The Concept of Mind: Structures of Experience

After many conversations with friends about experience vs. reflection, I decided I should attempt to extricate how it is I grasp consciousness and its inhabiting structures. These are simply ongoing notes and reflections written for my own personal reference. Though it may not be immediately obvious, there is a certain logic to the order in which these thoughts are introduced.

Being

A living organism is a subjective being, and a subjective being possesses a body. A subject possesses a perspective, while an object is possessed by a perspective.

Stimulation

Stimulation occurs due to a change or transference of energy, otherwise called an affect. Stimulation acting on the body produces an affect which leaves an impression on the mind. Sensory stimulation occurs due to an affect on the sensory organs located on the body.

Reflection

Memory is produced by recalling past impressions

Reflection is a synthetic process which integrates past memories with present experience; by retrieving past impressions, of varying quantity and quality, and creating new associations.

Reflection extricates concepts from their originally generated, or prior applied, context and introduces the concepts into the present consciousness.

Experience

Experience is a feature of all living beings, rendered by responding to stimulations derived from the external world.

Experience is feeling: the production of sensations on the mind.

Experience, prior to the introduction of any and all structural concepts, is a swirling chaos of pure feeling and sensation, with each sensation represented to varying magnitudes and degrees. The absence of any order is confusing, swirling, melting, blooming, variegating; a storm of senses, containing  every color, sound, smell, touch, taste; with all the accompanying pain and pleasure; boiling of shade, hue, tint, tone.

Experience can be conscious or unconscious.

Consciousness

Consciousness is produced by active reflection. Unconsciousness is produced by inactive reflection.

Consciousness is marked by reflection: it is the feature of reproducing impressions—memories— and hold them before the “mind’s eye” for consideration (for application or entertainment).

Reflective consciousness may produce the feeling of experience by reproducing memories of prior experience, otherwise known as imagining, but this experience is not actively “living”, but presently “dead”. According to the sensations produced, that which is living is fluid and changing; while that which is dead is static and persisting.

Consciousness has many levels: it is not simply being “alive”. There are many levels— or orders— of consciousness. Higher order consciousness arises in proportion to complexity: the greater the complexity, the greater consciousness.

The complexity of consciousness is proportional to the quantity and quality of reflection. By quantity I speak temporally of “how often”, specifically done. By quality I speak spatially of “how many”, specifically kinds.

The faculties of consciousness relate to both the sensory input organs and the sensory integration organs. The five senses constitute the input organs, while the integration organs relate to associative memory.

The sensory input organs are developed according to their sensitivity which arises from exposure. Each input organ develops independently from or in combination with other input organs. Independent exposure produces depth; while combinatory exposure produces breadth, with depth increasing in proportion to exposure of combinations..

The integration organs break down further into two aspects of integration, being intelligence and creativity. Intelligence relates to efficient associative memory, while creativity relates to effective associative memory.

Efficient associative memory arises from similar stimulation, repetition, or repeated exposure, or routine; which produce strengthened habits of thought.

Effective associative memory arises from dissimilar stimulation, instances, or diverse exposure, or novelty; which produce weakened habits of thought.

Conceptual Structures

How concepts structure experience into knowledge:

Concepts render conscious experience; that is, concepts render experience conscious.

Concepts are the lens, the paradigm, the filter, the mold, the scope, the structure, the order with which experience is made conscious.

Conceptual structures arise from reflection.

Concepts order experience; they serve to distinguish distinctions among the spectrum of colorful feeling so that colorful feeling can be indexed according to its kind and utilized when the appropriate context calls for it.

All knowledge resembles a polyhedron bi-pyramid. Each domain of knowledge (experience or thought) is a triangular face on the pyramid, with every domain representing a specific context, or culture or social structure.

Concepts are geometric shapes or tools; they exist as structures that organize the integration of experience.

When I imagine what a single concept is within a single domainmy thoughts produce a two dimensional geometric shape that resembles a snowflake.

If the concept is complex and developed by experimental experience, and incorporates many domains of thought, I imagine a three dimensional solid, with one face visible to the domain, and the interrelations with other conceptual blocks hidden from sight, existing internally within the pyramid.

Context

A context is the associations established among objects by circumscribing the area around the location of a given point.

A context is determined by the degrees of relation among objects proximate to the given point of a subject’s location.

A context is an ecology and system: an ecology is the entire sum of objective demands acting within the context; a system is a series of connections produced by cause and demand.

The context produced by conscious experience is a domain of thought; a perspective of mind.

Each context is a unique, temporally and spatially located, experience with specific environmental demands, being physical or social. Context is the situation of a given organism or subjective being, in present or past.

Context is defined as the problem; the environmental demands. Every organism is programmed to self-preserve: survival is an organisms priority. As such, every context poses a problem, with the ease of the problem increasing in proportion to the level of adaptation.

The greater the problem or struggle or chaos or confusion, the greater the need for reflection, and the greatest potential for generating new concepts.

