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    • Too much focus on individual words? (Last post by steamboat28)
    • Quote: Quote: The Force isn't about silence, either. And, typically, only one of those things helps us communicate. Didn't ask anyone to be silent? The world is full of opposing forces that define each other. One of these pairs is the silence/speech dichotomy when communicating verbally. You can either be understood through words (vocally), or you can let your silence speak for you. Silence is subjective. You know what your silence means and others do not, unless they know you well enough to hazard a potentially-incorrect guess. Words can be subjective (connotations vary regionally, and from background), but they can also be objective, since every language has groups of people that have written books about the most common or accepted uses of certain words. We call these books "dictionaries", and they're terribly handy for ensuring one is properly understood while communicating. This "focus on individual words" is not a negative if it helps us understand one another. No amount of "feeling" will help us communicate clearly and accurately, because feeling is subjective. If you're to explain a feeling, it helps (very much) to do it in as objective terms as you can manage so you're properly understood. I won't hum my three-word chorus here, but you know what I'm saying. Everyone who's a regular here knows what I'm saying.
    • Is A Fertilized Human Egg A Person? (Last post by Akkarin)
    • TL;DR? Knowing if it is a person or isn't a person is not enough to inform oneself about any particular situation, we must also have an idea of everything else going on around it. This began to get a little long-winded as I went into a wider metaphysical argument over the issue of "identity" lol. The problem with finding a specific definition and then sticking to it is that the definition-sticking (the process with which one gets incredibly caught up in the nuances of what something might mean) is not the intended purpose behind trying to decide if something merits that or another definition. One might just as easily ask the question "Am I the same person that I was 10 years ago?" Every single cell in your body has been replaced, your demeanor and characteristics have also probably changed, so does that mean you're the same person? This is another example of mistaking fiction-for-fact (ala Watts), because perhaps the best description (as the Buddha coined) is "processes". What I call "I" is just the current iteration of a long-happening process, "I" now is the process as it appears today, "I" 22 years ago was the process as it appeared prior to birth. Perhaps the more intriguing question is not whether a "fertilised human egg is a person?" but whether the inseparable processes that require a human to live do not also constitute person-hood? What is a human without oxygen? A human without vegetation and animals to eat? A human without the right temperature conditions? "I" would be a very dead human. So if what one is - a "human process" - cannot live outside its environment, then both must have to exist mutually. If both exist mutually, and you cannot have one without the other, then wouldn't that inherently imply that they are one and the same process? So again the question of personhood arises, but as I explained above, if a human and everything that surrounds the human are just the same process then what is the "personhood" label trying to do exactly? It's is trying to create a little mental box around some of the process to separate it all into "parts". These "parts" are the fiction we mistake for fact thus we think of the human as somehow being "separated" or "outside" one's own environment - which is clearly impossible. Mental boxes can be very useful, because one might want "to meet up for coffee at 9:30am on Wednesday", but humans like their boxes to have sharp corners, but the issue is that when absolutely every process in the entire universe is intimately connected with every other process then the lines start getting blurry (in truth there are no lines, they are the lines of all the mental boxes we've constructed). So this brings us back to the poor fertilised egg and it's personhood. If we feel inclined to create a mental box into which we place the idea of "personhood", then perhaps we should give our mental box a little lee-way with which to bend to our prevailing understanding of the universe and its fundamental relationships. But WT&%("$&%^*( does that mean exactly? :P Well now we come full circle to my first point about "definition-sticking". If ultimately the distinctions we have created are mental boxes we are placing upon the universe then it would seem silly to debate the idea of personhood solely for the sake of its own definition. Why exactly are we looking for a definition? (Other than for intellectual curiosity)? Because we're curious about where personhood starts? For purposes of philosophy? Abortion? Well-being (in the case of non-human persons such as some animals)? Well if our purposes behind trying to find the definition are so we may find what "respectful for life" then obviously our word-ly definition won't contain the entire philosophical and moral debate over "respect". So a definition for definition's sake is a meaningless exercise in "who can find the most nuanced mental box" for the part of the universe our other mental boxes have created coincidentia oppositorum. So what I am saying is the idea of "personhood" even if such an idea can be found and agreed upon is only a small portion of the larger debate on the state of this "person-egg". A much better understanding of the situation would be gleamed if we tried to look more at the intentions and expected outcomes of the entire process behind the desire to grant "person", respect for life? Who's life? In what wider context must this person or society be respected? What other moral considerations surround this egg? Everything in the universe is intimately related to everything else, our mental boxes are not "fact", so it should be of no surprise that there should have to be multiple and various considerations behind why something should be considered one thing and not another.
