Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Man does not admire anything sincerely except what is undeserved.
Talent, lineage, beauty."

Don Colacho [source]

Monday, July 26, 2010

A very good article on free will, determinism and moral responsibility:

Your Move: The Maze of Free Will

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

On being asked about my status on God nowadays...

God. Hmmm. I don't really like this word; it has connotations associated with it that you just can't strip away. So I'll try to by-pass it.

I do not believe in any variety of a Judeo-Christio-Islamic God. That said, I begin with Wittgenstein's statement:

"The meaning of life, i.e. the meaning of the world, we can call God."

Such a meaning, if it exists at all, is hidden from our intellect. Life may have a meaning but we don't know what it is. [The meaning i am referring to is the 'intrinsic' meaning, not the meaning that we create for ourselves.]

The existence of such an occult meaning may be supposed or assumed on a number of reasons:
*To some people, the idea of an absurd universe seems very unlikely.
*To believe so can be an emotional need.
*Many people get the 'feeling' that there is some higher meaning to apparently coincidental things that happen in life. ['We were MEANT to be together...' etc]

It is all philosophically valid, as long as it is accepted that you cannot rationally prove that such a meaning necessarily exists.

It is almost futile to debate the nature of this meaning. Is it a 'Being' that creates this meaning? Or does this meaning exist in itself, like some grand metaphysical narrative that forms the very structure of this world? I do not know and I have no way of knowing.

Since this meaning of life, if it exists at all, is unknown to us, does it have any bearing on our lives? It seems not. Because in the absence of any apparent intrinsic meaning, we have to create a meaning for ourselves anyway. But what the idea can do is to provide a sort of 'therapy', bring a perspective to our lives. It determines our attitude to life. The thought "I don't know how but all this that is happening to me somehow makes sense in the greater plan" can be comforting on many occasions.

At this point in life, it seems likely to me that an occult meaning of life exists. But as i said, i do not know what it is, and i do not think that it's existence can be proven. So, all the existential dilemmas still exist, but in a milder form.

P.S. Mystics claim to experience "God" through spiritual experience. I have never had a mystic experience, so i can't say, but the testimony of mystics also gives me some "likelihood" points that a higher meaning does exist.

P.P.S. I have had enough of God debates on my blog in the past, so I am not allowing comments on this post. If you really have something to say, email me.

My Summer Wine

by borda on deviantART

(image rotated 90 degrees clockwise, for original image please see the link above)

Monday, July 19, 2010

X: Ultimately, no matter what our lives have been, we all die. Dust. Makes you wonder, what's the point of it all.
Y: Would immortality have been any less absurd?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

An important question which many socio-religio-political philosophies tend to ignore: What are you going to do about the people who don't agree with you?
[When Synesius asks her to convert to Christianity]
Hypatia: Synesius, you don't question what you believe, or cannot. I must.

Agora

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It is easier to be the poet behind the revolution.

Monday, July 5, 2010

She stood there, offering me the Truth, dangling it in front of me, assuring me that there is yet a way. To my own surprise and despite years of skepticism, I believed her. I, who had long made my peace with the Great Unknown, stared on with awe, and... fear, for Truth is not without a price. You cannot possess the Truth and not have your life taken apart and reassembled. And I realized that somewhere along the way, I had stopped seeking it, had abandoned the pursuit, had ceased to want it. I had become content with the rejection of all that was Not Truth. I had found my peace in that. I had sedimented, hesitant to be unsettled.

She saw that in my heart. Smiled and withdrew her hand. 'It is not time yet...'
"Just because you have done everything that you had promised, please don't leave me."

The Tudors, Episode 3.04

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Matthew Hutson writes in Psychology Today:

CBT = Existentialism?

"I've recently come to the conclusion that cognitive behavioral therapy, the empirically-demonstrated gold standard for treating depression and a host of other problems, necessitates a belief in existentialism, a philosophy holding that we live in a meaningless universe.

How can happiness derive from appreciating the fundamental pointlessness of existence?


Existentialism (at least atheistic existentialism) does not argue that meaning does not exist, only that it does not exist out there in the real world. All meaning is human-constructed. You have complete freedom to interpret events however you like (a freedom that some find nauseating.)


CBT similarly places interpretive control in the hands of the individual. The premise is that thoughts lead to emotions (which lead to behaviors), and we can learn to control our thoughts--even if they've become habit. We're not at the mercy of an emotional system automatically placing valuation on experiences.


I suppose my connection between CBT and existentialism comes from a conversation I had several years ago with a girlfriend who was studying philosophy. I'd said that because of my depression I was an existentialist--I had trouble finding meaning in things. On the contrary, she said, I was *too* depressed to be an existentialist. I was fatalistic. I instinctively saw everything as bad."


Read the complete article at Psychology Today.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Ever since Geocities shut down, I had been without a website and too lazy to make another one. (Besides, the idea sounds so pompous!) Fortunately, Aati came to the rescue and decided to make a new one for me. (Yes, she's that sweet.) From being excited about the task to extracting the required material out of me (sometimes forcefully, given my indolence :P) no one could have done it but her. So, it is yet another of her wonderful gifts for me. Thank you, dear friend.

The website is now officially launched!

Awais Central

(Don't miss reading the Ten Questions.)
 

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