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Messages - Telarus

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Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: What is Chi?
« on: November 04, 2008, 04:55:23 am »

I'd love it if you could break down your technique later (and any effects you got).

alternate tensing and untensing of the whole body

Haven't heard of this before. Could you describe it a bit more (along with the other/breathing aspects).

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: What is Chi?
« on: November 04, 2008, 01:23:38 am »
This topic has progressed excellently (those were some good citations Cain, thanks!). As to the whole 'magic'.. Any sufficiently advanced technology, blah, blah, blah.

I've got a real world example to add. I experienced 'ki' very consciously when I started training in Kali-Escrima a while back (philippino stick art). It was at my sensei's master's house a few years ago, and he had a few other people over. We were doing multi-man drills (one person in the center defending, 4-5 on the edges in a circle) at about 1/2-3/4 speed. I had seen the others watch as we would circle around them, usually one or two people going in for an attack. The defender would deal with the attackers, and then the next 1-2 attackers would go in. Everyone jumping in at once is a bad idea, you'd get in your teams way with sticks flying.

Then it was my turn in the center. I was nervous as hell (this was my first multi-man exercise). After the exercise, my sensei's master explained it thusly: "His Ki was contracting, did everyone see that? It caused you all to rush him at once, pulling you towards his center. He reacted to the fastest person, stepping thro his attack while parrying to end up behind him, thus outside the attacker's circle."

At that point, I had pushed my first attacker into another one, and had to deal with the remaining two (who had been split by the tangle of bodies in the center)  so I circled over to the one on the left, dealt with him, and then had to square off with my sensi, which went ok. The only reason I could react correctly was they were slowing the exercise down for all our benefit. Looking back on it, it was definitely my body language that caused them all to decide to attack at once, instead of just 1-2 people at a time.

Ok, I also have something I typed out for the LJ Convert_Me community. Keep in mind the audience I was writing towards was mostly atheist/materialists:
Quote from:
In a comment to a previous post in [info]convert_me, [info]pastorlenny and [info]valmorian brought up the subject of "Chi", with [info]valmorian arguing that we cannot detect Chi as a discrete physical force (such as electricity or magnetism). They then went on to blather about Dowsing, which I'm not that interested in. My response follows, and I thought everyone should have a chance to comment on it, not just those who browse through every thread. Lol.

    Having felt chi, and used it as a metaphor/technique while training with swordforms and while in combat, the best I can explain it is:

    ~ A hallucination that compiles sensory information about the body and the environment, synthesizes this information with subconscious reflexes (that have been refined by practice, and oddly seem centered around my center of balance/abdomen/hara) and present the new synthesized information to the conscious mind as a feeling of flow(energy).

    In my head... Yes. But in your head also, thus affecting and affected by your intent and movements.

    When I have used chi to attack some-one's chi in their leading sword-hand, my body interprets this in such a way as to subtly alter my stance, breathing, and certain muscles to give the impression that I am about to cut their hand.

    They then attempt to block the attack (which isn't actually coming, the Chi attack has already happened, and I'm moving on to the next attack), thus creating an opening that my chi flows into. Allowing my sword-as-extension-of-myself to follow this new flow, I land a cut from their collar-bone to their sternum.

    I find it takes a deep meditation to achieve and maintain this useful hallucination.

    So, the point is, in a survival situation if I tried to think dualistically about my body separate from my environment, and try to focus on my breathing/stance as well as the opponent/environment as separate processes... my chi becomes dispersed and muddled, allowing my opponents chi to overcome me.

Here's a great video on Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido:

    Pay close attention to when the old man (I love that old man) faces multiple opponents. He does not react to the individual opponents, but to the unified force of the opponents. Yes, in some sense, viewing all of your opponents as one opponent is a fiction, but it's a useful fiction because as soon as you break your belief in the fiction your attention becomes fragmented.

    This explains the Discordian mantra of Sri Syadasti, "Everything is true, false, and meaningless in some sense."

Since the Truth Value of chi doesn't matter to me, that's probably not the best thing to attempt to convert me on. If you want to try at converting me to your view of the Usefulness of the concept-in-application, go right ahead.

Next, I'm going to pull some text from my Aikido manual, "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere". I haven't nearly digested all of the techniques (and they go over a lot of the basic ones.. A LOT), but the sections that talk about theory I've devoured again and again. Oh, I also have a secret about how Masters achieve the appropriate mindstate at the start of combat... next post, after I type out the citation.  :D

Techmology and Scientism / Re: I just discovered a new species today.
« on: November 03, 2008, 05:58:14 am »
That's a surprisingly good rendering of the little bugger.  :thumb:

Principia Discussion / Re: Ancient Greeks and Eris
« on: November 02, 2008, 07:14:38 am »
Another important role is in the fascinating Dionysiaca text.  Eris appeared in the form of the Goddess Rheia, exhorting him to make battle with the Indian King Deriades, who she later sides with, along with the usual crew of Ares and Fear and Terror.

HOLY CRAP! Thanks to whomever bumped this! I started reading the whole thing from page 1.

