Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Notes on Fulfilment

Spirituality is the greed of the introverts, and the comfort of those who are unable to find their level of happiness in life reasonable. Life is neither a bed of roses, but nor is it a vale of tears. The spiritualist, being inadequately rooted and being ill-adjusted, idealizes extreme states.

Materialism is not the problem, consumerism is. Out of that emptiness that aches, man seeks fulfillment. Consumerism, Spirituality, Sensation, Distraction, all are inadequate responses to that emptiness.

The Emptiness of man is not the consequence only of his separation, but primarily of the awareness of his separation. This awareness of "me" as an individual is what makes us human, but this awareness also induces an ineffable seeking to be united again. To be human is to bear the burden of our humanness: to be conscious and aware.

One can feel united in moments of bliss. But by its very nature, that bliss is something sub-human, an overwhelming feeling which subdues the aching awareness of being an individual, an infantile joy not unlike imagining oneself in the womb again. When man romanticizes a bird, he curses his own capacity for awareness.

Awareness is a double-edged sword without a hilt. Holding it, you will slay many a thing. But you will bleed too. You will not be able to avoid cutting yourself, and seeing your own blood and entrails.

What man seeks is a state of unawareness. Life, with its joys and sorrows, is time, and in a state of childlike unawareness, time can be forgotten. But as humans, the awareness of time is our greatest tool. Is it any wonder that the truly enlightened, who live timelessly, require life-support?

Life is a problem when you are discontent. Then you seek fulfillment. But it may pay highly to pinpoint the stage in your life when discontent started boiling in you. I am not asking you to be frugal in happiness. But you may find that at some stage, you could not bear the stress and pain of life.

Gotama is said to have started his search when, after living a sheltered life in a palace, he suddenly saw disease, old age and death. His horror at impermanence scarred him deeply, and his seeking from then on was to find something beyond all this impermanence. But no one has asked whether his horror and scars were reasonable. Why was he horrified? Why could he not accept death?

To die is to be no more. And the spiritual man, being introverted, recoils more than ever at this thought. The spiritual man, being introverted, has a heightened sense of self. His ego, unable to find glory in the world of man, seeks inward glory. And he exalts himself that he is seeking something higher and more noble than the mundane man.

56 comments:

Badri Katha said...

why is it that you depict an inward seeker as an outward failure?? There might be such cases..but that doesn't exclude the possibility of someone doing the same out of choice rather than lack of it

Harmanjit Singh said...

@badri: the inward seeker is discontented, and that discontent is always due to something outward (say, even the Buddha), then the seeker goes inside.

Anonymous said...

1. What according to you is the border between inward and outward?
2. Have you ever known a man or living thing that does not seek?
3. What then is "seeking"?

Anonymous said...

"What then is "seeking"?

It's primal instinct, and your right all creatures have it.

but the question is do we [humans] have a brain that can go where no other animal has gone before, I.E. beyond instincts?

Anonymous said...

If you say it is a "primal instinct" - primal instinct for what? - survival. To maintain the state of "living". To maintain the state of mental and physical well being.

Of course a man's brain is capable of doing things an animal cannot - but both use it (seek) to survive, to live, to exist. And this seeking never stops, because if it did, then there is no life.

So what then is contentment? It is certainly not a state where one does not seek. It is merely the inertia of remaining in the present state forever.
Yet "seeking" never stops so change of state is inevitable. This is a Truth man has a hard time accepting.

Harmanjit Singh said...

@anonymous: Seeking leading to either Fulfillment or Frustration is the very stuff of life.

Inward fulfillment seeks the *feeling* of fulfillment without an outer struggle. The outer struggle is dependent on more things than just "me", and that is scary to the introvert.

Anonymous said...

"Outward struggle is dependent on more than just "me"".
By this I gather than you have defined "I" or "me" as the border between inward and outward.
So what one perceives as a fulfillment or frustration depends on how this border is drawn.
According to most eastern philosophies(buddhism being one of them) bringing down this border completely or extinguishing the "I" makes "frustration" or "fulfillment" meaningless terms. This is what the spiritualist aspires to do all by himself - bring down the border. A psychiatrist or therapist helps you draw the border to an acceptable "line of control".
But it all finally boils down to the border or the "I".

Anonymous said...

Blogger Harmanjit Singh said...

"the inward seeker is discontented, and that discontent is always due to something outward..."

# Are you so sure? Contentment and discontent are 'inner' feelings. Are they really due to something outward? Or are they generated by an inner concept about the outside.

