The Lisbon Earthquake of 1775 was a 'challenge'.
The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 helped lead Voltaire to the conclusion that the 'challenges' in this world are sometimes too great.
Voltaire mocked Leibniz.
People like Leibniz argued that this earthquake produced courage and compassion and love.
Here we come to the word 'Non-Duality' - the idea that, for example, suffering and compassion are two sides of the one thing.
One could say that Duality and Non-Duality are part of the same Whole.
Some people try to describe 'Non-Duality' by saying that every thing is a mixture of 'positive' and 'negative' or 'yin' and 'yang'.
In other words, poison mushrooms are a mixture of 'useful for keeping away flies' and 'not to be eaten' and 'useful for making certain medicines'.
Some people have argued that it is impossible for God to create a 'real' world that does not contain 'yin' and 'yang'.
When some people talk about Non-Duality, they sometimes talk about the inter-connectedness of all things.
In other words, when we look at the world we normally see separate selves and separate objects, but, some people see that everything is 'connected'.
Non-Duality is difficult to describe with language, because language is dualistic (it sees everything as separate objects)
In Newtonian physics, 'things' are seen as hard, individual objects, specific to a particular space and time.
According to some research at Princeton University
We can mentally influence - and are influenced by - the thoughts of others.
We can mentally influence biological processes in bodies other than our own.
We can mentally influence the functioning of non-biological systems.
In the NON-SELF mode there is no grasping of pain or pleasure.
But this is difficult for our minds to imagine, just as 'infinity' is difficult to imagine.
Some people write about the dangers of talking about the Oneness of everything.
Not Duality is Not Non Duality | School of Yogic Buddhism
The other term for non-duality is monism.
The belief that there is no essential difference between the physical and the conscious.
That they are different manifestations of the same essence.
The nature of reality and existence is intimately and inextricably connected to the nature of consciousness.
This is still more than a research problem. It is *the* research problem.
You are conscious. You know that.
You suspect that I probably am too, because there is a certain observational equivalence to our external behaviours. That is, you exercise empathy. You imagine what it's like to be me.
Is a chimpanzee or a dolphin conscious? For the same reasons, you think yes.
How about an octopus? An ant? An RSV retrovirus? An electron?
The only intellectually satisfying theory of consciousness is that everything is conscious. Only to a greater or lesser extent.
This is Tononi's Integrated Information Theory. Consciousness is a statistical emergent property of informational interconnectedness. Just as in statistical mechanics, temperature is an aggregate property derived from randomness and energy of particle movements.
There is also a physical basis for the notion of universal interconnectedness.
In quantum mechanics, better named as wave theory, a particle is actually a wave that spans all space but is mostly localized. So in a trivial sense, yes, everything is connected. (A gross oversimplification, I know.)
Anyway, that's just physics. It doesn't translate necessarily into the touchy-feely ideas we discuss here. But it does make you think the nature of the world could be very different from the standard view.
These points enforce two important principles:
1) The importance of reality checks like the scientific method and statistical inference. To try your absolute best not to fool yourself.
2) The importance of intellectual humility and keeping your mind open to possibilities.
The world is unutterably strange and subtle. You will never fully understand it. You can only increase your meagre understanding through a humble and childlike curiosity and wonder. Moreover, in a created world, you will only know what you are permitted to know.
The more interesting question, mostly what you're interested in here, is this: Is God personal?
Does God care about each of us individually?
Of course, to keep track of every single individual you would have to be a god. The God, even. Which of course God is.
"I'm going to give you a little advice. There's a force in the universe that makes things happen. And all you have to do is get in touch with it."
Like very many people, Nixon Scraypes does not like the idea of NON-DUALITY
Nixon Scraypes said...
I have a bowl of organic brown rice and a bowl of poison toadstools.
Which shall I eat?
You tell me which is good which is bad?
What we would argue is that poison mushrooms are a mixture of 'good' and 'bad'.
Agaricus - Homeopathy - Herbs To Herbs
Eisenhower. A mixture of good and bad. Responsible for a lot of deaths.
Franz does not like the idea of NON-DUALITY (the idea that things can be a mixture of 'good' and 'bad')
"DID SAVILE MURDER 13-YEAR-OLD GIRL?"
Do I look for some good in Savile?
Do I look for some BAD in the girl?
Jimmy Savile left the bulk of his £4.3m fortune to good causes
Someone said of Savile: "You should see him with disabled kids. You should see the pleasure he brings them."
Rudy M comments:
In your example of the uses of a poisonous toadstool, you still are making a dualistic judgment.
You are saying: "these properties are good."
You aren't doing away with a binary category, you are just applying it to specific qualities...
I've always understood non-dualism to be a lot more radical than you are presenting it to be.
Rudy M is correct in that we are not taking a radical position.
Girls of Golf...
We should not label things, such as Poison Mushrooms, as being "all good" or "all bad".
words in non-dualism - philodynamics
Alexander Solzhenitsyn said:
Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung said:
"Natural history tells us of a haphazard and casual transformation of species over hundreds of millions of years of devouring and being devoured."
"Why? He uses a detachment visualization technique.
"It is not HIS arm attached to HIS body, but instead it is AN arm away from his body and therefore no feeling is possible.
"Amputees sometimes suffer from the phantom limb 'itch' where they feel an itch on a limb that does not exist."
Superconscious: Pain Control Via Detachment
Consider Duality and Non-Duality.
Duality can mean that we label things as either 'good' or 'evil'.
The problem is that some Nazis labeled the concentration camps as good, vultures label dead humans as good, and some people even like the game of cricket.
