Wednesday, May 31, 2017

667: I think, but do "I" exist?

Reading my newspaper yesterday I found an article on the 48th Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam, which started May 29.
What attracted my attention was the theme of the festival. Poets from all over the world were invited to write an “I” poem
“I”/“me” should be the theme of the poem. So, this “I”, like recently was “the brain” is the leading theme of the day, it seems.
In that I am floating along with the main stream myself, for the theme of my next project will the this “I” too.
An other more philosophical word is “the Self”, which belongs to the chapter of the subject of “Personal Identity”.
In our search for the meaning of life last Thursday we considered the option of letting go of the Self, of a uniting with the universe as a kind of meaning of life
Then Descartes showed up and proved, that such an idea is nonsense. The quintessence of reality is “I”, or to be more specific “I think, therefor I am”.
And did Descartes thus win the debate? Although his philosophy has had a great influence in our culture, his “Cogito” is questionable.
The problem with Descartes thesis is, that we can understand this thinking, but where does this “I” come from. For Descartes it was a clear and distinct idea.
But David Hume (1711 -1776) commented on this in 1739 in “A Treatise of Human Nature” . Book 1, Ch.4, sect. 6. —> QUOTE
It must be some one impression, that gives rise to every real idea. But self or person is not any one impression, 
but that to which our several impressions and ideas are supposed to have a reference. 
If any impression gives rise to the idea of self, that impression must continue invariably the same, 
through the whole course of our lives; since self is supposed to exist after that manner. But there is no impression constant and invariable. 
Pain and pleasure, grief and joy, passions and sensations succeed each other, and never all exist at the same time. 
It cannot, therefore, be from any of these impressions, or from any other, that the idea of self is derived; and consequently there is no such idea.
(…) For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure.
I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception. 
When my perceptions are removed for any time, as by sound sleep; so long am I insensible of myself, and may truly be said not to exist.
This quote may have been a bit tough on you, but it boils down to this. To say “I know for certain…” what should we primarily trust: our ratio or our senses?
It is the eternal controversy. And Hume shows us, that Descartes pulls this “I” like a rabbit out of a high head.
This puts us up with the question, what to do with the idea of losing the ego, losing the grip we have on our own self  
to make way for a kind of surrender to a more comprehensive reality, when we have to conclude  that there does not exist such a thing like the “I” ?

