Tuesday, February 18, 2014

509: A look at Japan

The tendency of the Platonic-Christian tradition to privilege the soul over the body is manifest in the fact that it was not until Schopenhauer and Nietzsche in the nineteenth century- and then, later, Merleau-Ponty--that European thinkers began to develop extensive philosophies of the body. 

In East Asian thought, by contrast, the body has consistently been a focus of philosophical reflection, whether by virtue of the emphasis on ritual performance in the teachings of Confucius,

the development of breathing and concentration techniques or physical skills in Taoism, or the practice of meditation in sitting, walking, and other physical activity in Buddhism.

Even though the ancient Greeks attached great importance to the training of the body, Plato's association of the head with intellect and rational thought distracted the attention of the subsequent philosophical tradition from the body as a whole. 

Thinking came to be understood as an "internal" process, the outward somatic manifestations of which are relatively unimportant. 

However, by disciplining the movements and postures of the body through ritual practice, one could refine the faculties and capacities of the whole human being. 

This attitude was maintained in the Taoist tradition that developed after Confucius and was thus incorporated in Chinese Buddhism as well as in the Japanese forms of Buddhism that were descended from it. 

This is why the ideas of Zen have traditionally embodied themselves in such activities as archery, swordplay, tea ceremony, Noh drama, painting, and calligraphy.

This is how we know Japan. Not as the historical center of philosophical developments, but as a culture that has assimilated, what came from abroad.

During the 7th through 9th century two major intellectual systems—Confucianism and Buddhism—were imported from Korea and China. 

Whereas Confucianism addressed the “social self,” influencing government structure and patterns of formal behavior, Buddhism provided psychological insight into the workings of the inner self.

These two on their turn were incorporated in, or absorbed by an indigenous intellectual system, which we known as Shinto.

Although the authority of sacred or by god inspired books has often been important, it has not been as singular in its focus in Japan as in many other cultures. 
Thus, the Japanese have not typically identified a single text such as the Bible, the Analects, the Qur’an or the Bhagavad Gītā as foundational to their culture.
Shintō is more readily observed in the social life of the Japanese people and in their personal motivations than in a pattern of formal belief or philosophy.

The basic worldview of the Japanese has been animistic for thousands of years, when Confucianism and Buddhism arrived in Japan.

This worldview assumes that non-human entities, including animals, plants, and often even inanimate objects or phenomena, possess a spiritual essence - SHIN, where TO means “The way” -

Under the entry “Shinto sects and schools” in Wikipedia more that a hundred are mentioned, many initiated by Buddhist monks or Confucians.

And that is characteristic of Japanese thinking: there has never been something like the Truth, a Bible or Holy Text. There hardly exists dogmatism. All world views coexist peacefully.

As you see, no new philosophical or ethical theories. What may be interesting,is the fact that Shinto never was “exported” like Confucianism or Buddhism or Christianity.

The main reason for this is probably that Japan was closed for foreigners with a small exception until Admiral Perry steamed into the bay of Yokohama on July 8, 1853.

Here ends our journey into an Asia of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Our next stop will be in India, which among other things is the birthplace of what we now call logic.

