The Judgement Of The Intellect

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We should not pretend to understand the world only by the intellect; we apprehend it just as much by feeling. Therefore, the judgment of the intellect is, at best, only the half of truth, and must, if it be honest, also come to an understanding of its inadequacy.

 

Carl Gustav Jung

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Negative Method

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The space-time, subject-object phenomenal universe is a manifestation of mind, of which day and sleep dreaming are examples in a second degree.

 

The result of this individualisation process, based on seriality, which all degrees of dreamers know as ‘reality’, has no objective resemblance to that which causes it to appear, because that which causes it to appear has no objective quality at all.

 

Therefore that is totally inaccessible to any form of objective cognition, let alone of description. The only words that can indicate it at all are This, Here, Now, and Am, and in a context which is entirely abstract.

 

The negative method is provisional only; it turns from the positive to its counterpart, and then negates both. That wipes out everything objective and leaves an emptiness which represents fullness, total absence which represents total presence. Here the thinking (and not-thinking) process ends, and the absence itself of that IS the Inconceivable.

 

Inconceivable for whoever attempts to conceive it. But who suggested that we should do that?

 

– Wei Wu Wei

 

 

 

 

 

 

Major Malfunction

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If you are depressed and anxious, you are not a machine with malfunctioning parts. You are a human being with unmet needs. The only real way out of our epidemic of despair is for all of us, together, to begin to meet those human needs – for deep connection, to the things that really matter in life.

 

– Johann Hari

 

Art – ‘Malfunctioning robot’, by Jeff Nicholson, on reddit.com

 

 
 
 

The Self-Chosen Absence From Work

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In a morbid society the belief prevails that defined and diagnosed ill-health is infinitely preferable to any other form of negative label or to no label at all. It is better than criminal or political deviance, better than laziness, better than self-chosen absence from work. More and more people subconsciously know that they are sick and tired of their jobs and of their leisure passivities, but they want to hear the lie that physical illness relieves them of social and political responsibilities. They want their doctor to act as lawyer and priest. As a lawyer, the doctor exempts the patient from his normal duties and enables him to cash in on the insurance fund he was forced to build. As a priest, he becomes the patient’s accomplice in creating the myth that he is an innocent victim of biological mechanisms rather than a lazy, greedy, or envious deserter of a social struggle for control over the tools of production. Social life becomes a giving and receiving of therapy: medical, psychiatric, pedagogic, or geriatric. Claiming access to treatment becomes a political duty, and medical certification a powerful device for social control.

 

– Ivan Illich, Medical Nemesis

 

 

The Two Hands Of God

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As there is no woven cloth without the simultaneous interpenetration of warp and woof, there is no world without both the exhalation and inhalation of the Supreme Self. Though the image of breathing, as distinct from weaving, makes the two successive rather than simultaneous, nevertheless the one always implies the other. Successive in time, they are simultaneous in meaning that is, sub specie aeternitatis, from the standpoint of eternity. Beginning and end, birth and death, manifestation and withdrawal always imply each other.

 

In Western—that is, Judaic and Christian—imagery there has generally been a tendency to overlook this mutuality and to see each life and the creation itself as unique—as a beginning, and then an end, which does not imply another beginning. Our world is linear, and the course of time is very strictly a one-way street. Nature is a clockwork mechanism, which does not wind itself up in the process of running down. In Western religion and physics alike, we tend to think of all energy as expenditure and evaporation. There is no hope for a renewal of life beyond the end unless the supernatural Creator, by an act of special grace, winds things up again.

 

But the Indian view of time is cyclic. If birth implies death, death implies rebirth, and likewise the destruction of the world implies its recreation, The Western images are thus essentially tragic. Nature is a fall and its goal is death. There is no necessity for anything to happen beyond the end: only divine grace, operating outside the sphere of necessity, can redeem and restore the world. But the Indian imagery makes the world-drama a comedy—a sport or lila—in which all endings are the implicit promise of beginnings.

 


—Alan Watts, The Two Hands of God, ‘The Cosmic Dance’