Author Topic: Five Blind Men and an Elephant  (Read 13089 times)

AFK

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Re: Five Blind Men and an Elephant
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2008, 12:05:59 pm »
It's a cute story.  But seriously, Eristotle?  Couldn't you come up with a better name than that? 
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Re: Five Blind Men and an Elephant
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2008, 12:07:52 pm »
ATTN Pedoshade: shut the fuck up and go back to 23AE.

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Hoopla

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Re: Five Blind Men and an Elephant
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2008, 12:11:30 pm »
I really don't like syncretists. (fixed)

Why not?
"I contradict myself?  Very well then, I contradict myself; I am large - I contain multitudes."  -Walt Whitman

Cain

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Re: Five Blind Men and an Elephant
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2008, 12:12:12 pm »
Its one of the 16 signs of Ur-Fascism.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

Hoopla

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Re: Five Blind Men and an Elephant
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2008, 12:15:10 pm »
For realz?  How so?
"I contradict myself?  Very well then, I contradict myself; I am large - I contain multitudes."  -Walt Whitman

Cain

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Re: Five Blind Men and an Elephant
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2008, 12:20:34 pm »
http://www.themodernword.com/eco/eco_blackshirt.html

1. The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition.

Traditionalism is of course much older than fascism. Not only was it typical of counterrevolutionary Catholic thought after the French revolution, but is was born in the late Hellenistic era, as a reaction to classical Greek rationalism. In the Mediterranean basin, people of different religions (most of the faiths indulgently accepted by the Roman pantheon) started dreaming of a revelation received at the dawn of human history. This revelation, according to the traditionalist mystique, had remained for a long time concealed under the veil of forgotten languages -- in Egyptian hieroglyphs, in the Celtic runes, in the scrolls of the little-known religions of Asia.

This new culture had to be syncretistic. Syncretism is not only, as the dictionary says, "the combination of different forms of belief or practice;" such a combination must tolerate contradictions. Each of the original messages contains a sliver of wisdom, and although they seem to say different or incompatible things, they all are nevertheless alluding, allegorically, to the same primeval truth.

As a consequence, there can be no advancement of learning. Truth already has been spelled out once and for all, and we can only keep interpreting its obscure message.

If you browse in the shelves that, in American bookstores, are labeled New Age, you can find there even Saint Augustine, who, as far as I know, was not a fascist. But combining Saint Augustine and Stonehenge -- that is a symptom of Ur-Fascism.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

Hoopla

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Re: Five Blind Men and an Elephant
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2008, 12:23:26 pm »
Interesting...  that's two signs of fascism I display then...
"I contradict myself?  Very well then, I contradict myself; I am large - I contain multitudes."  -Walt Whitman

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Re: Five Blind Men and an Elephant
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2008, 04:11:12 pm »
I really don't like syncretists. (fixed)

Why not?

One of Christianity's big points is that salvation can only come through God, specifically the form of Jesus of Nazareth.  To try to save yourself without God is essentially denying God.  Buddhism explicitly makes the statement that humans can discover the truth and thereby save themselves, without teachers or gods - and goes so far as to say that gods can't really help with enlightenment.  Syncretists would have you believe that both religions are simultaneously correct, describing different perspectives of the same truth as the various blind men are describing the same elephant.  Similarly, Mohammed was the last prophet... there just happen to be many other prophets (J. Smith, Baha'u'llah) of God who came later.  It's okay in that it doesn't say that any religion is wrong, it just recognizes that the people who say that that religion is wrong are also correct.

It's doublethink and compartmentalization of beliefs at a massive level under the banner of tolerance.
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Hoopla

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Re: Five Blind Men and an Elephant
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2008, 04:31:48 pm »
That sounds as if you're taking both religions at full value... is that what syncretists do?  What if you only like pieces of different religions?

Loveshade's story certainly didn't include whole religions, just pieces.  Does it count?
"I contradict myself?  Very well then, I contradict myself; I am large - I contain multitudes."  -Walt Whitman

Reverend Loveshade

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Re: Five Blind Men and an Elephant
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2008, 06:27:47 pm »
It's a cute story.  But seriously, Eristotle?  Couldn't you come up with a better name than that? 

Personally, I really like the name Eristotle, but I can't take credit for it.  This story existed for years without the prophet being named.  But some clever Discordians have created writings and a mythology dealing with Eristotle, so I jumped on the bandwagon, if rather later.  Yep, I ripped off the prophet's name, too.

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Re: Five Blind Men and an Elephant
« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2008, 06:32:30 pm »
"This story by Reverend Loveshade has appeared in the 1995 online Non-Existent Apocrypha Discordia, the 2001 Apocrypha Discordia (which is a distinct work--this is the only story common to both of them), Apocrypha Diskordia (German Version of the 2001 work), Book of Eris, Ek-sen-trik-kuh Discordia: The Tales of Shamlicht, and Principia Harmonia. It is also the subject of a commentary by Al Barger, candidate for the United States Senate.  It has been released into the public domain."

I would like to clarify that this story, which also appears on Baron von Hoopla's site, does not technically appear in ED:TToS as the book is not yet completed, but it is planned for the work.