I've read some of this on Cain's blog, but I've been searching and searching for the link between Eris and Rheia (Rhea, Cybele). It was the alternate spelling that probably tripped me up the most. Now I can start looking for links between Rheia/Rhea/Cybele and Enyo.

Huh, and that wasn't hard at all.
Enyalio(Enyalius), a minor war deity, had [Ares and Enyo] OR [Kronos and Rhea] as parents, and originates in Thracian myth. His name comes from his mother's, Enyo.

Enyalius was also said to be a surname of Dionysus. Dionysus was said to have studied the "mystic rites" under Rhea.

That's an interesting connection, identifying Rhea with Enyo.

Ohshit, here's another:
Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible -  By K. van der Toorn, Bob Becking, Pieter Willem van der Horst,M1

Page 214 and 215
II. Cybele or Cybebe is a goddess of the fertile earth originating from Asia Minor, where she was known in the second millennium as Kubaba(LAROCHE 1960). Having made her way into the Greek world, the deity was identified with a number of other 'mother goddesses' such as Rhea, Agdistis, Ma, and Bellona. Her cult had orgiastic traits.
III. The connection made between Machpelah and Ma-Cybele is based purely on phonetic similarity. In fact, the construct Ma-Cybele is extremely rare; the conjugation Ma-Bellona is more frequent.

:eek: This is exciting, and has confirmed something I've suspected for quite a while. Why?

Well, Rhea/Rheia can be traced to the Scythian Nomadic Tribes (a matriarchal based society) who spread the cultivation and use of Cannabis throughout that part of the world. They called her Bonna Rhea (the Great Goddess, the Cannabis Mother), or Rhea Krona (The Death Mother, the Scythe weilding Crone), or Tabiti the Fire Goddess. Tabiti is also identified with the Celtic Diana.

I'm writing an article about various religions use of cannabis called Cannabis: A POEE Special Report. Part one is already 7 pages long, and awaiting publication. Suddenly the first commandment of the Pentabarf snaps into a whole new focus. This is totally going into Part 2.

The Scythians influenced a lot of the rituals of the Thracians ( Here's a selection from an article by Chris Benet:

A Greek speaking nomadic tribe, the history of the Thracians is closely tied to that of the Scythians, so that at times the two groups would seem inseparable.

Herodotus wrote of the Thracian's ability at working hemp fibres, and claimed that their clothes "were so like linen that none but a very experienced person could tell whether they were of hemp or flax; one who had never seen hemp would certainly suppose them to be linen."

Like the Scythian shamans, the Thracians used cannabis in a similar manner. Dr Sumach explains in A Treasury of Hashish that:

The sorcerers of these Thracian tribes were known to have burned female cannabis flowers (and other psychoactive plants) as a mystical incense to induce trances. Their special talents were attributed to the "magical heat" produced from burning the cannabis and other herbs, believing that the plants dissolved in the flames, then reassembled themselves inside the person who inhaled the vapors.

Dionysus a Doper?
The majority of scholars are in agreement that Dionysus, the famous Greek God of Intoxication, was originally a Thracian god. Mircea Eliade, probably recognized as the foremost authority on the history of religion, has commented on the Thracian cult of Dionysus, and further he has connected this worship with the use of cannabis:

I've corresponded with Chris, and he's a very well researched scholar. I take this to confirms the Tabiti->Rhea->Thracian Enyalius -> Enyo/Bellona -> Eris connection.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: What is Chi?
« on: October 31, 2008, 05:35:54 am »
Sorry it took me a few days to get back to this, I'm fighting off a cold, and spent some time digging up some references I had.

At this point I'd like to express how glad I am, and excited, to meet other Discordian who practice martial arts. I ran across a Discordian Aikido practitioner on the web a while back, but didn't get a good chance to discuss anything with her. It's great to meet all of you.

Moving on (warning: this is going to get _long_).

This is a great post and I just have some comments on several aspects of it:

1) I've heard of Pranayama before, have seen it used in yogic practices. To a large extent, it seems very much like the breathing practice you work with in Chi Gung. I don't know if thats because both these practices have come from the same root (homologous) or that they have arisen separately but similarly (analogous).
From my (limited) understanding of the history formalized martial arts, they all stem from various importations of the Yogic arts into Chinese culture at different points in time and from there to the other countries that developed their own specializations. I suppose that analogous evolution could have taken place, but all the basics come back to "that which works", and then the esoteric practices build off of that.

2) You seem to be already using the psychosomatic model for Chi (and the 8 circuit model), while I am going to remain agnostic on this.

I purposely remain a Model Agnostic and Zetetic (doubt, and then doubt the conclusions you came to from doubting, then look for more information, wash, rinse, repeat...see 'Skeptics' just stop thinking after the first round of Doubt).

I also tend to change my "working" models from time to time. For example, while swordfighting (we have a good, active group here in Portland that uses lacrosse gear and bamboo shinai) I tend to convince myself that Ki/Chi is a real, actual energy. This is mainly because if I allow myself to doubt, I destroy any benefit of using the model at that time. Afterward, I can examine and search for explanations of my experiences.