"...then the seeker goes inside."

How so? The inner seeker can never externalize or even see the outer as a body only, therefore the inner feelings of contentment or discontent are only serving to keep a non-actual inner feeler 'alive' inside.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

If you say it is a "primal instinct" - primal instinct for what? - survival.

# Yes, without it an animal does not search for food.

But unlike an animal's brain ours becomes mentally 'aware' of the body's seeking and can make concepts out of that act and pick and choose what it seeks and consciously 'identify' emotionally as an 'owner' of those choices.

Now the body's primal instinct to seek sustenance and protection from the elements becomes relegated to the subconscious and the 'inner' seeker takes center stage. It's feelings of discontent or contentment now loom larger than actual life. Dissociation from the body/the actual environment has set in.

Anonymous said...

"But it all finally boils down to the border or the "I".

# There is no border. In order for the "I" to maintain it's existence it can never enter the actual world. The concept of an outer world gives the illusion of an inner "I". Never the two can meet, The self begins to dissolve before it gets near actuality. Actuality being direct unmediated experience of the actual body.

Anonymous said...

The spiritual man, being introverted, has a heightened sense of self. His ego, unable to find glory in the world of man, seeks inward glory. And he exalts himself that he is seeking something higher and more noble than the mundane man.

# But how does your reasoning account for those who have found "glory in the world of man" yet are still spiritual and do not see their fellow man as "mundane"? Even disowning that glory as being the work or blessings of something greater than their own spirit?

Badri Katha said...

@Harman..

My question to you still lingers..

Discontent is certainly not a failure..failure is when you stop attempting it altogether. Discontent used constructively can in fact lead one to success - reaching contentment.

Your philosophy of distinction between inward and outward is only making a value judgement - inward seeking as a recourse of losers who fail miserably outward. How different are you then from the godmen whom you slander for saying inward is better than outward?

What if..distinction between inward and outward is notional. What if finding an answer to this discontent is all that matters. If someone realizes that seeking contentment outward is not worthwhile and goes inward and thereby finds contentment..how is it a failure?

One wishes to reach C and goes via O. Finds it not the right path for one and goes via I. Just because there was a course correction, is she a failure? The intent was to reach C and not C via O. To each his own!

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous II:

"There is no border" is exactly what the spiritualist hopes to realize. This is what I meant by "bring down the border"

However for those like Harman who make this a distinction between inner and outer, there is the illusory border which is the "I" and it is all about understanding it. This is what I meant by saying it all boils down to the border. In effect me thinks , you and I are saying the same thing.

Modern Man said...

"The sign of doom is written on your brows."

Discontentment is the lot of man, and we would do well to accept this. This acceptance will not yield to contentment, however, unless one is susceptible to self-deception. Remember: it's impossible to regain proper health once your entrails have been splattered across the earth.

-MM

Pankaj said...

A question, if seeking is a defense mechanism of someone who is unable to cope with external life, why all the mind games? why not simply go to a psychiatrist and take medication to somewhat restore the chemical imbalances.

Anonymous said...

Badri Katha said...

If someone realizes that seeking contentment outward is not worthwhile and goes inward and thereby finds contentment..how is it a failure?

-- It's a failure because the brain is not been used to examine 'why' it considers the bodily environment to be a failure. Such a contentment is not actual it is imaginary and this withdrawal into a self made dream of contentment rather than living as an actual bodily contentment is what is damaging our planet. Attention has been diverted to an illusion, eyes are not on the ball (earth).

Anonymous said...

Harmanjit Singh said...

To die is to be no more. And the spiritual man, being introverted, recoils more than ever at this thought. The spiritual man, being introverted, has a heightened sense of self. His ego, unable to find glory in the world of man, seeks inward glory. And he exalts himself that he is seeking something higher and more noble than the mundane man.

In effect you are saying (but in your own words) exactly what Richard deduced. Does this mean you still hold a candle for actualism or just certain aspects of it?

Anonymous said...

"You did not seek because you chose reasons instead.
Thought I felt the answer until until I looked up to you.
Inward:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_h_5gN4TY-EQ/Sz4ZMCCfWTI/AAAAAAAAEUY/ON03lJbh2M8/s1600-h/LosManosEM.jpg

Harmanjit Singh said...

@badri:

If someone realizes that seeking contentment outward is not worthwhile and goes inward and thereby finds contentment..how is it a failure?

Ah... What does that involve, this going inward and finding contentment?

Please note that I am not talking about people who are naturally contented as a personality trait. I am talking about the effort to find contentment within for those who are restless and discontented with the human condition.

