The artistically creative diversity of spiritual freedom

Use this forum to have philosophical discussions about aesthetics and art. What is art? What is beauty? What makes art good? You can also use this forum to discuss philosophy in the arts, namely to discuss the philosophical points in any particular movie, TV show, book or story.
User avatar
Count Lucanor
Posts: 1296
Joined: May 6th, 2017, 5:08 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Umberto Eco
Location: Panama
Contact:

Re: The artistically creative diversity of spiritual freedom

Post by Count Lucanor »

Scott wrote: March 19th, 2021, 12:43 am No, I think that's a non-sequitur.

In first two sentences, you point out that the words spirit and true self are interchangeable words, which is fine. However, your next statement in red does not logically follow from that.

As we use the terms, self-related freedom (i.e. freedom related to the self) is equal to self-discipline. It does not logically follow that freedom is equal to discipline.
You have just acknowledged my point. As I said before, the self is the same as the spirit, and when the prefix self- modifies a word, it does so by relating that word to the intimate being of a person. No matter how you arrange the words, either as self-discipline or discipline of the self or discipline of the spirit, as spiritual freedom or freedom of the spirit or freedom of the self, the meanings of self and spirit, which are the same, are preserved. The meaning is always related to a person, their individual, intimate being. It wouldn't make sense to talk about the spirit or the self of a rock or an airplane, only of a person, and a person (or at least a conscious agent) is also the only thing we can associate with words like freedom and discipline, there is no freedom or discipline of rocks and airplanes, only of people. That's why phrases like "spiritual freedom" or "spiritual discipline" are redundant and it would be OK to reduce them to freedom and discipline. Of course, one could be talking about the spiritual freedom or spiritual discipline of others, instead of oneself, but that doesn't change the concept. So, If freedom is not equal to discipline, and it has been shown that freedom is freedom of the self, and discipline is discipline of the self (or just the same, that freedom is freedom of the spirit, and discipline is discipline of the spirit), then freedom of the self and discipline of the self are not equal either.
Scott wrote: March 19th, 2021, 12:43 am
Count Lucanor wrote: March 18th, 2021, 11:32 pm If we have a fast car and a speedy motorcycle[...]
This analogy doesn't apply because fast and speedy are both being used as adjectives.
The analogy does apply perfectly. It just takes talking about speed and fastness (nouns). The speed or fastness of a motorcycle vs the speed or fastness of a car.
Scott wrote: March 19th, 2021, 12:43 am That's very possible, but starting with agreeing how to use the allegedly synonymous words political freedom and self-government will be revealing about such syntax in general. Namely, it will be revealing and helpful to see if we can agree that the phrases political freedom and self-government being interchangeable does not mean that the words freedom and government must be interchangeable.
They are not interchangeable. Political freedom refers to a person's autonomy within the context of social relations of power. On the other hand, self-government, or government of the self, refers to a person's ability to rule over themselves. In a world made of only one person, the concept of political freedom is meaningless, there are simply no social relations, no power or rights to exercise over others. But in that world, that one person could still have self-government.

We could think perhaps of an extreme degree of political freedom in which one ends up so completely alienated of others, that we can think of it as being in a one-person world, where you are left alone governing yourself. But that, of course, is just a mirage in the dessert, a political illusion. The social context, just as much as the natural world itself, are still there and you're still forced to submit to their constraints. If there's a true self, it starts with the realization that we are thrown into this world. We are social animals forced to cope with the environment. Alienation is just a symptom of something wrong happening to our true self.

Scott wrote: March 19th, 2021, 12:43 am I agree that it often seems to play out like that in practice, meaning politics seems to deal a lot more with what goes on in public involving interactions between humans while spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) seems like it might be more involved with, for instance, what I do in my backyard alone by myself.

