I don't know!

Half-formed posts, inchoate philosophies, and the germs of deep thought.

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I don't know!

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:33 am

I have long enjoyed echoing Socrates alleged quote ... "I know nothing yet I know more than you because you think you know something"

Now I prefer Zhuang Zi's alleged quote ... "I know nothing yet I can't know with any degree of certainty that I know nothing"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4zhQ3M892E
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Re: I don't know!

Postby surreptitious57 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:34 am


Compared to the sum total of all human knowledge I know hardly anything at all
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Re: I don't know!

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:04 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
Compared to the sum total of all human knowledge I know hardly anything at all


I suppose if you add to "all human knowledge" ... all knowledge humans do not yet possess ... the adjective "hardly" dwarfs the truth of it eh!
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

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Re: I don't know!

Postby phyllo » Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:41 pm

One does not need to know everything.
"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: I don't know!

Postby phyllo » Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:13 pm

One does not need certainty.
"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: I don't know!

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:14 am

phyllo wrote:One does not need to know everything.


I suppose ... if what we don't know with certainty is inconsequential.

OTH ... perhaps nature points to the answer to this paradox. The planet has but ONE ocean even though we divide it up with 6 or 7 names. All rivers flow into the same ocean ... all rivers carry their own individual water into this one ocean. The Gordian Knot is each river ... each culture ... each religion believes they are the only river that flows into the great ocean. I like a parable I discovered recently ... written by an ancient Chinese sage ... Zhuang Zi. "Liberation of the Frog". In a nutshell, the story is about a frog who enjoys his life despite being trapped in a well ... the frog's world of the well is all it knows. Zhuang Zi then introduces a sea turtle whose world is obviously infinitely larger and different than the frog's well. The frog invites the sea turtle into the well but the turtle is much too big to fit into the frog's well.
Zhuang Zi's "Liberation of the Frog" parable has been studied and written about for more than two millennium ... the perennial question being ... what was Zhuang Zi trying to convey with his parable. Reminds me of the struggle to understand the many parables in the Bible.
This morning I have my own opinion concerning Zhuang Zi's intention. He employed the parable ... at least in part ... to tell the story of his own life ... the story of his life after the Humpty Dumpty event in the park. Prior to his park experience Zhuang Zi was trapped in the small human world of his day ... like the frog in the well. Inexplicably, Zhuang Zi's mental world exploded after the park event and he now possessed an exponentially larger world view ... like the world of the sea turtle ... "Zhuangzi began to experience an “exhilarating freedom.”
Despite his efforts to return to his former world view ... the sea turtle trying to visit the frog in the well ... he could not ... despite his loneliness ... despite his desire to share the beauty of his much expanded understanding of life ... despite ... despite ... despite.
Finally, there was nothing Zhuang Zi could do to transform the frog into a sea turtle.
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Re: I don't know!

Postby Amorphos » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:57 am

Sounds like if the frogs world is too small for the turtle’s, then the introduction of the turtle to the frog is to open it up to the greater world, hence its liberation. We all live in a frog’s world until we realise that there is a bigger world out there. We may be happy in our little world but that’s not the same as being liberated ~ the frog isn’t liberated until it discovers the ocean [the greater world].

So to your meaning here, I suppose that one doesn’t need to know everything, but relying upon only what we know puts us in that well. Ergo we shouldn’t be content just because we are happy in our world.

Take for example the journey of life, you could be happily married with kids etc, and then one day that life comes to an end. Now if the frog fails to realise a greater vision, what will it do when the well dries up? We all are led to the place especially in middle age, where we have to reinvent ourselves and our lives. It’s quite sad that many people end up in granny flats looking out the window for the next thirty years waiting to die. One cannot rely on the world ~ our world, always being the same thing, because it changes and there is always more to discover.
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Re: I don't know!

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:02 am

Amorphos wrote:Sounds like if the frogs world is too small for the turtle’s, then the introduction of the turtle to the frog is to open it up to the greater world, hence its liberation. We all live in a frog’s world until we realise that there is a bigger world out there. We may be happy in our little world but that’s not the same as being liberated ~ the frog isn’t liberated until it discovers the ocean [the greater world].

