Two paths for thinking

If you have a choice and you're not sure about it and it's not a mission critical time dependent situation, waiting will often show you the way to go, and maybe you won't have to go anywhere if the situation resolved itself in the interim..

"Be a witness to your life." (Irene Katcher)
"Das Bleibende im Denkens ist der Weg." ("What endures in thinking is the process of thinking", Martin Heidegger, from imperfect memory)

No matter how high you go, you never get above the surface; No matter how deep you go, you never get below the surface. Making effort but going nowhere. Entropy will get you in the end.

I THINK(sic) there are two paths for thinking. The first of which is imperative for a social life re-formed in self-accountable self-awareness and respect for persons' living (e.g.: mine: BMcC[18-11-46-503]). It is fairly simple. The second leads who knows where, and should be of interest only to persons with an idio/ideo syncratic interest in where everything comes from. This second path is entirely optional.

The first path is stated in four words: "We are a conversation". This first path is the study of conversation as the locus of all our doings and not doings, and the reduction of all the contents of our discursive life to "contents of our discursive life". Example: Instead of believing that Jesus Christ died on a cross to redeem our sins, we can think and discuss the speculatie assertion: "Some persons have believed that Jesus Christ died to redeem people's sins. Let's study this, examine the evidence both for the assertion and for the instnaces there have been for persons' asserting of it, and discuss what to do about it." Everything we think and/or do is judging something, within a generalized horizon in which we at least implicitly are always judging both the horizon itself and its contents. So, in general, the best place to start is the conversation we are, itself, the existence of which we can be fairly confident about. Pretty simple, yes?

The first practical payoff of this path of thinking is, as Robbie McClintock has said: Remember that Shakespeare lived an ordinary life, just like you. Others may dispose of more horsepower, but if you reason that anything can surpass your faculty of reason, you have contradicted yourself or else you have no way to figure out if it is any good or not because it's beyond your faculty of reason. (You can't judge what you believe is beyond your faculty of judgment, in particular you annot judge it is any good in general or any good for you in particular. It all becomes a pig in a poke, oh dear!) Just get on with taking about the talking youare engaging in with yourself or with any applicable others.

The second path is difficult. It seeks to answer, at least to THINK about, since this question may likely have no answer, the question: "Where do the words come from? → where does the conversation we are come from? How can I think my thoughts, since that would mean me having them before externalizing (or internalizing) them, but then who would be thinking the thought behind the first thought, and so forth.... On the other hand, I own "my thoughts", unlike your thoughts or the voices of toxic introjects in my mind. Like the centipede who walks anyway despite having too many feet to coordinate, we have our conversations even if we cannot understand where they come from / how they happen. This is the second path shich leads to [ ? ]. As said, it is optional and secondary to the first path, which is where the social world gets shaped into which, among other things, the pursuit of this second path is possible or not. Is a wage-slave doing mind numbing meaningless labor likely going to be reflecting on where his (her, other) thoughts are coming from? But maybe he (she, other ) can at least THINK that they he nas been denied the opportunity to THINK, and look around for the culprits and perhaps resent them, or just a nobody such as "the invisible hand" of the capitalist economy, for doing it to him, which is a beginning of THINKing... Crescit eundoThink recursively!.

Each path encompasses the other. At an even higher level of meta-reflection, however, I propose that for a person, e.g., a student, to be tested and graded like a dead animal carcass (USDA), and given by teach cooked up assignments to deadlines not dictated by real world exigencies, is not likely to encourage serous reflection on any topic, just conniving how to keep from getting hurt by it all, is it? Friends have all things in common. Leisure is the basis of culture.

Wherever you go, here you are. Whether or not you can jump over your own shadow, you can't get away from it. So it seems logical to study it, yes?

The one and the many

In philosophy classes I always thought "the one and the many" was stupid nonsense. I could count: 1, 2, 3... so what was the problem?