As to the 8 Cricuit Model, I'll mention a verbal epiphany I had while explaining the 8C model to a couple at the door of Esozone who were interested in Antero Alli's talk, but hadn't decided to buy a ticket yet.

The 8C Model isn't intended to explain how the mind or body physically functions or is structured. The 8C Model is used to group human experiences/states-of-consciousness into useful families so that we can see how experiences/habits/programs/etc in each family relate to each other, and to the functions in the other circuits.

3) In Chi Gung, the focus is on bringing the breath downward, out of the chest, strengthening the diaphragm, stretching the abdominal muscles, and using all areas of the torso to gather breath. I don't think many people realize they can gather breath in each distinct part of their torso, even in one side and not the other, that you can breathe from very specific areas, including the lower abdomen, upper, right and left, the kidneys (the area around them),the lower chest, the upper chest, the upper back, and the neck.

4)  I love the use of visualizing a baseball bat flying at your face to quickly find areas of tension. That is something I have never heard before and may use in the future.

I'm guessing where you are going with this is to lower the breathing into the abdomen. I'm looking forward to seeing how you explain it.

This is the correct motorcycle. Lol.

The first breathing exercise I learned involved lying down in a relaxing environment (lying down elongates the spine and lets the back muscles relax), and following the breath using a counting technique (make sure not to do this, or most breathing exercises, on a full stomach). The basic form is to inhale through the nostrils, and exhale through the mouth. Count each breath at the end of the exhale, when you get to ten, start again at one. If you loose count, mentally recognize what distracted you then turn your attention back to the count.

Once you are comfortable with this, the next step is exactly to lower the breath down into the abdomen. You can visualize your abdomen (in Japanese, the Hara or center of Gravity, just below the Navel) filling with air, Chi, sparkly fairydust, whatever works for you. The point with these visualizations is to turn the attention to that area of the abdomen, keep it there, and observe the effects. Combine this with the counting technique above.

Usually, you'll notice that the stomach bulges up and out on the inbreath and sinks below the level of the ribs on the outbreath (remember, we're doing this laying down). Breathe naturally, don't force yourself, and don't hold the breath (this can cause muscle strain in the diaphragm until it is strengthened).

While you don't hold your breath, there will be a moment of relaxation at the end of the inbreath, and similarly at the end of the outbreath before the other half of the cycle starts. Much like the moments of stillness at either extreme of a pendulum. Don't hold onto this moment, just recognize it and let it go.

(Kai, it seems you're already familiar with the "Cauldron" in the abdomen, so I'm mostly typing this out for others benefits, and so you can compare practices.)

Now, after practicing this lying down (I did it for a week or two) you can start practicing it while sitting. The sitting technique differs slightly, in that _after_ you channel you Chi down into the abdomen and fill it, you want to raise the chest and shoulders slightly, elongating the upper spine. This elongates the torso, and allows more volume of air to be held in the lungs at a slightly higher pressure. Remember your counting! It will allow you to return to awareness of the breath if anything distracts you. Again, breathe naturally, don't force yourself, and don't hold the breath.

Now, the effects of the sitting practice: By "pooling Chi" in your abdomen and allowing the stomach to bulge and the muscles of the stomach wall to relax, this allows the 'guts' to move out of the way of the expanding lungs. This also has an effect on blood circulation, as you are basically using the diaphragm as a secondary pumping mechanism to get the increased oxygen from the lungs into the rest of your system. On the exhale, the balance of pressure will naturally push the diaphragm upwards, and as you let your shoulders and upper frame relax and come downwards you are basically allowing gravity provide most of the force used to exhale. Thus, you're not burning as much oxygen to work muscles to provide that force.

Once giving this a good solid period of practice (another few weeks), you can introduce the 3rd aspect of the "Complete Breath".  This is twofold: While filling the Hara, you allow your hips to rock slightly backwards, elongating your stomach. Then raise the chest/shoulders (this elongates the lower and then the upper spine, and again, increases the volume of the lungs... this is why practicing the earlier exercises are necessary, jumping to this point with a diaphragm that's not used to it can cause some serious problems). Lastly, you want to raise the elbows away from the torso, thus allowing the ribs at your sides to expand, further increasing the lung volume (I think you mentioned this Kai).

On the exhale; relax and let gravity pull your arms back to your sides, then allow gravity to pull your upper frame down, then rock your hips forward (shortening the stomach). This should happen in a smooth blended manner. Remember, breath naturally, don't force yourself, don't hold your breath.

At this point you've probably done lots and lots of counting to ten, so you can move to mantra (an internal "Om" during the exhale, or one I use from a Ninjutsu manual, resonating "So" on the inbreath, and "Han" on the outbreath). This ties into Zen, and sitting/walking meditation tho, and aids in clreaing random abstract thought from the mind.

There are advanced techniques that build off of this 'complete breath', such as lengthening the moments at each end of the pendulum, but I won't get into that now. Instead I'll share some of my research links.

Pranayama - The Art of Breath by Philip H. Farber

Pranayama-Breathing Techniques Benefit's for Martial-Arts Artist’s Truth-Realization.

