When I get tired and cranky I try to encapsulate.
Here is last night’s after a long conversation:
- forgive the sinner; don’t try to explain or explain away the sin
- rationalizing doesn’t make sense of the problem; it buries the problem
- compassion doesn’t need understanding of causes; compassion is its own cause
- cause and effect is karma; no cause no effect is nirvana
- there are two things (1&2) that contribute to the end of suffering and one thing (3) that perpetuates suffering: 1. condolence, 2. sympathetic joy; and then, 3. excuses, rationalizations, defensiveness
- analysis is ok
- understanding is overrated
- only love suffices
I’m patient and present until I become tired and cranky. At which point the two of us, me and the universe, disappear. Not by violence and hostility, but by the need to desist and resist what emerges from tiredness and crankiness.
This morning I find this piece on evolutionary ethics.
Preface to the Evolution of Ethics
This book develops the idea that there is a rational basis for the existence of ethics. Such an approach is daunting because the idea of reason or rational causes at work in the formation of ethics has been seriously challenged since the eighteenth century Enlightenment. However, there have been developments in biology and cybernetics that lead to a comprehensive theory of morality in which the rational nature of ethics can more easily be explained. Not only can the rise of ethical systems be linked to biological concepts, but ethics can be tied to mathematical concepts as well by way of cybernetic science. When ethics and cybernetics are combined, the resulting theory turns on scientific principles instead of philosophical speculations.
There are several important ideas linked to the emergence of ethical systems: first, that ethical systems evolve in response to the human need to survive in an environment where they are competing with many other organisms for scarce resources; second, that humans survive and flourish by efficiently using their resources and energies; and third, that the evolution of ethical systems is a function of an ongoing cybernetic process involving all humans, animals, and organisms.
Human experiences accumulate as a reservoir of knowledge, which influences the societal perception of which behaviors benefit people and which act counterproductive to their health and welfare. When people deviate from behaviors that are known to be productive, feedback arises that affects their lives in both subtle and obvious ways. Thus, the way in which people write laws and attach moral significance to certain behaviors is linked to a cybernetic process that maximizes human survival, minimizes social conflicts, and increases the meaningfulness of the human experience. Feedback that inspires change enhances the human ability to survive and to compete with other animals and organisms. This is important in the sense that some biologists believe that ninety-nine percent of all species that have ever existed are now extinct.
Cybernetics is “the science of communications and automatic control systems in both machines and living things.” (Apple Dictionary), ORIGIN, 1940s: from Greek kubernētēs ‘steersman,’ from kubernan ‘to steer.’
I often wonder who or what is steering this ship of existence through the waves of universe stretching out in all directions.
It no longer surprises me (did it ever?) that so much trouble is visited on so many (all?) of us who live and breathe on this plane of existence.
So, given that, what then is to be our attitude toward both the visiting trouble and those to whom trouble visits?
Compassion, certainly. (Even though, before said arrival of compassion, there arrives law, arrest, prosecution, revenge, incarceration, parole, harassment, and dispirited slogging on.)
In the conversation we hear about how someone in the penal system faces what seems to be a jerking around by probation officer. It’s not unheard of. Nor is it always true. Nevertheless, if anecdotal narration has validity, it appears that kindness and support aren’t the treatment plans in operation.
The hypothesis that ninety-nine percent of all species that have ever existed are now extinct, should give us perspective. Perhaps our behavior toward one another is of coin-toss importance in the scheme of terrestrial time. It’s possible that we are of no more significance than one of 40 million snowflakes falling in a 20 foot square of Maine woodland during weekday storm at end of January. (There it is! There it goes!)
But the bigger, say, humanist question arises: Why bother treating one another -- including those among us who’ve somehow fallen outside the square of what is euphemistically called ‘reputable’ behavior -- with respect, kindness, and human hope?
It seems that we have fallen too easily into the trap of judgment and condemnation. “Too easily” being the operative phrase. We have, of course, created a literature about “God” that places ‘judgment and condemnation’ front and center, with a sidebar of dinghy-sized ’love and forgiveness’ laid up against the supertanker hull. (Watch out for incoherent metaphors!)
I side with Camus. Absurdity is the sea we row. Nothing is clearer than our experience that what we look out upon is not clear.
Many people believe that the most fundamental philosophical problem is this: what is the meaning of existence? That’s a question that Albert Camus dug into in his novels, plays, and essays.
His answer was perhaps a little depressing. He thought that life had no meaning, that nothing exists that could ever be a source of meaning, and hence there is something deeply absurd about the human quest to find meaning. Appropriately, then, his philosophical view was called (existentialist) absurdism.
What would be the point of living if you thought that life was absurd, that it could never have meaning? This is precisely the question that Camus asks in his famous work, The Myth of Sisyphus. He says, “There is only one really serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.” He was haunted by this question of whether suicide could be the only rational response to the absurdity of life.
But why did he think life was inherently without meaning? Don’t people find meaning in many different ways? https://www.philosophytalk.org/blog/camus-and-absurdity
Camus thought that suicide was no answer to the question.
I think that yes is the answer.
Here’s John Lennon’s view:
We're playing those mind games together
Pushing the barriers planting seeds
Playing the mind guerrilla
Chanting the Mantra peace on earth
We all been playing those mind games forever
Some kinda druid dudes lifting the veil
Doing the mind guerrilla
Some call it magic the search for the grail
Love is the answer and you know that for sure
Love is a flower you got to let it grow
So keep on playing those mind games together
Faith in the future out of the now
You just can't beat on those mind guerrillas
Absolute elsewhere in the stones of your mind
Yeah we're playing those mind games forever
Projecting our images in space and in time
Yes is the answer and you know that for sure
Yes is surrender you got to let it go
So keep on playing those mind games together
Doing the ritual dance in the sun
Millions of mind guerrillas
Putting their soul power to the karmic wheel
Keep on playing those mind games forever
Raising the spirit of peace and love
(I want you to make love, not war
I know you’ve heard it before)
Elsewhere, in a forum, someone wrote:
John was a big fan of the book Mind Games: The Guide to Inner Space, which is where he got the idea for the lyrics. Here is a great short description of the book from another fan on Amazon: "The potential existing within the human brain and mind is infinite; it is only bound by the constraints that we as a society have placed upon it. Once these bonds are broken, we can truly learn to think and feel, thus allowing creativity, spirituality, and imagination to manifest at its highest ability within us to create an awareness far greater than one could ever conceive before this mental 'awakening.' After participating in these 'Mind Games,' a person will be better equipped to deal with the challenges we all face as humans."
I have always thought that what John was saying is that this search for freeing one's mind has been with us since the dawn of civilization and that people have gone about it in different ways. But, no matter how you go about it, if you’re positive and true, then we all find that "love is the answer." http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/help-me-understand-lennons-mind-games.425245/
And if, indeed, words matter, what words we cultivate introduce something akin to reality/matter in the world.
It is in our minds that words find transit through receptors/transmitters into what we naively call this existence, real world, created life.
What are we, creating?