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Archive for September, 2012


Plato never appears in his own dialogues, does he? As if to say, “these are not my words. Put no faith in them.”



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In the search for behavioral change we have several options. One of these many is to identify the response classes exemplified by our behaviors, thereby understanding their sources and influences. Another option is simply to behave otherly. The first of these approaches makes use of what Bergson called our awareness of quantity. Quantitative heuristics teach an awareness of common attributes with which we group token events into typical classes. The second approach makes use of what he called our idea of quality, which is more simply just an awareness of change.

In the first case we are treating our experiences as what Heidegger would have called a “standing reserve,”– a theoretically inexhaustible and anonymous “stuff” that technology can shape how we will. In the second case we are engaging what he called “Gelassenheit,” or “letting go.” In the first case we try to retrieve what created us; in the second we just create and create and create.

Modern behavior therapy uses the first to get to the second. Moreover, we realize that the product of therapy is a koan: rather than producing an additional piece of knowledge, it teaches a new way of being.


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we only lose what we love. is the solution to not love? i don’t think so.



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If you think about it the Christian “Good News” (Gospel) tradition requires the everlasting presence of “bad news” to perpetuate the hierarchies of traditional Christianity. For Gospelist-Pauline-Augustinian Christianity, eternal carnal sin is a prerequisite for their particular notion of the good life. Human lives for these early Christians are nothing more than the occasion of our submission to the divine word and an ascendency towards the eternal golden light of truth. The Pauline divine is forever external to the sin-ridden human coil and is the final arbiter of universal good and evil. What Kant, a Lutheran Pietist of the 18th century, did then is reverse this traditional relationship between the divine and the ethical. For Kant, morality is properly defined not as the divine word made flesh, but rather as that particular earthly outcome of each individual’s struggle with the morality vs. prudence tension. What the Christian allegory does for Kant is to help cast this struggle in terms of our sense of the sublime (universal) implications of our actions as contingent beings. Only in such a light can we come to understand our notion of the divine – not indeed as the source of the true moral light but rather as the product of each individual’s particular way of building a contingent and imperfectly sublime moral guide out of their unique struggles. Our ends are in fact just as rough-hewn as they seem to us, and no more. Rather than being the guarantor of truth everlasting, god then becomes a rather frail and contingent being, dependent on our own fleeting ability to renew every day a sense of wisdom that is only as real as our own wise efforts. Our sacrifices are only as noble as the next being willing to make the same sacrifice.



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To be less vulnerable you have to live, vulnerably.



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I want to live in a world with no love of fear and no fear of love.



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I’ve often asked myself
what I’d say
if someone asked me
suddenly
at the point of a gun
are you a buddhist?
What would a true buddhist say?


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