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The 4 aims of Life

by sandalwood Sun Jan 6th, 2008 at 04:15:35 PM EST

In response to Gianne's excellent diary "Metaphysics of the coming age", I would suggest looking at the foundational Classical Indian scheme... The 4 aims of Life, and particularly at "Moksha" (Enlightenment).

In the classical Indian view, the answer to the question "What are the marks of an auspicious life, a happy life, a life well lived?" is given as "The Four Aims of Life"... Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha.

Dharma: Duty, Virtue - (The good); living out one's own nature - (Who am I?)
Artha: Worldly ends - (The useful)
Kama: Enjoyment - (The beautiful)
Moksha: Finishing up; liberation; self-realization; enlightenment (What am I?)

Dharma: fulfilling one's obligations to oneself and others... being true to oneself and others... helping oneself and others along the path... standing for the truth, for the good... contributing towards the health of the social order. The dharma of the sun is to shine as it does... what is your dharma? (Main texts: The Mahabharata, The Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita)

"I am crossing an era of great darkness with you. And in this, if your heart should become bitter or cold or break, the light will have been lost." The Transcendent to Arjuna, in The Mahabharata, 500 BCE

Artha: acquiring knowledge, know-how, health, livelihood, wealth, family and worldly wisdom... being successful in the everyday world (Main Texts: Artha Shastra, Panchatantra, Charaka Samhita, Hora Shastra)

Kama: enjoyment... sensual and sexual fulfillment (Main Text: The Kama Sutra)

Moksha: Moksha is the end point of the human journey: the last and most difficult to reach stage of human development. This requires a deep interiorization, wherein the person comes to rest in the deepest possible knowledge of self (and world). This self-knowledge is far more than the complete recollection of one's personal history. Its hallmark is a self-evident ending of agitation towards the quest for an absolute knowledge. What this realization is, cannot be completely contained in words and thought, but can be expressed in how one is.
(Important texts: The Vedas, The Upanishads, Yoga Sutra, Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Vasistha, Spanda Karika, The Tantras)

"Fate or divine dispensation is merely a convention which has come to be regarded as truth by being repeatedly declared to be true. If this god or fate is truly the ordainer of everything in this world, of what meaning is any action, and whom should one teach at all?" The Yoga Vasistha, 500 CE

Vis a vis 'The 4 aims of life', there is also an understanding that for different persons at different times in their lives, one or the other of the 4 aims will be most compelling. For most persons however, the scheme of The four quarters of life will be fitting.

4 Quarters of Life
1st: Study pertaining to mostly worldly ends
2nd: Household and Career
(With respect to the duality of Self and World, these pertain to the world)

3rd: A deepening study and practise of Yoga; inward contemplation
4th: Finishing up
(With respect to the duality of Self and World, these pertain to Self)

Six views onto Self/World
There are considered to be 6 interconnected and complementary paths to Moksha. These are called Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Samkhya, Yoga, Mimamsa, Vedanta.

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

... more on those in another diary.

Do the schemes of the 4 aims of life and The 4 phases of life resonate with you? How do you understand enlightenment (Moksha)?

I don't know anything about enlightenment but this does resonate. It's an interesting topic, thanks for the diary.

My general aims are to enjoy my life, make a positive contribution to other people's lives, learn, and to be self aware.  

Not sure about the 4 quarters of life though since broadly they'd overlap for me.  Although I am not especially studying yoga (does general health and well being count there?) and nor do I hold much of a concept regarding finishing up, just yet.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2008 at 04:44:34 PM EST
"and to be self aware"

I think this is far more relevant to enlightenment than certainly the mundane measures of health such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels etc.

Even as a small child, I would look in the mirror and wonder if the state of confusion about 'what am I?' would come to an end one day. It felt like that I ought to know, that acquiring this self-knowledge ought to be natural, but I just couldn't put my finger on it though.

