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but I have to navigate back further for the common denominator.  I have to break it down that way, as it is the way I think.

I always refer to the Enlightenment, hence my screen name.  At the same time, I view religion and art in a Kantian sense.  These things are very neumenal for me rather than phenomenal.

Subjective rather than objective.

I can not defend them either because of their subjective nature.  I cannot make an argument for them.  What I experience, in my consciousness, is an irrational belief in religion or superstition as well as an unexplainable and irrational appreciation in art and the aesthetic.

The closest analysis I've been able to come up with is my own fear of death.  Not that death itself is the object of fear, but rather if there is no afterlife, then my entire life doesn't make any difference what-so-ever.

I am then no different than an ant in a colony carrying on in a biological sense.  One person in billions does not make a difference.  This may be the root of my irrational beliefs.

But the irrational faith keeps me from falling into abject nihilism.  If there was no God or afterlife, then I may as well put a bullet into my brain and end the needless suffering of life.  It would be logical to do so.

But I find my subjective reaction to aesthetic and art to be very similar to my irrational belief in religion or deity.  I do believe they are closely related, but again, that is a subjective belief.

"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte! Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"

by Jeffersonian Democrat (rzg6f@virginia.edu) on Sat May 30th, 2009 at 08:47:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would not be logical to put a bullet through your brain just because there is no afterlife. 'Carrying on in a biological sense' is, according to me, all that we're here for. And quite a challenge it is. The bullet would deny you that challenge.

The only experience I have had (repeatedly), that could in your terms be called 'religious', is to sit out on one of the outermost islands in the Turku archipelago - an island that hasn't really changed in 14000 years. It's 3 am, it's light, the sky grading up from misty lemon to deep blue above, the sea is dead calm, a couple of swans drift in the distance, and up on my right, a flock of gulls are squawking on the cliff. They and their ancestors have been doing the same thing for 14000 years with never a thought of a bullet.

And I realize, once again, how insignificant I am in the whole picture. A flash in the pan. A blip, an errant pixel, in the Tellurian stop-motion movie of time. And yet it gives an enormous sense of belonging. Everything just is and you are part of it. It is more than enough for me.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat May 30th, 2009 at 09:16:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"The bullet would deny you that challenge."

But then what is the purpose of that challenge?  What is there to be gained by winning or overcoming that challenge if there is nothing afterwards?

What is the purpose of witnessing so many beautiful birds in Turku if the memory is to be obliterated when one fades into the abyss at death?

What does 14,000 years mean to an organism that perishes in a probable life-span of 70-80 years?

Again, I admit this is irrational and subjective/personal.  But without belief or faith I could easily fall into nihilism and just friggin end it here and now

"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte! Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"

by Jeffersonian Democrat (rzg6f@virginia.edu) on Sat May 30th, 2009 at 09:52:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is to inform what you give to other people - some of them not yet alive.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat May 30th, 2009 at 10:14:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is possible to 'rewire' yourself - it takes a long time though ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat May 30th, 2009 at 02:29:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jeffersonian Democrat:
But then what is the purpose of that challenge?

isn't this what they invented the word 'teleological' for?

there were cloud patterns yeaterday that seemed like they meant something, like it was an exquisite puzzle to contemplate, fraught with import. i thought of meaning in general then, and wondered about man's search for it. was i 'going teleological', and why was it so seductively pleasant a meditation?

serotonin?

there was a kind of scientific narrative going on that a meteorologist could explain, a procession of causes and concatenations concerning wind, humidity etc etc, all fascinating...

but what i felt was noumenal, an ancient sense of skrying nature for a glimpse of something existing behind its phenomena, beyond its appearance, a message, inchoate, but none the weaker for that.

so difficult to language this mindstuff.

especially as the message seemed incomprehensible! lol.

lovely envelope though...

today it rained, long and soaking, after 2 weeks of dry, unseasonably warm weather.

maybe the message was 'the weather's about to change, so get your tools in!'

the 60 tomato plants i planted yesterday are stoked.

"To be able to love the mystery surrounding us is the final and only sanction of human existence".-- R.W. Dickson .

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 10:04:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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