A Look at Kant’s Philosophy

Kant

The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant presents a fascinating summary of Kant’s philosophy, which, otherwise, is quite difficult to understand. Here is the whole summary: Immanuel Kant and German Idealism

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Durant introduces Kant as follows:

NEVER has a system of thought so dominated an epoch as the philosophy of Immanuel Kant dominated the thought of the nineteenth century. After almost three-score years of quiet and secluded development, the uncanny Scot of Konigsberg roused the world from its “dogmatic slumber,” in 1781, with his famous Critique of Pure Reason; and from that year to our own the “critical philosophy” has ruled the speculative roost of Europe. The philosophy of Schopenhauer rose to brief power on the romantic wave that broke in 1848; the theory of evolution swept everything before it after 1859; and the exhilarating iconoclasm of Nietzsche won the center of the philosophic stage as the century came to a close. But these were secondary and surface developments; underneath them the strong and steady current of the Kantian movement flowed on, always wider and deeper; until today its essential theorems are the axioms of all mature philosophy. Nietzsche takes Kant for granted, and passes on; Schopenhauer calls the Critique “the most important work in German literature,” and considers any man a child until he has understood Kant; Spencer could not understand Kant, and for precisely that reason, perhaps, fell a little short of the fullest philosophic stature. To adapt Hegel’s phrase about Spinoza: to be a philosopher, one must first have been a Kantian…

Here is how Durant starts out with his summary of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason:

The Critique comes to the point at once. “Experience is by no means the only field to which our understanding can be confined. Experience tells us what is, but not that it must be necessarily what it is and not otherwise. It therefore never gives us any really general truths; and our reason, which is particularly anxious for that class of knowledge, is roused by it rather than satisfied. General truths, which at the same time bear the character of an inward necessity, must be independent of experience,—clear and certain in themselves.”  That is to say, they must be true no matter what our later experience may be; true even before experience; true a priori. “How far we can advance independently of all experience, in a priori knowledge, is shown by the brilliant example of mathematics.” Mathematical knowledge is necessary and certain; we cannot conceive of future experience violating it. We may believe that the sun will “rise” in the west to-morrow, or that someday, in some conceivable asbestos world, fire will not burn stick; but we cannot for the life of us believe that two times two will ever make anything else than four. Such truths are true before experience; they do not depend on experience past, present, or to come. Therefore they are absolute and necessary truths; it is inconceivable that they should ever become untrue. But whence do we get this character of absoluteness and necessity? Not from experience; for experience gives us nothing but separate sensations and events, which may alter their sequence in the future. These truths derive their necessary character from the inherent structure of our minds, from the natural and inevitable manner in which our minds must operate. For the mind of man (and here at last is the great thesis of Kant) is not passive wax upon which experience and sensation write their absolute and yet whimsical will; nor is it a mere abstract name for the series or group of mental states; it is an active organ which molds and coordinates sensations into ideas, an organ which transforms the chaotic multiplicity of experience into the ordered unity of thought…

Kant’s thoughts are the ultimate in philosophy at the moment. I shall be posting my comments based on this summary of Kant’s philosophy.

COMMENTS:

Mindfulness looks at mind as a sense organ that perceives mental objects. All knowledge is derived from physical and mental sense-experience. It is an arbitrary assumption that “pure” reason is to mean knowledge that does not come through our senses, but is independent of all sense experience.
Knowledge seems to exist as associations among data. This data may be perceived as being arranged in a matrix form. Each node of the matrix may be perceived as a matrix in its own right. This may keep on going to any number of levels. This is the inherent nature and structure of the mind.
Pure knowledge is characterized by continuity, harmony and consistency in this matrix at all levels. Knowledge does not become impure just by being sensed. Knowledge becomes impure to the degree it is discontinuous, disharmonious and inconsistent in its matrix.

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Comments

  • vinaire  On May 4, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    Durant writes:

    III. THE CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON

    What is meant by this title? Critique is not precisely a criticism, but a critical analysis; Kant is not attacking “pure reason,” except, at the end, to show its limitations; rather he hopes to show its possibility, and to exalt it above the impure knowledge which comes to us through the distorting channels of sense. For “pure” reason is to mean knowledge that does not come through our senses, but is independent of all sense experience; knowledge belonging to us by the inherent nature and structure of the mind.

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    This is how I see it.

    (1) Reason is based on logical associations among what one perceives.
    (2) Such logical associations are ideally consistent, but they can be inconsistent.
    (3) There exists an inherent sense of consistency and inconsistency.
    (4) When the factor causing inconsistency comes to view, a readjustment occurs in understanding to cancel out the inconsistency.
    (5) “Impure” knowledge is the knowledge which contains inconsistencies.
    (6) “Pure” knowledge is that which is consistent throughout.

    I do not see how there can be knowledge, which is independent of sense experience. Maybe Kant is not looking at mind as a sense organ.

    Mindfulness looks at mind as a sense organ that perceives mental objects. All knowledge is derived from physical and mental sense-experience.

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    • Chris Thompson  On May 5, 2013 at 6:49 PM

      Vin: I do not see how there can be knowledge, which is independent of sense experience. Maybe Kant is not looking at mind as a sense organ, which mindfulness does. Mind is also a sense organ that perceives mental objects.

      Chris: We have been taught that the mind is composed of mental objects. There is the issue of imagination with which we dream up mental objects and not only sense them. Perhaps we have to work over the word sense.

      The mind seems to have much to do with the self. Possibly there is a set of mind and of imagination which is a set of reality or vice versa. Possibly the mind and self are subsets of reality or is reality a subset of mind and self?

      I am beginning to do chicken and egg flip flops and it’s evening and I am not thinking about this very clearly. I better try again in the morning.

      • vinaire  On May 5, 2013 at 8:04 PM

        Imagination seems to be re-association among existing mental object. We assume that mind imagines because we do not know the actual process. Mind simply acts as a place-holder for many such unknowns. There is no such thing as mind. In actuality we have many different mental processes, which are not explained by a single consistent theory, and whose mechanics are pretty much unknown. So, there is no single thing called mind.

        But we can see that a process exists, which recognizes mental objects.

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      • vinaire  On May 5, 2013 at 8:08 PM

        Mind and self seems to be interchangeable place-holders.

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        • Chris Thompson  On May 5, 2013 at 11:17 PM

          Agree. This is my current feeling about the subject. When a person is fixated upon the self, they have an unnatural and persistent on things like survival. When a person lets go of the self; less fixation on their selves; they operate much more freely; intelligently; and with less fixation on survival.

  • vinaire  On May 4, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    To me the following is a conjecture:

    “Pure reason is knowledge belonging to us by the the inherent nature and structure of the mind.”

    It is a good conjecture, the verification will come in terms of consistency.

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  • vinaire  On May 4, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    Durant writes,

    At the very outset, then, Kant flings down a challenge to Locke and the English school: knowledge is not all derived from the senses.

    Hume thought he had shown that there is no soul, and no science; that our minds are but our ideas in procession and association; and our certainties but probabilities in perpetual danger of violation.

    These false conclusions, says Kant, are the result of false premises: you assume that all knowledge comes from “separate and distinct” sensations; naturally these cannot give you necessity, or invariable sequences of which you may be forever certain; and naturally you must not expect to “see” your soul, even with the eyes of the internal sense.

    Let us grant that absolute certainty of knowledge is impossible if all knowledge comes from sensation, from an independent external world which owes us no promise of regularity of behavior. But what if we have knowledge that is independent of sense-experience, knowledge whose truth is certain to us even before experience —a priori?

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    (1) At the time of Hume and Kant, “sense-experience” was limited to the experience from the five physical senses.
    (2) “Mental sensations” were looked upon as “inner life.”
    (3) External world was looked upon as independent of the “inner life.”

    All these are arbitrary and unverified assumptions.

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    In the framework of mindfulness,

    (1) Mind is a sense organ that perceives mental objects.
    (2) Mental and physical objects complement each other. They are not independent of each other.

    When mindfulness is allowed as above, then there is no necessity for the conjecture that “we have knowledge that is independent of sense-experience.”

    Kant is actually postulating knowledge outside of PHYSICAL sense-experience because he is not looking at mind as a sense organ.

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    • Chris Thompson  On May 5, 2013 at 6:53 PM

      Vin: Kant is actually postulating knowledge outside of PHYSICAL sense-experience.

      Chris: This was nothing new. It is called faith.

    • vinaire  On May 5, 2013 at 10:02 PM

      Or, speculation!

      Faith and speculation are mental objects.

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      • Chris Thompson  On May 5, 2013 at 11:18 PM

        I’m only saying it is easy to be certain of things outside one’s experience. Certainty must not be confused with correctness.

        • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 7:13 AM

          Certainty is fixidity and an inconsistency.

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        • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 9:16 PM

          And certainty was pretty much the entire goal of Hubbard’s technology. He stampeded us there just as fast as he could. This is the hallmark of the true believer — certainty.

        • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 9:19 PM

          And Hubbard’s own certainty finally got to him, when it didn’t work.

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        • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 10:38 PM

          Vin: And Hubbard’s own certainty finally got to him, when it didn’t work.

          Chris: The best that I am finally taking with me from Scientology is the utter absurdity of my own predilection to be bamboozled by cult think. I’ve learned something valuable but I’ve gone about learning it in a most inefficient way.

        • vinaire  On May 7, 2013 at 5:40 AM

          Learning is always good, when it simplifies observations.

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        • Chris Thompson  On May 8, 2013 at 5:26 PM

          Vin: Learning is always good, when it simplifies observations.

          Chris: Not saying you are wrong but even this example needs to be scrutinized. Scientology was a big improvement, much simpler than the Christian upbringing that I had recently divorced from in 1977. And I learned. But was that the best path I could’ve taken? I’m not really thinking so. How about you? You had a sophisticated education by the time you found Scientology and yet it seemed apropos at that time.

        • vinaire  On May 8, 2013 at 6:59 PM

          What Scientology told me was that there could be a structure to meditation. Meditation, as I knew, was so unstructured that it took a long time for anyone to get anywhere with it.

          Hubbard went about it with a shotgun sort of approach. But among all those potshots there seemed to be a pattern. It was interesting.

          However, it didn’t come together for me until I came across Idenics. I just took off after that. I now had a basis from which to understand Buddha. And then Buddha became the basis.

          After 2600 years, there has been so much confusion introduced in Buddhism that I could not have understood it without going through the path of Scientology and Idenics. But now that I understand the basis of Buddhism, I can recommend improvements to the processes used in Scientology and Idenics.

          Yes, there has been sort of an “iterative-mechanics” in reverse here, or, at least, there has been a lot of going back and forth.

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        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 1:11 AM

          Vin: But now that I understand the basis of Buddhism, I can recommend improvements to the processes used in Scientology and Idenics.

          Chris: Just put the word “true” in front of the word Buddhism and see what I mean by creating another ideology.

        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 1:13 AM

          Vin: Yes, there has been sort of an “iterative-mechanics” in reverse here, or, at least, going back and forth.

          Chris: I think we are looking at a quantity of space-time. Maybe back is minus and forth is plus.

        • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 4:58 AM

          I would not put ‘true’ before Buddhism because Buddhism denies any absolute truth. Ideology comes only when people start believing in something as absolute truth. That is what happened with Scientology.

          On FaceBook there is a group called ‘Free Scientology’. I am working on cutting down Scientology there as an ideology. You may find that group interesting.

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        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 8:19 AM

          I dunno about that. Is that purpose of that to get TA on them or us?

        • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 12:49 PM

          There is no them or us. It is all us.

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        • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 5:01 AM

          The only way to reverse the “iterative-mechanic” of conditioning is to resolve inconsistencies wherever you find them.

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  • vinaire  On May 4, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    Durant writes,

    But what if we have knowledge that is independent of sense-experience, knowledge whose truth is certain to us even before experience —a priori? Then absolute truth, and absolute science, would become possible, would it not? Is there such absolute knowledge? This is the problem of the first Critique. “My question is, what we can hope to achieve with reason, when all the material and assistance of experience are taken away.”

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    Is there absolute knowledge? I believe Kant never answered that question.

    From the viewpoint of mindfulness, all knowledge is relative. No matter how much you may know, there would still be more to know.

    As far as the function of pure reason is concerned, apparently it is to recognize the consistency or inconsistency among knowledge.