What does that contentment look like in practice?

Harmanjit Singh said...

@anonymous:

By this I gather than you have defined "I" or "me" as the border between inward and outward.

Does one need to really go into the very definition of "inner world", i.e. the world of the psyche?

It is simple to define the inner world: it is the private world of unexpressed thoughts, dreams, feelings, ideals, passions, etc. which others can not know except by its infrequent expression in moods, body language, and intonation.

Harmanjit Singh said...

@anonymous:

"the inward seeker is discontented, and that discontent is always due to something outward..."

Are you so sure? Contentment and discontent are 'inner' feelings. Are they really due to something outward?

In my experience, these "inner feelings" have an external phenomenology. In cases of extreme introverts and neurotics, feelings and moods can be sometimes pathologically generated, on their own, as it were. That's why in such cases, psychotropic intervention is advised.

And interestingly, if there is no demonstrable etiology of these debilitating feelings, how else can one get rid of them?

Or are they generated by an inner concept about the outside.

Hmm... It is possible that the discontent is a matter of pathology, but the "inner concepts" can usually be traced to outward experiences.

After all, this tracing is the foundation of actualism practice (which I assume you do, since you are an actualist, as evidenced below), as well as of psychotherapy.

a non-actual inner feeler

Harmanjit Singh said...

@anonymous:

But how does your reasoning account for those who have found "glory in the world of man" yet are still spiritual and do not see their fellow man as "mundane"?

A glory which is achieved too easily is also prone to be discarded easily, since it does not fulfill in the same way as a hard-won success. A hereditary prince can become a renunciate more easily than someone who uprooted another regime through a coup. That is, I think, because the prince has had no meaningful exertion in his life, and this lack of meaningful exertion leading to success can be quite painful and lead to creation of surrogate goals.

I will still say that someone who has accomplished a great deal in life, or has a meaningful goal, will not turn spiritual easily, unless of course the whole culture in which such a person lives regards worldly success as a lesser glory than that of an enlightened man (e.g. in India).

Harmanjit Singh said...

@pankaj:

A question, if seeking is a defense mechanism of someone who is unable to cope with external life, why all the mind games? why not simply go to a psychiatrist and take medication to somewhat restore the chemical imbalances.

Ha, because it would involve admitting that the problem is in me (and others are doing quite ok), and not in the world. The first noble truth should have read: "I sometimes suffer" rather than "There is suffering".

An epic fallacy of generalization, if you ask me.

Once one accepts that one may be maladjusted, there can be various approaches. But if you start by regarding the whole world as a rather sordid plane of suffering, then the only recourse is to find another world to inhabit: actual, spiritual, suicide, whatever.

Also, psychotropic intervention is quite a recent development, except if you consider alcohol, which has been there since millenia and has been used for the exact purpose (destressing).

Harmanjit Singh said...

@anonymous:

In effect you are saying (but in your own words) exactly what Richard deduced. Does this mean you still hold a candle for actualism or just certain aspects of it?

Richard is right about criticizing spirituality as a pursuit of grandiosity and a flight from the real world into a world of delusion, but he stops short (to put it mildly) of criticizing his own grandiose pursuit and his own flight from the real world into a world of denial.

Anonymous said...

Harmanjit Singh said...

but he stops short (to put it mildly) of criticizing his own grandiose pursuit and his own flight from the real world into a world of denial.

# To me denial has always been a politically correct term for lying to oneself, be it conscious or unconscious. If he is not as honest, innocent and free of guile as he claims, then do you think Actual Freedom is still possible or a fraud?

Harmanjit Singh said...

@anonymous:

do you think Actual Freedom is still possible or a fraud?

Please refer to http://harmanjit.blogspot.com/2010/03/epitaph.html and its comments.

tazmic said...

Anonymouses have said...

...You have defined "I" or "me" as the border between inward and outward. So what one perceives as a fulfillment or frustration depends on how this border is drawn.

According to most eastern philosophies(buddhism being one of them) bringing down this border completely or extinguishing the "I" makes "frustration" or "fulfillment" meaningless terms.

This is what the spiritualist aspires to do all by himself - bring down the border.

"There is no border" is exactly what the spiritualist hopes to realize.

However for those like Harman who make this a distinction between inner and outer, there is the illusory border which is the "I" and it is all about understanding it.

#What about the border between the perceived and the not perceived? Is this a border you aspire to 'bring down'? Does this not define an inner and an outer, or a self and other?

Anonymous said...

