a new understanding of today, time and space.

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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:53 pm

Sapere Aude: "dare to know"
is also loosely translated as "dare to be wise"
or perhaps even more loosely, "dare to think for yourself"

Now Kant used this as his motto.... what he meant was that a person
was to think for themselves and not allow, as previous generations did,
to allow others to think for you.. for example, authorities like Plato, the church,
documents like the bible...…. Kant wanted a person to think for themselves
and become self directed... this self directed is very important to Kant.....
we are supposed to be self directed which for Kant meant to obey one's
personal duties..... for Kant, above all other aspects, he believed in
following one's own personal duties....for example, when he said this...

"Two things awe me most, the starry sky above
and the moral law within me"

that was about one taking ownership of their own personal duties...
and the Kantian idea of

"living your life as thou your every act were
to become a universal law".....

this too is about the duties that Kant felt were a part of every human's life.....

but this self direction..... what direction was it to take?

for example, we are instructed to self direct ourselves toward
some goal, to be happy or to find wisdom or to gain knowledge
to be rich.... to discover some self directed goal which is not
based on what authorities like Aristotle or the church or the bible,
meant for you to base as personal goals......we are to discover our
own personal directions or goals, to be self directed.....

it is in this self direction that was the basis for what Kant wrote...

are you self directed or do you base your goals upon authorities
or upon the church or upon text like the bible?

now if you think about life in general, most of life is driven by
desires, wants, needs... as animals, we have drives, such as food, water, shelter, to procreate,
clothes and as human beings, we want to be social, we want love and to love,
we want freedom and some want security...… these needs are the higher needs
of being human... these drives are drives based on specific human needs
and not about the animal drives that all life has......

the forces of evolution has "created" in us, certain drives which allowed
the human species to grow and thrive....we are driven by evolution as human
beings to have certain inalienable drives....now some may differ as to what
those inalienable drives are... be it love or be it the search for god or be it
security or life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...…..
we can call these drives, self directed drives.. but I am not sure they
are self directed as much as evolutionary drives which are by their very
nature, uncontrollable... for example, the drive to procreate is a strong
and powerful human drive that drives much of human behavior and goals
and energy...… much of what we do is based on this evolutionary drive we
have little or no control over...………we cannot count this as being self directed....

so what Kant is saying is that the search for freedom is one such self directed
goal which can be the basis of our actions and behaviors and energy....

we can have other drivers of behaviors and actions and we have mentioned
some of them, security and love and being social are all possible drives we
humans have.....

personally, I have a drive for understanding and wisdom.... my drive used
to be for knowledge but I learned that knowledge is not necessarily
the basis for wisdom.. we can know things, have knowledge and still not
be wise... we can have understanding which is different then knowledge...….
and I want to understand and have wisdom.....

at my age when most people are just sitting around and watching tv, I am
spending my days reading and studying philosophy in hopes of some day,
perhaps, maybe I might become just a little bit wiser and have some more
understanding... I am self directed..... to achieve a goal which most people
attempt, if at all, when they are much, much younger...…. old people like me
are suppose to be past such nonsense like philosophy.... but here I am.....
and here I shall remain...… for I am driven to pursue wisdom and understanding...

so when asked, what are you driven to do?

when challenged to "Sapere Aude".... dare to know...

what do you dare to know?

do you dare to be wise?

do you dare to think for yourself?

what have you self directed yourself to do?

"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
Peter Kropotkin
ILP Legend
Posts: 6961
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:03 am

several questions are going about my head...…

if modernism, modernity is the problem, then what is the solution?

in regards to the enlightenment ideal of freeing people from
the tyranny of authorities, of the tyranny of aristotle and the
tyranny of the church.... what if, what if we have simple
replaced the old tyrannies with the new, we have the "new"
tyranny of the state, the new tyranny of the ism's/ideologies
of capitalism... of marxism, of the "modern"
upon which we sacrifice the modern man... just as the old
tyrannies were quite happy to sacrifice Bruno and socrates
upon the old ideals....

what is the question upon we must face that answers the problem
of modernity?

"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
Peter Kropotkin
ILP Legend
Posts: 6961
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:47 am
Location: blue state

Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:15 pm

after 8 straight days of work, I finally have a day off.....

I have often wondered what this is all about? you, me, everything.....

and then I think about human beings.... we see ourselves in this game,
this thing we call life and what is it all about?

