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Post 20

Tuesday, January 21, 2003 - 7:31pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks to Paul Hilbert for raising an important and interesting topic for debate.

He mentions an article, "John Galt Recants" by David Stewart. What is the full reference of this article, when and where was it published?

I've been thinking about the similarities and complements of Objectivism to Buddhism in general and Zen in particular too.

First a few (minor) disagreements. The left hemisphere and right hemisphere are not clearly divided into a logical "left brain" and an intuitive "right brain". This is at best an oversimplified and misleading metaphor. However, Paul's argument does not rest upon or need this metaphor. The functional difference between rationality and awareness/mindfulness does not require such a biological mirror image.

Paul also writes:

"Zen has been exploited by Samurai to become fearless warriors but that practice is repugnant to the spirit of Zen, which is dedicated to non-coercion. Zen has been used very successfully in the martial arts as a tool of self-defense to gain concentration and composure in the face of danger."

I think this condemnation of the Samurai is too one-sided. They were generally not bullies looking for victims or opportunities for coercion, they were men (and more than a few women) following a code of ethics and honor, and the techniques as well as the spirituality of awareness and mindfulness have a place within and is compatible with that context. Books like Hagakure, The Art of War and The Five Rings brings testimony to this. Indeed, the Samurai sense of honor, dedication and focus are compatible with and also found in Objectivism. A Samurai motto says: "Only a warrior chooses peace. Others are condemned to it." Which to me suggests the virtue of self-defense, and also conjures up an image of Ragnar Danneskjöld, "Let the men of force see what happens when force meets mind and force.". Undoubtedly a topic that merits further exploration and articles of its own.

Anyway, I appreciate the discussion of Buddhism and Objectivism, and I hope similar dialogues will take place and continue in various fora.
On my web site I have published Savaka Sukhothaia's Call to Objectivists and Randians for dialogue with Buddhists, at
http://folk.uio.no/thomas/po/buddhists-and-objectivists.html
, and my own article, A Few Notes Towards Buddhjectivism, at http://folk.uio.no/thomas/po/buddhjectivism.html.

Thanks again for raising an interesting topic for discussion.

Thomas Gramstad
thomas at gramstad.no

Post 21

Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - 1:13amSanction this postReply
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I'm not a supporter of Buddhism, and I definitely don't see any real connection between it and Objectivism. The article and the dialogue afterwards didn't convince me that there's any reason to pursue Buddhism. It actually created more questions then it answered. So ultimately the question is, what can Objectivists gain from Buddhism?

I want to ask a few questions which maybe someone can answer. First, Paul Hibbert said:

"The only 'faith' operating within Zen is the belief that, if one is diligent enough, one will attain enlightenment."

What exactly does enlightenment mean if you're not using reason? Are you using this to mean that you can feel like you're enlightened? Or is there some insight that you gain from shutting down your brain and observing yourself breathe?

Another question is, what's the point of this "awareness" thing? I can see how if you're paying very close attention to your perceptions, you might want to avoid abstract thinking because it might distract you. But distract you from what? What's the point of perceiving if there's nothing to perceive? If you were trying to get better at listening (like listening to musical notes and trying to identify their subtle differences) I could see how practicing observation would be useful. But focusing on something insignificant is pointless.

Also, if you're really suppose to focus on silly questions like one hand clapping, isn't that abstract thought as well? That part doesn't even seem to make sense assuming everything else did.

Also, has anyone noticed the similarity between this "awareness" and evasion? Evasion is the intentional focus of your mind away from certain topics. One way is to focus on the insignificant. There was a part in the Fountainhead where Peter Keating focused on the bowl of salad because Gail Wynand was saying things that made him uncomfortable. Focusing on your breathing or silly mind games seems to be exactly that.

And lastly, even if you did have a relaxed feeling that came from this "awareness", it still wouldn't prove that it was a good thing. The question is, why do you feel relaxed? Maybe it's because you're evading your responsibilities and the stress in your life. Evade for 15 minutes, and you might come away spiritually refreshed. The more you do it, the easier and stronger the effects. Or it might be part of the whole viewing yourself as insignificant (isn't there something about Buddhism being opposed to the ego). The effect there would be to make your problems seem insignificant as well. I know people that do this whenever they get stressed...start talking about how worthless they are.