The question of 'who am I?' could be variously answered with reference to the history of my body, but it could not quench "what am I?" I found later that there were many other persons caught by the same inquiry, and that these were called Yogis. And the Yogic texts talked about how to take this inquiry on via a mode of knowledge more immediate than thought. They proclaimed that this inquiry could not be brought to a conclusion via thought. And that to 'finish up' required the concluding of this question.

by sandalwood on Sun Jan 6th, 2008 at 05:32:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Philosophies which focus on the non-material aspects of life arose when there were few amenities. They preach something that is practical within that context - how to live well with little.

In the 20th Century the west moved into the age of consumerism and such ideas fell into disfavor (after all Jesus also preached a non-material lifestyle). It will be interesting to see if there is a new version of the non-material lifestyle philosophy emerge as shortages of material goods become more common.

So far there is no sign of this happening yet in the US. Even faced with the current recession the pols and economists can only talk of ways to stimulate consumption.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2008 at 04:45:36 PM EST
I would say that the modern condition is akin to having only 3 aims of life on the developmental map... Moksha being no where in sight. There are vague ideas about 'spirituality' around. The current gods are consumer goods and an over relying on rationality as a mode of knowledge.

What I find attractive about the 4 aims scheme is that it doesn't focus on the material nor the non-material... its holistic. But compared to our modern condition, even to have Moksha on the map is radical.

by sandalwood on Sun Jan 6th, 2008 at 05:01:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting diary Sandalwood.

I am not sure if I understand you definition clearly:

Samkhya: An atheistic, dualistic approach which posits an essential difference between matter and mind

I thought Samkhya describes the "Journey of consciousness into matter". Starting from Prakruti and Purusha ending in the five elements and Tanmatras, which constitute the basis for the 3 Doshas.

When you define Yoga as Gnosis, are you refering specifically to Jyana Yoga?

I like Yoganandas definition of enlightenment - he calls it Self-Realization, which I understand as realizing all of our potentials and possiblities, becoming who we really are. Which would be liberation or Moksha.

I am also looking forward to you following diary.

by Fran on Sun Jan 6th, 2008 at 05:00:22 PM EST
Re. Sankhya: Prakruti and Purusha are posited to be completely different from each other... this is the consciousness-matter duality I am referring to. Sankhya does not posit whence Purusha and Prakriti arise, there is no mention of a godhead at the beginning of the chain, hence it is considered atheistic.

In contrast, Vedanta does not posit a fundamental distinction between consciousness and matter, all is Brahman (The ineffable Absolute).

The aim of Yoga, whichever branch is always the same, Moksha. Gyana Yoga would involve the intellect, rather than being devotional, but the aims are the same.

"becoming who we really are"... exactly. That is the question. And not just 'who', but what? And this self-knowledge can only be liberating if it is from the point of the view of the ultimate subject, and not as if a subject is regarding itself as an object, as if outside of itself. This is termed in Yoga, Samadhi... Sama-dhi (same-seeing). That is, the perceiving subject is the same as the perceived object; the subject-object divide having been transcended in meditation.

by sandalwood on Sun Jan 6th, 2008 at 05:14:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I learned that the unmanifest state of Purusha and Prakruti is Brahma, the state of pure awareness.

Could you define what you mean by Gnosis - I thought it means knowledge. However, I learned that Yoga or Union is more than knowledge as it is mostly understood. As you define Yoga as Gnosis would that mean also that Moksha is  or needs Gnosis? As you also state that the aim of Yoga is Moksha - to which I agree.

by Fran on Sun Jan 6th, 2008 at 05:42:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brahman... that is a Vedantic concept. Vedanta espouses non-duality, so purusha and prakriti would have be resolved into One (from its point of view).

All 6 views have their limitations, hence the need for many, complentary views to balance the excess of the others.

Sankhya-Yoga posits that 'spirit' is different to matter, and hence there is room in there for some to think that mortification of the body ought to be a useful method to 'liberate' the spirit. Such wrongheaded approaches have been historically espoused.

Now with Vedanta and its 'all is one' approach, there is the problem of the obvious non-sameness between a murderer and a peaceful man (saint, if you will allow). This is Vedanta's absurdity in view... which is balanced by Sankhya-Yoga.