    • Course Comms (Last post by tzb)
    • Discussion 8 - Woman as Temptress now available: PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THE COURSE COMMS THREAD
    • Discussion 8 - Woman as Temptress (Last post by tzb)
    • [image] We left our hero... meeting with the goddess, a powerful feminine force which gives their quest new light and hope. But not all feminine forces are positive. Will the next figure on their road be a friend or foe? After the previous topic, where the feminine force was a power the hero admired (or feared), this stage presents a fairly typical lesson about human nature: the hero begins to desire the feminine and wishes to make it his own. The hero is tempted. Interestingly however the typical mythic cycle does not reflect this as a failing on the part of the hero; rather, they posit the woman (either the Goddess of the prior stage or another feminine presence) as a temptress, guilty for alluring our protagonist from the path of their quest. Therefore the female force is presented mythically as both powerful enough to raise the woman to the position of a goddess, and insidious enough to lower her to the position of a temptress. [image] The most familiar example of this archetype is what we now refer to as the Femme Fatale. Present in much world literature (including the familiar figures of Lilith, the Sirens, Aphrodite, and Helen of Troy), Femme Fatales are seemingly wonderful figures who hide a dark secret - or perhaps reveal a darker side of the hero's nature. In modern storytelling the term Femme Fatale has become synonymous with the beautiful but conniving female leads of Film Noir stories, usually mysterious women who entrap, trick or otherwise manipulate the smitten hero. In Film Noir, Femme Fatales are often the cause of the hero's downfall. Often this is precisely because of the hero's good nature - they want to save the "damsel in distress", even to the point of committing atrocities. What they don't realise is she may not be as helpless as she appears. The narration of this video is sort of hilarious. The Hero's Journey is a transformative quest, as much about the growth of the hero as the situations they experience, or their underlying motive for acting. As such an experience of temptation is an essential "test" for the hero - a trial which reveals them as greater than their baser desires. Sometimes monomythic stories have no temptress as such, but merely place an item or idea in front of the hero which they want, badly. Temptation in general is a universal human theme - who among us hasn't been tempted by something we desire? When an adventure seems difficult or dark, who hasn't desired or been tempted to quit? The key lesson of this stage of the hero's journey is that not all enemies are dragons; they will have to battle their own flaws, their own weaknesses and their own demons. This transforming understanding of the obstacles they face is a crucial part of the hero's journey towards maturity. Sometimes the obstacle is our own selves - and other times it will look too good to be true. [image] It usually is. Quote: Generally we refuse to admit within ourselves, or within our friends, the fullness of that pushing, self-protective, malodorous, carnivorous, lecherous fever which is the very nature of the organic cell. Rather, we tend to perfume, whitewash, and reinterpret; meanwhile imagining that all the flies in the ointment, all the hairs in the soup, are the faults of some unpleasant someone else. But when it suddenly dawns on us, or is forced to our attention, that everything we think or do is necessarily tainted with the odor of the flesh, then, not uncommonly, there is experienced a moment of revulsion: life, the acts of life, the organs of life, woman in particular as the great symbol of life, become intolerable to the pure, the pure, pure soul. From The Hero with a Thousand Faces Examples Spoiler: * Gilgamesh: Siduri tries to tempt Gilgamesh away from his journey, telling him it is futile * The Odyssey: Calpso protects Odysseus but forces him to stay on her island. Circe also fits this mould somewhat * The Enlightenment of Buddha: Buddha faces continual temptation whilst beneath the bodhi tree, including "three voluptuous women" * The Crucifixion of Jesus: Mary Magdelene is present at Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. Through much of history she has been painted as a sinful influence in Jesus' life * Beowulf: Beowulf gains great praise for his deeds and Hrothgar warns him about being tempted to pride, rather than remembering the role of god in his victory * The Theft of Thor's Hammer: The appearance of Thrym's sister demanding a bridal fee is an example of a female presence nearly pulling