I have always been here...

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11 Jan 2018 16:30 #311840 by Alexandre Orion
Alexandre Orion replied the topic: I have always been here...
There's still tea, candlelight and music ; still dancing under multiple moons, storytelling and telling time (and betimes time let's itself be told...)

No, I am not British, though twice half of me be English...
... I'm French, technically.

:cheer:

"Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme."
~ Henri Bergson

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11 Jan 2018 16:51 #311844 by Brick
Brick replied the topic: I have always been here...

Alexandre Orion wrote: ... I'm French, technically


You're crazy, really :P

Apprentice to Maitre Chevalier Jedi Alexandre Orion

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11 Jan 2018 16:58 #311845 by Alexandre Orion
Alexandre Orion replied the topic: I have always been here...

Brick wrote:

Alexandre Orion wrote: ... I'm French, technically


You're crazy, really :P


:angry:

...little shit...


:P ;)

"Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme."
~ Henri Bergson
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11 Jan 2018 17:01 #311846 by willybilly30
willybilly30 replied the topic: I have always been here...
That sounds fun and romantic. I guess french have tea too. I heard Paris is really pretty
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09 Feb 2018 00:16 - 09 Feb 2018 07:58 #315013 by Alexandre Orion
Alexandre Orion replied the topic: I have always been here...

Alexandre Orion wrote:

Mastery


When considering the concept/notion/idea of “what it is (like) to be a Master,” let's not rely too much on either the fictional Jedi nor on the Western popular image of the Zen, Taoist or Buddhist Masters … These are all fine images that have their symbolic value in the mythic sense, but neither are they very realistic in the sign value dominated world-view of our daily lives. “Master” in Orient means 'teacher' ; “Master” in Occident means 'chief' or 'principal'. When we combine the interpretations of the terms, we get something just a little bit too mutant to be viable. From the first phrase of the writings of Lao Tsu ('Old Master'), we are told that the “Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao” – There is a pun there that cannot be captured in English : that being that the 'path' that can be “said” – which is a very similar word in ancient Chinese to “follow/heed” – is not the eternal (true, momentary, lasting) way … The mastery of the way is in giving oneself over to the “flow” of the reality of the moment, not clutching on – to whatever one is bothered by, NOR to some favourite set of words (perhaps not so well understood) by which to pretend to be beyond the pains of the human existential condition. Thus, a Master, is not someone who does not feel bothered by anything – s/he is able to be bothered as bother comes, go through it rather than around it, under or over it, nor pretend that everything is okay. Then again, the Master can suffer without making others suffer for her/his sufferance. One of my favourite expressions in the past few decades : “The Buddha suffered from backaches – and bitched about it !” (It was in something I read, but I don't remember what it was ; please pardon me here the lack of proper citation)

I noticed this morning the popularity of the Stoic Philosophy thread Reacher started. It is an excellent topic and the quotes/commentaries that are being pondered in it are from some very respectable, very wise thinkers in Greco-Roman culture (which we are an extension of in our modern day). I would have to warn non-philosophers though of re-contextualising those sayings into a much broader psycho-social context than they were intended to be. This philosophy came about at a time of some very harsh hierarchical socio-political organisation where the (perceived) liberties we take for granted today (career/occupation, whom to marry, option to not respect civic responsibilities &c) were among those things that were well outside of one's control. Many of our revered philosophies grew out of similar socio-politico-economic terrains. One could go from very fortunate to utterly impoverished within hours. One never knew if one would still be alive at the end of the day or not, or if one would see sunrise again at the hour of going to sleep. These philosophies were meant to be a personal framework for one's own existential possibilities – that is, 'to know' that nothing – neither good fortune nor bad – is an acquired state of being. It does not mean that losing one's household, one's fortune or one's reputation was ever simply an “oh, well...” occurrence : they bitched about it (that part just didn't get written down). These philosophies were never conceived to show us the way in our interpersonal, affective relationships – and to apply them in this domain is a most sentimentality anaesthetised way of treating the people who love us like shit. NOT a sign of Mastery … And the Master loves – profoundly ! There is no silly detachment in the interest of “this too shall pass” ; when it passes, it hurts. The Master may even celebrate the hurt (after all, it would not be enlightened to be joyous about losing someone precious), but celebrating the hurt does not make it 'not' hurt.

Neither the Stoic nor the Zen (certainly not the modern-day Jedi) Master is above the human condition (ren : human-heartedness). And that grisly, messy, sloppy 'human condition' can be painful, cunning, desirous, greedy … the list is inexhaustible. We learn to consider our Ideals as Ideals – not as reliable realities we can make happen ; reality can only approach – or recede – from what the Ideal was. But then, Ideals can be flexible … One gets no where by focussing on the positive to the exclusion of the negative – they are one of a piece. Positivist psychology is even a bit dangerous because it tends to feed fantasies that engender even worse states of depression when those fantasies eventually turn out to be just that – fantasies. Every advantage has its incumbent disadvantage, every wave its crest but also its trough. To attempt to have one without the other is to not accept reality. And that non-acceptance of what feels utterly painful is the guarantee that one will never experience Joy either. So, focussing on the positive is the same as the rejection of the positive. And one can't be “bothered” - in the distorted image of the 'Master' – is the rejection of the Mastery so sought-after. Naturally, this is not an injunction to be all dismal and focus on the negative, for that would be the same thing : rejection of the negative to focus on the negative – making the negative just as silly as the Ideal that doesn't turn out.

