Private Pains, Public Postures

Private Pains, Public Postures

You are not Jewish, but you are burdened and bogged down with guilts, remorses, and regrets. For a long time you contemplated of putting an end to your life. You were unhappy and bored with Life. But two considerations prevented you from acting on your dark thoughts. You have obligations to your loved ones and you have a lot of Pride. You want to spare your loved ones of embarrassment and shame over your untimely, self-inflicted demise. And you want to exit this world with a bang and a defiance, not with a whimper and a surrender. Besides, you want to live as long as you can in order to see if the fucking China will supplant the U.S. as an uncontested, premier superpower or it will devolve, disintegrate into smaller nations. Furthermore, you have told everyone that you want to be able to read German and Chinese novels in the original before you kick the bucket. Empty boastings bother you. You don’t want to be a fucked-up, lazy, little stupid bastard like so many fools around you.

Life is whatever you want to make it to be. Too many goddamned monkeys live safely and smugly being farmers. Not you. You’ve been going through life as a warrior. Everyday, when you walk out of the safety of your dwelling and step into the world, you tell yourself that day could be your last day on Earth. You want to live dangerously and on the edge of the precipice. To your twisted way of thinking, you only admire two types of people who earn their daily bread: those who put their physical survival on the line and those who put their financial well-being at stake every single day of the year. So you admire pugilists, mercenaries, and high-stakes gamblers; you respect folks who love playing Russian roulette with their lives and their monies. You go for Excess and Immoderation. That’s why you love what Nietzsche said that one must have chaos within oneself in order to be able to give birth to a dancing star. Nietzsche was your gifted twin brother. He spoke and articulated what you feel. Yes, he liked to make grand oracular pronouncements and so do you. In time what we say publicly will be what we do, if we have Pride. Like you said, empty boisterous, bellicose boasting and bragging bother the bejesus out of you. You hailed from one of those Southeast Asian countries where Lunar Calendar is used. And the Lunar New Year just started a few days ago. It is the Year of The Dog. And you’ve been feeling doggone antsy for the last few days. You’ve been feeling like cracking heads and bursting ribs. You want to be ultra-violent. You want to see flesh ripped and blood flow. But of course what you’ve been feeling is wrong, no matter how “normal”, how “human” it is. That is how the old, reptilian part of your brain operates. So, you tell your neocortex to override your feeling and to write instead in order to work out your frustrations and anger and come up with the following diagnosis of what ails people emotionally and mentally. The diagnosis is at a rudimentary stage but the gist of it has been percolating in your mind for a long time:

Man is a social animal driven by two conflicting needs to be loved/recognized/respected and to dominate. Failure to strike a balance and to satisfy these two conflicting needs leads to loneliness and unhappiness. In order to cope with loneliness and unhappiness, most people turn to easy avenues such Food, Alcohol, Sex, Drugs, Denial of truths, and Gambling. A few turn to Religion, Charity, Philosophy, Reading, Sports, Money-Making, or Murders in order to transcend their loneliness and to assert their power or sense of worth.

With the above framework, you can explain the behaviors of almost all of the people with whom you come into contact. And you would not be surprised why some individuals on the Net behave like absolute scumbags: lying, posing, and commenting stupidly and ignorantly on world events and on other people while asserting their meager sense of worth even though realistically, they are absolutely stupid, ignorant nobodies that are no different from a pile of dog shit by the side of the road.

Wissai
February 20, 2018

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Which philosopher do you disagree with? Source: Quora

I totally disagree with Rene Descartes concept of mind-body dualism. I think this concept influenced the modern philosophy at many levels, with very negative consequences for our eduction and medicine.

Our education is based on the idea that mind-things are separate from body things. It follows that we have our youths nailed to their seats at school for hours, every day, so their ‘minds’ are filled with knowledge. The body does not do anything. Knowledge has to get to the mind. And we wonder why we have to diagnose them with ADHD.

Our medicine is also influenced by the idea that there are two types of disorders, a physiological (bodily) disorder and a psychological disorder (mind). So we go to a physician to check out our pulses and blood pressure, and then sit down on a chair of a shrink to see what is going on in our mind.

In most eastern philosophies, there is no separation between mind and body. Mind is an emergent quality of the body, or actually for some the body is an emergent quality of the mind. Their practices also reflect such integration. See how mind and body are connected in Yoga, martial arts, Chinese medicine, etc.
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Answer 2 of 10
John Hartman
John Hartman, studied Mathematics at Australian National University (2017)
Answered Wed
Plato. I’ll give him credit for basically inventing western philosophy, but goddamn he was just wrong. Deeply, fundamentally, offensively so.

Plato’s view of reality was back-to-front. To Plato, truth was independent and prior to physical reality. Truth came first, and the world was a mere caricature of truth; the shadows cast against the back of his cave.

When Plato saw that things were different, that no two tables looked alike, he deduced: Since physical tables are different, yet they share the property of “tableness”, there is a pure and eternal expression of “tableness”, the “true table” which physical tables mimic imperfectly.

His attempt to reduce all things to their “true form”s permeates all his philosophy. The story of Diogenes and the chicken is a great example:

According to Diogenes Laërtius, when Plato gave the tongue-in-cheek definition of man as “featherless bipeds,” Diogenes plucked a chicken and brought it into Plato’s Academy, saying, “Behold! I’ve brought you a man,” and so the Academy added “with broad flat nails” to the definition. (Source)

He couldn’t have been more wrong, because reality comes first, and then we apply meaning to it. The concept of a ‘Table’ does not exist independently of humans; it’s a loose cluster of objects we’ve observed and given a single name for convenience’s sake. Whether something constitutes a “Table” or a “Desk” is not a debate about true, undying metaphysical forms; it’s an arbitrary choice of mental models.

Reality is far too vast, weird, and complex to be neatly divided into units of absolute truth. There are so many exceptions, so many microcosms of meaning that any attempt to pin things down to their ‘essential nature’ is doomed. Instead of shunning nuance and complexity we should embrace it, allow ourselves to see something two ways at once but not put one before the other, to see a theory as a flawed tool to explain the world and not confuse it with the world itself.
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Answer 3 of 10
David Moore
David Moore, A philosopher who masquerades as something more useful
Answered Feb 13
Ironically, Friedrich Nietzsche – sheerly because what he says is so deeply poetic and powerful and yet it is like reality viewed from the perspective of a mirror.

There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.

