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Atheist Saints

 
saralynn
 
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saralynn
Total Posts:  9258
Joined  29-01-2010
 
 
 
12 May 2018 13:06
 

I hate those analytical philosophers.

“The question is…is IS is?”  (Didn’t Bill Clinton say something like that?)

I like philosophers who make my heart soar or get the blood pumping into my brain.

Maybe someone who exultantly cries out,, “IS” !!!!!  THAT makes a person ponder.  Yes!  IS!  How astonishing! Why not ISN’T!!! Wittgenstein said something like that, no?  Damn!  I can’t remember and, once again, Google has failed me.  I gotta start taking fish oil.  While I was looking for the quote, I read that Wittgenstein was an Analytic philosopher.  Thus surprises me.  I guess because I have a fondness for his misty quotations.

Or else a philosopher who says things that you can apply to your daily life.

Marcus Aurelius, for instance. “Wake up every morning and tell yourself you’re going to ve confronted by a lot of jerks.  Why get agitated?  They are who they are.  Besides that, we will all be dead soon.”  This is something I say when I log into this Forum.

By the way, I suddenly remembered that the philosopher who had gall stones had, in fact, kidney stones, which made it easy to Google. It was Montaigne. He must have concluded that life WAS worth living with kidney stones because he didn’t kill himself.  It must have been a nightmare to have kidney stones in those days because people spent a lot of time galloping around on a horses or bumping along in carriages,.

As is obvious, I am self-educated in philosophy.  There are huge gaps in my knowledge, but philosophy has been very helpful to me in my life, so I’m still consumed by it.  Except now it is almost entirely religious.  This is because I wake up every morning and encounter jerks and know that I am going to be dead soon.

Now, this is going to make some of the atheists here heave, but I am primarily reading Catholic mystics these days.  My favorite is Meister Eckhart, but there are others too.  It is fascinating because a lot of those crazy saints were utterly sane, but simultaneously crazy.  They were also great psychologists. Okay, some were cutters, but It’s mostly because of the time and circumstances in which they lived. Catholicism WAS the only world they knew, so it is no surprise that they were turned on by mortification stuff and that Jesus played such an significant role in their revelations .  I shall also add that I love Jesus, if I leave out some of the sayings I don’t like.

Yep, cafeteria Catholic.

You also mentioned Thomas Merton, of whom I am fond, because he is an intellectual who became a Catholic in the post-modern age. This is not usual these days, is it?  This is why I also like Auden and T S Eliot. They make me feel not so much a simpleton for loving Catholicism.  That is, loving my version of Catholicism.  Again, I edit.

Hoped to talk about Judaism and antisemitism, but my real life is calling me.  Chop wood, carry water.

 

 

 

[ Edited: 12 May 2018 13:12 by saralynn]
 
saralynn
 
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saralynn
Total Posts:  9258
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12 May 2018 13:46
 

oh yeah, one of the best things I learned from the Existentialists is about “authenticity” 

In my case, authenticity led to eccentricity, but, hey, I am authentically eccentric.  Except when I try to be.

 
ubique13
 
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ubique13
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12 May 2018 15:27
 
saralynn - 12 May 2018 01:46 PM

...one of the best things I learned from the Existentialists is about “authenticity” 

In my case, authenticity led to eccentricity, but, hey, I am authentically eccentric…

The beauty of Existentialism is its simplicity (or its absurdity, I suppose). Nothing is taken for granted, and everything is driven by those individuals who search for that which may be true; no matter the cost (excluding violence, as one must assume that nothing true can be gained from the devaluing of another being). Eccentricity isn’t a bad thing, it’s what makes some people more entertaining than others. Small talk is for small people who discuss small concepts under some pretense which remains unbeknownst to me.

To quote Mick Jagger:
“Raise your glass to the hard working people,
Let’s drink to the uncounted head,
Let’s think of the wavering millions,
Who want leaders but get gamblers instead,
Spare a thought for the stay-at-home voter,
His empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows,
And a parade of gray suited grafters,
A choice of cancer or polio…”

 
 
saralynn
 
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saralynn
Total Posts:  9258
Joined  29-01-2010
 
 
 
12 May 2018 16:33
 

To quote Mick Jagger:
“Raise your glass to the hard working people,
Let’s drink to the uncounted head,
Let’s think of the wavering millions,
Who want leaders but get gamblers instead,
Spare a thought for the stay-at-home voter,
His empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows,
And a parade of gray suited grafters,
A choice of cancer or polio…”

Ye Gods, I remember the song, but I don’t remember the lyrics being so powerful.  It might be because the song was popular in my drinking-clinking beer glasses phase. 

I hate chitchat, as well. It is a torture and there’s a lot of chitchat going on here in the burbs. 

I had such an odd conversation the other day with my neighbor whose brother , who lives with her, is an alcoholic. What’s worse is that he is a mean drunk and the police are called, etc. etc.  Anyway,  I offered to take her to an Al Anon meeting and she agreed. I then said that there was a lot of stress placed on a Higher Power and asked, “Do you believe in God?” “I don’t know,” she replied. “I never thought about it.”

Now that is downright bizarre.  Could it possibly be true?  I assumed everyone in the entire world has wondered whether or not God exists.  I almost said to her, “You gotta be bullshitting me, right?” I didn’t, though, because it seemed inappropriate since her face was bruised. 

