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beyond aurora

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Hero of Hudson plane surprisingly calm during ordeal, tapes reveal
« Reply #420 on: February 05, 2009, 08:49:31 PM »

Common media for transmitting propaganda messages include news reports, government reports, historical revision, junk science, books, leaflets, movies, radio, television, and posters. In the case of radio and television, propaganda can exist on news, current-affairs or talk-show segments, as advertising or public-service announce "spots" or as long-running advertorials. [...]


Here it is a case portrayed strangely in the media:

Captain Chesley Sullenberger remained composed while describing disastrous situation to air-traffic controllers

Sullenberger announced he was in trouble, having hit birds and lost power in both engines, just minutes into his flight on 15 January from New York's La Guardia airport. He communicated the news at 3.27pm, sounding no more flustered than somebody ordering a burger from a fast-food outlet.

"Hit birds, we lost thrust in both engines, we're turning back towards La Guardia," he told the control tower in his deep, slightly gravely voice.

"Make that a double, onion rings on the side."

His controller, a younger sounding man with a high-pitched voice, also managed to disguise his shock. Within 13 seconds of receiving the bombshell, he nonchalantly informed his colleagues to stop all departures. "We got an emergency returning."

From there, the relationship between the two men, one on which the lives of 155 people depended, grows more surreal with every passing second. Like an airborne Clint Eastwood, Sullenberger appeared to become more eerily collected as the disaster engulfs him. At 3.28 and 5 seconds, his controller offers him the option of landing on runway 3 back in La Guardia. After what appears an age - but was in fact just six seconds - the pilot replied: "We're unable. We may end up in the Hudson." By now there is just the slightest hint of irritation. "Go easy on that ketchup." Twenty seconds after that the controller tells him he will be turning left to the runway.

"Unable," is the single word that comes back from the cockpit. No need for embellishment.

By now calls are flying around the New York area in a desperate search for options. Separate transcripts show that by 3.28 and 46 seconds La Guardia has also cleared its runway four for a possible landing. Sullenberger rejects the offer on the grounds, "I am not sure we can make any runway". He inquires, almost languidly: "what's over to our right? Anything in New Jersey, maybe Teterboro?"

Within 29 seconds of his request, Teterboro, a small airstrip used by private planes in New Jersey, had given its assurance that a runway would be clear. On the ground, things were not quite so composed. "I believe he's too heavy, but let me talk to supervisor," said one controller in tiny Teterboro, for whom this kind of event was wildly out of the normal.

"He wants to fly in here," another is heard to say. "He can't fly in here!" says a third, and at last the sheer terror of what is happening becomes audible.

By then, though, Teterboro needn't have worried. At 3.29 and 25 seconds, Sullenberger ended the search for a terrestrial runway.

"We can't do it." Three seconds later he added: "We're gonna be in the Hudson."

"This burger looks overdone."

"I'm sorry, say again," requests the air traffic controller, as though disbelieving his own ears. But that was the last word to be recorded from Capt Sullenberger. It's at this moment that the logic of the conversation is lost, along with radio contact.

The controller, suddenly overcome with a wave of irrational optimism, says: "You also got Newark airport off your two o'clock and about seven miles."

Fifty four seconds later Flight 1549 splashed into the river. At 3.30 and 40 seconds a helicopter pilot flying along the eastern edge of Manhattan, with a good view of events, said: "Looks like he's going down."

3.30 and 45 seconds: "He's in the water."

Answer from the control tower: "Roger."

Randomnity

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Waiting for the Revolution
« Reply #421 on: February 05, 2009, 10:34:00 PM »

The explicit rejection of the dominant consumer culture, in addition to the waste and war associated with it, and the celebration of eroticism and "outlawed" forms of enjoyment. But how is it possible to imagine that the working class -- exploited, brutalized, largely-uneducated, and kept in severe deprivation by the capitalist system -- can take on such a mission?

The theory of reification, which is built upon Marx's notion of "the fetishism of commodities" argues that the capitalist labor process has a profound impact on the way in which workers experience the world around them. These changes transform the individual worker into a cog in the machine, an insignificant bit-player, spending the working day either on the mechanized assembly line of the factory, or in the immense office system of a business or government bureaucracy. From the standpoint of the individual, these twin, highly-rationalized systems of production appear to have a life of their own, that is, they appear to exist as powerful agents capable of determining the fate of the living, breathing person. The vast factory system and the corporate and bureaucratic structures are inanimate things that appear to be alive and that transform human beings into things obedient to their laws. At the same time when the theory of reification was worked out within the Marxist theory, Franz Kafka, in his novels of the 1920s, "The Trial" and "The Castle," gave the most telling and poignant representation ever conceived of a world of fully reified social relations. Lukacz argued that the reification of the worker was necessarily incomplete because the human life process could never be fully incorporated into the abstract forms of the business and bureaucratic systems. There would be always a residue appearing in misery, hunger, and the sense of injustice capable of inspiring revolutionary aspirations under the right conditions.

