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OfflineTwirling
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The Basis of My Philosophy & Outlook
    #3618951 - 01/12/05 05:41 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

You are not sitting at a computer right now. There?s no such thing as a computer. That sounds very silly, however consider what happens when someone with Alzheimer?s starts to lose their connection to memory including words and what objects are used for. Many people who start to deteriorate can?t recognize what a toilet is and what it?s used for. The word toilet has no inherent meaning, rather it?s a word we use to describe the object that we as humans designed to flush waste down pipes. When we see a toilet, we automatically associate it with its function and the words toilet, potty, John, water closest, etc? Our minds create the illusion of words being the literal corporal things, rather then just phrases we use to describe & communicate things. So while there is such a thing as a computer in terms of what I?m typing on right now, it?s not ?really? a computer but that?s how we perceive it.

Why this is important is because the depths to which this shapes our perception of the world. Consider gender roles. Many people believe strongly that pink is a color for girls or for someone who is gay. This association in the mind is completely illogical! Historically in Greece, homosexuality was considered a ?masculine? trait, one that showed power and strength! The modern association of pink as feminine and/or homosexuality is just that, an association. In the most literal of terms, pink is merely a certain hue and has no inherent meaning, it?s just our perception of it that carries so much weight behind it.

What I?ve realized over the past few months is that as true as all that is, the complete opposite is true as well! There are inherent reasons why we have gender roles and why we words often times seem perfect to describe something.  It?s a reflection of our ability to design and create things which work very well in describing aspects of life. Pink might have gained a homosexual association to it because it represents a color girls often times like (and whether girls inherently are drawn to pink or if this is cultural is debatable). In our culture, there is the notion of men having to prove their strength because that's a trait of survival and since we associate homosexuality with being the opposite of that desired goal, and since pink is by our association, a feminine color, we therefore associate pink with the antithesis of strong males in our culture - homosexuality.

So many of the negative behaviors and mentalities people carry is often because of these mislearned concepts. The more we as a collective society become aware of these types of mentalities, the more we change that. Unfortunately there are so many things which work against this type of awareness. Thank you Rupert Murdoch!


The funny thing is that by my own logic, all of this is inherently meaningless as well. :wink:


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The very nature of experience is ineffable; it transcends cognitive thought and intellectualized analysis. To be without experience is to be without an emotional knowledge of what the experience translates into. The desire for the understanding of what life is made of is the motivation that drives us all. Without it, in fear of the experiences what life can hold is among the greatest contradictions; to live in fear of death while not being alive.



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Offlinedeff
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Re: The Basis of My Philosophy & Outlook [Re: Twirling]
    #3619662 - 01/12/05 07:42 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

completely agree :smile:

humans have only their experience. from this, we abstract words and symbols mainly for interpersonal communication. ironically, these word abstractions become internalized so that thought processes are usually observed in language form, ect.

from this, people literally place their awareness inside an abstract word-world, which often times is very far from the original non-abstracted experience. in this sense, 'learning' these traits is in fact only moving away from 'truth' - as 'truth' - atleast our subjective truth, is that which is observed in a non-abstracted and non-attached (arguably the same) perspective.

knowledge itself is abstraction from experience. the more one knows, the further they have moved from the original source experience. whether this is 'good', 'bad', or neither (:D) is up to the individual. some people like living in abstractions, some people prefer living in accord to "natural" experience.

the goal of many disciplines is to unlearn these abstractions as to move closer to the 'truth' of experience. it is often shown as a metaphor to a newborn who sees only an image of sight, and not a collection of seperate and identable objects.

taoism, in particular, stresses this. the Tao cannot be known as knowledge is an abstraction from our perspective of nature, itself a part of the Tao. one can live in harmony with it though, and through this, they experience unimaginable peace and well-being :smile:

look! a cat!


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OfflineTwirling
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Re: The Basis of My Philosophy & Outlook [Re: deff]
    #3619787 - 01/12/05 08:05 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Nice response! I like the way you put things. There's a lot to be said about being able to apperiate the usefulness & limitations of lingustics and internalized cognitive thought. Being in that awareness of what language provides but understanding that what you're experiencing in totality is ineffable (see sig. :wink:).

Immanuel Kant developed a philosophy with this idea. I was surprised to see that someone had beaten me to the punch when we were going over it in Philosophy class. lol


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OfflineTwirling
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Re: The Basis of My Philosophy & Outlook [Re: Twirling]
    #3619850 - 01/12/05 08:17 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

BTW, I also highly recommend Evolution of Consciousness by Robert Ornstein. He goes over ideas which are very simular to this, except from a scientific evolutionary point of view. He details how consciousness works and how the mind is not an entirely rational thing.


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Re: The Basis of My Philosophy & Outlook [Re: Twirling]
    #3619981 - 01/12/05 08:47 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Something I'm constantly amazed by is our obsession with names and labels and identification. The thing about identifying things simply by their name is, like you said, we get caught up in the associations with the name rather than taking the thing at face-value. When you get stuck in associations like this, what you're really doing is reducing the thing to these associations. This reduces your mental scope in consideration of that thing.

Here's a great example. "George W. Bush." What kind of feelings or thoughts come to your mind when you hear or read that string of words? The first thing is probably, "President of the United States." After that may come, "scumbag," or "great visionary leader," depending on what you think of his actions. But if you think for a moment, the words "George W. Bush" are just a name for another human being. This human being is very much like you. He feels pleasure and pain. Sometimes he laughs, sometimes he gets pissed off and lets out strings of curses. He eats, breathes, and takes a shit just like you.