And because this thread is about Chi, per se, I'll share a couple of links regarding the symbolism that the Japanese and Chinese use when discussing the subject.

5 ELEMENT CODES (PART 1) -Jeff M. Miller

5 ELEMENT CODES (PART 2) -Jeff M. Miller

Bring and Brag / Re: EsoZone Wallpaper
« on: October 30, 2008, 04:41:35 am »
I got the animation online, and a new set of wallpapers in various sizes.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: What is Chi?
« on: October 29, 2008, 09:30:03 am »
This is an excellent discussion so far, and I'll just jump in here.

I use Chi/Ki and Pranayama(lit. -Breath-Mastery, Sanskrit) models while meditating and for martial arts. I also gave a short talk about the breath techniques I use @ the last KallistiCon.

So, first I'll rant about Breath (and I'd e-prime this, but it's freakin' late, and I'm starting to feel the sleep dep, so keep in mind that I'm talking MODELS not Truth). I'll go further into this and how it ties to Chi/Ki in further posts. Since most people here should be somewhat familiar with the 8Circuit model, I'll stick to that for most of my explanations. If anything confuses, please ask.

-Breath: All Chi/Ki building exercises I've done and read about start with a breathing practice.

Why? Breath is the door to achieving conscious control over sub-conscious bodily processes.

The body has many systems and processes that we usually let the subconscious and the limbic system handle. Heart rate/circulation. Blinking. Digestion. Breathing.

Yet breathing is the one that we can have the most direct conscious effect on. We learn very early on (bathtub anyone?) to hold our breath when necessary. Some websites I've looked at says a human can learn to hold it's breath at 6 months of age. It's also one of the primary functions that we first start doing _outside_ the womb.

In the 8Circuit model, this is imprinted 1st circuit reflexes. But, it's also the one of the easier imprinted reflexes to achieve conscious control over. Once you can mindfully sit and follow your breath, you can mindfully sit and follow more complex bodily reflexes, like heart-rate/circulation, and thinking. Again, breath is the 'subconscious' process that we can most readily access consciously through our motor cortex. Yet, like training the hand to draw, training the breath takes some direct, repetitive practice.

Now, once one achieves a relaxed and mindful awareness of one's breath, the next thing you should notice is Muscle Armor (1st circuit tensions). These, according to the 8C model, are chronic stress-handling "muscle-armor" tensions. In "civilized" hominids, these usually occur in the upper frame and shoulders, as well as the abs and lower back.

Vividly imagine someone yelling and swinging a baseball bat at your face and these areas of muscle tension should leap into your awareness.

With these areas tensed, the body breathes by raising and lowering the shoulders. This breath pattern tend to increase noradrenaline and the related responses in the limbic system. This is natural for a monkey to do, but the constant perceived threats we encounter in our "civilized" environments, which we then mentally suppress, have conditioned these areas to be chronically tensed. This leads to a constant flush of noradrenaline in our systems, which may lead to some nasty results later in life.

This is not the first way we learn to breathe, and closely observing babies will tell you this. This has been trained into us from constant exposure to perceived threats. So, most breathing exercises teach you at first how to recapture the breathing techniques of the innocent child.

Wow, that got kinda long, so I'll go into the practice and effects of the "Complete Breath" tomorrow.

« on: October 29, 2008, 05:43:54 am »
While I'm still kinda irked at the miscommunication that lead to Cram's disappointment @ the door @ EsoZone, we did manage to spread some postergasm goodness. Thanks for coming back on Sunday, Cramulus.

This was posted on the front door to EsoZone late Saturday evening.

By Sunday morning we had actually induced a 1st Circuit freakout (bio-survival panic) in one woman.

She apparently asked Johnny Brainwash (who was working the door) if it was a "real poster", to which he replied, "Of course it's a 'real poster'."

I'm pretty sure she got the joke later.

The crowd really liked the PosterGASM posters. Enough to start editing them on the walls.

Principia Discussion / Re: The Five Apostles of Discordia: Part 1
« on: October 27, 2008, 06:33:01 am »
Thus, we have the seven categories of knowledge which when taken separately lead to fallacy. But we can use these categories to ask questions about the object we investigate, giving us a large body of knowledge that we then want to unify. The task of this rational unification is done by the theory of Syadvada.

The theory of Syadvada holds that for any proposition, there are three main modes of assessment, namely, (1) A positive assertion, (2) A negative assertion, (3) Not describable. The Jaina prefix each of these expressions with the term "Syat", meaning approximately, "May be, possibly, in some sense", in order to consciously avoid an absolute position. Let us look at these modes of assessment, and their seven combinations, which are called the sapta bhangi (seven modes). These are the seven terms that make up the full name of the Apostle of Confusion.

        * syadasti - asserting that something "is", in some sense.

        * syatnasti - asserting that something "is not", in some sense.

        * syadasti nasti - asserting that something "is" and "is not", in some sense. This can usually be taken as occurring in linear time, i.e. "it is now, but soon it is not" or that some other change in context happens.

