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I'm entirely materialist, in that I have no idea what "spiritual" is meant to mean any more.  It doesn't make QM bother me: the world is what it is, not what I expect it to be.

Most of the "the West" is definitely not materialist - the problem is that they conflate their mythos with their logos and expect certainty when there is and can be none.  And they're afraid to say "I don't know".

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 04:34:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought so. ;)  

the world is what it is  

But WHAT is it?  I don't think we know.  A metaphysics is  one's underlying model for everything.  Are there metaphysics that actually work?  

This as an inquiry, not angst.  

And they're afraid to say "I don't know".  

"Don't know" is the starting point for Zen:  It is okay not to know--not at all the worst place to be.  ;)  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 04:55:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are there metaphysics that actually work?

I'm not sure I really do metaphysics. I must informally at some level I'm sure, but I try not to take it too seriously, whatever it is.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 04:59:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But WHAT is it?

I don't know. I don't expect to.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 05:00:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"But WHAT is it?"

I've always had a fondness for an 'answer' provided in the Yoga Vasistha (India, 500 CE).

"The world is an impression left by the telling of a story."

by sandalwood on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 09:58:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is impression, what is telling a story, what is a story?

My problem with such metaphors is that instead of being compelling for some insight, they are compelling for being antropomorphic, that is, referring to stuff we have 'innate sense of' and don't immediately think  of something whose meaning could be philosophically (or metaphysically) complicated itself.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 08:08:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some find such metaphors compelling, others do not. I think many approaches are required because any one approach by itself will always be deficient... it will leave something out for sure. In that sense, all approaches are akin to 'Art' because they are finite constructs which aim at shedding some light onto what is beyond them. Even our best scientific theories are artistic renditions as they address some aspects of reality while leaving others out.

In the classical Indian scheme, there are 6 complementary views... none of which paints the whole picture... these views are called:

Nyaya: Sets forth the rules and limits of thought/logic/language
Vaisheshika: Analysis (an ancient atomic theory is part of this approach)
Samkhya: An atheistic, dualistic approach which posits an essential difference between matter and mind
Yoga: Gnosis
Mimamsa: A theistic approach
Vedanta: Posits an essential non-duality

These are considered complementary approaches.

by sandalwood on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 11:10:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Could you write about this?  It would be new and interesting to many of us, and deserves its own diary and thread.  

The Fates are kind.
by Gaianne on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 02:02:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you for your interest... I will begin to think about this in a diary format.
by sandalwood on Fri Jan 4th, 2008 at 02:22:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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