Thank you for your attention again… ^_^

The Discussion

[13:21] .: Thank you for your attention again… ^_^
[13:21] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ditto
[13:21] herman Bergson: To answer the remark:  do you think he was arguing in the sense that self comes from our brain vs an eternal soul
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) whispers: not losing my ego
[13:22] herman Bergson: In a sense Hume relates the existence of a self with the brain in that he relies only on the sensory  experience
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i go for senses
[13:23] herman Bergson: I agree Gemma :-)
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:24] herman Bergson: The problem with Descartes is that he never explains where he had found that "I" in his "I think"
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i just hope that this I does not lead us back to ayn rand
[13:25] herman Bergson: I see no relation there Gemma :-)
[13:25] Delicatia: i feel like i'm missing a bunch of inside jokes
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well the I was the main item in her philosophy
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I is the topic right now in the USA
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): no delicatia
[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it's not a joke Delicatia
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Ayn rand, the mother of egoism and greed
[13:25] herman Bergson: No Delicata you just missed a lot of lectures here :-))
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:26] Delicatia: see i didn’t read ann rand like that at all
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): you will see the issues
[13:26] Delicatia: i jsut read all her books last year
[13:26] herman Bergson: And what was your concluslon Delicata?
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i don’t like her and I see the present administration here as all her afficinados
[13:27] Delicatia: in a nutshell, it was the politicians that were greedy
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but she approved of it all
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): watch her videos on youtube
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes, thinking greed and selfishness is something good
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I is most importat
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): wich it is NOT
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): me myself andI
[13:27] Delicatia: i didnt get that out of atlas shrugs
[13:28] herman Bergson: No the I Descartes and Hume are looking for is the Self....
[13:28] herman Bergson: the question of personal identity
[13:28] Delicatia: well isnt personal identity the reality of whoever is thinking it
[13:29] herman Bergson: the I the same person now as as was when  I was 10 years old, for inststance...
[13:30] herman Bergson: The main question was
[13:30] Laila Schuman: when you do not see a child for years... and then meet them again... they are different
[13:31] herman Bergson: that finding the meaning of life was related to let the EGO in meditation
[13:31] herman Bergson: where the meaning of life should be the experience of oneness with the universe or so
[13:32] Delicatia: that last statement is that your belief or what we are to ponder?
[13:32] herman Bergson: and the philosophical question related to this we have such an EGO....a Self?
[13:33] herman Bergson: Descartes came up with one and Hume showed that he can't find it :-)
[13:34] herman Bergson: So what to do with all these philosophuies which tell us to leave our EGO / SELF behind ...and meditate
[13:35] herman Bergson: and promis us tthat in that we'll discover the meaning of life
[13:35] CB Axel: That should have been easy for Hume. He didn't have a self to leave. °͜°
[13:35] herman Bergson: Indeed CB....he couldn't find it :-)
[13:36] herman Bergson: H ecould find all his personal impressions...of pain and pleasure and so on....but that impression of this Self eluded him
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I'm Sorry! i was called to rl
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I sorry..
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): back
[13:37] herman Bergson: While Descartes made it  his basic priciple of existence
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): wb Gemma
[13:37] CB Axel: We are our experiences?
[13:37] herman Bergson: I'd say so, yes
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I guess so
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I think so cb but
[13:37] Delicatia: well those at two peoples experience and they wrote about it; it doesnt define the truth either way unless you choose to believe it
[13:38] Laila Schuman: what part of us "believes" things
[13:38] Delicatia: at-are
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): maybe thinking about it so much is a problem
[13:38] herman Bergson: I wouldnt say that Delicata....
[13:39] herman Bergson: it is not a matter of believing this or that....
[13:39] Delicatia: why isnt each of our experience just as valid as we search for "self"
[13:39] herman Bergson: it is a matter of arguments
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is why we discuss :)
[13:40] Delicatia: because after what i've just recently learned about freud and hysteria, i dont think i want any male to define what my experience or truth is
[13:40] herman Bergson: As Hume said...I experience a lot..can name all experiences..but there is none I can call "self"
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right on delicatia
[13:41] herman Bergson: Freud was a fraud :-)
[13:41] herman Bergson: His name was misspelled :-)
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): what a mess he made of womanhood
[13:41] Delicatia: yet we still talk ego & id
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:41] herman Bergson: Not here Delicata
[13:41] Delicatia: i'm going through my own search for what i call my authentic self
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we all are
[13:41] herman Bergson: the ego/id story is plane nonsense
[13:42] Delicatia: because the majority of my ideas were implanted before i have free thought to say NO,
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): no matter how old you get we still continue to do that
[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what is the id in ego/id?
[13:42] herman Bergson: Then I love to advertise my next project for you Delicalta :-))))
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that was freud beertje
[13:42] herman Bergson: Don't mind Beertje....long story :-)
[13:42] Delicatia: id is the animal right?
[13:43] Delicatia: brain
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right dont get into it
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): afkorting waarvan?
[13:43] Laila Schuman: that would be Jung
[13:43] Delicatia: i cant remember now, its been a long time
[13:43] Delicatia: but no one sent me the memo it has all been debunked
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): youc an check him out n the web
[13:43] herman Bergson: id is the Latin and means IT
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but the in his time he was new in psychology
[13:44] herman Bergson: quidquid id est....whatever IT is...
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so got a lot of attetion
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): attention even
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): distractions
[13:44] herman Bergson: Like Descartes Freud sent us in the wrong direction, is my opinion
[13:45] Delicatia: i have to sl has been instrumental in my getting my own voice.. its a great place to visit new idea and step up w/o too much danger
[13:45] herman Bergson: but within their context of history it is understandable
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the symposium ovre the weekend showed that a lot
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): at virtual ability
[13:45] herman Bergson: No danger here Delicata...all problems are handled here in a delicate way
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i have been trying to graduate for over 9 years
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): something new always comes up ...more questions
[13:47] herman Bergson: LIke the new project Gemma...:-)
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:47] Delicatia: lol, gemma, i got my BA 25 years after my AA
[13:47] herman Bergson: But we are not yet done with the present one
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think we should do some field trips
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): in the next one
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:48] Delicatia: so is this a wrap up of a lesson
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:48] Delicatia: ah
[13:48] herman Bergson: I am thinking of combining philosophy and psychology in the next project...
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): thursday we will be back
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): do you have the blog website ?
[13:48] Delicatia: thursdays i have a dbt class
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh dear
[13:48] Delicatia: so i'm not always on
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well missing you can check on the web
[13:49] CB Axel: We've been discussing the meaning of life for weeks, but we haven't found it yet. °͜°
[13:49] Delicatia: lol
[13:49] herman Bergson: But you are always welcome Delicata
[13:49] Delicatia: i hope to make it part of tues
[13:49] Delicatia: each week
[13:49] herman Bergson: I disagree CB!
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thursdays as well
[13:50] Delicatia: for me, i have to make meaning each minute.. learning has big meaning and gets me excited
[13:50] CB Axel: Well, I haven't found it yet.
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): tuesday and thursday same time each week
[13:51] herman Bergson: Hope we'll find it somehow CB...:-)
[13:51] Ciska Riverstone: cb - experiencing?
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): come back delicata
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oops
[13:51] Delicatia: yes, as often as i can
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): delicatia
[13:51] Delicatia: deli is fine too
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is wht i do
[13:51] Delicatia: its easier
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh good ol
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:52] herman Bergson: Well...that is all settled then :-)
[13:52] herman Bergson: Time to thank you all again for your participation :-)
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): PUUUH now i found a meaning of life finally
[13:52] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....^_^
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bej
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: Thank you herman and all
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we aare more mixed up than ever
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i finally managed to create constant speed rotation in blender with no jerking when loop restarts
[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): true Gemma:)
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): have had this issue forever
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye for now
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats one goal in life done for me
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:53] herman Bergson: Congrats Bejiita :-))
[13:53] CB Axel: LOL, Bejiita.

