Author Topic: Schopenhauer, Opera Glasses and the Rabble  (Read 3064 times)

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Kaspar Hauser

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Re: Schopenhauer, Opera Glasses and the Rabble
« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2016, 01:22:04 pm »
Quote from: Holden
Now,if one were to read Kant,would you say that the most important books written by Kant are The Critique of Pure Reason & the Prolegomena & that the second & the third critiques are  not so profound/true.

Furthermore, as Schopenhauer says that one should read works by Plato,which books by Plato would you recommend?

When I was making room on my shelf for yet another "preliminary" text (Analytic Geometry) in an attempt to fill in the gaps where my education is weak - (studying spherical and cylindrical coordinates in the year 2000 without a solid grasp of polar coordinates caused me severe anxiety), I removed a book I held on to since I was 17 years old - The Three Pillars of Zen.  Maybe I am still not quite ready for that book, but I went to a section in the supplements called Dogen on "Being-Time".  There is much underlined by my 17 year old "self".

I instantly had an epiphany about the parallels between our difficulties with Kant's system of speculative thought and the kind of dilemma the Zen practitioners face when considering the writings of their scribes.

Maybe, as thinkers or writers, we will not so much want to emulate Schopenhauer or Kant, but might strive to become more similar to Dogen in the respect that Dogen sought to emancipate men from the fetters of greed, anger, and delusion by teaching them how to live a truly meaningful life based on the Way of the Buddha, and not to formulate a system of speculative thought.

The author of The Three Pillars of Zen cautions the reader:  "Dogen's realization liberated him from the basic anxieties of human existence.  A word of caution.  These passages ought not to be read as abstract metaphysic.  Dogen is not speculating about the character of time and being, but is speaking out his deepest experience of that reality.  This is clearly stated in his Fukan Zazengi, where he admonishes, 'You must cease concerning yourself with the dialectics of Buddhism and instead learn how to look into your own mind in seclusion.'"

Maybe by saying that we and all creatures/beings are time, Dogen, who lived very long ago, might have identified the mysterious subject, "I", that so baffled Kant.   Maybe time is "the I", the very subject of consciousness. 

In my youth a teacher told me that I have a tendency to get caught up in an abstract world, and so he encouraged me to "shoot hoops with my nephew" or take a walk in the woods.

And yet, when I allow myself to hunt down unique texts that might help clarify where the source of my confusion is coming from, this requires that I look into my own mind in seclusion.   Maybe that teacher was mistaken advizing me to shoot a basketball into a hoop since, when I am in that zone zooming in on what I find confusing, I might be engaged in my own peculiar style of zazen.

Meanwhile, in a box up over my cot, to make room for the 3 pillars of zen, I removed a couple books on learning Spanish.   Yo soy estupido en espanol.  I put them in a crate on top of the giant Assembly language book, texts on TCP/IP (unix), and Frances Cress Welsing's "The Isis Papers" ... There is only so much I can focus on ... out of sight is out of mind.  I know where to find them if I suddenly feel compelled to switch gears.

My brain is being overtaken by mathematics !   I have to force myself to eat.  I am a man obsessed.  The doctors would say I am "manic".

If this is a mood disorder I am experiencing, I don't want equilibrium.   In fact, I would say one HAS TO BECOME OBSESSED if one is going to make any headway in studying in seclusion.

One's inner mental life has to become more spectacular and interesting than anything the war-mongers, sports-entertainment industries are peddling.  Then seclusion becomes a welcome state, and not something to be avoided at all costs.

On this point, Schopenhauer was very clear.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2016, 05:20:28 pm by {∅} »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

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Kaspar Hauser

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Schopenhauer's Encounter with Indian Thought
« Reply #46 on: June 22, 2017, 01:58:11 pm »
I have been pecking away at Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy Monographs: Schopenhauer's Encounter with Indian Thought.

I want to tear myself away from the mathematics and programming for just this breif interlude so i can note here some of what I was reading late after mindnight.

“If I wished to take the results of my philosophy as the standard of truth, I should have to concede to Buddhism pre-eminence [over other religions]."  ~ Schopenhauer

In On the Will in Nature Schopenhauer includes a brief discussion of the obstacles standing in the way of European understanding of Oriental religions..   

- sidenote: I have often read that it is considered wrong to use the term Oriental (as it cuts the world in half - Occidental vs Oriental), but this was the term used in Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy Monographs, so I am retaining its usage in this excerpt.

