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Mark Twain - Metaphysician.
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Author:  DaveMars [ Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:31 am ]
Post subject:  Mark Twain - Metaphysician.

On recommendation from another forum member, I read Mark Twains essay - "What is Man?"

I recommend it to interested people here because it is in accordance with MBT and brings an interesting argument to bear on our responsibilities and possibilities here.

It is available as a download, no license, here: http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/70/pg70.html

The author had to make a couple of leaps, but those are nicely covered by MBT. One such: Twain did not conceptualize an over-soul as the source of ideas, thoughts, memories, etc. Rather, he attributed those things to culture and to "others". The only quibble I have with that is that "others" cannot be an infinite set. At some point, someone, in Twains ontology, had to have an original idea, which he denied was possible. The simple answer is that "outside forces" are NPMR-based.

The other leap he makes, which is more of a skip, is this exchange:

"Maybe the 'Me" is the soul."
"Maybe it is. What is the soul?"
"I don't know."
"Neither does anyone else."

Here, I think, MBT helps us to begin to know that which Twain could not.

The essay particularly contains two points that resonated with me. One is what Seth called "Value Fulfillment". This is pretty much the only imperative in the whole thing. I won't try to explain that here. Many places to learn about that.

The other was a concise statement that could be a useful and beautiful motto for life, and is perfectly aligned with MBT: "Diligently train your ideals upward and still upward toward a summit where you will find your chiefest pleasure in conduct which, while contenting you, will be sure to confer benefits upon your neighbor and the community."

THIS is a way of being "love" AND doing it from a "selfish" motive, which, to Twain, was the ONLY one we can ever operate from. He has us chasing our own pleasure, but training ourselves so that it is our pleasure to help others. The motive is selfish, the result is "love." BAM!

Also, an interesting distinction is made between free will and free choice. One we have, the other we do not, he says. Challenging thought - no free will. Supported by current science, IMO.

Just thought I'd throw that out there in case anyone wants a brief, insightful read.

Oh, and as a bonus, because Dave rolls like that, in case you aren't a reader, here it is, and others, in audio format http://librivox.org/what-is-man-and-oth ... ark-twain/

Author:  bette [ Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mark Twain - Metaphysician.

Thanks Dave, back at ya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P2MOrWrsk8
Love to you and yours,
Bette

Author:  DaveMars [ Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mark Twain - Metaphysician.

I love how once you begin to see these things they appear to be everywhere.

Reminds me of when my wife became pregnant (heh - passive voice rocks) and suddenly there appeared to us to be pregnant women everywhere, where there had been, for some reason, none before.

That said - I am finding MBT stuff in all manner of nooks/crannies (although I don't really know what a cranny is).

This from NYU prof/philosopher Thomas Nagel ("What is it like to be a bat?") in his article "The Absurd":

"Yet humans have the special capacity to step back and survey themselves, and the lives to which they are committed... Without developing the illusion that they are able to escape from their highly specific and idiosyncratic position, they can view it sub specie aeternitatis—and the view is at once sobering and comical...there is no reason to believe that anything matters...and we can approach our absurd lives with irony instead of heroism or despair."

I like that: irony.

So, so true.

Author:  Ted Vollers [ Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mark Twain - Metaphysician.

nook

Noun
A corner or recess, esp. one offering seclusion or security: "the nook beside the fire".
Synonyms
corner - angle - recess

cran·ny

Noun
A narrow space or opening.
Synonyms
chink - crevice - fissure - cleft - crack - rift - split

So common pairings are nooks and crannies versus cracks and crevices and perhaps others as well. Then there are words link inglenook which basically means a fireplace.

Ted

Author:  kroeran [ Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mark Twain - Metaphysician.

Quote:

The essay particularly contains two points that resonated with me. One is what Seth called "Value Fulfillment". This is pretty much the only imperative in the whole thing. I won't try to explain that here. Many places to learn about that.
its possible that Value maps to Quality

and perhaps Fulfillment maps to intent, the specific little intents at each DELTA(t) fork in the road of decision making

intents of course loop back to Quality through intent/fulfillment->decision->action->result->feedback->quality/value tick

or Fulfillment is the broader above sequence that is informed by Value and loops back to inform Value (Quality)

if the word "values" were used, I would rather map it to mental map that sits between intent->mental map->decision
Quote:
The other was a concise statement that could be a useful and beautiful motto for life, and is perfectly aligned with MBT: "Diligently train your ideals upward and still upward toward a summit where you will find your chiefest pleasure in conduct which, while contenting you, will be sure to confer benefits upon your neighbor and the community."

THIS is a way of being "love" AND doing it from a "selfish" motive, which, to Twain, was the ONLY one we can ever operate from. He has us chasing our own pleasure, but training ourselves so that it is our pleasure to help others. The motive is selfish, the result is "love." BAM!
indeed, love may be merely a small science PMR word for this otherly intent/decisions/actions that apparently defies logic. In the big picture, this love thing is actually macheveillian selfishness, and the astute sociopath would do well to try it and employ it, and if not reinforced through feedback loop detection, rather invest in it through logic and triangulation.

apart from this dispassionate modelling lens, there is the separate poetic and emotional aspect of underlying organic empathy, intuited and felt in glimpses in normal life, but laid bare in its overwhelming intensity as reported with many NDE cases.

Emotional empathy without otherly intent/action/decisions of course misses the point being a manifestation of "love interrupted".

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