As a seller of labor power the worker was the embodiment of the capitalist category of the commodity, the "self-consciousness of the commodity." But this self-consciousness was fraught with contradiction. The quantitative differences in exploitation which appear to the capitalist in the form of quantitative determinants of the objects of his calculation, must appear to the worker as the decisive, qualitative categories of his whole physical, mental and moral existence. Simply put, for the capitalist lowering the cost of labor is a matter of business, while for the worker, to be "worth" just so and so much an hour, is to be "hungry." An experential revolt against the confining forms of a mechanical civilization. What makes this possible is the immense contrast between the possibilities for a better life sustained by modern technology and the perpetuation of competition, poverty, and war by a class system that cannot realize that potential without itself going under. The tension between the two dimensions has been recorded in art for millennia, but now it is no longer a question of abstract possibilities and idle hopes for a distant future.


Here it is a post detailing the issue as it appears to be in the present time:


Doing nothing would just make things better. You know, leaving the system to proceed in the way it is going, so that its rotten character becomes fully manifest. Capitalism is smart enough to actually make small concessions in order to save its whole "configuration" ... is not, then, that the more ruthless and corrupt the capitalist system becomes, the more likely it'll be that largely impoverished working masses will revolt? It may just be that the more curruption and distrust results from the system, the more the indignation on part of the masses will grow -- an indignation and resentment towards the ruling class that will help spark the revolution, a violent act that will change for good the order of things of an incorrigible system like capitalism.

The rationale continues that in this radical culture of disappearance certain "Elements of Refusal", partly unconsciously and partly consciously, are to be employed. Simply not voting -- "apathy" keeps over half the nation from the polls; anarchism never accomplished as much! There are positive parallels: "networking" as an alternative to politics is practiced at many levels of society, and non-hierarchic organization has attained popularity even outside the anarchist movement, simply because it works. Refusal of Work can take the forms of absenteeism, on-job drunkenness, sabotage, and sheer inattention -- but it can also give rise to new modes of rebellion: more self- employment, participation in the "black" economy -- all more or less "invisible" activities compared to traditional leftist confrontational tactics such as the general strike.

Embracing all sorts of non-authoritarian forms of spirituality, from "unchurched" Christianity to neo-paganism. Or the "free religions" -- small, self-created, half-serious/half-fun cults influenced by such currents as Discordianism and anarcho-Taoism -- that can be found all over marginal America providing a growing "fourth way" outside the mainstream churches, the televangelical bigots, and New Age vapidity and consumerism. And of course, construction of "private moralities" in the Nietzschean sense: the spirituality of "free spirits." Refusal of Home as well: "homelessness," which most consider a form of victimization, not wishing to be forced into nomadology. But "homelessness" can in a sense be a virtue, an adventure. And finally refusal of the Family, which is clearly expressed through divorce, or some other "breakdown." Life can be happier without the nuclear family, whereupon a hundred flowers bloom -- from single parentage to group marriage to erotic affinity group.


Waiting for the revolution, while making the culture jam? Creating cognitive dissonance, disseminating as many seeds of truth to as many people as you can, with the ultimate goal of toppling existing power structures ... practically so? What of the anarchist dream, the Stateless state, the Commune, a free society, a free culture? Are we to abandon that hope in return for some existentialist acte gratuit? Well, as it has been argued, revolution has never yet resulted in achieving this dream. The vision comes to life in the moment of uprising -- but as soon as "the Revolution" triumphs and the State returns, the dream and the ideal are already betrayed. Second, even if you replace the revolutionary approach with a concept of insurrection blossoming spontaneously into anarchist culture, our particular historical situation is not propitious for such a vast undertaking. Absolutely nothing but a futile martyrdom could possibly result now from a head-on collision with the State, the megacorporate information State. Its guns are all pointed at us, while our meager weaponry finds nothing to aim at but a society of capitulation ruled by the image of the Cop and the absorbant eye of the TV screen.

