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What is the fundamental reality of human life?

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Luxin
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Re: WHAT IS THE FUNDAMENTAL REALITY OF HUMAN LIFE ?

Post by Luxin » August 30th, 2018, 1:05 pm

Dear philosopher Dachshund,
Dachshund wrote:
August 27th, 2018, 7:43 am
Happiness is a great side effect, but that's all. When it comes we should be grateful; but the fact is that happiness only ever comes fleetingly and unpredictably. It's not something to aim for, because it is not an aim, it's not a goal. Happiness is basically like a box of chocolates - it's just not going to do the job. But really this is all something that would require a lengthy discussion in itself just for me to begin doing the issue ( of happiness as a false goal) some small justice and I think this post is already quite long enough, so I will have to leave it for another day.
Just wanted to say that I agree with you that searching for happiness is a false goal, but it can be a fundamental reality, starting from the fundamental reality of suffering. I also agree with you that the search for meaning is the first priority for a philosopher (upon reflection though, the term isn't really appropriate). One mustn't really search for or actively pursue anything, because, like the butterfly we try to catch and fail to, the harder we try the more we fail. Nature just grants us what we need when we are ready for it, and greater happiness is a possible reward if we have that moral courage you speak of.

Lao Tzu said, 'Let life ripen and then fall; will is not the way at all'. This thought can be applied to 'the search for meaning'. We may miss the meaning if we search too hard and burn out. What is called a search, to me is just relaxed reflection upon anything, whatever comes to mind. Whatever Nature 'thinks' we are ready for comes to us, and that leads to another thought, etc. There is no actual search in the expansion of concept. Searching for anything in the vast realm of thought is too deliberate; it even sounds pretentious. Searching for our socks, fine, that works. "Reflecting upon Life" (and all its weird and wonderful stuff) is my offering as a substitute for 'the search for meaning'. Thank you for your thoughts!

Yours, Luxin

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Re: WHAT IS THE FUNDAMENTAL REALITY OF HUMAN LIFE ?

Post by Freudian Monkey » September 6th, 2018, 12:15 pm

I would like to offer a slightly different, perhaps a more practical angle to the question at hand.

We human beings are built to influence our internal and external realities. Everything we do - formulating thoughts, moving our bodies, interacting with other living beings - is a more or less conscious attempt to cause change in our internal or external reality. Life itself is in a way in it's entirety a collection of living organisms attempting to cause beneficial/desirable changes to their internal/external realities.

Even if we completely disregard physical reality, we still have this underlying tendency to seek change. Our being cannot stay idle - it has to interact with itself as well as it's external reality (if there's such a thing). Whether life is just an illusion of something occurring, we still observe a beginning and an end. There has to be a reason for us observing time and the changes it brings. We are meant to be the witnesses of this change. Are we meant to also participate in this process intentionally? If there's such a thing as time, we undoubtedly are perceiving it, and thus we are interacting with the changing process whether we like it or not.

For as long as we live, we have means to influence our internal and external realities. When we draw our last breath, our body can no longer cause intentional change. Whether or not life continues after death, it seems like this perceived period of living seems to center around us interacting with our surroundings.

So for me, the fundamental nature of human life is interaction with our internal and external realities and the changes we witness in both of them.

Whether or not all of this has a deeper meaning, I do not know.

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Luxin
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Re: WHAT IS THE FUNDAMENTAL REALITY OF HUMAN LIFE ?

Post by Luxin » September 6th, 2018, 8:09 pm

Dear philosophers Freudian Monkey et al,
Freudian Monkey wrote:
September 6th, 2018, 12:15 pm
So for me, the fundamental nature of human life is interaction with our internal and external realities and the changes we witness in both of them.
Logical comments. I'm reminded of Pythagoras's "Above all things, know thyself" which is also quoted as "...love thyself". Witnessing our internal realities and knowing what they signify or imply is the real challenge; our external realities or personal environment is determined by them (i.e. our mind or thoughts, etc.).

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Re: WHAT IS THE FUNDAMENTAL REALITY OF HUMAN LIFE ?

Post by Present awareness » September 6th, 2018, 11:32 pm

Breathing is the fundamental reality of human life. We breath in, we breath out. We take that which is outside of our body and absorb it into the system, expelling waste with the out breath. Consciousness is a byproduct of what we breath in and our thoughts rely on a steady supply of oxygen.