.Existentialism is such a part of my brain that I remember Sartre and that crowd as if they were my old friends, even if I haven’t read them in years.  I don’t know if you remember this, but Sartre wrote a description of a waiter who sees himself as a waiter and does waitery things so often that he forgets he is a human being.  I think about that image so often when I meet various people who identify so much with their roles and perception of themselves as seen through the eyes of the “other” that they eventually turn into paper dolls.  I guess that is a universal experience and I am no exception, but because I read the Existentialists, I am aware of the tendency and can laugh inwardly when I observe myself posing as this or that.

If you hate small talk, stay away from Facebook.  It is one looooong tedious conversation between paper dolls who obsess about themselves and Donald Trump and cats doing goofy things..

Damn it!  That sounds like me!

I have yet to take a picture of my dinner, though.

My uncharitable assessment of my Facebook friends also seems like I , as you describe it, are “devaluing another human being,.”  which makes me feel like a creep and so I read read read religious stuff with as much fervor as I used to read the existentialists. 

I wanna be good!  What the heck is THAT all about, anyway?

 

 

 


 
ubique13
 
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ubique13
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12 May 2018 18:28
 
saralynn - 12 May 2018 04:33 PM

Ye Gods, I remember the song, but I don’t remember the lyrics being so powerful.  It might be because the song was popular in my drinking-clinking beer glasses phase…

I had always sensed that the Stones were having some fun with ‘Beggars Banquet’, but it wasn’t until I saw the album sleeve and the LP (a translucent platter) that I realized the extent. Apparently, ‘Sympathy For the Devil’ had people so confused that the band was accused of Satan worship. I love America.

I had such an odd conversation the other day with my neighbor whose brother , who lives with her, is an alcoholic. What’s worse is that he is a mean drunk and the police are called, etc. etc.  Anyway,  I offered to take her to an Al Anon meeting and she agreed. I then said that there was a lot of stress placed on a Higher Power and asked, “Do you believe in God?” “I don’t know,” she replied. “I never thought about it.”

Now that is downright bizarre.  Could it possibly be true?  I assumed everyone in the entire world has wondered whether or not God exists.  I almost said to her, “You gotta be bullshitting me, right?” I didn’t, though, because it seemed inappropriate since her face was bruised.

Oh yeah, there are plenty of people who go about their lives scarcely questioning a thing, let alone that sole question which seems to drive people insane at a higher frequency than any other. Insofar as most Americans/Westerners are concerned, I don’t know that a non-believer can truly be formed without an individual having necessarily experienced trauma at a relatively young age (which I suspect would also have been a more common occurrence at the point in time when there would have been an explicit evolutionary advantage to disbelief).

In regards to Al-Anon and Narconon: fuck Scientology. Some good is done by the rehabilitation programs which only have tertiary associations with the Christian church, but even in those instances the ‘success’ rate is only ever marginal, and success is defined as replacing an addictive substance with cult groupthink (“keep coming back!”). But hey, at least the source material seems to have inspired great minds like Jordan Peterson to re-brand the Twelve Steps in his own image. Goy vey.

Existentialism is such a part of my brain that I remember Sartre and that crowd as if they were my old friends, even if I haven’t read them in years.  I don’t know if you remember this, but Sartre wrote a description of a waiter who sees himself as a waiter and does waitery things so often that he forgets he is a human being.  I think about that image so often when I meet various people who identify so much with their roles and perception of themselves as seen through the eyes of the “other” that they eventually turn into paper dolls.  I guess that is a universal experience and I am no exception, but because I read the Existentialists, I am aware of the tendency and can laugh inwardly when I observe myself posing as this or that.

If I’m not mistaken, you’re describing a specific part of the novel ‘Nausea’, which was one of Sartre’s attempts to make a seemingly arcane subject far more accessible to people. The book did win the Nobel Prize in Literature (only to have the prize rejected by Sartre), but fell tragically short of the kind of widespread audience that would have done well to recognize the validity of existentialist thought. If more of the world’s population(s) focused their concerns on the things that are actually within their power to change, and expended far less of themselves simmering over things completely beyond their control, then all of humanity might not be forced to suffer through life in abject misery for the rest of time.

If you hate small talk, stay away from Facebook.  It is one looooong tedious conversation between paper dolls who obsess about themselves and Donald Trump and cats doing goofy things…My uncharitable assessment of my Facebook friends also seems like I , as you describe it, are “devaluing another human being,.”  which makes me feel like a creep and so I read read read religious stuff with as much fervor as I used to read the existentialists. 

I wanna be good!  What the heck is THAT all about, anyway?

There was a somewhat shamefully extensive period of time during which I allowed myself to play the social media dopamine game, and I understand the appeal to an extent, but I’ve always been quite averse to narcissists for reasons that I don’t think really need explaining. I deleted all that I could of my social media accounts shortly after the beginning of campaign season (barring those media that exist on platforms where anonymity can still be exercised).

The desire to be a good (or decent) human being is also an understandable one, perhaps even more so than any other desire which is common among people. It is at this point where the individual ego becomes the primary obstacle. If one cannot admit their own fallibility to the extent that they find it fulfilling to be incorrect about a thing, then I don’t know what meaning or purpose anyone could ever expect from life.

To understand that knowledge is truly the only power that a person can possess, and to rejoice in those moments of opportunity when being incorrect is a beautiful thing…that is the most fulfilling aspect of life that I have ever known.

 
 
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