Philosophical Dialogue between Mssr. Daniel Greenwald and myself.
"such as it was, such as it is, such as it will be" Sirens of Titan, p230
These words of Winston Niles Rumfoord reflect a recurring theme of Kurt Vonnegut's Sirens of Titan and Slaughterhouse V: becuase something was ordered to happen, it happened and it is remembered, it "shall always be here". Vonnegut's characters take the view that because an event is a singular, unique point of space time,and thus the event is like a statue or picture in reality that always occurs.
Taking other cues from Buddhists, Kant and Einstein, it can be further stated that time is a relative phenomenon, which when experienced by our limited mental faculties is linear (like the earth is flat to the eye). When one is a Tramafoldorian (omniscient Alien race) or an Awakened Buddha or a Quantum physicist one sees time and space for what they are, a point in an infinity, and since there are no boundries, no beginning no end, everything that happens/happened always exists and will exist. This theme is also present in Borges' obsession with Pascal's "Infinite circle".
Our life is not purposeless nor meaningless, its just there is no purpose outside of its own existence, outside of our very own selves. Thus the meaning is within ourselves: discover the meaning, discover the infinite. We are part of an infinite circle. This very moment and our selves is the production of everything else and we are all existing in one Giant harmonious infinite circle which only seems inharmonious to our own mental cognition, a cognition necessarily limited by our dependence on instinct and reason.
We existed, do exist, and shall exist because we were, we are, and we will be.
We are part and parcel of one infinite, constant, and mysterious event that we are only partially aware of. Our eyes can only see in front of us, but a great deal, the rest of existence-known and unknown, is left out.
Each instant is forever. Nothing is lost, everything is found.
Search far enough within and you will find infinitude. Search far enough without and you will find
the same goddamn thing.
"Such as it was such as it is, such as it will be".
Greetings from college park on a Saturday afternoon.
I have some thoughts I wanted to share regarding your previous email.
A. Way to express yourself.
B. It seems obvious to me to say that right now is because of everything before it. Its articulating circularity. Right? Maybe I just happen to be an omniscient alien from planet Gnardon, but it just seems like..no shit right now is occurring because moments occurred before this one and the one before and so on backwards and forwards 'til the cows come home. Or left home. This leads me to C.
G. In what capacity does the infinite tie into meaningful existence? What I mean is that..howcome..as soon as the infinite is recognized..and its recognized internally..does life have meaning? Surely a sick person who realizes that he or she is a part of the infinite circle will not be comforted by this realization. On the contrary. That realization for a sick person could actually cause bitterness because he or she will not be there to experience it for as long as others.
N. I think that there is a disconnect between "cosmic consciousness" or "awakened dharma" and the generally obvious realization that experience, time, now, then, here, there is an infinite and immaculate happening. The knowledge, or the intuition that would lead one to understand the nature of space-time, or time, or space, or experience, or existence, makes one wise. Or wiser than a pawn. Or wiser than someone who isn't paying attention. However, the peace of mind that an "awakened dharma" or however you want to call it, comes from a deeper intra-personal understanding. Like a realization of oneself as opposed to a realization of everything outside of oneself.
A. It's the relationship between understanding the infinite and in turn, intrinsically, simultaneously finding purpose or meaning because of that...thats what I want to talk about.
R. If I have not been making the most sense here, or have come off as presumptuous or arrogant in anyway, that wasn't my intention. I was just trying to stimulate dialogue between two vessels that deserve each others attention once a week. Additionally, I'm not trying to argue. I am trying to dialogue. Enlighten me, Spock. And I shall beam you up.
Hey man. First of all I am honored that you took the time to read my writing, digest it and give it a well thought out reply. Thank you. Second. I took a bit of poetic liscense in it and I’m aware that the logic behind it might not all fit together, I kind of sent it out on an impulse on top of that. Third. Mostly these are just descriptions of experiences had outside of my logical mind that different writiers, philosophers, and scientists attempt to communicate. My understanding and enthusiasm for “infinite circles” comes from intuitional experiences during meditation. Thus in the words of the Chinese, its like a finger pointing to the moon, no experience except for a symbol can be derived from the finger, you must turn your attention to the moon.
But ill try to answer your questions and comments, and clarify my own ideas to the best of my ability.
“In what capacity does the infinite tie into meaningful existence? What I mean is that..howcome..as soon as the infinite is recognized..and its recognized internally..does life have meaning? Surely a sick person who realizes that he or she is a part of the infinite circle will not be comforted by this realization. On the contrary. That realization for a sick person could actually cause bitterness because he or she will not be there to experience it for as long as others.”