…and so I see madness in his reason, as I do in my own.

We have art in order not to die of the truth.

…because we assume it would kill us?

There are no facts, only interpretations.

…so ‘subjectivity is truth’, as a hero of mine says? He is being ironic, you know.

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.

…so show me your raison d’être, O maker of the ubermensch.

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.

Now that’s ironic. You sound like me. Is truth false? I think you’re saying what you mean. I’m not – I’m meaning what I say.

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

So why should I believe you? Didn’t you go mad from your great learning?

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

This from the man whose influence on the modern world can hardly be perceived it is so pervasive. What have you done?

Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market-place, and cried incessantly: “I am looking for God! I am looking for God!”

As many of those who did not believe in God were standing together there, he excited considerable laughter. Have you lost him, then? said one. Did he lose his way like a child? said another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? or emigrated? Thus they shouted and laughed. The madman sprang into their midst and pierced them with his glances.

“Where has God gone?” he cried. “I shall tell you. We have killed him – you and I. We are his murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What did we do when we unchained the earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not perpetually falling? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is it not more and more night coming on all the time? Must not lanterns be lit in the morning? Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we not smell anything yet of God’s decomposition? Gods too decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we, murderers of all murderers, console ourselves? That which was the holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet possessed has bled to death under our knives. Who will wipe this blood off us? With what water could we purify ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we need to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we not ourselves become gods simply to be worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whosoever shall be born after us – for the sake of this deed he shall be part of a higher history than all history hitherto.”

…and is this a good thing? Is it even true? I agree entirely, but you seem to have missed your own point, great sage.

To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities—I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not—that one endures.

…but you’re dead and your legacy was distorted into the literal application of what you say here as a rebuke. Get it? It’s a joke, but it’s not funny. It’s serious. Why so serious?

It is a self-deception of philosophers and moralists to imagine that they escape decadence by opposing it. That is beyond their will; and, however little they acknowledge it, one later discovers that they were among the most powerful promoters of decadence.

Indeed. Are you a philosopher? What wisdom should I learn from you? What good might I gain that I might avoid such evil?

To recognize untruth as a condition of life–that certainly means resisting accustomed value feelings in a dangerous way; and a philosophy that risks this would by that token alone place itself beyond good and evil.

Are you saying “trust me, I’m lying?”!

There is no such thing as moral phenomena, but only a moral interpretation of phenomena

Then my interpretation is my morality, and I reject yours!

The text has disappeared under the interpretation.

I’m just saying exactly what you said!

One must shed the bad taste of wanting to agree with many. “Good” is no longer good when one’s neighbor mouths it. And how should there be a “common good”! The term contradicts itself: whatever can be common always has little value. In the end it must be as it is and always has been: great things remain for the great, abysses for the profound, nuances and shudders for the refined, and, in brief, all that is rare for the rare.

You sound like a monster now.

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

Then you are the abyss, and I condemn you. I am enlightened. You are wrong in every way.

I obviously do everything to be “hard to understand myself”.

Really? That’s ironic. People will misunderstand you. That’s your intention?! That we learn nothing from you except our own error?

Objection, evasion, joyous distrust, and love of irony are signs of health; everything absolute belongs to pathology.

Then I’m the healthiest man alive. My distrust of you brings me joy and my objection to your evasion causes me to evade every objection of yours. I will be a fundamental Christian with complete faith in Christ through the sovereignty of God because of what you say.

Swallow your poison, for you need it badly

Yes, O captain my captain! I will join Socrates with you and cast away the faith in myself which makes such poison – drinking the cup of Christ and surrendering to the Will whose own will is the only power.

Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit.

Amen. Now I see the spear of destiny in your side.

You look up when you wish to be exalted. And I look down because I am exalted.

I feel your pain.

But it is the same with man as with the tree. The more he seeks to rise into the height and light, the more vigorously do his roots struggle earthword, downword, into the dark, the deep – into evil.

As you say, great tree of the forest. “Cursed is he who is hung on a tree”. Who, then, is Zarathustra? I thought you were…

I am a forest, and a night of dark trees: but he who is not afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of roses under my cypresses.

“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

Are you the witness to the beginning?! Do you speak as Eden against the crime of humanity in choosing fear over love?! Are all your words judgement against those who believe them to be what they appear because we make ourselves God in doing so?!

you must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame; how could you rise anew if you have not first become ashes?

Then rise to the heavens, O saint. I will follow you to the opposite conclusion. You have entangled me. Thus, we are one because of our differences. Sleep well, my friend. You have awakened me to become what I am. I thank God for you.

 

Without music, life would be a mistake

…and yet we have music. Did I tell you I’m a trumpet player? I’ve played this fanfare for a long time. It is not for the common man.
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David Moore
David Moore
Feb 13 · 1 upvote
Jan Špenko, Valerie Yip, you know him probably better than I. However, here I am speaking plainly about him, by speaking with him.
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Jan Špenko: Human, All too human:…
David Rossiter
David Rossiter
Feb 13 · 3 upvotes including David Moore
Very eloquent conversation with someone from the past as if they are alive today.

Your breadth of resources and your ability to extract and bring together reminds of psalm 42 which deals with the troubling of the soul as one searches for God in the midst of turmoil.

There is an apt phrase which springs to mind from that psalm-

Psalms 42:7

Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;

All Your waves and billows have gone over me.

In you I can see that process of deep things being pulled from deep places of the soul.
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David Moore: David, such a wonderful example from you of the same thing. Thanks so much
Slađana Vićentijević
Slađana Vićentijević
Feb 13 · 3 upvotes including David Moore
I am not familiar with his work as Jan Špenko is, I also do not disagree entirely with Nietzsche, but I think David your answer is so worthy of reading. 🙂
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David Moore: Thanks Sladana!
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Answer 4 of 10
Peter Flom
Peter Flom, I like to read philosophy.
Answered Sat
Of the people who are undoubtedly great philosophers, I find a lot of what I’ve read of Nietzsche truly appalling, but I am not expert enough to give detailed reasons for this.

As a person, I think Rousseau was the biggest jackass in the halls of great philosophers. A nasty, petty person (he managed to get David Hume mad at him, which no one else managed to do, Le Bon David was renowned for his equanimity) and wrong about just about everything as well. Getting rid of civilization is not a good idea (and, in Rousseau’s mythical state of nature, he would be dead).
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Answer 5 of 10
Alex Johnston
Alex Johnston, Guitar/bass player, writer, father, ex-husband, book reader
Answered Feb 13
Socrates. At least, Socrates as served to us by Plato.

