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July 19, 2009


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This is what I find so appealing about philosophical Taoism. The great sages didn't seek to share information other than what they observed. Beyond that, they admitted to being as clueless as the rest of us!!

And I agree with your central thesis -- In order to ask meaningful questions, a person must have a general working knowledge of the topic. When it comes to subject matter that is cosmological or metaphysical, we don't know shit! We truly don't know the difference between up and down or forward or backwards (or even if directions matter). We know so very little that any question we might create is a complete shot in the dark and experiences teaches that those types of questions are almost always so far off the mark as to be laughable.

I think there is a connection between our known by us self and the greater nonphysical part of each of us that cannot be severed. I also think that on an individual basis we can make this connection more vivid, by desire and trust and knowing. I also think there is a way back to a greater experience and understanding and knowing of our connection.

I thought this for a long time from a position of faith. Now, I think it from a position of having proven it for myself.

I don't think anybody finds what I speak of through focusing on how stupid and useless and mistaken things are. It comes from desire and trust and determination. I have these. I don't know how or why.

You said, "There is something rather than nothing. We can all agree with that."

I myself do agree with that; in fact, I consider the thesis that something exists to be a "first principle" of ontology (or metaphysics). But not everyone has so agreed. Remember the ontological or metaphysical nihilism of Gorgias, who famously said, "Nothing exists; if something does exist, we cannot know it; if we come to know it, we cannot communicate it to others."

Richard, that quote is indeed darn nihilistic. I don't understand what Gorgias is getting at. I assume Gorgias considered that he didn't exist either, so how did he think he could communicate his philosophical realization to others?

A question?

Man: "I want Peace"

God : Remove the "I" that's the Ego
Remove the "want" that desire/greed
And Peace will automatically be yours.

These comments brush on the usual concepts associated with nonduality, enlightenment, advaita, etc. Most seekers (or even religious debunkers) seem to come around to the general topic of this blog entry; there are no answers, and - this is the difference between depression and contentment - that's just fine. The idea that life is meaningless except in its intrinsic value - mere, or simple, existence - and that all the stories of right and wrong and good and evil and conspiracy theorists and peaceniks, etc ad nauseum, are just that - stories - is very difficult to swallow. However, the present moment (which cannot be quantified) can be taken as existence in its entirety, more or less because it's the only thing that cannot be denied. Past, future - always nonexistent. This sort of immediacy seems to ameliorate the need for questioning, or even the questioner himself; the ego, or self-image, or persona, however you care to label it, is organically denuded; nothing is taken terribly seriously anymore. Or so it seems, from "my own" immediacy and from contact with others who have exhausted the search for meaning and have ridden the wave of existential crisis without wiping out. Or at least not wiping out too badly!

You seem to work very hard on this blog, Brian, I suspect you put a lot of time, effort and energy into it. I appreciate it, and I hope others are polite enough to thank you as well. Well done, it's a lively forum.


Nice post. Finally, an interesting and thoughtful person.
Best wishes,

Suzanne, thanks for the appreciation. I do put quite a time into this blog (as well as my other one). However, it doesn't feel like work to me. It's something I enjoy -- though I do also view blogging as sort of a duty or service.

The two viewpoints aren't contradictory, of course. I enjoy feeling that my blog posts are helpful, interesting, entertaining, or whatever to people who come across them. So that's why I usually find the time to write a post a day on one of my blogs.

Currently, for example, my HinesSight post from several years ago on how to kill yellow jackets in their holes is getting its usual summer attention. (My wife and I believe in letting living things alone whenever possible, but sometimes a creature is just too much of a nuisance.)

Anyway, it's people like you who make this blog as lively as it is. So the thanks goes both ways.

Roger, check out my blog if you haven't already, you might reassess your opinion of me! Note especially the meant-to-be-lighthearted Rules of Nonduality and the comments that ensued from this blog. And Brian, keep it up. Your modesty becomes you. Even though there are no questions, no answers, no one, nothing, it's all just electical impulses in the brain, blah blah blah and etc.

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