thinktoomuch.net

Pondering the South African Memesphere – Looking for the Good in Everything

thinktoomuch.net header image 2

The Roller-coaster That Patience Rides

January 5th, 2008 · Posted by Hugo · 15 Comments

Human beings have times of more patience, and times of less patience. I went through a little lull in patience this morning. This post should be considered a rant. Be warned. The very process of getting it out of my system grants me a refreshed cup of patience by which to tackle the upcoming week. The additional advantage of a rant is that it is typically raw and honest. If you are able to look past the labels used, and recognise the concepts in the ranter’s mind, rants can facilitate mutual understanding.

What the “non-theists” I’m clashing with are possibly unaware of: at the moment, this blog is not a blog targeted at non-theists. This is not a blog for “supposedly rational” people. (“Rationality”, hrmph. If we avoid appealing to physical evidence, I could show you the path from empiricism to nihilism and out on the other side, into woo-woo land, where What the Bleep makes sense, using nothing but “rational arguments” — if you were willing to take that journey. That is an integral realisation in lousirr’s unfalsifiable philosophy. Unfalsifiable, which is why it is philosophy, not science. On the positive side, lousirr’s philosophy contains a golden argument for the golden rule, and takes the golden rule a step or a leap beyond what most people use. Quite challenging.)

So screw the “supposedly rationalistic” people. I don’t care about them right now. This blog has its sights set on the Pharisees. Other things are mostly healthy distractions. I cannot do this on my own though, I could do with some help. (Here the doctrine of the trinity pops into my head yet again — it is everywhere). I will find help where I can. I was hoping to find some help amongst some of the non-theists, because they know something about God that some theists don’t. (And no, not that “God doesn’t exist”. Sorry. If that’s what you’d like to hear, you can go find your life-giving drugs elsewhere, I don’t currently deal that one.)

It is interesting to note that after every interaction with “rational” people, my sister finds me harder to communicate with. Such interactions pulls my mind into scientific language, thereby making it harder for her to communicate with me using her supposedly “less scientific” language. In particular, after interactions with the “scientific” crowd, I have an unreasonable desire to teach her scientific language: having more bilingual (and trilingual?) people would be particularly useful, in both directions. I want to get the communication channels open again. The modernistic obsession with labels instead of the concepts that the labels should be pointing to, is killing us.

In this process of looking for some co-workers, I have learned a couple of things (here the rant starts, this was the alpha of this blog post):

  • If you are fundamentalistic about your labels, I have no use for you.
  • If you are fundamentalistic about not being fundamentalistic, I have no use for you. We are all fundamentalistic about something.
  • If you are fundamentalistic about the non-existence of something worthy of being called your “God”, I have no use for you.
  • If you are unaware of the harm done by books like The God Delusion, I have no use for you.
  • If you are unaware of the harm done by fundamentalistic religion, or religion in general, I have no use for you.
  • If you are unaware of the harm done by attempts at being completely harmless, I have no use for you.
  • If you are unaware that one can recognise a creator/destroyer duality in virtually everything (roots of Hinduism, I believe?), and you are disinterested or unwilling in discovering the duality, I have no use for you.
  • If you are unaware of the nature of yin/yang, and are disinterested or unwilling to see what is meant by that, I have no use for you.
  • If you are unaware or too scared to become aware of the singularity in psychology or physics, or the recursive nature of existence (I’ve heard rumours that Einstein was supposedly nearly driven mad while contemplating the singularity in General Relativity), I have no use for you.
  • I assert that my intentions with this post are not at all arrogant or condescending. If you experience it as condescending or arrogant, that is unfortunate, but that is your problem. I have no use for you.
  • If you are offended by this post, that is a pity, and I assert it is because you do not understand my context.
  • If you are able to see that this post is not born of arrogance or condescension, and you see truth in every statement I have made thus-far, sweet! I may have a use for you. If you’d like to help out, let me know. We can have some really interesting discussions.