In order to understand something, we have to be able to define it. Definitions can only be arrived at by philosophers, because only they know how to make them. Therefore, nobody really knows anything except philosophers, so philosophers should run the world.

What a crock of shit.

And don’t give me that fucking Oh I’m such a gadfly! nonsense, Socrates. When stuff was going down during the Peloponnesian War, when the debate about what to do with Mytilene was happening, where the fuck were you? Nowhere! That guy Diodotus had more balls than you, because at least he showed up and said something that affected public policy and saved people’s lives! You were off drooling after that self-serving, crypto-fascist prick Alcibiades. And that would be okay, except that at your trial, you shake your head sorrowfully and say Oh well, it’s not your fault that you wouldn’t listen to me.

You never fucking showed up, Socrates, because you hated that guys like you weren’t running the show.

Your debating technique leads into pointless blind alleys, most of the time, and don’t tell me that Oh, that’s the point, I’m trying to teach you something about knowledge blah blah. Straw debaters and verbal quibbling don’t teach anybody anything. I learn more about how to think from reading a fucking BBC radio talk by Bernard Williams than I learn from entire dialogues with you in them.

Yeah.

I don’t like Socrates.
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Answer 6 of 10
Michael Masiello
Michael Masiello, I have taught humanities at the college level for many years.
Answered Feb 13
Ayn Rand. Because that simply is not how people act, or how they interact, no matter how she stamps her foot and says Objectivism is a totally rational and absolutely coherent system.

Also, I find ethical egoism repulsive: cf. Michael Masiello’s answer to What is Bernard Williams’ critique of ethical egoism?
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Oscar Tay
Oscar Tay
I’ve never read any of her work. Why does everyone hate her so much?
3 more comments from Robert Todd, Peter Flom, Alex Johnston
Answer 7 of 10
Iredia Uyi
Iredia Uyi, Deist. Light the darkness!
Answered Fri
David Hume. His radical empiricism ties itself in absurd knots. It is true sense experience is relevant to knowledge and we may not assume beyond what we see but Hume takes these wisdoms to extremes. Several concepts like love, beauty, infinity and unity though expressed by or inferred from physical things are dressings of innate reason on the world it sees. Hume doesn’t see this.
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Answer 8 of 10
Nathan Coppedge
Nathan Coppedge, Philosopher Artist Inventor Poet
Answered Fri
What you will find is no philosopher will pay lip service to their true enemies, as it gives their enemies way too much credit to be talked about.

Instead, philosophy, being concerned with wisdom, finds trivial and stupid things to be opposed to philosophy.

But nor should one emphasize this point, because, overall, with the right theory, even initially stupid-looking ideas can have a purpose for philosophy, although not so much as theories belonging to anyone, unless we mean good theories.

So, analyzing a ‘theory-as-bad’ is not so important to philosophers. Theory-as-bad is in other words a bad theory with a good meta-critical theory.
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Answer 9 of 10
John Stanley
John Stanley, former High school English teacher for 37 years
Answered Feb 13
Plato, in his proposition that what we perceive is merely an imperfect example of some mystical ideal form which is perfect. The idea of perfection is merely a mental habit, not a real trait. If Plato says a chair is merely the reflection of a perfect chair, for example, a perfect desk chair is not a perfect chair for dining at table or a perfect easy chair. A perfect black desk chair is not a perfect maroon desk chair; a perfect desk chair for typing is not a perfect desk chair for filing; a perfect desk chair for one posture is not perfect for another posture; etc. As we define perfection more and more exactly, we can get to the point where each chair is the perfect example of itself.
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Answer 10 of 10
Thiago T
Thiago T
Answered Feb 13
Thomas Aquinas.

First, because I love St. Augustine and think they are opposite in their philosophies. Is foreclosure against the exegesis and I’m taken by expressiveness vertical, even though I’m an atheist. In this sense, is an incredible writer called Portuguese father Antonio Vieira.

Well … The truth is that I can’t get involved with the substance, form etc Thomistic. About it, I admit that the problem is all mine.

Thank you,

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Bài gửi từ Nguyễn Cung Thoòng về Tết và 12 con giáp

Chúc ACE cùng thân quyến một năm Tuất (~chó) thành công trong hạnh phúc – nhân đây lượm được một bài báo từ vùng đồi núi Thái Nguyên (VN) viết về tết và 12 con giáp – đọc cho vui – trích từ trang này Đôi điều về ngày trừ tịch và tên gọi 12 con giáp | Báo Văn Nghệ Thái Nguyên

Đôi điều về ngày trừ tịch và tên gọi 12 con giáp | Báo Văn Nghệ Thái Nguyên

 

Đêm Giao thừa còn gọi là trừ tịch
Khi đọc các sách báo hoặc thư tịch cũ, bạn đọc dễ gặp phải từ trừ tịch, tức đêm giao thừa. Tại sao lại gọi như vậy?
Chiết tự chữ Hán một cách đơn giản thì trừ tịch 除夕là một từ Hán Việt được cấu tạo bởi hai thành phần, chữ trừ 除và chữ tịch 夕. Trừ có nghĩa là chuyển giao, tịch có nghĩa là đêm. Như vậy trừ tịch là đêm chuyển giao, cụ thể là đêm chuyển giao của một năm, tức là đêm Giao thừa. Trừ tịch còn có tên gọi khác là trừ dạ 除夜hoặc đại niên dạ 大年夜, theo đó ngày cuối năm được gọi là trừ nhật 除日, và về sau, ngày cuối năm cũng được gọi là trừ tịch.
Liên quan đến trừ tịch, người Trung Quốc xưa có tục tổ chức lễ xua đuổi tà ma và nghênh đón thần linh. Họ xua đuổi tà ma bằng cách dùng đào phù, tức một loại bùa bằng gỗ cây đào trên đó có thể khắc hình hai vị Thần Đồ và Uất Luật(1). Vì theo quan niệm truyền thống của họ, ma quỷ vốn sợ gỗ đào và hai vị thần này.