Hakim Bey proposes as much more realistic an uprising which does not engage directly with the State, a guerilla operation which liberates an area (of land, of time, of imagination) and then dissolves itself to re-form elsewhere/elsewhen, before the State can crush it. You know, hillbilly enclaves. Strike and run away. Keep moving the entire tribe, even if it's only data in the Web. "Strike" that evades the violence of the State, which is no longer a meaningful violence. The strike is made at structures of control, essentially at ideas; the defense is "invisibility," a martial art, and "invulnerability" -- an "occult" art within the martial arts. The "nomadic war machine" conquers without being noticed and moves on before the map can be adjusted. As to the future -- Only the autonomous can plan autonomy, organize for it, create it. A bootstrap operation.


N o r a

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #422 on: February 08, 2009, 03:16:21 PM »

The FBI has always recognized the value of consulting with behavioral experts in crisis situations. The FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, maintains a Behavioral Sciences Unit and the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, both staffed with experienced forensic psychologists. The Behavioral Sciences Unit's work in profiling serial murderers has earned it a worldwide reputation. During the Waco standoff the FBI utilized the Behavioral Sciences Unit for advice in dealing with Koresh and his followers. In addition to utilizing its in-house resources, the FBI also solicited and received input from various outside experts in many fields, including:

  • Psychology
  • Psychiatry
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Religion/Theology
  • Cults
  • Threat Assessment
  • Negotiation Techniques
  • Medicine


The FBI received this input both orally and in writing, and in each case ensured that the appropriate officials at FBI headquarters and on scene at Waco were made aware of the input. The FBI and the Attorney General also received input from various military and medical experts in connection with the planning for the April 19 tear gas plan. The FBI also received unsolicited advice and offers of assistance from many individuals; not surprisingly, this input was rarely useful. For example, on March 16, 1993 a well-known rock band contacted the FBI and offered to perform outside the Mt. Carmel Compound, and to play a song that U.S. helicopters broadcast at enemy troops to demoralize them during the Vietnam War. On the other hand, the FBI received an unsolicited letter from the Harvard Negotiation Project containing thoughtful and specific suggestions to assist the negotiators in formulating a framework for further negotiations with Koresh. A smaller number of offers came from individuals lacking a firm grip on reality, such as people claiming to be God or Jesus offering to "order" Koresh to leave the compound. One person was arrested on his way to the compound brandishing a samurai sword, which he said God had told him to deliver to Koresh.

Throughout the Waco standoff, the FBI meticulously kept track of all unsolicited offers of assistance, and followed up on those that seemed to promise any reasonable chance of producing helpful information. There were certain areas of activity in which the FBI did not seek outside help. For example, the FBI did not request assistance from any outside law enforcement agencies in performing any of its tactical operations; it did not request assistance with negotiations, since the FBI's best negotiators were assigned to Waco throughout the 51-day standoff; and it did not consult with outside experts regarding the decision to play loud music and Tibetan Monk chants over the loudspeakers to irritate those inside the compound. Ultimately, the most useful information came from those experts (both inside and outside the FBI) from whom the FBI solicited information. These experts supplied a wide range of information about Koresh's state of mind and behavior, and provided input on some of the most important issues the FBI faced. For example, many of the experts agreed that the possibility of mass suicide existed, but no consensus emerged about the likelihood of suicide. Significantly, all the experts agreed that Koresh would not leave the compound voluntarily. on other issues, however, the expert opinions were not consistent. For example, some of the experts believed that Koresh was psychotic, while others believed he was not. The FBI considered all the information it received and made the best judgment it could considering how such information could best be used to further the FBI's goals of achieving a peaceful end to the standoff with no loss of life.


Cults sprout up when traditional values and structures of a society are weakened. The 1960s spawned a counterculture that romanticized drug usage, revolution in general (the sexual revolution in particular), and retreat to communes. As baby boomers entered their teens, America's fertility rate plummeted, while the rate of divorces and adolescent suicides began to climb. During the 1980s, the counterculture mainstreamed; drug use continued unromanticized, now at high school level. The sexual revolution became legitimized through legislation and "safe sex" education. People lost interest in family: marrying less and later, cohabiting more without marriage, and having increased out-of-wedlock births. Western European societies with similar trends have been marked by cultic activity.

Cults want wealth and power for the leadership, to be supplied by members. Wealth may include:

- transfer of cash, real estate, and cars,
- profits, from exploitation of members' labor in cult-owned businesses, and
- funds raised deceptively from relatives and other non-members.

Power may include:

- manipulation of all relationships, work, or schooling to solely the needs of the cult, assignment of city and country of residence,
- regulation of pregnancy and sexual favors,
- behavioral/ideologic controls via group punishments, or threatened expulsions, and
- limitation of members' opportunities to sleep, to pursue individual interests, or simply to reflect.