This morning, while doing laundry, I was thinking about baseball....
my favorite game...... How the baseball greats were great only defined
by baseball.... for example, a truly great hitter, still only has a 320. batter
average....320, think about this, that mean a hitter only hits the ball, gets on base,
a little bit more then 3 times for every ten at bats.....so for every 1000 at bats,
a truly great hitter will hit the ball 320 times....think about it.... a hitter
is a succesful hitter by hitting the ball only about a third of the time.....
can you think of any other profession where one might be considered to be
a success with a 33% success rate? think about a doctor or a lawyer or a dentist
who only succeeded 33% of the time? that would be a really crappy doctor or lawyer
or dentist.......or a politician being successful 33% of the time......

the goal of baseball is to become a better baseball player.. either by becoming
a better hitter and has we have pointed out a truly successful player only
succeeds 33% of the time but the baseball player gets better fielding the ball,
and running the bases and getting walks and all the little things a player
can do to improve his game... to become better...…

that is the goal of baseball, to become better and in becoming better,
you help the team become better.. but first comes the part where
you must improve yourself.....you must have some value to the team..
either you are a good hitter or a good pitcher or a good fielder or a good
base stealer... there are aspects of team play that needs individual
talents in order for the team to succeed..... if you are talented in some
area, you can help the team to succeed...

now let us take this baseball analogy to life... I have a certain skill set,
I can make connections very quickly between two very different area's.....
I freely admit I cannot do math to save my life and my English skills are
ESL at best.... so if I want to become more valuable, I need to improve my
individual skills and what does that do? it helps the team to win....
and what does winning look like in our current context?

as in any team, we must have goals to achieve.... we must work at
our goals... and as with any goals, they must be clearly stated
and understood to be in the best interest of everyone playing the game.....

and so, I point out that goals and objectives of liberals make
much more sense with our current understanding of what is means to be human
then the goals and objectives of conservatives......

it is not in the interest of the individual player to pad his stats
to improve his signing bonus to the detriment of the team....
we are the solo players who must understand that we are also
part of a team... and if we want to succeed, the team must succeed..
it is as simple as that... if the team fails, we fail and if we fail, the team fails...…

conservatives don't care about the team and if the team fails, as long
as the individual player can paid his stats and get paid more... that is the goal....
for the conservative only cares about getting paid more, not if the team

but how big of a team do we actually have?

we have families and tribes and city/states and nations
and countries and races, be it white or black and religions,
be it Christian or Muslim or Hindu, we can divide human beings
into thousands of different classes depending on how you divide
human beings...… but I say, it doesn't matter how you divide the human
race, it isn't enough..... for we also belong to a bigger team than just
the human race.....we belong to the team of life.... and we must work
to promote and protect life, be it snakes or tree's or bee's or even the earth
itself..... and we must be prepared to make sacrifices to protect
the greatest team of all, that of life on planet earth.... for we may
be the only life in the universe......and we have a duty and obligation
to protect that life even if it means we must sacrifice ourselves
to protect life..... just as a teammate might sacrifice himself to
help a teammate or to help the team, we must become good teammates
to all life on planet earth.... for that is what teammates do and it doesn't
matter if the other teammates on earth know or understand what we do...
because we know.....and that is all that matters, if we know what it takes
to be a good teammate to our fellow human beings and to life...…

on a personal level, I must try to become a better human being which
in turns makes the human race a better race... it is our individual improvements
as human beings that allows our fellow teammates, our fellow human beings,
to belong to a better team... if we improve ourselves, we improve our team.....
and that is the mission of being human...… we improve ourselves to improve
the team and that team includes life, all life on planet earth...…

"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
Peter Kropotkin
ILP Legend
Posts: 6961
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:47 am
Location: blue state

Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:18 pm

Sittlichkeit: the ethical life as defined by Hegel...…

what is the "ethical life"? does a man who steal a loaf of bread
to feed his family being ethical? For isn't feeding one's family
belong to the famous "inalienable rights" of "life, liberty and
the pursuit of happiness" of the declaration of independence.....
or does an economic system which prevents a man from feeding
his family an "unethical" system? How does a person exists in an "ethical"
life when certain basic "inalienable" rights are denied to them?

Which is more "ethical" a man who steals a loaf of bread to feed his family or, or
an economic system that prevents that man from feeding his family?