Concepts are always generated within a specific context, to solve the problem of context and its individuated environmental demands; therefore concepts are anchored to the context in which they were generated. Concepts may be unanchored when they are reproduced through reflection, introduced to the consciousness, and applied to the context of present or past experience.

Division of labor diversifies contexts by delineating and indexing concepts according to the specific context in which they were generated. In this way division of labor acknowledges the utility of context and the accompanying specialization of concepts.

Each face of the geometric solid represents a the conceptual structure of a single perspective.

Environment is determined by the temporal and spatial location of a subjective being in an external world constituted by finite matter composing infinite entities.

Particulars

All particulars are ideas of consciousness:: All facts are particulars of experience.

All ideas are indexed concepts; ideas are truth, and cannot be challenged by experience.

All facts are indexed experiences; facts are probable, and can be challenged by experience.

An untested fact is only an idea.

A tested idea is a fact only in the context in which is was tested.

All premises must be grounded in experience.

All facts must be grounded in experience.

Convergence

Convergence occurs due to association.

Convergent lines  intersect at angles which represent logical connectors, or operators or associations.

Operators connect or hold the concept together and give it shape.

Dualities of Consciousness

I come to possess concepts in two ways: passively or actively.

1. Passive concepts are yielded deductively, as given ideas.

2. Active concepts are yielded inductively, as created facts. .

1. Knowledge is ideas that have been passively structured with concepts: knowledge is rote, analytic, two dimensional, logically sequential, abstract and monochromatic

2. Wisdom is experience that has been actively structured with concepts: wisdom is intuitive, synthetic, three dimensional, holistic, concrete and colorful.

1. I passively receive concepts through books or passively listening to lecture or discourse. These concepts arrive prefabricated and incomplete. In this way passive concepts exist a priori to experience until the extent of their full nature fully tested through experimentation and the geometric solid can be developed. These concepts are linked

When I receive a passive concept, each sentence or logical operation produces or adds black lines, points, or angles to the shape. The lines are the premises; and the angles are the operators. The concept itself is hollow and possesses no internal color and therefore no way of distinguishing it from other similar concepts without an external indicator. In fact, when I think about an abstract concept, it’s sometimes difficult to see where premised lines begin and where they end, which angles of logic are part of the line or part of two separate premised lines intersecting.

2. I actively produce concepts though the process of organizing chaotic or confusing experience. That is, a problem imposes disorder on my experience and by turning over the problem within my mind— by reflecting and describing and rotating its nature; and asking how and why and when it works and where it comes from and what it associates with— I produce an erect a structure which orders the experience. This structure is a concept.

Every actively produced concept is a result of applied pressure, applied work, constantly squeezing, testing, stretching, challenging, and undermining its ability to yield a concept that orders and explains experience.

Synthetic Unification

New concepts are constructed when the particulars of mind converge in a context, as a result of reflection.

Wisdom is synthesis of contexts, or disparate domains of knowledge, and the concepts located within.

The process of testing particulars yields experience.

The process of testing concepts within a context yields understanding.

The process of testing concepts in various contexts yields wisdom.

The bipyramid capstone is the unifying concept; the pinnacle is the all seeing eye; the concept located at the highest point is the higher order self, or a consciousness that is fully aware of its self, due to reflection.

The top of the pyramid is where synthesis occurs: all concepts exist under this synthesizing capstone.

Structuring Consciousness

No matter what the domain, there is always a single unifying concept at the top, which resembles a capstone, in which all other concepts are built upon. This concept possesses the same shape and is positioned in the same location for every domain. Reaching the very point of this  capstone requires emptying all concepts from the mind, and feeling entirely. When this occurs synthesis can occur among other domains of thought and their concepts.

The concepts extending from under this unifying concept all resemble irregular geometric shapes. The farther down, the more irregular, and the less compatible with concepts horizontal to it. Extending away from the unifying pinnacle located at the tip of the capstone, the base extends down infinitely as each additional concept justifying existing concepts indexes a new aspect of experience.

Each concept possesses very unique features that allow it to integrate seamlessly with other concepts that possess inversely congruent features, so that they rest stable on one another. In this way all compatible concepts are inversely related (dualistic), like puzzle pieces, possessing a supply or demand that links them together, a void or an instantiating, a cause or effect, a deficit or surplus. Every concept contrasts with an interlinking, compatible concept in which it is connected.

New domains of knowledge cannot be built up from passive concepts. They can only reconstruct an existing domain of knowledge. Passive concepts can build down, developing or elaborating new concepts, from existing domains of knowledge.

Only when the unifying concept located at the point of the capstone is established can active concepts build up new domains of knowledge.

Adaptation and Evolution

Adaptation is an equalizing response; adapting is a response which creates equilibrium between two objects.

Adaptation is the appropriate response to environmental demands.

Adaptation of a subjective being is the appropriate response to proximate objective demands imposed by the given context.

The necessities, struggles, and demands original to a context does not guarantee adaptation.  If the subjective being is perfectly adapted to its environment– the objective demands of its context–, appropriate responses will occur fluidly and seamlessly.

Energy must be supplied to a system to produce change.