So if the appeal of Buddhism is that it relaxes you or whatever, an explanation of why it relaxes you might be important. And so far, we've heard nothing about this. Only that focusing on your perceptions is difficult to do while focusing on abstract thoughts (just as focusing on your breathing is hard to do while focusing on some music...really, it's focusing on any two things).

And finally, Jason Hoetger comments that he doesn't see why this article was posted here in the first place. SOLO doesn't endorse every idea that gets printed here. We print them if we think it's of general interest to Objectivists. There have been other controversial articles in the past as well. Although we try to stick to themes and ideas that we agree with, occasionally we will print an honest, dissenting opinion.

Post 22

Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - 6:06amSanction this postReply
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I have to second Joe's comment about all kinds of articles appearing here -- the point (as I see it) of SOLOHQ is to openly discuss any subject and get different persepctives for those who want to weigh and judge the merits of something they have not encountered before. It is in fact why I like this site so much -- we face the issues and questions rationally and our discussions can help others in learning the questions to ask, the lines of reasoning used so that they can form their own conclusions.

One problem I see in other Objectivist sites is the fact that an article is printed and that is pretty much it. You can accept it or not but it just kind of ends there. You don't get to see the questions it might generate from those interested in the topic who have another persepctive. I find I learn best by being exposed to other people's thinking processes and that is what happens here.
Sometimes I've been confused on a topic and watching it unfold in the discussion thread had helped me sort out my own thoughts, check my own premises. I've learned a lot in this way.

It also serves to test your own premises. I know some Objectivists just dismiss things out of hand in general and that is fine if you are well schooled in all the ins and outs of the system. As a novice, I find it refreshing to explore the reasons that something might be dismissed -- without being jumped on by the dogmatists who insist on faith and don't feel they need to bother explaining why something has been rejected as happens on so many other Objectivist forums.

Joy :)

Post 23

Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - 8:33amSanction this postReply
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Hi, again — I’ll try to address a number of issues that have been raised:

Thomas Gramstad wishes to get the "John Galt Recants" piece by David Stewart. I first became aware of it when Monart Pon posted it on the OWL board on Nov. 26, 2002. (http://www.wetheliving.com/mailman/listinfo/objectivism). Monart thinks it was originally published circa 1980. Monart posted it in about 4 or 5 segments as it is 50 to 60 pages long. I don’t think there are any copyright problems. I have consolidated them into a single MS Word document and I can send it to anyone who wishes if they send a request to me at ‘phibbert at cybermesa.com’.

Thomas again comments:

“First a few (minor) disagreements. The left hemisphere and right hemisphere are not clearly divided into a logical "left brain and an intuitive "right brain". This is at best an oversimplified and misleading metaphor. However, Paul's argument does not rest upon or need this metaphor. The functional difference between rationality and awareness/mindfulness does not require such a biological mirror image.”

This whole discussion has spilled over onto the PSY board and I have submitted a post there (which may or may not get posted) that addresses this problem. Several people have objected that I have over simplified the situation and to some extent that is true but I disagree that my argument doesn’t rest on that metaphor. I quote an authority:

"… in the split brain syndrome we deal with two separate spheres of conscious awareness, i.e. two separate conscious entities or minds running in parallel in the same cranium, each with its own sensations, perceptions, cognitive processes, learning experiences, memories and so on."

It strikes me that a large number of my critics “just don’t get it” in understanding awareness, just as a tone deaf person can’t learn to carry a tune because their cerebral equipment isn’t capable of dealing with it.

Let me quote from ‘The Right Brain: A New Understanding of the Unconscious Mind and Its Creative Powers” by Thomas R. Blakeslee:

“The abilities and even the personality of an individual is strongly influenced by his “mental habits.” One of the most important of these habits is a person’s tendency to depend primarily on his left or right brain. Some tasks clearly demand left- or right-brain approaches. But the majority fall into a gray area where either the intuitive or the logical can be used with some success. People habitually favor one approach or the other.

Fortunately for some people, there are occupations in which one can function by relying on only one hemisphere all the time. Many athletes and artists, for example, are so non-verbal they can hardly speak intelligibly. Rock, blues, and jazz musicians, for example, have a term called “soul,” which represents the complete elimination of intellectualism in favor of feeling. Intellectual training does, in fact, tend to destroy the quality of “soul.”

