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Pseudo-Philosophy and Mysticism

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posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 02:45 PM
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Maybe the reader has heard something like this—“Reality is comprised of coconut-cream and chocolate. How do I know, you ask? I’ve tasted it, I’ve experienced it. If you haven’t, you are doing something wrong. Something something fractals, something something super powers, something something spirit, and the obligatory As above, so below.“

Something like what you’ve just read is the going rate in the Philosophy & Metaphysics forum here at ATS, yet as you may have noticed, it reads nothing like philosophy and metaphysics. Rather, it reads like dogmatism and sophistry, differing only in subtle degrees from religion & faith. In other words, there is very little in terms of philosophy and metaphysics occurring here at all, and the tried and true standards of reason and evidence have given way to faith and a charlatan’s desires for obsequious underlings.

As I read through the threads on this board I find the typical anti-philosophy—the mysticism, arbitrary symbolism, “laws” of attraction, spirituality, neo-hinduism, empathic guesswork, western buddhism, quantum woo and new age spirituality, which demand no more than your keen and diligent attention as opposed to rational thought, the sycophants always craving attention more so than truth.

In order to tell the difference between the pseudo-philosopher and the philosopher, we might apply something like Plato’s distinction. The philosopher philosophizes to learn; the sophist philosophizes for less-than-virtuous reasons such as fame, advantage and most of all, power. The philosopher utilizes the universal tools anyone can use, keeping truth in the public domain; the sophist hides his toolbox in the inner-realm of his subjectivity and play-acting. Behind the philosopher is a breadcrumb trail to his conclusions, whereupon anyone can criticize. Behind the pseudo philosopher lies no such trail, and criticism is strictly forbidden.

It would be sophistical of me to provide a definition of philosophy—and you'll be quick to raise that objection—but knowing the company I keep here, I do not feel all that bad about it. We’ll keep the definitions economical: philosophy is the love of wisdom and pseudo-philosophy is the love of one’s own wisdom. Philosophy is the use of wisdom to arrive at truth. Pseudo-philosophy is the use of wisdom to arrive at personal advantage.

I suggest we return to philosophy and metaphysics, or we band together and advocate for a new board, Pseudo-Philosophy and Mysticism, at least so we can refrain from trampling all over human history.




posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 03:11 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope


Will Durant said that philosophy is the attempt to incorporate as personal knowledge the truth about reality, to the extent that we can understand and use it, with help from the work of our predecessors and our civilization. [paraphrase from the Introduction to The Story of Philosophy]

In its most general outline, Philosophy is the Analysis and Synthesis of truthful ideas.


edit on 4-9-2015 by Semicollegiate because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 03:23 PM
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a reply to: Semicollegiate

Great book. I recall him also writing that perhaps the greatest principle of philosophy is that we should quit lying.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 03:34 PM
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Isn't all philosophy pseudo-philosophy?
And isn't a philosophy degree a pseudo- degree?



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 03:36 PM
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a reply to: dashen




And isn't a philosophy degree a pseudo- degree?


What do you think PhD stands for?



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 03:39 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Pseudohorsefeather degree.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 03:42 PM
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a reply to: dashen

Close.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 04:36 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

s&f




posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 04:57 PM
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philosophy is the love of wisdom and pseudo-philosophy is the love of one’s own wisdom.


OK, but wisdom is wisdom...

Your complaint imo sounds intellectually pretentious.... But maybe that's just me being defensive...

Seeing as you were too lazy to cite examples of what you feel you have observed, what makes you any better than those philosophisers who speak from their own observations of life, rather than purely around abstract notions conceived and experienced entirely within their own heads?



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 05:06 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

And then there are actual spiritual personal experiences where the metaphysical, physical and spiritual work together, which you continually dismiss as non-existent due to a lack of experiencing this reality for yourself. The philosophy of the wisdom of it all then becomes an intimate matter (at least to me), which when shared with like-experienced spirits is quickly understood with very little words. The only pseudo philosophy is buying into the mainstream dogma and staying within the lines.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 05:14 PM
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An altermative way, perhaps to look at it is understanding that truth is subjective and is based of of one's definitions of life and each individual's beliefs and cultral intpretation. I understand Life to be meaningless.