And here’s the thing: of course I have use for everyone. It should go without saying that the context in which I say “I have no use for you” is a very particular niche context. That should go without saying. *sigh*. It just means that right now, I don’t want to spend excessive amounts of time arguing with you. That detracts from my current mission.

If I have no use for you, you are still very welcome to read this blog. I still love having you on board, though I’m concerned that the distraction might detract from the primary mission. (That is why I need Mengelmoes.) Maybe you’ll even learn an interesting thing or two, even if the only thing you learn is how to be more arrogant and look down on people like me. If that makes you happy, and does not do too much harm, okay. Enjoy. I won’t say “as long as that does no harm”, because that is a fallacy. We all do harm. That is why we need one another.

Do you have use for me?


On the first weekend of December, I scheduled a post with the explicit purpose of chasing away the majority of my current readers. For a while I was only interested in people that would understand lousirr’s philosophy. I don’t know how many of those people are reading this blog, and I calmed down somewhat in the following week. I have to thank the Nazgûl and Mr. Smith for keeping me in check. I wanted to discuss things with other ring bearers. I still do. For a while, I thought there were a bazillion of those. Since then, I have discovered there are fewer ring bearers than I thought. Now Tolkien pointed out that the ring-bearers are doomed to set sail to the west, from the Grey Havens. This is true. But notice that if they sail away, they could always sail back again. And again. And again. Neo comes many times. In many forms. Because humans continue reaching for the apple, to take another bite. Quite remarkable, really… hehe…

And that, my friends, was Biblical language. Now if that didn’t chase you away, maybe this blog will be of some interest to you. Trust me, there are people that understand every word of that paragraph. If you don’t understand it, don’t worry about it. Let it go. I’m currently not so certain it is worth it to get to the point where you can understand it all. For some people, it is downright dangerous. I count myself lucky that I pulled through, though at great cost to my credibility in some circles. As I was lucky enough to survive the experience, I’m really glad to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

If you understood all of that, I’d love to meet you.

Categories: Worldviews
Tags: ·

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Hugo // Jan 5, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    Sources for the last two paragraphs:

    Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem, In Memoriam, 1850 (Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all)
    The Matrix by The Wachowski Brothers (Mr. Smith, Neo)
    The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien (ringbearers, Grey Havens)

  • 2 Johan Swarts // Jan 5, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Dis fassinerend hoe jy opstaan vir dit wat jy dink moet gebeur en terselftertyd onsettend verdraagsaam is. Ek vind dit omtrent nooit meer by mense nie (hel, ek vind dit nie eers by myself nie – ek leer egter baie by jou).

    Jy laat my dink. Dink is goed.

  • 3 Hugo // Jan 5, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Dankie Johan. Met daardie paar woorde, maak jy my oë bietjie vogtig, en gee jy my weer moed vir ‘n nuwe dag!

    Wys my tog wel die plekke waar dit vir jou lyk of ek nonsens praat, ens. Moenie dat pogings tot “verdraagsaamheid” jou oneerlik maak nie. So groei ons saam.

    Met betrekking tot vrede met verdraagsaamheid, het ek baie aan lousirr se filosofie te dankie. ‘n Mal donder daai, hehe.

  • 4 George // Jan 6, 2008 at 1:36 am

    Hoekom wil jy glo dat die ring-bearers weer kan terugseil? Dat Neo weer en weer sal kom?

  • 5 PJ Peiser // Jan 6, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Jy het jou “rant” gehad, en nou is hierdie myne.

    Postmodernisme is die grootste stuk drek sedert, ek weet nie, seker pre-modernisme. Ek skat ek stem ook nie saam met modernisme saam nie, van wat ek al gelees het(wat toevallig geskryf is deur ‘n postmodernis, wat beteken dat wat ek gelees het waarskynlik leuens is, maar nouja). Vir daai geval, die enigste filosofie wat hoegenaamd sin maak is “Objectivism”, geskep deur Ayn Rand. Dit gaan teen alles wat jy op hierdie blog uitlaat, soos byvoorbeeld humanisme, geloof(alle vorms van geloof), altruisme, ensovoorts. Ek skat dit sal wees die filosofie wat jou aardsvyand is, maar meer as dit, dit is MY filosofie. Dit is die enigste een wat hoegenaamd sinmaak. Oja, blykbaar hou niemand in die akademiese kringe daarvan nie.