The polar opposite of the intuitive artist is the pure intellectual who verbalizes everything. Many of the “scholarly” fields such as literary criticism, education, and philosophy provide a refuge for left-brain types. While the real contributors to these fields combine insight and intuition with their verbal and logical abilities, a frighteningly large number of intellectuals have lost touch with reality. While words and logic are powerful tools, some people seem to forget that they are only meaningful tools of reality. Many “intellectual” discussions are no more than arguments about the meaning of words. The truly creative person uses logic and words as tools, yet knows their limitations.”

I rest my case, at least for the time being.

Paul Hibbert

Post 24

Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - 10:07amSanction this postReply
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Thank you Paul, for the reference to the David Stewart article. I subscribe to the OWL list, though I don't always get around to read the postings in a timely fashion, so I'll just look up Monart Pon's postings in my own archive of the list. (As for Word documents - no thanks, Word is evil! See http://www.goldmark.org/netrants/no-word/attach.html and http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.html - but I digress. Thanks anyway though. :-)

Yes, if you cut the corpus callosum you get the split brain syndrome. But Paul overstates the significance of this for the normal, healthy brain. The degree of hemisphere specialization and separation in the normal, healthy brain is not large enough to be reckoned as such an absolute dichotomy.

I have no quarrel with the examples of individuals or occupations relying on either extreme intellectualism/rationality or intuition/awareness. But these examples do nothing to prove the existence of an underlying, equally extreme corresponding hemisphere dichotomy. That's just an interpretation of Paul's. The jazz musicians are highly specialized in intuitive or 'aware'/mindful functions, this does not prove that they are "right-brainers". It can just as easily be interpreted as specializations of certain areas in a unified holographic brain (to mention but one of several other conceptualizations of the brain's structure and function). Paul seems to think that only one interpretation or model of the brain is compatible with observed preferences, skill sets and behaviors, but that is patently wrong. This is actually good news for Paul's case, because it means his case isn't tied to one particular model of the brain's anatomy and physiology.

Thomas Gramstad
thomas at gramstad.no

Post 25

Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - 10:25amSanction this postReply
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Hi Paul,

I'm sorry to hear you are resting your case at this point, but I'll carry on concerning some of what you quoted from Blakeslee:

“The abilities and even the personality of an individual is strongly influenced by his “mental habits.” One of the most important of these habits is a person’s tendency to depend primarily on his left or right brain. Some tasks clearly demand left- or right-brain approaches. But the majority fall into a gray area where either the intuitive or the logical can be used with some success. People habitually favor one approach or the other."

How does Blakeslee suggest that 'mental habits' come about in the first place? How do abilities come about? How does personality develop? Why does the mind (initially, eventually?) come to be as he says 'left or right brained'. What makes a person dependent on one side or another?

Mental habits are learned. I've not read much about Montessori, but I think her work would be a real example of how methods form an orderly mind that is capable of both reason and creativity. I have a problem with the word intuitive because it means the immediate knowing or learning WITHOUT the use of reason or in other words, instantaneous apprehension of something. I don't believe in that though I do believe that sometimes we have subconsciously worked through reasons for something and so mistake it for intuition until we slow down to examine our own thought processes.

Montessori was able to 'train' children's minds to function higher than was expected as her subjects were children who were considered intellectually retarded. By giving a child tools to focus their brain processes in their respective capacities, the mind is trained for the future as well. I suspect both sides of the brain are essential though poor mental habits perhaps result in a preponderance of right brained versus left brained use or vice versa.

I can't quite buy into this right brained, left brained thing. They were obviously meant to coexist and be functional together. While it is important to know and understand the functioning of the brain, I think this particular approach assumes an awful lot that has not been validated, and mental habits is an awfully nebulous phrase to be tossing around especially as it is in this example being used to prove some kind of point .. and I appear to be missing that point entirely.

Blakeslee:

"Fortunately for some people, there are occupations in which one can function by relying on only one hemisphere all the time. Many athletes and artists, for example, are so non-verbal they can hardly speak intelligibly. Rock, blues, and jazz musicians, for example, have a term called “soul,” which represents the complete elimination of intellectualism in favor of
feeling. Intellectual training does, in fact, tend to destroy the quality of “soul.” "

Okay, now I've had it! Many athletes and artists are non-verbal? In what universe? Has Blakeslee ever watched a professional football game, listened to the commentators, many of whom were the best athletes in their day? They sound pretty verbal to me. Of course, there are also a lot of 'dumb' athletes, just as there are dumb people everywhere that are non-verbal. To use this to support some theory misses the point of asking why SOME athletes, artists, John Does are non-verbal. It is a matter of education and it is a matter of properly training the mind because it is obvious that for every non-verbal artist, athlete, whatever there is another who IS verbal.

