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Anonymous

Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: buttonion]
    #795062 - 08/04/02 05:09 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

I would not say that his views are &#8220;mystical&#8221;- this word has a fluffy, supernatural quality that isn&#8217;t quite accurate. Here, I think he is just saying that a stereotypical western trend in thinking is that in order to really know or experience something with some sort of finality, we feel we have to break it down into its component parts and figure out how it works, as if it was a machine once put together. We feel that this is somehow a better model of the &#8220;truth of the matter.&#8221; Simple observation of nature involving not wondering &#8220;how it is&#8221; but &#8220;that it is&#8221; is not quite legitimate- passive, in the moment experiencing of the unfolding of nature (or the Tao).

I am not saying throw logical analysis out the window all together. But logical analysis is just a tool that helps humans understand nature, conforming to our step by step, linear way of perceiving. Without a doubt it is a useful tool, but although breaking "things" down into smaller "things", placing them into propositions and churning out conclusions is a useful methodology, it does not lead to any fundamental &#8220;essence&#8221; of nature that I think some many with this mindset assume.


Yes, I completely agree. That is big wisdom.

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: Swami]
    #795066 - 08/04/02 05:12 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

I love Alan Watts' writings, yet he was a major alcoholic.

I love Dr. Lilly's writings, yet he was a major ketamine fiend.

I love the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh's writings, yet he turned totally materialist (23 personal Rolls Royces and tons of automatic weapons at his commune).


I have no idea why each of these men have the flaws they do but that does in no way negate the truth of their teachings. That is what ad hominem (attacking the man) is all about.

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: buttonion]
    #795068 - 08/04/02 05:14 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

No such thing has inherent existence, but is just an arbitrary foreground against a background. And so the world isn&#8217;t viewed as a giant pool table with billiard balls shooting around everywhere (no things), but an organism that is constantly &#8220;growing.&#8221; Causality doesn&#8217;t quite work from this perspective.

Please explain precisely what you mean.

cheers,


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Invisiblebuttonion
Calmly Watching

Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Kansas
Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: ]
    #795094 - 08/04/02 06:08 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Brief summary of Alan Watts? reasoning for the non-existence of ?things?:

Every ?thing? that we acknowledge as independently existing is not a stand-alone thing, but is relative to something else, and it is by this contrast that we acknowledge it as a ?thing.? Light depends on dark- if there were no dark, how would we be able to gauge what is light? Similarly with your self. What you ?are? depends on knowing what you ?are not? to exist- the absence of one entails the absence of the other. They are like the peaks and valleys of a wave- one existing without the other, the implication that you are a stand alone thing existing unto yourself, makes no sense. (In this way, as Watts says, explicit enemies are actually implicit allies).

So what we perceive as ?things? are just peaks with no appreciation for their respective valleys. They don?t exist by themselves and are best described, I think, as foregrounds against backgrounds. For some reason, our attentional mechanism picks these chunks of nature out, or culture has taught us to note some chunks more than others. It is by this process that we begin to chop nature up into pieces, into ?things.? We assume that it is a mechanism, a machine that is grinding away, banging its proverbial billiard balls around, leading to the current state we are in. But, Watts says, there are no things. We are the ones that chop it up into static objects, for some reason nature is easier for us to understand that way. Nature or the Tao is more accurately understood as a constantly growing organism, or at least more accurately, as processes (events) rather than things.

And so because he does not acknowledge ?things? as such, causality does not quite apply (what causes what?) He eventually talks about a ?correlative vision? , a way of looking at things that would be a little less problematic than our current causal view of things.


--------------------
Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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Anonymous

Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: buttonion]
    #795144 - 08/04/02 07:08 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

I think Watts makes a categorical error here. The fact that one thing has a relationship with another thing is only an attribute of the first thing analytically. Western man has been imbued or inculcated with Aristotelean thought. That explains our predilection for cutting things up into parts. There is nothing wrong with that. The fact that things correlate and the existence of causality is axiomatic. How would you explain the successes of science without positing casuality?