If a subjective being  is produced by the context, it is perfectly adapted. Wherever energy is highest, adaptation is fastest. Potential energy allows for future adaptation.

Concepts allow for adaptation by producing appropriate responses to changing demands.

Access to concepts and active reflection is imperative to adaptation.

Concepts without reflection cause functional fixation because they only consider the concepts—and the context in which they were generated— presently occupying the consciousness, which is incompatible with the demands of the current context.

Some personalities possess a chronic struggle which produces creative thoughts and solutions: madness of creative genius, anxiety, bipolar, depression, and the like.

 

Information Evolution: Language and Real-life Structures

Random thoughts on language as information evolution. And technology and digital information.

Continue reading “Information Evolution: Language and Real-life Structures”

Truth Hear

In customary social interaction, I tell people what they want to hear: the truth. And for that reason truth is the most insidious instrument ever to have been invented.

When I want to move people into feeling, I talk in terms of their truth, what they perceive to be real, however far from reality and actuality that may be. Does this cause injury or harm? Do we like being shaken from our dreams?

That is why I let people sleep. Very few people want to be woken from their slumber.

Truth anesthetizes the senses the same way repetitive knocking becomes silent background noise: first it is salient, then it is comforting, finally it disappears.

Repetition lulls man to sleep. It dulls his senses by incessantly chipping away at his resistance until he is made more facile and docile, more tolerant to the beating drum, the inculcation.

Very rarely do I talk in terms of actuality. Far too many people shiver at the prospect of losing ground in their truth. Very rarely do I have the courage to disrupt their cool delusions. Am I wrong? Does this antagonize their delusional trance?

Though exceedingly rare, it is only when someone opens a conversation with hope and self-criticism simultaneously do I test the waters of actuality with my toe, making sure to create the most gentle ripple across their placid consciousness so that I may observe how they react to these waves. If there is no hope, such a ripple will likely cause them to thrash and drown. Where there is hope they will tread water, perhaps reluctantly; and where criticism can churn waters and whip waves high above their head, they will rise with the wake and achieve greater perspective.

What is unfortunate, however, is that most have no hope. No hope in their ability to think critically, to tread in tumultuous waters, and gain perspective. As a result they shirk from novelty, they preserve misaligned bias, and they maintain a certain xenophobia to all things foreign.

While I strongly resist any notion that man is inherently limited by nature, rather than strictly limited  by self, I can only conclude that most prefer the tranquility of sleep, the plush luxury of feeling comfortable in their current state, and that the herd, though bewildered and duplicitous, offers the only mentality capable of capturing this feeling of familiar.

 

Ressentiment: Frustration and Flourishing

Ressentiment refers to the “sentiment of resent” towards one’s frustrations, whether they resulting from natural or social phenomenon. This resent causes man to transcend himself, to delve deeper into his reflective consciousness, and create new valuations, a new system of morality that allows him to perceive and therefore interact with the world in a more advantageous way, a way that is reflective of and suited for his intentions, his interests.

Ressentiment is a good thing. It indicates struggle. Struggle provides the fertile ground necessary for all flourishing, for all growth. Without struggle, without challenge, there is no development, no adaptation, no transcendence of mind and circumstance.

Resentment is a manifestation of conflict. Its byproduct is struggle and frustration. Paramount to realizing the value of ressentiment is the inability to escape, whether this is a physical or social or psychological consequence. If one escapes the conflict, there is no struggle, and therefore no opportunity to create and transcend and ultimately actualize private intentions and valuations. Oppression, notably slavery, is the typifying situation that breeds ressentiment. In every culture is it revolution that describes the overthrowing of impeding structures, paradigms, values, and modes of thought. Slavery to a single man or a single system makes no difference, whether it is a political dictator or a prevailing system of scientific process.

Philosophy is a product of this conflict. It epitomizes struggle through its process of resolution through inquiry, meditation, dialogue, and dialectical method. Its very nature seeks to reconcile paradoxical and contradictory themes, ideas, values,  and modes. Kant describes philosophy as Kampf, or struggle.

Ressentiment is a deep, invidious, ruminating state of being that possesses an individual’s mind. It manifests as the conscious mind, exhausted and taxed with futile attempts to overcome an obstacle interfering with its intention, retreats inwardly to seek self-generated solutions, to create alternative worlds of ulterior values. It calls upon the wisdom of the divine, the daemon or genius, to synthesize a deviant psychology for overcoming the conflict. It is a purely creative act, a purely spiritual enterprise that taps into the mental faculties embodying the holistic condition of man as a spatial and temporal creature, a product of historical conditions situated in a present context.

They say, familiarity breeds contempt. I would posit, more aptly, that familiarity breeds ressentiment. Familiarity is none other than an indicator of security, the status quo. The phenomenon of familiarity is an index of malignant stagnation, a threat to life, to change, to evolution and adaptation.

The will to power, as Nietzsche believed, was the mechanism of overcoming this ressentiment and, when exercised freely, a healthy manifestation of man’s ability to adapt, overcome, and dominate impeding obstacles, challenges, and forces that trap, stifle, and oppress man’s natural physical and mental propensities to flourish.