Despite often playing out like that superficially in practice, philosophically speaking my philosophy would actually generally have the opposite be the case, as I see it. My political philosophy manifests in many ways that firmly respect individual independence, a fundamental individualism which results from no human governing another human (at least insofar as they are both adults capable of informed competent consent). If cooperation isn't forced (i.e. there is no slavery) then that ipso facto entails a certain respect and allowance for individualism in various social, political, and economic ways.
The example of being alone in your backyard comes in handy. It is a perfect example of the concept (and the problem) of social alienation. It implies a disassociation of the individual from the products of social life in which they participate as practical active agents. Your backyard is not a natural product, it didn't just show up there, and to think of your own existence without reflecting on how you ended up in that darn yard, is a futile and misleading philosophical exercise, both from the political perspective and the personal, introspective, so called spiritual perspective.
Scott wrote: March 19th, 2021, 12:43 am In contrast, in my spiritual philosophy I believe that we are all essentially one. In other words, fundamentally, assuming neither of us is a philosophical zombie, then I believe my spirit and your spirit are one in the same. Likewise, and to the same degree, no more and no less, I think 10-year-old Scott's spirit and 50-year-old Scott's spirit (if he lives that long) are one in the same, along with my present spirit and your spirit. As I see it, across all of spacetime, there is a shared thing between all non-zombies that we call 'consciousness' or 'spirit' that is us.
We are, evidently, in different camps when it comes to philosophy. As a materialist monist, I oppose the idea of a "spirit" as an ontological reality. We can use that label to refer to an abstraction that encompasses the reality of our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, etc., but those are things subordinate to the material reality of our bodies and the natural, physical world in which we dwell. I understand the concept of spirit as has been historically embraced by the philosophy of Idealism that you endorse, but I cannot endorse it myself.
Scott wrote: March 19th, 2021, 12:43 am Perhaps, political freedom tends toward political individualism while political non-freedom tends towards excessive chaotic/violent/discontent entanglement (wars, conquest, overcrowded prisons, governments literally spending trillions and trillions per year via complex bloated bureaucratic systems and overly complex shell games, etc). Spiritual freedom may tend towards kindness and unity while its opposite--epitomized by addiction such as alcoholism--would tend towards loneliness, spiritual isolation, egoic selfishness, and discontent egoic self-centeredness.

Maybe it's ironic but indeed it seems that spiritually seeing other humans as our spiritual equals ("all men are created equal" etc.) results politically in the political field as political freedom which entails the individualism of no human ruling another, of no race being the superior race, of no class of humans being a noble ruling class ruling over alleged inferiors.
This is obviously a recap of the philosophical doctrines of social atomism, a view that has become widespread as the necessary ideological companion to the advocacy of neoclassical economic theory, where every man is the king of his own castle. But men, that is, the subject's identity, the self, is a product of history. To be more precise, men are the products of themselves, of how they have organized in history to solve their practical affairs. Political individualism, or should we say, the relative freedom of the individual subject in modern society, a freedom that is not absolute and requires submission to many social constraints, is a necessary condition for the organization of that society. There is as much freedom in there as there is in an iron cage.
User avatar
Scott
Site Admin
Posts: 4708
Joined: January 20th, 2007, 6:24 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Diogenes the Cynic
Contact:

Re: The artistically creative diversity of spiritual freedom

Post by Scott »

Tegularius wrote: March 19th, 2021, 11:57 pm To be artistically creative does not require spiritual freedom - whatever that's supposed to mean. Having a sense of spiritual freedom or something that feels like it, does not in any way imply or include artistic creativity. There's zero connection between the two.
I disagree because, if you are just a slave doing slave labor, micro-managed by the master, then the would-be creation is either (1) the artistic creation of the master, or (2) not art at all, namely in the case where the master is spirit-less (i.e. lacking in true consciousness).


****

@Count Lucanor, sorry for the delay in replying to this topic.

Scott wrote: March 19th, 2021, 12:43 am In contrast, in my spiritual philosophy I believe that we are all essentially one. In other words, fundamentally, assuming neither of us is a philosophical zombie, then I believe my spirit and your spirit are one in the same. Likewise, and to the same degree, no more and no less, I think 10-year-old Scott's spirit and 50-year-old Scott's spirit (if he lives that long) are one in the same, along with my present spirit and your spirit. As I see it, across all of spacetime, there is a shared thing between all non-zombies that we call 'consciousness' or 'spirit' that is us.
Count Lucanor wrote: March 20th, 2021, 3:08 pm We are, evidently, in different camps when it comes to philosophy. As a materialist monist, I oppose the idea of a "spirit" as an ontological reality. We can use that label to refer to an abstraction that encompasses the reality of our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, etc., but those are things subordinate to the material reality of our bodies and the natural, physical world in which we dwell. I understand the concept of spirit as has been historically embraced by the philosophy of Idealism that you endorse, but I cannot endorse it myself.
I am not an idealist, or at least I don't consider myself one.