Suffering is a state of mind. Pleasure and pain, happiness and sorrow are what they are, suffering is optional.
Even though you can see me, I might not be here.

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Re: WHAT IS THE FUNDAMENTAL REALITY OF HUMAN LIFE ?

Post by Newme » October 19th, 2018, 11:46 pm

chewybrian wrote:
August 27th, 2018, 10:27 am
Newme wrote:
August 26th, 2018, 11:09 pm
I see a conflict (or paradox?) in the idea that desire is suffering, because desire is also happiness.
I think the crusty old stoics have the answer. Your desires and aversions must be aligned with nature and with what is in your control in order for things to work out for you. If you desire a cigarette, you will suffer, whether you have a cigarette or not. If you are averse to eating, like an anorexic, you will suffer, whether you eat or not. If you are averse to heroin, and you desire to go for a walk, then you can pretty well always have these things work out in your favor, because you set up your desires and aversions in accordance with nature and within the scope of your control.

If you (mistakenly!) believe that you have no control over your desires and aversions, then you are bound to suffer.
Thanks - I hadn’t thought of that before & it’s good to keep in mind. It reminds me of the theory that education is correlated with happiness. I don’t necessarily mean a specific degree as much as actual learning. Because it takes understanding not just what you want and don’t want - but also what is worth wanting and what is best avoided - and the related spectrum or circumstances.

E.g.: Being in a marriage which is struggling, part of me has wanted to divorce and run off with a different guy. Yet, we have kids - and owe them more than breaking up a family just for likely fleeting romantic desires. I want my kids to be happy and better off in multiple ways... more than to pursue a new infatuation. But there’s a price to pay - for the desire that’s forfeited. It’s like chess - considering the possible consequences of pursuing each desire or avoiding aversions.

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Luxin
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Re: WHAT IS THE FUNDAMENTAL REALITY OF HUMAN LIFE ?

Post by Luxin » October 20th, 2018, 3:04 pm

October 21, 2018

Hello Newme,

It seems you're open to feedback re your situation or you wouldn't have mentioned it, I believe. Any person's happiness is essential, top priority; without it, 'life' is just an interminable death until the last breath. You want your 'kids to be happy and better off...'. The concept of sacrificing one's own happiness so that others can be happy is illogical because if one is not happy neither can the others close to us be happy. I am proof of that. My darling is very much attuned to my happiness, to a degree that surprises me, because to my first two wives I was like an object.

Everything in this house, between us, and in my wife's state of being or happiness essentially revolves around and depends on me and me alone. It's not a domineering or patriarchal thing, and not a matter of choice; it's just the way it has to be; it's a spiritual, compelled manifestation that just works. Being a philosopher, I write.... I stopped bothering with the garden because it's a 'pop up jungle'; I love labouring away but my time has to be reserved for my 'final mission'. Nevertheless, I take responsibility for literally every single detail of this house and its operations, and the happiness of both my wife and, of course, myself. I watch my thoughts and moods like a hawk -- I 'watch and pray', because if I ever lose control.... I prefer not to say, but I've seen how deeply my wife is affected ... with one negative thought, if I feed it I can quickly become a virtual demon from hell...So I'm always vigilant now that I've found real peace for the first time in my life, and if I hear my monster growl 'I'm not respected' I get really quiet and 'whisper', 'Down, boy', like 'Get thee behind me, Satan'.

So I take full responsibility for literally everything, and that way I can't whine about anything that happens. If anything goes wrong or gets a little crazy between us, it's because I either misunderstood something or didn't make the unwritten rules of the maintenance of our happiness or this house clear to myself or my wife. Sometimes I wander around like an absent-minded professor wondering what my name is, but I did tell my wife not to think that I didn't know exactly how everything in this figurative 'precise watch' should run. But how everything goes, except for my thoughts, means nothing to me. Without my equanimous state of mind everything goes to hell. 'Watch and pray'. The vagaries of one's mind, ego or 'false self' is one's only real monster.

Let me specify what can bring us lasting happiness by first eliminating what cannot bring us lasting happiness. Fleeting happiness as in the satisfaction of, quoting you, 'romantic desires' -- one down. Satisfaction in our work or creative pursuits -- great but fleeting -- one down. Anything worldly, which includes sex -- numerous down. Loving or just believing one loves another, with our love unrequited -- always great to love, but we need mutual love and lifetime commitment -- one down. Seeming mutual love and commitment, but one or both bored, frustrated or dreaming of another -- one down. My first marriage was like that, and after 18 years I had to make the decision to go because things were getting worse by the minute near the end. It's a generally unknown sin to take the time of another sacred being, and in a marriage that's doomed, the longer the mutual sin goes on the harsher the karmic price.

