Monday, August 26, 2013

0006 - On Philosophy

When there's nothing left to burn you have to set yourself on fire.
- The Stars, Your Ex Lover is Dead [1]

Philosophy is an act, a behavioral tendency of a self to interpret the reality he/she/it finds itself in.  Philosophy has a history but it is not a history lesson.  

Or shouldn't be, anyway.  Books on philosophy are like books on yoga—helpful, but yoga is something other than any one author's rendering at a particular time in a particular way.  Philosophers jack 'philosophy', just like yogis jack 'yoga'.  

I'll name drop philosophers, but only as a courtesy, and will try to keep historical attribution and further analysis of ideas regarding specific thinkers to endnotes.[2]

Philosophy is open sourced code that, in some circles, might be considered a virus.  Especially if you don't like to have your current world view spun out of control, like internet browser tabs endlessly opening because you clicked the wrong link.   

As always, beware of self replicating questions (programs) that deviate and distract from the current programs that you want, or were told, to have rendering your reality.  Just like Safari, Opera, Internet Explorer, and Chrome present you different versions of 'the internet', your worldview, your philosophy creates different versions of reality.

A philosophical incite, the work of philosophy, is a spark of ignition that is first fueled with doubt, and then nourished with ideas brought about by assuming the new perceptions brought on by the incite, and then, consequently rendered into paradigms shifts regarding of how the universe is fundamentally ordered.

Geometry worked fine with Euclid's 5 axioms for geometry.  It worked better when Reimann told us we only needed 4.[3] 

When inferior interpretations of reality are rendered through logical analysis available of sense data, your best move, particularly in a darwinian sense, is to adapt.  In other words, if you are standing in front of an oncoming train, step out of the way.

You step have to step into the water yourself, and there, you can't even step into the same river twice.  You have to be in a river in order to begin the analysis or a river.  You must, first step into the stream of data, so to speak, in order to render your understanding of data, and then realize that the notion of a 'data' as something permanent, not ever changing.  That you are, in fact, not in a 'river' but having an experience of a piece of something you are calling a river. 

Your world is a stream where the only unchanging thing is that it is always changing.  This was told to us clearly by the who I affectionately refer to the Buddha who Never Heard Of Buddha.****

David Hume argued that if Adam (of the biblical account) was born with perfectly rational faculties could not discern from any empirical observations that he would drown if he put his face underwater, until he put his face under water.[5]

I think this culminates in the work of Bertrand Russell who allows us to imagine a universe that is 8 seconds old.  For, all we can know about the universe is our current, uninterrupted conception of it.  Given that psychologists argue that our undivided attention span are about 8 seconds, Russell, argued rightfully that, epistemologically speaking - meaning as to how we understand knowledge - that there can be a whole new universe might have just happened, with all it's physics and stories, and all it's billions of books and super computers - just happened 8 seconds ago, and will only be there as is, during this unified thought.  Everything might be different the second you break your attention and wake up in a 'new' unified moment with it's own physics and stories and libraries.

If you had a book with a Theory of to try and make it boil down to a Tweet...[6]

My advice on how to use this worldview of infinite universes of possibilities every 8 seconds as an article of faith?  

I say embrace it.

Maybe you want to call it forgiveness, or rebirth, or awakening, or idea enema, or a next breath free of any expectation.   Call it philosophy.

You can name it because it is yours and no one else's and can never be.  It will be with you at that undetermined moment where you step out of this universe.

The power to create your universe is in how you render the reality you find the next time you open your eyes.

The Stoics mastered this.  (Name drop warning).  When one reads the two most prominent authors of this school one finds as authors an Emperor of the Known World and a slave of that world.  They both strove with all their philosophical might, and, interestingly came the same understandings of the reality around them, generally speaking.  

It's hard to play the victim when you know you are the creator.

Instead of fighting the world as you know it, breath in, look at the world before you (not the one in your head) and interpret as best you can so you are ready for the next 8 seconds that are about to smack you in the face.

If that is not practical I don't know what is.

When racing, when in the depths agonizing fatigue, I breath deep and just say, hold on, just hold on 8 more seconds.

When running it's 'that next telephone pole'.  You don't know what you'll find there.  Maybe it's an incite that will get you to the next 10,000 telephone poles while running; maybe it's just another chance to put your head down and charge.

You are at once the emperor and slave; you are not the victim.  You are the artist of you own reality when one paints with the proper brush.

So what next.  Where's my paint brush?  Close your eyes, forget everything (and most important forget can't), breath, stay with the breath, and then begin again.  Everything starts there.

Or maybe with 'yes'.

It's the responsible thing to do.  Not bow down but to look at the stars if they've got something to say to you.

[1]  The quote is spoken by an unknown speaker, could be a sample.
[2]  Wittgenstein nailed this with his introduction to the Tractatus:

How far my efforts agree with those of other philosophers I will not decide. Indeed what I have here written makes no claim to novelty in points of detail; and therefore I give no sources, because it is indifferent to me whether what I have thought has already been thought before me by another 

I hope that all name drops are checked and rechecked by each reader to benefit their reading of this blog as needed.  I welcome any interpretations of my use of assigning a particular idea to a particular author.  We are all, indeed, as much thieves as blues musicians.


[4] Heraclitus - 'You can't step into the same river twice', and, 'Change alone is unchanging' seems to suit this theme well in his work.

[5]  David Hume, from


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