        * syadavaktavyah - asserting that, in some sense, it is indescribable, indeterminate, inexpressible, or meaningless. For example, the whole experience of eating an apple, from texture to taste to emotions generated cannot be totally described in human language. The closest you could come to it is to eat an apple yourself, but that experience would be different from some-one else eating an apple. Also stating that the stone is black, and not black _at the same time_.

        * syadastyavaktavya - asserting that it "is" in some sense, and that it "is indescribable, indeterminate, inexpressible, or meaningless" in some sense. For example stating that violence is indeed sinful under certain circumstances, but no positive statement of this type can be made for all times and under all circumstances.

        * syatnasti ca avaktavyasca - asserting that it "is not" in some sense, and that it "is indescribable, indeterminate, inexpressible, or meaningless" in some sense. For example, the stove I touch is not hot, but if it will be hot in an hour is indeterminable.

        * syadasti nasti ca avaktav-yasca - asserting that it "is" in some sense, that it "is not" in some sense, and that it "is indescribable, indeterminate, inexpressible, or meaningless" in some sense. For example, light behaves as a wave when measured with a certain instrument, light behaves as not a wave when measured by another instrument, but if you don't know what instrument was used the results are meaningless.

    All these seven modes can be expressed with regard to every proposition, from every category on Naya. The Jaina philosophers have applied them with reference to self, its eternality, non-eternality, identity and character. In fact this approach of Anekanta permeates almost every doctrine which is basic to Jaina philosophy.

I hope Sri Syadasti is pleased with the confusion that this post will ultimately generate, and I will conclude with the Sri Syadastina Mysteree Chant:

    Written, in some sense, by Mal-2

    Unlike a song, chants are not sung but chanted. This particular one is much enhanced by the use of a Leader to chant the Sanskrit alone, with all participants chanting the English. It also behooves one to be in a quiet frame of mind and to be sitting in a still position, perhaps The Buttercup Position. It also helps if one is absolutely zonked out of his gourd.

    O! Hail Eris. Blessed St. Hung Mung.
    O! Hail Eris. Blessed St. Mo-jo.
    O! Hail Eris. Blessed St. Zara-thud.
    O! Hail Eris. Blessed St. Elder Mal.
    O! Hail Eris. Blessed St. Gu-lik.
    O! Hail Eris. All Hail Dis-cord-ia.

    It is then repeated indefinitely, or for the first two thousand miles, which ever comes first.

EDIT:: So, I was pretty tired after 6 hours of scanning through (sometimes very badly translated) Jaina texts, and forgot to list my sources (thanks, [info]mathiastck). Here, in NO PARTICULAR ORDER are the websites that I cobbled the above together from: (Theory of Anekantavada)
First Steps To Jainism Part-2: (The Syadvada System of Predication, By J. B. S. Haldane) (The Indian-Jaina Dialectic of Syadvad in Relation to Probability I, By P.C. Mahalanobis)
-- ( Jainism and the theory of stand points, by Jayaram V)
-- (Selections From Acharya Umaswati's TATTVAARTH SUTRA)

Principia Discussion / The Five Apostles of Discordia: Part 1
« on: October 27, 2008, 06:32:26 am »
This is a post I made to the LJ Convert_Me Community in September of 2006. I got only 3 responses (they much prefer christian/atheist bashing drama over there it seems). I posted it to a couple of Discordian LJ communities, so you may have already seen it. I'm posting it here because I want it stored in a place I can remember. Comments are cool, or kill me.

Quote from: Telarus
This is the first of five posts on the 5 Apostles of Discordia. IF I get to the other four, you'll be lucky. In this first post, I have chosen to focus on SRI SYADASTI. Patron of the Season of Confusion(see link for the Discordian Calender), we celebrate His Holy-Day on the 5th day of Confusion (May 31st, Gregorian), he also serves as patron to "Psychedelic-type Discoridians", or, more correctly, when the Discordian decides to act psychedelically. Page 00040 of the Princicpia Discordia notes that: Sri Syadasti should not be confused with Blessed St. Gulik the Stoned, who is not the same person but is the same Apostle.

Sri Syadasti's full name appears as: SRI SYADASTI SYADAVAKTAVYA SYADASTI SYANNASTI SYADASTI CAVAKTAVYASCA SYADASTI SYANNASTI SYADAVATAVYASCA SYADASTI SYANNASTI SYADAVAKTAVYASCA. The Principia notes that this is Sanskrit, but then lists his genealogy as an Indian Pundit and Prince, born of the Peyotl Tribe, son of Gentle Chief Sun Flower Seed and the squaw Merry Jane. This blurring of the term "indian" to both include the land commonly known as India, and Native-American "Indians", and also, with the dual references to Peyotl (Peyote, a Native American sacrament), and MerryJane(Cannabis; i.e. Cannabis Indica, a sacrament commonly used by holy sects in India), seems apropos for the Patron of Confusion and Psychedelia. This may also explain his quantum-identification with St. Gulik the Stoned (a Roach).

Sri Syadasti's name, in Sanskrit, means: All affirmations are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense.