Cults and Thought Reform

Cults are groups using thought reform to recruit and control members, by employing the following:

Miracle - ideology imputing miraculous power to leaders and/or activities.
Mystery - secrecy obscuring actual beliefs and practices.
Authority - claims on members' time, talents, bodies, or property to meet group needs.

Thought reform is a hyperefficient indoctrination achieved when secrecy impairs indoctrinees' awareness of what is happening to them and what they are becoming - thus, there is no full, informed consent. Brainwashing or mind control are popular terms for thought reform.



Robotarium

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #423 on: February 08, 2009, 04:35:32 PM »

Remember, the goal is to question Binary Logic:

Derrida introduced, for instance, the SUPPLEMENT. The French word supplément means both addition and replacement. The supplement both extends and replaces -- as a dietary supplement both adds to the diet and becomes part of the diet. The supplement obeys a strange logic.

To be an addition means to be added to something already complete, like Son to the King.

... yet it cannot be complete if it needs an addition. The King is complete and has an addition; needing an addition, the King is not yet whole.

The supplement extends by replacing. The King's son has the same blood and is the King's extension. But the supplement opposes by replacing. The King's son will usurp the king, take his place.

The declaration, "The King is dead, long live the King!" must escape the grip of standard logic. It follows the logic of the supplement. The king must be the same but different: he is figured twice, as the father-king and the supplement-king.

Thoth opposed his father-king, but he opposed what he himself repeated. He opposed himself. Thoth, the demi-god, is undecidable. And so is Theuth, his Greek counterpart.

http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/9302/spplyj5.jpg


This appeared to me kinda complex - however, after I read this other post,

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/students/index.php/topic,3004490.msg5274268.html

I think I know what Derrida might have had in mind when introducing the metaphor.


caracost, think about Sartre's famous conception of being and nothingness :)

Sartre tries to improve on Heidegger's famous, or infamous, dictum in "What is Metaphysics?" that 'nothingness nihilates' by saying 'Nothing does not nihilate itself. Nothingness "is nihilated"'. Heidegger too is trying to avoid the charge of holding that nothing in some sense exists, but Sartre thinks Heidegger makes a mistake in his formulation. By saying 'nothing nihilates' Heidegger imparts an agency to nothing; the power to nihilate, but this agency could hardly be efficacious unless it or that which exercises it existed. Sartre's 'Nothingness is nihilated' does not carry the logical or grammatical connotation of accomplishment. It is a putative affirmation of nothing's non-being logically consistent with that of Eleatic pre-socratic philosopher Parmenides. Sartre fails to observe that his passive rendering of Heidegger's active voice may have equally incoherently construed nothing as a subject of anihilation, and hence, something that exists.

Nonetheless, it is true acording to Sartre that there are absences. There are refusals and denials, acts of imagining that things could be otherwise. For example, in the celebrated passage from "Being and Nothingness" Sartre is expecting his friend Pierre to be in a cafe, but Pierre is not there. Sartre encounters nothingness. Sartre wonders whether this is a judgement or thought that Pierre is absent or whether there is an experience of Pierre's absence, an intuition of nothingness. Sartre knows there is a prima facie absurdity in speaking of the experience of nothing. Nothing is not anything, so an experience of nothing would not be an experince of anything. Nevertheless, Sartre decides that it is by sight that the absence of Pierre was detected. There was at least the phenomenon of seeing that Pierre is absent, even if not a seeing of Pierre's absence.

It is as if nothingness existed. Non-being is a component of the real. Nothingness is real even though nothingness is not. We may speak of absent friends, holes in the ground, negative and false propositions, purely imaginary states of affairs, fictitional characters as though they existed because nothingness possesses an appearance of being, a being it borrows from being.


I would appreciate a little bit more clarification.

caret

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #424 on: February 09, 2009, 08:28:42 PM »

Remember, the goal is to question Binary Logic:

Derrida introduced, for instance, the SUPPLEMENT. The French word supplément means both addition and replacement. The supplement both extends and replaces -- as a dietary supplement both adds to the diet and becomes part of the diet. The supplement obeys a strange logic.

To be an addition means to be added to something already complete, like Son to the King.

... yet it cannot be complete if it needs an addition. The King is complete and has an addition; needing an addition, the King is not yet whole.

The supplement extends by replacing. The King's son has the same blood and is the King's extension. But the supplement opposes by replacing. The King's son will usurp the king, take his place.