I tend to understand that, we each give our own our meaning to life as we understand life to be. Therefore, each action and choice is valid and it depends on how each percieves and interprets life based on one's own perception and definitions.

I like to think, that the western philosphical definations may very from eastern definitions and sub cultures like that of my melaneasian cultural beliefs of what we understand things of philosphical in nature.

Just my two 2 cents there..

Cheers



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 05:14 PM
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originally posted by: Semicollegiate
a reply to: LesMisanthrope


Will Durant said that philosophy is the attempt to incorporate as personal knowledge the truth about reality, to the extent that we can understand and use it, with help from the work of our predecessors and our civilization. [paraphrase from the Introduction to The Story of Philosophy]

In its most general outline, Philosophy is the Analysis and Synthesis of truthful ideas.



Hear! Hear! That needs to be repeated. Some folks tend to think that philosophy is unrelated to any reality from the most nitty-gritty to the most ivory-towered spectacle of high-minded thought. Not so.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 06:24 PM
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I would propose a " Spiritual & subjective discussion" forum rather than a pseudo-philosophical forum. Simply because I prefer describing things in the positive (positive as in "what it is") rather than the detractive (detractive as in "what it isn't.") Just a personal preference.

Otherwise, I have no objection to this forum - or another forum being created - being dedicated purely to rigorous philosophical discussion, as long as there's still a place for those of spiritual or experimental persuasion to discuss their thoughts and ideas. (Religion, Faith, & Theology forum doesn't really fully encompass all of that, as not everyone who would describe themselves as spiritual would describe themselves as religious or theological.)

Just a thought/distinction!

Peace.
edit on 9/4/2015 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 06:27 PM
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a reply to: InTheLight

We all experience reality, friend. Except, some attempt to speak of reality, which we all share, while others speak only of their experience of it.

Point me to the reality you are speaking of, where your metaphysical, spiritual and physical meet, and we can share in it together. Otherwise, you'd be speaking only of yourself.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 06:31 PM
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Well mis, it seems you have missed the point once again. You believe in only what can be seen and observed, if that's the case you may as well throw out your belief in air and breathing. Let's throw out math as well, that can't be seen. And thoughts? They can't be seen, so I guess you don't believe in them either. And belief? It can't be seen, so may as well stop believing in belief as well.

There is more than what can be seen, the fact that you have thoughts and were able to arrange them into this post goes to prove that.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 06:36 PM
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a reply to: nonjudgementalist

You know I agree. I do feel somewhat bad for saying it. It is pretentious to attempt to define philosophy as I have, but some standards are necessary if we are to make any progression in areas of truth, or anything can be called philosophy, and everyone, a philosopher.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 06:37 PM
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a reply to: 3NL1GHT3N3D1

Math and air can be seen and felt. Have you ever seen a bubble? That's how Empedocles discovered air was a separate substance.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 07:04 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Air (or the existence of gaseous elements) can be felt simply by inhaling and exhaling, we don't need anyone to tell us that...experience and knowing.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 07:47 PM
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Although i feel like i am making things rather difficult for myself here since i'm uneducated and use google translate to communicate on ATS, but i'd like to go a little deeper into wisdom.

To be precise wisdom in the sense of virtue, wisdom can only be practical, not theoretical because then we'd be talking about knowledge and ideas which are conveyed through teachings and books.

Practice makes perfect, philosophy (as LesMisanthrophe mentioned is the love of wisdom) must be practised over and over again, question everything, don't accept anything without spiritual/mental striving.
In some topics at ATS i've mentioned 'empty your consciousness of its content', throw away everything you thought you knew to become pure again.

Philosophy is a discipline, practised by the philosopher in his love for wisdom.
Wisdom obviously means virtue, wiseness, to judge and act wisely in all kinds of life circumstances.

This wisdom cannot be poured in words and conveyed as a teaching, it simply becomes an idea, a form of knowledge, that one either conforms to, reject or interpret wrongly because it is understood by the perceiver in a different way.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 08:27 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I don't see air, I see a computer screen. Where is the air? It's invisible to the naked eye. Therefore it does not exist in your philosophy. You've never seen air, you've only heard what other people describe it as. Blow air toward your screen, do you see it? No.

And no, you cannot see or feel math. You can think it but you cannot see or feel it. How do you see or feel math?
edit on 9/4/2015 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



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