AuthorTopic: On Interpretation  (Read 1038 times)

Offline Ka

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On Interpretation
« on: December 04, 2013, 02:02:04 PM »
I've moved this here, for obvious reasons.

UB, this is what I believe.

There exists two dimensions, The Relative and The Absolute.  The Relative is the intellectual/phenomenal world.  It exists within time, but not the time we think of as time.  It exists in discrete moments, constantly changing, subject to the forces of cause and effect.

If the moments were truly discrete, there would be no way to connect them up. So there is something that connects them, or alternatively, there is something that turns a whole into discrete moments.

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I believe that we can not really understand this world because we have no real access to it.  What we can know, we know before our own intellectual processing kicks-in.  Once this happens, we change what we "nakedly perceive" into our own [interpretation of] reality.

Note the duality here. There is us, unable to access it. As for the "knowing before our own intellectual processing kicks-in", this is often called "pure experience". Making this distinction is what I call (following Robert Magliola, in Derrida on the Mend) "centric Zen". The alternative is "differential Zen". The problem with centric Zen is that it preserves this subtle duality. There is the Absolute, and then there is the Relative. One needs to go past this to differential Zen, where the Absolute is, yet is not, the Relative (or as traditionally said: emptiness is not other than form, form is not other than emptiness).

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The Absolute "exists" outside of our ability to understand.  It just "is."  If you can tap into this, then one can see things closer to the way there are, allowing "better" interaction with ones environment.  It is simply being more aware of what is actually going on as opposed to our interpretation of what's going on.

The point of differential Zen is to get over the idea that there is some true "way things are". If there are things -- which there are if there is an "environment" or "what is actually going on" -- then there is form. And then there is the subject observing the form, supposedly seeing things as they actually are. In other words, your metaphysics is still operating within the subject-object form. Otherwise, one cannot speak of someone's "interpretation" as distinct from what is "actually" going on. Well, one can, but only within the terms of the relative (that is, one can build a theory about, say, the structure of the solar system). But when relating the relative to the absolute, such talk is itself an interpretation, and a misleading one at that.

But, then, what I am saying is also an interpretation. The way out of this dilemma is not to privilege some actuality over interpretations, but to recognize that all actuality, if it has form, is semiotic. Then there is no longer a metaphysical divide between language and reason on the one hand, and reality on the other. Interpretation, then, can be reinterpreted as creativity. The only problem is that we tend to get attached to our interpretations.

Offline impermanence

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Re: On Interpretation
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2013, 09:13:54 AM »
I've moved this here, for obvious reasons.

UB, this is what I believe.

There exists two dimensions, The Relative and The Absolute.  The Relative is the intellectual/phenomenal world.  It exists within time, but not the time we think of as time.  It exists in discrete moments, constantly changing, subject to the forces of cause and effect.

If the moments were truly discrete, there would be no way to connect them up. So there is something that connects them, or alternatively, there is something that turns a whole into discrete moments.

Ka, keep in mind that these words are only an approximation of the truth.  How it really might work is beyond our capacity to understand.

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I believe that we can not really understand this world because we have no real access to it.  What we can know, we know before our own intellectual processing kicks-in.  Once this happens, we change what we "nakedly perceive" into our own [interpretation of] reality.

Note the duality here. There is us, unable to access it. As for the "knowing before our own intellectual processing kicks-in", this is often called "pure experience". Making this distinction is what I call (following Robert Magliola, in Derrida on the Mend) "centric Zen". The alternative is "differential Zen". The problem with centric Zen is that it preserves this subtle duality. There is the Absolute, and then there is the Relative. One needs to go past this to differential Zen, where the Absolute is, yet is not, the Relative (or as traditionally said: emptiness is not other than form, form is not other than emptiness).

It's only words.  You have to see beyond them to your own experience.  If I am going to intellectualize, it's obviously going to be dual.

Quote
The Absolute "exists" outside of our ability to understand.  It just "is."  If you can tap into this, then one can see things closer to the way there are, allowing "better" interaction with ones environment.  It is simply being more aware of what is actually going on as opposed to our interpretation of what's going on.

The point of differential Zen is to get over the idea that there is some true "way things are". If there are things -- which there are if there is an "environment" or "what is actually going on" -- then there is form. And then there is the subject observing the form, supposedly seeing things as they actually are. In other words, your metaphysics is still operating within the subject-object form. Otherwise, one cannot speak of someone's "interpretation" as distinct from what is "actually" going on. Well, one can, but only within the terms of the relative (that is, one can build a theory about, say, the structure of the solar system). But when relating the relative to the absolute, such talk is itself an interpretation, and a misleading one at that.

There is no point to Zen.  Once you get it, you put it down.

But, then, what I am saying is also an interpretation. The way out of this dilemma is not to privilege some actuality over interpretations, but to recognize that all actuality, if it has form, is semiotic. Then there is no longer a metaphysical divide between language and reason on the one hand, and reality on the other. Interpretation, then, can be reinterpreted as creativity. The only problem is that we tend to get attached to our interpretations.

This is a discussion group where I am attempting to present a different way of looking at things.  The only way I can do this is using form, but as you must understand, "Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form."

Offline Ka

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Re: On Interpretation
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2013, 04:42:54 PM »
Ka, keep in mind that these words are only an approximation of the truth.  How it really might work is beyond our capacity to understand.

There is a better approximation. Time appears to us in two ways, as discrete moments, and as duration. While it is not unusual for something to appear in multiple ways, time is a mystery in that the two ways contradict each other. Conventional logic can only "understand" this by saying one is real and the other is an illusion. But neither is illusory. Instead, one can approximate using polar logic (as Coleridge called it), where both are maintained, with the awareness of their contradiction. What this provides is a better idea of why it is beyond our capacity to understand.

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It's only words.  You have to see beyond them to your own experience.  If I am going to intellectualize, it's obviously going to be dual.

Right, but I am saying there is a better way to intellectualize.

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There is no point to Zen.  Once you get it, you put it down.


On the contrary, there is a very definite point to Zen, namely, the cessation of suffering. And what I am suggesting is that you put it down too soon. As I said in an earlier comment on the Middle Way, you've "got" that realism doesn't work, but you have, or so it seems to me, only moved to the opposite pole, that of nihilism, which also doesn't work.

Offline impermanence

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Re: On Interpretation
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2013, 09:48:40 AM »
Ka, keep in mind that these words are only an approximation of the truth.  How it really might work is beyond our capacity to understand.

There is a better approximation. Time appears to us in two ways, as discrete moments, and as duration. While it is not unusual for something to appear in multiple ways, time is a mystery in that the two ways contradict each other. Conventional logic can only "understand" this by saying one is real and the other is an illusion. But neither is illusory. Instead, one can approximate using polar logic (as Coleridge called it), where both are maintained, with the awareness of their contradiction. What this provides is a better idea of why it is beyond our capacity to understand.

Time simply facilitates our collective reality.  Is the cosmic "goo."

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It's only words.  You have to see beyond them to your own experience.  If I am going to intellectualize, it's obviously going to be dual.

Right, but I am saying there is a better way to intellectualize.

:)  I bet!

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There is no point to Zen.  Once you get it, you put it down.


On the contrary, there is a very definite point to Zen, namely, the cessation of suffering. And what I am suggesting is that you put it down too soon. As I said in an earlier comment on the Middle Way, you've "got" that realism doesn't work, but you have, or so it seems to me, only moved to the opposite pole, that of nihilism, which also doesn't work.

That's Buddhism you are describing.  How do you know what works for me?