Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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jesse_voyamba
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by jesse_voyamba »

Hi Scott,

This part of the book in page 61 got me a bit confused. You said, "Temporal selfishness or temporal psychopathy is when one lacks empathy for their so-called past or future selves, or treats them as such, meaning unkindly, especially in terms of how one treats their future self, simply due to the mechanics of Newtonian time." I am curious to know how one can have empathy for their future selves. Does it mean planning well to avoid harming our future selves? I want to know.
Chimomaebuka Ejimchi
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Chimomaebuka Ejimchi »

The first time I read this book, there were some parts that I didn't understand. But when I read it the second time, I realized that I understood everything in the book. It took me two readings to understand.
Sanju Lali
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Sanju Lali »

I think that the following sentence,"I believe there is one common human struggle in which, whether we like it or not, we find ourselves united, all on the same side, for better or worse." provokes many thoughts. I would be glad if you would elaborate more on this sentence.
Akangbe Opeyemi
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Akangbe Opeyemi »

The book was really helpful, although there were times I needed to reread it to get more clarity.
No matter how I try, I can't seem to grasp what this sentence implies; “Humans are united to a degree in our individual struggles through instinctive natural sympathy gifted to us by biological evolution."
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Fredrick Felix Mnjala Maneno »

Well, I have to admit that I cheated quite a bit while reading the book 😬. I had to run to the dictionary a few times so I could understand the book better. So I have to say I did understand it quite well indeed.
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Dalia Chaouaf »

That's a very broad yet interesting question. The book is well written and easily understandable if you pay good attention. However, I'm pretty sure there have to be several sentences that I understood in a certain way yet had a very different meaning. I think that's the best part about the written word.

To answer the question, I think there is one sentence that left me a little more confused, and it was on page 136, "the wave is your form, not your essence. your forms may be many, diverse, and each infinitesimally tiny. Your essence is singular and infinitely grand."
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Theresa Moffitt »

I think what I liked most about the book was that I didn't understand every single sentence or concept in the book the first time I read it. The book provided a unique way of looking at common issues that I hadn't necessarily considered before. Because I had to re-read a concept or idea to fully understand the point the author was making, I felt I was learning something new and developing a new outlook on resolving issues.
Susan Sadiq
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Susan Sadiq »

I clearly understood every part of the book. While I didn't agree with everything said, I understood what was intended and tried to comprehend it. The writing style of the author made it easier to comprehend.
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by OyeTimothy »

I grasped all the concepts presented in the book without any difficulty. It was a straightforward read that offered a fresh perspective on life. Upon finishing it, I had a powerful realization: nobody escapes the inevitable end. We spend our days consumed by worries about tomorrow, yet we remain oblivious to the unpredictability of our own departure. With this in mind, we are all interconnected in our journey. This book has truly left a remarkable impression!
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jesse_voyamba
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by jesse_voyamba »

Reading this book was a delightful experience that I would like to have again. However, I must admit that I struggled to understand some aspects of the book. What helped me was rereading those parts and carrying out extra research. Hence, I dare say that I understand the book.
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Rupali Mishra »

If possible, please expand on the following statement: "I believe there is one common human struggle in which, whether we like it or not, we find ourselves united, all on the same side, for better or worse." It raises a lot of questions. I'm attempting to delve deeply into this book.
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Rupali Mishra wrote: July 31st, 2023, 10:40 am If possible, please expand on the following statement: "I believe there is one common human struggle in which, whether we like it or not, we find ourselves united, all on the same side, for better or worse." It raises a lot of questions. I'm attempting to delve deeply into this book.

Do these other paragraphs from Page 5 help clarify what it means:
In It Together (Page 5) wrote:...there is an obvious
common human struggle against suffering itself—against pain,
discomfort, and any unpleasant human emotion.

The end. Book over.

Just kidding.

The common struggle this book will show goes much deeper.

We fight together not merely as evolutionarily programmed robotlike
sympathetic social humans desperately seeking to avoid pain,
discomfort, and death. Granted, those qualities of our human nature
do certainly play a role in our deeper and more spiritual war.

Nonetheless, in addition to our basic reflexive bodily human
fight against pain, death, and discomfort, we also fight for something,
something deeper, something more fundamental, something one can
call spiritual.

One needn’t practice any specific religion or any religion at all to
understand it, to recognize it, and to share in it.

A human can win the lottery, become the most famous person in
the world, have the grandest beach body you ever did see, and still feel
that something is missing.

Still suffer.

Still long for something.

Still not be at peace.

?



