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Archive for September, 2012


Sometimes I think that it is better
not to be successful. To not be burdened
by its contingencies.


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I think that avoiding mind over matter metaphors might help us see things in a more useful manner. For example, let’s see if we can conceptualize thoughts and emotions as part of a single phenomenon, neither mind nor matter but both. On this interpretation we would find it most useful to see thoughts as one aspect of an emotional response that also includes whole body responses. It’s not that the emotion causes the thought any more than liquidity causes water to flow over a table when poured out. It’s that flowing over a table and all the other phenomenological manifestations of water at room temp are the liquidity. Likewise the thoughts and all other body reactions are the emotion. If we reify liquidity or emotionality then we will be looking for things that are not necessary for effective modeling of the events being observed. I think of it this way: events occur and my body responds. Sometimes those responses include thoughts sometimes they don’t. If the thought is not being thought, i.e. if my body is not thinking right now, then the thought doesn’t exist. There is no mind over matter because matter is mind and mind is matter. Sometimes.



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There are two possible solutions to the problem of human consciousness. One solution is to assume that the phenomena that we call life and non-life are representations of two distinct properties manifesting themselves to us in our awareness. This assumption is called property dualism. The problem that comes with property dualism is that it reminds us of our mortality. For if life is something fundamentally different from non life then we are faced with the notion that when this life ends the I that life created also ends. The traditional response to the anxiety of property dualism has been to posit the immortality of the I that is attached momentarily to the physical body. This leaves us with the unfortunate sense that life as we are living it is unreal and insubstantial, because the true reality of life everlasting lies elsewhere. An alternative to property dualism is the single world assumption. The single world assumption holds that we live in exactly one world with only one set of properties, however multifarious they may appear to us in our experience. Imagine walking around an object and seeing it from various perspectives. Each aspect that you visualize is slightly different but you don’t therefore conclude that each aspect represents a distinct and separate object, do you? Likewise experience may appear to us from time to time under different aspects, but on what rational basis do we justify a conclusion that this indicates different worlds within worlds? The odd thing about the single world assumption is that I am led to embrace all objects, from the hottest supernova to the most solitary flower as my brothers and sisters. And I know that whatever happens to this body at the time that we call death, my atoms will always be a part of the universe.



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I brought you to me in the dark before anyone knew,
and you smiled I could feel it.
How hard did we work to get to this place?
I should know but I don’t.
Actuality is a concept better turned over
to monks and brazen women.
Once when you were asleep,
I moved all over your body in a dream.
I was surprised to find you alive.
The water on your face, warm.



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the bell that rings your whole life long,
is the rhyme you can’t unhear.
it takes its time,
it makes all clear.
and when you can’t resist
the walk up your final mountain
bought with sweat of your brow
and costly grime.
it brings you home.
it makes you mine.



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                         chalice

dear god
why did you make me
this ugly broken thing
that no one but you
could ever love?


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where it begins for me is in not judging the judging, accepting non-acceptance and being willing to be willing.



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