The Discussion

[13:19] Qwark Allen: ::::::::: * E * X * C * E * L * L * E * N * T  * ::::::::::
[13:19] Daruma BoaDaruma Boa claps
[13:19] herman Bergson: Thank you ^_^
[13:19] Gemma Allen: really?
[13:19] herman Bergson: Really what Gemma?
[13:19] Lizzy Pleides: great lecture again!
[13:20] Gemma Allen: that was the birthplace of logic???
[13:20] Nectanebus: well done
[13:20] Oceane: thank you for a great lecture, herman
[13:20] herman Bergson: thank you Lizzy :-)
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: yes this was some good things
[13:20] Gemma Allen: india?
[13:20] herman Bergson: Yes as a student I really was surprised myself then
[13:20] Oceane: sorry folks but I got to run rl calls me, good bye
[13:20] Gemma Allen: see you soon
[13:20] herman Bergson: Bye Oceane...
[13:20] Daruma Boa: bye oceane
[13:21] herman Bergson: Of course Aristotle is the grandfather of our logic....
[13:21] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:21] Bejiita Imako: ah4
[13:21] Bejiita Imako: seems so
[13:21] herman Bergson: But there are rumors that he had contacts in India...
[13:21] Lizzy Pleides: the indian people were good in mathematics i think
[13:22] herman Bergson: But don’t worry...we'll dig into that Gemma :-)
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:22] herman Bergson: Yes Lizzy...
[13:22] Lizzy Pleides: and they influenced the arabian intellectuals
[13:22] Nectanebus: There's a lot of veins that run back to India. I've heard it thought that Yeshua's journey into the desert sent him there.
[13:22] Nectanebus: gah, three lines, sorry.
[13:22] herman Bergson: and philosophically there were pure materialist schools too
[13:23] herman Bergson: lol..that is ok Netanebus
[13:23] herman Bergson: The idea is only not to dump complete notecards in chat :-)
[13:23] Chantal:
[13:23] Nectanebus: k
[13:24] .: Beertje :.: if you strech the window Nectanebus..it can be written on just one line :))))
[13:24] Lizzy Pleides: lol beertje
[13:24] herman Bergson: hush Beertje ! :-))
[13:24] Daruma Boa: ^^
[13:24] .: Beertje :.:
[13:24] Gemma AllenGemma Allen GIGGLES!!
[13:24] Gemma Allen: ...LOL...
[13:24] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:24] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:24] Nectanebus: I guess there is that
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: hehehe
[13:24] Qwark Allen: was just a line in my view
[13:25] Lizzy Pleides: you can buy a larger screen too beertje
[13:25] herman Bergson: One remark on  the Japanese....
[13:25] Nectanebus: IDK, I'm kind of stuffed to the brim with stuff like this, I'm afraid to start talking. Suizen, that's all
[13:25] Nectanebus: brim*
[13:25] herman Bergson: They didn’t export their philosophy because they thought thety were superior to other people....
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:26] Lizzy Pleides: many cultures did that and still do
[13:26] Nectanebus: think*
[13:26] herman Bergson: Yes indeed..
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: aha
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: true
[13:27] Nectanebus: I'm going to be the one to say it, then: I think elitism can be healthy
[13:27] Gemma Allen: The American Indian always believed in the sprit of everything
[13:27] Gemma Allen: in everything that is
[13:27] Nectanebus: so I give the Japanese a bit of leeway in that regard haha
[13:27] herman Bergson: I already expected that this lecture wouldn’t provoke serious questions and debates :-)
[13:28] herman Bergson: Yes Gemma.....
[13:28] Nectanebus: and yes Gem, interesting parallel there.
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:28] herman Bergson: The interesting thing about animism is that it is the way the mind begins to understand the world....
[13:28] Velvet: Nectanebus, how is elitism healthy?
[13:29] herman Bergson: Kids in the age of 3 to 5 believe that animals can talk, trees can feel pain...even a stone can live ...
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: sort of that way
[13:29] Nectanebus: makes sense to me, Herman
[13:29] herman Bergson: It also is the beginning of religion in culture
[13:30] herman Bergson: First stage is animism....
[13:30] herman Bergson: then the spirits become antropomorph ...human shape....
[13:31] herman Bergson: then you go from a polytheist to a monotheism and then hell breaks loose :-)
[13:31] Nectanebus: Such as Sumer
[13:31] Gemma AllenGemma Allen GIGGLES!!
[13:31] Gemma Allen: ...LOL...
[13:31] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:31] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: hahaha and then the bombs start falling