    Nou, oor hierdie blog. “I have no use for you”. Ek wil nie deur jou gebruik word nie. Meer as dit, ek skat niemand anders wil deur jou gebruik word nie. Maar natuurlik, jy het dit in ‘n postmoderne sin gebruik, wat beteken die woorde maak nie saak nie, die betekenis maak nie saak nie, en, vir daardie geval, niks maak saak nie. Ek verag postmodernisme, siende dat dit NIKS sinmaak nie.

    Die pad vanaf empirisisme na nihilisme? Miskien het mense soos Dawkins dit nie duidelik gemaak in hulle boeke dat hulle nie nihiliste is nie, ten spyte daarvan om empirisiste te wees(sover ek kan aflei(wat baie moeilik is, as gevolg daarvan dat jy nie heeltemaal koherent skryf nie) sou jy Dawkins klassifiseer as ‘n empirisis). Dit is wat mens noem ‘n teenvoorbeeld. Dus, maak nie hoe wonderlik die filosofiese argument is nie, dit is vals. Ek is, vir daardie geval, ook nie ‘n nihilis nie, ten spyte daarvan dat ek ‘n ateis is (en voordat jy weer begin met die “onoo labels labels” strooi, wat ek bedoel met die woord “ateis” (wat enigeiemand wat die woord verstaan ook bedoel(kyk in die woordeboek as jy my nie glo nie)) is dat ek nie glo in ‘n God nie).

    Om af te sluit, hierdie lyk al hoe meer na die uitlatings van ‘n guru/kultusleier as wat dit lyk vir iemand wat soek na waarheid of sinvolheid of enigeiets anders.

    Jy sal waarskynlik hierdie post beskou as “trolling”, siende dat my vorige een(wat nie een was nie, en ek nogsteeds nie eens kan verstaan hoe dit opgeneem kan word as een nie) so ‘n verskriklike reaksie ontlok het.

    Werklikwaar.

    PS. net as ‘n side-note, miskien moet jy gaan oplees wat schizophrenia is. Ek het net vir volledigheidshalwe gaan kyk wat die eerste post van Desember se eerste naweek is, en dit lyk my jy assosieer dit met ‘n gesplete persoonlikheid, wat dit nie is nie.

  • 6 Hugo // Jan 6, 2008 at 9:30 am

    George, ek weet nie, dis maar hoe dit vir my lyk. As ek so deur die groot boek blaai, lyk dit vir my of die Matrix al meer as een keer in daai boek se geskiedenis na vore gekom het. Effens verskillende vorms dalk, elke keer, maar nogtans. Ons bou die Matrix oor en oor. Neo kom wanneer dit nodig is. Dit voel vir my effens te optimisties om te dink dit gaan nie nog ‘n keer gebeur nie.

    Hehe, thanks PJ Peiser. Jy het laas anoniem gecomment… as jy laas jou naam bygesit het, sou ek nie die geleentheid kon gebruik om te demonstreer wat my irriteer van sekere soorte ateïsme nie. Gelukkig is daar baie diversiteit onder die mense wat hulself ateïste noem.

    Jy het baie vrae hier in jou comment, maar ek weet nie of jy belangstel in antwoorde op enige van hulle nie. Ek kan wel elkeen van hulle antwoord… so die vraag dan, is daar enigiemand wat wel belangstel in enige van die vrae? En watter spesifiek? Want daar is bietjie veel…

    En terloops, ek weet baie goed wat schizophrenia is en wat dit nie is nie. Jy onderskat my. But sure, I can’t blame you, duidelik praat ek nie jou taal nie, eh? En as jy dink ek sou my paranoid-schizophrenic episode deel sonder besonderse versigtige bewoording, moet jy reeds dink ek is mal. Hehe… wel, die hele mensdom is mal.