I do believe my consciousness (i.e. my spirit) really exists in the sense that I believe--or really know with absolutely certainty--I am not a philosophical zombie. To me that does not violate materialism or monism.

If I had to choose between monism and dualism, I would choose monism. And if I had to choose between materialism and non-materialism I would choose materialism. In both cases, I might remain agnostic if able, if not just for the sake of parsimony; for parsimony, I prefer to be non-agnostic about as few things as reasonably possible and thus agnostic about as many things as reasonably possible, even if I know where I'd place my bets if forced to bet.

Since I am also not a solipsist (perhaps via a small leap in faith), I also have a belief that your body--like my body--is not a philosophical zombie, but if you disagree I am inclined to believe you (for Philosophy Forum purposes at least, not in terms of human compassion and sympathy which I will continue to give you regardless just in case even if you claim to be a zombie).

In other words, I cannot observe that your body has something corresponding to it that mirrors the consciousness that is associated with my body, and there is no scientific way to prove that me-ness or me-like-ness (spirit, a.k.a. consciousness) is in you too. It's like a radio turned down so low and kept far enough way from me in space, I can't tell if the radio is playing music or is broken and silent. Dualism is not needed to explain my brain's ignorance about your brain's consciousness (or lack thereof) that I faithfully believe is actually there despite lacking direct evidence of it. If you say it's not there, then you may be right, and if so then when I love it and sympathize with it I may be loving and sympathizing with an imaginary friend that doesn't really exist. That's possible, but I don't believe it, meaning I reject solipsism. Indeed, loving you is like dancing to a radio I can see but not hear that I faithfully believe is playing music. I may be loving a thing doesn't exist and dancing to music that doesn't exist. Luckily, the love and dance is just as wonderful and glorious for me either way. Solipsism may be right in which case I will have just as much fun with my imaginary friends in my imaginary world, faithfully assuming they and it are real.


Count Lucanor wrote: March 20th, 2021, 3:08 pm So, If freedom is not equal to discipline, and it has been shown that freedom is freedom of the self, and discipline is discipline of the self (or just the same, that freedom is freedom of the spirit, and discipline is discipline of the spirit), then freedom of the self and discipline of the self are not equal either.
I don't disagree.

I am not saying that "freedom of the self" is equal to "discipline of the self", especially considering the potential for phrases like "discipline of the self by others".

Strictly speaking, I don't think that when I use the word self-discipline it means "discipline of the self". Instead, I mean "discipline by no other". One can conceive of that as also entailing discipline by the self of the self and/or simply being a state of non-discipline or anti-discipline; I'm indifferent towards those different ways of looking at it and see them as generally expressing the same idea. Whichever way of describing i fits with someone else's overall philosophy and linguistic preferences is fine with me.

Likewise, I don't think that when I use the word self-government it means "government of the self". Instead, I mean "government by no other", which granted can be extended to something like "government by no other than the self" which can be also be conceived as a state of "anarchism" or "non-government" or such. Again, I'm indifferent towards those different ways of looking at it. Whichever way of describing it fits with someone else's overall philosophy and linguistic preferences is fine with me.

Nonetheless, I stand by what I already wrote earlier in the topic:

In the way I use the terms, spiritual freedom is interchangeable with self-discipline.

In the way I use the terms, freedom is not interchangeable with discipline.

In the way I use the terms political freedom is interchangeable with self-government.