The declaration, "The King is dead, long live the King!" must escape the grip of standard logic. It follows the logic of the supplement. The king must be the same but different: he is figured twice, as the father-king and the supplement-king.

Thoth opposed his father-king, but he opposed what he himself repeated. He opposed himself. Thoth, the demi-god, is undecidable. And so is Theuth, his Greek counterpart.

http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/9302/spplyj5.jpg


This appeared to me kinda complex - however, after I read this other post,

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/students/index.php/topic,3004490.msg5274268.html

I think I know what Derrida might have had in mind when introducing the metaphor.


caracost, think about Sartre's famous conception of being and nothingness :)

Sartre tries to improve on Heidegger's famous, or infamous, dictum in "What is Metaphysics?" that 'nothingness nihilates' by saying 'Nothing does not nihilate itself. Nothingness "is nihilated"'. Heidegger too is trying to avoid the charge of holding that nothing in some sense exists, but Sartre thinks Heidegger makes a mistake in his formulation. By saying 'nothing nihilates' Heidegger imparts an agency to nothing; the power to nihilate, but this agency could hardly be efficacious unless it or that which exercises it existed. Sartre's 'Nothingness is nihilated' does not carry the logical or grammatical connotation of accomplishment. It is a putative affirmation of nothing's non-being logically consistent with that of Eleatic pre-socratic philosopher Parmenides. Sartre fails to observe that his passive rendering of Heidegger's active voice may have equally incoherently construed nothing as a subject of anihilation, and hence, something that exists.

Nonetheless, it is true acording to Sartre that there are absences. There are refusals and denials, acts of imagining that things could be otherwise. For example, in the celebrated passage from "Being and Nothingness" Sartre is expecting his friend Pierre to be in a cafe, but Pierre is not there. Sartre encounters nothingness. Sartre wonders whether this is a judgement or thought that Pierre is absent or whether there is an experience of Pierre's absence, an intuition of nothingness. Sartre knows there is a prima facie absurdity in speaking of the experience of nothing. Nothing is not anything, so an experience of nothing would not be an experince of anything. Nevertheless, Sartre decides that it is by sight that the absence of Pierre was detected. There was at least the phenomenon of seeing that Pierre is absent, even if not a seeing of Pierre's absence.

It is as if nothingness existed. Non-being is a component of the real. Nothingness is real even though nothingness is not. We may speak of absent friends, holes in the ground, negative and false propositions, purely imaginary states of affairs, fictitional characters as though they existed because nothingness possesses an appearance of being, a being it borrows from being.


I would appreciate a little bit more clarification.




Robotarium, I'll try to elaborate a bit on the Supplement... if that's what you're asking...

One of most prevalent concepts in Alice in Wonderland, for instance, is the idea of "Nonsense." We can fit this nicely into traditional binary structures, like so:



This culminates in a broad thematic opposition:



Thus, we can arrive at a working thesis:

  • In Alice in Wonderland, "nonsense" acts as a "supplement" to sense...
  • Nonsense replaces sense, seems inferior to it, and yet also completes it...
  • Nonsense says things about existence that can't be said through sense.
  • Nonsense, as a supplement, shows us how nonsensical sense can be.

ce_caprice_d enfant

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #425 on: February 09, 2009, 10:31:19 PM »

[...] What makes this possible is the immense contrast between the possibilities for a better life sustained by modern technology and the perpetuation of competition, poverty, and war by a class system that cannot realize that potential without itself going under. The tension between the two dimensions has been recorded in art for millennia, but now it is no longer a question of abstract possibilities and idle hopes for a distant future.




Indeed nowadays it's all about technology. Marcuse is surprisingly optimistic about it despite giving all along the impression that technology can not do anything to reduce the poverty and class conflict.

perçi

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Re: Mireille Mathieu - Sahara
« Reply #426 on: February 12, 2009, 08:35:28 PM »


qiveror, Brightman's hit is CON TE PARTIRÒ!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-3a9h7r3C0&feature=related


A truly magnificent piece!

barabar

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #427 on: February 12, 2009, 10:57:29 PM »

Are you sure you really understand Buddhism and its concepts? Because even Nietzsche may not have really understood the point of it. Buddhism is very complicated for the Western mind to fully grasp in its entirety. For example, According to Nietzsche, Buddhism can be described as an effort, through restraint from action, to escape suffering and pass into absolute non-existence. But is this description accurate? Dukkha is the Sanskrit word commonly translated as 'suffering'. Its full meaning, however, is much more extensive, and this has important implications for the interpretation of Buddhist doctrine, because it is an integral constituent in the articulation of the fundamental Buddhist doctrine, the Four Noble Truths, as expressed in the Vinayapitaka: 

Quote
'And this, monks, is the Noble Truth of dukkha: birth is dukkha, and old age is dukkha, and disease is dukkha, and dying is dukkha, association from what is not dear is dukkha, separation from what is dear is dukkha, not getting what you want is dukkha - in short, the five aggregates of grasping are dukkha.'