    Ek het al met Ayn Rand fans geclash, so ja, dit gaan dalk gereeld gebeur. Dalk moet ek een of ander tyd kyk wat dit is wat hul messias sê, sodat ek hulle beter kan verstaan. Ek het egter nie ‘n aardsvyand nie, dink ek, dit sou my mos dan definieer in terme van ‘n teenpool… :-D nie ‘n lekker manier om gedefinieer te word nie. (Dis die probleem met die ateïsme label ook. Hulle weet ook nie wat God is nie, tipies weet hulle net hulle glo nie in die “Christelike een” nie. Doh.)

    If you are not interested in reading the ramblings of a cult-leader, then feel free to skip to comment 11. Thanks.

  • 7 Hugo // Jan 6, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Um, en dankie vir jou comments! Ek waardeer albei wat jy hier gegooi het. En soos ek reeds in ‘n email gesê het, ek’s jammer dat jy die vorige rant persoonlik gevat het. Dalk moes ek sock-puppet gespeel het, dan kon ek nog ‘n beter voorbeeld gebou het van wat my irriteer, en dan dit uitmekaar uit skeur. Dis egter net te veel van ‘n “straw-man” benadering.

  • 8 Hugo // Jan 6, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    OK, hold onto your seats, another roller-coaster ride awaits:

    Johan Swarts: that first weekend of December, I came face-to-face with God. I stared God in the eye, and I felt a terrible wrath. A question… “Puny mortal! What do you choose? Why do you not listen? Choose!” And there it was, judgement time. And God gave me a choice: heaven or hell. It scared the hell out of me. My mind throws loops. But hell scared me too much. I chose heaven. I chose to laugh at it. I chose to recognise the beauty of it all. I sat back in wonder, amazed at the clouds. Yet again. Three days it took me, to get my feet back on solid ground. To accept my senses again, to ground myself in science. And fear was gone. Behold! I’ve been born again. Peace, heaven… now it’s time to go to work.

    Everyone else: if that sounds silly, yea, don’t take it too seriously. Seriously. It’s metaphorical language. Auke, an A-team friend of mine, asks me why we don’t speak plainly. I will try to explain this evening, when I see him face-to-face. This is not the place. Context is too important.

    George: the ring is transcendent. It cannot be destroyed. In this reality, we cast it into the fires of doom. But we forget. And there lies the danger. Witness “Objectivism”, always someone will seize onto something that is unaware of the ring. And the ring will be hidden yet again. A couple of generations down the line, someone asks “but what about that?”, because they have forgotten or have not listened. That’s the dichotomy speaking. The rule, the rule breaker. The value-driven society, which also doesn’t work perfectly, so we make some more rules. Forget the third component, the anti-thesis, and you get stuck in yet another dichotomy, waiting.

    And Neo comes again. V shows his face (V for Vendetta). Gandalf shows the way. Gandalf sacrificies himself again, to keep the Balrog at bay. And again he comes, the same, but also not. “Gandalf the Grey?” “Hmm, I seem to remember that name, some time in the past.” Because this time, he’s “The White”… We build another tower of Babel, another Matrix, we rediscover the Ring, and around we go, yet again.

    PJ Peiser, if you are happy, that’s good. If you hold onto the philosophy of “Objectivism” because it is the only thing that makes sense to you, great. Enjoy. If you apply the golden rule, you should let me hold onto lousirr’s philosophy, because it makes sense to me. And by the light of lousirr’s philosophy, everything else also makes sense. My genetic make-up is such that I am not satisfied if I cannot make sense of everything. As such, I would never find peace in a philosophy that does not provide it to me.
    From there, lousirr’s philosophy was eventually born.