Same goes for 'soul' and it's incredible connection to 'intellectual training'.

Blakeslee again:

"The polar opposite of the intuitive artist is the pure intellectual who verbalizes everything. Many of the “scholarly” fields such as literary criticism, education, and philosophy provide a refuge for left-brain types. While the real contributors to these fields combine insight and intuition with their verbal and logical abilities, a frighteningly large number of intellectuals have lost touch with reality. While words and logic are powerful tools, some people seem to forget that they are only meaningful tools of reality. Many “intellectual” discussions are no more than arguments about the meaning of words. The truly creative person uses logic and words as tools, yet knows their limitations.”

Yes, there are intellectuals who have no clue and a great many others that seem to know how to put stings of words together yet have no clue as to what they are talking about. A lot of them are Objectivists! However, in the context (if the above even has a context) that example makes no sense whatsoever. Defining words is critical as is understanding the context in which they are used. If communication is to be successful, everyone has to be talking about the same things. People tend to have different definitions of words -- their own emotional attachment to it or some kind of cultural attachment, and they often do not realize it. Think of words like 'selfish', 'altruist' and other such words. Unless they are clearly defined, a conversation can be interpreted in many different ways.

I have to requote this part because it makes no sense:

"While words and logic are powerful tools, some people seem to forget that they are only meaningful tools of reality."

Huh? So, they are powerful tools only in reality? There is something else? A non-reality in which these tools are not effective? I'm way confused.

Paul wrote:

"I rest my case, at least for the time being."

Not so fast Paul! LOL! I'm still trying to figure out what on earth the case was! What was this Blakeslee trying to demonstrate? And for what purpose? This kind of thing is so absolutely one of my pet peeves! The man has tossed about this and that like flotsam and jetsom and claims to have said something worth the effort of reading it?! Argh!

Joy :)

Post 26

Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - 1:00pmSanction this postReply
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Joy: My apologies. I wrote, "While words and logic are powerful tools, some people seem to forget that they are only meaningful tools of reality."

I made a mistake in transcribing. It should have read, "While words and logic are powerful tools, some people seem to forget that they are only meaningful AS SYMBOLS of reality."

Paul

Post 27

Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - 2:49pmSanction this postReply
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LOL! Paul, that hardly makes it any better!

But I'm bowing out of this discussion for now as I won't be on-line after today until sometime the middle of next week.

I actually thought it might be a typo, but I'll be honest with you, Blakeslee really pissed me off so I just had to go with it. :)

Joy :)

Post 28

Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - 3:03pmSanction this postReply
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In response to (at least) one question posed by Joseph Rowlands:

The benefits of mindfulness meditation (meditation in the Theravadan Buddhist tradition, and valued in Zen traditions as well) commonly include: a greater sense of serenity, higher levels of awareness and perceptivity, and greater insight into oneself and one's relationships and surroundings. These are the kinds of benefits typically "self-reported" by people who meditate.

If you want the scientific perspective on this, you can consult the research literature (esp. by Jon Kabat-Zinn and his colleagues at the University of Massachussets Hospital) for studies on the benefits of mindfulness meditation, which have demonstrated its effectiveness as a treatment for chronic pain, anxiety, and depression, among other things.

Since chronic pain, anxiety, and depression are rampant in American culture (and probably elsewhere), this suggests that a great many people stand to benefit from mindfulness meditation.

And here's a relevant quote from Nathaniel Branden: "It struck me many years ago that Roark and Galt have a particular kind of serenity that is very Zen-like. I am inclined to think that no one can attain that level of serenity without a good deal of experience at meditation." He posted this to the psychology @wetheliving.com discussion group on Monday.

One can realize the benefits of mindfulness meditation without subscribing in any fashion to Buddhism, as a religion or as a philosophy. (For an example of this religion-free approach, see Jon Kabat Zinn's book "Full Catastrophe Living" or "Wherever You Go, There You Are," which both mention Buddhism but teach the techniques in a way that is entirely free of religious dogma.)

As someone who has been meditating regularly for six years, I am in a strong position to be able to speak of its benefits: I experience them on a daily basis. I wouldn't be wasting my time if it didn't make a noticeable difference in my day-to-day life.

