A bit of humor, dear ones:
Socrates, in his defense wrote:"I KNOW NOT, O Athenians, how far you have been influenced by my accusers; for my part, in listening to them I almost forgot myself, so plausible were their arguments; however, so to speak, they have said nothing true. But of the many falsehoods which they have uttered I wondered at one of them especially, that in which they said you ought to be on your guard lest you should be deceived by me, as being eloquent in speech. For that they are not ashamed of being forthwith convicted by me in fact, when I shall show that I am not by any means eloquent, this seemed to me the most shameless thing in them, unless indeed they call him eloquent who speaks the truth."
Reading what people write about what I write I would almost be inclined to begin my 'Apology' with a similar flourish!
THROUGH ALL that I have written---of that critical of the 'core GF position'---it has all been supported by reasoning. It is fallacious and disingenuous in the extreme to say that it has not. But in regard to this, one must start with a basic fact though proving it would be difficult: at a basic and seminal point the so-called ratiocination of Kevin and David and Dan is a sort of mask, a pretense, for a specific, core 'will' that is being expressed. Dan has recently spoken of 'a standard that [would meet] reasonable intellectual criteria' and I find this comical, and for the reasons alluded to above. The GF position, as outlined and expressed by David and Kevin, is at its core an 'emotive' reasoning. It stems from a complex of emotional reactions to aspects of their present, to their confusion about their relations with other human beings, and most certainly to the nature of the bond that exists between man and woman. At times I have conceived of their 'religious philosophy' in a way similar to how I view Andrea Dworkin's robust, but disconcertingly 'pathological', feminism: it contains deep, reactive elements against the problem of being alive
and in a body in this strange plane of existence.
In my view, to 'prove' (to yourself) what I am suggesting here, since there is no way to prove it in some way that would satisfy a mathematical 'reasonable intellectual criterion', is to go back through their writings and essays (I am thinking specifically of David right now) and note the areas where the 'emotive' reaction shows through. It always arises around the issue of 'relation with woman' and in numerous of his philosophical dialogue/fantasy pieces (notably in his 'screenplay'), he sets up a situation where he, as the wise Sage, interposes himself as an alternative to the 'insanity' of a relationship with a woman. The woman-figure reacts jealously and attempts to block his truth-connection with the struggling male subject, the one David in his dharmic mercy is attempting to 'save', and I suggest it is not at all hard to discern the homosexual content lurking under this bizarre fantasy of religious and spiritual influence. The point here is to suggest a vital and essentially emotional current that underlies a general rebellion against certain facts of existence. Similarly, Dworkin cloaks her 'ratiocinations' about the horror of intercourse, from a female perspective, in all manner and level of intellectual mumbo-jumbo, but her core reaction is against a basic condition. I see the QRS position as sharing a similar basis in reaction. I see it as arising from non-rationalism and dressing itself up as such. (Not a very popular assertion though now is it? In fact, much of my approach and my ideas are deeply disconcerting because they run counter to the 'image-management' that is part-and-parcel of GF as 'game'. But that is not to say that everything that goes on here is 'game'. One must sort through it all).
The following is a segment from the transcript of The Hour of Judgment radio series which I had linked to previously:
Kevin: There is a saying: "There is no infinite apart from finite things." So if we want to understand what is infinite, which is God, we have to understand finite things, which are ordinary things in the world - which means understanding cause and effect. In Buddhism, they have something called "The Graduated Path to Enlightenment" - in Tibetan Buddhism they do, anyway - and the first step on this path, which nobody ever practices, is the understanding of cause and effect. With an understanding of cause and effect, it's understood that there's no real free-will. At the same time as understanding there's no real free-will, there is the understanding that there's no self. At the same time as understanding that there's no self, there is the understanding that one's own self is the entirety of the Universe, which is omnipotent and omniscient. So all of this comes through a reasoning process, through an understanding. And also, with an understanding that there is no self, there's an understanding that other people are a part, literally a part, of one's own self - this infinite self that has no boundaries. So when Jesus says that you should love your neighbour as yourself, it doesn't mean that you should love your neighbour as much as you love yourself. It means that your neighbour is literally your own self. So if you don't love your neighbour as your own self, literally, then there's no understanding of God. There's no faith. Understanding has to come before faith.
As I understand things, I locate a primary problem that runs through all the QRS formulations in their definitions of self.
With an understanding of cause and effect, it's understood that there's no real free-will. At the same time as understanding there's no real free-will, there is the understanding that there's no self.
Now, this is a definitive statement. There is nothing ambiguous here. The use of 'reason' brings us to the understanding that 'there is no self'. One assumes that this is the summa of the QRS philosophical position, and that it was gained through some special view or penetration, by use of reason, into the very structure of the cosmos. It is out of this realization that the entire QRS position comes into existence. It is a deeply problematic assertion. But the assertion is made. Once it is asserted, and established spuriously as an 'absolute tenet' it is regarded as incontrovertible, axial. And from the moment that it is established it takes for itself or is given a great deal of deciding power.