altCòn ở Việt Nam, trước Nguyên đán, phong tục của đồng bào ta khá thú vị. Theo truyền thống, người Việt bắt đầu cho dịp Tết bằng việc cúng ông Táo. Trong quan niệm dân gian, cúng ông Táo xong là lúc ông Táo cưỡi cá chép về chầu Ngọc Hoàng trên thượng giới, lúc này các gia đình đều không có thổ công giữ nhà nên ma quỷ có thể xâm nhập. Do đó, các gia đình Việt sẽ trồng cây nêu với mục đích là xua đuổi tà ma, bảo vệ gia đình. Trên cây nêu sẽ được người dân treo nhiều vật dụng như vàng mã, bùa trừ tà…

12 con giáp xuất xứ từ đâu?
Về 12 con giáp, xưa nay nhiều người vẫn tưởng rằng 12 con giáp có xuất xứ từ Trung Quốc, tuy nhiên trong những năm gần đây nhiều nhà nghiên cứu đã đánh giá lại và cho rằng nguồn gốc của tên gọi 12 con giáp không phải bắt nguồn từ Trung Quốc. Càng đặc biệt hơn khi 12 con vật có vị trí đặc biệt trong đời sống tâm linh ấy lại bắt nguồn từ Việt Nam. Và người phát hiện ra điều này là nhà nghiên cứu Nguyễn Cung Thông. Ông đã dựa vào biện pháp khảo cứu đối chiếu ngôn ngữ học để truy nguyên nguồn cội của tên gọi 12 con giáp và thật bất ngờ khi ông nhận ra tên gọi của 12 con giáp là sản phẩm của người Việt cổ. Chẳng hạn như: Mão/ Mẹo – Mèo; Ngọ – Ngựa; Tý – Chút – Chuột; Sửu – Tru – Tlu – Trâu; Hợi – Gỏi – Koi – Cúi (“Cúi” là con lợn trong tiếng Mường)…
Trở lại với tên gọi 12 con giáp mà chúng ta vẫn quen thuộc gọi: Tý – Sửu – Dần – Mão/Mẹo – Thìn – Tỵ – Ngọ – Mùi – Thân – Dậu – Tuất – Hợi, trong hệ thống Hán ngữ nếu đọc theo đúng âm pinyin (âm đọc của chữ Hán của người Trung Quốc) thì những chữ trên lần lượt được đọc là: zĭ 子, chŏu 丑,yín 寅, măo 卯, chén 辰, sì 巳, wŭ 午, wèi 未, shēn 申, yŏu 酉, xū 戌, hài亥.
Từ những kết quả thu được, Nguyễn Cung Thông đã nhận định hệ thống tên gọi của 12 con giáp hiện tại chính là hệ thống kí âm của người Hán để ghi lại tên gọi các con vật từ tiếng nước ngoài.
Một điểm nữa mà nhiều người có thể nhận thấy trong hệ thống 12 con giáp của Việt Nam và 12 con giáp của Trung Hoa là ở con giáp thứ 4. Con giáp này có tên gọi theo âm Hán Việt là Mão/Mẹo, ứng với con mèo của người Việt nhưng lại là con thỏ trong văn hóa Trung Quốc. Lý giải điều này nhiều người Trung Quốc cho rằng, con mèo vốn dĩ lười lại hay ngủ suốt ngày nên không đưa vào hệ thống linh vật. Ngược lại trong văn hóa của người Việt, con mèo lại là một loại vật nuôi có ích, có tác dụng bắt chuột, bảo vệ nông sản trong nhà.
Tuy vẫn chưa đủ căn cứ để xác định chính xác nhất nguồn gốc tên gọi của 12 con giáp nhưng phát hiện của nhà nghiên cứu Nguyễn Cung Thông rất thú vị và đáng quan tâm(2)

Chú thích:
1. Có một số sách gọi hai vị này là Thần Trà và Uất Lũy.
2. Có ý kiến cho rằng tên gọi 12 con giáp xuất phát từ tiếng Ấn Độ, tuy nhiên chúng tôi chưa khảo sát được nên không đưa vào bài viết. Như Châu

NC Thong/P Kim

PS Nếu có thời giờ thì các bạn thử nghe đài SBS Radio phỏng vấn (sẽ phát thanh vào dịp Tết 2018) về năm Tuất, có thể vào trang này Tuất trong 12 con giáp của người Việt (Phần 1)

Tuất trong 12 con giáp của người Việt (Phần 1)
Năm Tuất là năm con chó, vốn là con vật thứ 11 trong 12 Con Giáp mà ông Nguyễn Cung Thông, một người…

Hay Tuất trong 12 Con Giáp của Việt Nam (Phần 2)

Tuất trong 12 Con Giáp của Việt Nam (Phần 2)
Ông Nguyễn Cung Thông nêu ra các nghiên cứu của đại học Bắc kinh về lập thuyết 12 Con Giáp là của n…

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Ferlinghetti’s Greatest Poems

FERLINGHETTI’S GREATEST POEMS
By Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Edited by Nancy J. Peters.
144 pp. New Directions. $16.95.
ONE DAY WHEN I was about 14 or 15 and wandering the aisles of a bookstore in Southern California, my eyes were drawn to “Endless Life,” a collection of poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. I grew up in a conservative household in an even more conservative neighborhood, and I doubt I’d had any exposure, up till that point, to Ferlinghetti and his transcontinental, transcendental comrades known as the Beats. All I knew, as I flipped through the book, was that the words were bouncing around the page:

 

What is this? I thought. Why is this guy allowed to write that way? To a teenager with an inchoate interest in language, those leaping lines conveyed a swig of freedom:

 