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    • Chris Thompson  On May 5, 2013 at 6:55 PM

      Yes, given our work on this subject, these assertions of Durant and Kant and the problems they are trying to resolve seem elementary.

    • vinaire  On May 5, 2013 at 10:13 PM

      But we haven’t built a consistent model in our work yet.

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      • Chris Thompson  On May 5, 2013 at 11:20 PM

        I shouldn’t write tonight. I should rest instead. I feel like saying that at the level we are looking at, models become diaphanous.

        • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 7:21 AM

          There is a long way to go before it disappears.

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        • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 9:18 PM

          I just mean that when I look closely at a model, it begins to appear thinner than if I look at it from a distance.

  • vinaire  On May 4, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Durant writes,

    The Critique becomes a detailed biology of thought, an examination of the origin and evolution of concepts, an analysis of the inherited structure of the mind. This, as Kant believes, is the entire problem of metaphysics. “In this book I have chiefly aimed at completeness; and I venture to maintain that there ought not to be one single metaphysical problem that has not been solved here, or to the solution of which the key at least has not here been supplied.” Exegi monumentum aere perennius! With such egotism nature spurs us on to creation.

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    I believe that it is not necessary to examine these details of the structure of the mind as worked out by Kant. We shall look at this area only if the resolution of some inconsistency demands it.

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  • vinaire  On May 4, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    Durant writes,

    The Critique comes to the point at once. “Experience is by no means the only field to which our understanding can be confined. Experience tells us what is, but not that it must be necessarily what it is and not otherwise. It therefore never gives us any really general truths; and our reason, which is particularly anxious for that class of knowledge, is roused by it rather than satisfied. General truths, which at the same time bear the character of an inward necessity, must be independent of experience,—clear and certain in themselves.” That is to say, they must be true no matter what our later experience may be; true even before experience; true a priori.

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    (1) What is there is there. We perceive it directly. Nothing needs to be proved about it.
    (2) What needs to be proved are the expectations, speculations and assumptions that we use to interpret what is there.
    (3) The correctness of what we perceive to be there is determined by the consistency of what we perceive.
    (4) Presence of inconsistency may indicate missing perception or the presence of filter (expectations, speculations and assumptions).
    (5) General truths will be visible if the filter is removed.

    Maybe what Kant is calling “experience” is actually a reference to the “filter” that one is looking through. When there is no filter, there is no need to not accept the perception for what it is.

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    • Chris Thompson  On May 5, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      Vin: (1) What is there is there. We perceive it directly. Nothing needs to be proved about it.

      Chris: To make this assumption, we have to make some other decisions about assumptions as well. 1. There has to be a real world out there; 2. Our perception has to be paired down until it perceives only what is there and nothing more and nothing less; 3. Our experience as a filter must somehow be left out of that perception.

      Each of these points is troublesome to me. Include “what is there. We perceive it directly.” There are gaps here that I am not comfortable with. I seem drawn toward making more assumptions, speculations, conjectures, and making the lot firm somehow.

      • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 6:00 AM

        What is there is there. That has to be the starting point. No assumptions, speculations or expectations should be added.

        That is mindfulness.

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    • Chris Thompson  On May 5, 2013 at 9:39 PM

      Vin: Maybe what Kant is calling “experience” is actually reference to “filter” that one is lookin g through.

      Chris: Maybe.

    • Chris Thompson  On May 5, 2013 at 9:57 PM

      Vin: (3) The correctness of what we perceive to be there is determined by the consistency of what we perceive.

      Chris: This is another tautology and the reason why I say that is that when that consistency is among a set, then it is consistent until we compare it outside that set. Our favorite Scientology is consistent within its own set and the reason is because it defines itself as consistent. No matter how outrageous that is, it is still consistent within its own set.

      So my point is that the consistency in what we perceive is tricky. The “ideology” of mindfulness seems to be putting in place as a poka-yoke for that trickiness… Am I being clear or not? So I am again troubled that we are setting up more “things within itself” as a solution for seeing clearly.

      • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 6:05 AM

        If perception is limited to a particular set, that is an inconsistency right there.

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        • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 9:01 PM

          Maybe but why do you think that would be inconsistent? Also, given the choice, whether perception is limited or not, I choose that it is limited to a set of something at all times. Perception would be the subset of a hyper-set at all times — that is how we are using manifestation and perception, isn’t it?

          I am having trouble with this “it is what it is.” Unless, that is the root mechanic of the universe in which case it is. haha I never wanted my TU tautological universe to catch on so quickly!

        • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 9:08 PM

          There is nothing interesting about consistency. I wouldn’t waste time thinking about consistencies. Growth occurs only when inconsistencies are resolved.

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  • vinaire  On May 4, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Durant writes,

    “How far we can advance independently of all experience, in a priori knowledge, is shown by the brilliant example of mathematics.” Mathematical knowledge is necessary and certain; we cannot conceive of future experience violating it. We may believe that the sun will “rise” in the west to-morrow, or that someday, in some conceivable asbestos world, fire will not burn stick; but we cannot for the life of us believe that two times two will ever make anything else than four. Such truths are true before experience; they do not depend on experience past, present, or to come. Therefore they are absolute and necessary truths; it is inconceivable that they should ever become untrue.

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    (1) Mathematics basically makes certain postulates and then explores where they lead to.
    (2) Mathematics may be looked upon as exploration of the basic structure of thought.
    (3) “Two plus two equals four” is actually a tautology. Here we are looking at the same mental object in two different ways. Maybe the thought is ultimately tautological. This needs to be investigated.
    (4) “A priori” knowledge is tautological. It is absolute only in a tautological sense.

    We may thus say that all fundamental premise, which are looked upon as absolute, must be tautological in nature.

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    • Chris Thompson  On May 5, 2013 at 9:54 PM

      Vin: We may thus say that all fundamental premise, which are looked upon as absolute, must be tautological in nature.

      Chris: Yes, now you come under my spell, and soon my faithful friend, I will start a new cult! mwha-hahahaha!

  • vinaire  On May 4, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    Durant writes,

    But whence do we get this character of absoluteness and necessity? Not from experience; for experience gives us nothing but separate sensations and events, which may alter their sequence in the future. These truths derive their necessary character from the inherent structure of our minds, from the natural and inevitable manner in which our minds must operate. For the mind of man (and here at last is the great thesis of Kant) is not passive wax upon which experience and sensation write their absolute and yet whimsical will; nor is it a mere abstract name for the series or group of mental states; it is an active organ which molds and coordinates sensations into ideas, an organ which transforms the chaotic multiplicity of experience into the ordered unity of thought.

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    (1) We get this character of absoluteness and necessity from a fundamental tautology. Maybe we’ll discover through our investigation how a fundamental tautology comes to be manifested.

    (2) Per this fundamental tautology, what is, IS.

    (3) Experience comes from the logical associations that flow from the fundamental tautologies.

    (4) When consistency is maintained throughout these logical associations, we have an absolute and necessary subject such as mathematics.

    (5) When consistency is NOT maintained and inconsistencies abound in these logical associations, then we have something like “experience” that is full of variability and unpredictability.

    (6) The basic structure of the mind that can spot inconsistencies is absolute and necessary like mathematics.

    (7) The mind may be looked upon as shrouded by filters that are full of variability and unpredictability.

    (8) The filters act as “inconsistency generators” when “experience” is extracted from “what is.”

    (9) The mind “transforms the chaotic multiplicity of experience into the ordered unity of thought” only when it ia allowed to spot the inconsistencies and follows them through to spot filters.

    (10) Mindfulness allows the mind to spot inconsistencies and to follow them through.

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    • Chris Thompson  On May 5, 2013 at 9:39 PM

      Vin: (2) Per this fundamental tautology, what is, IS.

      Chris: You’ve defined my tautological universe better than I. I think you may be seeing what I am seeing. Or possibly the irony that I am seeing.

      Do you think using “what is, IS” that we could be knocking on the door of the basic “iterative-mechanic?” You know by now that I postulate and am searching for clues to the basic mechanic which could be responsible for fundamental particles which are coming and going – creating an apparently discrete and brief presentation of each moment.

      Every philosopher seems to digress to this tautology. They start off like houses on fire, but then . . . always with the “I am that I am” and “I think therefore I am” I wonder if there is an exception? This is your “thing within itself” and your “awareness of awareness unit.” It is said many different ways, but seemingly always tautologically. Am I on a vector which is tending away, or toward some resolution of this inconsistency?

      • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 6:15 AM

        I see this universe to be thing-in-itself.

        Kant sees thing-in-itself to be something beyond perception,

        Mindfulness starts with ‘what is’ and not with some speculation, such as, ‘I think therefore I am .

        If there is inconsistency spotted in ‘what is’ then one follows it through.

        “Iterative-mechanic” is speculation.

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        • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 8:53 PM

          Vin: I see this universe to be thing-in-itself.

          Chris: Oh! Right! Very good.

        • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 8:56 PM

          Vin: “Iterative-mechanic” is speculation.

          Chris: The precise nature of it is speculation; However, that there is iterative-mechanic is apparent if one looks.

        • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 8:58 PM

          Example of iterative-mechanic?

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        • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 10:00 PM

          Mitosis.

        • vinaire  On May 7, 2013 at 5:25 AM

          Mitosis is cell division at physical level. It seems that “iterative-mechanic” is like a pattern being used in explaining some repeating and growing phenomenon like fractal.

          “What is’ is more basic.

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        • Chris Thompson  On May 8, 2013 at 5:12 PM

          Well, that is how I see it. So when we look for “what is” and come up with an iterative mechanic, if we can nail it, then we will actually have “what is.” To me, “what is” is not the coordinate point on a graph but rather the iterative mechanic. It is a slight-of-hand trick if you don’t mind me saying. By this I mean we are looking and we see the coordinate point in the complex plane (this is only an analogy) and it seems fairly indivisible — it is a point after all — and we might go “oh, here is what is” but the slight of hand is a diversion from seeing why it happens to be there. That would be the iterative-mechanic. The iterative-mechanic is simply why the point is there and not to leap to any larger conclusion of the iterative-mechanic being “cause.” We don’t need “cause” to understand how things are. We can divorce our own thinking from this endless searching and judgmental assumption that there is “cause” at the end of the rainbow. I am trying to calmly look and dissolve assumptions as soon as they present to me. I no longer care what I find. I no longer think I know what I will find. I’m operating more freely and efficiently in life unburdened by quite so many assumptions and structured thinking and I am watching both in front of me and also with peripheral vision for any movement, any indication, anything out of place, and really this is where and why I talk about tautology. Sometimes tautology is all this universe has to offer in the way of understanding. The tautology are the dots.

        • Chris Thompson  On May 8, 2013 at 5:17 PM

          Vin: “What is’ is more basic.

          Chris: So what I think I am arguing for is the iterative-mechanic being more basic than the resultant iteration. Meaning that I feel the iterative-mechanic is more nearly “what is” than the resultant dot. I look around and see things coming and going. And more and more dots The tendency for me is to fixate upon these things coming and going and not to see the pattern that the great ones — Mandelbrot, Julia, and Wolfram — seem to have seen. There is your matrix. Not the dots, but how the dots come and go.

          You mentioned noise this week. The dots are the noise.

        • vinaire  On May 8, 2013 at 6:44 PM

          I get what you are saying. To me, “iterative-mechanic” is a given. My interest is in finding out the basic pattern that is iterating.

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        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 12:43 AM

          The iterative-mechanic can be seen EVERYWHERE. It’s in photosynthesis, and cell mitosis and meiosis. EVERYTHING in the universe EATS and is EATEN. When one galaxy eats another there’s your iterative-mechanic. When some bacteria digest god knows what in an anaerobic environment and the resulting alcohol is consumed and the car wreck ensues, there’s your iterative-mechanic. It’s not the dots, it’s the machine. Turn the crank and out comes a dot. Put that dot back into the machine and crank and out comes another dot. Not the same dot. Not the same answer. But a similar and recursive dot. And the dots begin to form recognizable patterns and then the dots drift and tend away from the recognizable pattern and form unrecognizable patterns which we term random patterns.

          Randomness seems to be a pattern which has not been recognized as a pattern. Now I’ve come full circle back to the tautology, wisely scratching my chin and going uh-huh!

        • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 4:50 AM

          That is what Buddha says, “Everything in this universe is conditioned. One thing conditions the next thing, and is itself conditioned by the previous thing.”

          It is a network of conditioning. That is the fabric of mental space.

