The Nature of Importance

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posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 11:38 AM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating

What remains important after we strip away artificial importance?

But like someone already said: A newborn seems to have no importances other than getting fed.



I was going to say survival, but that would not be the truth, as it would not coincide totally with the other answer.

Sustenence would, and of course, we are feeding this thread by responding to it, thereby - as you said - adding to it's importance.

But there is a contradiction, unfortunately;

Human beings are perhaps the only species on this planet capable of exhibiting self-destruction to a level of which the nature of importance is reversed.

Perhaps, in terms of this website, that would be comparable to seeking ignorance rather than knowledge...




posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 11:42 AM
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reply to post by Cadbury
 

imo, you are right insofar as "do unto other" and here are some I feel fall in line when this "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and that is justice (dealing righteous judgment, and in giving to all their due, according to law and morals); mercy (compassion and kindness) and faith (piety and confidence to God).


"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone." Matthew 23:23
www.biblegateway.com...

in summation - Love


[edit on 13-6-2008 by musselwhite]



posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 12:22 PM
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To me, importance is entirely dependent on your current level of development.

What we deem as important is appropriate for where we are at this moment. If you feel survival is important that is appropriate for you. If you feel that comfort or success are important, that is also appropriate for your stage of development. For some people, religion is especially important. For others, loved ones, and friends. Some might say a functioning government, some might say a democratic government.

Every one of these is an entirely valid answer. It depends on your development, your point of view. It is generally a good idea to try not to be very judgmental about these sorts of things.

To me, what is important is progress, personal and collective. If progress continues to be made, perception will gradually evolve. Society as a whole may have bumps, and bruises, but if you look at the big picture from the point of view of eternity, even disasters, and the most terrible are just momentary stumbling blocks. The holocaust, while utterly horrible for those living it, becomes but a distant memory of a story from descendants. Katrina, 9/11, the Tsunami, all of these, terrible, horrible. But in 10 years, these things will be but history lessons to kids, and memories of adults. Now imagine 50, or 100 years from now.

As a person, as long as we make measurable progress towards worthwhile things, we will have a sense of fulfillment. But if we get stuck in a rut, and just do to do, our life becomes stagnant, and begins to rot. Interestingly, the instant progress stops, we do not maintain, we suddenly decline.

Spirit knows nothing can truly harm it, so no matter how terrible a circumstance may be, pain, suffering, torture, death, loss, regret, whatever could possibly happen, it's a momentary blip in our spiritual evolution. If something occurs that does not have negative side effects stretching at least 500 years into the future, it is not such a big deal. As long as an individual makes progress, all of the horror of the moment, does not matter in the least.



posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by TheGreySwordsman
To me, importance is entirely dependent on your current level of development.




Which is why i'm trying to address the subject from the perspective of some basic importance.

Is it possible, do you think, that we all have some basic priority that each and every one of us holds at the same level of importance?

In older days, you could say that this was the pursuit of happiness...



posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 01:01 PM
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reply to post by TheGreySwordsman
 

i also agree it definitely raises conscienceousness to what is important when a person has developed or evolved from self centeredness toward taking an active role in the success of another human being. In service to others in kindness, thoughtfulness, gentleness, long-suffering.

I am convinced when one denies self...............the things we want as opposed to the things we actually need.

the condition of the heart is the motivator; it is the seat of the mind, will and emotions.


[edit on 13-6-2008 by musselwhite]



posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 07:54 PM
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Originally posted by Anti-Tyrant

But there is a contradiction, unfortunately;

Human beings are perhaps the only species on this planet capable of exhibiting self-destruction to a level of which the nature of importance is reversed.

Perhaps, in terms of this website, that would be comparable to seeking ignorance rather than knowledge...





Help me out here...I dont get it (yet)

[edit on 13-6-2008 by Skyfloating]



posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 08:04 PM
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The possibility of our destruction is important. A pendulum swing to keep you in check. All possibilities exist, but to accept them is our choice. The nature of importance does not change if negative or positive. I don't believe importance has the ability to change if something is negative. Importance is nuetral until you put a value on it.

edited to say, one man's positive is another man's negative.

[edit on 13-6-2008 by seagrass]



posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 09:34 PM
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reply to post by Anti-Tyrant


In my opinion(and this is all this is) I would say that anything that is a priority of all is a fundamental quality of nature, and to deprive one of it would transform the very foundation upon which the cosmos is structured.



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 02:46 PM
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This topic is fascinating to me in how it demonstrates that the individual responses tend towards either the philosophical or personal-subjective when addressing it. I don't believe there is right or wrong approach to this, and could answer with a list of things that I wake with everyday and know they are what is important to me personally. How or why that should matter to anyone else, I'm not sure.

What is important to me is intensely personal and tied into my world view. (There is malleabliity to the secondary aspects of that 'list' based on new information -- i.e Monsanto has purchased at least 25% of the world's veg seed suppliers in the last 10 years. I find that out and dissiminating that info becomes important... to me.)

