December 14, 2022 at 11:55 am #237919
I’m not ecstatic just because I understand I am part of the cosmos. It is simply an extension of understanding most do not in fact like to accept.
Which is why they cling to religious fallacies which separate them and tell them they are the special creations of an anthropocentrist deity.December 14, 2022 at 3:19 pm #237921
If “natural philosophy” is “the study of nature: astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, geology, evolution, etc.” what contribution did Gautama make to it? Perhaps some theory of how a prayer wheel works? From what you say he seems to have been more into metaphysics than physics.
I still can’t see any advantage, even for you, in describing a recognition that humans are part of the cosmos as “nirvana”. You’d just cone across as someone who’s into Eastern philosopher or by them as someone who doesn’t understand their philosophy.December 14, 2022 at 3:29 pm #237922WezParticipant
TM – I’ve always thought of the process as one of the universe becoming conscious of itself through our agency. Like all dialecticians I’m not overly fond of separating intellectual (scientific if you will) disciplines into discrete boxes. To completely understand anything is to understand everything in terms of dialectics but as the intellect could never sustain such information we categorize but always remembering that the universe is holistic.December 14, 2022 at 3:38 pm #237923
BD, I wasn’t challenging the view that humans are “pre-programmed” (through their DNA) to grow up and that the environment in which an individual does is crucially important as to how their personality, etc is formed and that this will affect their later individual behaviour. I would include such “instincts” as part of biological inherited bodily functions.
What I was talking about was human social behaviour. It is this that is not “pre-programmed” but depends on the societal circumstances in which they were brought up and live, their “culture” (which is learned, as opposed to inherited biologically)in the anthropological sense. Humans can adapt to living in different types of society precisely because their biological nature allows them as a species to adopt quite a wide range of behaviours. It’s why of course we are confident that “human nature” doesn’t make socialism impossible, as the genetic determinists claim.December 14, 2022 at 4:01 pm #237924
I’ve always thought of the process as one of the universe becoming conscious of itself through our agency.
Isn’t that being a bit Earth-centric or Solar System centric or even Milky Way centric? To make such a claim for our particular life-form we would have to be confident that there are not self-conscious life-forms in some other part(s) of the Universe.
Having said that, I think it does make some sense to see humans as the only life-form on Earth that is capable of looking after the Earth and the other life-forms on it. If you were of a philosophical (or metaphysical) bent you might even describe the evolution of humans are the biosphere becoming conscious.December 14, 2022 at 4:09 pm #237926
I think the Eastern religions would say I don’t understand them. I don’t care. I think Hearn would understand me.
I’m not speaking for Eastern religions. I think language has changed meaning, and Buddhism was so absorbant of the beliefs and superstitions of those it encountered, that its original thought was submerged.
In reading Buddhist texts, I retain only what speaks to me, and I speculate with regard to Sanskrit terms to which other translators give a different meaning.
Suffice it to say that materialism long preceded the famous (to us) European materialists, and, together with the other ancient Indian materialists, there was Gautama, and later Nagarjuna. Later, for all his faults, there was Lafcadio Hearn, who did not call himself a Buddhist but who, I believe, understood the original better than most avowed Buddhists do.December 14, 2022 at 4:12 pm #237927
Gautama, btw, wouldn’t have heard of a prayer wheel.
ALB, you are continuing to confound philosophy with religious practices.December 14, 2022 at 4:15 pm #237928
“…the universe becoming conscious of itself through our agency.”
What human supremacist arrogance!
We are a tiny microscopic blip in one planet’s evolution.December 14, 2022 at 4:27 pm #237929
” If you were of a philosophical (or metaphysical) bent you might even describe the evolution of humans are the biosphere becoming conscious.”
Again, arrogance. And especially ludicrous on the part of some little ants at the tail end of one little galaxy, who don’t even see the other life forms under their noses as worthy of consideration.
This is what I mean by most people not being ready for the realisation of cosmic reality. I would suggest some humility, and awe, before such self-aggrandisement. Otherwise you are behaving no differently from the religious, who believe in the specialness of “Man.”December 14, 2022 at 4:40 pm #237930
Well, if it’s not humans who can deal with threats such as climate change which other species can? If we can’t then the other species are doomed, though I dare say ants might survive.
Incidentally, what is “the realisation of cosmic reality”? Or is that a grandiose definition of socialism?December 14, 2022 at 4:49 pm #237931
Socialism is a human social movement. It can’t pretend to anything else.
Yes, humans should be able to reverse some of the ecological damage they have caused, and some might argue that our disappearance might achieve the same result.
But drawing up a blueprint is not the same as gloating over a chimp’s inability to do so.
And you too may prove as vulnerable as he, in the passage of time.December 14, 2022 at 5:00 pm #237932
You are writing as if you don’t consider yourself a human, addressing the human species as “you” !
I am not gloating over the inability of other species not being able to do what humans can. That we can and they can’t is a scientific fact. In fact it places a special responsibility of humans which only we can carry out. There was a discussion about human “stewardship” at our autumn delegate meeting.
You still haven’t explained what “the realisation of cosmic reality” is or is supposed to be.December 14, 2022 at 5:45 pm #237938
I put the phrase badly. It just means the consciousness of being star stuff, with everything else, and not a separate “self” for whom the universe is “outside” of one’s “self.” (Which is the standard, illusory, feeling).December 14, 2022 at 6:07 pm #237939WezParticipant
“the universe becoming conscious of itself through our agency.”
What human supremacist arrogance!
We are a tiny microscopic blip in one planet’s evolution
TM – I don’t know why you would say that! I didn’t exclude the possibility that this might have also happened on other planets but the chances of contact with them seem remote. As you say, we are part of the cosmos so our role might be to become conscious of ‘the cosmos’. I don’t see anything ‘supremist’ or even remotely arrogant about that. To me science seems to represent the universe becoming conscious of itself and scientists are human!December 14, 2022 at 6:28 pm #237940alanjjohnstoneKeymaster
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.