[13:31] Qwark Allen: my god is better then yours bejita, let me bomb your country
[13:31] herman Bergson: yes...because then they gonna say that their One God is the true god....
[13:31] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:31] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: hahah yes that is how they think
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: i guess
[13:32] herman Bergson: No mine is better...he is the true one Qwark
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: at least some guys
[13:32] Areyn Laurasia: but.. but.. the power of the god and the sun is in the bomb... :P
[13:32] Nectanebus: Cthulhu, why vote for the lesser evil?
[13:32] Qwark Allen: i`ll bomb your country to herman
[13:32] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:32] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: hahaha chutullu yes, that is a bad guy for sure
[13:32] Bejiita Imako:
[13:32] herman Bergson: How divine Qwark :-))
[13:33] Bejiita Imako:
[13:33] Qwark Allen: somehow its how i see this religions nowadays
[13:33] herman Bergson: Around 1650 - 1750 the Japanese kicked out all jesuits and prosecuted christians
[13:33] Qwark Allen: good for them :-)))
[13:33] Qwark Allen: very wise
[13:33] Nectanebus: Japan was the only country to refuse muskets, IIRC
[13:34] herman Bergson: They thought that this monotheistic religion was disrupting their society
[13:34] Qwark Allen: look what hapen to us all
[13:34] Nectanebus: I think herman, that's the crux of why "religion" is a dirtier word in the West than elsewhere.
[13:34] Lizzy Pleides: when people don't have religion they substitute it with any other thing which often is not much better
[13:34] Nectanebus: gah, typos
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: i guess so
[13:34] Nectanebus: Good point there, Liz. That's what Nietzsche's "God is Dead" was REALLY about...
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: buddhism is one of the few religions that is not used to start wars
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: like islams jihad and similar things
[13:35] herman Bergson: I just wanted to mention that Bejiita...
[13:35] Qwark Allen: this major religions are involved in politics and economy! i think that says all
[13:35] herman Bergson: Buddhism SINT a religion.....
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:35] herman Bergson: it is a way of life
[13:35] herman Bergson: ISNT
[13:35] Nectanebus: Bejita, I'd look up how Budd/Confu/Tao-ism have had friction in Chinese society before saying that haha
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: and that is a big problem when u let religion and politics mix
[13:36] Qwark Allen: yes
[13:36] herman Bergson: True Nectanebus....
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: but budhism seems more peace related in general
[13:36] herman Bergson: also Buddhists were prosecuted in China
[13:36] Velvet: I agree Bejiita
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: at least the basic concept of it
[13:36] Qwark Allen: that was the improvement in society when in the 17th century we broke that connection
[13:36] herman Bergson: I agree Bejiita
[13:36] Nectanebus: Christianity is about as peaceful as they come if you read the New Testament too, we shouldn't judge a book by it's adherents haah
[13:36] Velvet: religion & politics don't go together
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: then it get a big mess
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: just look on Iran after 1979
[13:37] Nectanebus: I prefer a theocracy to a 1984 state, at least there's some morality inherent in the former system
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: basically went back in time several 100 years
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: cause of khomeini’s terror
[13:37] Qwark Allen: look for , where are all major warfare events in the globe, and what are they related to
[13:38] Nectanebus: what is a smokescreen?
[13:38] Velvet: Ah, but is morality inherent, or does it only come with a religion?
[13:38] Areyn Laurasia: mistakes of the past foreign policies
[13:38] herman Bergson: Morality is not the privilege of religion....
[13:38] Velvet: one can be atheist and moral.
[13:38] herman Bergson: Aristotalian virtue ethics doesn't need religion as an argument
[13:38] Nectanebus: Oh, that's a sticky fish Velvet haha. Does altruism exist? Do we act morally without judges? heavy stuff
[13:39] Velvet: Professor made us kick that idea around earlier