How does Sittlichkeit work in regards to the pursuit of capitalism or
communism? Individually or collectively? Now one of the key points of
Kant was that human beings were to be "self directed"... not driven by
the power and reach of authority like god, the bible, Aristotle, the church,
the state...…..and so what does it mean to have sittlichkeit in terms of
being self directed as Kant wanted? For hundreds of years, Sittlichkeit
was connected to the concept of Art.... the ethical life was directly
connected to Art... you cannot have an ethical life without Art....Kant
makes this point as does Hegel.....

so how does being self determined as defined by Kant mean in terms
of our "modern" fixation, "modern" addiction of the pursuit of profit/money?
So what does it mean to be human in light of the fact that we/society places
the pursuit of money as the "highest" ideal? Is the only value of being human,
the modern ideal of consumer/producer? and what does this idea of self determination
tell us about religion? what does Sittlichkeit have to do with religion?

"Salto Mortale" which is Jacobs leap of faith and later turns up with Kierkegaard leap of faith,
what does this have to do with Sittlichkeit? the ethical life? This "Salto Mortale" doesn't just
exists within a religious context, it is also present in how we view the ism's and ideologies
such as capitalism and communism...….for both capitalism and, AND communism at
their heart, takes a leap of faith into the impersonal forces of the invisible hand
of god/market forces in capitalism and the invisible forces of the laws of materialism which drive
communism...…. we seek refuge in these "Salto Mortale" of capitalism and communism....

we don't see self determination in either capitalism or communism because both are
driven by unseen and beyond human understanding and ability to direct.....

both capitalism and communism is to be rejected because they both, capitalism
and communism carry the modern despair and alienation and discontentment
of modern life..... because they both hold has their basic principles, impersonal forces
that exist outside of and beyond human determination...…

So what is nihilism? the holding of beliefs that forces one to have as a basic premise
"Salto Mortale" as does both capitalism and communism....
we hold to other such impersonal forces theory beyond capitalism and communism,
such as Buddhism, Christianity or any ideological that preaches about any forces
beyond our control.

Until we regain our ability to self determination, we shall continually fall
victim to such impersonal forces that we must hold by "Salto Mortale"....

and what does this mean for science and the naturalism of Newton or Einstein?

do we have self determination within science or naturalism? or must we
engage in "Salto Mortale" with science and or naturalism?

more later...

"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
Peter Kropotkin
ILP Legend
Posts: 6961
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:47 am
Location: blue state

Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:46 pm

and continued:

This leap of faith, "Salto Mortale".. doesn't just exist in the impersonal
forces of capitalism or communism, no, as noted it exists in
any religion such as Buddhism or Christianity....at the very start of
the religious process... for example, Buddhism requires an immediate
leap of faith right from the start that we are reincarnated and Christianity
requires a leap of faith that there is a god... right from the get go, both
religions require a leap of faith...….

the next step is this question of science, naturalism, of evolution,
of gravity, of the natural forces that has created the universe..
how do we have self determination in light of those natural forces that have
created and dominate our natural universe? How do we understand Sittlichkeit
in light of those natural forces? How are we to have self determination
and an ethical life when we are fixed and determined by evolution
and gravity and other such forces? Can we have an ethical life given
we are created by such fixed forces as gravity and evolution?

must we make a "Salto Mortale" in the face of such forces as gravity/evolution?

we are forced to exist in a certain way because of gravity and evolution,
we must breath and eat and drink water and procreate as we are the results
of billions of years of evolution and we must obey the laws of gravity or
face rather severe consequences.....our self determination is limited
in that sense... our physical limitations are set by those forces of gravity
and evolution... but we are not bound to those forces...we can act in a
self determined fashion regardless of those physical forces that have created
and dominate us...we have choice... we can lead an ethical life because
we are not limited in that way by evolution.... we can exist in Sittlichkeit
because gravity and evolution affect us on one way, it doesn't determine
our ethical choices... gravity or evolution doesn't say or do anything to limit
our ethical choices, our ethical lives....we can act individually and/or collectively
in terms of our ethical choices...we are not limited by gravity or evolution in this
manner....we can have ethical lives because our ethical choices is not limited
by or determined by those forces of science...…

but what about those ism's and ideologies that require us to
to make a leap of faith, ism like capitalism or communism or
Buddhism or Christainity….if we make a leap of faith, are we really
leading ourselves to ethical choices? can we make ethical choices if
we have to "Salto Mortale" to make that choice? does a leap of faith allow
one to have an ethical choice? for to have an choice requires we don't
need to act in some prior manner like making a leap of faith to make
our ethical choices work....Kierkegaard is wrong... we don't need to
make a leap of faith to have ethical choices..... we just need to
choose and then act upon that choice... I can have an ethical life
if I simply self determine that I exist within a certain framework, a
framework of forces like gravity and evolution that limits
my choices, but they don't determine those choices... I do....