Gnosis is co-incident with Samadhi... Sama-dhi (same-seeing)... That is, the perceiving subject is the same as the perceived object; the subject-object divide having been transcended in meditation. So this 'knowledge' is not of the subject-object variety, but infinitely more immediate.

by sandalwood on Sun Jan 6th, 2008 at 05:58:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I belong to a relatively new religion - formalised some time in the 1650's. As well it is a western religion. Interestingly, it is not uncommon for people to study Buddhism as part of their spiritual journey. The reverse is rare.

My first thought is that we do not divide and classify as you do. We see things as more integrated. I don't see where mysticism enters into your picture. It is central to how we do things - a "corporate mysticism". It is central to our decision making and our interpretation of spirituality. It is perhaps one of the reasons we do not qualify as "humanist" though the label is quite close. As well what you put forth seem individualistic. We are less individualistic than what I interpret you have written.  There is definitely an austere bent to our belief system. I think that there is some recognition that we have trouble with "the beautiful". Overall there is a very strong anarchistic bent to the belief system - a refusal to separate out "political" and "personal" in the way society normally does, as well as the explicit refusal to accept a creed. Our creed is that we don't accept creedal statements. You constantly list main texts. I would assume that you would also list teachers. This would be another area of difference as we have abolished the laity, - we are all teachers, and the final "text" is the individual (not the bible) - understood through a corporate mystical process.

Looking at Artha: I am not sure, but it seems that the emphasis is somehow different. I can't put my finger on it.

Kama is probably the part that seems most outside.  This should not be too surprising given that we are considered a Christian religion. It's not that there are any problems with sexual fulfilment, enjoyment, etc - just that they are usually considered outside spirituality. (There is no rule saying it has to be this way, and no enforcement of this either formally or informally.)

Enlightenment - perhaps this could be mapped onto "seeking that of god in everyone" or other religious practices. The idea as it is expressed here is probably slightly repugnant to our faith - the setting oneself as superior or more advanced to others.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Sun Jan 6th, 2008 at 05:31:25 PM EST
I am a ware, you possibly intentionally left out the name of your only in 1650 institutionally settled religion, but could you enlighten me (us) as to its name?
by PeWi on Mon Jan 7th, 2008 at 06:16:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
just nod, or shake your head.

No further need to deny or confirm.

by PeWi on Mon Jan 7th, 2008 at 08:49:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]

What Edwin said about the tendency of Buddhism to divide and classify, and his religion's more integrated view, is  also something I subscribe to, by and large.


Although I did write this, which is of course a division:

Personally, I vaguely picture pre-existence as a material sub-strate for consequent phenomena. The phenomena may not be always and purely explainable in the terms of the sub-strate, but that does not mean that they cannot be traced back, let alone that they can subvert the sub-strate by their own implicit rules/ rationality.

So: if Sven says that there is a limit to science in the brain, with which I tentatively agree, with my modifications (positivist science and the mind rather than the brain), I say that there is a limit to esoterics in pre-existent, physical reality.

All derives from the right and proper demarcation of the realms of being!

The term realms of being derives from Santayana, who in turn did not claim any originality for his philosophy, quite the opposite:
"Here is one more system of philosophy. If the reader is tempted to smile, I can assure him that I smile with him, and that my system - to which this volume is a critical introduction - differs widely in spirit and pretensions from what usually goes by that name. In the first place, my system is not mine, nor new." - George Santayana, Scepticism and Animal Faith (Preface).

So... this completes my philosophical coming-out.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2008 at 09:38:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By slur Quaker (it's ok, that's what we call ourselves), and formally, the Religious Society of Friends.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Mon Jan 7th, 2008 at 10:58:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... section, a pipe with a lot of loose shale and gravel, and she slips and slides down. She is heading toward a cliff and a 1000 foot drop (in the old money ... but you don't really need to know how many meters it is to get the story). She grabs at the root of a scrawny scrub tree, and it starts pulling out of the ground, but finally, just as she is going over the edge, it holds.