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        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 8:06 AM

          Harmonious balance in life would describe for me a desirable condition. That for me would be the greatest truth and in that truth I do not care too much about locating a greater truth. My question is such a postulated state consistency the best goal? Some postulate to escape from the physical universe. This seems counterintuitive and fruitless to me. Does this make a trustee of the asylum or enlightened? Would there be a way to tell the difference. Would both of these labels look just the same as each other?

        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 8:10 AM

          Vin: It is a network of conditioning. That is the fabric of mental space.

          Chris: So my questions seem to revolve around what is the goal of looking? What am I hoping for? The goal cannot possibly be a state or condition in the world outside myself, can it? I have no power or authority except over my interpretation of my own experience in the world, if that.

        • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 12:09 PM

          What is the difference between harmonious balance and consistency?

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 8:15 PM

          If we are talking about a consistency which is relative, conditioned and impermanent then there is no particular difference between consistency and harmonious balance. I plucked out harmonious balance to shake up my label making machinery – to use another synonym to help keep from falling asleep.

          The stress on harmonious balance is to use a term which really sounds relative, conditioned and impermanent; and I think it does give that surfboard riding the wave sense.

        • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 12:36 PM

          To me, the goal of looking is looking. There are no expectations, speculations and assumptions.

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        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 8:20 PM

          And we are right back to tautology… The goal of any goal is the goal. There is something here to understand something basic about the world in these tautologies. Possibly something about the fractal equations being recursive and self similar.

        • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 8:44 PM

          Do what you are doing when you are doing it… mindfully. 🙂

          .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 5, 2013 at 9:45 PM

      Vin: (6) The basic structure of the mind that can spot inconsistencies is absolute and necessary like mathematics.

      Chris: And yet, how mathematical? More like a simple arithmetic machine, slow and with few iterations? Because only after tremendous concentration and work have I begun to see randomity as not random, but rather algorithmic. And so it came to pass that there is not randomity in the universe but rather tremendous mathematics which the human mind cannot fathom but simply raises the “blue screen” of overwhelm.

      • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 6:18 AM

        When mindfulness is practiced it is effortless.

        The presence of effort is an inconsistency.

        .

        .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 8:57 PM

          Vin: The presence of effort is an inconsistency.

          Chris: I do not think so. I think effort is an elementary step on the way to ability.

        • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 8:58 PM

          Vin: When mindfulness is practiced it is effortless.

          Chris: Not at first it isn’t. Mindfulness is a skill which requires practice to become effortless.

        • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 9:01 PM

          Mindfulness can be effortless from the very first moment. Please see step #12 of the following:

          12 STEPS OF MINDFULNESS

          To understand mindfulness, the following exercises may be helpful:

          TRAINING IN MINDFULNESS

          .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 5, 2013 at 9:49 PM

      Vin: (10) Mindfulness allows the mind to spot inconsistencies and to follow them through.

      Chris: To succeed at playing this game, we need better minds. I believe that mindfulness is helping give us that tool. I also feel like a tool. Not in a bad way, but as part of a tremendous manifestation. I won’t call it a game on a grand scale for that is too big a leap or assumption. That reifies and personifies something much grander and not human at all into human terms, thereby losing its massive order of magnitude.

      • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 6:19 AM

        Just be mindful.

        .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 9:01 PM

          Vin: Just be mindful.

          Chris: Always good advice. I am just telling you where mindfulness has gotten me so far…

  • vinaire  On May 4, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Durant writes,

    1. Transcendental Esthetic

    The effort to answer this question, to study the inherent structure of the mind, or the innate laws of thought, is what Kant calls “transcendental philosophy,” because it is a problem transcending sense-experience. “I call knowledge transcendental which is occupied not so much with objects, as with our a priori concepts of objects.” —with our modes of correlating our experience into knowledge.

    .

    Transcendental to the physical objects are the mental objects. One may say that mental objects lie in a dimension beyond the physical dimension.

    For Kant, the “sense-experience” means the experience with physical objects. When knowledge transcends the physical dimension, it is now occupied with the objects in the mental dimension.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 4, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Durant writes,

    There are two grades or stages in this process of working up the raw material of sensation into the finished product of thought. The first stage is the coordination of sensations by applying to them the forms of perception—space and time; the second stage is the coordination of the perceptions so developed, by applying to them the forms of conception—the “categories” of thought. Kant, using the word esthetic in its original and etymological sense, as connoting sensation or feeling, calls the study of the first of these stages “Transcendental Esthetic”; and using the word logic as meaning the science of the forms of thought, he calls the study of the second stage “Transcendental Logic.” These are terrible words, which will take meaning as the argument proceeds; once over this hill, the road to Kant will be comparatively clear.

    .

    (1) “Space – time” in physical dimension may be called the “fabric of perception.” It gives physical form to what is there. Kant calls this “Transcendental Esthetic.” A better term would be “percept” because it is simple and less intimidating.

    (2) “Space – time” in mental dimension may be called the “fabric of conception.” It gives mental or conceptual form to what is there. Kant calls this “Transcendental Logic.” A better term would be “concept.”

    .

  • vinaire  On May 4, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Durant writes,

    Now just what is meant by sensations and perceptions? — and how does the mind change the former into the latter? By itself a sensation is merely the awareness of a stimulus; we have a taste on the tongue, an odor in the nostrils, a sound in the ears, a temperature on the skin, a flash of light on the retina, a pressure on the fingers: it is the raw crude beginning of experience; it is what the infant has in the early days of its groping mental life; it is not yet knowledge. But let these various sensations group themselves about an object in space and time—say this apple; let the odor in the nostrils, and the taste on the tongue, the light on the retina, the shape-revealing pressure on the fingers and the hand, unite and group themselves about this “thing”: and there is now an awareness not so much of a stimulus as of a specific object; there is a perception. Sensation has passed into knowledge.

    .

    The physical sense organs provide physical sensations which are then perceived in the form given to them by physical space-time. The physical sense organs work in concert to provide a complete picture. Inconsistency arises when the sense organs do not work in concert.

    A basic perception-point, without any filters, will make a straight-forward use of space-time to provide the purest perception.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 4, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Durant writes,

    But again, was this passage, this grouping, automatic? Did the sensations of themselves, spontaneously and naturally, fall into a cluster and an order, and so become perception? Yes, said Locke and Hume ; not at all, says Kant.

    For these varied sensations come to us through varied channels of sense, through a thousand “afferent nerves” that pass from skin and eye and ear and tongue into the brain ; what a medley of messengers they must be as they crowd into the chambers of the mind, calling for attention! No wonder Plato spoke of “the rabble of the senses.” And left to themselves, they remain rabble, a chaotic “manifold,” pitifully impotent, waiting to be ordered into meaning and purpose and power. As readily might the messages brought to a general from a thousand sectors of the battle-line weave themselves unaided into comprehension and command. No; there is a law-giver for this mob, a directing and coordinating power that does not merely receive, but takes these atoms of sensation and molds them into sense.

    .

    (1) The sensations seem to get molded into perception by the structure of the mind.

    (2) Space-time seems to form that basic structure of the mind.

    (3) The structure of the mind (space-time) gets distorted when filters are introduced.

    (4) A distorted space-time then molds the sensations into a perception that has inconsistencies in it.

    .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 5, 2013 at 10:13 PM

      Space-time seems to be an elastic fluid which is not homogeneous and wants to find equilibrium. I say elastic because it seems to be stretched tightly by the Big Bang. If any of it condenses into energy or matter, more of it seems to want to condense against that already condensed. This seems to resemble galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and superclusters of galaxies.

      • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 6:27 AM

        To me, Big bang is a conjecture. I haven’t examined it in detail yet. So, I won’t use it in my arguments until I have examined it in detail.

        ..

        • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 9:11 PM

          Well, right now, it is extant knowledge. If I use it incorrectly or it comes into disrepute, I will recant.

        • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 9:15 PM

          Do you actually see it that way without making any assumptions?

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 10:34 PM

          Yes, I am making assumptions but I am holding to them lightly. I take every word of the myth of red-shift on faith since there is no part of my own experience I can draw on to fortify my knowledge without faith in these stories. Every bit of my knowledge of chemistry is taken on faith. The last thing I am trying to become is dogmatic . . . but I recognize where my knowledge is weak.

        • vinaire  On May 7, 2013 at 5:37 AM

          I do not doubt scientific observations. But Big Bang is a conjecture that contains quite a leap of logic.

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 8, 2013 at 5:22 PM

          Vin: I do not doubt scientific observations. But Big Bang is a conjecture that contains quite a leap of logic.

          Chris: You mean the bang of something from nothing conjecture? Yes huge leap. The motion, however, is fairly tracked, do you think? The attention on space is where it would be at for me if I were an astrophysicist.

        • vinaire  On May 8, 2013 at 6:48 PM

          What iterative-mechanic is “big bang” part of?

          I very much doubt that there is a singularity within “iterative-mechanic.”

          .

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 1:02 AM

          Well, so the myth goes that sub-atomic particles condensed out of the primordial space soup of a primary explosion. Something occurred to the primordial soup of space-time as conditions passed and as time marched on. And lo, there was hydrogen; then helium, and so on it went. And the space congealed, or condensed and the condensation condensed more. And the iterative-mechanic was working on auto-pilot and it was good.

        • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 4:52 AM

          LOL! You ought to write a new Bible for scientists!

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 8:16 AM

          Yes! I believe I could do that! What are the hours, sir?

        • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 12:47 PM

          9 to 5.

        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 8:24 PM

          Fabulous!

  • vinaire  On May 5, 2013 at 5:42 AM

    Durant writes,

    Observe, first, that not all of the messages are accepted. Myriad forces play upon your body at this moment; a storm of stimuli beats down upon the nerve-endings which, amoeba-like, you put forth to experience the external world: but not all that call are chosen; only those sensations are selected that can be molded into perceptions suited to your present purpose, or that bring those imperious messages of danger which are always relevant. The clock is ticking, and you do not hear it; but that same ticking, not louder than before, will be heard at once if your purpose wills it so. The mother asleep at her infant’s cradle is deaf to the turmoil of life about her; but let the little one move, and the mother gropes her way back to waking attention like a diver rising hurriedly to the surface of the sea. Let the purpose be addition, and the stimulus “two and three” brings the response, “five”; let the purpose be multiplication, and the same stimulus, the same auditory sensations, “two and three,” bring the response, “six.” Association of sensations or ideas is not merely by contiguity in space or time, nor by similarity, nor by recency, frequency or intensity of experience; it is, above all, determined by the purpose of the mind. Sensations and thoughts are servants, they await our call, they do not come unless we need them. There is an agent of selection and direction that uses them and is their master. In addition to the sensations and the ideas there is the mind.

    .

    Here is process of selection and direction that is imposed on top of space-time (molding of sensation). It’s characteristics may be described in terms of (a) attention, and (b) purpose.

    This is the basic filter which may be termed as “I” or “self.”

    Inconsistencies may get introduced into this filter.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 5, 2013 at 5:49 AM

    Durant writes,

    This agent of selection and coordination, Kant thinks, uses first of all two simple methods for the classification of the material presented to it: the sense of space, and the sense of time. As the general arranges the messages brought him according to the place for which they come, and the time at which they were written, and so finds an order and a system for them all; so the mind allocates its sensations in space and time, attributes them to this object here or that object there, to this present time or to that past. Space and time are not things perceived, but modes of perception, ways of putting sense into sensation ; space and time are organs of perception.

    .

    Space-time provides the fabric of perception.

    This is the most basic level of programming that identifies what is there.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 5, 2013 at 6:01 AM

    Durant writes,

    They are a priori , because all ordered experience involves and presupposes them. Without them, sensations could never grow into perceptions. They are a priori because it is inconceivable that we should ever have any future experience that will not also involve them. And because they are a priori, their laws, which are the laws of mathematics, are a priori, absolute and necessary, world without end. It is not merely probable, it is certain that we shall never find a straight line that is not the shortest distance between two points. Mathematics, at least, is saved from the dissolvent scepticism of David Hume.

    Can all the sciences be similarly saved? Yes, if their basic principle, the law of causality—that a given cause must always be followed by a given effect—can be shown, like space and time, to be so inherent in all the processes of understanding that no future experience can be conceived that would violate or escape it. Is causality, too, a priori, an indispensable prerequisite and condition of all thought?

    .