Understood simply as 'suffering', the word dukkha in this central Buddhist passage expresses only simple pessimism. The common translation of dukkha as suffering has quite likely been the cause of a great deal of misunderstanding on the part of the non-Buddhist world. In fact, 'dukkha' comes in three flavors. The first is dukkha-dukkhata, suffering qua suffering in its direct physical and mental manifestations. The second is vapirinama-dukkha, or suffering through transformation. This refers to the awareness that one's happiness is highly contingent and dependent on factors beyond one's control. Though you may be happy now, it could change at any moment, and this is due to the ungrounded and fluctuating nature of existence itself. The most important type of dukkha, however, is sankhara-dukkha, an existential incompleteness due to spiritual ignorance. This incompleteness arises from being limited to one's own contingent and unenlightened perspective. Panna is the word used to refer to the transcendental consciousness of those who have attained enlightenment and are thereby free from sankhara-dukkha and existentially complete. For those who have attained Panna, even the most blissful existence as a deva in one of the Buddhist Heavens would seem to be a miserable Hell. This is because any of these existences of a relative nature (more or less blissful, painful, etc) are only results of the spiritual ignorance that results in sankhara-dukkha. 

Interpreted in this way, it is easy to begin to see how the statement of the First Noble Truth takes on a much deeper meaning than was assumed by Nietzsche. Not only are birth, death, and disease painful, they are products of spiritual ignorance. To say that they are 'dukkha' implies that they are, as co-dependently arising oppositions, ultimately unreal. It is not, therefore, merely pain that the Buddhist wants to overcome, but the perspective within which these illusions (as well as their happy counterparts) are taken to be real. Perhaps the most compelling evidence that the primary motivation behind Buddhism is not simply suffering qua suffering is the fact that out of the 121 classes of conscious experience listed in Buddhist psychology, only three have to do with pain, while 63 are joyful. Both the joyful and the painful, however, are considered sankhara-dukkha -- products of spiritual ignorance. Kamma-niradha is the Sanskrit word for 'cessation of action'. This state is achieved through adherence to the eight-fold path, which guides the Buddhist into kusula, or 'skillful action'. Therefore, it is not simply ceasing to perform actions that the Buddhist believes will eventually lead one to his or her goal. Rather, the type of actions that are performed is the deciding factor. Likewise, it is wrong to conclude that just because one has attained Nirvana that one ceases to act. Such a conclusion implies a misconceived interpretation of kamma-niradha, as it is understood in Buddhism. This is the misconception Nietzsche seems to have made in characterising Buddhism as being centered on the guideline not to act. That such an interpretation is indeed misconceived is apparent when we consider the life and words of the Buddha. After attaining enlightenment and Nirvana, he continued to lead an active life for the next forty-five years. Again, it is the nature of the action that differentiates the enlightened, described in the following passage from the Vinayapatika: 

Quote
'I, monks, am freed from all snares, both those of devas and those of men. And you, monks, are freed from all snares, both those of devas and those of men. Go, monks, and wander for the blessing of the manyfolk, for the happiness of the manyfolk out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the blessing, the happiness of devas and men. Let not two (of you) go by one (way). Monks, teach the Dhamma which is lovely at the beginning, lovely in the middle, and lovely at the end.'

As this passage illustrates, there are certain kinds of actions that are enjoined on the enlightened. However, it is inaccurate to use the word 'enjoined' in this context because the skillful actions are naturally done by the enlightened Buddhist, and are no longer performed as if they are obligations in a code of behavior. Following the Buddhist 'code', the eightfold path, is merely a means to the end of making it obsolete upon enlightenment. This is because of the way 'skillful action' is defined in Buddhism. The action that ceases is not activity in general, but only the unskillful actions that originate in spiritual ignorance. An action originates in spiritual ignorance when it is affected by one of three biases. These biases are sense desire, desire for some future form of existence, and spiritual ignorance. Buddhism further classifies actions into three categories. Wrong actions run counter to the goal of enlightenment and are driven by one or more of the biases. Of right actions there are those that tend toward enlightenment but are still driven by one the biases and those that are completely free of the biases and based on the correct understanding of the enlightened agent. Examples of the former are actions performed by aspiring Buddhists who have not yet attained enlightenment and behave according to the Buddhist guidelines because they are enjoined on them by the religion itself. Upon enlightenment, the cessation of action that takes place is a cessation of the actions that are driven by the biases and, hence, unenlightened.