Nobody fucking cares. Besides, didn't you steal that version of the story from Camden Benares? Fucking lamer.

Did Camden Benares do a version of the elephant story?  Cool.  I just looked for it online, but didn't find it.  Do you know a link?  I'd love to read it.  Robert Anton Wilson did a version of the story too, but I didn't see RAW's until years after I wrote mine.  If I remember correctly, the good DrJon put RAW's in Apocrypha Discordia too.
"Threats should not be tolerated. They're demeaning, they're violations to human rights and no one deserves them."

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Re: Five Blind Men and an Elephant
« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2008, 06:41:23 pm »
oh...so you just happened to write the exact same story as two other people without having read either story?

wow. not only are you pretentious and annoying, you're either really dumb or you think we're really dumb.

go be a namefag somewhere else.
Rabid Colostomy Hole Jammer of the Coming Apocalypse™

The Devil is in the details; God is in the nuance.


Some yahoo yelled at me, saying 'GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH', and I thought, "I'm feeling generous today.  Why not BOTH?"

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Re: Five Blind Men and an Elephant
« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2008, 06:45:45 pm »
RAW's ends differently if memory serves, but yeah, basically the same. 

I haven't read the third version.
"I contradict myself?  Very well then, I contradict myself; I am large - I contain multitudes."  -Walt Whitman

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Re: Five Blind Men and an Elephant
« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2008, 07:01:04 pm »
I really don't like syncretists. (fixed)

Why not?

One of Christianity's big points is that salvation can only come through God, specifically the form of Jesus of Nazareth.  To try to save yourself without God is essentially denying God.  Buddhism explicitly makes the statement that humans can discover the truth and thereby save themselves, without teachers or gods - and goes so far as to say that gods can't really help with enlightenment.  Syncretists would have you believe that both religions are simultaneously correct, describing different perspectives of the same truth as the various blind men are describing the same elephant.  Similarly, Mohammed was the last prophet... there just happen to be many other prophets (J. Smith, Baha'u'llah) of God who came later.  It's okay in that it doesn't say that any religion is wrong, it just recognizes that the people who say that that religion is wrong are also correct.

It's doublethink and compartmentalization of beliefs at a massive level under the banner of tolerance.

Interesting points.

Buddhism is essentially an atheistic religion; at least it's one where believing in gods is not a part of the mainstream belief.

You mention combining Buddhism and Christianity, in spite of their contradictions.  I think of modern Christianity itself as syncretistic.  In the Christian New Testament, it's presented as the fulfillment of Judaism (i.e., the prophets were all right about the Messiah, even if no one understood what they meant, but now we can explain it all to you--they all point to Jesus).  Every miracle attributed to Jesus of Nazareth was done in some form by a Jewish/Old Testament prophet (except, perhaps, for raising himself from the dead).

But look at the story of a man who was the son of god and a human virgin who died and raised from the dead.  That’s both Jesus and Dionysus/Bacchus (who came before Jesus).

The modern day Christian version of Hell is largely from Greek mythology and Dante's Inferno, not from the Bible.  The wise men seeing the star and reading it as a sign in the heavens, and the book of Genesis specifically saying that stars are for signs, likely come from the religions of Persia and Babylon, respectively (the Jews generally weren't into astrology/astronomy).

Then the church in the European Middle Ages ironically added the teachings of a pantheistic Aristotle, and fought science because it disagreed with Aristotle (although some of the great works of science were, ironically, done by Christian monks).

But if you really want to find a syncretistic belief system, look at Discordianism.  It borrows from all over the place.  The difference is, Discordianism not only admits the borrowing, but accepts its own internal contradictions, something most religions don't do.

Personally, I think that Discordianism makes the most sense of any religion, because it admits its own nonsense.  At least in some sense.
"Threats should not be tolerated. They're demeaning, they're violations to human rights and no one deserves them."

-- navkat, 20 June 2007, principiadiscordia.com

Reverend Loveshade

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Re: Five Blind Men and an Elephant
« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2008, 07:20:00 pm »
oh...so you just happened to write the exact same story as two other people without having read either story?

wow. not only are you pretentious and annoying, you're either really dumb or you think we're really dumb.

go be a namefag somewhere else.

The story is an ancient one, and there are different versions of it all over the world.  It probably began in South Asia, but no one knows for sure.  If you notice in my heading, I say that I ripped it off.  Many people have done their own ripoffs, including Sam Gross, Robert Anton Wilson, John Godfrey Saxe (who wrote the most famous English-language version of the 19th century), and many others.  I figured if the Sufis, Jainists, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. could have their own version, why not write a Discordian version?

A friend of mine even used a version of the story in a Christian adult Sunday school class, of all places, and was asked by the church's pastor to present it to children's church.  It actually fits in well with the New Testament teaching that the eye can't say to the hand that, because you aren't an eye, the body doesn't need you.

I think that teaching applies to Discordians as well.
"Threats should not be tolerated. They're demeaning, they're violations to human rights and no one deserves them."

-- navkat, 20 June 2007, principiadiscordia.com