Nobody cued me in on the answer which, now that I've found it, it's obvious. I'm currectly reading Eugen Fink and Martin Heidegger's Heraclitus seminar (Northwestern University Press). The many is in the one, and the one is one among other items in the many. It's me, and, should you wish to be such, too, my reader, you, too (but maybe you want to be a two-legged sheep, not a transcententally self-accountable individuated person?).

It is not however the relationship of the singular and the plural, but the relationship of a still unclarified one to the many in the one, whereby the many are meant in the sense of quintessence.

Each person is one. The world (the many) is in each of us, as our infinite field of experiencing living. But each of us is also one among many (TMTC, i.e.: too many to count) in the enumeration of items within that world (which is itself one? I am not sure what the "qunitessence" is about)).

Why the hell didn't my teaches cue me in on this? It would have taken maybe 5 minutes at most. It's like most "education": Most of it is make-waste. There was a situation where a group of educationally hopeless teenagers who were many grades "behind" in their schooling. They got brought up to speed in 6 weeks, by giving them automobile repair manuals to read and automobiles in need of repairs to which to apply their reading. Why the [Charlie-boy] dickens do kids waste years of their lives reading Dickens? Answer: So that teaches can collect their bi-weekly EFT's (Electronic Funds Transfers, aka: paychecks and get to play God determining the destiny of powerless children, or just do more of the same old same old as they've been childreared their life is).

The one is transcendental intersubjectivity (surely my teaches didn't know about that, but they did now about lacrosse helmets and jock straps and other such dreck). But each transcendental instersubjectivity is also locked with a mortal body that can be conscripted by the Waffen SS[S] ("Selective Service System") to go to Vietnam and come back in a body bag, or whatever. Life is indeed a mystery, but not entiresly a Plato-polyanna one. Not everybody gets to ride the up escalator to empirical immortality in Heaven, like Jesus Christ or maybe also Nancy Reagan and Michael Jackson(?). So, in a second sense, Robbie's dictum applies:

Here, let's engage work as the work of peers.
Shakespeare lived an ordinary life, just like you.

This is a metaphysics-free zone.

Isn't it something like my very clumsy drawing here?

Naive empiricism (e.g.: a scientist who does not reflectiely appropriate his (her, other) act of doing science), and "people" living naively, would just see Me/You inside a big encompassing world. A radical idealist would just see the world inside of Me. Yes? But the empiricist and the naive people are ideating the world. And the idealist sleeps and wakes up and is going to die. Etcetera and so forth. Yes?

Writing here, it just now dawned on me that maybe the picture (above) is wrong. Why may it be it wrong? Because we start from our own reflective self-awareness, not from the world, therefore: Click here for maybe the correct picture. And, yet, we only die (be dead) in the awareness others, aren't we, whatever that may mean? And, of course, it's recursive, so that having traversed from outermost to innermost or vice-verse, one arrives at the beginning of another nestd iteration of the whole structure...

Includes(Soul) = {World}   (Etc.[1])

Includes(World) = {Soul}   (Etc.)

{(x ∋ {World, Soul}) Includes(Includes(x)) ∋ x}

Here is another diagram I have drawn, with frustration and difficulty, with Autocad. Example usage: For "A", substitute: Yourself. for "B", substitute: The world. For "R" substitute: includes. Proceed inward from the largest ring.

Cogent evidence against absolute idealism

Strong evidence against absolute idealism is that if I had constituted the world, there is no way I would have made it such a depressing, disappointing and threatening place as it is. I didn't ask for it and I would have cooked up something much nicer.

Higher individualities

A metaphsical hypotheses, namely: "your country", wants you to volunteer to give up your living experiencing of being for it. Does this sound like a good deal to you?
Nancy Reagan's smiling face."Just say no!"