If you look even closer, there are layers of these names and associations. "Human being" is just a name I used above. Consider a human being more objectively without associations and you begin to see the complexity of the creature, which you hardly ever think about I bet. You can observe the way it acts, the systems of its body, et cetera.

I think, Twirling, what your post comes down to, is objectivity. We constantly bypass objectivity in favor of associations, because they're fast and efficient. I think it's a good idea, at least once a day, to think about something in an objective way. Just look for something around you, and examine it for a moment very objectively, as if it's an artifact from an alien world that you've never seen until now. This is a great mental exercise for your critical thinking abilities!


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OfflineTwirling
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Re: The Basis of My Philosophy & Outlook [Re: ]
    #3620405 - 01/12/05 10:04 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Objectivity - this is very true. It's taking in the experience and observations without any judgments or preconceived notions.


It's interesting that you bring up the idea of identifying human beings. Aside from the label of names & species, there is another side of it. National identity, race, religion, sex/gender and so on. Many of these things people take in as real because they provide protection. Having an identity and attachment to being, say, an American, can give a person a sense of security in knowing that their country is considered the biggest super-power.

Same with religion, which I'll avoid getting into because it causes people to get defensive. Race is another very controversial topic, and I think many people sub-consciously associate themselves with their ?race? to the point where they, again sub-consciously, feel entitlement or shame. It used to be extremely overt even just 40 years ago. Now people will dodge the subject or might not even be aware that they think that way.


But really, when viewing all of that objectively, all the things that keep us safe and create boarders between ourselves - they don't really exist. We reinforce them because they keep us safe. I?m willing to bet that as we need them less and less, if we need them less & less, they will start to disappear.


I?m not holding breath on this one because it?s a slow, slow process.


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Re: The Basis of My Philosophy & Outlook [Re: ]
    #3620409 - 01/12/05 10:04 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

this is why I advocate thinking without internal language :cool:


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OfflineZekebomb
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Re: The Basis of My Philosophy & Outlook [Re: deff]
    #3621466 - 01/13/05 01:24 AM (11 years, 10 months ago)

how do you think without internal language? like just in pictures or 'feelings'? are there excercises to help hone this ability?

and what if you think in a different language, like German? is the flavour of your thoughts different as a result? imagine the Sum Total of Concepts About Which to be Thought as a 2-D landscape, and the English language as a see-through plastic sheet dropped onto the landscape with fences drawn on it. inside each fenced enclosure is one word. the meaning of the word is very similar to the meaning of the words immediately surrounding it. if you now drop a German sheet onto the landscape, perhaps the fences are slightly different. holding up the two language sheets together against a bright light, you see the fences are fuzzy and undefined. Perhaps a language like Korean, which is far differenter from English and German than they are from each other, would have totally displaced fences.

er, yeah


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OfflinePeyoteZen
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Re: The Basis of My Philosophy & Outlook [Re: Twirling]
    #3622071 - 01/13/05 03:51 AM (11 years, 10 months ago)

So according to your theory, i bet rambo or arnold or somebody real buff could wear pink. And the enemy fighters would just stare and laugh. but ahAH! In reality the fighter (rambo or arnold) is a bad ass and exceptionally good at maing people dead!!
What just happened is that the enemy fighters were foiled by their own culturely derived pre-misconceptions about the color pink.




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OfflineTwirling
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Re: The Basis of My Philosophy & Outlook [Re: PeyoteZen]
    #3622493 - 01/13/05 09:12 AM (11 years, 10 months ago)

lol! Exactly! Use the enemey's own misconceptions against them!


I'm not a very fast runner. In fact, I'm extremely slow. I did however, use a technique when I'd race someone. As soon as the race begins, I'd just walk. The other person would get ahead a few steps, stop and look in confusion. I'd just keep walking, rather slowly, until I got ahead by enough. That's when I'd turn on the turbo jets.... well, when I'd do my version of running, which isn't very fast.

It usually works.


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Re: The Basis of My Philosophy & Outlook [Re: Twirling]
    #3623524 - 01/13/05 03:39 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

isn't it ironic that we find it difficult to escape a system of thought that we created ourselves from our observations of others? :smile:

it's definitely do-able though, although language is still useful - such as for thinking about what to say/write, basically as pre-emptive communication

to start, I suggest thinking about concepts that one usually subconsciously associates with a word without honing in on the true meaning. basically, what this whole thread is about. instead of thinking of the abstract, try and conceptualize what it is abstracted from. rather than think of the word 'funny', conceptualize what the actual 'essence' is behind it.

it sort of takes the form of 'feelings', but calling them this is just undoing what you've accomplished, by re-abstracting the experience :laugh:. it doesn't need a label, but for the sake of discussion, it's sort of a visual model without sight, a sort of 'sixth sense' concept that bleeds together visualization, emotion, and pure experience.

doing this, you'd be surprised at how different the abstract world is from the non-abstract. like, really amazed. a lot of concepts we mentally link to words do not even have solid existance in our experience outside of the symbol. hard to explain for this very reason :smile:

and, if your into meditation, it helps a lot. seriously, it's like the one-size-fits-all of self improvement imo. if you find it hard, say to yourself that you will allow yourself to think so long as no language is used. this is easier than complete no-thought and builds well on this ability.

it's like people live inside stories they fabricate themselves. kind of weird :laugh:


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OfflineGomp
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Re: The Basis of My Philosophy & Outlook [Re: Twirling]
    #3624611 - 01/13/05 07:53 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

What I?ve realized over the past few months is that as true as all that is, the complete opposite is true as well!



:cool: :thumbup: :heart:


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Disclaimer!?


Edited by Gomp (01/13/05 07:53 PM)


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