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Charles Dickens vs. Eckhart Tolle

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posted on Jan, 29 2017 @ 08:40 PM
This little thread seeks to explore the meaning of time and the way human beings have conceptualized their existence in terms of how they should conceptualize their experience of time.

Most basically, the two main views fall into 2 camps: philosophies which emphasize the singular reality of the now, and philosophies which emphasize the importance of all three senses of time - the past, present and future.

Eckhart Tolle is a proponent of the first camp, and Charles Dickens an exemplar of the second.

I'll have more to write later on this, but for now, check out this little clip of Milhouse Van Houten and his apparent fondness for Zoroastrianism:

Now, for the psychologically and scientifically naive - all of Humanity up until the present scientific era we're now so privileged to live in - experience could only be interpreted post-facto, which means, first we act, and then we experience the consequences of our acting. The consequences need to be interpreted and understood, which can only be accomplished through social-processes. This essentially means that reflexive processes - which impel acting - lead to states of self-organization (affects), which then compel a cognitive framework to make sense of.

Our representational minds - our thinking and verbalizing sense of self - can conceptualize meaning in terms of our organisms natural coherence - necessarily a social state of cohesion, reflection, recognition and a powerful sense of an intrinsic equality between self and other - what the psychologist Michael Tomasello terms "self-other equivalence". This 'self-other' equivalence is an emergent property - something 'arrived' at through convergence - not magic: its an essential part of what we are that we all seek to cooperate and use one anothers recognition to regulate out affective states.

Now, I do not mention Milhouse for fun, but for a purpose. Indeed, its become an abiding interest of mine not merely to explain the evolution of Human beings, but to explore how the contexts we make 'act back upon us' i.e. feedback into the way and manner we self-organize. That is, if the context - or the "boundaries" of our environment begin to change - so too will the way and manner we self-organize. This is an essential implication of systems theory which as surprisingly been under-explored with regard to the much vaunted "agriculture revolution". My sense of this period is not very good - as agriculture implies a state of self-organization - in my view - fundamentally different from the one Humans evolved within.

I believe many thousands of years ago Human beings 'veered' from a state of coherence and stability with their natural environment (the world), ultimately leading to a transformation of the way and manner their minds worked. This is because the developmental process was streamlined differently - the external conditions were different, which meant that the normal state of self-other equivalence was being continuously challenged by a social context that preserved inequality. A problem indeed.

It's not a coincidence, I argue, that Friedrich Nietzsche invokes Zarathustra as the title character of his most famous writing - or the very Persian prophet Milhouse so adores - as both the German society Nietzsche was born into - as well as the Persian society Zoroaster was born into - were imperialist cultures which traumatized the selves of humans as each individual functioned from a 'deficiency cognition' - compelled to show-off their "hero" ness - the obsession being compelled by a constant challenge - a questioning - imposed by the trauma upon trauma that Human self-organization became more and more attracted towards.

The trauma of physical violence - of mutilation and sudden death - is hard to put into words. But it is also important to recognize that perpetrators of trauma do not get off untouched - but become burdened by anxiety, shame and guilt - states that need to be metabolized - or controlled - if the self is to be able to enter social-processes again.

And herein lies the emergence of the conflation of life and death, this world and the next world, with the blurring of the past and future, into one 'singularity - what Tolle calls "the power of now".

The problem with this mental trick is that it is what ultimately lies behind climate change and the despoilation of our planet. If the sole emphasis - or sole temporal value - for the Human is the present, then the dynamics of our present actions - and the futures they ineluctably lead towards - cannot be avoided, and indeed, the satanic core of a total emphasis on 'now' reveals itself.

But more importantly: the traumatized self - stuck in the void of derealization and depersonalization from traumas committed against others as well as against the self - an emphasis on the now is CLEARLY and OBVIOUSLY a self-defensive procedure to get away from the deleterious impact of memory - of the way the past haunts - but it is also completely naive to imagine that the past doesn't control the present-consciousness: what else does it mean when a person gets angry when an unconscious memory of suffering or shame has been activated? Whether or not they consciously know the cause of their anger, the fact of reality is - they are being organized by the effect of the trauma of a past experience, and their present state - anger - is "unconscious" only in that the conscious mind refuses to peer back into its past to 're-member' the cause underlying its present motivation.

Charles Dickens was truer - and more aware - than Eckhart Tolle or Zoroaster, for that matter. Dickens indeed should be everyones hero: he called out the very people responsible for much of the suffering in todays world: the banker. It's not merely the bankers miserliness - but their continuous obsession with living in the now - and not caring, or bothering, to recognize their fortune as individuals (i.e. to be gracious) or to recognize where their continued miserliness will lead to - as it always leads.

Why does this happen? Why did the 30 years war happen? Why did the French revolution happen? Its the same cause - as always - and today it has happening for perhaps the final time. Elites - in being traumatized individuals - have evolved a religion that only emphasizes the "Now" - imagining (fantasizing) that all that really exists is the now - and not the past or the future. Clearly - a person which takes account of his past integrates his present with his past - and thus achieving a temporal coherency that is superior to a singular emphasis on the present moment. Similarly, consider your future - or the planets future, for example. Dickens wisely recognizes the value of projection into the future, as the more we learn about life, the knowledge and value we develop can be applied to avoiding unpleasant consequences.

The ultimate point is: science - reason - is a truer guide in living than a mystical-penchant that insists - and needs - to only emphasize the now. Indeed, the more wrong doing - the more unconscious guilt - and so the greater the need to deny reality.

posted on Jan, 29 2017 @ 09:19 PM
We are human beings. What makes us who we are now is due to two factors.

Genetics that we inherit from our parents and how we are raised.

Therefore the present 'me' is wholly dependent on my past. My past can and will alter my future. Even if you say, 'put your past behind you' then even the fact that I have to add in this step alters my future.

To exist only in the 'now' indicates I should throw out my past and live for the moment without any thought to future repercussions of my actions.

That does not work.


posted on Jan, 30 2017 @ 04:07 AM
No one can live in the now and no one can live outside now!
Life is happening now. Life can happen as thoughts of other times - those other times that are imagined (not real) and the one that is appearing in those images is also not real.
This that is happening is what there is.

Forget the word 'now' as it implies 'past and future' - really there is only what is happening. There are ideas, concepts and words arising as well as sound and colour and all sensation - all just simply happening as timeless being.

posted on Jan, 30 2017 @ 04:12 AM

originally posted by: Astrocyte
Elites - in being traumatised individuals - have evolved a religion that only emphasises the "Now" - imagining (fantasising) that all that really exists is the now - and not the past or the future.

Now cannot be imagined because it doesn't need to be - all 'other time' is imagined. What is IS. Can the 'past' or 'future' be seen or heard or is seeing and hearing always present?

The thing is that there is an idea that there is now and you. There is only what is happening and there is no you!!!!!
'You' need time to seem to exist as a separate thing.

The problem with conceptualising (thought) is that it assumes the existence of something which does not exist - this makes thought dangerous and destructive and incoherent.

edit on 30-1-2017 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

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