SIDE NOTE: Saying that I realized I have not done a search on ATS yet, if there is not a thread I will start one and begin sharing info


But does that mean it should be important to you? Not in my book.

As philosophical as I can get to the question of what is-is-not important, is to say "Everything and nothing" as I believe it is all up to you to decide. The greater question then becomes, what are you doing about it?



posted on Jun, 18 2008 @ 07:27 AM
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reply to post by TheWayISeeIt
 


Indeed I opened this thread not in search of answers or to provide answers but to raise and play with questions.

The importance of questioning importance is often overlooked.

To me, importance seems to be artificially created and seems to gain a life of its own and finally dominate our behaviour.

[edit on 18-6-2008 by Skyfloating]



posted on Jun, 18 2008 @ 10:11 AM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
The importance of questioning importance is often overlooked.

To me, importance seems to be artificially created and seems to gain a life of its own and finally dominate our behaviour.


That's an interesting statement that raises several more questions
:

"Artificially created" by ourselves, as in we choose to artifice significance out of whim, or external to ourselves, as in subtle unnoticed propaganda and underlaying context?

How far would you go with "seems to gain a life of its own"? Do you think the results of how what we embrace as important seeming larger and larger to us are entirely within our indivual perception, or is it something more?

For example, a concept similar to 'karma', where the world 'reacts' to deliver a balance. In this case, do you consider that perhaps the world 'reacts' to actually create events, in response to we consider important?



posted on Jun, 18 2008 @ 10:24 AM
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I'm guessing it all started when I broke up with my last girlfriend.

She was the perfect one for me..and since then I just haven't been able to 'perform' with anyone else


I'm really appreciative that someone posted a thread on this topic as I haven't been able to discuss it with friends and it's just great to feel that I'm not alone with this embarrassing problem..

Thanks guys..I love you all.


[edit on 18-6-2008 by AGENT_T]



posted on Jun, 18 2008 @ 11:31 AM
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Originally posted by Ian McLean
"Artificially created" by ourselves, as in we choose to artifice significance out of whim, or external to ourselves, as in subtle unnoticed propaganda and underlaying context?


Well both, obviously.

For example, I believe Obama is certain to be the next president due to all the positive and negative significance assigned to his person, while there being much less talk and much more neutral stances toward McCain (comparitively). "Bad publicity is also publicity".

Before Bush got voted to second term there was also extreme polarization toward him, he dominated our minds and media. Kerry did not dominate our hearts positively or negatively and therefore rated low on the importance scale.

Ultimately, life may not mean a thing but only gets a meaning when we assign a meaning. And I as well as you would be able to boost the meaning of anything if we put some effort into it.

Stop dead on the middle of the side-walk and look into the sky. Soon other people will start looking into the sky too. You´ve just artificially made something important by seperating it from the mundane act of walking down the sidewalk.

There are external forces that could use this knowledge to steer people.



How far would you go with "seems to gain a life of its own"? Do you think the results of how what we embrace as important seeming larger and larger to us are entirely within our indivual perception, or is it something more? For example, a concept similar to 'karma', where the world 'reacts' to deliver a balance. In this case, do you consider that perhaps the world 'reacts' to actually create events, in response to we consider important?


Personally I try to cultivate equanimity so that neither the beauty nor the beast can easily put me off balance. Excess-Importance (for lack of a better term) seems to be balanced out with something similar to "Karma", imo.

Id be interested hearing your answers to the questions you bring up.




[edit on 18-6-2008 by Skyfloating]



posted on Jun, 18 2008 @ 01:28 PM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
There are external forces that could use this knowledge to steer people.

Isn't that almost the definition of 'advertising'? Creating in the viewer an image of importance, consolidated around the product. Agree or disagree with the image, the viewer still places the product in the center of their decision of 'importance', and thus establishes brand recognition.

Perhaps we can also tie this in to the concept of 'fear', as a tool of manipulation. Fear is creating an image of importance, with specificity and actuality unknown to the perceiver, rendering them unable to conclusively react.


Personally I try to cultivate equanimity

Edit: nevermind, I won't be rude and try and push you, Skyfloating, since you're obviously just trying to listen to and understand other people's opinions.


[edit on 18-6-2008 by Ian McLean]



posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 05:36 AM
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reply to post by Ian McLean
 


"Fear" then would be negative-importance. In fact, first came the assigning-of-importance to something and THEN the fear. If I did not deem the newest brand of sneakers important I would not be in fear of not owning them.

So Id say YES...but "Importance" is even more basic than fear.

They teach us "Humans are driven by fear". While this is true, the even deeper truth (assignment of meaning) is rarely taught anywhere.



posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 06:17 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 

And once again, Sky brings it all home for me. I was a little daunted by the timber of this thread as I could not see how to expound on it outside of the subjective, and was unclear as to the fundamental purpose of the topic as it unfolded because it seemed... so... well.. subjective; and in turn overly broad due to that.