666: Becoming one with the universe.....

Now and then you run into  the popular and vague idea that you should spiritually free yourself on the way to enlightenment in one way or another. 
This idea can be traced back to oriental philosophies such as Buddhism, but the grip on the imagination of Western people 
probably has more to do with the sixties and psychedelic means. 
The meaning of life can not be found by thinking seriously about it, but by getting high, opening your mind and losing your ego.
This is all related to a bunch of ideas from Buddhism, mysticism, the counter-culture of the sixties, New Age texts and self-help stories. 
However, a recurring theme is that the key to losing the ego, losing the grip we have on our own self 
is to make way for a kind of surrender to a more comprehensive reality. The idea is not to see the meaning of life in terms of what can “I” achieve, or how  can “I” be happy.
We have to drop this egocentric attitude, free our mind and experience how unimportant the EGO is.
This is an assumption not everybody will agree with, but you could discern two possible starting points.
The first possibility is that it is an expression of a fundamental truth, the truth that the EGO or Self does not really exist. 
Thus, by learning to detach ourselves from our self-esteem, we come to a better relationship with real reality. 
The other possibility is that the EGO or Self   actually exists, but remarkably enough the path the EGO has to follow
to find the meaning  of life leads to  finding itself less and less important.
Thus, is each of us a drop in the ocean and is the meaning of life oneness with the ocean, with the whole universe?
Or is the meaning of life to discover, that our Ego in fact is rather a stumbling block than a help to reach deeper insight?
These may sound like interesting views, but to get them true, they first have to get past Descartes (1596 - 1650).
"I realized that this truth," I THINK SO I EXIST” was so sure and so clear that no doubt, no matter how extreme, could be put forward by skeptics to wreck her."
Those were the words of Descartes in his “Discourse de la Methode”
If Descartes is right , then not only the existence of the Ego or Self is certain, but it is even more certain than anything else.
So, detaching us from our Ego, because it would be just some kind of illusion, is evidently wrong.
The Self is not an illusion, but the most certain feature of reality, according to Descartes.
But was Descartes right and is all this before mentioned EGO ideas nonsense?
Thank you for your attention again…. ^_^

