I left prison today
A better man
For having been there
A better man
For having been there
Satyagraha, literally translated as “holding fast to truth,” obliged protesters to “always keep an open mind and be ever ready to find that what we believed to be truth was, after all, untruth.” Gandhi recognized early on that societies with diverse populations inhabit a post-truth age. “We will never all think alike and we shall always see truth in fragments and from different angles of vision,” he wrote. And even Gandhi’s harshest detractors do not deny that he steadfastly defended, and eventually sacrificed his life for, many values under assault today—fellow-feeling for the weak, and solidarity and sympathy between people of different nations, religions, and races.
(— from, Gandhi for the Post-Truth Age, by By Pankaj Mishra, the New Yorker, 22oct18) https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/10/22/gandhi-for-the-post-truth-age
In the voluminous writings he composed during his eleven years imprisonment under the fascist regime, Antonio Gramsci repeatedly cites the aphorism, “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will” (which he ascribed to the novelist Romain Rolland). In one of his letters, he expanded the idea: “The challenge of modernity is to live without illusions and without becoming disillusioned … I’m a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will.” In the context of Gramsci’s life and work, the phrase had a particular resonance. He was suffering isolation and deprivation in prison, from which he had no hope of release. The left, and with it, for Gramsci, the prospects for humanity, had suffered terrible reverses. In these conditions the aphorism was a formula for survival. It also has to be seen in relation to the major concerns of his prison writings: the connection between theory and practise, the role of intellectuals, the dialectic of subjective and objective factors. http://www.socialsciencecollective.org/pessimism-intellect-optimism/Pessimistic intellect, optimistic will.
A friend can be a teacher, a fellow practitioner can be a teacher, and you yourself can be a teacher. A teacher is anyone who helps you practice and find more freedom—even freedom from your teacher.
You have to be intelligent and not be dependent on your teacher. If you follow him or her with blind faith, it’s not good. There is no perfect teacher. You can learn the good things from him or her, and you can also help your teacher to be better. Very soon there will be a teacher within you, and you can follow that teacher.
So a good teacher is someone who helps you not depend on him or her all your life. That is why the Buddha said before he died, “Go back to yourself. Take refuge in the island within you.”
You are not lost when your teacher is no longer in human form, because your teacher is always alive in you and in his disciples. When I practice calligraphy, sometimes I invite my late teacher to join me, so as teacher and disciple we do it together. Breathing in, half the circle. Breathing out, the other half. When I smile, my teacher smiles.
I invite all teachers of the past to do a circle with me, and I know that my hand is not my hand. My hand is also my father’s hand and my mother’s hand. Sometimes I invite all my friends to do it with me, because they are me also.
https://www.lionsroar.com/you-have-the-buddha-in-you-an-interview-with-thich-nhat-hanh-january-2014/There you are!
No matter how sacred, no thought can ever promise to help you in the work of contemplative prayer, because only love—not knowledge—can help us reach God. . . .
Become blind during contemplative prayer and cut yourself off from needing to know things. Knowledge hinders, not helps you in contemplation. Be content feeling moved in a delightful, loving way by something mysterious and unknown, leaving you focused entirely on God, with no other thought than of [God] alone. Let your naked desire rest there. . . .
It doesn’t matter how much profound wisdom we possess about created spiritual beings; our understanding cannot help us gain knowledge about any uncreated spiritual being, who is God alone. But the failure of our understanding can help us. When we reach the end of what we know, that’s where we find God. That’s why St. Dionysius [5th/6th century] said that the best, most divine knowledge of God is that which is known by not-knowing.
Friends, you just received a post graduate course in Christian spirituality, a course which very few are ever taught.
Strangely enough, this unknowing is a new kind of understanding. We do have a word for it: the old word faith. Faith is a kind of knowing that doesn’t need to know for certain and yet doesn’t dismiss knowledge either. With faith, we don’t need to obtain or hold all knowledge because we know that we are being held inside a Much Larger Frame and Perspective. As Paul puts it, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we shall see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known myself” (1 Corinthians 13:12). It is a knowing by participation with—instead of an observation of from a position of separation. It is knowing subject to subject instead of subject to object.
It took me years to understand this, even though this is straight from the Franciscan school of philosophy. Love must always precede knowledge. The mind alone cannot get us there (which is the great arrogance of most Western religion). Prayer in my later years has become letting myself be nakedly known, exactly as I am, in all my ordinariness and shadow, face to face, without any masks or religious makeup. Such nakedness is a falling into the unified field underneath reality, what Thomas Merton called “a hidden wholeness,”  where we know in a different way and from a different source. This is the contemplative’s unique access point: knowing by union with a thing, where we can enjoy an intuitive grasp of wholeness, a truth beyond words, beyond any need or capacity to prove anything right or wrong. This is the contemplative mind which religion should have directly taught, but which it largely lost.
