Tag Archives | Philosophy

Michael Garfield on Project Bring Me to Life

Selomon and Shantastic Shine interview Michael Garfield for episode #51 of the Project Bring Me to Life Podcast:

Michael Garfield is a writer, visionary artist, musician and philosopher. He writes for Globalish, an online news platform that explores the world of video and human conversation through the lens of non-separation and non-duality.

We speak with Michael about his background in writing, what type of articles he covers for Globalish, which includes a seeker’s path view at cultural futurism and literary critique of the artful video world.

Find more about Michael at here.

Interesting Articles by Michael on Globalish.com:

http://life.globalish.com/soul-mates-cell-mates-the-blessing-the-curse-of-other-people/

http://art.globalish.com/hot-chips-time-travel-shenanigans-in-the-koan-tastic-i-need-you-now-video/

http://art.globalish.com/how-new-yorks-projection-napping-turns-the-city-inside-out/

http://art.globalish.com/is-the-music-video-our-generations-tibetan-book-of-the-dead/

Link to the Jellyfish Painting we discuss in short:

https://michaelgarfield.myshopify.com/collections/2015/products/watermelon-tourmaline-medusa

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Surfing the Liminal Aether with Bruce Damer Ph.D

bruce-terence

Bruce Damer with Terence McKenna in 1999.

Via Midwest Real

Dr. Bruce Damer is a multi-disciplinary scientist and a (proud) woo-drenched renaissance man. He researches evolutionary biology, especially focusing on the murky questions surrounding the origin of life. Damer also designs asteroid-wrangling spacecrafts and is an expert in computer science who has spent decades researching emergent, lifelike virtual systems.

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Why is it that we’re always searching for someone to tell us answers? We have an obsession with experts, scientists, teachers — gurus of all sorts. As long as I can remember, I’ve been under the impression that learning and knowledge come from some sort of external source, but what if that’s entirely backward? 

What if all of the answers are right there inside of you, somewhere within your own deepest murk just waiting to be discovered? Perhaps great men are simply skilled facilitators of knowledge and learning, while the actual evolving and growth is wholly incumbent upon the individual.Read the rest

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Tantra, Martial Arts, and The Metaphysics of Pain

From the the Christian image of the crucifixion to statues of a skeletal Buddha, pain and suffering, and pushing beyond them, have been perennial themes in religion and spirituality. Both in the East and West — from the samurai to Freemasonry — practitioners have contemplated their own mortality, as part of their practices, reorienting themselves away from trivial personal concerns and toward, to borrow a term from the East, the “Way.”

Yet, today, we are increasingly concerned with comfort and security. Even spirituality itself is repackaged to reassure rather than to challenge practitioners. Offering rare insight, Craig Williams, author of Tantric Physics Vol I: Cave of the Numinous, elaborates on pain and its lessons in the martial arts and Tantra:

samurai

“Pain is one of the keys to unlock man’s innermost being as well as the world,” wrote Ernst Junger. “Whenever one approaches the points where man proves himself to be equal or superior to pain, one gains access to the sources of his power and the secret hidden behind his dominion.

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David Hume’s Argument Against Miracles (Part Two)

David Hume

Part One.

This post was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions

This is the second part in my series of posts on David Hume’s argument against miracles. Though Hume’s argument is widely-discussed and widely-referenced, it has been subject to a number of uncharitable interpretations. This, at any rate, is Robert Fogelin’s contention in his excellent little book A Defense of Hume on Miracles, which is the primary source for this series of posts.

In the previous entry, I explained some of the background to Fogelin’s book. He believes there are two major misreadings of Hume in the literature. The first holds that Hume thinks that no evidence could possibly suffice to establish the historical occurrence of a miracle. The second holds that Hume thinks that an a priori argument suffices to make the case against miracle claims. Both readings are in error.

The reason they are both in error has to do with the structure of Hume’s work Of Miracles.… Read the rest

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David Hume’s Argument Against Miracles (Part One)

David Hume

This post was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions.

If you read a book by an alleged eyewitness to a miraculous event, should you believe that the event occurred? Hume’s argument against the plausibility of believing in miracles on the basis of testimony is probably the most famous contribution to the philosophical debate on this question. It is also the most hotly contested and debated. Some people think that Hume’s argument is eminently reasonable, a shining example of his insatiable common-sense approach to philosophical argument. Others are less persuaded, believing Hume’s argument to be either question-begging or an ‘abject’ failure.

I’ve been dimly aware of these debates for a number of years. And I used to think I had a reasonable grasp of what Hume had to say. Indeed, in my recent post on Arif Ahmed’s case against the resurrection, I noted that Ahmed’s first argument is, to all intents and purposes, a reformulation of Hume’s.… Read the rest

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Against Imagination

deleuze

Does imagination create or distort our experience of the world? Oxford scholar Reidar Due turns to Spinoza, Deleuze and Kant, in order to establish imagination's relation to philosophy, the arts and science and ask: Does imagination liberate us or alienate us from reality, others and ourselves?