The discussion
[13:15] herman Bergson: I see.....
[13:15] herman Bergson: You all wait for the next lecture where the answer will be given  :-)
[13:16] Ciska Riverstone: heheh
[13:16] Ciska Riverstone: thanx
[13:16] CB Axel: Sorry. I stopped thinking for a moment and ceased to exist.
[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ahha
[13:16] Ciska Riverstone: hehehe cb
[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): naaa you were here all time
[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:16] herman Bergson: Never tried that one CB....
[13:16] CB Axel: Not thinking is hard to do.
[13:17] herman Bergson: That was what Descartes thought too :-))
[13:17] herman Bergson: actually it was quite a funny conclusion he got to
[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:17] herman Bergson: but in his days it was serious philosophy
[13:18] herman Bergson: NO fun at all...even a bit dangerous
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I guess so
[13:18] CB Axel: They could both be right. In meditation one tries to quiet the mind. Not think. If that can be achieved maybe we would not exist. We would be one with the cosmos. °͜°
[13:19] herman Bergson: Seems you all seem to stick to your Egos?
[13:19] herman Bergson: NO longing for unifying with the universe or so?
[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or be part of the borg hive
[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:20] herman Bergson: ah yes CB...meditation.....we'll get to that  later indeed
[13:20] herman Bergson: Resistance is futile, Bejiita :-)
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED HERMAN (Throws one of these new fidget spinny thingies at Herman)
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehehe
[13:21] CB Axel: I live in the US. There's only room for the one Big Ego currently visiting Europe.
[13:21] herman Bergson: Must be something to live in the US these days
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): being an ego is not a nice thing indeed (ego = selfish)
[13:22] herman Bergson: I guess our visitor is not the meditating type :-)
[13:22] Ciska Riverstone: well .. lets put it like that... psychology and neuroscience both head these days in the direction that there is no such thing as an "I"
[13:23] herman Bergson: And that Ciska isnt a new insight :-)
[13:23] Ciska Riverstone: no it is not
[13:23] herman Bergson: I'll introduce you next lecture to the ideas of David Hume
[13:23] Ciska Riverstone: they basically hint in the direction of the buddhist thinking ;)
[13:23] Ciska Riverstone: and the question is whats underneath it all
[13:23] herman Bergson: Oh...and what may that be?
[13:24] Ciska Riverstone: I forgot a bit of it but recently did a course
[13:24] Ciska Riverstone: on Buddhism and modern psychology
[13:24] Ciska Riverstone: i'll reread it
[13:24] Ciska Riverstone: and tell u next time
[13:24] herman Bergson: yes..buddhist ideas are a recurring issue...
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:25] herman Bergson: I'll check out buddhism myself too for the enxt lecture(s)
[13:25] herman Bergson: What makes Buddhism so appealing...have to brush up my memory too Ciska :-)
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: (just a sec I give u the link to the course  only have to find it - am a bit disorgainzed today - forgot towel day)
[13:26] herman Bergson: And you all have ! HOMEWORK....^_^
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone:
[13:26] herman Bergson: Dont worry Ciska ..I am completely disorganized these days...:-)
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: there it is
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: heheh
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:27] herman Bergson: Was the reason I had to cancel last Tuesday....:-)
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: u had a disorganized tuesday?
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): chaos theory?
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: hehehe
[13:28] herman Bergson: No no.....had to take my wife to the hospital for some surgery.....
[13:28] Ciska Riverstone: o
[13:28] CB Axel: Oh no!
[13:28] herman Bergson: And she is still there till Saturday...
[13:28] Ciska Riverstone: is she ok?
[13:28] Ciska Riverstone: sorry to hear that.
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaaw ok
[13:28] herman Bergson: Yes all is fine....only I am disorganized :-)
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:29] Ciska Riverstone: yes understandable
[13:29] CB Axel: She is the organized one?
[13:29] herman Bergson: My head is not really on my shoulders so to speak :-)
[13:29] herman Bergson: did you know
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:29] CB Axel: lol
[13:30] herman Bergson: AT least we have a cliffhanger now for the next lecture :-))
[13:30] Ciska Riverstone: heheh
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nice
[13:31] herman Bergson: SO thank you for your attention again and we'll meet at the next lecture for the answer :-)))
[13:31] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....
[13:31] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time then
[13:32] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you herman and class:-)
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: take care bejiita
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): you too

[13:32] herman Bergson: Have fun Bejiita:-)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

665: Authenticity.....

Last time I introduced the concept of authenticity and the fact that people when they must choose
rather choose for their authenticity than for happiness, when they know that this happiness is in fact artificially induced.
We now shouldn’t make the mistake to believe that authenticity is the ultimate value in life. And we definitely should not generalize this idea.
It is well possible that in other cultures people would be puzzled by a desire of authenticity. Yet millions of people find it an important value.
From that point of view it is worth to have a closer look at this concept of authenticity. Where did it come from? Has it always been a human desire?
Authenticity as a characteristic attributed to human beings arises the question: What is it to be oneself, at one with oneself, or truly representing one's self? 
The multiplicity of puzzles that arise in conjunction with the concept of authenticity connects with metaphysical, epistemological, and moral issues.
On the one hand, being oneself is inescapable, since whenever one makes a choice or acts, it is oneself who is doing these things. 
But on the other hand, we are sometimes inclined to say that some of the thoughts, decisions and actions
that we undertake are not really one's own and are therefore not genuinely expressive of who one is. 
Here, the issue is no longer of metaphysical nature, but rather about moral-psychology, identity and responsibility.
We can recognise a lot of things, discussing this subject, which we discussed in previous projects. To begin with its history…
A number of significant cultural changes in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries led to the emergence of a new ideal in the Western world.
During this period, human beings came to be thought of more as individuals than as placeholders in systems of social relations. 
This emphasis on the importance of the individual is seen in the prevalence of autobiographies and self-portraits, 
where the individual becomes the centre of attention not because of extraordinary feats or access to special knowledge, but because he or she is an individual.
This philosophical, anthropological development in those centuries is rather unknown in other cultures of those times..
What fascinates me in all this is, that is looks like Europe has been the inventor of individualism 
and in relation to that the inventor of desire of individual happiness.
In this development we may also see the roots of the present day’s liberalism.
The most fascinating in all this is of course the question: how did this desire of authenticity, this individualism emerge?
From 1400 on there is the rise of a middle class in Europe. The world no longer is a rich upper class and a poor lower class.
There develops a wealthy middle class, which gathers wealth by their individual efforts. 
Society is no longer a God given structure but becomes a “social contract “ between individuals. We hear the echo of Thomas Hobbes and John Lock here, for instance.
Thus authenticity and happiness have  become part of our life and part of the meaning of life.
Thank you for your attention… ^_^