The people in my social surround of origin had the selfish (i.e.: "altruistic") intention that I should serve them as a higher individuality: Almighty society. What good is society if not to make the life of each individual person better than then would be without it? Certainly this desideratum applies to individuals like Mr. John Fitzgerald Kennedy who cynically mouthed at America's laboring masses to ask what they should do for him - typo: what they should do for their country, not what he could do for them – again, typo: what their country should do for them. Mr Kennedy should have declared:

"Ask what your country can do for you that will motivate you to do more for your country, while, on the other side, your country will ask you what it can do for you that will inspire you to do more for your country. Of course I will not send even one young man to Vietnam where he might get hurt or die, what do you think I am? A people eater? I am a Berliner [German pastry], not a cannibal." (See: Melanie Kiein quote)

An example of a constructive higher individuality is a building construction company that is building its own research laboratory: The Tower of Babel, before God threw His very tacky Ominpotence tantrum and spoiled everybody's good fun. (What was His problem, anyway?)

There seems to me to be no question that I cannot get away from the preconstituted world, in which such entities are already constellated givens as: "Nancy Reagan's smiling face" (right), or "The Selective Service System", etc. How can we understand where all this stuff came from? And what good would it do to find out, since it would still be there?

The problem, as I see it, is the future, i.e., that which has not yet been configured. It comes in two flavors: the empirical and the transcendental. The empirical future is bounded by my death. The transcendental future includesall time beyond the heat death ofthe universe, within which my empirical death is situated somewhere. People get this all messed up and empirically imagine a time beyond their death: they all it descendents and historical events beyond the time their own body will no linger be animated by consciousness. They imagine empirically dying (ceasing to be part of the scene) for the sake ofa scene they can only experience transcententally in the here and now. Self-sacrifice is destruction of the self, which is not really thinkable because I cannot imagine a world in which I, in this case, qua imaginer, am not. But people think they can, and worse, think they can make me an instance of it, too, which I didn't buy it.

But other people do exist. Again, that's a fact, even if they are hallucinations. I think the solution to this problem is simple: elminiate self-sacrifice.Then my present acts which would constitute an empirical future also actualize it anticipatorily in the transcendental present and everything is consistent. If I am a structural engineer and I want to build a bridge across a big river and I am building it, that is simultaneously both empirically and transcendentally furthering thre project of building the bridge."If I die tomorrow", I am building the bridge today, so it's a win-win: in my living present I am getting satisfation which is also contributing to a hypothetical empirical future, and if it doesn't exist I am still in the living present having the satisfaction of living the building process of it. But maybe I misjudge things: Maybe the martyr is finding satisfaction in his (her, other) body being burnt at the stake? I admit that is possible, but I would urge people to keep it to themselves and not voluneer me for something I do not want. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen and others.

Both selfishness and altruism are bad, the first for others an the second for oneself. As Bertolt Brecht wrote:

Student: "Happy the land that needs a hero,"
Galileo: "No. Unhappy the land that needs a hero."

Maybe all this stuff cannot clearly be thought through? Here's a simple suggstion: Every person should be a kamikaze pilot. Does this idea appeal to you, my reader? If yes, can you kindly teach me by example, and I wlll carefully study how it goes for you, and if it appeals to me, I promise you that I will follow you. Don't you think you could really be helpful that way?

Anent: Understanding

No matter how high you go, you never get above the surface; No matter how deep you go, you never get below the surface. Making effort but going nowhere. Entropy will get you in the end.

To undertand something means, etymologically, to stand under it. Therefore one cannot understand everything, because it is not possible to stand where there is nothing under oneself. Every floor is a ceiling to the floor below it. "Bedrock", of course, evades the problem by being at the center of a big tennis ball shaped earth, so that if you go down far enough you come back out the surface again. But if there really was/is a bottom layer, we could not get inside it to know what it really is (Watch the movie: "The Truman Show"). This is probably one of Immanuel Kant's Paralogisms of Pure Reason, but I found Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason" difficult to understand, and I think this explication is easy to understand, even if one may not like it. What do you think here, my reader?

Another similar problematic is that: Everywhere you go, here you are → understanding "here" in a structural not GPS sense: A person is always situated behind their eyeballs and in front of the back of their head which does not in its turn normally have eyes (which latter condition is not highly relevant here). Consequently: There seem to me to be two possible reasons for "travelling" (moving you ass from your native town): (1) Your current environment is so imaginatiely impoverished that there's nothing to be done with it, like an A battery that's so dead it won't even powern a little Quartz travel clock, or (2) You are so imaginatively impoverished that you cannot make use of the opportunities your current environment offers you.