While I appreciate yugen I do not think that it is an attribute that is strictly Asian, Japanese, or whatever. If that were the case I would not be able to experience it, and I do. I am a Western thinking man on the one hand but I am also able to experience yugen as well. This explains why I am able to be strictly logical and yet experience the mystery of the universe. Einstein was another example of this and he called it God.

Cheers,


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Invisiblebuttonion
Calmly Watching

Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Kansas
Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: ]
    #795203 - 08/04/02 07:58 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

The fact that things correlate and the existence of causality is axiomatic. How would you explain the successes of science without positing casuality?

Check this out. This is a brief quote from ?The Book: The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are?:

?Here is someone who has never seen a cat. He is looking through a narrow slit in a fence, and, on the other side, a cat walks by. He sees first the head, then the less distinctly shaped trunk, and then the tail. Extraordinary! The cat turns round and walks back, and again he sees the head, and a little later the tail. This sequence begins to look like something regular and reliable. Yet again, the cat turns round, and he witnesses the same regular sequence: first the head, and later the tail. Thereupon he reasons that the event head is the invariable and necessary cause of the event tail, which is the head?s effect. This absurd and confusing gobbledygook comes from his failure to see that head and tail go together; they are one cat.?

So he is saying that it is through this narrow slit that we normally approach understanding nature, in a linear, one ?part? at a time fashion. We chop up something that is really ?one? into little bits, and from this analysis comes the notion of causality.

The inductive-deductive method of science has indeed shown that it can help us predict how nature will unfold to varying degrees. But the fundamental mistake comes when we think that these things (head, tail) that we place in our theories, the little bits of carved out nature, are actually distinct, inherently existing entities. It is based on this assumption that we feel causality is the real state of affairs, a bunch of billiard balls. We forget that the billiard balls were all manufactured by us, as an aid to help our organisms understand nature.


--------------------
Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: ]
    #795295 - 08/04/02 09:09 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

...but that does in no way negate the truth of their teachings. That is what ad hominem (attacking the man) is all about.

If one advocates living in a certain way, but cannot do it himself, then that certainly casts doubts on the teachings.

Living in the now and flowing with the beauty and power of life seems contrary to being a slave of an addictive substance and looking for God in the bottom of a whiskey bottle.



--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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Anonymous

Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: buttonion]
    #795310 - 08/04/02 09:20 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Yes, I've read that book but I must confess that remember very little of it. It didn't make a big impression on me.

So he is saying that it is through this narrow slit that we normally approach understanding nature, in a linear, one &#8220;part&#8221; at a time fashion.

So he is calling reason and our normal perceptive powers a "narrow slit"? I'm afraid the cat through the fence analogy is about as convincing as Plato's cave analogy. They seem to be handy ways of making no sense.

Is there any other way to describe what he is saying?


Cheers,


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InvisibleSclorch
Clyster

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 07/13/99
Posts: 4,805
Loc: On the Brink of Madness
Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: ]
    #795330 - 08/04/02 09:30 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

I'm afraid the cat through the fence analogy is about as convincing as Plato's cave analogy. They seem to be handy ways of making no sense.


Let me get this straight... you of all people don't like Plato's 'Myth of the Cave' story?

I figured you were using the ol' philosophical "I don't understand"/"makes no sense" gimmick.


--------------------
Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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Anonymous

Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: Sclorch]
    #795364 - 08/04/02 09:52 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

LOL! Whatever made yout think I didn't like it? Was it the tone pf my post? I like it, in fact I love it. I just don't find it very convincing.

Do you think Plato's problem was that he never read Nietzche?

If I ever use the maieutic method everyone will know it.

Else how will I improve?

Cheers,


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InvisibleSclorch
Clyster

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 07/13/99
Posts: 4,805
Loc: On the Brink of Madness
Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: ]
    #795376 - 08/04/02 09:59 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

I'd like to hear why you don't find it very convincing. It is only an analogy... I just don't see where the 'convincing' part comes into play (note: no maieutic gimmick here). As you're probably much more read up on Plato than I, I'd like to hear what you have to say.


