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 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.
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.
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.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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.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.