I had never bought a book of poetry before — at that age, doing so had never crossed my mind — but I bought “Endless Life,” kick-starting a habit of impulse purchasing that continues to this day. I spent time with it. Ferlinghetti’s “spontaneous” transgressions of punctuation and spacing appealed to a kid who was warming up to the intoxicating provocations of punk rock, and I can’t be alone in having had that response. Unscientific polling over the years has led me to believe that Ferlinghetti (like E. E. Cummings and Charles Bukowski) used to be something of a gateway poet for young people in America, and a residue of nostalgic fondness remains even for those readers who have moved on to ostensibly more sophisticated stuff. (If you’re looking for a contemporary analogy, one can hope that thousands of Rupi Kaur fans will eventually find their way to, say, Louise Glück and Nikky Finney.) Whenever I’m visiting San Francisco, I still make a pilgrimage to City Lights, the North Beach bookstore, founded by Ferlinghetti, that stands as a kind of Plymouth Rock for American poetry and progressive thought.
But how does Ferlinghetti’s work hold up now? (Ferlinghetti himself has held up well. At press time, he is still alive and nearing his 99th birthday.) As a publisher, a patron of the arts and a free-speech pioneer, he has been rightly celebrated for decades; he played a crucial role in the defense of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl,” even winning an obscenity case for daring to publish that zeitgeist-capturing incantation.
Yeah, O.K. — but what about his writing? The release of “Ferlinghetti’s Greatest Poems” (I wish New Directions had gone ahead and called it “Ferlinghetti’s Greatest Hits,” like an album full of ear candy by Tom Petty or Elton John) gives us a chance to revisit that question. It’s a complicated one. Do the quicksilver qualities that can make Ferlinghetti’s poetry so captivating to an adolescent undermine our ability to take it seriously with the passing of years? In his more unfortunate moments, as in the poem called “Underwear,” corny humor lands with a clank and you can’t help wincing: “Underwear can really get you in a bind / Negroes often wear / white underwear / which may lead to trouble.”
It seems self-evident that the passing of years has done “Underwear” no favors. At the same time, it would be churlish to deny that Ferlinghetti has given the popular canon many indelible lines. For a while in the 1950s and 1960s, his voice stood out amid a mounting dissident chorus; in these days of hashtagged political resistance, it is not uncommon to come across portions of his stanzas reconstituted as memes on Instagram and Facebook:
I am waiting for my case to come up
and I am waiting
for a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting for someone
to really discover America
and wail
Based on passages like that, it’s not much of a stretch to put Ferlinghetti in the company of skilled songwriters. He knows how to craft a hook. His lines have an easy, welcoming flow. (In this book, the poems are arranged chronologically and fluidly, as if they were part of an “Abbey Road”-like symphonic collage or a Hollywood highlight reel.) He has a gift for helping you hear what needs to be said, free of impenetrable filters. He is allergic to willful obscurity and “our little literary games,” as he declared in one “Howl”-referencing populist manifesto that he titled, with characteristic directness, “Populist Manifesto No. 1”:
We have seen the best minds of our
generation
destroyed by boredom at poetry
readings.
Poetry isn’t a secret society,
It isn’t a temple either.
Secret words & chants won’t do any
longer.
Returning to Ferlinghetti is ultimately about returning to the romantic associations of the milieu that produced Ferlinghetti, so it makes sense that some of Ferlinghetti’s most plangent stanzas are the ones in which he looks back at the heyday of the Beats, that “rebel band who / rose over the rooftops of / tenement boneyards / intent on making out / And made out of madness / a hundred years of beatitude.” Maybe there’s no way to dissociate Ferlinghetti’s poetry from the nostalgic gauze of various North Beach beatnik tropes — proto-hipsters wearing berets and listening to bebop and smoking French cigarettes, etc. — but what remains intact in the poems (even as their creator approaches a century of living) is the fresh, youthful energy of that moment. The liberating pulse can still be pretty contagious. His high points are the poems that you wish you could listen to in a car, on a long coastal highway, with the windows rolled down — and you certainly can’t say that about Robert Lowell.
Does the occasionally tossed-off imperfection of the poems give them a kind of time-capsuled charm? If you’re willing as a reader to be forgiving, it can be a blast to go back to the way the words bounce. And Ferlinghetti himself can’t resist the pull of the past. In “Plan du Centre de Paris à Vol d’Oiseau,” this is how he remembers it:
yearnings & gropings
fantasies & flame-outs
such endless walking
through the bent streets
such fumbling art
(models drawn with blindfolds)
such highs and sweet inebriations—
I salute you now.
Follow New York Times Books on Facebook and Twitter (@nytimesbooks), and sign up for our newsletter.
Jeff Gordinier, a former Times reporter, is the food and drinks editor of Esquire magazine.

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Nietzsche’s Contributions to Philosophy

From Quora:

 

Consider that Friedrich Nietzsche had been condemned as a heretic, an atheist, a nihilist, and was admitted to a mental asylum. What do you think is the most important contribution of Nietzsche to philosophy and why?
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9 ANSWERS
Sam Qwato
Sam Qwato
Answered Wed
Q. Considering that Friedrich Nietzsche had been condemned as a heretic, an atheist, a nihilist, and was admitted to a mental asylum. What do you think is the most important contribution of Nietzsche to philosophy and why?

(1) Thanks for the A2A.

(2) What happened to him is unimportant.

Only his ideas matter, and they’re accessible to you for ponderance and judgement.

(3) Short answer:

Nietzsche defiantly challenges you, in-your-face, to rethink your assumptions and bases, on how you live your life.

Start here: Sam Qwato’s answer to What are some life lessons learned through reading Nietzsche that are useful in other parts of life?
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Staroslav Nejc Iztokovič Žilavec
Staroslav Nejc Iztokovič Žilavec, Student of classical philology, Nietzsche, Tolkien & Whedon
Answered Mon · Upvoted by Mike La Caze, MA Philosophy (CGU)
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Considering that Friedrich Nietzsche had been condemned as a heretic, an atheist, a nihilist, and was admitted to a mental asylum. What do you think is the most important contribution of Nietzsche to philosophy and why?

Um… what?

Why am I supposed to consider that?

Aside from the part about the mental asylum, do these things have anything to do with the worth of Nietzsche’s philosophy? There were many heretics, atheists and nihilists among great philosophers. Even a madman or two, but it’s difficult to point fingers – who was more mad: Diogenes of Sinope, or Plato? And would an institution that decides such questions based on popular opinion really be a relevant measure of madness?

Baruch Spinoza was a heretic, and condemned as such by his Jewish community. Oh yeah, he was also a Yid. Couldn’t possibly have had something worthwhile to say, right?

Giordano Bruno was also a heretic. The first person to come up with the idea that the Universe is infinite and populated with countless planets, leading to the logical conclusion that there might be life on them. These aren’t the thinkers we’re looking for. Move along.

-As for Nietzsche being a heretic, the problem is that heresy is a matter of perspective. For a Catholic, any Orthodox Christian should be a heretic – and vice versa. Protestants are also heretics, except for a protestant it is Catholics that are heretics. All just a matter of perspective, and one that has for the most part been transcended even by most conservative Christian groups (God hates fags is not a Christian idea, I don’t count those people).