The Discussion

[13:17] Faust (faust.saenz): Isn't virtue ethics about the cultivation of the self?
[13:17] herman Bergson: Yes Faust.....
[13:17] Faust (faust.saenz): Is authenticity a rediscovery of that tradition?
[13:17] herman Bergson: And we'll get back to Aristotle indeed
[13:17] herman Bergson: Maybe you could say that yes
[13:18] herman Bergson: But virtue is a wider concept then authenticity.....
[13:19] herman Bergson: One criticism of the desire of authenticity is the possibility of self-indulgence and narcism...
[13:19] herman Bergson: But I don't support that criticism....
[13:19] herman Bergson: I see authenticity as a self statement in relation to the other...
[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:20] herman Bergson: We only can be authentic in relation to the other
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): oki
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess
[13:21] Faust (faust.saenz): Friendship is not possible without letting a potential friend understand your authentic self.
[13:21] herman Bergson: That is what makes friendship meaningful I'd say
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:22] herman Bergson: Have a seat Vent :-)
[13:22] Faust (faust.saenz): But once a friendship begins, the authentic self becomes subject to the influence of the friendship in ways that cannot be known in advance.
[13:22] vent Rust: thanks herman hello all
[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hello Vent
[13:23] vent Rust: hello beer
[13:23] herman Bergson: That  looks more like a psychological issue to me Faust
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hi Vent
[13:23] Faust (faust.saenz): Hi vent
[13:23] vent Rust: hi bejita
[13:23] vent Rust: hi faust
[13:23] herman Bergson: You might loose your authenticity in a friendship indeed...
[13:23] herman Bergson: But I'd say that is a bad thing
[13:24] herman Bergson: in any relation
[13:24] CB Axel: I
[13:24] CB Axel: That sounds to me like to be authentic we must not change.
[13:25] CB Axel: Doesn't a friendship change a person at least a little.
[13:25] vent Rust: ok I have to ask   why would one loose authenticity in a friendship
[13:25] Faust (faust.saenz): It seems as if some type of golden mean might be at play between the authenticity and friendship.
[13:25] herman Bergson: I wouldn’t say that CB......
[13:25] CB Axel: And a good friend makes you change for the better.
[13:25] herman Bergson: We all change through the years.....
[13:25] vent Rust: change is the constant   sounds crazy
[13:25] herman Bergson: I am not the same person as the boy of 9 years old I was
[13:26] vent Rust: no shit
[13:26] Faust (faust.saenz): "Ultimately, there is only one reason for love. That one grand reason, which was seen so clearly by the ancients but has gotten lost in the modern stress on individual autonomy, is ’because we bring out the best in each other’." ~Robert Solomon
[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it takes courage to be authentic
[13:26] CB Axel: It takes courage to change, too.
[13:27] Faust (faust.saenz): Just as it takes courage to be open to friendship
[13:27] vent Rust: and how is that done Faust/
[13:27] herman Bergson: It takes courage to stay yourself...
[13:27] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): Hello Everybody
[13:27] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hello John
[13:27] herman Bergson: Hello John :-)
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hi John
[13:27] vent Rust: that is impossible to stay  anything
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: H John an Vent and everyone
[13:27] vent Rust: Hello John
[13:27] vent Rust: hi Ciska
[13:27] bergfrau Apfelbaum: hello vent and john
[13:28] Faust (faust.saenz): Coming to understand/develop an authentic self si the beginning point for entering into authentic friendship :)
[13:28] herman Bergson: You believe in the PANTA REI Vent?
[13:28] vent Rust: is it easy faust?
[13:28] herman Bergson: The idea that there is only change?
[13:28] vent Rust: you tell me Herman
[13:28] Faust (faust.saenz): not at all
[13:29] vent Rust: right Faust
[13:29] vent Rust: go on Herman
[13:29] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): Yet, sometimes I am under the impression that the sole end of our existence is self preservation
[13:30] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): everything we do goes in that direction, the need for a social life too
[13:30] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): and friendship
[13:30] vent Rust: haha John   that sounds nice
[13:30] herman Bergson: Self preservation is  inherent to the biological system we are part of...
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:31] Faust (faust.saenz): Sneaky genetics made us so that we feel good typically when we connect with others.
[13:31] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): We are here to philosophise but do we take into consideration the millennia of conditioning for survival that our species had to undergo?
[13:31] herman Bergson: Nothing sneaky about that.....I'd say....just evolution
[13:32] Faust (faust.saenz): :)
[13:32] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): We feel good when connected because we are safer
[13:32] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): we are safer in a group than alone
[13:32] herman Bergson: yes
[13:32] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): we have more chance to find food, and to defend ourselves
[13:32] Faust (faust.saenz): Being authentic implies that we are being authentic to something but what is the something?
[13:32] herman Bergson: that is how all social animals behave
[13:33] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): you must be familiar with Desmond Morris's theories
[13:33] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): I find them genial