One you have established there is no self, once you have undermined the core experience, the basic 'intuitive' ontological platform of any living man ('I exist'), and once you have defined this as a result of the process of ratiocination and your use of the highest possibilities of use of intellect, you can then proceed to undermine any and all notions of value
associated with man's achievements within this plane of existence. No-self is the primary tenet and the next one is 'no free will'. This automatically turns all human attainment even of the highest sort into some level of automatic activity. If there is no free will then every human attainment is labelable as some manifestation of 'false ego' and something that operates against the fantasy (in this context) of 'enlightenment'. 'Enlightenment' as it is used here is a term of special meaning that is handled or wielded as I have said. In no sense is it a neutral word or description. In David and Kevin's discourse it carries militant notes, it is a snapping flag that is carried into a battle.
I say, and I have said this hundreds of times, that these are reductive ideas
. They are reductions out of genuine possible conversations about the nature of our world and ourselves in it, that are wielded by certain men for certain purposes. In most of my writing I have argued from consequences
and I still prefer to argue from that perspective. And to this end I have used examples of the way that these ideas are used
. I have often referred to Dennis as an almost chemically pure example of the destructive, acid-like use of these ideas, but that use is evident in varying degrees in many of those who embrace QRS doctrines (which they may also modify or embellish for their own purposes). Here it is very important to point out, because it is true, that most who appear in these pages do not grasp and may never grasp what in essence I am arguing against, and why. For example, here and now, Leyla does not have even a minimal understanding of these issues nor any interest in them. She comes out in opposition to me but with no understanding of what I am attempting to describe, and why. Her reaction is motivated almost 100% by an emotionally-based resistance which is also linked to her anti-Jewish sentiments (the first 'conversations' I had with her were on that subject, back in 2006). It is I suppose embarrassing to point this out but it is essentially true. Many people here are operating from an emotional platform, or 'unconsciously motivated' platform and seem not to be able to see it, at the very least. I think it is important to express it openly.
But along these lines I want to offer an 'example' of how these core ideas that negate self, as well as free will, can function. And I have mostly argued from this position and asked people to use their skills in discriminating about how ideas are used
. (There are two sides, aren't there? An Idea Set and then the way that idea set is put into motion. This dialectic has to be considered, it seems to me). Once you have *seen* that everything is caused, that there is no free will, and that all of man's doings are the doings of ignorant false egos, it provides you with a unique if utterly reductive tool to go back through all human creations and, at least in your own mind, wipe them off the map. Devalue them. See through them. See into them as emblematic of 'ignorance' and everything evil and stupid and unnecessary in human affairs. Once you have embraced this peculiar QRS-Buddhism, you have no choice really but to see, for example, the figure of Jesus only as David does: a sort of a mushroom that should have popped up in Asia but somehow popped up in Judea. Using this strange 'acidic' view, you can undermine every aspect of 'context', and eliminate every aspect of teaching that does not conform to the only view that you can hold
: that all spirituality is one thing and only one thing, this thing that you call 'enlightenment'. And what seems to happen (I cite Dennis as an example though it is also evident in David, in Kevin, in Dan and others in varying degrees---even Diebert the most 'informed' of the Genii) is that a willful person appears, who has a strange agenda, who takes hold of these basic ideas as tools, and proceeds to destroy whole areas of human attainment which are unintelligible to that person. This is the 'breaking of connection' first to one's own self, and then to the possibility of unified activity in this plane of existence, of 'moral responsibility', and then to everything that has gone before us: our entire context of discovery and definition.
This is one of the reasons why consideration of the presence and the activities of Ortega y Gasset's 'mass man' are relevant to this conversation (to my critique of QRS doctrines anyway). Given certain reductive tools, a willful mass-man begins a burrowing activity into the very possibility of genuine existence in the world. That is the process of 'negation of self'. It proceeds from there to undermining of the possibility of conscious activity by conscious, concerned persons, in the present, and is of course complicated by the whole problematic of 'willful, tendentious person'. I do not think there is any way to 'prove' in any definitive sense how 'willfulness' as I am defining it works within a religious-philosophical platform. I appeal to common sense.
There is much more to be talked about. If one reestablishes
the self as a vital instrument of being in this plane of existence, and if one understands that free will is indeed a real possibility and indeed---in comparison to automatonism---the crucial gift of consciousness
, one's whole outlook can change, and life and also spirituality become very different.
Essentially, the view of the axioms of QRS doctrines are those I have been arguing against. I think there are secondary and tertiary counter-arguments to secondary and tertiary ramifications
of the QRS doctrines. But as I discern it, that outlined above is the 'core' of my opposition.