[13:39] Gemma Allen: i htink it does exisit
[13:39] Velvet: I'm still working on it.
[13:39] Gemma AllenGemma Allen GIGGLES!!
[13:39] Gemma Allen: ...LOL...
[13:39] herman Bergson: And indeed we are altruistic by nature...
[13:39] Nectanebus: Herman the optimist!
[13:39] Gemma Allen: i am stil working on years of classes
[13:39] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:39] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:39] Areyn Laurasia: :)
[13:39] Velvet: we are moral by nature!
[13:40] herman Bergson: Behind me you see the book cover of a book by de Waal...
[13:40] Gemma Allen: ohoh
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: that i hope indeed
[13:40] Bejiita Imako:
[13:40] Nectanebus: nature versus nurture again
[13:40] herman Bergson: Not really I would say nectanebus...
[13:41] herman Bergson: Look at all cultures we discussed so far....everywhere is morality...
[13:41] Nectanebus: I was talking about Velevet's comment, just having a giggle
[13:41] philosophers Giver 1.0: Philosopher's Gift at Wainscot has just been used by Gemma Cleanslate!
[13:41] Qwark Allen: ehheh got you necta
[13:41] Velvet: but we are moral because it's logical and benefits us when we live with others
[13:41] Nectanebus: Yeah, it's just whether there is a common thread within said moralities that would point towards an "inherent human morality"
[13:41] Bejiita Imako:
[13:41] herman Bergson: The homo sapiens is a social animal.....that is in his genes....
[13:41] Velvet: that makes it inherent
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: true
[13:42] Nectanebus: No, I mean if they all have moralities, but they are different moralities with no common thread, then is there and inherrent for all humans or have they all learnt it socially?
[13:42] Nectanebus: an*
[13:42] herman Bergson: Sometimes I believe that there present day problems with morality is that mankind lives in all kinds of stages of mental development....
[13:42] Nectanebus: gah, fragment haha
[13:42] Velvet: lol. the answer is yes.
[13:43] herman Bergson: from stone age mentality to individualistic greed
[13:43] Areyn Laurasia: so morality changes over the years?
[13:43] Velvet: moralities have common threads
[13:43] Gemma Allen: and we change as we age too
[13:43] Nectanebus: idk, name me a taboo and I'll probably be able to think of a culture where it's not....if my research is worth anything haha
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: hehe ok
[13:43] Bejiita Imako:
[13:43] Nectanebus: ah, now progressive morality, that's an interesting thread as well
[13:43] Velvet: yeah, but you are looking for loopholes instead of common threads
[13:43] Nectanebus: maybe
[13:44] Velvet: don't kill, don't steal.
[13:44] Velvet: common.
[13:44] Velvet: logical.
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: very¨
[13:44] herman Bergson: The problem is that we think of some general "Mind"
[13:44] herman Bergson: but there isnt...
[13:44] herman Bergson: Like the universal Rights of Man.....
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: so many different minds it seems
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: not a universal on
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: e
[13:45] Velvet: yes, but there is an element of groupthink.
[13:45] herman Bergson: For some people they are even not understandable
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: aha
[13:45] Nectanebus: killing is fine via many religious tenents, and stealing...well, I@m sure some of us have heard of the pirate party...
[13:45] herman Bergson: And yes logic and mathematics are universal :-)
[13:46] Velvet: loopholes!
[13:46] Nectanebus: threads
[13:46] Velvet: logic and mathematics are universal
[13:46] Nectanebus: Don't get me wrong, I'm towards the idea of inherrent morality, but I always flounder for decent sources haha
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: u mean the party here in Sweden that hame as main way free flow of information on the internet ect?
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: have
[13:46] Nectanebus: yup
[13:46] herman Bergson: it was our mind that created it in interaction with its environment
[13:47] Nectanebus: I think the ideas of Open Source can be traced back to libertairian ideas represented nowadays by romaticized pirates, but having philo- groundings
[13:47] Velvet: agreeing with Nectanebus now.
[13:47] Gemma Allen: hmmm
[13:48] Nectanebus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertatia
[13:48] herman Bergson: There is one problem here.....