(—from, Richard Rohr, Week Forty-one, Unknowing Knowing that We Don't Know, Monday, October 8, 2018
“Do not be concerned with the faults of other persons. Do not see others' faults with a hateful mind. There is an old saying that if you stop seeing others' faults, then naturally seniors are venerated and juniors are revered. Do not imitate others' faults; just cultivate virtue. Buddha prohibited unwholesome actions, but did not tell us to hate those who practice unwholesome actions.” ― Zen Master Dogen
“A fool sees himself as another, but a wise man sees others as himself.” ― Dōgen, How to Cook Your Life: From the Zen Kitchen to Enlightenment
Religion, in the accepted sense of that word, has now become a matter of propaganda, of vested interest, with much property, with a great hierarchical, bureaucratic system of `spirituality. Religion has become a matter of dogma, belief and ritual, something which is totally divorced from daily living. You may, or you may not, believe in God, but that belief has very little meaning in daily life, where you cheat, where you destroy, are ambitious, greedy, jealous, violent. You believe in God or in a saviour, or in some guru, yet keep that far away so that it does not actually touch your daily life.
Religion, as it is now, has become an extraordinary phenomenon which has no validity at all. The Christian, for the last two thousand years, has been conditioned to believe. Please observe in yourself, not criticizing, not condemning, just observing. One may not like it, but one must face the fact that one is, if one is a Christian, as conditioned as the Communist or the atheist. The believer and the non-believer are both conditioned by the culture of their time, by society, by the extraordinary process of propaganda. It has also been going on in Asia for thousands of years.
(—from, Krishnamurti: On Religion)When I think of religion, and if someone asks me if I am religious, my response these days is, “ I only have this to say.”
A main channel through whom Plato's ideas influenced the middle ages, Plotinus (204-270 CE) and his disciple Porphyry combined Plato's rationalism with mysticism to produce a powerfully influential version of neo-Platonism. Plotinus' works were edited and collected by Porphyry into six books of nine chapters each, known as the Enneads (Greek for "The Nines").
Plato had suggested, in Book VI of the Republic, that the Form of the Good was supreme in the world of the Forms. In fact, he said,What gives truth to the objects of knowledge, and to the knowing mind the power to know, is the Form of the Good. As it is the cause of knowledge and truth, think of it also as being the object of knowledge. Both knowledge and truth are beautiful, but you will be right to think of the Good as other and more beautiful than they. As in the visible world light and sight are rightly considered sunlike, but it is wrong to think of them as the sun, so here it is right to think of knowledge and truth as Good-like, but wrong to think of either as the Good, for the Good must be honored even more than they. ... [A]s for the objects of knowledge, not only is their being known due to the Good, but also their real being, though the Good is not being but superior to and beyond being in dignity and power" (Republic 508e-509c).Plotinus' philosophy may be seen as a set of variations on this Platonic theme. He refers to the Supreme Form more frequently as The One than as The Good, and emphasizes its aspects of Unity, Intelligence, and Soul or Life. Everything that is emantes from the One, and is drawn back toward it. For humans, the "flight of the alone to the alone," as Plotinus called it, is marked by rational inquiry (since the forms are rational and known by the rational mind). but it is also marked by a mystical experience which transcends reason, as the soul goes into itself and returns to Unity with its source. This element of mysticism in Plotinus was a major source of inspiration for medieval Christian mystics and theologians. Recent scholars like Jules Brehier have speculated that Plotinus may have been influenced by direct acquaintance with Hindu mysticism. Whether he was or not, his mystical teachings are certainly similar to those of the Upanisads, and seem to reflect a similar mystical experience.
The Enneads contain a chapter on Beauty (I.6) which was highly influential in the Middle Ages. After considering other theories of what beauty is, Plotinus concludes that it is formal Unity. When diverse or similar parts are unified by one form, the Soul recognizes and takes pleasure in the form of Unity. This may happen when we view a painting or a sculpture, listen to a piece of music, or follow an elegant mathematical proof. In all these cases, we are drawn toward Unity, and the form of Beauty Itself. We must get there by stages: like people emerging from a dark cave into sunlight, we must become accustomed to the light. In the following passage, Plotinus combines ideas from Plato's allegory of the Cave with themes from the Symposium:
http://users.rowan.edu/~clowney/Aesthetics/philos_artists_onart/plotinus.htmLike anyone just awakened the soul cannot look at bright objects. It must be persuaded to look first at beautiful habits, then the works of beauty produced not by craftsmen's skill but by the virtue of men known for their goodness, then the souls of those known for beautiful deeds . . . Only the mind's eye can contemplate this mighty beauty . . . So ascending, the soul will come to Mind . . . and to the intelligible realm where Beauty dwells (Enneads I.6.9).Bibliography: John Haldane, entry in A Companion to Aesthetics, ed. David Cooper, Blackwell, 1992, 1995
The mind-fuckery continues up until the film's closing moments, when Seyfried's hacker confronts Owen's cop on the waterfront. Sal has clearly changed, and his understanding of how his information-gathering system works has been completely upended, leading to the type of larger philosophical crisis that often faces the protagonists of Niccol's films. How do you continue to live when your sense of reality has been so warped by technology?
For Seyfried's character -- and perhaps for Niccol himself -- the answers begin with rethinking our conception of privacy. "It's not that I have something to hide," she tells Sal before walking away at the end of the film. "I have nothing I want you to see." It's a familiar line of criticism that's been articulated by activists, politicians, and writers regarding a wide range of cyber-security scandals from Edward Snowden to Cambridge Analytica. "That's the punch in the gut at the end of the film, hopefully," says Niccol. "That's the false choice we're always given: If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear."
By Published On 05/04/20 18@danielvjackson https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/nation/anon-netflix-ending-explained-andrew-niccol-interview#So much depends on the word "nothing."