"Help", she cries. "Is there anyone up there?"

"I Am" rings out, in the ozone crackle of the still after a bolt of lightning strike.

"Who is that?" she cries out.

"I Am That I AM" rings out, in the roar of the breakers hitting the beach in a hurricane.

"Is that ... is that God?" she yells, not as loud.

"I Am" rings out, in the boom of an earthquake after the fault has given way.

"Can ... can you help me" she calls.

"I Can. Just Let Go of the Root of the Tree."

Finally, her voice very small now ... "Why do I have to let go?"

"To prove your faith in me."

There is a long pause, then she cries out again, at the top of her voice, "Is there anybody else up there?"

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Jan 6th, 2008 at 06:27:59 PM EST
I am sorry to say.. that probably it just resonates just int he sense that some of this philosophy was inderectly intrdoced in some aspects of christianism.. so we are little bit used to work¡ding, and the approach.. adn then later to some non-religous moral, ethical work..

But unfortuanltey I was not born in India, I do nor have the mythology, nor the narratives, nor the every-day experience...

So as much as I try to get it and read it.. it is always very difficult to really understand another funadational myth...a dn another path to adulthood or knowledge...

It is called cultural differences :)

But I love the path you basiclaly explain.. in some sense though it is difficult to live it myself.. it makes perfect sense.

Surprisngly enough.. given my knowledge in phsyics I am compeltley comfortable (and I actally read quite a bit and almost "got it") about the creation and destruction Gods in Indian mythology.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Jan 7th, 2008 at 08:22:51 AM EST
I have been intrigued by QM as well. I think its possible to utilize rationality (science) and draw a map of self/world that is quite paradoxical to a materialist point of view. Information via the senses displays a picture of disparate matter moving through space and time. A closer look via QM also discloses a space-time transcendent oneness between matter/energy separated in space/time.

The subject-object dualism which is a strong feature at the macro realm begins to looks like a non-duality at the quantum realm. The questions we ask, "What am I?", "What is the world?" imply a primary, fundamental division between a pure subject who asks the questions and the object of which it is asked, but the subject-object divide may be secondary, or approximate feature of reality.

It appears that when matter is probed to its depths, its existence in a nouminal space/time setting is challenged. Space and time themselves may be phenomenon, rather than nouminon. But even this distinction does not move past the subject-object divide.

A rational inquiry into self and world via science has brought us to the edge of a new understanding. I think that the chief finding here is that the subject-object divide within consciousness and reality is not fundamental. Consciousness, within which all appears is far more mysterious than we thought.

An approach which studies consciousness directly, subjectively would seem to fit our prescription now. This is what I find most compelling about Yoga... that here is a methodology worked out over millenia for doing just that. It does not replace science, that is not its genius. But it offers another, now crucial direction in which to take our inquiry.

by sandalwood on Tue Jan 8th, 2008 at 01:55:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is a sensible way to put it.

One interesting thing to come out of theoretical physics in the last 30+ years, but only formulated in the last 10 or so is something called the "holographic principle". There are several alternative (and vague) formulations. It is not known which one, if any, will be ultimately correct ["ultimately" meaning: correct in a hypothetical theory of quantum gravity].

One of the forms of the principle is that the entire quantum state space of a region of space maps to the quantum state space of its boundary. This is suggested by Hawking's blackhole radiation theory and the identification of thermodynamical entropy with the area of the event horizon. Area would be a measure of the size of the state space of the boundary (and of the unobserved interior). Identifying thermodynamic entropy with information entropy one arrives at an identification of geometric area with information entropy. Geometry is information!