[13:33] vent Rust: with the words you are using Faust I take it as meaning
[13:33] Faust (faust.saenz): I would vote for core values as the thing that authenticity refers to.
[13:34] vent Rust: you made those values Faust
[13:34] herman Bergson: That will be a difficult thing Faust
[13:34] herman Bergson: They might differ from person to person
[13:34] Faust (faust.saenz): Are our goals and actions aligned with our core values? If not we are living an inauthentic life.
[13:34] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): As animals we are weak, we could survive and prevail thanks to being smart and gregarious
[13:34] herman Bergson: True
[13:34] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): we are gregarious animals
[13:35] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): nature pushes us to be in a group
[13:35] vent Rust: actions have to mention our thoughts well that can be taken several ways Faust
[13:35] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): but as we are imperfect animals, crazy, insane animals if you prefer, we tend to kill each others
[13:35] vent Rust: animals are anything but weak
[13:35] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): we fight and prey on our own species
[13:36] vent Rust: animals are true no struggle    true to their nature
[13:36] herman Bergson: We are not alone in that John...other animals do too
[13:36] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): some are weak and made to survive thanks to other factors than force and aggressivenes
[13:36] Faust (faust.saenz): Is our set of core values comprehensive enough? Have we thought about the kinds of values that will help us when skies are grey and when skies are blue. Bigger-than-the-self values and values about self-care and self-compassion?
[13:37] vent Rust: Faust you are looking for meaning to be defined   ok
[13:37] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): Other animals compete for territory and females, we kill for pleasure and sport
[13:37] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): they kill only if neecessary
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:37] herman Bergson: Not true John
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but some animals kill for challenge
[13:37] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): the lion kills the cubs of a lioness that is without a male to reproduce his own genes
[13:38] herman Bergson: My cat kills birds for fun....not out of necessity
[13:38] vent Rust: what herman go on tell us more
[13:38] herman Bergson: You missed the opening lecture of today Vent...:-)
[13:38] vent Rust: well herman your cats kills in case quits being your cat
[13:38] CB Axel whispers: Yeah, but cats are jerks. LOL
[13:38] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): they challenge and compete for territory, food, females or their status within the group
[13:38] vent Rust: herman you YOU see no need why your cat kills
[13:38] herman Bergson: They are CB :-)
[13:39] vent Rust: we make pets out of animals dependent on us
[13:39] vent Rust: but
[13:39] vent Rust: they keep their natural skills
[13:39] herman Bergson: it is its instinct to catch and kill
[13:39] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): Your cat kills because in nature he has no one to provide him food
[13:39] Faust (faust.saenz): Other animals cannot be authentic because they do not formulate core values.
[13:39] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): your presence is an accident of nature
[13:39] vent Rust: true Herman its their nature
[13:39] Faust (faust.saenz): Except my dog :)
[13:40] vent Rust: some animals  are better at being pets
[13:40] vent Rust: lol
[13:40] Faust (faust.saenz): My dog's core value is to be loving
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:40] vent Rust: well you dog's core value is to be fed
[13:40] vent Rust: more than a wolf's need to eat
[13:41] vent Rust: a wolf will not go to a man for help but a dog has a nature to connect to a human
[13:41] vent Rust: so dogs are very cool
[13:41] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): What I don't like about dogs is that they are servile with the strong and aggressive with the weak
[13:41] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): dogs are too similar to humans
[13:41] herman Bergson smiles
[13:42] vent Rust: nature can appear messy
[13:42] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): When a dog kills a human it's usually a little child or an old person
[13:42] herman Bergson: I guess it is a good time to conclude our discussion for today now that we are discussing dogs :-))
[13:42] vent Rust: dogs connect to humans   and they never make a mistake   never
[13:42] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): lol Herman
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:43] herman Bergson: I don't like dogs that much, you know :-)
[13:43] vent Rust: you sound like we got off topic but it is time
[13:43] CB Axel: Dogs certainly aren't discussing us.
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:43] herman Bergson: We got off topic indeed...:-)
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): do you know that?
[13:43] CB Axel: We get off topic a lot here. °͜°
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): heheh
[13:43] CB Axel: At least this time it wasn't politics.
[13:43] herman Bergson: So thank you all for th enice discussion and participation again...:-)
[13:43] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi):
[13:43] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:43] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): Bye
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nice again
[13:44] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...^_^
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

Sunday, May 14, 2017

664: Wouldn't we be happy in The Matrix...?