So to your meaning here, I suppose that one doesn’t need to know everything, but relying upon only what we know puts us in that well. Ergo we shouldn’t be content just because we are happy in our world.


Thanks A for your insightful comments.

I was pondering the following few words the other day ... The veneer of human contentment is fragile.

Your post may point to the 'why'.

If you have time I would appreciate your reaction to what I wrote here ... http://thoughtsofamisfit.weebly.com/the ... lives.html
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Re: I don't know!

Postby phyllo » Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:22 am

:-k

The turtle's knowledge of the ocean is also small compared to "something bigger".

The turtle can't possibly cover the entire ocean, so its knowledge is limited to where it actually swims.

Since the frog can't leave the well or live in the ocean, knowledge of the ocean is unavailable to him. All that he has learned from the turtle, is that there is something more than the well.

If the frog becomes unhappy with his life as result of having learned about the existence of the ocean, then he has lost a great deal.
"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: I don't know!

Postby Dafoe » Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:42 am

Just know that drugs are bad.
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Re: I don't know!

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:55 am

phyllo wrote::-k

The turtle's knowledge of the ocean is also small compared to "something bigger".

The turtle can't possibly cover the entire ocean, so its knowledge is limited to where it actually swims.

Since the frog can't leave the well or live in the ocean, knowledge of the ocean is unavailable to him. All that he has learned from the turtle, is that there is something more than the well.

If the frog becomes unhappy with his life as result of having learned about the existence of the ocean, then he has lost a great deal.


Words in and of themselves are impotent.

Only when the notion being described by the words one is reading align perfectly with the state of one's inner being at that precise instant is do the words have any impact. A tiny fraction of a second before is too early and a tiny fraction of a second later is too late.
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Re: I don't know!

Postby phyllo » Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:06 am

Words in and of themselves are impotent.

Only when the notion being described by the words one is reading align perfectly with the state of one's inner being at that precise instant is do the words have any impact. A tiny fraction of a second before is too early and a tiny fraction of a second later is too late.
Very dramatic, but what does it mean? What does it mean in a practical sense? What does it mean in the context of these few posts? :-?
"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: I don't know!

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:45 am

phyllo wrote:
Words in and of themselves are impotent.

Only when the notion being described by the words one is reading align perfectly with the state of one's inner being at that precise instant is do the words have any impact. A tiny fraction of a second before is too early and a tiny fraction of a second later is too late.
Very dramatic, but what does it mean? What does it mean in a practical sense? What does it mean in the context of these few posts? :-?


I expected those who read it to take it at face value ... no hidden agenda(s).

In my old age I find myself being like a farmer ... scattering seeds ... my thoughts ... and thoughts from others that resonate well with me. Like the farmer, I have no say in whether the seeds will germinate or not. A farmer doesn't stop sowing seeds in the spring because he had a lousy harvest the year before.

The mind is like a butterfly that flies from one flower to another, never standing still ... author unknown

Apparently experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. That’s an average of 2500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour. That’s incredible.

For the thought that is passing between our ears ... in any given second ... to germinate ... to grow ... it must collide with a compatible/complimentary thought from a different source ... one source being internal and the other source being external.

These few posts like all posts on ILP have individual/personal thought trajectories that may or may not collide with a readers personal thoughts ... thus the prevalence of debate, argument and so on.
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Re: I don't know!

Postby phyllo » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:30 pm

You posted a parable which has multiple possible interpretations. There would not seem to be one "face value" there.

Words often have multiple meanings and sentences have multiple meanings. Therefore, there may be many different "impacts" which were not specifically intended by the speaker/writer.
"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: I don't know!

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:22 pm

Isn't the Sandbox forum wonderful ... "Half-formed posts, inchoate philosophies, and the germs of deep thought. "

phyllo wrote:You posted a parable which has multiple possible interpretations. There would not seem to be one "face value" there.


Yes and no. The possibility of there being only one correct interpretation also exists ... you acknowledge such in your choice of words "there would not seem to be one "face value" there".