How do we leverage the power of ressentiment towards human flourishing? Push back on the world. Harbor a bitterness that rejects that familiar, a resentment for anything static and unchanging and unevolving. Take disparate domains of thought and force them together, insist that they occupy the same place, the same context, however foreign the landscapes of their genesis may appear. Never mind the revolting perversity this produces in you. Embrace the tendency to reject the revulsion as a healthy indicator, a mark in the nascent production of wisdom, of progressing latent understanding and perspective into actuality. What is revolting is good. Use the visceral revulsion, the revolt, to produce a revolution within you: a revolution that transcends present being.

Ressentiment

Ressentiment refers to the “sentiment of resent” towards one’s frustrations, be they resulting from natural or socia phenomenon. This resent causes man to transcend himself, to delve deeper into his reflective consciousness, and create a new valuation, a new system of morality, that allows him to perceive and therefore interact with the world in a more advantageous way, a way that is reflective of and suited for his intentions, his interests.

Ressentiment is a good thing. It indicates struggle. Struggle provides the fertile ground necessary for all flourishing, for all growth. Without struggle, without challenge, there is no development, no adaptation, no transcendence of mind and circumstance.

Resentment indicates conflict. Its byproduct is struggle and frustration. Paramount to realizing the value of ressentiment is the inability of escape, whether this is a physical or social or psychological consequence. If one escapes the conflict, there is no struggle, and therefore no opportunity to create and transcend and ultimately actualize private intentions and valuations. Oppression, notably slavery, is the typifying situation that breeds ressentiment. In every culture is it revolution that describes the overthrowing of impeding structures, paradigms, values, and modes of thought. Slavery to a single man or a single system makes no difference, whether it is a political dictator or a prevailing system of scientific process.

Philosophy is a product of this conflict. It epitomizes struggle through its process of resolution through inquiry, meditation, dialogue, and dialectical method. Its very nature seeks to reconcile paradoxical and contradictory themes, ideas, values,  and modes. Kant describes philosophy as Kampf, or struggle.

Ressentiment is a deep, invidious, ruminating state of being that possesses an individual’s mind. It results as the conscious mind, exhausted and taxed with futile attempts to overcome the obstacle of intention, retreats inwardly to seek self-generated solutions, to create alternative worlds of ulterior values. It calls upon the wisdom of the divine, the daemon or genius, to synthesize a deviant psychology for overcoming the conflict. It is a purely creative act, a purely spiritual enterprise that taps into the mental faculties embodying the holistic condition of man as a spatial and temporal creature, a product of historical conditions situated in a present context.

They say, familiarity breeds contempt. I would posit, more aptly, that familiarity breeds ressentiment. Familiarity is none other than an indicator of security, the status quo. The phenomenon of familiarity is an index of malignant stagnation, a threat to life, to change, to evolution and adaptation.

The will to power, as Nietzsche believed, was the mechanism of overcoming this ressentiment and, when exercised freely, a healthy manifestation of man’s ability to adapt, overcome, and dominate impeding obstacles, challenges, and forces that trap, stifle, and oppress man’s natural physical and mental propensities to flourish.

How do we leverage the power of ressentiment towards human flourishing? Push back on the world. Harbor a bitterness that rejects that familiar, a resentment for anything static and unchanging and unevolving. Take disparate domains of thought and force them together, insist that they occupy the same place, the same context, however foreign the landscapes of their genesis may appear. Never mind the revolting perversity this produces in you. Embrace the tendency to reject the revulsion as a healthy indicator, a mark in the nascent production of wisdom, of progressing latent understanding and perspective into actuality. What is revolting is good. Use the visceral revulsion, the revolt, to produce a revolution within you: a revolution that transcends present being.

Myopic Zeal

To the Zealots:
— which may include the Religious, Pious, Orthodox, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Dogmatic, Scriptural, Ecclesiastical, Sectarian and the like–

I don’t identify with a single myopic vein of thought, and any hopes of converting me into the herd would not only be regressive and detrimental to a healthy flourishing mind seeking wisdom, it would be futile.

I do love you, and I love that you always think of me and share these little bits of biblical joy you come across, but I’m not looking for answers. I’m looking for understanding. So while these may contain little nuggets of biblical wisdom and feel good rhetoric, they will not be an end for me. As an evolving creature it is my duty to adopt all the wisdom of the world so that I may adapt to and overcome challenge and flux and obstacles most appropriately.

Contrary to religious ideology, understanding the human condition is the beginning of all wisdom. But this requires that we consult not only external sources, but explore our internal sources as well. In Greek culture religion was not an individual journey nor a spiritual encounter but a collective enterprise to create a uniformity of experience via the dissemination of a consistent historical narrative which detailed social values and collective moral agreement. The gods of the pantheon were not seen as real or existing, but only as anthropomorphic representations which preserved aspects of the human condition; that is, they were the idealized values and virtues incarnated into typological beings and symbolic situations (myths, fables, parables) that could communicate and explain the world to each generation in society through oral or written language.