To really understand the significance of Sri Syadasti's Holy Name, one has to trace the religious and linguistic roots of the meaning of his name. Once one does this, it becomes obvious that one of the writers of the Principia was either initiated into the mysteries of , or was very, very familiar with the theological arguments of, JAINISM. Let us take a quick moment to review Jainism. From Wikipedia's article:

Jainism (pronounced in English as /ˈdʒeɪ.nɪzm̩/), traditionally known as Jain Dharma, is a religion and philosophy originating in ancient India. Now a minority in modern India with growing communities in the United States, Western Europe, Africa, the Far East and elsewhere, Jains have continued to sustain the ancient Shraman or ascetic tradition.

    Jainism has significantly influenced the religious, ethical, political and economic spheres in India for about three millennia. Jainism stresses spiritual independence and equality of all life with a particular emphasis on non-violence. Self-control (vrata) is the means by which Jains attain Keval Gyan and eventually moksha(illumination), or realization of the soul's true nature.
    Jainism believes that all souls are equal because they all possess the potential of being liberated and attaining Moksha. Here Jainism is categorically different from Hinduism and many other religions which hold the superiority of God. In Jainism, the Tirthankars, and the Siddhas have attained Moksha and only because of this are they the role-models to be followed.

    Jainism teaches that every human is responsible for his/her actions and all living beings have an eternal soul, jīva. It insists that we live, think and act respectfully and honor the spiritual nature of all life. Jains view God as the unchanging traits of the pure soul of each living being, chiefly described as Infinite Knowledge, Perception, Consciousness, and Happiness (Anant Gyän, Anant Darshan, Anant Chäritra, and Anant Sukh). Jainism does not include a belief in an omnipotent supreme being or creator, but rather in an eternal universe governed by natural laws, and the interplay of its attributes (gunas) of matter (dravya).
The Law of Fives also appears quite frequently in Jainism, as they believe that reality consists of two eternal principles, jiva and ajiva. Jiva consists of infinite identical spiritual units (life); while ajiva (non-jiva) is matter in any form or condition: time, space, matter, energy, and movement. These five, together with Jiva, are known as the Six Substances (see the "Five"-fingered Hand of Eris). Both jiva and ajiva are considered eternal; they are never born or created for the first time and will never cease to exist. They also believe that any form of ajiva may become any other form (i.e that matter and energy are basically similar, and matter may change into engery, etc).That these "modern-sounding" theories show up in a religion thousands of years old doesn't seem that surprising, considering the emphasis that Jainism places on examining an eternal universe governed by natural laws.

    "Tis an ill wind that blows no minds!" -Sri Syadasti

Sri Syadasti's name is actually the total summation of the Jaina theory of "Syadvada" or the Doctrine of Condtional Dialecitc, with follows from the philosophy of "Nayavada" or the Doctrine of Partial Truth. These both combine to form Anekantavada, or the Doctrine of Non-Onesidedness ('Ekanta' means one-sidedness. 'An' indicates negation, and Vada means Theory or Doctrine). One finds this conception of reality explained in the parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant. Anekantvada prompts us to consider others views or beliefs. One should not reject a view simply because it uses a different perspective. We should consider the fact there may be truth in other’s views too. No philosophy should insist that they have the only true perspective.

To understand Syadvada we should first give an overview of Nayavada. "Naya" in sanskrit mean "logic", "to lead", or "a singular view-point". A naya is a stand point from which we make a statement, form an opinion or pass a judgment. The theory of Nayadava states that no object investigated can be totally known, as that take omnipotence, a trait that no consciousness in this reality has. Each manifested consciousness must acquire knowledge through the physical senses. It also states that one can describe the object investigated in an infinite number of ways. So, when describing the knowledge gained through the senses, you can never leave the observer out of the description of the act of observation, or to put it another way, you must always state the "point of view" you use when speaking about anything. The parallels to the theories of quantum physics should prove obvious.

Nayavada breaks the types of statements that we can make into seven categories, which I will attempt to explain here. When considered alone these nayas lead to logical fallacies, of which there are specific names in Sanskrit for the fallacy of looking at just one of these Nayas. The most appropriate approach should be to examine things from various stand-points in order to gain a wider understanding and knowledge.

       1. Naigama Naya: (Nagima means "end product" or "result") This refers to the general purpose or the common description of an activity that is present in the activity throughout. Tattvartha-sara' gives an illustration of a person who carries water, rice and fuel and who, when asked what he was doing, says he is cooking. This reply is given in view of the result which he intends to achieve though at the exact time when the question is put to him he is not actually cooking. His reply is correct from the point of view of Naigama Naya, though technically it is not exactly correct, because he is not actually cooking at the time when he replies. The general purpose for which we work controls the total series of our activities. If some one passes his judgment on basis of that general purpose, he asserts Naigama Naya, i.e., the teleological view-point.