In the way I use the terms, freedom is not interchangeable with government.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Tegularius
Posts: 214
Joined: February 6th, 2021, 5:27 am

Re: The artistically creative diversity of spiritual freedom

Post by Tegularius »

Tegularius wrote: March 19th, 2021, 11:57 pm To be artistically creative does not require spiritual freedom - whatever that's supposed to mean. Having a sense of spiritual freedom or something that feels like it, does not in any way imply or include artistic creativity. There's zero connection between the two.
Scott wrote: April 22nd, 2021, 9:32 am I disagree because, if you are just a slave doing slave labor, micro-managed by the master, then the would-be creation is either (1) the artistic creation of the master, or (2) not art at all, namely in the case where the master is spirit-less (i.e. lacking in true consciousness).
Most people would disagree with my statement. After all to argue against spiritual freedom sounding as human and profound as it does is tantamount to a non-sequitur and perhaps even to a type of blasphemy.

1 - If the slave created a work of art for which his master takes credit it's still the slave's so-called spiritual freedom which created it whether or not the master takes credit for it.

2- True consciousness is a trite term used much too often. What does it even mean, true consciousness! If I'm more aware or sensitive to things which forgoes any such experience in your mind, or vice versa, does that mean that either of us is any less aware than the other?

There are certainly degrees of consciousness, awareness or ability but these are structured within the brain itself especially so if endowed with the means to create. If spiritual freedom has any meaning at all it's usually at the end of a process when such a feeling may occur as if upon a successful pregnancy. But the mere feeling of being spiritually free doesn't give one the means to create anything.
User avatar
Count Lucanor
Posts: 1296
Joined: May 6th, 2017, 5:08 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Umberto Eco
Location: Panama
Contact:

Re: The artistically creative diversity of spiritual freedom

Post by Count Lucanor »

Scott wrote: April 22nd, 2021, 9:32 am
Count Lucanor wrote: March 20th, 2021, 3:08 pm We are, evidently, in different camps when it comes to philosophy. As a materialist monist, I oppose the idea of a "spirit" as an ontological reality. We can use that label to refer to an abstraction that encompasses the reality of our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, etc., but those are things subordinate to the material reality of our bodies and the natural, physical world in which we dwell. I understand the concept of spirit as has been historically embraced by the philosophy of Idealism that you endorse, but I cannot endorse it myself.
I am not an idealist, or at least I don't consider myself one.

I do believe my consciousness (i.e. my spirit) really exists in the sense that I believe--or really know with absolutely certainty--I am not a philosophical zombie. To me that does not violate materialism or monism.
I should believe you if you say you're not an idealist, although your wording might give a different impression. Saying that your "spirit" or your consciousness really exists as a singular thing or substance, is compatible with idealism and suspicious of dualism, since it would acknowledge the ontological reality of a mental substance, different from the ontological reality of material substance. It might be that you don't have that idea in mind and refer to "spirit" and consciousness as abstract notions of the concrete material processes of a physical body.
Scott wrote: April 22nd, 2021, 9:32 am
If I had to choose between monism and dualism, I would choose monism. And if I had to choose between materialism and non-materialism I would choose materialism. In both cases, I might remain agnostic if able, if not just for the sake of parsimony; for parsimony, I prefer to be non-agnostic about as few things as reasonably possible and thus agnostic about as many things as reasonably possible, even if I know where I'd place my bets if forced to bet.
I would choose the same, monism and materialism, although I would not be agnostic about them. I don't think it would be reasonable.
Scott wrote: April 22nd, 2021, 9:32 am
Since I am also not a solipsist (perhaps via a small leap in faith), I also have a belief that your body--like my body--is not a philosophical zombie, but if you disagree I am inclined to believe you (for Philosophy Forum purposes at least, not in terms of human compassion and sympathy which I will continue to give you regardless just in case even if you claim to be a zombie).
If you thought you were a solipsist, I could not agree even if I wanted to, because it would mean you were the only mind that exists, which (following Searle) is instantly refuted by my acknowledgement of my own existence.
Scott wrote: April 22nd, 2021, 9:32 am
Count Lucanor wrote: March 20th, 2021, 3:08 pm So, If freedom is not equal to discipline, and it has been shown that freedom is freedom of the self, and discipline is discipline of the self (or just the same, that freedom is freedom of the spirit, and discipline is discipline of the spirit), then freedom of the self and discipline of the self are not equal either.
I don't disagree.