Reidar Due via Four by Three Magazine:

One often thinks that imagination is a good thing, that is, one thinks it is better to have imagination than not. Someone who is said to have no imagination is meant to be dull, erotically numb, politically astute etc. In this sense, to us moderns’, imagination is a placeholder for other positive values. It stands for freedom and receptivity, transcendence and innovation, excitement and inspiration. It is noteworthy that neither Ancient Greek philosophers nor Latin Medieval philosophers spent much time discussing imagination. The value of imagination is tied to the notion that truth and poetic creativity are dependent on novelty. It is against this background that Spinoza formulates a powerful critique of imagination along several axes. On the one hand, the imaginative psychological attitudes of hope and fear are ethically destructive, because they orient themselves towards that, which does not exist. On the other hand, ideas that we have about other people are often caused, not by an appreciation of them in their own right, but by an articulation of the effect that they have upon us. Hence we like and dislike people, because we imagine them, on the basis of our own vulnerable self-esteem, to be such and such, whereas they may be, in fact, very different. Finally, an intellectual grasp of reality, an adequate intellectual appropriation of nature, takes the form of conceptual or intuitive thinking, neither of which involves imagination. From Spinoza we thus get the view that imagination serves to imprison the subject within its own private thought and to bar the way towards an adequate appreciation of reality. The same perceptive is presented by the twentieth century philosopher Gilles Deleuze.

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How Julian Jaynes’ famous 1970s theory about consciousness is faring in the neuroscience age.

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Julian Jaynes, author of The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mindis well known for his controversial theory that consciousness in humans began only 3,000 years ago.

At Nautlius, Veronique Greenwood analyzes Jaynes’ thesis and its continued impact in philosophy and neuroscience circles:

In the beginning of the book, Jaynes asks, “This consciousness that is myself of selves, that is everything, and yet nothing at all—what is it? And where did it come from? And why?” Jaynes answers by unfurling a version of history in which humans were not fully conscious until about 3,000 years ago, instead relying on a two-part, or bicameral, mind, with one half speaking to the other in the voice of the gods with guidance whenever a difficult situation presented itself. The bicameral mind eventually collapsed as human societies became more complex, and our forebears awoke with modern self-awareness, complete with an internal narrative, which Jaynes believes has its roots in language.

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Philosophy Recap: Quantum Approaches to Consciousness

Ralph Buckley (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Ralph Buckley (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Via The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

It is widely accepted that consciousness or, more generally, mental activity is in some way correlated to the behavior of the material brain. Since quantum theory is the most fundamental theory of matter that is currently available, it is a legitimate question to ask whether quantum theory can help us to understand consciousness. Several programmatic approaches answering this question affirmatively, proposed in recent decades, will be surveyed. It will be pointed out that they make different epistemological assumptions, refer to different neurophysiological levels of description, and use quantum theory in different ways. For each of the approaches discussed, problematic and promising features will be equally highlighted.

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Philosophy Recap: Darwinism

Bryan Wright (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Bryan Wright (CC BY-ND 2.0)

via The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

Darwinism designates a distinctive form of evolutionary explanation for the history and diversity of life on earth. Its original formulation is provided in the first edition of On the Origin of Species in 1859. This entry first formulates ‘Darwin’s Darwinism’ in terms of five philosophically distinctive themes: (i) probability and chance, (ii) the nature, power and scope of selection, (iii) adaptation and teleology, (iv) nominalism vs. essentialism about species and (v) the tempo and mode of evolutionary change. Both Darwin and his critics recognized that his approach to evolution was distinctive on each of these topics, and it remains true that, though Darwinism has developed in many ways unforeseen by Darwin, its proponents and critics continue to differentiate it from other approaches in evolutionary biology by focusing on these themes. This point is illustrated in the second half of the entry by looking at current debates in the philosophy of evolutionary biology on these five themes.

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You Are Heroic, Unending, Mercurial Potential! Featuring Musical Mystic, Chris de Cinque of Closure in Moscow

Chris de Cinque is a well read man with a cheeky, verbose spirit. He also sings for the proggy, satire-soaked, mercurial quintet, Closure in Moscow. Their critically-acclaimed opus, Pink Lemonade (without a doubt one of my favorite records of last year) proves it’s possible to grapple with heavy themes like enlightenment and transhumanism all whilst maintaining a deep sense of fourth-wall breaking sarcasm complete with what sound suspiciously like boner noises (see the full album stream below).

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4-Closure-in-Moscow-3-2

Hear our first conversation with the Closure in Moscow boys here. 

The courage to forsake the armor your persona provides and expose your tender vulnerabilities to other humans is a terrifying, intimidating, yet irreplaceably vital thing. When you do summon up the bravery take that leap, you’re truly doing the no less than holy work of shrinking the gaps between you and your fellow man. Disabling your social forcefield allows compassion and understanding flow.Read the rest

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