          Another sense in which this Naya is used is generic-cum-specific. A thing has both generic and specific qualities, but when we comprehend that thing without making a distinction between these two it is called a Naigama view point. Shri S. N. Dausgupta explains this as:

          "This looking at things from loose commonsense view in which we do not consider them from the point of view of their most general characteristic as ‘being' or as any of their specific characteristics, but simply as they appear at the first sight, is technically called Naigama standpoint. This empirical view probably proceeds on the assumption that a thing possesses the most general as well as the most special qualities, and hence we may lay stress on any one of these at any time and ignore the other ones. This is the point of view from which, according to the Jainas, the Nyaya and Vaisesika schools interpret experience."

          According to Jaina view the approach of emphasizing only general or special qualities of reality and not both is fallacious as it fails to give a comprehensive idea of a thing. The fallacy is called as ‘Naigamabhasa'.

       2. Samgraha Naya: (Samgraha means bringing together, assembling, grasping, the closed fist, or clenching the fist) It is when we take a class point of view, looking at the overall common features of a thing that it shares with the rest of its class, without considering its specific or individual features. In this viewpoint, several things which are essentially similar and which are not incompatible are considered together. Thus class-based viewpoint considers an entire class or group. For example, the word 'citizen' is used for all men and women living in a country without any regard to their gender, color, ethnicity, employment, etc. Similarly, the word 'entity' refers to living as well as non-living entities. Such descriptions are objects of class-based viewpoint. Particulars of Reality, according to Jainas are as real as its main substance(class) and sole emphasis on any one of them leads to a fallacious approach which is called Sangrahabhasa.

       3. Vyavahara Naya: (Vyavahara means doing , performing , action , practice , conduct , behaviour) An analytic viewpoint. This viewpoint examines a certain object or situation based on conventional (popular) ideas. In reference to the above example, classifying the citizens such as doctors, lawyers, businessmen, engineers and teachers separately, is the object of analytic viewpoint. In the case of entities, the analytic viewpoint may consider living and non-living entities separately. When we consider the specific or striking features or characteristics of a thing out of our experience or habit, without considering the general characteristics it shares with the things of its class. For example when we preoccupy ourselves with certain striking features in a person ignoring the features that he has in common with the rest of human species or his other distinct features as an individual, out of sheer habit or our previous experience in such matters, we are taking the stand of vyavharanaya. If we look a thing from this standpoint, we try to judge it from its specific properties ignoring the generic qualities which are mainly responsible for giving birth to the specific qualities. This amounts to the assertion of empirical at the cost of universal and gives importance to practical experience in life. It is the materialistic view as entertained by Carvakas. The fallacy is called Vyavaharabhasa.

       4. Rjusutra Naya: (Rju means straight, simple, Sutra means "to sew", or connected with threads, lines, strings, to think) The viewpoint of momentariness. This viewpoint focuses only on the present state or form of the object. All things in the universe undergo transformations continuously. The first three viewpoints do not focus on these transformations. However, the viewpoint of momentariness recognizes the fact that transformations occur in the object, but it considers only the state of the object that exists at the present time. For example, a gold coin was turned into a ring from which a necklace can be made later. The viewpoint of momentariness will consider the present mode only, that is, of the ring. It is still narrower than Vyavahara in its outlook, because it not only emphasizes all the specific qualities but only those specific qualities which appear in a thing at a particular moment, ignoring their existent specific qualities of the past and future. The approach of the Buddhists is of this type. To ignore the specific qualities of past and future and to emphasize on only continuing characterstics of Reality is the fallacy involved here (Rjusutrabhasa).

       5. Sabda Naya:(Sabda means "in a formula", literally, "the knowledge in the sound") The viewpoint of terminology. This viewpoint differentiates between terms and names on the basis of their meanings. It is when we strictly go according to the meaning of a word, without acknowledging the fact that the same word may have other meanings or other words may have the same meaning. It accepts that all synonyms connote the same object. All languages have synonyms suggesting the same thing. The words 'INDRA', 'SHAKRA' and 'PURANDARA', which are used to describe the lord of heavenly beings, present an example of the viewpoint of terminology. The same person is indicated by the synonyms. But if these words are used to establish complete identity between them, the distinct qualities which are indicated by them are obliterated and this results in the fallacy called ‘Sabdanayabhasa'.

       6. Samabhirudha Naya: (Samabhi means "to go towards, to address", Rudha means "conventional, popular") Etymological viewpoint. As the name implies, this viewpoint examines the various terms according to their roots. In the above example of the lord of heavenly beings, the viewpoint of derivatives distinguishes between the meanings of 'INDRA', 'SHAKRA' and 'PURANDAR'; 'INDRA' means prosperous, 'SHAKRA' means powerful and 'PURANDAR' means destroyer of fortresses. In another example when sexual instinct and activity are seen in the relationship between a man and a woman, a person following this naya would not call it the relaion of love, but the relation of passion. If carried to the fallacious extent this standpoint may destroy the original identity pointed to by the synonyms.

       7. Evambhuta Naya: (Evambhuta means "of such a quality or nature") The viewpoint of manifestation. Based on this viewpoint, a person (or an object) is considered to be what the name (term) implies only when he (it) is functioning according to the exact meaning of the term. For instance Indra can be described as ‘Purandara' only when he is acting as the destroyer of fortresses. A doctor is called a surgeon only when he is operating on a patient. If carried to a fallacious extent this standpoint may assert that a surgeon is no longer acting as a doctor when performing surgery, but only as a surgeon.