The preservation of this culture and its order was predicated on a cultures ability to retain this language, which they called nomos. In Greek nomos means “law” and refers to the structural ordering of experience, specifically relating to daily living and normative activities. Religion was simply an institutional vehicle that served as a way of preserving and perpetuating nomos, or social order and law. The nomos provided explanations and resolutions in the face of anomos, or chaos, conflict and turmoil. The individual appealed to this collective social law for explaining and handling problems arising in their conscious experience that was outside their ability to resolve themselves. In this way individuals sought the advice of the priests or prophets who knew the oral or written tradition exquisitely and offered their personal or propaedeutic interpretations– interpretations that would be absorbed into the tradition for later consultation, much like a contemporary judge’s ruling becomes canonical common law.

Language is all important. The limits of your language dictate the limits of your world.

Man is not made in the image of god: God is made in the image of man. “In the beginning was the word and the word was with god and the word was god.” (John 1:1) Interestingly, ‘word’ here is Gk. logos derived from the Proto-Indo-European word *leg- meaning “to collect, bind, gather”. The word ‘religion’ is a combination of the words re- “again” + lego “choose, gather” or “I go over or go through again in reading, speech, thought, read, relate or recite again, revise, recount”. In this way we see the intimate connection between repetition in binding words to the mind in order to create a consistent world view, a structured ordering of experience. Religion is the institution charged with the preservation and diffusion of a language via enculturation. Throughout history religious institutions have been replaced by various community organizations and governing bodies, most notably Academic institutions that actively inquire about the world with a more precise and thoughtful methodology.

On an interesting side note, the first institution of higher learning, Plato’s Academy, was established in the olive gardens on the temple grounds of Athena, the goddess of wisdom. It is no coincidence that the first school of philosophy– the love of wisdom– and the first institution of higher learning (beyond the gymnasium) was affiliated with the cult of Athena. The Academy derives its name from the legendary Greek Attic hero Akadamos who defected to the aid of the Tyndarid’s Castor and Pollux when they invaded Attica to liberate their sister Helen. As a result, the Lacedaemonians devoted a plane of land in homage to Akadamos planted with Olive trees in the spot where he revealed to the Divine twins where Thesus had hidden Helen of Troy. This plot of land was located just outside the walls of Athens and was later the site where Athena’s temple stood throughout the Bronze Age.

Through this brief sketch I hope it becomes obvious of the potential trappings of cultural institutions like religion. As their perfunctory duty to society, they seek to preserve the status quo, to present man to himself through a slanted portrait of the past. In a “stable” society the only people who can offer legitimate interpretations are those in positions of authority, i.e. priests, professors, professionals, politicians or any other title. Every so often a prophet arises from the herd and expresses the collective opinion in a fell swoop of the pen or brush or voice. These are the artists, the leaders, the creators, the visionaries– all subversive forces of established authority, all necessary agents of evolution and change. These are the disestablishmentarianists, the revolutionaries, the rebels, the terrorists. They are impelled to express the change they see around them, to lead the blind into the light. They are called by nature to tip the scales in favor of progress, despite the howls from stagnating pools of thought and undeterred by the biting guilt of defection, of desecrating antiquated tradition and custom.

The Greeks maintained that the past contained the understanding necessary for adapting to the present. What is important is that, like the Greeks, we view our culture as an instrument of understanding and ordering experience and maintain a tolerance and openness to other cultures and veins of thought. All language, all culture, all knowledge aims at providing explanatory power and utility for navigating through the world. To remain prejudice is to retain a myopic view of the world, deficient in variegated color and devoid of curvaceous depth, and we rob ourselves of another instrument for charting our world.

Sincerely Yours,

X

Heteroglossia

Let us examine some fundamental bible verses in order to extricate some understanding from the text and decipher the meaning of the passage:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Prov. 9:10)

In the Original Greek,

“archē sophias phobos kuriou kai boulē agiōn sunesis to gar gnōnai nomon dianoias estin agathēs” (Prov. 9:10)

Breaking down the words:

Archē (ἀρχή): a word with primary senses ‘beginning’, ‘origin’ or ‘first cause’ and ‘power’, ‘sovereignty’, ‘domination’ as extended meanings.

Sophias (Σοφíα): meaning “skill or cleverness in carpentry, music, or other crafts” or “skill related to everyday life: sound judgment, prudence” or “knowledge of a higher kind: learning, wisdom”

Phobos (Φόβος): meaning “fear”, phobos was also the Greek god of “horror” or “terror”

Kuriou (κῦρος)translated as Lord, meaning “supremacy” or “guardian” referring to the master of the household. A woman could not enter into any contract without her Kurio. In antiquity κύριος was translated as Kuros or Cyrus from Old Persian as a denoted male name or kingly title. Kyros is a Greek boy name derived from Κύρος, meaning of the name is ‘Far Sighted’.