What we are investigating now is the question “Is happiness the same as pleasure:. This is what John Stuart Mill assumed.
The answer is simply NO. You can feel happy but yet do not really experience pleasure in this happiness.
Just take two Formule I drivers. They are close friends, but competitors too, because they belong to different teams.
The final round. They occupy position one and two. No chance number two will ever overtake number one.
If he could HE would become the world champion. Number one crashed and is killed in the accident.
Number two thus wins and becomes the world champion. He feels happy about it, 
but yet there is no feeling of pleasure in his victory. Only sadness about the loss of a friend.
There is another interesting feature of happiness. I guess you all know the movie THE MATRIX.
In the Matrix world people live a happy life…super happy even, but WE know that they are stored in cocoons and only live this live in their brains.
The choice you have is there between living outside the machine and seeing if there is a chance of happiness 
and a life in the machine and being sure of happiness. 
And from your point of view, both forms of life feel the same. Would you choose to live the rest of your life in such a machine?
If your answer is yes, I think you belong to a minority. Most people would not only reject this opportunity,
they would find it horrendous. The problem is that they feel that they would not lead a real life in the machine.
It's not enough to have the experience of a good life, they want a good life that's real.
This tells us something interesting about happiness. If we decline this offer of the machine,
it means that there seems to be something more valuable than happiness. So,  happiness is definitely no the ultimate meaning of life.
And what about happiness when we thank for the opportunity to live in the MATRIX? 
The most obvious and plausible answer is, in my opinion, that we attach great importance to a set of values that can be called AUTHENTICITY 
This concept is very difficult to grasp, but it has to do with the fact that we want to lead life in its full truth 
and want to see the world as it is and we do not want to fool ourselves in one way or another 
It is about the fact that we want to be the creators of our lives, the fact that we want our experience to be the result of actual efforts and power  for our part, 
the fact that we are dealing with people who are just like us and not just VIRTUAL. 

Just a thought: can your avatar here feel happy while you feel miserable? ; -))))

Thank you for your attention….