Atheist is the funniest descriptor of the bunch. According to pagan understanding (and it was pagan Greeks that created the Greek word atheist) Jews and Christians are atheists. But be that as it may, would you really feel better about one of the “noble pagans” like Aristotle or Plato teaching you philosophy? If you’re that bothered by atheism, shouldn’t you be bothered by their pagan inclinations just as much? And what of the likes of Aquinas and Augustine, who were influenced by Plato and Aristotle? Aren’t they tainted by pagan ideas? At any rate, there were plenty of great philosophers that were atheists – the exact number depends entirely on your definition of what exactly constitutes an atheist.

-As for Nietzsche being an atheist, was he? I am not in the habit of just taking people’s word for it, and I think you shouldn’t be either. There is plenty to argue against Nietzsche’s supposed atheism (and arguments towards the opposite). At face value one should conclude Nietzsche was indeed an atheist, because he rejects metaphysics. And yet – is his philosophy void of metaphysics? Something to think about, yes?

Nihilist. That one is just rich. Nietzsche was the first philosopher to make a big deal about how nihilism is coming, and tried to find a way to avoid it. It was only the ill-informed imbeciles that refused to actually read Nietzsche’s works before writing critiques of them, that decided to call him a nihilist. Now, one could make an argument for Nietzsche being a nihilist in the sense of his believing there is no inherent τέλος (purpose) to existence. But that is a very technical definition, only useful to professional philosophers, when they argue how to classify things in their encyclopaedias – and even then more trouble than it’s worth.

If you want a real nihilist, I suggest you take a look at the works of Sergei Nechaev. Catechism of the Revolutionist is a beautiful example of what a nihilist sounds like. Hint – very different from Nietzsche.

So we’re left with the mental asylum. Funny thing, but he only spent a short time there, and was quickly relinquished to his mother’s care. But what exactly was the story there? Some sources say that it was syphilis. Some contemporary sources say that back then everything unknown was diagnosed as syphilis – purely because doctors don’t like saying “I don’t know what this is” (something that remains true to this day – it’s just the preferred diagnosis that changed). Also, if we take a close look at what biographical data we have at our disposal, it seems unlikely Nietzsche would have contracted syphilis. In fact, it is more likely he would have contracted the Sopranos to finish off that horse in Turin, than the French disease.

On January 3rd 1889 Nietzsche saw a horse being beaten in Turin. He attempted to protect the horse, hugging the poor animal and falling on the ground – mindless. That was the great mental break of Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. After that he sent some rather strange letters to some of his friends. He reported “I have had Caiaphas [the Jewish high priest that condemned Jesus of Nazareth] put in fetters. Also, last year I was crucified by the German doctors in a very drawn-out manner. Wilhelm [Kaiser Wilhelm the emperor of Germany], Bismarck, and all anti-Semites abolished”; he made outrageous claims (in a letter to Burckhardt he wrote the following: “Actually, I would much rather be a professor in Basel than God: but I didn’t dare push my private selfishness so far as to neglect, just for myself, the creation of the world.”); and he signed with names like Dionysus, The Crucified,…

After receiving that letter, Burckhardt shared it with Overbeck. When the latter received a similar letter just the day after, he decided Nietzsche must be brought back to Basel by his friends, and taken care of. This is how Nietzsche got committed to a mental asylum, one of the very first in the world. While this fantastic story makes people think Nietzsche was just mad, we must consider how it all came to pass. Nietzsche didn’t simply loose his mind in a day – but he also wasn’t mad when he wrote his philosophy; which is what we’re most interested in here.

Nietzsche suffered from poor health for most of his life. In 1879 he was forced to retire from his position as professor of classical philology at the University of Basel, on account of terrible headaches/migraines. Over time the headaches were accompanied with spells of near or complete blindness, so he needed an aide, one Heinrich Köselitz (whom he nicknamed Peter Gast), to help him write. Yet, the entire time from his retirement and until Jan 3rd 1889, no person in contact with Nietzsche noticed anything remotely strange about his behaviour. He had headaches, accompanied by problems with his sight, but he never did anything that would seem weird and beyond these merely physiological symptoms.

This decade was the most productive time of Nietzsche’s work. Early on he collaborated with Paul Ree, who had some similar ideas, but approached them from a somewhat different direction (a story that echoes Nietzsche’s even earlier collaboration with Franz Overbeck, with whom he took a look at the development of early Christianity; in Ree he found a fellow psychologist, although some scholars have remarked that Nietzsche seems to have helped Ree significantly, and that Ree’s later works were noticeably different – and of lesser quality). During this decade Nietzsche also met the infamous Lou Salome, a young intellectual from Russia, and a femme fatale. Their relationship was ultimately sabotaged, partially by Nietzsche’s sister Llama (as he called her – partly with affection, partly in acknowledgment of her ‘acidic spitting’, as she was quite the Regina George), and partially by Paul Ree, who seems to have had his own designs on young miss Salome. If there is any record of Nietzsche’s unusual behaviour, it would be found in this episode – but that would require that we take the impression Salome got from Llama and Ree, and later herself rejected as lies and manipulations. She remains a more reliable source than Llama, who is a known liar (and worse, but this is not the place), and thus shouldn’t be trusted blindly.

Of all the hypotheses on what ill might have befallen Nietzsche and driven him mad, none are properly supported. Aside from exhuming his body, which would likely give inconclusive results (I think a body should decay a fair bit in 100+ years since his death), we do not have any way of confirming or overturning any proposed diagnosis. However, the one I find most likely is a brain tumour. That could explain his headaches, accompanied with loss of sight; as well as how it gradually got worse, and finally caused the mental break of 1889. Syphilis seems unlikely – it rarely progresses quite so slowly, and would almost certainly cause other symptoms before the event in Turin. Whatever the case, I think I have made a sufficiently strong case for us to discard the idea that Nietzsche was insane before 1889, while he was writing his books and working out his philosophy.

In light of all this, what is Nietzsche’s most important contribution to philosophy? Everything he wrote.

Philosophy is hardly picky, and to use Nietzsche’s own words: It is hardly the greatest objection to an idea, that it happens to be wrong. Nietzsche produced many ideas, and while some may be wrong (he certainly grew as a thinker, and came to reject some of his former views), others are not. And even those that are wrong can be interesting to think about, and could one day find an application – theoretical mathematics works the same way; sometimes it advances into useless thought experiments, that eventually become solutions to much later problems.