    The seven viewpoints are employed to gradually obtain detailed information on the object under examination. The first four are called import-related viewpoints (ARTH NAYAs) because they deal with the object of knowledge, while the last three, word-related viewpoints (SHABD NAYAs) because they pertain to terms and their meanings. The seven viewpoints are also grouped in a different manner. The first three are entity-based (DRAVYAARTHIK, Dravya means "a substance, thing, object", Arthik means "meaning, implicit reality") viewpoints as they focus on the substantive aspect, while the last four are transformation-based (PARYAYAARTHIK, Paryayaa means "change, alteration, revolution, turning") viewpoints because they deal with modifications.

Continued in next post.

I think Discordia is relevant today (not getting into the More/Less duality) because of people like this:

Ontology is Overrated: Categories, Links, and Tags - Clay Shirky
(Dr Jon linked this to me. The whole thing's worth a read.)
The list of factors making ontology a bad fit is, also, an almost perfect description of the Web -- largest corpus, most naive users, no global authority, and so on. The more you push in the direction of scale, spread, fluidity, flexibility, the harder it becomes to handle the expense of starting a cataloguing system and the hassle of maintaining it, to say nothing of the amount of force you have to get to exert over users to get them to drop their own world view in favor of yours.

The reason we know SUVs are a light truck instead of a car is that the Government says they're a light truck. This is voodoo categorization, where acting on the model changes the world -- when the Government says an SUV is a truck, it is a truck, by definition. Much of the appeal of categorization comes from this sort of voodoo, where the people doing the categorizing believe, even if only unconciously, that naming the world changes it. Unfortunately, most of the world is not actually amenable to voodoo categorization.

The reason we don't know whether or not Buffy, The Vampire Slayer is science fiction, for example, is because there's no one who can say definitively yes or no. In environments where there's no authority and no force that can be applied to the user, it's very difficult to support the voodoo style of organization. Merely naming the world creates no actual change, either in the world, or in the minds of potential users who don't understand the system.


It comes down ultimately to a question of philosophy. Does the world make sense or do we make sense of the world? If you believe the world makes sense, then anyone who tries to make sense of the world differently than you is presenting you with a situation that needs to be reconciled formally, because if you get it wrong, you're getting it wrong about the real world.

If, on the other hand, you believe that we make sense of the world, if we are, from a bunch of different points of view, applying some kind of sense to the world, then you don't privilege one top level of sense-making over the other. What you do instead is you try to find ways that the individual sense-making can roll up to something which is of value in aggregate, but you do it without an ontological goal. You do it without a goal of explicitly getting to or even closely matching some theoretically perfect view of the world.

I agree with this author on quite a lot of the points he has raised, but sometimes in this article I see him trapped in the same "dead language" that he rails against. People like this get startlingly close to the realizations that have been encoded into Discordia. They _need_ the memes and metaphors that we have, and scramble their brains trying to "name" them and fit them into outdated categorization schemes. While Clay has realized that we are able to squeeze value out of Creative Disorder (he gives a great overview of and their Tagging system), he hasn't stumbled upon the Esoterica that is the Law of Fives, or the 'reality tunnel/BIP' metaphor and how these things relate to his conception of Creative Disorder.

That's where we come in. That's why RAW called himself a Guerrilla Ontologist. That's why the world needs more Popes.

Principia Discussion / Re: Merry Fucking Maladay
« on: October 25, 2008, 07:07:56 am »
CultofZir has handed out glossy 6x8 " original pieces of art at random to the crowd, I will scan mine later.

"Uncle Broseph watches Ceiling Cat watch you Masterbate"

"If we could sell that on the Internet, we'd make Millions."

Principia Discussion / Re: Merry Fucking Maladay
« on: October 25, 2008, 06:57:44 am »
"...When I moved, I put 4 of my Circuits in a jar, to keep them safe from rival Magiqckuiiians." -Johnny Fucking Brainwash

I count 6 out of a count of 12.

Principia Discussion / Merry Fucking Maladay
« on: October 25, 2008, 03:58:29 am »
Discordian Holydays are times for disparate and diffuse local Erisian communities to congregate and fuck shit up. (Mostly, themselves.) Flash mobs of humans who spend a majority of their lives trying to attune to Chaos tend to make REALLY WEIRD SHIT happen.

It's the 5th of Aftermath. Merry Fucking MalaDay.

I know for a fact that at least 3 Discordians will be here at Johnny Brainwash's place. I'll give a running count later in the evening. We may even set a fucking record.

Sticking Apart is More Fun when you Do It Together.

Principia Discussion / Re: What do you REALLY believe?
« on: October 24, 2008, 06:18:19 am »
I'd agree with irreligious.

That's the best way I can explain Discordia to friends who haven't heard of it, "an irreligious disorganization who are intrigued by Eris, Goddess of Strife and Chaos, and Her doings". They still go WTF, but at least it's for the right reasons.

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