To Tazmic:

You are getting it too.

Anonymous said...

Harmanjit Singh said...

Please refer to http://harmanjit.blogspot.com/2010/03/epitaph.html and its comments.

link came up:
Sorry, the page you were looking for in the blog Remains of the Day does not exist.

Harmanjit Singh said...

@anonymous:

http://harmanjit.blogspot.com/2010/03/epitaph.html works fine.

Anonymous said...

yep thanks, got it

tazmic said...

"Anonymous said...
To Tazmic:

You are getting it too."

Could you tell me what it is I am 'getting'? (And should I be worried?)

"'There is no border' is exactly what the spiritualist hopes to realize."

(Whilst probably an accurate observation for many spiritualists...), I think a zen master would give you a slap for preaching that.

Sorry if I am confusing the rather homogenous anonymouses here.

Pankaj said...

ha ha. i rather agree. i like the following quote "life doesnt suck, my life does".

But really, it is really unfair to seekers to call all seeking maladjustment. The driving force for a lot of philosophy, science, religion is the same force which drives "seekers". A discontent or maladjustment with everyday life may be a reason for all of these endeavors, but everyday life has to take some of the blame, rather than it all being put on the seeker. Seeking is an element of the human condition. Some have it less, some more.

knverma said...

@harmanjit: To die is to be no more. And the spiritual man, being introverted, recoils more than ever at this thought.

Actually, most people don't know what it means to "die". It is something unknown, something they haven't experienced personally. This lack of understanding is partly what people recoil at. It is sensible to pause and examine what this phenomenon of life and death is. It is simplistic to say that this is just "seeking inward glory".

tazmic said...

"But really, it is really unfair to seekers to call all seeking maladjustment. The driving force for a lot of philosophy, science, religion is the same force which drives "seekers"."

I remember sitting in a university cafe, reading my important philosophy book, and feeling disturbed by a collection of football supporters gathering in a corner. I looked at them and observed the massaging of their primative group identity, and as I turned back to my book... realised that I was probably engaged in an identical behaviour (identity work), just expressed in quite a different style. I thought this a rather perceptive observation... and then returned to my book, afterall it was important!

Anonymous said...

Tazmic:

Hopefully Zen masters slap themselves if they slap others, otherwise they would not be a Zen master would they?

Anonymous said...

Interesting story, enjoy:

A highly educated Indian prime minister was flying to a country in the southern hemisphere, with his uneducated bearded cabinet minister who was rather proud of his beard.As they approached the equator the minister requested that he be allowed to peek at it through a telescope, because he was told that this was an imaginary line separating the two hemispheres and he could not believe that such an important line could be imaginary! So the PM asked him to peek through a telescope held a hair from his beard across the lens and asked if he saw a line."Yes" he said excitedly , "it is the equator and I also see an animal walking on it"!

ElDuderno said...

Isn't it that we humans got life backwards, the mind evolved as an instrument to preserve the body. However, it grew so powerful as to imagine itself to be of primary importance (as in a soul, a self me etc), lost in its own mental agendas, while forgetting about its primary responsibility to ensure survival of the body in an evolutionary arms race.

If the body is well preserved and healthy why then the mind chase after abstract things such as enlightenment/pleasure/power and put the body in harm's way. Losing sight of its own purpose and growing too powerful has led to needless misery everywhere.

What is the purpose of life: no purpose, but an insistent will to survive, the mind would do well to realize that its abstract agendas such as happiness, peace, power do not really amount to anything and are hallucinations. It is a deep rooted dysfunction.

Anonymous said...

Could not agree more ElDuderno. My thoughts precisely.

Aman said...

@ElDuderno, I agree with what you said in your comment "the mind would do well to realize that its abstract agendas such as happiness, peace, power do not really amount to anything and are hallucinations. It is a deep rooted dysfunction."

But the thing is that it is very difficult for a mind to realize that. Intellectually, it is lot easier but emotionally almost impossible. If someone achieves that feat, won't it be going back to functioning as animals do?

Hallucinations increase when there is plenty of food and shelter is assured. So another alternative to the inward seeking could be to live on the edge where food and shelter is not assured. Seems like Buddha knew about this one and that is why made bhikhus :)

Anonymous said...

Aman said...

Hallucinations increase when there is plenty of food and shelter is assured. So another alternative to the inward seeking could be to live on the edge where food and shelter is not assured. Seems like Buddha knew about this one and that is why made bhikhus :)

# This plain doesn't make sense. Humankind hallucinates not because of excessive physical comforts but because of excessive emotions, a lack of common sense and and a low IQ. If you see evidence of less conflict and greater intelligence in poverty stricken nations please let us know which planet you live on, cos it sure ain't earth.