The Discussion

[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): I don't know the Matrix but it seems weird to me
[13:20] herman Bergson: You should watch that movie Beertje :-)
[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they are amazing, totally unique
[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): how can we know happiness when it's always there?
[13:21] herman Bergson: Good question, Beertje :-))
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:21] CB Axel: That's an interesting point, Beertje.
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nothing to compare to
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): in that case i guess
[13:21] herman Bergson: I think we can from a psychological point of view....
[13:22] herman Bergson: but you are right....when it is always there we won't notice it
[13:23] CB Axel: wb, bergie
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): found the matrix machine? I dont have made one so you wont find it at my place
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:23] herman Bergson: Why did you leave us in the dark Bergie ? :-)
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): there is a theory by some that we could in fact just be in a such simulation but i doubt that
[13:24] herman Bergson: WHat I find interesting is this idea of authenticity.....
[13:24] bergfrau Apfelbaum: uaaah!! i had a bad crash! blue screen and so
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaaaw
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:24] herman Bergson: wow....heavy
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but it works ok now?
[13:25] herman Bergson: Do we value authenticity more than happiness?
[13:25] CB Axel: I don't know.
[13:26] CB Axel: It seems that inauthentic happiness is better than authentic misery.
[13:26] herman Bergson: the adjective is related to the person, not to happiness or misery....
[13:27] herman Bergson: as I said...
[13:27] herman Bergson: This concept is very difficult to grasp, but it has to do with the fact that we want to lead life in its full truth 
and want to see the world as it is and we do not want to fool ourselves in one way or another 
It is about the fact that we want to be the creators of our lives, the fact that we want our experience to be the result of actual efforts and power  for our part, 
the fact that we are dealing with people who are just like us and not just VIRTUAL.
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true
[13:28] herman Bergson: This could be an important concept in relation to the meaning of life....
[13:29] herman Bergson: the idea of being an authentic person experiencing misery and happiness
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): you are talking about humans I is not for humans alone, what is the meaning of life in general?
[13:30] herman Bergson: Again a good one Beertje :-)
[13:30] herman Bergson: But life doesnt ask about its plant or tree or bird does
[13:31] Ciska Riverstone: the question is can we only find authenticity when we go "in relation" and not on our own?
[13:31] herman Bergson: it is US humans that are able....almost forced to ask this question....that is waht makes us not just living things but human
[13:32] herman Bergson: My first thought is that authenticity does not depend on any relation with others....Ciska
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: well
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: thats the point yes... so
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: if I am in a matrix machine
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: whatever it gives me as outer world
[13:33] Ciska Riverstone: does I stop me from being authentic when we believe for a moment that we authenticity is really something we do not  find "outside"
[13:33] Ciska Riverstone: It's still me in the machine
[13:33] Ciska Riverstone: and yet we assume
[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: that because the relations ar technically produced to make me happy
[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: its unauthentic?
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we feel like it is real, unaware wea re in a machine and therefore thing its authentic
[13:34] herman Bergson: I think the situation is somewhat different....
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats how it is in the films
[13:34] herman Bergson: Point here was that you have a CHOICE.....
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): untill Neo take the red pill and plunge back to reality
[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: how so herman? its still us and if authenticity really exists without an "outer" input...
[13:35] Ciska Riverstone: well I still have decision choices - no?
[13:35] herman Bergson: a virtual happy life inside the machine of a life with chances on happiness outside the machine
[13:35] Ciska Riverstone: I do not know of that I presume yes
[13:35] Ciska Riverstone: but still
[13:35] Ciska Riverstone: even that would be an outer world
[13:35] Ciska Riverstone: to go into contact with
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what is the meaning of life of disabled people?
[13:35] CB Axel: Isn't there an equal chance of unhappiness outside of the machine?
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): the ones that have no choice in their life?
[13:36] Ciska Riverstone: it always means that authenticity is depended on an outer existent with which I go into relation
[13:36] herman Bergson: yes...outside the machine you are not sure of happiness....inside you are
[13:36] herman Bergson: your choice....
[13:37] Ciska Riverstone: well but if authenticity - like u  stated first - is really independent.. and only a part of the self...
[13:37] herman Bergson: YEs Ciska, if you say it defines your relation with the world you live in...
[13:37] Ciska Riverstone: so authenticity is depended on the outside world
[13:37] Ciska Riverstone: and on our relation with it
[13:37] herman Bergson: I wouldnt say  that.....
[13:37] Ciska Riverstone: well with out it - it does not seem to exist?
[13:37] herman Bergson: it depends on how you state your relation with the outer world
[13:38] herman Bergson: it depends on your mind
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: how so?
[13:38] herman Bergson: That is where the thoughts come from.....
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: on the mind getting external input?
[13:38] herman Bergson: your mind....your view of reality...of yourself
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: yes but that still means u need something to go into relatiion with
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: that does something to my authenticity
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: I make other choices
[13:40] herman Bergson: seems obvious to me....we live in a real world...
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: depending on the input
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: well we talk about concepts right now - yes?
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: and we try to grasp authenticity
[13:40] herman Bergson: yes
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: my point is
[13:41] Ciska Riverstone: maybe in the end.. its not authenticity
[13:41] Ciska Riverstone: but relation
[13:41] Ciska Riverstone: which is the meaning of life
[13:41] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): Hello all
[13:41] Ciska Riverstone: hi john
[13:41] herman Bergson: Ahh I see...
[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hello John
[13:41] herman Bergson: I did not mean to say that authenticity is the meaning of life....
[13:42] herman Bergson: At the most it is part of the story....
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:42] herman Bergson: Like altruism is part of the story
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: yes - fo rme it boils down to any kind of relation - relation to nature - to humans to whatever
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: even to concepts ;)
[13:43] herman Bergson: we should not run into the trap of thinking that the meaning of life is one well defined something...
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its a combination of things
[13:43] herman Bergson: yes..
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like pieces of a puzzle and when that puzzle is laid and complete we have found the meaning of life
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): something like that I guess
[13:44] herman Bergson: and that puzzle could be personal too, Bejiita....
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:44] CB Axel: I think my puzzle must have some pieces missing.
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we all have different goal
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): s
[13:44] herman Bergson: which means that we all could have different perspectives on th emeaning of life
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true
[13:45] herman Bergson: That is what a philosopher does CB.....finding the missing pieces :-))
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that’s what we are here for
[13:46] herman Bergson: authenticity might be one of the pieces...
[13:47] herman Bergson: We'll follow that trail in coming lectures :-)
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aa
[13:47] Ciska Riverstone:
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the trail of puzzle pieces
[13:47] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[13:47] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): is this discussion in text only?
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:47] herman Bergson: Yes John
[13:47] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): ok
[13:47] bergfrau Apfelbaum: I hope we all find our last part very late! and healthy
[13:48] herman Bergson: We are not in a hurry Bergie ^_^
[13:48] bergfrau Apfelbaum: good so!cheers!!
[13:48] herman Bergson: Maybe we feel quite happy with the given situation here :-))
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:49] herman Bergson: OK then....ready to move on to the next lecture :-0
[13:49] herman Bergson: Thank you all again for your participation....
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time then
[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): bye for now all
[13:49] herman Bergson: do some research on the concept of authenticity...might produce some interesting results...
[13:49] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ty Herman *clapclap*
[13:49] CB Axel: There's a lot to think about as usual. °͜°

[13:49] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): Thank you Herman