Kai (καί): “and, even, also, both” or “actually, apparently, a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force”

Boulē (βουλή): meaning “will, determination, decision” or “plan, project, intention” or “counsel, advice, council, senate”. A political term meaning to will (after deliberating ) referred to a council of citizens (called βουλευταί transliterated as bouleutai) appointed to run daily affairs of the city. Originally a council of nobles advising a king.

Agiōn (άγιος): “holy, saint, pious” or “devoted to the gods”

Sunesis (σύνεσις): Meaning “a putting together in the mind”, hence: “understanding, practical discernment, intellect”. From the cognate sýnesis meaning “unification, meeting, sense, conscience, insight, realization, mind, reason”. This is where the Latin word synthesis is derived, meaning “collection, set, composition (of a medication),” from Gk. synthesis “composition,” from syntithenai “put together, combine,” from syn-“together” + tithenai “put, place,” from PIE root *dhe- “to put, to do”.

to gar: Meaning “for” or “after all”

Gnōnai (γνῶσις): meaning “know” from Proto-Indo-European *ǵenə-*ǵnō- “to know”. This is where the religious word “Gnostic” originates from Gk. Gnostikos, meaning the technique of knowing, or the ability to discern.

Nomon (ὄνομα): from L. nomen meaning “name” or “fame; to make a name for oneself” or “noun” or “phrase”.

Dianoias (διάνοια):  Meaning dia- “διά” + mind “νοια”, this word was used by Plato to describe a type of thinking, or intelligence, specifically about mathematical and technical subjects. It is the capacity for, process of, or result of discursive thinking, or dialectics. Dianoias literally means “between minds” and is intended to describe the relationship of thinking across two “minds” or ideas of thought. Whereas dianoias refers to “between minds”, dialects refers to “between speech” deriving its meaning from dia- “across, between” + legein “speak”. Because dianoias involved thinking about competing ideas, it contrasted with noesis– derived from nous (νοῦς) meaning “mind”– which was characterized by immediate apprehension, like thoughts and ideas or divine reason or practical wisdom, similar to our modern understanding of intelligence.

Estin (εστιν): the present active indicative third singular of εἰμί meaning “is he”. εἰμί means “I am”, derived from the Proto-Indo-European *h₁es- (“to be, exist”)

Agathē (ἀγαθός): Meaning “good, brave, noble, moral; fortunate, lucky; useful”. Coincidentally it is a female given name, which is reflective of ancient Greek attitude towards women as useful instruments of the household.

Some Thoughts

“archē sophias phobos kuriou kai boulē agiōn sunesis to gar gnōnai nomon dianoias estin agathēs” (Prov. 9:10)

My weak translation:
“The origin of wisdom is fear of his authority and will of pious understanding for knowing the name among minds is he good use.”

The Greek word θεός  (theos) with the Phyrigian cognate δεως (deōs) meaning God in English. This is also where the Latin word for god deus is derived. It is often connected with Greek “θέω” (theō), “run” and “θεωρέω” (theoreō), “to look at, to see, to observe”. The Proto-Indo-European translation of god is *ǵʰeu̯- meaning “invoke, pour.”

Hebrew: “תְּחִלַּ֣ת חָ֭כְמָה יִרְאַ֣ת יְהוָ֑ה וְדַ֖עַת קְדֹשִׁ֣ים בִּינָֽה׃ ”
The literal translation is “Understanding of the sacred and knowledge of God fear is the beginning of wisdom”

While the Hebrew translation is helpful, historical records provide little elaboration of the meaning of the terms being employed, such as understanding or sacred or knowledge or God. They simply seem to translate directly. However, while the original meaning of the word יְהוָ֑ה or Yaweh (God) is lost, contemporary scholars assume  יְהוָ֑ה or Yaweh to mean “He Brings Into Existence Whatever Exists” or “I am that I am”.  It leads me to believe that they were preoccupied with understanding the forces and materials of nature, i.e. physics or natural causation, and it was in this understanding and the mindful observation and awareness it requires that all life’s answers reside, much in the way science fulfills this duty today.

The Stoic Epictetus coined the term for soul as hēgemonikon meaning “ruling principle or reason” (or “governing principle”).

Dure

What’s wrong with our country? Our economy, our politics, our propaganda, our values, our media, our individuals: our culture: a fabricated fortress of rhetoric that keeps more in than it keeps out. We are at the pinnacle of our glory. It could be argued that we’ve been improving along the way, but I don’t think we’re any further along than the Romans or Greeks or Egyptians once were. We’re proud and gluttonous and utterly facile. We’ve built a society that takes care of the harder tasks of life and we’ve grown grotesquely dependent on it. We seek to escape the struggle to survive as if we were above it, as if we were gods and not crawling creatures and defacating animals. Every culture seeks to mimic the glorified, be it Christ or Buddha or Caesar or America or celebrities or politicians or businessmen. I’m not convinced we’re free or further along at all. In the struggle for survival it seems humans quite naturally seek to rob themselves of the very skills to survive until they are at the mercy of a machine of influence and power that they claim is a true reflection of their wants and wishes. Somewhere along the line this towering confluence of congenial compromise conquers its makers it a brash and booming way. And I think we’ll all be around to see it happen. I read that scientists believe that the first person that will live to 150 years of age has already been born, and within the next fifty years the first person to live to 1,000 years of age will be born. Man is obsessed with conquering. It’s the heroism that bolsters the ego out of its wormy condition. The ultimate obstruction for man to surmount is death. I do not think we’ll accomplish this feat. I believe we’re terribly blinded to the realities of our physical nature. The economy, the government, the science- it’s all supported by a delicate web of beliefs built purely on faith. And once the pacification is jarred and we’re confronted with our frailty? it will unravel and crash. Until then, the media and government and society- the culture- will continue perpetuating it’s childish myths as fact and not fiction. It serves the utility of contemporaneousness community and comfort.