--------------------
Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: Swami]
    #795386 - 08/04/02 10:08 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

If one advocates living in a certain way, but cannot do it himself, then that certainly casts doubts on the teachings.

Of course it doesn't. Apart from the fact that Alan Watts never told anyone "how to live", it's about the message not the messenger. Alan was driven to find out this stuff and write passionately about it. Like John Lennon, Van Gogh etc, the guys who uncover eternal truths are often deeply troubled human beings themselves. That's kinda why they searched for truth in the first place. Incidentally - why do you think any less of him because one of the facets of his character was an alcoholic? Adolf Hitler never drank, never smoked, loved animals and was incredibly rich. i still think Watts message is more valid than Hitlers.


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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Anonymous

Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: Sclorch]
    #795390 - 08/04/02 10:13 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

I, like Francis Bacon, consider the inductive method a better way to gain knowledge. The cave dwellers are easily caught in the subjective/objectivity paradox since they only know subjective images and not the things in themsleves.

That is but one thing that I see wrong with it. There are others.

What is your take on it?

Cheers,


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Anonymous

Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: Xlea321]
    #795397 - 08/04/02 10:17 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

I can see where there is some inconsisency when a messenger cannot follow his own message.

Doesn't it make you wonder why a person wouldn't follow their own advice? Of course it is true that the message is not validated by the messenger but what if the message cannot be validated at all. Do you think it is true then?

Cheers,


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InvisibleSclorch
Clyster

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 07/13/99
Posts: 4,805
Loc: On the Brink of Madness
Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: ]
    #795400 - 08/04/02 10:19 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

I'd say that an analogy doesn't have to correspond to all aspects of reality with mathematical precision. This is why people shouldn't take the Bible literally... it doesn't hold up under that kind of scrutiny.

BTW... you don't happen to be a fan of a priori do you?

Side note: why in the hell is Hitler always being brought up?


--------------------
Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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Anonymous

Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: Sclorch]
    #795410 - 08/04/02 10:28 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Like Hitler I favor a posteriori reasoning which means, I think, doing it from behind.

Cheers,


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Invisiblebuttonion
Calmly Watching

Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Kansas
Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: ]
    #795781 - 08/04/02 02:37 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

So he is calling reason and our normal perceptive powers a "narrow slit"?

He is saying that our perceptions first pass through this narrow slit. And this ?no causality? idea does rest heavily on what he sees as the human?s way of perceiving things: We look at life by conscious attention, when we attend to something we ignore everything else (although we do still perceive things non-consciously). Attention is narrowed perception. It is a way of looking at life bit by bit, as when examining a dark room with a flashlight having a very narrow beam. He says that this perception has the advantage of being sharp a bright, but it has to focus on one area of the world after another, one feature after another. It is this scanning process that observes the world bit by bit that soon persuades its user that the world is a great collection of bits.


--------------------
Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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InvisibleGRTUD
INFP
Male

Registered: 01/31/01
Posts: 270
Loc: United States
Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: Swami]
    #796079 - 08/04/02 05:13 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

In reply to:

I love Alan Watts' writings, yet he was a major alcoholic



We love you, Swami, yet you are a major asshole. (Just kidding...besides it takes one to know one).


--------------------
"New shit has come to light..."


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InvisibleGRTUD
INFP
Male

Registered: 01/31/01
Posts: 270
Loc: United States
Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: GRTUD]
    #796085 - 08/04/02 05:15 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

I once applied for the position of Major Alcoholic but was busted to Private Alcoholic.


--------------------
"New shit has come to light..."


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Anonymous

Re: Alan Watts is the bizz-omb! [Re: buttonion]
    #796214 - 08/04/02 06:15 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

What is another way of perceiving that can help us see with a wider range?

Cheers,


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Shop: PhytoExtractum Maeng Da Thai Kratom Leaf Powder   Kraken Kratom Red Vein Kratom   Unfolding Nature Unfolding Nature: Being in the Implicate Order


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