reply to post by LesMisanthrope
Yes, we are different than every other species, but so is every other species. To group all "other" animals together, even with such vast differences
between them, is absurd.
It's not absurd at all.
In traditional metaphysics (before kantian, which is not 'traditional') the world of appearance is divided into 4 kingdoms: Mineral (aka inanimate),
Vegetable, Animal and Human. These divisions are by no means arbitrary and they DO NOT, as is often prosaically assumed, codified on biological data,
but rather, their essential or archetypal dynamism: The mineral plane or the inanimate, has no movement, and is purely stationary. It's completely one
dimensional. The vegetative, unlike the mineral, stretches into a different dimensionality; compared to the popular geometric illustration which
conveys the same point: the dot corresponds to the inanimate, the line to vegetative. The animal kingdom possesses the ability to move in multiple
directions, which would correspond to the area. Humans, the most 'evolved' of animals, possess an additional characteristic not present in animals:
the power of speech. By speech is not meant the ability to communicate with members of the same species - animals possess this ability as well, and
even more more subtly, even vegetables 'communicate' via complex processes - but rather, the ability to create, which animals do not possess (and
procreation is not to be confused with concepts, inventions etc).
The very Bible describes God's creation of the world with the power of speech. As do the Hindu scriptures, the Puranas and many others.
Man makes himself believe he is making harmony of disharmony, nothing more.
And perhaps belief is the substance of life? Or is that too subtle an idea for your mind to comprehend, or rather, to rest easy
In my eyes, compassion is still done in the pursuit of vanity, or at least to make himself feel good about himself. Or to paraphrase Nietzsche: he
gives a little here, so he can have little more there.
I don't deny the presence of a selfishness in almost all acts. God made man a NEEDY creature - a creature with a craving for life, and this so,
because he created the concept of scarcity. Man needs because God made him need, so isn't it natural, nay, logical, that the needer look to the giver
- God - to quench his need for good? The Rabbis, unlike Christ, are more realistic: When it's said "love your neighbor as yourself" they do not mean
it literally; literally, it is simply cockamamie trite, that sounds super nice on paper, but in actual fact, is simply untrue. What the Bible really
means, the Rabbi's explain, is to love your neighbor AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF: in others, through analogy, as you love yourself, and know what your own
needs as a human being are, from this knowledge are you to learn how to love your neighbor.
Mystics tend to interpret this idea way too literally, to the point where it begins to mean absolutely nothing. Love everyone? It is impossible to
love everyone, EQUALLY, and if you claim to love everyone equally, it can also be said that you love no one at all. Only preferential love is
meaningful, and since only preferential love is meaningful, there can be no absolute truth to the universal, since the universal only has enough room
for universal truths. Preferential love is a schism within the system, which basically says: I love my wife more than that woman, I love my children
more than yours, I love my people more then some guy in Sweden. This is so because love becomes meaningful only in the context of relationship between
individuals, and more largely, between those who share common interests.
Notwithstanding what I've said above, I still concede a remarkable metaphysical current running beneath the world of appearance in which we live. I
truly do believe that this world was Created - or intelligently designed - and emanates profound symbolic wisdom to those with the humility to look
and ponder its immortal truths. But, I also think these truths need to be reconciled with the personal world in which we live: so, the dichotomy of my
philosophy (which is rooted in Judaism) is the impersonal cosmic forces and the personal social reality: they can get along great, but compromise must
be made on both sides.
Also, as for compassion, I think you are ignoring, or unwilling to admit the presence of something ineffable; I can't quite quantify what it is, but
there is something there in all acts of true compassion which transcends any self interest; that love and intense gratitude one feels when he is with
those he loves and cares for, it's as if something ontologically has changed in his being: yes, the sense of self and the cognizance of ones own
interests are present, but beyond this, or, in spite of this, there is a faint sense of the original unity that existed before one became; It's this
subtle, marvelous intuition which underlies all real religion. You, for reasons only you know, don't put much stock into this feeling, or rationalize
it away as some superstitious 'wishful' thought --- but, ontologically - since I speak of this state as bearing metaphysical objectivity - you could
very well be wrong, persuaded by feelings so deep within your own unconscious being that denies a truth which may seem too good to be
edit on 10-5-2012 by dontreally because: (no reason given)