an adventure off course * King Arthur: Guinevere's dalliance with Lancelot threatens to destroy the harmony of Arthur's kingdom * The Lord of the Rings: Galadriel considers taking the ring and using its power * Star Wars Episode IV: Han and Luke compete over Leia's affections, Luke and Leia kiss (ew) * The Karate Kid: Daniel sees Ali kissing Johnny and is hurt by it * The Lion King: Nala makes Simba act like a horny teenager * The Matrix: Cypher is tempted by Agent Smith's offer of reinsertion into the Matrix - a "new life" away from the hardships of the Nebuchadnezzar's quest * Harry Potter: Harry sees his parents in the Mirror of Erised (another interesting subversion of the convention) Questions Spoiler: * What have been some of the major temptations in your life? How did you overcome them? Did they affect the course of your adventures? * Women are specifically mentioned at this stage of the Monomyth, but not men. What does this imply? How do you feel about your answer? * "The female force is presented mythically as both powerful enough to raise the woman to the position of a goddess, and indsidious enough to lower her to the position of a temptress." Why do you think this is? * What are some of the temptations which may lead a Jedi off their chosen path? Think particularly of the reference to Femmes Fatales using the hero's good nature against them, presenting an image of helplessness whilst secretly controlling the hero. Can you think of examples of where this type of situation might befall Jedi? How do we guard against it? Can we? Next: Atonement with the Father (Available Wednesday 5th November)
    • Memorial day: a personal story (Last post by Cyan Sarden)
    • When I was a kid, my grandfather worked as a truck driver for a tiny local construction company. I was always mighty impressed when he parked his truck on the driveway during his lunch breaks. Sometimes he'd let me ride along in his truck when he took it back to the yard in the evening - he was my hero in those moments. Later, as I grew up, I inevtiably lost interest in his truck and his work. I always felt a strong connection with my grandfather, however, and was devastated when he died of cancer when I was about 15. A few months ago, as I was driving through a small stretch of forest on my way to work, I suddenly felt overcome by nostalgia and saddness as I, out of the blue, started reminiscing about my grandfather and his truck. The feeling would linger on. As I emerged from the forest road, I saw a large vehicle coming my way - it was my grandfather's old truck, driven by his former boss's son. I thought I'd share this with you on this Memorial Day. At that moment, just outside that stretch of forest, I was one with the Force.
    • Critical Thinking! (Last post by Rosalyn J)
    • Its funny you should mention this topic because as a University faculty member, many of the students I teach are not prepared to be critical thinkers once they get to university, so the first year is sort of a boot camp of sorts and inevitably people fall through the cracks because they don't have the foundation. Current public education systems, at least in America, are places of indoctrination. Follow the rules, say the correct answer, get the reinforcement (good grades). This is an unfortunate reality and part and parcel why a world class university education still is by and large an elite endevour. Can't have the "masses" thinking critically.
    • Yoga (Last post by Dessel761)
    • I would like to start doing some yoga at home. That being said, does anyone know of any good apps or videos to help with this?
    • Tattoos and Jedi? (Last post by Learn_To_Know)
    • Quote: Quote: I would never want my wife or kids to gauge their ears! Looks nasty in my opinion, haha. But to each their own. If the kids want to do that someday, it's their ears! lol... "Gauge up" doesn't just mean those huge earring, lol.... Standard earrings are 16 or 14 gauge... Those are like the size you would pierce an ear with a starter stud... I think I'm at a 12 gauge right now... Just a little bigger.... eyeballing a 10...;) Picture a guy wearing little dainty gold hoops, and then one wearing a set a little bit thicker, lol.... Shows what I know, haha. When someone says "gauge their ears" I picture this: [attachment] [attachment] That just don't do it for me! haha.. To each their own!
    • Holy Place (Last post by Learn_To_Know)
    • This is an interesting topic to me. I fall along the "some things are holy". Being on the mountain, being in a library, being in the dark and quiet while staring at the stars, those are all holy places to me. I feel like going to the library now, haha.

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