Today I choose to be ethical.. I will help that old women cross the street
and that is all it takes... to act to benefit others instead of myself...
but that choice Kropotkin, doesn't that choice require a leap of faith
that helping others is the ethical choice....you tell me....

"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
Peter Kropotkin
ILP Legend
Posts: 6961
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:47 am
Location: blue state

Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Jan 21, 2019 6:01 pm

I have thinking about "ART" a lot lately
and what is the connection between "ART" and our lives....

What is the value or point of "ART" in our lives?
and I was thinking about novels like those written by
Jane Austin or Tolstoy..... They are novels by virtue of having
a plot or a narrative, a story is told, a story with a beginning, middle
and end..... Now that story can be told in hundreds of different ways...
we can tell hundreds of different stories with the exact same
people and/or events...…… for example, the movie "clueless" is a
1996? movie that is an adaptation of a Jane Austin novel.... we have
a novel that has been changed but the basic features are still there if
you know the source material......In music, I have heard many different
versions of songs like "my funny valentine" and the Beatles song, "yesterday"

we can adapt and change every single story and plot to include or become
something else.....

so we have "plot" a story which every "ART" has, even painting...
has a plot as we also have plays, music, movies, all of which has a "plot"
a story to tell.....

so to return to a point raised earlier, I have noted how human beings
have become alienated, disconnected, atomized, from society and from
each other and in many cases, we have become alienated and disconnected
from ourselves.....

what if, what if we are alienated and disconnected and atomized because
we don't have a plot to follow. we don't see our lives as having a plot,
a storyline in which we can follow and be part of...….

we see this also in the massive alienation and disconnect that is within
society in individuals because of those powerful forces that are not
within our control such as exhibited by capitalism which is driven by
the "invisible hand of god" and communism which is driven by the
forces of class relations and social conflict driven by a materialistic
interpretation of historical development... this historical development is
outside of and beyond the control of individual people, just as capitalism
is driven by the invisible hand of the "market place" which is also outside
of the control of individual people..... and we have religions which are
based on the outside forces of god and within Buddhism which is the uncontrolled
forces of reincarnation which is outside the forces of individuals...

much of human ism's and ideologies are based on forces that are beyond
and outside of the control of human beings...…

when we have a "plot" we can compare and contrast our lives with the "plot"
and the storyline and we can see or compare where we are and what is our choices
in life...…

we can even have a "plot" in such modernist painting as Duchamp "Nude descending a
staircase" for which we can create an entire story around a nude descending a staircase,
a beginning or an ending or even the denouement of a story.....a plot exists within
a modern painting like "nude descending a staircase" if we are willing to create one.....

and what would the plot or story of your life look like?

we have become isolated, alienated, disconnected from our lives because
we no longer have a clear and precise story or plot we can tell about ourselves...
to ourselves and to others. think of the cave man, think of the story they
told about themselves in which they were trying to survive against incredible
odds against all sorts of adversities.....

or think of the medieval human being who had a story to tell about their
place in life and where they fit into society...…

but modern man, what is our story? what is our "plot"?
we need a story to compare and contrast where we are
and what human beings are and what is our possibilities...…..

write your own story, write you own plot... and what does it say about

we have become disconnected from the myths and superstitions that
were the stories of society and life since the beginning.....
one such story is how we are "meant" to search for god
and another story is how instead of god, we found doubt
and within that doubt, we found wisdom... not knowledge,
but wisdom.... for it is only from doubt can we begin the
story, our story of our search for wisdom...…….

so what story, what plot are you going to tell us about your life?
what story is your story about your past, present and future?

what is the plot of your life?

and that is "ART"....and if done correctly that story is also philosophy
and history and economics and biology and physics and or in fact,
any study we engage in...…. that is our story.. the study we engage with
becomes our plot, our story....I study who we are and who I am in terms
of philosophy and history but you can engage in a study of your story, your
plot by any means you wish... even "ART" can be your path to study
your story, your plot...…...so tell me?

what is your plot?