The Master has few convictions. Convictions are notions that we want to feel (non-rational) true in every case, and willingness to engage in conflict (reasoned/rational justification of the non-rational) is the quickest, surest path to 'irrational' ways of behaving. Having very few convictions allows for a more rapid survey of the intello-emotional environment and a better discernment of possibilities that promote fairness for everyone involved. To date, the most reliable measure of fairness is one that permits one to judge based on not knowing how the judgement may affect oneself – thus ensuring that the most “fair” solution is the most advantageous to the least advantaged person affected by it. Thus the Master is fair, weighing out the balance of distribution by the needs of those who have needs more than those who merely have desires. 'Merit' after all, is proportionate …

Therefore :

The Master is not un-feeling, nor binds her/his feelings under an armour-clad sense of control, but feels what a human being (as well as other non-human animals) feels very keenly. Even Neitzsche's conceptualisation of the Der Übermensch is one who rises above what society tells him are right and wrong feelings in order to feel richly and deeply what s/he actually does feel without the culturally forged shackles of appropriateness upon them. Der Übermensch also is a deeply feeling being – so deeply feeling that in our current sign-value driven digitised world is quite as prone to madness as a century ago. And our sense of “fairness” or “Justice” will remain an undefinable part of that nebulous continuum. The Master must be a poet, having an intuition that can point to the moon without ever attaining it, and without mistaking the finger that points for what it is indicating. The Master must privilege the symbol-value over the sign- or exchange-value. And the Master must never be so over-zealous, over-confident in her/his Mastery that s/he is too conceited to reach out to trusted friends to say : “this dragon is too big for me, please help.”

We have been correct in our metaphor for the Dragon up until now – one can tame them, or slay them. Or they can slay or even tame us … But what remains is that the Master can recognise a Dragon for what it is – even when it is a beautiful and alluring creature (Ideal, Conviction, favourite thoughts, what-have-you). The Master also remembers that they never become cuddly pets – our Mastery merely helps us get them to stop burning down the grange to get to the sheep.

The Master is a being of deep feeling, not of no feeling. Her/his rationality is not rooted in cold and sterile objectivity (which reduces everyone and everything to 'objects') but in the “Thou”-ness, the intersubjective meeting where all sorts of wonder can emerge in the honest and open 'in-between' where we become “who we are when no one is looking”, that pre-reflexive “I” that knows the world it has grown from.


Respectfully submitted :
~ Alexandre Orion
8 février 2018


"Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme."
~ Henri Bergson
Last Edit: 09 Feb 2018 07:58 by Alexandre Orion.
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28 Feb 2018 22:33 - 01 Mar 2018 06:17 #316968 by Alexandre Orion
Alexandre Orion replied the topic: I have always been here...
...thought to be watching these 40 000 years, has only been waiting ... and waiting watching ... and watched waiting ... The hour-glass orbits the calendar, tearing out pages of tear stained and weather worn Hope. Waiting yet ... Hope remains, faith survives and time still dances into singularity, the Forever & Always Now...

~ Alexandre Orion
28 février 2011

"Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme."
~ Henri Bergson
Last Edit: 01 Mar 2018 06:17 by Alexandre Orion.
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04 Mar 2018 08:33 - 04 Mar 2018 08:44 #317360 by Alexandre Orion
Alexandre Orion replied the topic: On Respect
This was brought up in another conversation, but it seems appropriate to bring it up here too. Please consider and discuss (not debate) what we actually understand about the notion of "Respect". Is there truly a deficit of it ? Or, are we once again trying to 'common sense' our way through a skill that is very difficult to master ? ;)


Alexandre Orion wrote:

Respect


As with Justice, the concept of 'Respect', though we all seem to think we know something about it, have been educated well to behave according to it, it has never been universally agreed upon as to whom or what we owe Respect, what are its scope and conditions. In the 20 or so generations that have followed 'humanism' and the popularisation of notions of Liberty, we have amplified our explorations of what 'Respect' could be as well as our ways of institutionalising dis-Respect. We have certainly all had time to memorise the litany of 'kinds' of Respect : Respect for Life, Respect for minorities (sic), Respect for gender and sexual orientation, Respect for diverse cultures, Respect for age, for religions, for economic status and for handicapped persons. There is also the Respect due to the environment, property and of course the law, codes of conduct and rules. Herein is also the underlying and over-arching necessity for self-Respect, without which really none of the other forms would be feasible.