That said, meditation is not for everyone. Some people can't "get over" the association with religion (which is very unfortunate, since there need not be anything mystical about meditation). Also, some people are unable to engage in formal meditation due to physical or mental problems that prevent them from maintaining the requisite focus.

But if you are in a position to experiment with meditation, I recommend it highly. There's not much point in pontificating one way or another about its value unless you've tried it. It's like giving lectures on sex when you're still a virgin.

Joshua Zader
http://muditajournal.com

Post 29

Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - 11:52pmSanction this postReply
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I'd like to see some sort of analysis of whether Objectivism is compatible with Eastern philosophies (or at least parts thereof) done at some stage. But, as Peter Cresswell points out, this article blurs and distorts concepts (like awareness) beyond recognition and then doesn't engage with some fairly obvious Objectivist responses to its points. It also fails to take account of some of the best analyses of Eastern mysticism done from an Objectivist perspective so far. I'm thinking of, for example, parts of Nathaniel Branden's The Art of Living Consciously.

Post 30

Thursday, January 23, 2003 - 9:02amSanction this postReply
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Cameron:

“I'd like to see some sort of analysis of whether Objectivism is compatible with Eastern philosophies” In trying to find compatibility of Objectivism and Zen (I’m not competent to comment on other Eastern religions) you are faced with the dilemma that inherent in Objectivism is ego; in Zen is eradication of ego. That is a fact you can’t get around — it’s absolutely basic in both arenas.

Contributors to this board seem to ignore another fact:

"… in the split brain syndrome we deal with two separate spheres of conscious awareness, i.e. two separate conscious entities or minds running in parallel in the same cranium, each with its own sensations, perceptions, cognitive processes, learning experiences, memories and so on."

This hasn’t been challenged. If it’s false I certainly want to know about it as I don’t want to delude myself for the rest of my life. This lateralization, or specialization of the brain is made evident by severing the connection between them but it exists in most people, with verbal ability on the left and visualization on the right.

Trying to convey a subjective experience, like awakening or radical insight, is like trying to describe the subjective experience of seeing the color blue to a person who has never seen. Not only are words inadequate, WORDS DON’T EXIST in the realm of the right brain. It’s small wonder that “this article blurs and distorts concepts (like awareness) beyond recognition and then doesn't engage with some fairly obvious Objectivist responses to its points” because it is incapable of being fully described by words — it can only be experienced.

The quest for some sort of analysis of whether Objectivism is compatible with Eastern philosophies is also futile. The process of analyzing can only be carried out using left brain, linear capabilities but you want to apply it to right brain, holistic concepts. When the only tool you have is a hammer the tendency is to fix everything with a hammer. It doesn’t work that way.

I maintain that an integrated personality recognizes both aspects of his mental capabilities. Just as the left and right brains coexist by competing for dominance at any particular time one can apply Objectivism or Zen to appropriate aspects of our lives. In my opinion those aspects are our left brain to our dealings with society at large and our right brain to our personal relationships.

Paul Hibbert

Post 31

Friday, January 24, 2003 - 3:28amSanction this postReply
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I've really enjoyed this dialogue on Zen and Objectivism; I've been much too involved in the architecture discussion and other work to post anything here. Just a couple of points:

1. Having suffered from remarkable health problems since birth, I've tried virtually ~everything~ --- from "Eastern" medicine to "Western" medicine, and I do think there are important mind-body integration lessons that one can learn from both. So much of the Eastern version gets lost in the translation because it is usually attached to a kind of spiritualism that is anathema, on the face of it, to Objectivists. But there are things about how emotions get funneled through the body that the Easterners have focused on---and they've developed all sorts of techniques, from acupuncture and meditation to biofeedback, etc., which simply and cleanly highlight the connection of mind and body in ways that are geared toward "balance" and "healing." I've had some success with these techniques in the treatment of pain; I know this is purely anecdotal evidence, but there are many people out there who have had similar success and I'd welcome any attempt to ~understand~ precisely what it is that is going on in these various techniques. I think we can learn things about mind-body unity here that can be very helpful.

2. I read Dave Stewart's JOHN GALT RECANTS many years ago; I have the original pamphlet (A LAGNAF publication), but, unfortunately, there is no copyright date in the pamphlet.

Cheers,
Chris

---
http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/update.htm
---

Post 32

Friday, January 24, 2003 - 10:57amSanction this postReply
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Chris,

Like you, I've enjoyed the article and the discussion on Objectivism and Zen.