Nietzsche’s main work was in the field of ethics. His critical approach to ethics, making extensive use of psychology, historical anthropology and sprinkles of deep epistemological insight, is invaluable to our view of moral behaviour. Assumptions remain an issue in the field of ethics. Moral philosophers speak of “good”, how to achieve it and how to avoid whatever they declare its opposite. But they don’t seem to provide much in the way of justification for their conception of “good”. Nietzsche can help us be more honest about this, approach the idea of “good” more critically, and more honestly. And if we do, we should find an approach to ethics (I am consciously avoiding the word ‘system’, not only to stay true to Nietzsche’s views, but because I find it leads to more careful and thus better thinking), that would not only stand on firmer ground than others schools of ethics, but will also lead to greater success.

But Nietzsche delved deeply into psychology as well, and we have much to learn from him there also. He influenced the three great psychoanalysts: Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav Jung. While Freud is somewhat controversial today, and Jung is more important in related fields, rather than psychology proper, Adler, who stayed most true to Nietzsche, remains very relevant to this day. Adler kept Nietzsche’s conception of power as the fundamental drive (while Freud exchanged it for pleasure), and constructed a developmental and child psychology that is even today influential enough to be taught to aspiring pedagogues. And let’s not get into what sorts of uses Nietzsche might be put to in the young field of cognitive science – there is great potential in the wealth of ideas he bequeathed us.

Finally, Nietzsche’s dogged rigour and scepticism in epistemology can teach us all. One can learn from Nietzsche the honesty and will to truth, that will lead to self-criticism that was so wonderfully embodied by the likes of Hilary Putnam. And while Nietzsche’s seemingly absolute scepticism might seem like a dead end, I would argue against that point. In my personal opinion, Nietzsche’s view on epistemology is very compatible with the Radical Constructivism of Ernst von Glasersfeld.

But if I really had to pick just one thing that is Nietzsche’s greatest contribution to philosophy, I would have to go with hope. Nietzsche provides hope in the face of the Void of Nihilism. He allows us to face Truth head on, without shielding our eyes, and still come out standing.

Hope this helps.
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Ashton Hennessy
Ashton Hennessy
Would you call Nietzsche an existentialist? His philosophy seems similar to that, but I might be …
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Terence Cleeves
Terence Cleeves, studied at Camberwell College of Arts
Answered Mon
Considering that Friedrich Nietzsche had been condemn[ed] as a heretic, an atheist, a nihilist, and was admitted to a mental asylum. What do you think is the most important contribution of Nietzsche to philosophy and why?

This is both a statement (the first sentence) and a question (the second sentence). The first sentence sets the polemical tone for the question.

However, I am not sure if Nietzsche was ‘condemned’ as a heretic, atheist, nihilist but these terms were most probably used to describe him. To be frank, I don’t think that the use of these words, by others, to describe Nietzsche has any significant bearing on his contribution to philosophy. Nietzsche became mentally ill and had a collapse in 1889 so it is possible that his later writings say in 1888 were affected, if only in part, by his illness.

Perhaps his most important contribution to philosophical thought (one might argue that Nietzsche was not a Philosopher in the traditional sense because he did not build a philosophical system in the manner of Descartes, Kant, Hume etc did) was, in part, exactly that! The truth is whatever Nietzsche says it is. His method was rebellious and so was his content. He philosophically rebutted all of the old accepted adages of ‘morality’ ‘Christianity’ ‘master-slave mentality’ ‘religion’ and acted as a challenge and perhaps ‘agent of change’ to traditional values and modes of thinking. His philosophical influence is seen mostly in Europe rather than Britain in Existentialism and Post-Modernism.

Outside of philosophy, Nietzsche’s idea of ‘Will to Power’ was adopted by social-political organisations to the enormous detriment of others. Nietzsche is not alone, a brief History of Humankind will provide other examples of the hijacking of ideas for personal gain.

However, Nietzsche’s rebellious content, did him no favours: he alluded to ordinary human beings as “the bungled and botched”, to John Stuart Mill (Utilitarianism- Greatest Happiness to the Greatest Number) as “that blockhead John Stuart-Mill, of Man and Women “ Man shall be trained for war and woman for the recreation of the warrior. All else is folly. “ and again of Women “Thou goest to woman? Do not forget thy whip”

If one purports to be a ‘Philosopher’ and uses the inflammatory language shown above, then one may leave oneself open to mis-interpretation and that certainly would be “folly”.
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Paul Trejo
Paul Trejo, studied Humanities at California State University, Dominguez Hills
Answered Mon
Continue Reading
Considering that Friedrich Nietzsche had been condemn as a heretic, an atheist, a nihilist, and was admitted to a mental asylum. What do you think is the most important contribution of Nietzsche to philosophy and why?

The question is biased against Nietzsche. He was an open Atheist — which means he was honest about it. Also, no Atheist can also be a Heretic. One either believes or he doesn’t.

Also, Nietzsche accused Christianity and Buddhism of of being Nihilist. Nietzsche was not a Nihilist, and he denounced Nihilism (though despite that fact, some scholars have incorrectly insisted that Nietzsche was a Nihilist).

Finally, we must carefully distinguish between the productive years of Nietzsche from his 11 final years as a “vegetable.” From 1878 to 1888, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote his most famous works. In January, 1889, Nietzsche suffered a stroke — then another — then another.

At the end, he was completely paralyzed, and he went home to live with his mother, and when she died, he moved in with his sister. He was unable to walk, to shake hands or to move. He recognized only his mother and his sister, and if he spoke, say his visitors, it was only babble.

That is not the same thing as “insanity” or being restricted to a mental asylum. When he suffered his first stroke, he was admitted to a sanitarium, but he was quickly released to his mother’s care.

The important point is that Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical works were already written before his strokes. His works were not famous while he was conscious — but with his sister’s help he became world famous before he died. It is doubted that he was ever aware of that.

So — what contribution did Nietzsche make to Philosophy? First, he was supremely well-educated in the ancient Greeks. He was a translator of Greek to German. Secondly, he spoke and wrote in five languages. He was brilliant.

Thirdly, his work is poetic — and most philosophers did not consider the STYLE of writing to be very important for Philosophy. Yet it is because of Nietzsche’s poetic STYLE that many readers came to Philosophy in the first place.

Fourthly, Nietzsche was extremely frank and honest about his personal beliefs, and especially about his criticism of Christianity. To this very day — 135 years later — his attacks on Christianity still require a Christian response. Yet many Christians cannot form a response — and that is why so many just try to write Nietzsche off as “insane,” so they don’t have to do the hard work of answering Nietzsche.