With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
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.
User avatar
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Akangbe Opeyemi wrote: June 17th, 2023, 6:23 pm The book was really helpful, although there were times I needed to reread it to get more clarity.
No matter how I try, I can't seem to grasp what this sentence implies; “Humans are united to a degree in our individual struggles through instinctive natural sympathy gifted to us by biological evolution."
Here is the full paragraph in which that sentence appears:
In It Together (page 4) wrote:Humans are united to a degree in our individual struggles
through instinctive natural sympathy gifted to us by biological
evolution. As two humans, my human suffering entails your
suffering because you naturally biologically have a love-like
sympathy for me. As natural as it is for your human mouth to water
at the smell or sight of delicious food, so too is it natural for your
eye to water salty tears from the mental pain of seeing another
human in pain. Empathetic mirror neurons fire in your human
brain as a reflex, more surely than your foot pops up when a doctor
gently hammers your knee.

Thus, even in that merely superficial sense, there is an obvious
common human struggle against suffering itself—against pain,
discomfort, and any unpleasant human emotion.
Does the rest of the paragraph provide clarity?


Regardless, let me take a different angle at it by asking this: Are you familiar with the concept of a Voodoo doll?

If someone had a real working Voodoo doll of you such that stabbing that Voodoo doll would literally magically cause you bodily pain and injury, then in that sense we could say that you and the Voodoo doll are 'united'. Right? We could say that you and the Voodoo doll have a common struggle against pain and injury.

In the paragraphs from the book quoted above, what I'm saying is that humans are united in that same way because of sympathy (instead of magic). Metaphorically speaking, we are each other's mutual Voodoo dolls.

If you see a child get hurt and cry, it makes you hurt, and sad, and might make you cry too. The child is like the Voodoo doll, and you are united to the child in a similar way to the way you are united to a Voodoo doll. Hurting the child hurts you. It's not just children, of course. If someone hurts me they are hurting you too because you sympathize with me. If you saw me in terrible pain and crying, it would hurt you to see that because you would sympathize with me. That's what sympathy means: My pathy becomes your pathy too. You don't have apathy about what happens to a child or me, but rather you have pathy about it.

Does that help?


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a.
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.
User avatar
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
The admin formerly known as Scott
Posts: 5709
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Sanju Lali wrote: June 15th, 2023, 1:58 pm I think that the following sentence,"I believe there is one common human struggle in which, whether we like it or not, we find ourselves united, all on the same side, for better or worse." provokes many thoughts. I would be glad if you would elaborate more on this sentence.

Do these other paragraphs from Page 5 help clarify what it means:
In It Together (Page 5) wrote:...there is an obvious
common human struggle against suffering itself—against pain,
discomfort, and any unpleasant human emotion.

The end. Book over.

Just kidding.

The common struggle this book will show goes much deeper.

We fight together not merely as evolutionarily programmed robotlike
sympathetic social humans desperately seeking to avoid pain,
discomfort, and death. Granted, those qualities of our human nature
do certainly play a role in our deeper and more spiritual war.

Nonetheless, in addition to our basic reflexive bodily human
fight against pain, death, and discomfort, we also fight for something,
something deeper, something more fundamental, something one can
call spiritual.

One needn’t practice any specific religion or any religion at all to
understand it, to recognize it, and to share in it.

A human can win the lottery, become the most famous person in
the world, have the grandest beach body you ever did see, and still feel
that something is missing.

Still suffer.

Still long for something.

Still not be at peace.

?



With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
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.
User avatar
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
The admin formerly known as Scott
Posts: 5709
Joined: January 20th, 2007, 6:24 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
Contact:

Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

jesse_voyamba wrote: May 31st, 2023, 6:23 pm Hi Scott,

This part of the book in page 61 got me a bit confused. You said, "Temporal selfishness or temporal psychopathy is when one lacks empathy for their so-called past or future selves, or treats them as such, meaning unkindly, especially in terms of how one treats their future self, simply due to the mechanics of Newtonian time."

I am curious to know how one can have empathy for their future selves.
Can I ask you about this parallel situation: Do you know how one can have empathy for their others in space, such as for your biological sister or brother, or for your biological cousin, or for a neighbor with different colored skin who lives in the house across the street?

That's not a rhetorical question.

If your answer to the above question is "no", then it would make more sense to address and clarify that first.

If your answer is "yes", then I would simply point out that, in the lingo of the book, your "future selves" can also be called "others in time". And, likewise, your "others in space" (e.g. your brother or sister) can be called your "non-here selves".

In other words, having sympathy for your "future self" (a.k.a. 'others in time') works the same way as having sympathy for your "non-here selves" (a.k.a. 'others in space'). If you know how you can do the latter, then you thereby know how you can do the former, since it's really the same fundamental thing.

jesse_voyamba wrote: May 31st, 2023, 6:23 pm Does it mean planning well to avoid harming our future selves? I want to know.
Planning well to avoid harming your future self is an example of a behavior that's motivated by sympathy for that future self.

The same goes for your "others in space" (a.k.a. "your non-here selves", such as your brother or sister or neighbor across the street). Sympathy for them can motivate you to avoid harming them.

Sympathy isn't the avoiding of harming of them per se, but rather sympathy is a feeling that motivates you to choose to not harm them.


I hope that clarifies what was meant. If not, let me know, and if you have any other questions at all, please do let me know.


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
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.
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