    I ask only that you be very careful in the way you evangelise your God and your religion. Because if you do not understand the people you are evangelising to, if you do not walk the streets of Athens to learn and understand the culture, you can cause great hurt and suffering. You will play destroyer, rather than creator. Please be careful. I know much of what I wrote does not make sense to you, that is somewhat intentional. You should still be able to catch the gist of it though. For the rest, please make peace with it, otherwise we will end up killing each other.

    About the Freethinking Society: I will continue asking, “Do you have use for me?” The question will never go away. Here’s the thing: I love the Freethinking society. I love diversity. And I can stick to your language and your language only, while at Freethinking Maties meetings. But I do not have a personal need for that society in particular. I feel welcome everywhere. If you want an exclusive little club for people that feel unwelcome in church (thereby creating another church where other people feel unwelcome), I guess I’m unwelcome. Since I feel welcome everywhere. Right?

    Everyone: If you are a seeker, ask! Keep seeking, keep asking, and you may find. If you are not interested in seeking, this is maybe not the place for you. Go on, get on with your life. Try to do as little harm as possible. Or if you want to contribute, despite not being a seeker, please respect diversity. We can then have a discussion and identify the current dangers, and see what we can accomplish together, by working together from both sides of the non-existent fence.

    Myself: I wonder if I should go check out Dinesh D’Souza’s random-seeming ravings. Might be a nice test for lousirr’s philosophy. Hehe… Not that testing it makes it science, as it is still unfalsifiable.

    Yay. So, who’s left reading this, after all that? Hehehe…. at least I’m enjoying myself! (I’ve been enjoying life ever since that first weekend of December. Momentary lulls, sure, but I can honestly say things have never been this great for me. Except maybe when I was still really young and naïve, before I obtained the ability to recognise any kinds of conflict. Before I took my first bite of the apple.)

  • 9 Hugo // Jan 6, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    George: here’s another scenario for you. A few thousand years down the line, by some freak miracle, we have all humans speaking the same language. There is no more diversity. We have killed God, and are living in the Equilibrium world. All humans agreeing where on the ring the seam is to be found, and no-one questions the wisdom of taking Prozium. And humanity forgets what diversity means. We forget there is a ring, as we have mentally warped it and turned it into a bar. Then… we run into extra-terrestrial life-forms. Another confrontation with diversity. Another time we realise we cannot stick to the current Matrix, the current Machine. Another time we need to break free. Another time for Neo to show the way.

    OK, enough “madness” for now. I’m sorry for the excessive use of Biblical language, but what other language have we? The physical one. Come stand in front of me, then I can hit you, or shake your hand.

  • 10 Hugo // Jan 6, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    On Objectivism, from wikipedia:

    Objectivism holds that morality is a “code of values accepted by choice.” According to Leonard Peikoff, Rand held that “man needs [morality] for one reason only: he needs it in order to survive. Moral laws, in this view, are principles that define how to nourish and sustain human life; they are no more than this and no less.”[4] Objectivism does not claim that there is a moral requirement to choose to value one’s life. As Allan Gotthelf points out, for Rand, “Morality rests on a fundamental, pre-moral choice:”[11] the moral agent’s choice to live rather than die, so that the moral “ought” is always contextual and agent-relative. To be moral is to choose that which promotes one’s life in one’s actual context. There are no “categorical imperatives” (as in Kantianism) that an individual would be obliged to carry out regardless of consequences for his life.

    Notice the “leap-of-faith”? Notice the seam in the ring? Notice the acceptance of something without logical grounds? Notice what could be translated as “God” in this context? The seam. There is always a seam. Unless you live a seamless existence, where everyone could call you “crazy”.

  • 11 Hugo // Jan 6, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Excessive verbosity on my side, again… just turning PJ Peiser into a prophet, by fulfilling this prophecy of his:

    Om af te sluit, hierdie lyk al hoe meer na die uitlatings van ‘n guru/kultusleier as wat dit lyk vir iemand wat soek na waarheid of sinvolheid of enigeiets anders.