    Space-time provides the most basic programming to the mind. The nature of this programming is not known as yet. It seems to define at the lowest level ‘what is there’.

    This applies to the perception of physical objects.

    A different dimension of it may apply to mental objects.

    .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 5, 2013 at 10:10 PM

      I couldn’t follow this.

    • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 6:24 AM

      What does ‘a priori’ mean to you?

      .

      • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 9:06 PM

        In this context, it seems that a priori is a logical grab by Durant to beg several questions and state almost as many fixed ideas in one paragraph as he uses words. He’s written this without knowledge of fractals and so makes blatantly false statements; unless of course we want to limit his logic to the little-world set that he is describing. Maybe I’m wrong – I might need to spend as much time getting used to Durant’s context and lingo as I have spent with yours. My wife has drawn the short-stick with regards to time shared since I’ve been spending time with you!

        • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 9:23 PM

          A priori (“from the earlier”)

          Distinguishes one of the two types of knowledge, justifications or arguments. It is independent of experience (for example “All bachelors are unmarried”)

          .

          A priori = a tautology

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 10:39 PM

          Well, I really had that wrong. I thought a priori was a cousin to a cognitive dissonance.

        • vinaire  On May 7, 2013 at 5:43 AM

          I am finding in my KHTK sessions that word clearing is quite an important part of clearing up confusions in life.

        • Chris Thompson  On May 8, 2013 at 5:27 PM

          Agreed. My Scientology training in words was and continues to be a very helpful tool. Actually, vital.

  • vinaire  On May 5, 2013 at 6:16 AM

    Durant writes,

    So we pass from the wide field of sensation and perception to the dark and narrow chamber of thought; from “transcendental esthetic” to “transcendental logic.” And first to the naming and analysis of those elements in our thought which are not so much given to the mind by perception as given to perception by the mind ; those levers which raise the “perceptual” knowledge of objects into the “conceptual” knowledge of relationships, sequences, and laws; those tools of the mind which refine experience into science. Just as perceptions arranged sensations around objects in space and time, so conception arranges perceptions (objects and events) about the ideas of cause, unity, reciprocal relation, necessity, contingency, etc.; these and other “categories” are the structure into which perceptions are received, and by which they are classified and molded into the ordered concepts of thought. These are the very essence and character of the mind; mind is the coordination of experience.

    .

    Physical space-time is the “software” that converts sensation to perception. Here we have form, or the primary shape.

    Mental space-time is the “software” that converts perception to conception. Here we have name, or the primary significance.

    Beyond this level logical association comes into play, which modifies and generates combinations of shapes and significance.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 5, 2013 at 6:28 AM

    Durant writes,

    And here again observe the activity of this mind that was, to Locke and Hume, mere “passive wax” under the blows of sense-experience. Consider a system of thought like Aristotle’s; is it conceivable that this almost cosmic ordering of data should have come by the automatic, anarchistic spontaneity of the data themselves? See this magnificent card catalogue in the library, intelligently ordered into sequence by human purpose. Then picture all these card-cases thrown upon the floor, all these cards scattered pell-mell into riotous disorder. Can you now conceive these scattered cards pulling themselves up, Munchausen-like, from their disarray, passing quietly into their alphabetical and topical places in their proper boxes, and each box into its fit place in the rack,—until all should be order and sense and purpose again? What a miracle-story these skeptics have given us after all!

    .

    There is a process here that organizes sensations into perceptions, conceptions and then into logical associations. This process needs to be fully understood and described.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 5, 2013 at 6:36 AM

    Durant writes,

    Sensation is unorganized stimulus, perception is organized sensation, conception is organized perception, science is organized knowledge, wisdom is organized life : each is a greater degree of order, and sequence, and unity. Whence this order, this sequence, this unity? Not from the things themselves; for they are known to us only by sensations that come through a thousand channels at once in disorderly multitude; it is our purpose that put order and sequence and unity upon this importunate lawlessness; it is ourselves, our personalities, our minds, that bring light upon these seas. Locke was wrong when he said, “There is nothing in the intellect except what was first in the senses”; Leibnitz was right when he added,—”nothing, except the intellect itself.” “Perceptions without conceptions,” says Kant, “are blind.” If perceptions wove themselves automatically into ordered thought, if mind were not an active effort hammering out order from chaos, how could the same experience leave one man mediocre, and in a more active and tireless soul be raised to the light of wisdom and the beautiful logic of truth?

    .

    It is not something “out there” and something else “in here”.

    It is the system “as a whole” that needs to be fully understood.

    .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 5, 2013 at 10:18 PM

      Well, I was responding to the mental objects as vs physical objects. The language for me is drifting with too wide a variance. “Meaning” is a mental idea that doesn’t seem to fit smoothly. Attention; focus; humanity; significance like that.

    • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 6:33 AM

      There is a lot of stuff that needs to be sorted out here. The common denominator among all physical and mental objects is that they are manifestations.

      There seem to be a spectrum of manifestations. We assume a sharp divide between physical and mental objects. But is there really one?

      There is no such sharp divide observed when we examine mental patients.

      .

      • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 9:10 PM

        Vin: The common denominator among all physical and mental objects is that they are manifestations.

        Chris: Yes, according to our speculations.

        • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 9:13 PM

          What else could it be?

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 10:29 PM

          I don’t know that they are something else, I am only saying that we are speculating. I like that we are making mental objects and physical objects part of the same system. It doesn’t make any sense to me that they aren’t, but then I have a few of these per week that I change my mind about within a fortnight. I bet you didn’t know I knew a word like fortnight, did you?

        • vinaire  On May 7, 2013 at 5:30 AM

          I look at speculation as something wild and inconsistent. When it brings consistency and simplifies the thought I call it conjecture… a possibility.

          You certainly astound me using a word like fortnight. America has some hope! LOL!

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 8, 2013 at 5:19 PM

          Vin: I look at speculation as something wild and inconsistent. When it brings consistency and simplifies the thought I call it conjecture… a possibility.

          Chris: Cool, then I’ll use that, use it that way.

  • vinaire  On May 5, 2013 at 6:47 AM

    Durant writes,

    The world, then, has order, not of itself, but because the thought that knows the world is itself an ordering, the first stage in that classification of experience which at last is science and philosophy. The laws of thought are also the laws of things, for things are known to us only through this thought that must obey these laws, since it and they are one; in effect, as Hegel was to say, the laws of logic and the laws of nature are one, and logic and metaphysics merge. The generalized principles of science are necessary because they are ultimately laws of thought that are involved and presupposed in every experience, past, present, and to come. Science is absolute, and truth is everlasting.

    .

    There is a lot of speculation in the paragraph above. If we look at it mindfully we see,

    World = what is perceived (manifestation)
    Thought = perception

    “Manifestation-perception” seems to form a single system.

    Manifestation is the subject of PHYSICS.
    Perception is the subject of METAPHYSICS.

    “Physics-metaphysics” seems to form a single subject.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 5, 2013 at 8:14 AM

    The arbitrary thing in this whole system seems to be the idea of “us”, or that, which is perceiving.

    The arbitrary seems to be the perception-point.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 5, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Durant writes,

    Nevertheless, this certainty, this absoluteness, of the highest generalizations of logic and science, is, paradoxically, limited and relative: limited strictly to the field of actual experience, and relative strictly to our human mode of experience. For if our analysis has been correct, the world as we know it is a construction, a finished product, almost—one might say—a manufactured article, to which the mind contributes as much by its molding forms as the thing contributes by its stimuli. (So we perceive the top of the table as round, whereas our sensation is of an ellipse.) The object as it appears to us is a phenomenon, an appearance, perhaps very different from the external object before it came within the ken of our senses; what that original object was we can never know; the “thing-in-itself” may be an object of thought or inference (a “noumenon”), but it cannot be experienced,—for in being experienced it would be changed by its passage through sense and thought. “It remains completely unknown to us what objects may be by themselves and apart from the receptivity of our senses. We know nothing but our manner of perceiving them; that manner being peculiar to us, and not necessarily shared by every being, though, no doubt, by every human being.” The moon as known to us is merely a bundle of sensations (as Hume saw), unified (as Hume did not see) by our native mental structure through the elaboration of sensations into perceptions, and of these into conceptions or ideas; in result, the moon is for us merely our ideas.

    .

    The certainty of absoluteness is actually tautological and relative because what it may be compared to is ‘beyond perception’ or ‘unknowable’. We may label what is beyond perception as “thing-in-itself” but that would simply be another word for unknowable.

    All we have is a “manifestation-perception” system to study.

    .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 5, 2013 at 10:20 PM

      Ah, back on track. I was getting queasy.

      • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 6:50 AM

        LOL!

        Mindfulness keeps one straight and steady. It seems to have the property of self-equilibrium because it is ultimately a tautology.

        .

  • vinaire  On May 5, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Durant writes,

    Not that Kant ever doubts the existence of “matter” and the external world; but he adds that we know nothing certain about them except that they exist. Our detailed knowledge is about their appearance, their phenomena, about the sensations which we have of them. Idealism does not mean, as the man in the street thinks, that nothing exists outside the perceiving subject; but that a goodly part of every object is created by the forms of perception and understanding: we know the object as transformed into idea; what it is before being so transformed we cannot know. Science, after all, is naive; it supposes that it is dealing with things in themselves, in their full-blooded external and uncorrupted reality; philosophy is a little more sophisticated, and realizes that the whole material of science consists of sensations, perceptions and conceptions, rather than of things. “Kant’s greatest merit,” says Schopenhauer, “is the distinction of the phenomenon from the thing-in-itself.”

    .

    We (internal) and ‘external’ world seem to be arbitrary categorizations. There doesn’t seem to be any internal-external division. There only seems to be a manifestation-perception system. There is manifestation. It is proved by the existence of perception. On the other hand, perception seems to mold manifestation. Combined together ‘manifestation-perception’ appears to be tautological.

    When the argument is made that there must be a separate “perception-point” looking at all this, it is superfluous because that consideration should actually be integral to the perception aspect of this system. We may also say that “perception-point” is a mental object. It is considered logically only. It has no existence outside of one’s logic. We run into a tautology again.

    Kant seems to assume implicitly that there must be a separate perception-point. This is a chink in the armor of Kant’s philosophy.

    All we need to concern ourselves is with the tautological structure of the “manifestation-perception’ system. Sensation-perception-conception-manifestation and any consideration of perception-point, all lie within this system.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 5, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Durant writes,

    It follows that any attempt, by either science or religion, to say just what the ultimate reality is, must fall back into mere hypothesis; “the understanding can never go beyond the limits of sensibility.” Such transcendental science loses itself in “antinomies,” and such transcendental theology loses itself in “paralogisms.” It is the cruel function of “transcendental dialectic” to examine the validity of these attempts of reason to escape from the enclosing circle of sensation and appearance into the unknowable world of things “in themselves.”

    .

    Here is the UNKNOWABLE that I have referenced to many times elsewhere on my blog. It is a theoretical absolute, of course, the purpose of which is to contain “tautologies of existence” within it. Nothing can be said about it. Only self-contradicting speculations may be made about it.

    The ‘sensation-sensibility’ has to be a self-contained tautology.
    .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 5, 2013 at 11:07 PM

      Agreed. Our only hope for increased understanding is to do something about the “limits of sensibilities.” If we can expand that, if man can evolve his mind, then we can increase in truer understanding of the world. The problem is that I cannot tell if man is any different a creature from tens of thousands of years. Our technology is increasing. Sure this helps because we invent tools to increase our sense perceptions. But I do not necessarily see man selecting toward the brightest and best in order to increase the mental capacity of mankind.

      • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 6:59 AM

        My approach is to make mindfulness popular.

        It is taking one baby step at a time.

        .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 9:15 PM

          Agreed so long as we don’t end up with another strict ideology.

        • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 9:16 PM

          That would be an inconsistency.

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 10:37 PM

          Vin: That would be an inconsistency.

          Chris: Yes, but ideologies are sneaky so I don’t want to be overconfident and want to remain vigilant.

        • vinaire  On May 7, 2013 at 5:38 AM

          Good! You keep me on guard.

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 8, 2013 at 5:25 PM

          . . . and you me.

  • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Durant writes,

    Antinomies are the insoluble dilemmas born of a science that tries to overleap experience. So, for example, when knowledge attempts to decide whether the world is finite or infinite in space, thought rebels against either supposition: beyond any limit, we are driven to conceive something further, endlessly; and yet infinity is itself inconceivable. Again: did the world have a beginning in time? We cannot conceive eternity; but then, too, we cannot conceive any point in the past without feeling at once that before that, something was. Or has that chain of causes which science studies, a beginning, a First Cause? Yes, for an endless chain is inconceivable; no, for a first cause uncaused is inconceivable as well. Is there any exit from these blind alleys of thought? There is, says Kant, if we remember that space, time and cause are modes of perception and conception, which must enter into all our experience, since they are the web and structure of experience; these dilemmas arise from supposing that space, time and cause are external things independent of perception. We shall never have any experience which we shall not interpret in terms of space and time and cause; but we shall never have any philosophy if we forget that these are not things, but modes of interpretation and understanding.

    .

    I like this statement: “Antinomies are the insoluble dilemmas born of a science that tries to overleap experience.” This nicely explains the case of what is going on with the String Theory. There is lot of noise only.

    Infinite does not mean a very large number or magnitude, because numbers can be infinitely close to zero. Infinite simply means no limit (indefinite).

    The blind alleys of thought exist only within a dimension. The only escape is to another dimension. But then that dimension will have its own blind alleys.

    Space, time and causes are used to define aspects of the tautological ‘manifestation-perception’ system.

    .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 9:40 PM

      Vin: I like this statement: “Antinomies are the insoluble dilemmas born of a science that tries to overleap experience.” This nicely explains the case of what is going on with the String Theory. There is lot of noise only.

      Chris: I think it has to be this way. Science that overleaps experience is what we call “science fiction.”

      • vinaire  On May 7, 2013 at 5:08 AM

        Science fiction is within the realm of experience.

        .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 8, 2013 at 4:48 PM

          Good science fiction is good storytelling underpinned by technology which is on the cusp or beyond the cusp of experience.

        • vinaire  On May 8, 2013 at 6:15 PM

          Science fiction does not do any conjecturing beyond the ‘manifestation-perception’ system. It just recombines the manifestations in a different way using logic derived from this system.

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 12:10 AM

          Science fiction seems to encompass the scope and limit of what can be achieved beyond experience. There is no example of man’s technology, knowledge, or wisdom reaching beyond what can be recombined from the raw material of this universe.

        • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 4:24 AM

          Science fiction is a projection from what is known.

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 7:39 AM

          There is any other type of projection?

        • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 11:49 AM

          A projection is a projection. I am sure you’ll like that. 🙂

          And then there is intuition, which is not a projection.

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 8:09 PM

          vin: And then there is intuition, which is not a projection.

          Chris: Please say more.

        • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 8:41 PM

          Intuition has nothing to do with logical association among existing perception. It is a totally new ‘manifestation-perception’ out of the blue.

          Projection is based on logical association among existing perception.

        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 9:13 PM

          Vin: Intuition has nothing to do with logical association among existing perception. It is a totally new ‘manifestation-perception’ out of the blue.

          Chris: You may be right, but why would you give this credit to intuition? Say more?

        • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 9:23 PM

          Intuition is pure perception. No filters come about as a side effect of logical associations..

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 11:47 PM

          Input, output, or you don’t make a difference?

        • vinaire  On May 10, 2013 at 5:03 AM

          ‘You’ is a construct. I am sure it came about as a result of intuition.

          Intuition is more ancient than logic.

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 10, 2013 at 11:23 PM

          Vin: ‘You’ is a construct. I am sure it came about as a result of intuition. Intuition is more ancient than logic.

          Chris: I saved this to look at since last night? This morning? But I am not tracking. I think it is because I don’t understand what you mean by intuition.

        • vinaire  On May 11, 2013 at 6:12 AM

          Intuition = no-logic = recognition and acceptance of what-is more deeply.

          We can’t explain by logic

          (1) How does anything appear?

          (2) Why appearance-disappearance seems to be the most fundamental phenomenon (the manifestation-perception model).

          So, we have to accept that and start from there until we get a deeper intuition.

          .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 9:43 PM

      Vin: The blind alleys of thought exist only within a dimension. The only escape is to another dimension. But then that dimension will have its own blind alleys.

      Chris: And tautologically on we go!

    • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 9:44 PM

      Vin: Space, time and causes are used to define aspects of the tautological ‘manifestation-perception’ system.

      Chris: You said a mouthful!

    • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 9:44 PM

      Vin: Infinite does not mean a very large number or magnitude, because numbers can be infinitely close to zero. Infinite simply means no limit (indefinite).

      Chris: This statement of yours is very important to me. No amount of time spent understanding these few words will be wasted.

  • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Durant writes,

    So with the paralogisms of “rational” theology-—which attempts to prove by theoretical reason that the soul is an incorruptible substance, that the will is free and above the law of cause and effect, and that there exists a “necessary being,” God, as the presupposition of all reality. Transcendental dialectic must remind theology that substance and cause and necessity are finite categories, modes of arrangement and classification which the mind applies to sense-experience, and reliably valid only for the phenomena that appear to such experience; we cannot apply these conceptions to the noumenal (or merely inferred and conjectural) world. Religion cannot be proved by theoretical reason.

    .

    I like the phrase “noumenal (or merely inferred and conjectural) world.”

    The outer layer of the onion of reality is made of a noumenal layer. It is merely inferred or conjectural. This is where one finds such things as, Soul, will, God, cause and effect. These are all mental objects.

    This onion would also represent the tautological ‘manifestation-perception’ system.

    .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 9:45 PM

      I wish Durant had the opportunity to blog with us. His voluminous works, I believe, would shorten.

      • vinaire  On May 7, 2013 at 5:13 AM

        Hahaha! Durant’s language is beautiful and very insightful!

        .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 8, 2013 at 4:49 PM

          But I do think his works might shorten. Or maybe he would just be short with me.

        • Chris Thompson  On May 8, 2013 at 4:50 PM

          Agreed. Not putting him down . . . just saying he might fair well with us and we with him.

        • vinaire  On May 8, 2013 at 6:18 PM

          I think we are long way away from meeting Durant’s literary standards. We may have some groundbreaking ideas, but they are not in a lucid enough form for general public. We have a lot more work to do.

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 12:19 AM

          Neither is Durant’s work in a form for general public. Not sure where you are going with these critiques. I’m in a bad mood for looking up to philosophy and philosophers at the moment. Men may have routinely leveled their own consistencies but when they write about their experiences and observations, the result falls short for others. It is not their looking which levels for me, but my own looking. I have a few heroes but I know better than to look too closely at them for it is not their lives which inspire and enlighten but rather their clues.

        • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 4:29 AM

          Basically, I am looking at putting the Section 3 of my book together, and it seems to be a dreadful task at the moment.

          .

  • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Durant writes,

    So the first Critique ends. One could well imagine David Hume, uncannier Scot than Kant himself, viewing the results with a sardonic smile. Here was a tremendous book, eight hundred pages long; weighted beyond bearing, almost, with ponderous terminology; proposing to solve all the problems of metaphysics, and incidentally to save the absoluteness of science and the essential truth of religion. What had the book really done? It had destroyed the naive world of science, and limited it, if not in degree, certainly in scope, — and to a world confessedly of mere surface and appearance, beyond which it could issue only in farcical “antinomies”; so science was “saved”! The most eloquent and incisive portions of the book had argued that the objects of faith—a free and immortal soul, a benevolent creator—could never be proved by reason; so religion was “saved”! No wonder the priests of Germany protested madly against this salvation, and revenged themselves by calling their dogs Immanuel Kant.

    .

    Kant’s “thing-in-itself” is simply another word for unknowable. Within this background of unknowable rests the tautological universe of the ‘manifestation-perception’ system. There is no manifestation or perception beyond this system. Any expectations, speculations or assumptions describing ‘beyond this system’ are actually a part of the system in form of mental objects.

    All science must be confined to the ‘manifestation-perception’ system.

    All religion must be confined to the ‘manifestation-perception’ system as well.

    There is no God beyond the ‘manifestation-perception’ system.

    In fact there is no ‘beyond the system.’

    .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 9:49 PM

      This is what I would label a self-evident truth. Now I will bookmark it and put it on the shelf and pull it down to show anyone who comes to visit.

      • vinaire  On May 7, 2013 at 5:15 AM

        LOL! Now that we have reached the bottom of the barrel, we have to map the barrel while going back up.

        .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 8, 2013 at 4:52 PM

          Vin: LOL! Now that we have reached the bottom of the barrel, we have to map the barrel while going back up.

          Chris: Good way of putting it. However, once you map it; make a map; make a model; next comes the ideology and then those who won’t look will mistake the metaphor for the thing in itself and back around the track we go again.

          How to avoid this?

        • vinaire  On May 8, 2013 at 6:19 PM

          Ideology will come only in the absence of mindfulness.

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 12:24 AM

          Until we or someone makes an ideology out of mindfulness. Don’t scoff. Smart money would be on that happening. Same with all extant spiritual technologies. Although your approach is positive. The next level would be to begin telling people what to be mindful of. Then off we go.

        • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 4:38 AM

          The effort here is to put mindfulness in the hands of people so they can use it freely to help themselves like Buddha did in his time. Buddha kept the ideology out of it and it remained out for at least a good part of thousand years.

          I find the mindfulness exercises from Buddha to be least structured but most difficult to do. KHTK exercises based on Idenics seems to have the most optimum structure and ease of practice for today’s society. Exercises based on Scientology has the most chance of being converted into an ideology, so I have to be careful how I present them.

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 7:49 AM

          Well, we could look at what is it about us that loves ideology — a structured and conditioned mind.

          The iterative-mechanic churns out structure and it churns it out in every direction. Something about us gives significance to the forms thus arranged. Either that or another possibility would be that the significance arises and appears in a recursive and self-similar way as the dots forming a string of DNA.

          I am with Katageek on this one. There is room in the universe for free will or not and both can look the same.

        • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 11:52 AM

          The only way we can go towards less structure is by understanding the structure which exists right now.

          .

  • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Durant writes,

    And no wonder that Heine compared the little professor of Konigsberg with the terrible Robespierre ; the latter had merely killed a king, and a few thousand Frenchmen—which a German might forgive; but Kant, said Heine, had killed God, had undermined the most precious arguments of theology. “What a sharp contrast between the outer life of this man, and his destructive, world-convulsing thoughts! Had the citizens of Konigsberg surmised the whole significance of those thoughts, they would have felt a more profound awe in the presence of this man than in that of an executioner, who merely slays human beings. But the good people saw in him nothing but a professor of philosophy; and when at the fixed hour he sauntered by, they nodded a friendly greeting, and set their watches.”

    Was this caricature, or revelation?

    .

    I think that God can be adequately and appropriately replaced by mindfulness.

    .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 9:52 PM

      Vin: I think that God can be adequately and appropriately replaced by mindfulness.

      Chris: Already done.

      • vinaire  On May 7, 2013 at 5:17 AM

        Durant’s writing is classic. I wish I could match it even remotely.

        .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 8, 2013 at 4:53 PM

          Vin: Durant’s writing is classic. I wish I could match it even remotely.

          Chris: Your own writing is beautiful, especially when you have written about your experiences. There is a candor and a simplicity which is very artful.

        • vinaire  On May 8, 2013 at 6:27 PM

          When I wrote about my experiences, I did not have to think about them at all. Those experiences were right there as mental objects in front of my mind’s eye. I just had to describe them.

          Here I am building up a model of reality. I have to build that model up with sufficient details, so that I can visualize it clearly without difficulty. Only then I would be able to write about it lucidly. I am not up to that point yet.

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 12:31 AM

          Vin: Here I am building up a model of reality. I have to build that model up with sufficient details, so that I can visualize it clearly without difficulty. Only then I would be able to write about it lucidly. I am not up to that point yet.

          Chris: We should take a look at that. I am not convinced that is the way to go. Everything you wrote here is fine and consistent. Consistency — TV snow — now that’s pretty consistent. Scientology made perfect sense to me. It is quite consistent within its own context. But having been disabused of the idea that Scientology is a TOE outside its own carefully designed and defined world, I’m not ready to put a lot of effort into creating better models. Scientology already did that. Catholicism did that. Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism have all done that. For instance, when you are arguing for Buddhism and Hinduism, I feel you are using the same true Scotman argument as everyone does when they are arguing for their own world view. What’s good is true and what’s unworkable and destructive is not true.

        • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 4:45 AM

          I won’t be satisfied until I have found consistency in all knowledge, and not just there being pockets of consistencies like Scientology.

          I would look for inconsistencies between Christianity and Islam, for example, and would like to discover factors that are leading to those inconsistencies. Such knowledge is required to resolve inconsistencies in knowledge.

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 8:00 AM

          Consistency has a harmonious feeling to it possibly like some potential wave-function condensing into an electron particle. We have to challenge this as a road to truth, for remember that truth is conditioned, relative and impermanent.

          A backdrop of potential seems more consistent to me than any type of condensation. We have to look at and fathom what it is that we are going for and why. Using the metaphor of children playing with their toys and imagination, provides for me a consistent model for the world around me. My thoughts are expressed as “Pimples on the Skin of Consciousness”. Alas, this is a conjecture (not a speculation, haha).

        • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 11:57 AM

          Personally, I don’t care about consistencies. I simply want to resolve inconsistencies as I come across them.

          .

  • vinaire  On May 6, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    IV. THE CRITIQUE OF PRACTICAL REASON

    If religion cannot be based on science and theology, on what then? On morals. The basis in theology is too insecure; better that it should be abandoned, even destroyed; faith must be put beyond the reach or realm of reason. But therefore the moral basis of religion must be absolute, not derived from questionable sense-experience or precarious inference; not corrupted by the admixture of fallible reason; it must be derived from the inner self by direct perception and intuition. We must find a universal and necessary ethic; a priori principles of morals as absolute and certain as mathematics. We must show that “pure reason can be practical; i.e., can of itself determine the will independently of anything empirical,” that the moral sense is innate, and not derived from experience. The moral imperative which we need as the basis of religion must be an absolute, a categorical imperative.

    .

    Religion should be based on ‘what is’, for that is the truth in now. The more is the consistency in now, the higher is the truth. This is mindfulness. Proper morals shall follow by themselves as a result of intuition.

    .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 6, 2013 at 9:55 PM

      Vin: Proper morals shall follow by themselves from intuition.

      Chris: Durant’s words read like one of our blogs. I don’t think he completed his own model either.

  • vinaire  On May 8, 2013 at 5:53 AM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    Now the most astounding reality in all our experience is precisely our moral sense, our inescapable feeling, in the face of temptation, that this or that is wrong. We may yield; but the feeling is there nevertheless. Le matin je fats des projets, et le soir je fais des sottises; (“In the morning I make good resolutions; in the evening I commit follies.”) but we know that they are sottises, and we resolve again. What is it that brings the bite of remorse, and the new resolution? It is the categorical imperative in us, the unconditional command of our conscience, to “act as if the maxim of our action were to become by our will a universal law of nature.” We know, not by reasoning, but by vivid and immediate feeling, that we must avoid behavior which, if adopted by all men, would render social life impossible. Do I wish to escape from a predicament by a lie? But “while I can will the lie, I can by no means will that lying should be a universal law. For with such a law there would be no promises at all.” Hence the sense in me, that I must not lie, even if it be to my advantage. Prudence is hypothetical; its motto is, Honesty when it is the best policy; but the moral law in our hearts is unconditional and absolute.

    .

    What Kant speaks of as ‘moral sense’ is actually the inherent sense of consistency. What is inconsistent is immediately sensed even when one might suppress it.

    “We know, not by reasoning, but by vivid and immediate feeling, that we must avoid behavior which, if adopted by all men, would render social life impossible.”

    .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 8, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      And when that consistency is structured by and compared to a structured ideology we have to be careful of dozing off while in the midst of that consistency. Be careful my spidey sense is tingling . . .

      • vinaire  On May 8, 2013 at 7:03 PM

        The spidey sense is inherent. That is the sense one must never suppress.

        .

      • Rafael  On May 9, 2013 at 5:35 AM

        Hi boys, I´m trying to catch up with you but you are too fast!!
        In the meantime,I agree with Chris here, when the model looks too consistent is the moment to start looking for a more basic inconsistency which might have been passed over.
        I agree that perception is the proof of manifestation in the case of mental objects, but in the case of material objects I´m not so sure. Some mental patents cannot distinguish between mental objects and material ones, and there is always some mental aspect we add to the material objects and we cannot be certain to which degree this is happening…….

        • Chris Thompson  On May 9, 2013 at 8:26 AM

          Good one Rafael.

          Rafael: I agree that perception is the proof of manifestation

          Chris: . . . and vice versa.

        • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 11:47 AM

          So, too consistent = inconsistency… hmmm…

          There seems to be a gradient from material to mental objects and not a sharp divide. This need to be looked at closely.

          It is the filter, which adds to whatever is perceived.

          .

  • vinaire  On May 9, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    And an action is good not because it has good results, or because it is wise, but because it is done in obedience to this inner sense of duty, this moral law that does not come from our personal experience, but legislates imperiously and a priori for all our behavior, past, present, and future. The only thing unqualifiedly good in this world is a good will— the will to follow the moral law, regardless of profit or loss for ourselves. Never mind your happiness; do your duty. “Morality is not properly the doctrine how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness.” Let us seek the happiness in others; but for ourselves, perfection—whether it bring us happiness or pain. To achieve perfection in yourself and happiness in others, “so act as to treat humanity, whether in thine own person or in that of another, in every case as an end, never only as a means”:—this too, as we directly feel, is part of the categorical imperative. Let us live up to such a principle, and we shall soon create an ideal community of rational beings; to create it we need only act as if we already belonged to it; we must apply the perfect law in the imperfect state. It is a hard ethic, you say,—this placing of duty above beauty, of morality above happiness; but only so can we cease to be beasts, and begin to be gods.

    .

    This inherent sense of consistency seems to be a law unto itself. From this come the sense of right and wrong (morality), and the inner sense of duty. Interestingly enough, this sense acts only when there are inconsistencies. It acts to resolve those inconsistencies. When everything is consistent, this sense is inactive.

    When inconsistencies are ignored, it doesn’t mean that this sense is not there; it means that this sense was overridden. Restoration of integrity requires listening to this inherent sense and simply following it. There is no logic involved here.

    .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 10, 2013 at 12:31 AM

      This is my favorite of the Durant quotes that you’ve posted. But for me it raises more questions about the iterative-mechanic. I will write using iteration in place of manifestation. Can I get away with that? Reason is that manifestation and perception are twinned together. Each is the other is the other is the other. 1. The lack of any iteration seems to be the most consistent of all. 2. Any iteration is less consistent than no iteration. 3. In a mass if iterations, there may be harmony and there may be discord. 4. Iterations in harmony are recognized for being consistent. 5. Discordant iterations pop up as disharmonic in a backdrop of harmony. 6. A preponderance of disharmonic iterations is recognized as a confusion; possibly as randomness; possibly as chaos.

      When we talk of duty and of morality of right and of wrong; are we assigning good to the more consistent backdrop, and assigning bad and wrong to inconsistencies? Because if so, then that would be an arbitrary. In a den of thieves, it may be inconsistent to practice charity.

      • vinaire  On May 10, 2013 at 6:29 AM

        Are you saying.

        iteration = inconsistency?

        .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 10, 2013 at 11:00 PM

          I think so. Or possibly that what is iterated (the dots) becomes inconsistent as it tends away from its native set. This metaphor seems useful.

        • vinaire  On May 11, 2013 at 6:03 AM

          It is the mirror in front of the mirror.

          .

  • vinaire  On May 11, 2013 at 5:19 AM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    Notice, meanwhile, that this absolute command to duty proves at last the freedom of our wills; how could we ever have conceived such a notion as duty if we had not felt ourselves free? We cannot prove this freedom by theoretical reason; we prove it by feeling it directly in the crisis of moral choice. We feel this freedom as the very essence of our inner selves, of the “pure Ego”; we feel within ourselves the spontaneous activity of a mind molding experience and choosing goals. Our actions, once we initiate them, seem to follow fixed and invariable laws, but only because we perceive their results through sense, which clothes all that it transmits in the dress of that causal law which our minds themselves have made. Nevertheless, we are beyond and above the laws we make in order to understand the world of our experience; each of us is a center of initiative force and creative power. In a way which we feel but cannot prove, each of us is free.

    .

    There is in an inherent sense that likes to maintain consistency. From time to time inconsistencies do arise, and along with that there arises the tendency to restore back to consistency. From that comes the inherent sense of duty.

    The invariable law seems to be the restoration of balance… neither too inconsistent, nor too consistent.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 11, 2013 at 5:33 AM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    And again, though we cannot prove, we feel, that we are deathless. We perceive that life is not like those dramas so beloved by the people—-in which every villain is punished, and every act of virtue meets with its reward; we learn anew every day that the wisdom of the serpent fares better here than the gentleness of the dove, and that any thief can triumph if he steals enough. If mere worldly utility and expediency were the justification of virtue, it would not be wise to be too good. And yet, knowing all this, having it flung into our faces with brutal repetition, we still feel the command to righteousness, we know that we ought to do the inexpedient good. How could this sense of right survive if it were not that in our hearts we feel this life to be only a part of life, this earthly dream only an embryonic prelude to a new birth, a new awakening; if we did not vaguely know that in that later and longer life the balance will be redressed, and not one cup of water given generously but shall be returned a hundred-fold?

    .

    Perception is what makes us feel alive. As long as we perceive we feel that we are alive. When there is no perception, we don’t even know that there is no perception.

    We get to realize that this life is an ongoing drama. There are no hard and fast rules of right and wrong. But our actions are guided by an inherent sense of equilibrium beyond our will.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 11, 2013 at 5:43 AM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    Finally, and by the same token, there is a God. If the sense of duty involves and justifies belief in rewards to come, “the postulate of immortality . . . must lead to the supposition of the existence of a cause adequate to this effect; in other words, it must postulate the existence of God.” This again is no proof by “reason”; the moral sense, which has to do with the world of our actions, must have priority over that theoretical logic which was developed only to deal with sense phenomena. Our reason leaves us free to believe that behind the thing-in-itself there is a just God; our moral sense commands us to believe it. Rousseau was right: above the logic of the head is the feeling in the heart. Pascal was right: the heart has reasons of its own, which the head can never understand.

    .

    We do not understand everything because understanding has to do with logic. What is beyond logic is also beyond our understanding. We may call that “matters of the heart,” or “God,” because it is unknowable from the viewpoint of logic and understanding.

    We just have to accept it.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 11, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    V. ON RELIGION AND REASON

    Does this appear trite, and timid, and conservative? But it was not so; on the contrary, this bold denial of “rational” theology, this frank reduction of religion to moral faith and hope, aroused all the orthodox of Germany to protests. To face this “forty-parson-power” (as Byron would have called it) required more courage than one usually associates with the name of Kant.

    .

    “Rational” theology = Rationalization of the unknowable spiritual factor.

    Kant’s Morality = That underlying natural impulse that goes beyond logic and which strives for balance.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 11, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    That he was brave enough appeared in all clarity when he published, at sixty-six, his Critique of Judgment, and, at sixty-nine, his Religion within the Limits of Pure Reason. In the earlier of these books Kant returns to the discussion of that argument from design which, in the first Critique, he had rejected as an insufficient proof of the existence of God. He begins by correlating design and beauty; the beautiful he thinks, is anything which reveals symmetry and unity of structure, as if it had been designed by intelligence. He observes in passing (and Schopenhauer here helped himself to a good deal of his theory of art) that the contemplation of symmetrical design always gives us a disinterested pleasure; and that “an interest in the beauty of nature for its own sake is always a sign of goodness.” Many objects in nature show such beauty, such symmetry and unity, as almost to drive us to the notion of supernatural design.

    .

    In some ways beauty has to do with the absence of what one considers to be inconsistent. Everything seems to flow without any jarring or interruption. Everything just seems to go together in perfect balance.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 11, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    But on the other hand, says Kant, there are also in nature many instances of waste and chaos, of useless repetition and multiplication; nature preserves life, but at the cost of how much suffering and death! The appearance of external design, then, is not a conclusive proof of Providence. The theologians who use the idea so much should abandon it, and the scientists who have abandoned it should use it; it is a magnificent clue, and leads to hundreds of revelations. For there is design, undoubtedly; but it is internal design, the design of the parts by the whole; and if science will interpret the parts of an organism in terms of their meaning for the whole, it will have an admirable balance for that other heuristic principle—the mechanical conception of life—which also is fruitful for discovery, but which, alone, can never explain the growth of even a blade of grass.