I myself am not very impressed by Nietzsche’s Philosophy. His STYLE is great, but his argumentation is biased, and he is prone to self-contradiction. He rarely cites anyone else, or makes any footnote. In many ways, Nietzsche’s work is mainly “opinions, and the spinning out of opinions,” while Hegel said that Philosophy must be more than that.

Finally, Nietzsche left us no System. For Hegel, Philosophy is mere popular literature if it fails to lead to a System. Yet Nietzsche openly said that he “mistrusted systems,” and that “a will to a system is a lack of integrity.” This was a more or less direct attack on Hegel. Hegel, in my opinion, would not have been impressed.

Yet — for all that — this is not enough to counter-act the 135 years of damage that Nietzsche has done to Christianity. It is up to Christians to make an intelligent response. We’re still waiting.
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David Amaral
David Amaral, studied Philosophy
Answered Mon
First of all, I do not think that Nietzsche was forced by someone live in a asylum compulsorily. Nietzsche suffered all its life from severe health problems and in his last years he was in the care of his mother and sister for many years.

Nietzsche is important because through his works we can think of the most tragic dimensions of existence (madness, disease, for example) in a way that can, eventually, be liberating.
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Ken Dahl
Ken Dahl, Novelist
Answered Mon
Well, to be a heretic, you need to believe in god, which Nietzsche did not.

He was certainly not a nihilist. Indeed, he foresaw nihilism as a consequence of the death of god (Nietzsche announced god’s death; he did not kill god), and he strove to forestall that nihilism with his doctrine of eternal recurrence.

He was put in the (awful) care of his anti-Semite sister at her home. He was not confined to a mental asylum.

Acquitting Nietzsche on three of your four charges, I’d say the way is open for anyone to admire or despise Nietzsche’s philosophy.

Personally, I’m most attracted to his perspectivist epistemology.
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Lou Savage
Lou Savage, “The question in each and every thing.. what thing?
Answered Wed
Vedia Genon, what a name! is it even real? how come you get so lucky?.. Anyhow you see Nietzsche had this strange idea that in life affirmation come before denial, what he calls a Yes before the No. In other words that all that one see in themself and around be how lucky they are which is their own advantage, (over others but as dealt by fate) like your name for example, or someone’s good looks or body strength etc, with of course the ultimate advantage of having been born at all. And then he had this even stranger idea that this is exactly how some ancient peoples were and lived. But, everywhere he looked around himself this seemed not to be the case but instead people always saw and had to see the negative first. This translated into one having to have to spend a whole lot of time and go through a whole lot of No saying and to a whole lot of different things before they could arrive at one Yes. And this he then blamed religion for and especially christianity that put ideas like original sin and evil first, and so they considered him a heretic, atheist, nihilist and mental, but as you can see really he really wasn’t none of that.
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Paul Brocklehurst
Paul Brocklehurst, works at Self-Employment
Answered Mon
Considering that Friedrich Nietzsche had been condemn as a heretic, an atheist, a nihilist, and was admitted to a mental asylum. What do you think is the most important contribution of Nietzsche to philosophy and why?

I’m by no means well read in Neitzche & have only read one of his books but the issue I think he addressed most brilliantly was his way of regarding free will (a pretty difficult challenge) & framing it this way:

‘To redeem what is past & to transform every ‘It was’ into ‘thus I would have it!’ – that only do I call redemption!

i.e. The more you can ‘own’ whatever you end up doing the freer you find yourself to be. Someone should tell Sam Harris who says that he has no option but to discount the very idea of free will because he’s a reductionist who is essentially saying ‘Don’t blame me – my brain made me do it!’ but you are your brain Sam!
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Ragesh Nair
Ragesh Nair, studied Freedom & The Mind at The World
Answered Tue
Society hates the one who talk about individual freedom.

His work on freedom, human psychology and ignorance are great master piece of an enlightened being. If he would have been born in East people would have called him a Buddha.
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Revelation

Revelation

You know what Revelation is, don’t you?
It’s like being hit by a sledgehammer to the head.
When you come to, you are a changed man and you are blessed.

You entered a fierce isolation and you learned to respect taciturnity .
Because you now know about word lethality
You are tired of living your life on clichés and self-caricature.
You just want to be a vegetarian
And you get fresher under pressure.
You stay cool amidst contradictions and commotion
As stupidities mount and multiply.
You’re high as kite because you’ve got Revelation
Say it again, “I’ve got Revelation, not Religion.”

You begin to savor “this moment, this seed,
this wave of the sea, this look, this instant of love” ( Muriel Rukeyser)
When she walks past you by.

So you run after her, saying,
“Honey, don’t you walk so fast
Slow down, won’t you
I want to savor this blast
This pleasure of walking slowly behind you
Come on, baby, would you please slow down,
I want the moment to last”

But she didn’t say a fucking thing.
Instead, she took off running
like a damsel in distress.
You stood in the path, stunned and in a mess.
You came home and wrote the following:

“She walked in beauty;
Her swaying hips sent me into ecstasy.
So I followed her from one city block to the next.
I felt I was being hexed.
She stopped at the traffic lights and looked back.
There I was, standing behind her, face reddened, feeling like a potato sack.
Then lo and behold, she smiled at me, her teeth glistened in the sun.
Emboldened, I softly said to her,
“Miss, has anybody ever told you that have very lovely buns?”
Flushed with embarrassment, she lowered her gaze and murmured “Yes”
I pressed on, “Really? I thought I was the only one with discerning eyes”.
She then remarked that I was being sly.
I was fishing and fumbling for a reply
When the lights turned to green.
I walked next to her as we crossed the street.
I stuttered and stammered and sputtered against the rising heat,
“May I walk behind you for another five minutes?”
She put on a sparkling smile once more,
Dug into her purse and came out with a business card.
“Give me a call later this evening.
I hope you won’t be a bore!”

April 1, 2013

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They are all coming back to me

They are all coming back to me

To Cherry/Salomé

A smile, a greeting, an outstretched hand
And you belong to me,
Now and forever.
All it takes is this memory
Of how you kindled
The divinity in me.

All it took was arms outstretched,
A warm embrace,
Heart to heart
And I felt the grace.

All it took was a human touch,
A hand on the shoulders,
And I boldly reached for your fingers
And felt the wonders.

Where are you now?
And what are you doing?
Do you understand to me
How forever is the memory?

January 24, 2015

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