Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Self Evident

Somethings are just self evident.... after we recognize them or articulate the concept. Every new generation must learn the same old lessons...  well duh, we start out knowing nothing and need to learn everything. And there is the problem. Some thing we were taught are just wrong. Religions. And once we take a good look we realize this... self evident truth. Duh. Now what?

There is an old saying that before enlightenment the monk chops wood and draws water. And after enlightenment the monk chops wood and draws water. Nothing physically is different after the realization... the change of internal knowledge. So what does one do with this new self evident knowledge. Some try to spread the new knowledge, some try to understand the conversion process to help lead other across divide, some try to create and new religion or a way of thinking, of belief so that our automatic mental processes can be consistent, and some continue on, in ways that are just as before. Making progress is not assured, sometimes we need to clean our own thinking first. "Is the vessel we put this new knowledge into clean?" (after Epictetus.)

Some people think it is abuse to teach children or to indoctrinate children into religions. But the issue is not that simple, for along with the false, there is considerable truth. Society, social aspects of community, virtues of good character and good behavior also frequently taught along with religion. What is needed is religious behavior without the god stuff and the religion. Everything should be questioned, and tested, and only that which can be proven true or can be shown as self evident should be passed on to the next generation. Self evident must be logical, and should always be shown to be true. But wait, the Stoics said that virtue is the only good because virtue is always good, that is even the definition of virtue, and yet human virtues stop being virtues if carried to extremes. Even charity can go to far, for example, parents that give away to the point of being poor, rather than look after their own children. Giving to churches has long been a problem for some families, where one person gives more than her own income. It is no better to give to a church than to be a gambler or drug addict, or a drunk. These are still compulsions, not rational behaviors. (Brain Lock... may the JM Schwartz be with you.) 

Aristotle said that true virtue lies between two opposites, or extremes, which lie to far beyond the center and become vices. So after examining the virtues, we must choose which virtues we will honor or follow. There are too many, so we pick, our body picks, it is chosen for us by our genes, our epic-genetics, our environment,... we have so little control... and we end up what we are... humans.

We are here, at this juncture, due to the choices/decisions/indecision/errors of our ancestors, we the too many, in an overpopulated world. Overpopulation occurs at the point that there are no shortages of people, but there are shortages of resources, including gainful employment. I was just in Northern Saskatchewan for a few days at a planting, where a 90 year old was returned to the the earth. Time travel into the pre-internet world is possible. There you can really see the overpopulation. Crowds, all on the government teats and we were a minority. Oh well, it is a bit of history gone.

Impermanence, non-self, suffering, illusions, delusions, expectations, no gods and death is final. All self evident concepts, once our mind lite on those ideas, but to get the mind to lite is a difficult issue. Oh well, how much will it all matter in a few years? 



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