"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
Peter Kropotkin
ILP Legend
Posts: 6961
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:47 am
Location: blue state

Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Jan 21, 2019 6:12 pm

now one of the reasons we are so atomized and alienated
is because the stories, plot we tell about ourselves is
disconnected from society... we are social creatures,
and our stories, plot must, must reflect that social nature
of the human creature.... we must acknowledge and operate within
the paramaters of social discourse of being human, being social,
we exists in the context of our social, collective being....
we cannot, cannot do anything else..... we are social and collective
beings and our stories, our plots must reflect that social and collective
nature... otherwise we become alienated, disconnected, atomized,
from ourselves and our society.......we must have a story that connects
us to a larger context that includes other human beings, other life....

perhaps the problem with modern life is we aren't connecting our stories
into an overall, social context... we have isolated our stories too much
and our plot, our story isn't wide enough or social enough to meet our needs....

we are social, collective beings and our stories, plots must reflect that.....

"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
Peter Kropotkin
ILP Legend
Posts: 6961
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:47 am
Location: blue state

Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:29 pm

now part of our story, our plot is our identity....
I was homeless for a bit and that is part of my story,
part of my plot, but it isn't part of my identity...I was
born with a hearing loss, that is part of my identity,
identity must be something that is "permanent"
I am white, that is part of my identity, part of my plot...
and it is permanent.... being white tells a story.. do I have or suffer
from "white privilege"? that is part of the story, whither it is true,
is another story or plot....we each of us, have a story, a plot and some
of that story is permanent which is then identity.... but I have heard of
people say that "have an identity crisis". Well if identity comes from our story
or our plot, then to have an identity crisis would imply that I have
become alienated from or disconnected from my story, my plot.....

we do have forces like capitalism and communism which are forces that
are outside of or beyond our ability to control..... is not part of our story, our plot
is to engage with the social forces around us... for we are social creatures and any
story we have must involve other people... we must engage with, be social with
other human beings and if we are alienated from or disconnected from people
due to the forces beyond our control....then we can feel alienated, disconnected
from people due to the forces beyond our control.....alienation stems from
our disconnection to the story we have or the plot we have as human beings.....

if my life is "controlled" by forces outside of my control such as in
capitalism or communism, then we are not connected to or we are disconnected
from people.... if my life is determined by the "invisible hand of god" or the market,
then I am not connected to people.... we are atomized by those invisible forces of
capitalism or communism or Buddhism or religion....I cannot tell a story or have a plot
about invisible forces like capitalism which the invisible forces of the marketplace
have made me poor or have destroyed my life.... what is that story?
How do I turn invisible market forces into a story, a plot in which
I can maintain my identity? for identity is a permanent aspect of the story
we tell about ourselves.... and those invisible forces of ism's and ideologies,
how can I tell that story? I am not only disconnected from my fellow human
beings due to the invisible forces that dominate our lives, but I can't even tell
a story about it which doubly disconnected me or alienates me from both my self
and my fellow human beings...…

How can I tie up my story, my plot with invisible forces I can't even see
or touch? I cannot, cannot connect my story which is what we human beings do
to help us connect us to others, remember we are social beings and we must
as an condition of being human, must connect ourselves with other human beings...

the so called identity crisis of the modern age comes from our blindly following
those invisible forces which we cannot see or touch or change and those
invisible forces are inherent in all ism's and ideologies......for the basic
starting point of ism's and ideologies is within invisible forces which we cannot
touch or see or connect to.. socialism, communism, capitalism, Catholicism,
Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism.... all exist within the starting point of invisible
forces... and science? yes, science holds us to invisible starting points like
gravity and evolution and biology.. all of which have invisible forces
dominating them......how do we really solve this identity crisis?

we become connected to, part of those forces which we can see
and touch and control...…….

what is the story of human beings? our social nature and we can touch
and see and feel that social nature, every single day......and that is our
starting point of our story, our plot, our connection due
to the fact that we are social creatures and we must, must in order to survive
and prosper, connect to and become part of other human beings, both
as individuals and collectively.....

"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"
Peter Kropotkin
ILP Legend
Posts: 6961
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:47 am
Location: blue state


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