Europeans, Schopenhauer says, had come so closely to identify the notion of religion with theism and to assume without evidence that all peoples on earth worshipped a single World-Creator as they themselves did, that the discovery that this was not the case in lands like China and India loomed disproportionately large for them.  A second obstacle he identifies is the optimistic view of the world that is the necessary complement of belief in a beneficent Creator-God. This too is absent in the East:

“They [Europeans] have been brought up in optimism, whereas existence is regarded there [in the East] as an evil.”  ~ Schopenhauer

And a third major obstacle standing in the way of European understanding is “the decided idealism ( entschiedenen Idealismus), essential to both Buddhism and Hinduism.” Idealism for Schopenhauer is the doctrine of “the merely apparent existence of this world that is presented to our senses.”  It is, he says, “a view known in Europe merely as the paradox of certain abnormal philosophers and as hardly worthy of serious consideration,” and yet in Asia it pervades society and finds expression even in the popular belief.  It is this idealism and the extent to which its expression in Indian thought corresponds to Schopenhauer’s own teaching of representation.

another sidenote:  While I was attending the state university in 2000-2002, I was renting a room from a grouchy German woman.  Another student also renting a room was from India.  Evidently he had been raised in a home where servants did all his laundry and cooking.  He told me this himself.  He delighted in walking to the foodstore for frozen waffles which he prepared in the toaster.   He treasured being able to do his own laundry.

Anyway, during one of our conversations, he told me that he did not care for India being refered to as Asia, or grouped with Asia.  He said that India is like a continent of its own, in its own right.

This got me to thinking how "Europe" seems to be a kind of strained effort of seeming to be separate from the land mass where it happens to be located.

And then there is the United States in North America ... I don't want to get side-tracked by my own chaotic thoughts. 

... While in Dresden, Schopenhauer withdrew from the library of that city the first nine volumes of Asiatick Researches, retaining them for six months. These volumes cover the years 1788–1807 and include important articles by Jones, Colebrooke, Francis Buchanan, and others.

Some forty-five pages of notes preserved in the Schopenhauer Archive and
written in English (with which Schopenhauer was familiar) are evidence of his interest. They are records of passages that drew his attention, and there is generally no comment, other than underlining of significant passages and a few brief marginal remarks. These provide indications of the direction and extent of Schopenhauer’s interest and belong to a critical period during the formative stage of his philosophy. In accordance with the character of the early volumes of Asiatick Researches, most of these notes concern Hinduism.

However, volume 6 (1799) contained a discussion of Buddhism in the form
of Buchanan’s long essay “On the Religion and Literature of the Burmas.”

Schopenhauer found this work of considerable interest, and his notes show that he drew the following conclusions:



1. Gotama and Buddha, and probably also the Chinese Fo and Shaka, are the same.

2. The doctrine of transmigration is held by the Buddhists of Burma.

3. Buddhists (“The Sect of Gotama”) consider the belief in a divine being who created the universe to be highly impious. This note is emphasized by Schopenhauer with double vertical lines and a marginal comment, “This is the teaching of the Buddha” ( d. ist die Lehre des Buddha).

4. The Burmese religion knows of no supreme Being who is creator and preserver of the universe (similar emphasis by Schopenhauer).

5. Their system of morals is as good as that of any religion.

6. The Buddha’s followers are atheists (emphasized).

7. Nirvāna is the most perfect of all states and consists in a kind of annihilation. Nothing can give us an adequate idea of it. It is salvation and freedom from the miseries attaching to old age, disease, and death.


I am being pulled from the keyboard by my mother requesting my assitance.

I just wanted to leave some notes here.  They are of extreme importance to me.

It was Schopenhauer's understanding that the Buddhists (“The Sect of Gotama”) considered the belief in a divine being who created the universe to be highly impious.  That is, wicked.   This is great stuff.  It would explain to me why the pious believers seem so mean-spirited.

The Burmese religion knows of no supreme Being who is creator and preserver of the universe.

The Buddha’s followers are atheists.


I have to go.

I think I am an atheist of the Buddhistic-Schopenhauerian variety.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2017, 09:22:55 pm by Raskolnikov »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~

raul

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Re: Schopenhauer, Opera Glasses and the Rabble
« Reply #47 on: June 22, 2017, 04:33:44 pm »
Herr Raskolnikov,
I hope you and your mother are well over there. Although philosophical issues are beyond my understanding, I found your post much enlightening.
You write:
“7. Nirvana is the most perfect of all states and consists in a kind of annihilation. Nothing can give us an adequate idea of it. It is salvation and freedom from the miseries attaching to old age, disease and death.”
My question is: Does the perfect state of Nirvana free us from even death?
I thought, forgive my ignorance, that death leads us to Nirvana.
What does salvation and freedom mean to someone who is approaching fifty and feeling the decay of the body and mind also? Here in Paraguay there is an increase of adolescent girls bringing birth to babies at the age of fifteen, sixteen years of age. These girls, who have not yet gone through the process of growing up, bring innocent to this, this quilombo (ruckus,) to this zoo or human coop. This a horrible evidence that most of us enjoy becoming guinea pigs. Life is an imposition. Death is an imposition. No freedom to choose.
“The Buddha´s followers are atheists.”
Can one be a Protestant Christian atheist, that is to say, not to believe in a god taught by the Protestant teachings? Can one be this kind of atheist who rejects the god of his upbringing?

