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Messages - Cramulus

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Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Meaning
« on: Today at 03:48:32 pm »
Since we're going down the definition route, I hope we can start at a common place of agreement, Merriam Webster.  The first definition is conveying a 'thing' using language.  This appears to be the Objective definition, in that it is conveying the physical rules in which a thing exists in this universe.  The second definition is something that is intended; this can be taken to mean the Subjective definition, as it implies the thing has a purpose.

(I'm not going to go down the path of defining "purpose" in the same manner, save that its definition is subject to the same dichotomy, and so on)

So Objectively, the feet behave in this physical manner; they evolved to behave in this manner because of these biological principles; those principles exist because of these macro physical laws; those exist because of quantum laws (I skipped a few steps there - you get the picture).  Subjectively, you can speak about the feet needing a destination, or that since shoes have a purpose to fit feet, is there a similar purpose for feet?  We're going to need to specifically announce which definition of purpose we're going to use, or things get confused.

That's a good slice of the analytical knife (cleaving 'purpose' into two parts, the physical laws surrounding the object and its its utility in service to intention)
I wonder if that cleft still works when we're talking about things with no human agency anywhere near them?

like, the 'purpose of shoes' is clearly bound to subjective motivations in the human world, but does it make sense to talk about the purpose of Saturn's rings? The purpose of the sun's radiation? The spine has a purpose, no? is it the same kind of 'subjective intention' as 'what shoes are for'?

Is it a big leap to view these cosmic principles and forces in the same light as 'intention'?

This is leaping from
"when you drop an object, it falls"
"the universe intends dropped objects to fall"

When we say "it falls", it's a passive-voice occlusion (ie "mistakes were made) -- something's making it fall, right?

Maybe I'm anthropomorphizing too much--but in an incorrect way?

If an asteroid collides with a lifeless planet in deep space, does that event have any purpose or meaning?

(thank you for indulging my semantic experiments today)

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Meaning
« on: Today at 01:46:07 pm »
I'm going to crawl out on a limb
and postulate (to test the strength of this branch):

that there are "natural laws" of the universe which describe general trends

and that because these trends are visible in the larger cosmos
and also isomorphically,
within the microcosmos of self,

they could be part of this 'meaning'.

What I'm talking about is a little more abstract than F=ma.
To give an example-----

As Above
So Below

Which is saying

Structural similarities exist in all parts of nature. There is an isomorphic correspondence between big and small.
The individual exists within the collective, and the collective exists within the individual.

As I said, it's abstract, it's not testable by STEM sciences like F=ma, and it's easily conflated with aphorisms like "early to bed, early to rise". It requires a subjective call about what's above and what's below.

But look---
the way veins and arteries branch into capillaries
the way leaves have similar patterns on them
the way roads branch
the way rivers branch

there seems to be an underlying structure for certain kinds of distribution
and I don't think that's just a function of my pattern-finding mind

Maybe I could call these things "Fractal Truths". Because every time they are expressed, they come out slightly differently, they are colored by circumstance.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Meaning
« on: Today at 01:31:13 pm »
Meaning is entirely subjective.

You present any idea - any idea at all - to ten people.  1 person is going to become a crusader for that idea, another person is going to pretend to be a crusader for that idea to be edgy or whatnot, 6 people are gonna be meh about it, 2 people crusade against it, and the last person thinks it's the most depressing shit ever and kills him/herself.

You may notice there's an extra person in there.  Siri hates your fucking idea, too.

 :lol: is siri the one that kills themself?

I was just being fancy and rephrasing the "Objective vs Subjective" riff.  If we agree that there's stuff out there that exist independently of ourselves (please, don't @quantum me on this), then we can figure out the rules and laws which govern how the stuff exists.  That, in one sense, is "meaning" -- an objective understanding of the universe.  It's like the NdT quote, "science doesn't care if you believe in it."

On the other hand, if you're looking to create a narrative about why you exist in this universe, or about your observations of other stuff through time, then you're editing out the majority of stuff happening in the universe in order to form something coherent.  This, in another sense, is "meaning" -- a subjective experience of the universe.  I think it was RAW who said, "reality is what you can get away with."

You & Faust both mention the "natural laws" of the universe as the "objective" description of it - and I can get down with that.

Tied into the idea that something could have a 'meaning' is the idea that something could have a 'purpose'. And this is a little hard for me to wrap my head around too, I mean, 'purpose' seems very subjective, tied to intention, which is hardly universal - the purpose of a fork could be to comb my hair, you know?

But then - my legs and feet are for moving around, right? Yeah I can also use them to kick, and also to get off sailors, but they evolved for a specific purpose, no?

Or is that too much baggage? Is it better to just say that feet have no inherent purpose, creatures that have feetlike things were just better at breeding etc etc and that explains feet better than naming their general goal?