    .

    Yes, the consistency of magnificent design and beauty is there; but there is also the inconsistency of chaos and suffering. Thus, we do not have a conclusive proof for Providence. Theologians should not blindly promote Providence, nor should scientists blindly deny it.

    There is design and chaos, beauty and suffering. The mechanical conception of life is useful in discovery but it is limited to the understanding of the parts only. It can never explain the whole system.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 12, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    The essay on religion is a remarkable production for a man of sixty-nine; it is perhaps the boldest of all the books of Kant. Since religion must be based not on the logic of theoretical reason but on the practical reason of the moral sense, it follows that any Bible or revelation must be judged by its value for morality, and cannot itself be the judge of a moral code.

    .

    This is a very bold statement, indeed. Religion cannot be based on speculation. Religion must cater to practical need.

    We see that there is an inherent sense of balance in us. When that balance is upset we feel disturbed even so very slightly. We may call that the beginning of an inconsistency. Then it becomes a practical need to resolve the inconsistency.

    True religion helps one restore that sense of inner balance. From this comes the sense of practical morality. Bible, or any scripture, serves as a practical guide for developing such morality. This leads to inner harmony.

    To prescribe some absolute moral code based on theoretical reasoning based on Bible is not the way to go about it.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 15, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    Churches and dogmas have value only in so far as they assist the moral development of the race. When mere creeds or ceremonies usurp priority over moral excellence as a test of religion, religion has disappeared. The real church is a community of people, however scattered and divided, who are united by devotion to the common moral law. It was to establish such a community that Christ lived and died; it was this real church which he held up in contrast to the ecclesiasticism of the Pharisees. But another ecclesiasticism has almost overwhelmed this noble conception, “Christ has brought the kingdom of God nearer to earth; but he has been misunderstood; and in place of God’s kingdom the kingdom of the priest has been established among us.” Creed and ritual have again replaced the good life; and instead of men being bound together by religion, they are divided into a thousand sects; and all manner of “pious nonsense” is inculcated as “a sort of heavenly court service by means of which one may win through flattery the favor of the ruler of heaven.”

    .

    The purpose of the Church is to assist the moral development of the race, and not to set up its own ecclesiasticism.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 15, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    Again, miracles cannot prove a religion, for we can never quite rely on the testimony which supports them; and prayer is useless if it aims at a suspension of the natural laws that hold for all experience. Finally, the nadir of perversion is reached when the church becomes an instrument in the hands of a reactionary government; when the clergy, whose function it is to console and guide a harassed humanity with religious faith and hope and charity, are made the tools of theological obscurantism and political oppression.

    .

    The purpose of the Church is to dispel ignorance and bring the clarity of knowledge and understanding, which is consistent with experience.

    .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 16, 2013 at 7:45 AM

      Vin: and bring the clarity of knowledge and understanding, which is consistent with experience.

      Chris: But what we see religion doing is routinely reversed of that.

      Then when we look closely, we get down to the cause vs effect and chicken vs egg arguments and find a dichotomy without any meaningful way to order the two.

      • vinaire  On May 16, 2013 at 12:02 PM

        We need to know the ideal scene.of religion and the Churches. Kant did a good job of working that out.

        .

  • vinaire  On May 15, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    He had published, in 1784, a brief exposition of his political theory under the title of “The Natural Principle of the Political Order considered in connection with the Idea of a Universal Cosmopolitical History.” Kant begins by recognizing, in that strife of each against all which had so shocked Hobbes, nature’s method of developing the hidden capacities of life; struggle is the indispensable accompaniment of progress. If men were entirely social, man would stagnate; a certain alloy of individualism and competition is required to make the human species survive and grow. “Without qualities of an unsocial kind… men might have led an Arcadian shepherd life in complete harmony, contentment, and. mutual love; but in that case all their talents would have forever remained hidden in their germ.” (Kant, therefore, was no slavish follower of Rousseau.) “Thanks be then to nature for this unsociableness, for this envious jealousy and vanity, for this insatiable desire for possession and for power… Man wishes concord; but nature knows better what is good for his species, and she wills discord, in order that man may be impelled to a new exertion of his powers, and to the further development of his natural capacities.”

    .

    Kant is putting his own opinion here. The fact is that there is harmony as well as strife, and no further justification is needed.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 15, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    The struggle for existence, then, is not altogether an evil. Nevertheless, men soon perceive that it must be restricted within certain limits, and regulated by rules, customs, and laws; hence the origin and development of civil society. But now “the same unsociableness which forced men into society becomes again the cause of each commonwealth’s assuming the attitude of uncontrolled freedom in its external relations,— i. e., as one state in relation to other states ; and consequently, any one state must expect from any other the same sort of evils as formerly oppressed individuals and compelled them to enter into a civil union regulated by law.” It is time that nations, like men, should emerge from the wild state of nature, and contract to keep the peace. The whole meaning and movement of history is the ever greater restriction of pugnacity and violence, the continuous enlargement of the area of peace. “The history of the human race, viewed as a whole, may be regarded as the realization of a hidden plan of nature to bring about a political constitution, internally and externally perfect, as the only state in which all the capacities implanted by her in mankind can be fully developed.” If there is no such progress, the labors of successive civilizations are like those of Sisyphus, who again and again “up the high, hill heaved a huge round stone,” only to have it roll back as it was almost at the top. History would be then nothing more than an endless and circuitous folly; “and we might suppose, like the Hindu, that the earth is a place for the expiation of old and forgotten sins.”

    .

    The civilization is continuing to progress. Groups and nations need to become civilized.as individuals have become civilized. In my opinion, civilization of group depends upon greater civic sense among people as a group. Teaching of mindfulness can be of great help here.

    .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 16, 2013 at 8:07 AM

      Vin: The civilization is continuing to progress.

      Chris: Again, true tautology. Civilization, the world, the universe progresses but whether it is improving would be only an opinion. Kant’s quote (not Durant’s cover of it) is eloquent and profound: “The history of the human race, viewed as a whole, may be regarded as the realization of a hidden plan of nature to bring about a political constitution, internally and externally perfect, as the only state in which all the capacities implanted by her in mankind can be fully developed.” I especially like “. . . the realization of a hidden plan of nature. . . ” This part of Kant’s quote embraces the geno-type vs pheno-type distinction, or also as we were taught in school, “ontogeny repeats phylogeny. ”

      This really embraces my own attitude and opinion of a truer road to understanding the basis of ourselves. We truly wrestle with the hidden plan of Nature. It is truly well hidden, maybe by simply being inaccessible as a part of the superset outside the subset in which we exist. This opinion of mine is mathematical more than spiritual, which I am not trying to address.

      • vinaire  On May 16, 2013 at 12:25 PM

        In my opinion unstacking of the mind may reveal the hidden plan. It is not a one shot revelation, rather a bit by bit revelation. It has to occur across the whole mankind.

        .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 16, 2013 at 1:35 PM

          The mind may have been very well unstacked many times by many philosophers. I don’t know how this plays out across the whole of mankind. This seems to by coming from that dynamic urge proposal of Hubbard’s which model I no longer agree with.

          In my own life, I seem to be more fixated on the self than say, my wife. She seems to be forever “that’s nice dear”‘ing my stupendous 5 star epiphanies or replying “you’re just figuring that out, hmmm.” My wife is quite all about the family and me and the pets with very little attention on herself. She seems to have worked out her place in the cosmos and is just humming along completely unaware that THE WORLD COULD COME TO AN END at any time! haha

        • vinaire  On May 16, 2013 at 5:08 PM

          LOL! Your wife has it right. She is happy and that is what counts.

          We are happy too, but we are also trying to proof ourselves against unhappiness, which is very much part of this world.

          There is a spectrum of organism from cells to organs to individuals to groups to society to nations to mankind to planet, to galaxy to universe. There are both physical and mental aspects associated with this spectrum of organism. The enlightenment has to across this whole spectrum of organism.

          .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 16, 2013 at 8:24 AM

      Vin: Teaching of mindfulness can be of great help here.

      Chris: Yes, your preaching of mindfulness might be the panacea the world needs — beautifully simple! But how to ever make that seed take hold? I can only try to practice it and teach my children. But in an over-stimulating world, the beautifully simple and understated and easily underestimated power of mindfulness can be missed.

      Mindfulness is harmony and consistency. There is an amount of inconsistency which is desirable, this is the random motion of life which is interesting. Too much inconsistency is stressful to the organism, to the social order, to the solar system, — anything. How to strike this balance is the art of living well but I wouldn’t know how to begin to wrap my mind very well around what I just wrote.

      • vinaire  On May 16, 2013 at 12:30 PM

        All one can do is keep throwing the seed out. Sooner or later it will start taking hold at different places. The other part is to make the seed more appropriate for the conditions on the ground.

        What you are thinking of as inconsistency, may be consistency under the conditions on the ground. Make sure you do not have fixed ideas about consistency and inconsistency.

        .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 16, 2013 at 1:41 PM

          Consistent and inconsistent are not truths except relative to conditions on the ground. This is one of my points. It seems to me that this universe is set up in such a way that there is always a greater inconsistency possible than we are experiencing now and likewise, no matter how smooth the water it can always be smoother. That’s a Nature point or axiom of this universe to me. From that point of view, or should I write any point of view, one will not ascend from this universe. I’m not sure that is even the goal or ideal scene of one’s own admin scale or that of religion. All we seem to do is deal with more and less consistent sets of this same universe.

        • vinaire  On May 16, 2013 at 5:16 PM

          My current understanding seems to be that the source of inconsistencies are the filters that are distorting our view. Somewhere among all those filters there is a ‘logic filter’ too.

          The inconsistencies can be specific to a person depending on his or her filters. When one is dissolving inconsistencies, one is actually dissolving one’s filters.

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 16, 2013 at 9:59 PM

          Which brings up the question that if logic is a filter, then does it need to be filtered out? Logic, unlike many filters, is a carefully and deliberately crafted filter designed just for exploiting inconsistencies. How are logic and looking different from one another?

        • vinaire  On May 17, 2013 at 5:29 AM

          Logic helps one determine where to look.

        • Chris Thompson  On May 17, 2013 at 2:32 PM

          Please, lay out what you mean. Maybe an example.

        • vinaire  On May 17, 2013 at 5:53 PM

          Take a look at the Scientific Method. One starts with a conjecture and uses logic to come up with possible phenomenon. One then looks (experiments) to see if that phenomenon exists.

          .

  • vinaire  On May 17, 2013 at 5:43 AM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    The struggle for existence, then, is not altogether an evil. Nevertheless, men soon perceive that it must be restricted within certain limits, and regulated by rules, customs, and laws; hence the origin and development of civil society. But now “the same unsociableness which forced men into society becomes again the cause of each commonwealth’s assuming the attitude of uncontrolled freedom in its external relations,— i. e., as one state in relation to other states ; and consequently, any one state must expect from any other the same sort of evils as formerly oppressed individuals and compelled them to enter into a civil union regulated by law.” It is time that nations, like men, should emerge from the wild state of nature, and contract to keep the peace.

    .

    Unchecked freedom can be wild, but there is an inner sense of consistency. We see that consistency in wild nature. There is eat and be eaten, but there is a balance there. A tiger who is not hungry would not stalk its prey for food. There is no struggle for existence. There are simply various facets of life. Animals are not mentally stressed. A prey escapes if it can, otherwise it simply let’s itself to be eaten. It is the whole system. One takes the viewpoint of the whole system.

    What we see in nature is mindfulness. The higher intelligence in Man makes mindfulness a complicated affair.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 17, 2013 at 6:47 AM

    Mindfulness seems to start with the whole system’s viewpoint.

    Man is only a part of the system.

    .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 18, 2013 at 11:32 PM

      We are sure on the same wavelength about this. I have been seeing something like this or about this for a year and been fumbling around with no good way to voice it or hardly to bring it up.

    • vinaire  On May 19, 2013 at 4:42 AM

      I know what you mean. It seems to be coming into focus now with the manifestation-perception model.

      .

      • Chris Thompson  On May 19, 2013 at 7:19 AM

        I know it is not a new idea, but it is new to me. As I’ve been writing, men and women have been working this out, and I think successfully for themselves, throughout the history of man.

        • vinaire  On May 19, 2013 at 8:40 AM

          It is difficult for most to us think beyond ourselves. It is an egocentric world. Look how long it took to dispel the idea that earth is the center of the solar system. It took the simplifying of mathematics to dispel that idea.