Personally, I consider the Respect to be a meta-quality, just like Justice. We may forever be refining it, defiling it, categorising it in different and varying ways, but perhaps never having a comprehensive empirical knowledge of it. Like, say, 'Perfection', these will remain eternally beyond our grasp.

Before we go rambling on about 'Respect', we first need to get a starting point : what are we really talking about ? Is it a feeling or an action ? Is it a value, and how do we arrive at it ? What feelings, attitudes and kinds of behaviour are implicated ? Is it a duty ? Are there different kinds of Respect and what differentiates them ?

So, one quickly realises that we are not on about a very simple topic. Respect comes to us from Latin, 'respicare', which means to 'look back at' or 'to look again'. Thus Respect is a manner of recognition ; there is some quality of that which is Respected which is already known, either empirically or hypothetically. Moreover, 'Respect' is always transitive : it is the relation of a subject to an object*. Respect must moreover be a self-conscious and rational response, not merely instinct. It is, in some regards, a way of 'objectifying' that which is regarded, to perceive it as it is from outside of the influence of one's own desires or affinities – to appreciate the object in-and-of itself.

Respect is different from other ways of relating to others as it is not entirely self-generated. It is what we could call 'deontic' (or reflexive), as it is a response elicited from the recognition of the object commanding a particular relationship to it ; it is not a valuing solely from the perspective of the subject's (the one doing the 'Respecting') interests. Thus, since it is not self-generated it is voluntary ; we do not control whether we 'like' or 'fear' someone/something, but 'to Respect' is conscientious (though not necessarily a 'choice'). Respect then, could be a particular way of paying an oriented attention ; it is reasoned, not intuited, not 'felt'.

Unlike our feelings about things, Respect is as much objective as subjective. It is subjective in that it comes out of what we know about the qualities of the object Respected. Therefore, due to the subjective nature of the assessment of the object's qualities, one can very easily 'respond' inappropriately – not necessarily in disRespecting the object, but in perhaps purveying the wrong kind of Respect, or to a degree that is without proper grounding. On quite the other hand, Respect is objective in that the Respect-solliciting qualities of the object are independent of the subject. The object places limitations on our margin of action (we are not alone and cannot do as we please) ; Respect of the object takes as axiomatic that the object would be respectable for others, at least that the grounds for Respect be generally admitted. Also, the qualities of the object that are Respect-warranting are likewise Respect-warranting with regard to any other object bearing them.

Consequently, Respect is a value-judgement based behavioural commitment. It is the relationship-based negotiation of conduct according to subject-object qualitative abstraction. The relationships, whether they be dominance, reciprocity or communality, and each agent therein, determine (sometimes badly) the measure of Respect to be manifested in any given social situation.

From a personal standpoint, it is very irritating to me to hear another commanding respect or estimating the respect s/he is due from someone else or that others must exhibit. Given the very imprecise nature of Respect – not to mention that it has been matter for lively debate between moral philosophers and ethicists for at least a million years - it strikes me as unlikely that anyone could very genuinely arbitrate the respect that one owes another. Certainly there may be some tell-tale signs that considerable Respect is missing, but the form and manifestation of that Respect is not another's jurisdiction (as much in the case of dispensing Justice). We can only hope to teach better schemes of quality discernment whereby Respect can be refined. As was mentioned before, Respect is neither akin to “liking” nor “fear”. As it is the property of Reason, neither of these ways of commanding Repect can deliver it.

*Note : “Object” here does not denote a 'thing'. The “object” herein refers to the recipient of the 'act' of Respecting.


"Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme."
~ Henri Bergson
Last Edit: 04 Mar 2018 08:44 by Alexandre Orion.
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18 Apr 2018 12:10 #320538 by Alexandre Orion
Alexandre Orion replied the topic: I have always been here...
Lunch-time : food for thought ....


... don't worry, it's not porn. :cheer:

"Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme."
~ Henri Bergson
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18 Apr 2018 13:46 - 18 Apr 2018 13:48 #320539 by Proteus
Proteus replied the topic: I have always been here...
I find that respect is "triggered" or "activated" (for lack of a more accurate verb) according to the things that I have no choice but to notice and feel a commending toward. For instance, someone who actually exhibits certain virtues in their natural demeanor more than they simply talk about such virtue and how more people should have it, naturally communicates to me exactly what is to be constructive noticed and acknowledged in my behavior toward them. I've never felt that one who gains respect (or one who is commendable as a Jedi) is not often one who frequently goes around flapping their jaw at others about it.

"It seems that I know that I know.
What I would like to see is the 'I' that knows me when I know that I know that I know."
- Alan Watts
Last Edit: 18 Apr 2018 13:48 by Proteus.
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01 May 2018 08:15 #321008 by Alexandre Orion
Alexandre Orion replied the topic: I have always been here...




:blush:

"Chaque homme a des devoirs envers l'homme en tant qu'homme."
~ Henri Bergson
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