Aman said...

Anonymous: If you see evidence of less conflict and greater intelligence in poverty stricken nations please let us know which planet you live on, cos it sure ain't earth.

Aman: I wasn't very clear about it but my comment was about the notes on "fulfilment". It will also help you if you read the line in my first comment "functioning as animals do?"

My said plan doesn't make sense if it has to do with peace and happiness (but this post by Harman is about fulfilment) but it does make sense if it has to do with fulfilment because when one is always on the lookout for food and shelter, one doesn't have time to contemplate about meaninglessness and fulfilment.

I for myself don't contemplate as much when I don't have a healthy bank balance. I think I am from the planet Earth but I might be hallucinating:) Or it might be that because currently you have subscribed to a particular way of thinking, you tend to see everything through that.

Harmanjit Singh said...

Fulfillment/Happiness is easier when goals are tangible.

The spiritual seeker (or an actualist, for that matter) rejects the tangible fulfillment of worldly goals, and seeks only one fulfillment. This divorce of fulfillment from achieving something concrete in life is problematic.

In a backward village, there are enough goals during the day to keep oneself meaningfully occupied, happily busy. Now, by all means lessen the physical drudgery and increase the lifespan and leisure, but what happens when you do that: ennui, boredom, apathy, "spiritual seeking". :-)

What would be lovely is if people used leisure to engage in pursuit of solutions to tangible and acute problems in society rather than to their own problem of "I'm not feeling happy anymore."

Why did Gotama not become a king after he returned and ran the kingdom wisely? That is because spiritual and actualist fulfillments debilitate, they leave one unable to have any real worldly goals.

It is a journey from mild dysfunction and its concomitant anxiety, to total dysfunction but grandiosity.

Aman said...

@Harman

"What would be lovely is if people used leisure to engage in pursuit of solutions to tangible and acute problems in society rather than to their own problem of "I'm not feeling happy anymore."

Will the above resolve their own problems of meaninglessness/fulfilment? In case they successfully eradicate the acute problems in society, won't the whole society get afflicted with the same problems?

"In a backward village, there are enough goals during the day to keep oneself meaningfully occupied, happily busy."

Won't going back to a backward village solve the problem for the society? Looking at it this way (as the backward village not having problems of meaninglessness/fulfilment), is the backward village really that backward?

Anonymous said...

Aman,

One way to maintain human conflict is to stand on a soap box [during your leisure time :-] and make the traits one is also inflicted with the personal flaws of another. If fulfillment is at all possible it will surely come by way of contemplating constructively before you speak.

ElDuderno said...

But the thing is that it is very difficult for a mind to realize that. Intellectually, it is lot easier but emotionally almost impossible. If someone achieves that feat, won't it be going back to functioning as animals do?

But is that a bad thing, if there is enough to survive in comfort, would there be conflict in life as an animal?

It is only due to shortage that animal world is filled with conflict, but hallucinations make the easy life look like hell.

Anonymous said...

Harmanjit Singh said...

Why did Gotama not become a king after he returned and ran the kingdom wisely? That is because spiritual and actualist fulfillments debilitate, they leave one unable to have any real worldly goals.

# It's not just the spiritual or actualism paradigms that debilitate. We are debiliated because we are in a transitional phase of learning how to use the full potential of the conscious mind.

Phychological paradigms seem to take form in the conscious mind as surely as chemical molecules form DNA. Only consciousness is more nebulous and it's primary alphabet (instinctual drives) can also form into a huge variation of conceptual combinations.

The only instruction manual we have for this experiment is the recorded memories of past errors and successes. So it's inevitable we will get stuck in some psychological paradigm or other until the wiring is more finely intertwined with sensate existence.

Spirituality and actualism are but two of the many paradigms our neurotransmiiters are experimenting with and each time we attempt to lay any psychological paradigm over sensate existence their limitations throw us to our knees.

No one is living the full potential of a human body and mind whilst in this phase, deniers included.

But the attempts have to made and the temporary imprisonments have to be endured, for the boundaries inherent in all psychological paradigms to become visible.

Only then can the ultimate goal, the awakening of the full potential (fulfillment) of a sensible intelligent human being, be achieved.

Anonymous said...

Harmanjit Singh said...

What would be lovely is if people used leisure to engage in pursuit of solutions to tangible and acute problems in society rather than to their own problem of "I'm not feeling happy anymore."