          We still do hold the egocentric idea that Man is the most developed form of life in the universe.

          Thus, our view is limited by our localized experience and acceptance of inconsistencies (lack of mindfulness).

          Acceptance of inconsistencies is the bug in the subject of logic.

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 19, 2013 at 2:24 PM

          I guess I’m saying its groundhog day all over again for mankind.

        • vinaire  On May 19, 2013 at 8:44 PM

          🙂

          .

  • vinaire  On May 17, 2013 at 6:58 AM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    The whole meaning and movement of history is the ever greater restriction of pugnacity and violence, the continuous enlargement of the area of peace. “The history of the human race, viewed as a whole, may be regarded as the realization of a hidden plan of nature to bring about a political constitution, internally and externally perfect, as the only state in which all the capacities implanted by her in mankind can be fully developed.” If there is no such progress, the labors of successive civilizations are like those of Sisyphus, who again and again “up the high, hill heaved a huge round stone,” only to have it roll back as it was almost at the top. History would be then nothing more than an endless and circuitous folly; “and we might suppose, like the Hindu, that the earth is a place for the expiation of old and forgotten sins.”

    .

    The hidden plan of nature is nothing but the inherent sense of consistency. The moment a change is made it propagates through the rest of the reality leveling any inconsistencies as a result of it.

    Thus, if the inherent sense of consistency is allowed to reign, there is always a dynamic self-correcting balance. This doesn’t mean that no innovations can be made. It simply means that the moment an innovation is made the whole system adjusts to it in unison.

    This is system wide mindfulness in action.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 17, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    The essay on “Eternal Peace” (published in 1795, when Kant was seventy-one) is a noble development of this theme. Kant knows how easy it is to laugh at the phrase; and under his title he writes: “These words were once put by a Dutch inn-keeper on his sign-board as a satirical inscription, over the representation of a church-yard cemetery. Kant had before complained, as apparently every generation must, that “our rulers have no money to spend on public education…. because all their resources are already placed to the account of the next war.” The nations will not really be civilized until all standing armies are abolished. (The audacity of this proposal stands out when we remember that it was Prussia itself which, under the father of Frederick the Great, had been the first to establish conscription.) “Standing armies excite states to outrival one another in the number of their armed men, which has no limit. Through the expense occasioned thereby, peace becomes in the long run more oppressive than a short war; and standing armies are thus the cause of aggressive wars undertaken in order to get rid of this burden.” For in time of war the army would support itself on the country by requisitioning, quartering, and pillaging; preferably in the enemy’s territory, but if necessary, in one’s own land; even this would be better than supporting it out of government funds.

    .

    The overall system is self-correcting. If changes have been made that generated inconsistencies on a large scale and those inconsistencies are persisting, then it is simply a matter of time that those inconsistencies would be leveled.

    If man has acted on a selfish viewpoint and that has generated large scale inconsistencies of God and war, then that selfish viewpoint shall sooner or later be leveled.

    It is a matter of time. Maybe that time has come. It starts with teaching of mindfulness.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 17, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    Much of this militarism, in Kant’s judgment, was due to the expansion of Europe into America and Africa and Asia; with the resultant quarrels of the thieves over their new booty. “If we compare the barbarian instances of inhospitality . . . with the inhuman behavior of the civilized, and especially the commercial, states of our continent, the injustice practiced by them even in their first contact with foreign lands and peoples fills us with horror; the mere visiting of such peoples being regarded by them as equivalent to a conquest. America, the negro lands, the Spice Islands, the Cape of Good Hope, etc., on being discovered, were treated as countries that belonged to nobody; for the aboriginal inhabitants were reckoned as nothing. … And all this has been done by nations who make a great ado about their piety, and who, while drinking up iniquity like water, would have themselves regarded as the very elect of the orthodox faith.” —The old fox of Konigsberg was not silenced yet!

    .

    It is quite an inconsistency that Kant is pointing out among human logic, human instincts and human behavior. To resolve this inconsistency one needs to understand logic (associations), and instincts (filters).

    .

  • vinaire  On May 17, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    Kant attributed this imperialistic greed to the oligarchical constitution of European states; the spoils’ went to a select few, and remained substantial even after division. If democracy were established, and all shared in political power, the spoils of international robbery would have to be so subdivided as to constitute a resistible temptation. Hence the “first definitive article in the conditions of Eternal Peace” is this: “The civil constitution of every state shall be republican, and war shall not be declared except by a plebiscite of all the citizens.” When those who must do the fighting have the right to decide between war and peace, history will no longer be written in blood. “On the other hand, in a constitution where the subject is not a voting member of the state, and which is therefore not republican, the resolution to go to war is a matter of the smallest concern in the world. For in this case the ruler, who, as such, is not a mere citizen, but the owner of the state, need not in the least suffer personally by war, nor has he to sacrifice his pleasures of the table or the chase, or his pleasant palaces, court festivals, or the like. He can, therefore, resolve for war from insignificant reasons, as if it were but a hunting expedition; and as regards its propriety, he may leave the justification of it without concern to the diplomatic corps, who are always too ready to give their services for that purpose.” How contemporary truth is!

    .

    Not to have democracy seems to be an inconsistency. But the actual inconsistency is lack of mindfulness among the people. Under that scenario few can use force to suppress many.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 17, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Durant writes on Kant,

    The apparent victory of the Revolution over the armies of reaction in 1795 led Kant to hope that republics would now spring up throughout Europe, and that an international order would arise based upon a democracy without slavery and without exploitation, and pledged to peace. After all, the function of government is to help and develop the individual, not to use and abuse him. “Every man is to be respected as an absolute end in himself; and it is a crime against the dignity that belongs to him as a human being, to use him as a mere means for some external purpose.” This too is part and parcel of that categorical imperative without which religion is a hypocritical farce. Kant therefore calls for equality: not of ability, but of opportunity for the development and application of ability; he rejects all prerogatives of birth and class, and traces all hereditary privilege to some violent conquest in the past. In the midst of obscurantism and reaction and the union of all monarchical Europe to crush the Revolution, he takes his stand, despite his seventy years, for the new order, for the establishment of democracy and liberty everywhere. Never had old age so bravely spoken with the voice of youth.

    .

    When one knows the truth, there seems to be no other way but to stand with the truth.

    .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 17, 2013 at 9:55 PM

      Vin: When one knows the truth, there seems to be no other way but to stand with the truth.

      Chris: This has never much ever been in question. The question has always been which fork in the road? There may be a key in this thought.

      • vinaire  On May 17, 2013 at 9:59 PM

        I admire Kant.

        .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 17, 2013 at 10:21 PM

          I have not done Durant justice – weirdly, my father in law owns THE STORY OF CIVILIZATION (he has a lot of books.) Reading here back and forth between Durant, Kant, and your commentary, I also developed a respect for Kant and not as much for Durant. I should just shutup about that now.

  • vinaire  On May 18, 2013 at 5:06 AM

    Durant writes on criticism of Kant,

    First, then, is space a mere “form of sensibility,” having no objective reality independent of the perceiving mind? Yes and no. Yes: for space is an empty concept when not filled with perceived objects; “space” merely means that certain objects are, for the perceiving mind, at such and such a position, or distance, with reference to other perceived objects; and no external perception is possible except of objects in space; space then is assuredly a “necessary form of the external sense.”

    .

    Space is the fabric of the manifestation-perception system. All objects are knitted into space. Space is, therefore, an aspect of manifestation. There is orientation in space. Space is, therefore, an aspect of perception too. Space is an aspect of both manifestation and perception because manifestation and perception are defined in terms of each other.

    .

    • Chris Thompson  On May 18, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      Vin: Space is the fabric of the manifestation-perception system. All objects are knitted into space. Space is, therefore, an aspect of manifestation.

      Chris: Therefore, is space-time the manifestation-perception system?

      • vinaire  On May 18, 2013 at 1:41 PM

        One may say that.

        .

        • Chris Thompson  On May 18, 2013 at 10:05 PM

          Vin: One may say that.

          Chris: If this were the case, it would clear the way for an even more wondrous underpinning than had previously put forth (or at least of which I am aware.) I have been working on just this point and the ramifications are staggeringly wondrous! I said that twice because it seems big enough to contain it.

          What I imagine is a reality, which now that I have imagined it, becomes a metaphor for whatever is really going on. I am not providing an answer nor even a proper question but I will work on that. What I am trying to say is that a greater truth, one which encompassed anything outside the set of what is known may be greatly different, say with more dimensions, than anything encompassed by the currently known dimensions.

          All the great breakthroughs have been like this.

        • vinaire  On May 18, 2013 at 10:08 PM

          🙂
          .

  • vinaire  On May 18, 2013 at 5:24 AM

    Durant writes on criticism of Kant,

    And no: for without doubt, such spatial facts as the annual elliptical circuit of sun by earth, though statable only by a mind, are independent of any perception whatever; the deep and dark blue ocean rolled on before Byron told it to, and after he had ceased to be. Nor is space a “construct” of the mind through the coordination of spaceless sensations; we perceive space directly through our simultaneous perception of different objects and various points—as when we see an insect moving across a still background.

    .

    Annual elliptical circuit of sun by earth is a mental object formed by many astronomical observations and consistency among those observations. It is not independent of mental perception as stated in the criticism above.

    Sensations are not spaceless. Sensations are mental objects that are perceived in mental space. What has been lacking is a proper model of a manifestation-perception system that extends across both physical and mental dimensions. The above criticism is ‘individual-centric’. Both manifestation and perception can be there without the ‘individual-centric’ filter.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 18, 2013 at 6:37 AM

    Is reality truly that which is objective, and it is falsely colored by what is subjective?

    Objectivity is generally defined as “the state or quality of being true even outside of a subject’s individual feelings, imaginings, or interpretations.” Kant summarized it as “thing-in-itself” that is beyond sense perception. We can certainly have speculative definitions, such as this one, which cannot be observed directly. In that case, where does speculation fit into this idea of objective reality?

    Reality has also been defined as an actual existence, which is not imagination, fiction, or pretense. But don’t we all imagine? Don’t we read fiction? Haven’t we observed pretense in others? So, imagination, fiction and pretense do seem to have actual existence. They do not exist as physical objects. But they do exist as mental objects. Kant’s philosophy has existed for us since he expressed it in the 18th century.

    Just as we cannot deny the perception of physical objects, we cannot deny the perception of these mental objects either. The idea of reality should not limit itself to physical objects only. It should extend itself to mental objects.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 18, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    Subjectivity is generally defined as “the condition of being a subject and the subject’s perspective, experiences, feelings, beliefs, and desires.” Subject is defined as “a being that has unique experiences and a unique consciousness.” A subject is an observer and an object is a thing observed. So, the unique aspect of a subject is consciousness. Consciousness is apparently “the quality or state of being aware of an external object or something within oneself.” Being aware is to be able to perceive.

    When we add all this up, we find that subjectivity has to do with the ability to perceive. We perceive not only the physical objects in the external world, but also the mental objects of the inner life. Subjectivity boils down to the subject of perception.

    .

  • vinaire  On March 19, 2017 at 6:19 AM

    There are gradients to knowing. Such gradients are always there. The ultimate knowledge is always out there like a carrot on a stick.

    This is an agnostic approach that goes against absolutism. Absolutism is any theory, which holds that values, principles, etc., are absolute and not relative, dependent, or changeable.

    In this sense, Kant’s philosophy is absolutist when it describes a thing in itself, as distinguished from a phenomenon or thing as it appears. He is using black and white logic that allows no gradients in between.

  • vinaire  On March 19, 2017 at 9:16 AM

    Reese Archer’s idea of “relative absolute” is a self-contradiction as expressed by ideas, such as, “dark light” or “evil good” or “stupid intelligence”. It is like defining one end of a scale by the other end. It collapses the whole scale as if it does not exist. It provides a beautiful study of inconsistency in thinking.

    This kind of thinking provides a window into Kantian philosophy. Kant’s idea of a “thing in itself” cannot be sensed and discriminated that way. It collapses the idea of space and matter into one. Space and Matter form the two ends of the electromagnetic spectrum. They are separated by a gradient of energy. Kant’s “thing in itself” is affirming of a “space material” where all energy has been collapsed into nothingness. Again it provides a beautiful study of inconsistency in thinking that is being justified.

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