Kaspar Hauser

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Because we are in hell?
« Reply #48 on: February 25, 2021, 12:43:02 am »
Quote from: In 2017, raul
Quote
The Buddha´s followers are atheists.
Can one be a Protestant Christian atheist, that is to say, not to believe in a god taught by the Protestant teachings? Can one be this kind of atheist who rejects the god of his upbringing?

Back in 1984 or so, there was actually a Philosophy course (in high school !) called, "Myths, Dreams, and Cultures" where we were exposed to the idea that myths are real.  That is, myths are the way a given culture explains reality.   Joseph Campbell might even consider our modern day natural sciences as a kind of mythology.   Have we seen electrons ?   Do we know atoms ? 

As a young adult exposed to "treatment for substance=alcohol abuse" I would come to recognize a strange pattern, since there were so many, like myself, with resentments towards all things religious.   Those raised in some Protestant denomination would lean towards agnosticism (like logician Bertrand Russell?), whereas those raised Catholic would make no qualms about their atheistic stance.

My paternal grandmother was raised Lutheran, and she was not the least bit devout; but she seemed 'spiritual' --- in a magic gypsie kind of way.  Well, my mother remembers when this mother of my father told her that she believed our Life/World [on earth] to be Hell.

Was it not Schopenhauer who observed how much more easily Dante was able to describe Hell than describing Paradise?   Hell is all around us and within us, no?  It was not difficult for Dante to describe.  When it came to Paradise, the description is cheesy.

By calling the God of Jews, Muslims, and Christians 'Satan,' the Gnostics flip the script, but they are not atheists.  There is that element of belief in the supernatural.

To believe in NO CREATOR-GOD, that is my understanding of atheism.

Imagine my contempt and disgust when some "old timer" in AA, back in 1989, scolded me for claiming I had discovered a religion without a Creator God.   The arrogant bastard insisted that, for Buddhists, the Buddha is their "God" ... I would become outraged.   It was a prime example of ignorance parading around as authority.

You are, of course, free to reject the god of your upbringing.  I am no authority.  You are also free to embrace myths which allign more with your day to day, moment by moment, psychological experience.   If we understand that these myths are simply explanations of reality - not literal hard core brute facts, but Symbolic Representations, then I don't see any contradiction with atheism.

Quote
If I were God, at the sight of the physical sufferings the universe and especially among animals and men, I would be of such horror that I would instantly annihilate all my creation and myself with her.
  ~ Maurice Maeterlinck, Before God. Belgium, 20th century.

Quote
I'll end up killing myself, it's obvious. It would be better for me to be dead, really. There is no limit to human suffering.
  ~ Katherine Mansfield, Journal. New Zealand, 20th century
______________________________________________________________

Sad to die, lugubrious is life.
Hell exists, but here, on earth.
Let us suffer, then, brothers,
without hoping for life a single solid joy,
Because we are in hell.

Auguste Strindberg, Inferno. Sweden, nineteenth century.

The Inferno, by August Strindberg

Also from The Inferno:

Since he was also heavily in debt to the restaurant, he had to go about the streets, hungry. Among other things he confessed that he had taken morphia enough to kill two people, but death apparently did not yet want him. After an earnest discussion, we agreed to go to another quarter, and there eat our meals in some obscure cook-shop. I said I would not desert him, and that he should pluck up new courage and begin a new picture for the exhibition of independent artists.

This man becomes now my sole companion, and his misfortunes cause me a double share of suffering, so closely do I identify myself with him. I do so in a spirit of defiance, but presently gain an interesting experience thereby.

He reveals to me his whole past. He is a German by birth, but partly because of family disagreements, partly because of a lampoon for which he had been brought into court, he has spent seven years in America. I discover in him intelligence above the average, a melancholy temperament, and unbridled sensuality. But behind this mask of a cosmopolitan I begin to divine another character which disquiets me, and the full discovery of which I postpone to a favourable opportunity.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 08:37:58 am by Sticks and Stones »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~