See: The One and the Many, above, for more of this confusion.

In what way is the world real?

Of course the world is real, including "The Big Bang", quarks, other people [even if many of the latter are "zombies"], the moon and everything else. What is not certain is whether the "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" empirical world in which I should sacrifice my self for the good of some metaphysically speculative concept's referent is real,and, if it is real, whether it has any meaning or value for me.

The fundamentaist Christians' notion that God created the universe some seven thousand years ago, complete wth fossils that look like they are milions of years old ("Creationism"), is not as implausible as naive empiricists think it is: just the create date should be, for me (BMcC[18-11-46-503]), some time around 1950 CE, not several thousand years BCE, because the God who created the world those several thousands of years ago, himself got created along with everything else with me when I was a young child, too → or it could even all be just a few [milli]seconds old in my present, here and now, experiencing of living. Sorry, martyr-makers, but you're part of the same The Truman Show, too.

"Cogito ergo sum" / "I am who am", and that's all I can be sure of, where the "Cogito" / "I" includes "everything" – just not necessarily empirically "out there" to be cashed in for partiotic propaganda purposes over my dead body. Dulce et decorum est pro patria vivere. Also: Dulce et decorum set pro patria cogitare, and: Dulce et decorum est patriam vituperare, and: Dulce et decorum est pro patria artem magnam creare.

A diagram of everything


A diagram of everything

Where's Waldo?

What does education mean?

Go to Kaplan test prep website!
I have nothing against Kaplan: they are just trying to help kids whose parents have money, in the eternal war between studentkind and Educational Testing Service (ETS)(501)(c)(3), Princeton New Jersey. ETS are the Culture Criminals for testing kids in the first instance! Any port in a storm.
God save America!
All trash to recycling!

Etymologically he word "education" means to lead forth or draw out. So it might mean leading the learner forth from their current limited sphere of daily activities into a richer understanding of a more expansive lifeworld: Giving the learner more room to breathe (as opposed to constipating the kid's spirit with ETS 501(c)(3) tests, for example). Or it might meaning drawing out the learner's innate feelings and orientation in living (as opposed to stuffng a parent's or teacher's ideology down the kid's throat, crushing and smothering the person's own autochthonous spirit).

It surely does not mean "drawing out" as when a boring teach logorrheas or a dolt teach jerks kids around to see which ones can find the hidden meaning the teach already knows, and successfully reinvent the wheel, but that is another form of "drawing out": "When will this goddamned human hornet stop buzzing in my face (or does the dude have Alzheimer's? Did he (she, other) die last month but their mouth is still going?) and let me out of here "Class dismissed!"? ~ Good riddance!

How do you do what you need to do?


The immediately above diagram shows how critical and self-critical thinking needs to work. You can have a distanced perspective on everything except your own distancing perspective. But then you can move to a different perspective from which you can once again examine everything except your own new curently distancing perspective, including your immediately preceding distancing perspective itself. As Edmund Husserl observed Abolute alertness in impossible. But you don't have to a sleepwalker.

+2024.02.16 v081
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  1. Etcetera means that the given result also includes other things, too. Thus World includes ducks and cinderblocks as well as your Soul amd my Soul, and Soul contains other things besides World, esp;: the imaginary.
BMcC signature seal stamp. Modelled on 18th century messenger's letter box in collection of Suntory Museum, Tokyo. Japanese write poems and prayers on slips of paper which they tie into knots like this shape although with longer legs. Prayers are often tied to branches of trees which can look like they are covered with snow. "Symbol of a symbol, image of an image, emerging from the destiny that is sinking into darkness...." (H. Broch, "The Sleepwalkers", p.648) Always remember. Add value. (This image created not later than 21 May 2003)
Invenit et fecit
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