Discussing it as considering the "assigment of meaning" and lack of teaching and/or sentient thought thereof, that I can get my head around.

IMO the starting point for even being able to have this dialogue, outside of the dialectic, is all about awareness. Which -- and while one can certainly construe 'awareness' as the definiton of subjective -- is, to me, the ability to step outside of oneself on a moment-to-moment basis. That in turn allows one to be in a constant state of redefining importance, because one would only be living exclusvely in the moment. In the 'Now", if you will.

I think we would all have to be well-schooled in the simple complexity of that maxim before we would really be able to see that Importance is, and should be, transient in order to be meaningful and powerful.... Here's to hopin'. Cheers!



posted on Jun, 21 2008 @ 11:25 PM
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Originally posted by TheGreySwordsman
As a person, as long as we make measurable progress towards worthwhile things, we will have a sense of fulfillment. But if we get stuck in a rut, and just do to do, our life becomes stagnant, and begins to rot. Interestingly, the instant progress stops, we do not maintain, we suddenly decline.



Originally posted by TheWayISeeIt
reply to post by Skyfloating
. . . Importance is, and should be, transient in order to be meaningful and powerful....


A theme I'm seeing here is that making progress, in at least a personal sense, is predicated not merely on one's ability to assign importance, but on the ability to do so dynamically. If we are able to assign meaning frequently, with conviction, in a manner unbiased by previous importance assignments (the 'rut'), would this make our reality a less distorted reflection of the self? Is 'progress' the process of whittling away at reality with a symphony of importances?



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 04:52 AM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
Is the world one big market advertising for our attention?

probably?

What is important?

that's purely subjective of course.

Who decides what is important, if we dont?

Everyone decides what has importance for themselves and for others. If we don't decide somethings importance. Some one else will.

How and why do we define what is important and what not?

We define what is important based on our needs and fears. If you can sort out what is "needed" over what is not. It makes it easier to obtain the desired and avoid the undesirable.

What are things we artificially make important?

anything that we believe will affect us

What are things we artificially make unimportant?

anything that we believe will not affect us

What causes some people to downplay (make unimportant) good things and exaggerate (make important) bad things?

You're describing a pessimist

Vice versa, what causes some people to downplay bad things and exaggerate good things?

that's an optimist.

When we exaggerate the importance of things out there, do we loose the SELF?

I believe so.

Im asking these questions because Ive thought about "The Nature of Importance" a lot, but Ive never seen any book, study or teaching on it.

well keep in mind that i'm no authority on the subject . . these are just my opinions.

Id be interested in what others think is more important, less important, most important and why they think its important.
Im not necessarily asking "whats right/wrong" or "true/untrue"...but, whats important?

I think that Truth is important.

[edit on 6/22/2008 by JPhish]



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 11:34 AM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
Who decides what is important, if we dont?

I am not so sure that "importance" is subjective. It may be that "importance" can be measured objectively.

I am guided here by "Information Theory", which does a remarkable job of quantifying and determining the properties of "information", which is just as abstract as "importance".

As far as I know, there is no such thing as "Importance Theory", but if there was such a thing, it might answer your core questions like this: (Note – this is all hypothetical, for fun.)

#

#1. What is important? ANSWER: Importance is measured in "resisted-deviations per time", where the "importance" of any event is given by the number of changes it produces, multiplied by the resistance to the change, divided by units of time.

#2. What are things we artificially make important and unimportant? ANSWER: Studies show that people estimate importance of Class A type events with about 50% to 90% accuracy, in contrast to Class B events, which are estimated accurately less than 10% of the time. This difference is mainly attributable to informational errors.

#3. When we exaggerate the importance of things out there, do we lose the self? ANSWER: Studies show that, with the advent of "Importance Theory" as a mainstream field of study, there has been a 95% reduction in all OSHA reported incidents.

#

Of course, I am in total fantasyland with the above answers. However, I can see how something like "Importance Theory" could actually be developed into a real field of study (by someone brighter than me.)

I don't know why there hasn't been any research done on this. Seems like it would make a cool graduate school thesis.

Finally, I bet anything that such a field of study would show that 99% of all advertisements were not very important to any single individual. Information obviously does not correlate with importance, at all.

Edit: Here is a blog entry that agrees with me about "importance" being related to changes, strangely enough.

www.ocam.cl...

I don't see any other substantial references for "Importance Theory" as a target of web searches. I don't think that field of study actually exists.

[edit on 22-6-2008 by Buck Division]



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 11:46 AM
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Originally posted by Buck Division
Finally, I bet anything that such a field of study would show that 99% of all advertisements were not very important to any single individual. Information obviously does not correlate with importance, at all.

Interesting theories, thanks -- it seems to me that you're making the distinction between 'influence' and 'importance'.

Is the implication then that one is purely measurable by objectively observed behavior (as in the case of advertising), and the other entirely subjective?

It's a nice dichotomy; organizes distinctions; but I don't see why that should necessarily be the case.





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