This is very similar to the classical (not quantum) Euler-Lagrange variational principle works. One specifies an "action" functional which is supposed to be extremal given boundary conditions. In this case the space of bulk solutions can be identified with the space of (valid) boundary conditions. The duality between the two corresponds to Lagrangian vs. Hamiltonian mechanics. The connection with Quantum mechanics comes from Dirac's insight (formulated rigorously by Feynman) that the minimum action principle is the saddle-point approximation of the phase of the quantum amplitude in the path integral formulation. But the holographic principle is not the same thing as the Euler-Lagrange principle, or at least nobody has been able to get anything useful out of the idea that they are the same.

Another bold idea that the universe can be arbitrarily divided into two parts by a boundary, and that the holographic states on the boundary describe the two parts of the universe on either side, and their interactions. The boldness comes from imagining that somehow combining this with the holographic principle and the identification of area with information entropy will result in a theory of quantum gravity.

This is all very exciting but it is not physics. It's physicists thrashing about in confusion because of the lack of experimental guidance.

Finally, since you talk about spacetime emerging, I'll quote a comment I wrote a week ago:

quantum mechanics presupposes the existence of Newtonian time.

Quantum field theory pressupposes the existence of Einsteinian spacetime. You can get away with quantum field theory on stationary spacetimes because there you have a proxy for "Newtonian time". String theory is not very different in the way it appears to require a highly symmetric "background".

But things like Hawking radiation are like the "old" quantum mechanics of Bohr and Sommerfeld. There needs to be a better theory. One in which somehow spacetime emerges.

Note that in quantum mechanics and quantum field theory as we know them, time (and sometimes space) do not emerge but have to be assumed. Nobody really has a clue as to how to formulate a theory of emergent quantum geometry. One of the difficulties is that it is really hard to come up with identifying geometric entities (such as surfaces, and area, in a quantum theory in which they haven't been put in by hand, classically, at the outset.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 8th, 2008 at 02:21:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Very interesting... I wish I had the physics and mathematics knowledge that you have. Space-Time as phenomena, not nouminon was intuited a long time ago  in many different parts of the world. Emergent space-time begs the question "from where or what?" And then, this something which is the matrix of space-time would also be analaysed and the same question of its emergence would remain. This is an infinite regression. Though much practical application may arise while we construct this narrative, we may also lose our way further into imagining that the origin of the world is thinkable to a completion.

We are not only looking at application. There is within a great, spontaneous pull towards this huge mystery, which we are in, which we are. And this inquiry cannot be brought to a conclusion via thought constructs which neccessarily fragment, inhabit a secondary subject-object divide and which can only lead to infinite regressions.

There is a curiosity to see what reality really is... we are reality after all, can we not look to ourselves for that which is also the same reality elsewhere? It seems to me that we can do that. Whatever thought construct or word salad that got us to taking this step would've been the way to here. And if that way had been peaceful then that would be the most auspicious of lives or times.

by sandalwood on Tue Jan 8th, 2008 at 03:35:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Space-Time as phenomena, not nouminon was intuited a long time ago  in many different parts of the world. Emergent space-time begs the question "from where or what?" And then, this something which is the matrix of space-time would also be analaysed and the same question of its emergence would remain. This is an infinite regression.
I am not sure this is the case. If you get to the point of constructing a theory of space and time as phenomena, then the elements of the theory will by its very nature be beyond perception and beyond experimentation. This is already the case with quantum mechanics. You can construct a theory of atomic phenomena, but the "quantum state" represented mathematically by the wavefunction or other formalisms is not a phenomenon itself. This is where quantum physics parts company with classical physics. In the latter models are composed of (in principle) observable entities. Whereas quantum mechanics, through Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, deals within the theory with the question of whether certain elements of the model will or will not be observable, alone or in combination. This is why in order to reason about it you need schemata like Bohr's complementarity.

So, I am not really sure there is a possibility of an infinite regression within science. Refinement and extension of the models dealing with specific physical situations, maybe. But if you manage to produce a mathematical model of quantum emergent spacetime, I am not sure any of the underlying model elements will be observable in principle, and the theory will deal with which are and which are not, again alone or in combination.

We still haven't come to terms with the epistemological implications of Quantum physics, but then again we haven't really come to terms with the epistemological implications of Kant, either.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 12th, 2008 at 08:27:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"I am not really sure there is a possibility of an infinite regression within science."