Jesus employed parables to explain His "message". Somewhere along the way He said "Let those who can see ... see. Let those who can hear ... hear.

phyllo wrote:Words often have multiple meanings and sentences have multiple meanings. Therefore, there may be many different "impacts" which were not specifically intended by the speaker/writer.


Absolutely agree ... isn't language wonderful! ... it provides the opportunity to "hit" on some immensely valuable thought ... accidentally.
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

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Re: I don't know!

Postby phyllo » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:27 pm

I will leave you to play in your sandbox in peace.
"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: I don't know!

Postby Amorphos » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:32 pm

If you have time I would appreciate your reaction to what I wrote here ... http://thoughtsofamisfit.weebly.com/the ... lives.html


I had a little look through the post, so is there something more specific you wanted to ask? The fragility implied in the humpty dumpty rhyme or the Jesus turtle parable?
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Re: I don't know!

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:18 pm

Amorphos wrote:
If you have time I would appreciate your reaction to what I wrote here ... http://thoughtsofamisfit.weebly.com/the ... lives.html


I had a little look through the post, so is there something more specific you wanted to ask? The fragility implied in the humpty dumpty rhyme or the Jesus turtle parable?


A ... thanks for taking the time to read some of my thoughts.

No questions ... I was hoping for some more of the same ... your last post expanded my interpretation/understanding of the Zhuang Zi parable.

For example ... you wrote:

1) relying upon only what we know puts us in that well. Ergo we shouldn’t be content just because we are happy in our world.

2) It’s quite sad that many people end up in granny flats looking out the window for the next thirty years waiting to die
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Re: I don't know!

Postby Meno_ » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:54 pm

But some look through the window, in an eternity pregnant in a second, and they know that the time there never passes, and the really not waiting for anything, least of all death, which keeps constantly receeding. If death is at the horizon, then we know, it is always receding, never ending. How can not you visualize a set linear Verizon, when the metaphors no longer fits its description?

But that this is in no measure a comfort to you, I can be nearly almost certain.
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Re: I don't know!

Postby incorrect » Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:49 am

I obsess over a biblical interpretation over the verb "know" and think carnal knowledge e.g. sex. When I hear "I don't know" - I generally think of this response as genuine and innocent, yet brave for admitting a lack of knowledge. On the other hand, I flip it on its head and think "this person doesn't have sex and therefore I should not give too much credit to what this person has to say".

I take one response in multiple orthogonal directions on a regular basis... Makes me feel genuine and human, yet fearful and proud at the same time.
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Re: I don't know!

Postby WendyDarling » Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:00 am

Tom,

The Sandbox and Rant House are my favorite sections. I'm emotion driven though where my thoughts burst out of my feelings to the chagrin of others that's true.

You are very thoughtful in connecting dots. Thank you for your tender intentions. :D
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Re: I don't know!

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:41 pm

WendyDarling wrote:Tom,

The Sandbox and Rant House are my favorite sections. I'm emotion driven though where my thoughts burst out of my feelings to the chagrin of others that's true.

You are very thoughtful in connecting dots. Thank you for your tender intentions. :D


WD ... I'm human ... I respond well to validation :-)

OTH ... our thanks may be better directed to the Author of all Goodness ... and all what we consider "(UN)goodness" as well ... wise people refer to this (un)goodness as the negative teacher.
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Re: I don't know!

Postby Ultimate Philosophy 1001 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:27 pm

Once one knows the reincarnation equation to a certainty, one has conquered the pursuit of philosophy, and truly then there is "nothing left to be done"." - trixie
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Re: I don't know!

Postby WendyDarling » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:35 pm

No, I'm thanking you Tom for it is your way of pulling that string across the table that makes all the difference.
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!


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Re: I don't know!

Postby WendyDarling » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:18 pm

Tom wrote
Only when the notion being described by the words one is reading align perfectly with the state of one's inner being at that precise instant is do the words have any impact. A tiny fraction of a second before is too early and a tiny fraction of a second later is too late.


How very true.
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