First we have to define meaningful existence. What is “meaning”. Generally its thought of as the reason for something, the evidence. Why something is the way it is, or the cause for some effect. And where is the reason why, the cause of some effect? Cause is an experienced phenomenon that precedes or produces the effect. And this phenomenon is found through the senses, it can be proved and verified empirically as an isolated phenomenan, a fact, if it is to be considered a “true” meaning. Thus it is data. So the data lays in experience. This verification of meaning through causality is also known as logic. Now the question “what is the meaning of the universe, or our existence?”. Well our existence is the result of everything else’s existence ala Darwin/evolutionary theory. We are looking for a meaning of existence, something that produced and preceeded all existence. So then you are asking to verify the cause of existence, so this thing necessarily does not exist in the same sphere as our sense experience, but created the experience. But since this lies before experience, it cannot be verified with logic because logic deals with empirical experience, but this must preceed empirical experience since this phenomenon created it. So logic, or reason cannot be used to describe or experience it since it’s the world that preceeds the world of our senses, or underlies it.”. To discover the world that proceeds sense experience, you must use another way of verification, you can not use your senses. This is where intuition comes to play. Now we must define intuition.
Intuition is finding out not through cause and effect, but knowing or learning something outside of the rational mind, through a different capacity of mind. For example making a decision that you are convinced is right but not knowing why, not having any logicalanswer to support your intuitiojn. It is based on feeling. You feel it is right. Meditation, Yoga and Tai Chi are intuitional because you don’t learn them through reason or accumulation of facts, IE how to meditate and what happens when you do, but through meditating, through feeling it with your whole body/self and opening/relaxing body self into the flow. Same with drumming, dancing, basically learning anything. Except in meditation the goal is to experience your self outside of your personality, identity, history, or “I” feeling. When you relax yourself or open yourself up enough you realize that there are no barriers between you and the moment, you and everything else. And you actually feel that is all one, everything is complete, whole, and because of the absence of temporality in this mindstate, infinite. And this realization only comes about through the sssrrender of the subject/object mimnd, the sense of self. So if so much exists outside of your sense of self, what is the worry about death? Your ego may not allow this realization, but at least it is chastened a bit and you have another perspective to arm yourself with, so to speak. You learn that you really are everything else and everything else is one. You can learn it based on the mountains of evidence/data we have that points to that fact, but this would not change your attitude or offer any comforted to the sick person. Or as you said, it would offer very cold comfort. Or you can meditate and open your self, become more intuitional, relax yourself into the flow of your “gestalt” and see that your sick body/mind is just a very shallow part of yourself, but your real self is a oneness that pervades the whole universe, and may even be deeper than that. And this is what happens when you cultivate your intuition, you have a “peak experience” where you step outside of your limited “I” and become one with everything, or the “gestalt”. Intuition is awareness of the objective flow of the “IT”, a merging of our subject with the object of our body’s intelligence, and the worlds intelligence. Reason is an argument. The sick person will be comforted and ultimately rejuvenated (his/her perspective will shift drastically) by the awarness of the deeper self, not the argument that such a self exists.
“ I think that there is a disconnect between "cosmic consciousness" or "awakened dharma" and the generally obvious realization that experience, time, now, then, here, there is an infinite and immaculate happening. The knowledge, or the intuition that would lead one to understand the nature of space-time, or time, or space, or experience, or existence, makes one wise. Or wiser than a pawn. Or wiser than someone who isn't paying attention. However, the peace of mind that an "awakened dharma" or however you want to call it, comes from a deeper intra-personal understanding. Like a realization of oneself as opposed to a realization of everything outside of oneself. “
Well the intellectual understanding of the nature of experience and the intuitional understanding are very similar when described but wholly different when experienced. Again one is a fact, or a collection of data. The other is an intuitional experience. One is saying that yeah, it makes sense, the other is seeing the world from the perspective of no boundries. One is knowledge, the other is Wisdom. There is a saying that knowledge gains and wisdom loses. With knowledge you gain a fact, the fact that the universe is not linear as we are wont to see the universe. With wisdom you re-orient yourself, you empty out all your facts, history, self-consciousness, your complexes, so you can see the world clearer - from the intuitional perspective of “don’t think, feel” as Bruce Lee says. Of course this is extremely difficult to maintain 24/7 and sometimes the thinking impulse is necessary, but you can make the intuitional impulse stronger and stronger, so you go more and more with the flow of things, operating out of a different sphere. And this is the practice of meditation. It is an exercise to make your mind more intuitional, to become more subtle, and queit so the flow is clearer and the chatter is softer. There are anthropological and philosophical reasons why this intuitional wisdom is associated with religion, and terms such as “cosmic consciousness” and “awakened dharma”, but the crux of the matter is that it is a wholly psychological shifting of perspective. Thus when the Buddha was asked, “what are you, a god, demon, angel?” he replied, “I am awake.”