I feel like history repeats itself. I watched Doctor Zhivago this evening (If you didn’t know already, the novel is amazing, and the 1965 is equally riveting and moving).  While I was watching the movie a particular quote struck me quite profoundly and I kept it in the back of my mind until now:

In bourgeois terms, it was a war between the Allies and Germany. In Bolshevik terms, it was a war between the Allied and German upper classes – and which of them won was of total indifference. My task was to organize defeat, so as to hasten the onset of revolution. I enlisted under the name of Petrov. The party looked to the peasant conscript soldiers – many of whom were wearing their first real pair of boots. When the boots had worn out, they’d be ready to listen. When the time came, I was able to take three whole battalions out of the front lines with me – the best day’s work I ever did. But for now, there was nothing to be done. There were too many volunteers. Most of it was mere hysteria.

This quote made me think of our current situation. Wars all across the globe, on foreign fronts where the massacre and murder can be fed to us second hand at a safe distance. Who makes the decisions for our country? Our government, almost synonymous with the lobby powers of business and political influence, our modern bourgeois. They speak and the masses listen with hysterical enthusiasm to whatever call that strokes their insecurities and passions.

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I made music tonight. It felt good. I went to Vladik’s this evening to celebrate his completion of the DAT examination. We conversed while drinking shots of Silver Tequila and smoking cigarillos. I played guitar and he produced beats and rhythm on the keyboard and computer. We got about a minute of music and lyrics down. It sounds good. I’ll post when we’re finished.

 

50 Habits of Successful People

Simmer in its wisdom.

Habits of successful people….

1. They look for and find opportunities where others see nothing.

2. They find a lesson while others only see a problem.

3. They are solution focused.

4. They consciously and methodically create their own success, while others hope success will find them.

5. They are fearful like everyone else, but they are not controlled or limited by fear.

6. They ask the right questions – the ones which put them in a productive, creative, positive mindset and emotional state.

7. They rarely complain (waste of energy). All complaining does is put the complainer in a negative and unproductive state.

8. They don’t blame (what’s the point?). They take complete responsibility for their actions and outcomes (or lack thereof).

9. While they are not necessarily more talented than the majority, they always find a way to maximise their potential. They get more out of themselves. They use what they have more effectively.

10. They are busy, productive and proactive. While most are laying on the couch, planning, over-thinking, sitting on their hands and generally going around in circles, they are out there getting the job done.

Continue reading “50 Habits of Successful People”

Jūdex

I believe in transparency; with yourself, with others. What have I to hide? Mistakes? An unworthy life? I am not ashamed of my past or present conclusions.  Do I contradict myself? Then I contradict myself. I am am a creature in continual flux. I change and grow, like any life. My moments speak for themselves.  However naive, my intention is pure. What matters the cares of the worlds? Can’t I maintain cares of mine own? Or the lack thereof?

Risk and reward are tantamount, otherwise everyone would get their fill of life. Living boldly means taking great risk. Be prepared to sacrifice your comforts and security. Pain will lurk close. Unknowns will abound. Adaptation means consistent action.

I will not apologize for my decision to live life boldly. The past is gone. It floats in a nonexistent oblivion. Memories prove too unreliable to cast just ratiocination on yourself or others. What matters but now? If you are there, who will attend to the here? What character will be under review? The character of him who is here, or the character of our memory?

Be open. If you hide yourself from the world, you are hiding yourself. We do not see things as they are; we see the world as we are. Only when we drag our full nature into the light of the world can we see the nature of its fullness.When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. This requires a confrontation with whatever issues or vices or insecurities that chronically shirk from exposure. Attack them head on. See yourself as whole, as flawed, as awesome, as existing here and now.

A reminder to myself.