So what can bring lasting happiness? Wisdom equates with happiness, but Wisdom is a rare state of being, a state in which serious problems are past and replaced with less serious ones. One must also have experienced True Love, and Wisdom cannot be sought after. What can one do? Pythagoras said, 'Above all things, know (or love) yourself'. The inner path starts with Self-Love, Self being the True Self or Spiritual Consciousness. Happiness is not to be found in having others, even having their love -- happiness and peace is found in loving and being kind to one's Self. No one else can do this for us but us. If we truly love our Self, that's not selfishness. That is preparing ourself to truly love others, and to be ready for that hopefully Mr. or Mrs. Right we dream of. More happiness is found on the inner path than anything on the outer path.

I have to disagree with your concept that desire is happiness. I know you mean that exciting feeling that one might finally find the right one. The desire for greater love and understanding keeps us going. But really, we should learn to forget about what is outside ourselves and look within for all the beauty there. Of course the average person might think 'Look within?'. How can I find love there? I say, rest assured, there is plenty of love within. 'Teach only love, for that is what you are'. (Gerald Jampolsky). Of course Truth, love's inseparable partner, is also good. Both are found on the inner path.

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Re: WHAT IS THE FUNDAMENTAL REALITY OF HUMAN LIFE ?

Post by Newme » November 10th, 2018, 9:29 pm

Hi Luxin,
I’m happy for you figuring out what’s been working for your 3rd marriage. It sounds like you and she have maybe learned and are applying that toward a better relationship. I hope you both continue to make it work.

You mentioned, “sacrificing one's own happiness so that others can be happy is illogical.” I disagree and I think any good parent would. From the moment of pregnancy, mothers sacrifice for their children. Newborns require constant attention - getting up several times each night needing to be fed and changed. Parents sacrifice sleep and many other things for their kids. In extreme cases of hunger, I’ve heard of parents giving their food to their kids, while they go hungry. Parents sometimes protect their children to the point of great sacrifice - even death.

So, maybe in a self-centered way - it is illogical to do anything for another human being. It’s more “logical” to just take care of oneself and put everything into oneself. But in a bigger more intuitive sense, smart-selfishness is more “logical” than stupid-selfishness. And I believe that once you take on the responsibility of having a child - you are legally and morally responsible for them physically, financially and psychologically.

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Luxin
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The precious god Newme

Post by Luxin » November 13th, 2018, 5:53 pm

November 14, 2018

My dear god Newme,

Thank you for your response and kind wishes. The sacrifice you speak of is one's sleep etc. regarding one's kids, which to a loving parent is just something necessary but not a sacrifice; such might be thought of as an inconvenience perhaps, but love doesn't see it like that.

It's the sacrifice of one's personal happiness that I meant was the illogical thing. Perhaps I didn't have that clearly stated. I see that I indirectly referred -- with one of my listed 'no lasting happiness' scenarios (which was also mine years ago) -- to what I perceived to be your situation:

"Seeming mutual love and commitment, but one or both bored, frustrated or dreaming of another -- one down".

Your delicate situation might mean you could be uncomfortable with our discussion of it here, I don't know, but you did bring it up. I wouldn't want your partner to know of our discussion, but this matter is really just your own personal concern as a matter of what I know is your 'relationship happiness' or 'compatibility', as "part of" you has wanted a change, and I know those thoughts/compulsions are real and typically only get stronger over time when one is in a dysfunctional relationship.

My mind properly wandered in my first and 18-year marriage, which my mother knew was a disaster from the start but couldn't tell me till it was over. The first strong signs it was finished came 7 years before I finally left; I was relieved to go and face the great unknown at 49; it took courage, because my fear of leaving a wife, a shared mortage house, piano, vehicle and two stepsons was greater than my fear of death. But I had my sanity, a hope for a 'new love', a good job, and a crappy apartment to start over with.

I see that I indirectly referred to your situation with:

"Seeming mutual love and commitment, but one or both bored, frustrated or dreaming of another -- one down".

I'm not advising you to do any particular thing, I'm just relating what I know of this difficult situation many face.