Reason is the tool of science, so it is the limits of reason that I am addressing. This is a more precise formulation of what I am trying to talk about. So, I take the question to be whether or not reason is limited in some way. We are concerned here with the inquiry of how did the universe come to be, or an inquiry about causality in ultimate terms. I don't think this can be concluded to the satisfaction of the intellect by trying to construct a chain of cause-effect. Are you suggesting that it perhaps could be, that there could be some answer of the thought-reason-language type that would conclude the question of the ultimate origin of the universe?

"But if you manage to produce a mathematical model of quantum emergent spacetime, I am not sure any of the underlying model elements will be observable in principle..."

I think this situation will be unsatisfactory to the intellect and it will try to somehow model the unobervables. Each stage of the inquiry and model building can only lead to further questions... ad infinitum.

As I have said before I believe that science/reason is immensely valuable, its just that as a tool or mode of knowledge I believe it has definite limitations, which if not spotted could cause confusion and madness. Some inquiries are just not amenable to reason, but there are other ways too.

by sandalwood on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 04:26:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course this is unsatisfactory to the intellect and it will attempt to model the unobservables with more unobservables, but in doing so it will be stepping outside science, understood perhaps narrowly from the empiricist point of view of Hume, Locke or Kant. That is, I think it is very different to have a model of observables with unobservable elements, which can have predictive power regarding the observables; and a model of unobservables. A model of unobservables is by definition untestable except by logical consistency with accepted models of observables and so it is scientifically very unsatisfactory.

I believe there are hints of this in current work in theoretical high energy physics, which by focusing on quantum cosmology, the big bang, and quantum gravity has ever more tenuous links with experiment. At some point it becomes "metatheoretical" physics, in which one develops theories not to explain phenomena, but to explain theories of phenomena. This may be a satisfying intellectual pursuit to some, but Physics it may not be any more.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 04:42:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How is disappointment, pain, suffering, anger, or loss seen? How does one react to in-equality or in-justice?
All these words: Duty, Virtue, Beauty, Liberation, Self-realization, Success, Fulfilment, are so overwhelmingly positive, individualistic, and tunnel visioned, ignorant of the (maybe only western - maybe only my?) human condition, that I am aching, by simply reading them.

To answer your question:
Do the schemes of the 4 aims of life and The 4 phases of life resonate with you?

They create a huge discord.

But then I like Scriabin, Honegger or Stockhausen and know so little about them, that I can say: "Discord" is culturally trained.

by PeWi on Mon Jan 7th, 2008 at 09:09:02 AM EST
The human condition... what exactly is that? What do we know about ourselves? It happens that wise persons remind us that there is much about self/world that we do not know. There are so many things we are asked to believe... there is a loving, personal god, all is chance in a mathematically determined universe, human nature is akin to 'the selfish gene', human nature is greatly emenable towards an ever higher development. One has to discern how to proceed, what to believe or not believe.

I once had a conversation where I was told that selfishness is 'natural'. and my immediate response what that selfishness is a sign of a stunted human development. Neither of us could 'prove' our stance.

Whence this world arises? We are in a huge mystery, very difficult to penetrate. I have considered the situation for myself, looked around for advice from those who have gone before me, and engage the world as I make my way. In that, there is pain, suffering, anger, and one tries one's best to not harm another, while making one's way.

by sandalwood on Mon Jan 7th, 2008 at 01:10:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is totally new to me and it will take a while for it to sink in, but I see the connections in purpose and stage of life, although in different combinations:

-Be a decent human being
-Do/contribute something for yourself and others while you
-continue to grow as a person and
-enjoy yourself.

The stages of life is where I don´t see a separation of the last three.

-Learn and prepare yourself (to produce)
-Produce work (and children) most of life, then at different ages people work on self-development and keep learning and deepening their self-realization until death.

Maybe I´m a 2-speed:  Just learning and doing.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 02:39:34 PM EST

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