The problem is that a pleasant game of golf is always a mixture of plus and minus.
And even 'Suffering' can be positive if it leads to progress on a spiritual path, or if it reminds you that it's time to visit the dentist.
Of course concentration camps are 'bad'.
But, the reason we got concentration camps in Germany was because the Nazis labeled Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and handicapped people as 'bad'.
Ideally, we see that "the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being."
What is Non-duality?
There are many different descriptions.
Imagine you can see some good in your pet cat, which has just killed the bird.
Should we believe in Duality or Non-Duality or both?
In this world it is only natural that some people label things as being entirely good or entirely bad.
But, ideally we should try to understand Non-Duality.
The US military labeled this Asian child as unimportant. The child is a victim of the Pentagon's Agent Orange. www.documentingreality.com...
If the Nazis had adopted the idea of Non-Duality, they would have seen that they were related to the Jews.
If the Pentagon adopted the idea of Non-Duality, they would stop murdering dark-skinned children all over the world.
Imagine pure Being, Consciousness and Bliss, which is so enlightened that it is free from suffering.
The spiritual teachers of the past seem to have had a lot in common.
From Luke 9:48
The one who is least among you is the greatest.
If you want to be reborn, let yourself die.
If you want to be given everything, give everything up.
The Taoist Seng T'san wrote:
Don't keep searching for the truth; just let go of your opinions.
For the mind in harmony with the Tao, all selfishness disappears.
With not even a trace of self-doubt, you can trust the universe completely.
All at once you are free, with nothing left to hold on to.
All is empty, brilliant, perfect in its own being.
The Taoist Seng T'san wrote:
In the world of things as they are, there is no self, no non self.
If you want to describe its essence, the best you can say is "Not-two."
In this "Not-two" nothing is separate, and nothing in the world is excluded.
The enlightened of all times and places have entered into this truth.
There is no here, no there; infinity is right before your eyes.
The tiny is as large as the vast when objective boundaries have vanished;
the vast is as small as the tiny when you don't have external limits.
Being is an aspect of non-being; non-being is no different from being.
Until you understand this truth, you won't see anything clearly.
May I add - this can also be discussed in graphical terms.
I like to think of it as the triumph of the enso over the taijitu.
For mine, the taijitu is too complicated. Unnecessarily busy.
The enso on the other hand is the simplest symbol that exists.
Which in symbol terms makes it pretty much perfect. (Or is that word bad? How about 'ideal'?)
And then there's the enso's unconnected appearance in mathematics wherein it represents zero. Or is it unconnected? Where's Jung when you need him?
Regardless, zero is interesting - it didn't exist until really quite late in history. It took a long time for people to get their heads around it. I also like the fact that zero is (arguably) the antithesis of mathematics. I never did like maths - it's the language of priests - and zero (qua zero) is pretty much of no use to them.
From maths to religion and back again: zero equals nothingness, and nothingness equals a transcendence of duality. So we've two priesthoods, one embracing numbers, and the other embracing duality, and both find themselves stymied by the simplest symbol in the world.
Which happily brings us full circle.
But then it would, wouldn't it?
best etc. etc.
It's funny how you mention the Lisbon earthquake and Voltaire. Only a month ago I finally got round to reading Candide. What an extraordinary book. It's as funny as anything I've ever read and yet it details nothing but a long list of utter disasters. All of the episodes are related in a truly curious tone of sanguine naivete. Disaster follows triumph follows disaster, ad infinitum, with each as real as it is absurd.
Perhaps it is fair to say that there is no 'attachment' to anything? Regardless it all ends with Pangloss and his clapped-out Leibnitzean philosophical platitudes being ignored in favour of that most mundane of things, gardening.
What if I was to say that: some things just are. Or simpler yet: things just are. Disasters, triumphs, they are both just things to be survived. To define oneself by either would be foolishness. Imagine a man who never got past a tragedy that befell him. Or a one-time celebrity who never got over their sense of deserving. Tedious.
Thus, the mushrooms are survived or they aren't. The rice is survived or it isn't. The concentration camps are survived or they aren't. The guilt of surviving is survived or it isn't.
May I come back to Paul Rassinier? The entire war spent in Treblinka and yet he felt no great antipathy towards the Germans. He viewed what was done to him as being much like what he'd participated in in the French army in Morocco. A variation on Candide it seems. Further, he put the extremity of those survivors howling bloody murder down to their own sense of shame due to having been guiltier than the SS in terms of their infliction of misery and suffering. The 'un-Candide' perhaps?
The Alfred Russel Wallace who discovered evolution at the same time as Darwin. Wallace believed that people have spirits which survive death.
Survive, not survive, might we declare we're in Darwin's turf now? In spite of not being a philosopher as such, Darwin was, ahem, a philosopher. He attains this by the simple expedient of attaching no judgement to anything. It should be noted that the word 'fittest' was not his but rather a later foreword writer's. He himself never uttered it. That would have been judgemental. For Darwin things were survived or they weren't and that's all there was to it. Or to put it another way, they were neither good nor bad, they merely were.
Of course it's no surprise that the church loathed Darwin. Where was the judgemental God in this world that just was? And of course the same went for Voltaire's Candide. It was banned most everywhere with the US still cracking down on it in the 1930's. "Let us eat a Jesuit" ha ha ha.
Otherwise God forbid we should view the world in anything other than a simple dualistic fashion. No really, it must be that way or else what need of God would there be?
It's a laugh isn't it? In a logic-free world it's as sensible a response as any other.
Off I go now, etc. etc.
MAGIC BULLET PEOPLE