You noted your own personal experiences with Zen. Although I find it quite believable that mental techniques would have beneficial feedback on one's body, you do not have to go very far to find explanations for such phenomena. The extremely well documented "placebo effect" is pervasive in clinical trials. In ulcer trials, for example, it is so large that it is hard to find clinically efficacious drugs. The point is that interventions can have positive effects even when the apparent treatment (a placebo) is itself inert. Some people maintain that the subject must fully believe (consciously and subconsciously) that the treatment will work, but I am not convinced that even this is necessary. There have been studies where merely seeing a doctor had an effect (over doing nothing), though the doctor didn't proscribe any medications or therapy!

Hence, Zen may be something special or it may be a complex (self-induced) placebo effect. You've found that it works for you, and one can't argue with that. What remains, though, is discovering the mechanism of action.

Kernon

Post 33

Friday, January 24, 2003 - 7:21pmSanction this postReply
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Hey Kernon, I think you're right that there sure may be a placebo effect at work. But even if that is the case, it does say something about the mind's power to heal. I've read some interesting literature, for example, about how good thoughts or even good scents can release pain-fighting endorphins in the brain (there is a relationship between "morphine" and end"orphin"). I could be wrong, but I believe that Ken Livingston gave a talk some years back for TOC about how religious belief can have the same placebo effect.

In this instance, I'll sound like a pragmatist when I say: If it works, do it! :)

Cheers,
Chris

Post 34

Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 8:56pmSanction this postReply
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My messages are being deleted for some reason???

Post 35

Monday, March 31, 2003 - 11:11amSanction this postReply
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"What is the sound of one hand clapping?"

I've wondered if this question could be synonymous with: 'What is the harmony of physical and the metaphysical?'

Post 36

Monday, March 31, 2003 - 6:40pmSanction this postReply
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"What is the sound of one hand clapping?"

I've wondered if this question could be synonymous with: 'What is the harmony of physical and the metaphysical?'

JGP:

I appreciate what you're saying in the context of the overthrow of the Mind/Body dichotomy but what about the Objectivist/Subjectivist dichotomy? Does "the sound of one hand clapping" have any meaning in a Subjective world? Yes. Its meaning is to confound the logical mind so that it can be opened to a process of obliterating habitual and conditioned responses so that ‘reality’ can be attained.

Does it have meaning in the Objective world? None whatsoever. Logic and semantics refute it.

I will say it again — Objectivism and Zen are complementary and not exclusionary but each must be applied to the appropriate areas of one’s life — Objectivism to society as a whole, and Subjectivism to one’s personal involvement with respect to lovers, family and friends, and to a lesser extent, to one’s immediate community.

Post 37

Tuesday, April 1, 2003 - 3:37amSanction this postReply
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"Objectivism to society as a whole, and Subjectivism to one’s personal involvement with respect to lovers, family and friends, and to a lesser extent, to one’s immediate community."

And "society as a whole" differs from the sum of all "personal involvments" and "communities" in what respect again ?

(the more sailant question - "what the fuck does Zen have to do with Subjectivism ?" - is too obvious. I thought I might go for a more subtle one)

Post 38

Tuesday, April 1, 2003 - 6:10amSanction this postReply
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Francois: I know that you can communicate intelligibly because I have read some of your articles but I can only hazard a guess at what your questions to me are.

I advocate applying Objectivist principles to one's non-personal relationships in society, i.e. politics, economics, etc. I advocate applying Subjectivism to one's personal, emotional relationships. One's immediate community is a grey area where one may have some casual personal relationships.

You may disagree with me but you can't misunderstand what I say.

"(the more sailant question - "what the fuck does Zen have to do with Subjectivism ?" - is too obvious. I thought I might go for a more subtle one)"

I have no idea what you're trying to communicate. The practice of Zen is a purely Subjective experience. Are you telling me that you disagree?

Post 39

Tuesday, April 1, 2003 - 4:19pmSanction this postReply
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Oh. So now there are two types of relationships. Societal and emotional. And they differ so much that Reason can only be applied to one of them.

Could you perchance explain the fundamental difference between "societal" and "emotional" relationships that nullifies Reason ? I thought epistemology applied to all knowledge, not just "societal" knowledge. But here I go being rational again.

As for your insult against Zen, I beg to differ. Zen is not subjective at all. But then again, I can see why you would think so. You're not a Randist, by any chance ?

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