---you mean like: I'm bored now, no one wants to argue with me, hey Bob Apple, buy me a boat.

Aman said...

@anonymous,

I've done contemplation as well and come to the conclusion that there is no fix available. Ultimately there is no meaning of life, there is just will to live. We will be better off without the will to meaning but I see no way of doing it away with. Maybe realizing this will loosen its grip somewhat after some time.

Aman said...

@ElDuderno

No, it won't be a bad thing. But it is impossible to achieve.

tazmic said...

"What is the purpose of life: no purpose, but an insistent will to survive, the mind would do well to realize that its abstract agendas such as happiness, peace, power do not really amount to anything and are hallucinations. It is a deep rooted dysfunction."

By why the firm separation between 'an insistent will to survive' and the 'agendas such as happiness, peace, power'. Are not the latter more nuanced variants of the former? Or is the first an hallucination also?

If the further agendas 'do not really amount to anything', then I have to ask, to whom? Do you have a self that is something more than an amalgam of all of the above?

Elduderno said...

#By why the firm separation between 'an insistent will to survive' and the 'agendas such as happiness, peace, power'. Are not the latter more nuanced variants of the former? Or is the first an hallucination also?

The former is an outcome of the evolutionary process, the latter three being abstractions created by the mind.

#If the further agendas 'do not really amount to anything', then I have to ask, to whom? Do you have a self that is something more than an amalgam of all of the above?

Precisely! the self and its abstract agendas do not have much to do with the organism and the evolutionary process.

The mind was selected by evolutionary forces for its immense help in survival, but having almost solved the problem of survival it created its own abstract hallucinations and problems.

It has lost track of its purpose, the origins of the body and imagines it to be an independent agent with a self and its associated agendas, all of which are illusions, because they are a distortion of the reality which is

The organism evolved through natural processes, and insistent will to survive persevered because it by its very nature gives the organisms having it a leg up in the next iteration of natural selection, more so in the face of scare resources. The will to survive is much older than the mind.

The mind with abstract thought, persevered because it allowed conquest of nature.

Finally the mind created wrong abstractions and ideas about its and the body's origins and aims, these are illusions.

Anonymous said...

tazmic said...

"By why the firm separation between 'an insistent will to survive' and the 'agendas such as happiness, peace, power'. Are not the latter more nuanced variants of the former? Or is the first an hallucination also?

If the further agendas 'do not really amount to anything', then I have to ask, to whom? Do you have a self that is something more than an amalgam of all of the above?"

# probably less than the amalgam of all of the above.
There is the cellular self-distinction the body makes between it and other bodies and objects which does not require hallucinating a 'who' is experiencing a 'will' to survive or 'who' is experiencing happiness, peace, and power.

and less (of a self hallucinating) in that the full potential of a sensible intelligent brain once awakened would be so constructively occupied as to leave no room for such meaningless (senseless) distractions.

We only hallucinate at this early stage because this is how the conscious brain is exploring it's full potential. It is still a child mind playing mental software games and gradually learning that the price we pay for staying this way, is too high.

tazmic said...

"#By why the firm separation between 'an insistent will to survive' and the 'agendas such as happiness, peace, power'. Are not the latter more nuanced variants of the former? Or is the first an hallucination also?

The former is an outcome of the evolutionary process, the latter three being abstractions created by the mind."

I don't mean to be thick, but can you name anything that isn't an abstract concept? In what way is 'peace' an abstract concept in which the 'will to survive' isn't?

(Do you think that biologically there is really a will to survive?)

Where would you put cooperation? Is it a result of evolutionary processes or an abstract concept? Or perhaps the later simply attempts to codify the former?

Are you denying the value of abstract reflective intervention in our survival? Or simply denouncing the distortions of reification, and the perversions that spring from emotional transference to such?

Surely abstract concepts are only illusions if you believe in them?

Elduderno said...

I don't mean to be thick, but can you name anything that isn't an abstract concept? In what way is 'peace' an abstract concept in which the 'will to survive' isn't?

Peace is a fictional idol, the will to survive is an immediate observable reality.

Maybe abstraction is the wrong terminology, instead of abstraction lets call it a fiction/imagination, built upon other fictions created by the mind.

Anonymous said...

The problem is not 'what is a concept and what is not,' but that we, like all life forms not only cooperate to survive we also compete. But when humans do not find 'emotional' fulfillment in what it languages as happiness, peace and power' and the 'will to survive', it can resort to war and thereby destroy more than just it's own.