I am not saying that "freedom of the self" is equal to "discipline of the self", especially considering the potential for phrases like "discipline of the self by others".

Strictly speaking, I don't think that when I use the word self-discipline it means "discipline of the self". Instead, I mean "discipline by no other".

One can conceive of that as also entailing discipline by the self of the self and/or simply being a state of non-discipline or anti-discipline; I'm indifferent towards those different ways of looking at it and see them as generally expressing the same idea. Whichever way of describing i fits with someone else's overall philosophy and linguistic preferences is fine with me.
That certainly clarifies the issue of what you meant. Being a non-native English speaker, I'm always in doubt if I'm using (and interpreting) the words correctly. In this case I could rely on linguistic references, where the prefix <<self->> denotes relation to oneself, so that self-discipline will mean "control of oneself, willpower" and self-disciplined means "to be in control of oneself and one's actions". So it seems my interpretation of the word at least would be justified, but since you are OK with my use, I don't think I need to push that issue, as long as we agree that "freedom of the self" and "discipline of the self" are not synonyms, while "freedom of the self" and "not being disciplined by others" are indeed more compatible.
Scott wrote: April 22nd, 2021, 9:32 am
Likewise, I don't think that when I use the word self-government it means "government of the self". Instead, I mean "government by no other", which granted can be extended to something like "government by no other than the self" which can be also be conceived as a state of "anarchism" or "non-government" or such. Again, I'm indifferent towards those different ways of looking at it. Whichever way of describing it fits with someone else's overall philosophy and linguistic preferences is fine with me.
Again, just for the record, Wiktionary defines self-government as: "Personal self-control", being compatible with control of oneself, the same definition given to "self-discipline" understood as "discipline of the self". Therefore, as I interpret the words with the prefix <<self->>, self-government is the same as government of the self and compatible with self-discipline (discipline of the self), but incompatible with freedom of the self. But as you use the word, self-government (government by no other) is compatible with discipline by no other and with freedom of the self.
Scott wrote: April 22nd, 2021, 9:32 am
Nonetheless, I stand by what I already wrote earlier in the topic:

In the way I use the terms, spiritual freedom is interchangeable with self-discipline.
Which I would translate now (following your clarifications) as "spiritual freedom is interchangeable with discipline by no others". I cannot disagree.
Scott wrote: April 22nd, 2021, 9:32 am
In the way I use the terms, freedom is not interchangeable with discipline.

In the way I use the terms, freedom is not interchangeable with government.
Which is consistent with what I said earlier, so we can agree on that, too.
Post Reply

Return to “Philosophy of the Arts and Philosophy in the Arts”

Philosophy Books of the Month

The Biblical Clock: The Untold Secrets Linking the Universe and Humanity with God's Plan

The Biblical Clock
by Daniel Friedmann
March 2021

Wilderness Cry: A Scientific and Philosophical Approach to Understanding God and the Universe

Wilderness Cry
by Dr. Hilary L Hunt M.D.
April 2021

Fear Not, Dream Big, & Execute: Tools To Spark Your Dream And Ignite Your Follow-Through

Fear Not, Dream Big, & Execute
by Jeff Meyer
May 2021

Surviving the Business of Healthcare: Knowledge is Power

Surviving the Business of Healthcare
by Barbara Galutia Regis M.S. PA-C
June 2021

Winning the War on Cancer: The Epic Journey Towards a Natural Cure

Winning the War on Cancer
by Sylvie Beljanski
July 2021

Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream

Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream
by Dr Frank L Douglas
August 2021

If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your Buts

If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your Buts
by Mark L. Wdowiak
September 2021

The Preppers Medical Handbook

The Preppers Medical Handbook
by Dr. William W Forgey M.D.
October 2021

Natural Relief for Anxiety and Stress: A Practical Guide

Natural Relief for Anxiety and Stress
by Dr. Gustavo Kinrys, MD
November 2021

Dream For Peace: An Ambassador Memoir

Dream For Peace
by Dr. Ghoulem Berrah
December 2021