“A man should conceive of a legitimate purpose in his heart, and set out to accomplish it. He should make this purpose the centralizing point of his thoughts. It may take the form of a spiritual ideal, or it may be a worldly object, according to his nature at the time being; but whichever it is, he should steadily focus his thought forces upon the object which he has set before him. He should make this purpose his supreme duty, and should devote himself to its attainment, not allowing his thoughts to wander away into ephemeral fancies, longings, and imaginings. This is the royal road to self-control and true concentration of thought. Even if he fails again and again to accomplish his purpose (as he necessarily must until weakness is overcome), the strength of character gained will be the measure of his true success, and this will form a new starting point for future power and triumph.” Allen, James

knowise

I’ve been mentally drained lately. I slept 15 hours yesterday… took a 4 hour nap today. I’ve been putting off all stress and shrinking from all academic pressure. I feel so confused. Confused in the sense that I’m at a loss. For words; for thoughts; for novel ideas. I feel empty. Like I’m lacking the necessary fuel to push me along. The fuel that helps me deduce my world and come to viable conclusions. I feel that all the knowledge I’ve gone out of my way to accumulate means nothing. Other times I feel that this isn’t the case. The optimistic side of me starts to speak up, telling me that everything I take into my senses, if I really took it in and it meant something to me, is still in there. Its in my brain somewhere, just waiting to come out. I just need the right stimulation. The right environment, or challenging problem to rub me the right way so my neurons can fire off and recall all that ‘knowledge’. I don’t know why I get so caught up in knowledge. I want wisdom. Knowledge comes and goes. Wisdom is what makes this world keep going. Its what to do with knowledge. Knowledge is just about equivalent with information. Its just stuff to recall and do. Wisdom. For some reason it rings divine. I feel that wisdom inspires and magnetizes. It draws people in and points you in the right direction. Its apart of your character.

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Need to go to bed. Busy day tomorrow. I can feel the pressures of life… i feel like they’re beating on the windows of reality. I can hear them far off in the distance, like a roaring zombie mob. I just ignore it. I feel so cool. Collected. Calm. I know that I will be great. I need to push on. I feel reinvigorated. Life is taking on a new form.

I don’t even think when I type. I don’t know what the hell comes out of these fingers half the time. I have a judicial hearing tomorrow. Spooky. With the big dogs. Hoping that nothing will come of it. Petty petty stuff. Responsibility calls. Consequences await. Bed!

licking the earth

No longer do I wish to form judgmental opinions of the world. I am as lost as the rest. I speak of ‘the rest’ as if they were somehow outside the sanctums of reality, disillusioned by choice. We are all disillusioned. I am as much a wanderer as anyone. My desires are as unpredictable as an infants first thoughts or an old mans last. Since I came into this world, my intuition has kindly afforded me with a singular constant: the feeling of strangeness. It has successfully weaved its way throughout my pursuits, pervading my heart and jading my innocence, so that I am left feeling alone and alienated in my own world. Whereas I thought understanding would provide a saving clairvoyance and break the shackles holding me back from the true world, it has only doubled the distortion and distanced me farther. Despite how far I run from the pining habits of subjectivism, or however poignant my desperation to shed the all encompassing feelings in relation to ‘me’, I am always straddled the nascent cogitations I’m trying to escape. Who can run from their thoughts? Does this make sense?

Is there any security other than the affirmations I authenticate with my own will? That alone leaves me doubting. Doubt is corrosive. It imbues the heart with malignant motives. It does not fortify a cause but weakens it.

The question is: If I decide reality, how should I decide it to be? Do I adopt another’s philosophical gestalt? or is it subjective? If I want the most accurate representation of whats going on, how should I perceive? What should I perceive? What matters most? Do I gauge reality through my senses? Do senses exact accuracy? Do I render through feelings? Are good feelings trustworthy? Are positive feelings to be trusted? What is good? What is positive? No no no no no no.

Feelings lie. My imagination corrupts the sensual reality. All man sees is a hallucination. Man needs laws and governing principles to construct his reality, and faith that they are workable. Enough faith to test them and find them true. Otherwise man in all his decadence goes on “Licking the earth” as Muggeridge put it. Trifling pursuits of instant gratification, indulging in feelings and pleasures fabricated by mundane impulses, striving to fill the vacuity of a soul meant for a unification with its creator.

Words are powerful. They invoke reality. They color and illustrate the pallid landscapes of the mind.
Would it be too hard to believe that a God revealed himself to the world through those who opened themselves to Him? Who, disenchanted by the things (impulses, satisfactions, feelings, pleasures, pains, etc.) of this world, looked to a metaphysical unification, a relationship, with something greater? Could this something greater have genuinely instilled truth through their pen, despite their flawed human condition?

gotta go..

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“There is something ridiculous and even quite indecent in an individual claiming to be happy. Still more a people or a nation making such a claim. The pursuit of happiness… is without any question the most fatuous which could possibly be undertaken. This lamentable phrase ”the pursuit of happiness” is responsible for a good part of the ills and miseries of the modern world.” Muggeridge

“When I look back on my life nowadays, which I sometimes do, what strikes me most forcibly about it is that what seemed at the time most significant and seductive, seems now most futile and absurd. For instance, success in all of its various guises, being known and praised, ostensible pleasures like acquiring money or seducing women, or traveling, going to and fro in the world and up and down in it like Satan, explaining and experiencing whatever Vanity Fair has to offer. In retrospect, all these exercises in self-gratification seem pure fantasy, what Pascal called, ‘licking the earth’.” Malcolm Muggeridge

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