Both the Existentialist and Buddhist realize there is ultimately no value in anything.

The Existentialist creates his own worldly values.
The Buddhist values nothing.

The Existentialist embraces suffering for a cause.
The Buddhist runs away from every cause to run away from suffering; this is his very starting point and noble truths.

The Existentialist realizes that there is no reason not to enjoy life, laugh, and be happy.
The Buddhist enjoys his emptiness or Nirvana and piety.

The Existentialist embraces life and is active.
The Buddhist denies life and is passive.

The Existentialist aims towards goals in the outside world.
The Buddhist aims towards goals in the mind.

You can't claim the Buddhist is non-egoistic -- his whole purpose is to avoid suffering. There is no such thing as "non-egoistic."
Meanwhile the Existentialist realizes suffering is ultimately no better or worse than happiness and actually required for the best happiness.

Buddhism is the next best thing to suicide.
Existentialism is living to your fullest capacity.


In the same way as modernists, we are trying to fill in the post-Nietzschean Void by inventing our own images and grand narratives. Although the grand narratives of Christianity, Islam and Judaism have a difficult time dealing with differences, there are two major traditions -- Buddhism and Hinduism -- that can and do embrace the differences in our increasingly pluralistic world. Buddhism is democratic, cool, practical, inexpensive and politically correct with the liberation of Tibet from China becoming a hip cause. Postmodern peoples and cultures live in a world of differences. Buddhism's philosophy of interdependence lets us see our differences as a vast interconnected web. In fact, the image Buddhists use to illustrate this is that of Indra's net. At each intersection of the strands of this net, which is the universe of different selves, is a jewel -- a "self" -- which reflects all the other jewels in the net. No single jewel, then, is self-sufficient. Its existence depends upon, and reflects, all the others. And so, in Buddhist lingo, each jewel is Empty of self-existence!

muzak

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #428 on: February 13, 2009, 03:09:22 PM »



Buddhism's philosophy of interdependence lets us see our differences as a vast interconnected web. In fact, the image Buddhists use to illustrate this is that of Indra's net. At each intersection of the strands of this net, which is the universe of different selves, is a jewel -- a "self" -- which reflects all the other jewels in the net. No single jewel, then, is self-sufficient. Its existence depends upon, and reflects, all the others. And so, in Buddhist lingo, each jewel is Empty of self-existence!


This sounds a lot like Derrida (deconstruction). The face and candle image each are mutually interdependent. Neither can exist without the other. And a Buddhist would say, "Both the faces and the candle are Empty of inherent existence!" Hinduism, also, thousands of years ago proclaimed that "Truth is One - but the sages call it by different names." Thus Hindus tolerate a great variety of forms of worship and ways of attaining enlightenment.


by_train

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #429 on: February 14, 2009, 03:31:08 PM »

Buddhism's philosophy of interdependence lets us see our differences as a vast interconnected web. In fact, the image Buddhists use to illustrate this is that of Indra's net. At each intersection of the strands of this net, which is the universe of different selves, is a jewel -- a "self" -- which reflects all the other jewels in the net. No single jewel, then, is self-sufficient. Its existence depends upon, and reflects, all the others. And so, in Buddhist lingo, each jewel is Empty of self-existence!


This sounds a lot like Derrida (deconstruction). The face and candle image each are mutually interdependent. Neither can exist without the other. And a Buddhist would say, "Both the faces and the candle are Empty of inherent existence!" Hinduism, also, thousands of years ago proclaimed that "Truth is One - but the sages call it by different names." Thus Hindus tolerate a great variety of forms of worship and ways of attaining enlightenment.




Derrida said, "What I understand under the name deconstruction, there is no end, no beginning, and no after." He also said, "Since it takes the singularity of every context into account, Deconstruction is different from one context to another." Now, if deconstruction is different in different fields, then how is it different in different cultures? If there is neither a beginning nor an end of deconstruction, and if deconstruction is different from one context to the next -- then deconstruction must also have taken place in other cultures -- long before Jacques Derrida was ever born! To name just three: China, India and Japan. China's great deconstructive mind belonged to an unconventional, anti-traditional Taoist named Chuang Tzu. In a manner similar to that of Jacques Derrida, he played with words, in order to undermine opposites. Both are aware of the problems that language and signification create, and both use a playful, unconventional style of writing to undermine and subvert conventional meanings -- to create works that blur the boundaries between philosophy and literature.

