blip on the radar)?
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stargazer
post Oct 25 2009, 10:53 AM
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Hey doodle! Good to see you posting in here. smile.gif

I've totally (and still do) journey down the path of having no beliefs. I'm a fan of Osho who writes about our reality and belief systems being heavily influenced by our religions, institutions, various systems, etc. I think this point of view really challenges my concept of self. Is who I am really who I think I am or some construct based on the world around me? blink.gif


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doodlebug
post Oct 23 2009, 12:33 PM
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This thread is fascinating, and I'm only 1/3 through it (from the beginning). So I wanted to post something, but then I'd have to read the whole thread, and I really need to step back and noodle on the guitar, so I can think about it all and then come back for some more!

I've been thinking a lot lately about human technologies, human social order systems, and the current stage of human evolution as a whole. I never went to university (and let's be real: I was the "troubled, artistic kid" who zoned out to sketch in the margins during the schooling I did get), so I feel like I missed out on this very basic idea that the entire planet (including us), the entire universe, etc., is one completely interdependent, whole, living organism. I've just started reading Krishnamurti, too - anyone else gone down this road of "what if you had no beliefs of any kind"? (Sorry if it's already been discussed....as I said, this thread is too much for me to take in at once. blink.gif)


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stargazer
post Oct 22 2009, 08:08 PM
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cocl, I agree with your belief. I guess my concern would be if someone allowed those complexities of life to avoid making choices for oneself. I guess I'm thinking of the type of work I do. People who come seeking change, but, feel they are trapped by various circumstances, some of the -isms you described.

How would you work with that?


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culturehandy
post Oct 22 2009, 09:04 AM
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Precisely COCL.


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crazyoldcatlady
post Oct 21 2009, 09:41 PM
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basically, is anyone TRULY autonomous? can you make a decision or perform an act that is 100% unfettered and un-influenced? i don't think you can.

i'm taking ch's external stimuli to mean cultural and societal pressures (?). inasmuch that you can't escape either, i think we're always undully influenced. the point is to recognize those influences and their effect or potential effect on your choices.
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stargazer
post Oct 21 2009, 06:22 PM
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CH, what are the external stimuli you are thinking about?


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culturehandy
post Oct 21 2009, 12:47 PM
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Plus, how much do external stimuli have to do with us making "choices" and our "free will".


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treehugger
post Oct 20 2009, 05:36 PM
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my brain hurts. wink.gif


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crazyoldcatlady
post Oct 20 2009, 03:39 PM
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that is a mindfuck. i don't even think choices are binary; you can choose to, choose not to, or choose not to choose (when the choices are equally enticing or appalling, and allowing external circumstances to make the choice for you).

and is the idea of "choice" synonymous with "free will"?

on a day to day basis it seems like we have control over immediate circumstances ("choice"), but how much of our decision making process is affected by past events, or genetics, (or, if you believe in the ethereal, spiritual). if we make choices because we're ingrained or subconsciously influenced , is it really free will?
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MadameHooch
post Oct 20 2009, 10:00 AM
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I believe there is choice,but the real mindfuck is we have to choose to choose. In order to follow one's heart and really get behind their causes, beliefs, and life style choices, they first need to CHOOSE to accept the possiblity of being a "social outcast."

I don't know why but I keep thinking about gay rights, and how some people believe that being gay is a "choice." That ticks me off to no end. I didn't choose to be straight anymore than my gay friends chose to be gay. UGH.

Yet, there is an element of choice there when a gay or lesbian person decides they are going to come out and live their life the way they truly want, or live a lie and continue on a "straight" path because they are afraid of rejection from friends and family, or themselves. Now, we see more people choosing the path that is true to their hearts and that in itself is a major choice - that's great stuff.
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crazyoldcatlady
post Oct 18 2009, 10:42 AM
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this is why i love the RZA:

RZA on Colbert

"the truth out of season bears no fruit."

classic.

(CH- i haven't had time to post lately but i wanna come back around to discuss free will smile.gif )
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culturehandy
post Oct 9 2009, 07:39 AM
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Fair enough, but lets say it is something that deviates from a cultural norm, you can make that choice, but the consequence would be becoming a social outcast and loosing your connection to your cultural. Now, with society being the way it is, this isn't that big a deal. but let's choose something like wearing a large dinosaur costume, on any day that isn't hallowe'en and acting like a dinosaur. This is something you choose to do, but there are social consequences to it that could result in your being judged by many.

In a small culture, this has more far reaching consequences.

Imagine living in a small town and choosing to do something that goes against the heavily engrained beliefs of the entire town.

In this fact, do we really have a choice or is our desire to be accepted by our peers more of a driving force?



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vermilionkiss
post Oct 8 2009, 10:03 PM
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I think we have a choice.

I do believe that we enter this world with a purpose. We can decide to walk down our predetermined path or we can choose to ignore it and go another way. I think in order to die completely fullfilled, you would have to be enlightened enough to see the signs and read the signals that show you your way.

I also believe, ala buddhist style, that if you don't fulfill your purpose, you get to try again.
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culturehandy
post Oct 7 2009, 07:36 AM
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I guess what I was thinking along the lines of is if humans really have the "choice" to do something or is it the illusion.

I'll have to again think this through a little more.


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