I like your frame, p3nt.

I REJECT the idea that this was a "leak"--this is exactly what the system was designed to do, scrape data and fence it to companies who can use it strategically.

It's like that old saying - on social media, you aren't the customer, you're the product.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: Yesterday at 04:40:52 pm »
So i've started reading Beelzebub's Tales..

I am about 1/3rd of the way through at the moment. At first it was hard due to all the made up words and then I was like 'oh hey this is just a weird scifi book'.

Now I am kind of getting into it and there are bits that seem to make sense and other bits that are super far out.

I also made it about 1/3rd of the way through, then I figured I should start with something more clear.

One of the cool things about Beezlebub's Tales is that it takes a little while for it to unfold itself in your brain. You may read it and have no effect, but a week later, something will click.

It's interesting how the language is intentionally exhaustive. It's trying to tax your intellect so that it gets bored and lazy. You have to stay present while reading it - I said elsewhere, it's a bit like training wheels.

[/quote]Maybe I should have read something of Ouspensky's first. I can definitely see the benefits of reading this kind of thing in a group - some passages and chapters seem to have a lot to unpack that's clearly going over my head.

Yeah I reccommend In Search of the Miraculous as a primer.

Right now I'm reading Unknowable Gurdjieff by Margaret Anderson -- (after picking it up in a used book store) it's tight, accessible, and short -- intended for the newcomer. If you want something even shorter than In Search Of, then it might be a good place to start.

Glimpses of Truth (also published under the title "Views from the Real World") is a transcript of several elemental Gurdjieff lectures - it's also a nice way to drink 'from the source' in short form.

Any Gurdjieff seeker will also tell you - some parts of the work are only accessible by groups. Reading about it on your own can only take you so far. Parts of the Work are better transmitted through the oral tradition than through the written word. That's not to say that your time reading about it is wasted! Not at all. But if you live near a big city, try to track down Fourth Way groups that may meet there - it's worth it. It's one thing to read about it. It's another thing to experience it personally.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Meaning
« on: Yesterday at 04:32:15 pm »
Oh, just remembered, there's a good video on this topic - earmarking to re-watch later:  Is Math a Feature of the Universe or a Feature of Human Creation?

Back to front:
Quote from: JHMIII, Constructing Reality
If we agree that life is more than a dream, that our consciousness dwells in a universe that includes things other than itself, then what is the nature of those things?
Is what I think Hofstadter was getting at.

Can you elaborate? I get a little murky around GEB. And I don't quite follow the quote - is it saying that the "nature" of those things is the 'meaning'? Then you're saying meaning exists independently of consciousness, yeah?

If you were to destroy all the physical scientific text books, and every copy of a religious text say the bible, and wait say a few hundred years. The bible wouldn't reemerge, at least not unchanged.
The physical laws would reemerge, mostly unchanged because they are based on measurement, they are reproducible based on unchanging laws.

I think, by the way,
that the bible would reemerge, but in a different form, from a different perspective.

There are a few 'things' at the core of all religions. Margaret Anderson writes about the origin of Gurdjieff's thoughts: "In Gurdjieff's own words, this traces back to 'initiate people'. Or, in another's words, 'the Gnostics were not the inventors of this ancient knowledge, any more than Gurdjieff was'. All "cults", religions, teachers, go to this common "initiate source" or pool or storage-place and take from it whatever they are able. Then of course they falsify, until nothing is left of the original truths and their vitality (I mean by "common source", available to all who are able to take from it.)"

There a few varieites of mystical experiences, but they actually have a lot in common. If you go off into the desert and starve yourself and eventually have a VISION, and it CHANGES YOU... you will be in good company. There are a few 'truths' which people seem to arrive at independently, despite being in vastly different times and places.

Gurdjieff thought that a truth was "objective" if it could be seen clearly despite being described in different terms by 10 different blind men who all have their hand on only one part of it. Which is handy, because any single verbal description of these truths is woefully inadequate. ("the tao that can be spoken is not the eternal tao")

PS: I guess that should be taken with a grain of salt, becuase there have been multiple Mansons in history and that doesn't make their observations a 'truth'.

61 people clicked on this thread.

1 new guy answered.

60 old timers don't want to admit they got got.

I wish I got got, this went over my head tho?

sorry I am a total dumbass and fool
and also Springsteen sucks balls, so if this is some kind of lyric reference it's lost on me

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Meaning
« on: Yesterday at 02:28:10 pm »
Is Meaning something that we create with our minds?

Or does it exist in the universe--external to our minds?

For years, I took the first position -- likely influenced by Camus et al. After all, a book or film can have many different "readings" and none of them may be "correct". The 'meaning' is subjective! So likely the universe is like that too, no?

Now I am experimenting with the second position.