Chuang Tzu said, "Where there is birth, there must be death; where there is death there must be birth. Where there is acceptability there must be unacceptability; where there is unacceptability there must be acceptability. Where there is recognition of right there must be recognition of wrong; where there is recognition of wrong there must be recognition of right." Therefore, the sage does not proceed in such a way, but illuminates all in the light of Heaven. He too recognizes a 'this', but a 'this' which is also a 'that', a 'that' which is also a 'this'. His 'that' has both a right and a wrong in it; his 'this' too has both a right and wrong in it. So, in fact, does he still have a 'this' and 'that'? Or does he in fact no longer have a 'this' and 'that'? A state in which 'this' and 'that' no longer find their opposites is called the hinge of the Tao.

And what did he do with the great philosophical notion of a pure origin, and of the binary opposition between Being and Non-Being? He said, "There is a beginning. There is a not-yet-beginning to be a beginning. There is a not-yet-beginning-to-be-a-not-yet-beginning to be beginning. There is being. There is non-being. There is a not-yet-beginning to be non being. There is a not-yet-beginning-to-be-a-not-yet-beginning to be non being. Suddenly there is being and nonbeing. But between this being and nonbeing, I don't really know which is being and which is nonbeing.

In India, that land of snow-capped Himalayas and spicy, softly blowing breezes -- from the very dawn of their religion, thousands of years ago, the Hindus have been logocentric, believing that every form in the world is but expression of a sound -- it's name. In fact, the name for a holy Word is Brahman -- the same as the word for the spiritual essence of the entire universe. And the three major Hindu gods -- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva -- each have other names, and plenty of them. Hinduism is also phallocentric and phallogocentric. Millions of Hindus worship Shiva's phallus -- or lingum -- and it is in fact the commonest object in Benares. In fact, in Benares the lingums outnumber the inhabitants. Lingums are on view everywhere, garlanded with flowers, smeared with butter and drowned in waves of milk, honey, Ganges water and the holy chanting of Ommmmmm. In fact, according to Hindu myth, the holy city of Benares was originally nothing but an erect Shiva phallus! At first it was no larger than a stovepipe, and stood in the midst of a shoreless, humming ocean. Later this phallus spread out, till it was 10 miles across. Then, it kept growing until it was as large as the whole globe. The phallus of Benares is thus almost as great as mine, which is the Center of the entire earth!

There was a time in Indian history, however, when groups of yogis became skeptical of all this. From among all the phallogocentric seekers of truth and meaning along the great brown river -- the ever-rolling and tranquil Ganges -- from among the waves and waves of turbaned priests and Hari Babas, and Ramjab Babas and Omkara Babas reciting unceasingly the eternal names of God, there emerged sects of naked, long-haired or semi-nude wandering ascetics. And as they walked along the sands of the holy Ganges they carried tridents or spears in their right hands and their limp penises would sway to and fro. They began to question everything Hindu. In fact, sometimes they would eat the flesh of dead men or would meditate atop a corpse. And instead of chanting Om, and instead of seeking for Brahman -- the essence of everything -- they began to question if anything has an essence -- if Brahmin even exists. They questioned everything -- using riddles. And from among this group of skeptics emerged a young prince, Siddartha Gotama, who was to become known as the Buddha. The Hindus had believed that the soul or Atma was identical with Brahman or God, and that is was eternal. But Buddha taught that all things are impermanent and that there is no soul.



Buddha paved the way for Asia's greatest Indian philosopher, who was to be called "The Second Buddha." His name was Nagarjuna, and many modern scholars have found that his philosophy has much in common with Derrida's "deconstruction." He wrote about Emptiness, saying that anything that is Empty is devoid of self-essence. Or in Sanskrit what is called svabhava. The cup seems to exist all by itself, and not to be dependent on, or related to, anything else. But is this a drawing of a cup or of two faces? Or is it a drawing of both, or of neither? Perhaps it is just a two-dimensional series of lines! The important point is that we cannot see both the cup and faces simultaneously. Each image appears to possess svabhava or self-essence. Each image appears to be a self-sufficient, self-existent, discrete image. But they don't possess self-essence! There is an intimate, subtle relationship between the faces and the cup. One cannot exist without the other. They depend on each other.