Quoting you dear god:

"Being in a marriage which is struggling, part of me has wanted to divorce and run off with a different guy".

It seems we share being inspirational and quick to love people; I saw something in you before, and I know people well enough, though I've had to learn to be discreet. I could be wrong, if so I should get 20 lashes with a wet noodle (I first said 50, but I'm being kind to myself), however I'm guessing you're an artistic type -- arts, music, writing. dance etc. as I'm so inclined except not really into art -- and it's quite dangerous for these types to get into a domestic rut. Whatever artistic pursuits I have are first priority. Self-expression is not happiness, but there is no happiness without it, especially for one in the arts. An artistic type who is held back by themselves, another person, or, typically, "a sense of duty to partner and children" is in danger of sinking into depression or worse.

Artistic types are usually romantic types too. Love and love are really art forms too, and love is a very dangerous thing to try and suppress. Lovelessness, without going into detail, is a killer, and actually a root cause of all major mental and physical diseases. It's dangerous to deny oneself a chance to know (what we hope to be, anyway) a greater love, even if the chance fails, and it's a sin to stay with someone we're not happy with -- the sin is compounded by wasting one's own and another's time of the Spirit.

The 'compatibility' I speak of is deep compatibility. Many couples believe they really love each other, but typically when a relationship ends, it turns out that the mutual love they thought they had wasn't what they thought, but was flawed all along, and that's why the relationship didn't last. If one partner doesn't really love the other, that's enough for doom. However, for most of us, such flaws show up later rather than sooner, because of the hope that things will get better, a hope that is doomed because of the flaw.

Ultimately, Self-Love is the key, not love for others. We can't even know where our happiness lies until we know ourselves (i.e. our Self) well. In the allegory 'Beauty and the beast', the formula for both individual Self-Love and the love of another (True Love) is:

Self <> self => Happiness.

The meaning of this for an individual or a couple is:

When an individual's Self (Spirit or 'Beauty') loves their self (mind or 'beast'), they know individual happiness; and

When one such happy individual, now representing 'Beauty' themself, loves another person who needs them but has not yet found individual happiness (the 'beast'), yet the 'beast' can still love the one symbolized as 'Beauty', there is the happiness called True Love.

The key point is that we cannot know True Love without first knowing Self-Love. So our priority is Self-Love, and the happiness from that is the happiness of which I speak, for you or anyone, and which is a treasure one ideally must not sacrifice for any reason. No children or partner, no matter how wonderful, can bring us the treasure of our individual happiness from loving ourself. Only an individual person on their own can obtain the great treasure of their own happiness as an individual.

I know it may seem crazy, but it's all true, I swear. I hope you might realize this truth after quietly reflecting upon it; if not, that's OK. Just remember if things get rough, and they probably will, I'm here to love you and talk with you if you ever need to, and I love you now. Those three words are the most common lie ever spoken, but with me it's always the truth. I don't worry about the so-called 'boundaries' of marriage, but I'm not looking for anything from you either; besides, I'm 67 and we'll never meet because I'm a happy recluse with my incredible True Love and probably at least six thousand miles away from you across the sea, and your True Love is 'Out There, Somewhere' "beyond the pale moonlight...." My love is Universal Love for all, which includes you, my darling, and my love is also a personal love for you, and I've been known to flirt. LOL.

You probably feel some fear reading this, but there's nothing to fear, and I certainly have nothing to lose by loving you, though admittedly it's a bit crazy that I say that without having met you. But it doesn't matter. I've always been a risk taker with people, and could never hide my Love or love. To me, trying to do that is insane. I never look for any kind of results now my love; it's only the process that counts. And that process involves moving past any inhibiting fear and showing my love as both my feeling of love and my higher sense of Love for all who may be suffering as I have so greatly in the past. Whoops! (relationship advice turned into a 'love letter'. LOL). My cycles say everything I start -- or reveal I suppose -- will be a disaster. No matter, at least I showed how I feel.

In my own case, I came to know both happiness and True Love by loving myself or 'my Self'. My True Love happened almost immediately after my Self-Love.

I'm glad you posted. If you have no one else to talk to about your situation, you have me. I enjoy giving relationship advice; thanks for bringing me out, god Newme, and please forgive me if I've made a blunder anywhere.

Perhaps we could continue this in the Online Philosophy Club Relationship Forum? LOL. (Thank you, dear mod gods, hope you're havin' a good day!)

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