Hofstadter, author of Godel Escher Bach, thinks that meaning is something we decode.  He'd point out that the 'meaning' of 1+1 isn't a human construct.

Hosfstadter asserts that meaning emerges from these isomorphic relationships between concepts. The notion that meaning is generated only by humans--something that exists only in brains--he called biological chauvinism. He thinks 'formal systems' generate meaning, and humans don't create it, they decode it.

what do you cats think?

« on: March 19, 2018, 04:50:26 pm »
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Nice try "Rajat", the ultimate villain of the Dark Sun D&D campaign setting

humans will always triumph, asshole

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Odd but thought provoking dreams
« on: March 19, 2018, 02:09:23 pm »
There's a line in Twin Peaks, when Cooper is explaining his experiences in the red room, with the giant. He says,

"Not a dream, but a vision... The mind revealing itself to itself."

these moments are powerful, you should return to them at different times, in different states of consciousness, and see how they feel

the key question is, I believe, who had the dream?

which part of you got access to the metaprogramming console?

do you finally remember who you really are?

Apple Talk / Re: Erisian Avatars
« on: March 19, 2018, 01:53:43 pm »
Klaus Nomi - strange little alien, came from outer space, spent his life strange and sad--but we are all more beautiful for his presence... Eventually, he returned to the stars.

Apple Talk / Re: Your personal musical anthem to Discordianism
« on: March 19, 2018, 01:44:54 pm »
Today, let's go with this one - a song about the Age of Aftermath:

Klaus Nomi - After the Fall

about how the freaks shall inherit the earth

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: March 14, 2018, 01:27:40 pm »
Our small group finished reading In Search of the Miraculous. Would definitely reccommend it. Though take it with a grain of salt--Ouspensky's relationship to Gurdjieff is complicated, and he gets hung up on certain things that are immaterial. As an intellectual, he also lets the specifics occlude the metaphor.

I'm also just wrapping up James Moore's biography of Gurdjieff, which was also a fantastic read. Even if you don't get into the actual Fourth Way stuff, Gurdjieff himself was a fascinating character--just reading about his life is a crazy ride.

Just wanted to share a few fragments which have struck me.

Every week, they have us try a different practical exercise in self observation. One of them takes a little time and patience, it's about 10 minutes of focusing on different body sensations, on inhabiting your limbs and feeling how your attention changes your experience of them. Someone in our group noted that the first few days were easy, but on day 3+ he had a lot of trouble focusing. He was given a good piece of advice - losing focus doesn't mean you're failing. Observing how you lose focus is part of the exercise.

We lose our focus constantly! What's happening in that exact moment? feel it out... become acquainted with it.

I was invited to another talk at the Gurdjieff foundation in Manhattan. This talk was about listening. It's interesting -- at first, I found the talk a little dry, and repetitive. But over the next few days, my thoughts kept returning to it. There was a lot said which I didn't understand, and the meaning gradually unfolded. It was almost like it was being digested by my slower emotional center, rather than the quick intellectual center. Maybe that's why everybody talks so slowly and deliberately at these things... every word counts. "Every note is a full octave on another plane"

Listening to your partner is has a lot to do with being present. This is something I struggle with; I'm often in my head, analyzing and going on tangents, and my attention strays from the conversation. I zone out. I forget what they are talking about and then I pick it up from context. But when I'm talking to someone with a presence, someone who is really there, in the here and now, they are listening to every word I'm saying, giving it full attention and consideration.

That's why one of the exercises Gurdjieff reccommends is to mentally put yourself in your conversation partner's shoes. What would it feel like to be them, right now? Imagining this takes all three of your brains.

It also helps develop the egolessness that is behind the veil. Because there is something that is alive in this universe, and that is shared. It's not individualized. Our personalities and our bodies make us think of ourselves as separate, but the spark animating the meat is collective, ancient---it was born in the first cellular life and we will pass it on like torchlight, a continuous unbroken light from the beginning of humanity until its final breath.

And being a good listener is part of it. When you listen, and you can feel the words affecting you, you're not just processing them with your intellect but also feeling the emotions behind them, how the subtle postures and body movements are all expressions are intertwined with it.... when you're really listening .... there is something in the universe that listens to other parts of the universe, and it's not just egos.

RPG Ghetto / Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« on: March 02, 2018, 02:22:37 pm »

I especially love doing those civil war battles with frenzy/rally/route

killing that dragon priest sounds really tricky! - good looks on sending him to the wraiths

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Magnet Theory of Social Change
« on: February 26, 2018, 04:53:27 pm »
lemme crunch this a little bit - is this your position?

that basically, it's easiest to affect the people nearby you (people with slightly different opinions), and that by moving enough of them, they can act as a larger gravitational center which pulls in people from further away?

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