    In English, he says my blog is looking more and more like the ramblings of a guru/cult-leader, than a blog of someone looking for truth or meaning or something else. Hehe…

    The other thing I’d like to respond to, is his misunderstanding of what I mean by “the road from empiricism to nihlism”. It seems he/you (am I explaining to my readers, or am I responding to you directly? I don’t know) thinks I’m saying empiricism leads to nihilism. That is not at all what I was trying to say. I’m saying that for someone interested in travelling that way, I could show them a path, built on “rationality and reason”, that leads to woo-woo land, by making a brief detour via nihilism. If you do not cling to empiricism. Choose empiricism as the thing you are fundamentalistic about, or possibly your “God”, then you do not fall into the category of “people willing to travel that path”, and the statement does not apply to you.

    Now go read that sentence again, try to understand what it was that I was trying to say, then tell me in your infinite wisdom of how to communicate perfectly, how I should have worded that differently?

    Thanks.

    About labels: if your mother argues with you that you are addicted to something, what would you do? Argue about what the correct definition of “addicted” is, or rather look past the label to try to understand what it is that she is trying to say to you, without reference to how the psychiatrists use the word? (Friend, if you’re reading this, I hope you don’t mind me using this example.)

  • 12 Hugo // Jan 7, 2008 at 12:45 am

    A correction (I was wrong, and too assertive):

    PJ Peiser wrote:

    PS. net as ‘n side-note, miskien moet jy gaan oplees wat schizophrenia is

    I wrote:

    En terloops, ek weet baie goed wat schizophrenia is en wat dit nie is nie.

    He underestimated my understanding of schizophrenia, thinking I think it means multiple personalities, which I know very well it is not. but he was still correct. Here’s the latest piece of info I’ve assimilated into my data bank:

    Thus, psychosis can be a symptom of mental illness, but it is not a mental illness in its own right. For example, people with schizophrenia often experience psychosis, but so can people with…

    Now here’s the thing: throwing around psychiatric labels is dangerous. People get the wrong idea. The nice thing about the “schizophrenia” label is that it is more diluted from its true meaning by pop-culture silliness. A “Brief Psychotic Episode” sounds really icky.

    Here’s an interesting article:
    http://www.psychnet-uk.com/dsm_iv/brief_psychotic_episode.htm

    Now here’s another name for it: a religious experience. And religious experiences can be life-changing. Don’t underestimate them. Similar to near-death experiences, in many ways. I think the best kind of religious experience is one that helps the person that experienced it, be more tolerant or compassionate. Or happier… more at peace with life. Some kind of “enlightenment”…

    Anyway, time to move on. For the record, I have a clean bill of health. Mental health included.

  • 13 Steve // Jan 7, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Funny dat jy Sondagmiddag eerste keer Equilibrium opgebring het, toe kyk ek dit op TV Sondagaand, voor ek jou comment gelees het.

    Soort van ‘n crappy version van 1984, in my opinie, maar nou ja. Ek sou nie deurgekyk het nie (Crouching Tiger was op eTV), maar D wou dit kyk – sy’s ‘n sci-fi fan…

    My take on your post: I think I understand a lot of where you’re coming from, but I’d _still_ prefer trying a more modern (less post-modern) approach to doing it – I think your post-modernism may be muddying the waters unnecessarily. But I could well be wrong; we need to chat some more sometime.

  • 14 Hugo // Jan 7, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Thanks Steve, will do. Check “Hugo Abuses Language”, that one is probably a good one to add to my “You New?” page.

    Oh, and that other blog we wanted to start? That could possibly happen soon? We can use wordpress.com, or we can host it on thinktoomuch.net — eventually I’d love to mengelmoes the thing, but that does not matter, as mengelmoes will be flexible enough to handle anything! (Muhahahaha!)

    (Right now, mengelmoes is but a mustard seed.)

  • 15 Steve // Jan 8, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Not too soon, I’m afraid. Currently looking around May. (A sign the time may be coming is when I start posting on my own blog again. Until then I’m just trying to stay above water.)

    Will read Hugo abuses language soon…

Leave a Comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>