[13:48] Nectanebus: for instance
[13:48] Nectanebus: aye?
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: the idea is basically that they don’t want someone deciding what u can and cant do with your data, also they are against NSA and for personal privacy ect
[13:48] herman Bergson: the concept "information"
[13:48] Nectanebus: ??
[13:49] herman Bergson: information is interpreted data....
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: like CERN stated when they made the www, No one own the internet
[13:49] herman Bergson: for the interpretation you need a context and rules
[13:49] Nectanebus: but when servers are hosted in countries that impose laws, it's already there.
[13:49] herman Bergson: and those matters are controlled by culture, politics, psychology etc
[13:49] Velvet: internet is just a net
[13:50] Velvet: information can be owned
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:50] Nectanebus: I think information wants to be free
[13:50] Velvet: my SS# is not free information
[13:50] Velvet: ... or is it?
[13:50] herman Bergson: That is the worst part of it....owned and thus become an economic comodity...money!
[13:50] Nectanebus: yup
[13:51] Velvet: but money is virtual as well
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:51] Nectanebus: I'd say CrimethInc. is the right way to go about it
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: my payroll is just binary data on a banks server
[13:51] Nectanebus: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CrimethInc
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: what i have on my account
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: also makes such thing a target for hackers
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: to try get to your money, but making viruses ect
[13:52] herman Bergson: I think way wandered of pretty far from the Way of the spirit now....the Shinto :-)
[13:52] Velvet: waaaay off
[13:52] Gemma Allen: true
[13:52] Velvet: off
[13:52] Daruma Boa: ^^^
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: haha
[13:52] herman Bergson: So I guess...you all got enough to think about now :-)
[13:52] Gemma Allen: hope i can get here thursday
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: well my head is spinning now with all this stuff
[13:53] Gemma Allen: Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!!
[13:53] Nectanebus: I'll be here next week, all being well.
[13:53] herman Bergson: I thank you all for yhe lively debate :-)
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: need to store it on a driv somewhere
[13:53] Daruma Boa: thank u
[13:53] Nectanebus: Thanks for the lecture. A pleasure as always.
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: this is more and more interesting
[13:53] Qwark Allen: ¸¸.´ ¯¨.¸¸`** **´ ¸¸.¨¯` H E R MA N ´ ¯¨.¸¸`**   **´ ¸¸.¨¯`
[13:53] Qwark Allen: was excellent as usual
[13:53] Daruma Boa: and see u on thursday
[13:53] Chantal: Thank you Herman
[13:53] Corronach: thanks herman
[13:53] Areyn Laurasia: lots of reading :)
[13:53] Bejiita Imako:
[13:53] Gemma Allen: Bye, Bye   
[13:53] Gemma Allen: for now
[13:53] herman Bergson: See you next Thursday....
[13:53] Chantal: Waves
[13:53] herman Bergson: Class dismissed..^_^
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: cu soon all
[13:53] Bejiita Imako:
[13:53] Areyn Laurasia: Thanks again
[13:54] Gemma Allen: oops
[13:54] Qwark Allen: nice jewelery bej
[13:54] Qwark Allen: ^^
[13:54] Gemma Allen: nto sure tp is working
[13:54] Lizzy Pleides: Thank you herman and good night everybody
[13:54] Gemma Allen: GIGGLES!!
[13:54] Gemma Allen: ...LOL...
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: i think i got it from you
[13:54] .: Beertje :.: thank you Herman
[13:54] Qwark Allen: ehheeh nice
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: used it for a punk event yesterday
[13:54] Qwark Allen: looking great m
[13:54] Qwark Allen: m8
[13:54] Bejiita Imako:
[13:54] .: Beertje :.: have a goodnight all
[13:54] Velvet: Thanks again, Professor!
[13:54] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:54] Gemma Allen: and herman always wears you watch fob
[13:54] Gemma Allen: for years now
[13:54] Lizzy PleidesLizzy Pleides waves bye
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: i have loads if these that i got before
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: hugs all
[13:55] Bejiita Imako:
[13:55] Areyn Laurasia: good night :)
[13:55] herman Bergson: Indeed Gemma
[13:55] Areyn Laurasia: tries to find zen in there somewhere..

No comments:

Post a Comment