a new understanding of today, time and space.

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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:52 pm

We have created such forms as political institutions
and philosophy and history and economics and
and companies and transportation and microwaves and cell phones
and TV sets and hearing aids and …………

But we have mistaken those forms of existence for existence....

We are not political institutions or historical or economics
or transportation or cell phones...…

we are human beings and all those other things we have created are not us...
they are simply extensions of us..... we confused the things we have created
with who we are.... when they are simply aids to us, not us...…

When I was young and I created.. it was a creation that was basic/plain/
uncomplicated...…. as I grew older, my creations grew more complex,
more difficult, with more moving parts...… now that I am old,
my creations have simplified... less complex, less moving parts.....

Look at the path of artists.... they usually begin their creative process
with simple forms, basic/plain/uncomplicated, less moving parts.....
artists in music, literature, sculpture, architecture, poetry...….

as they approach the middle stage of their creative process, their
art, in whatever form it took, became more complex, more difficult,
more moving parts....

and as Artists mature, they return to simple, less complex, less moving parts
art.. regardless of the format of the art...…

Today, we are in the middle stages of the creative process and we
are making our creations complicated, more difficult, with more moving parts.....

soon, soon we shall return to a simpler, less complicated form of
creations...…… our art, our understanding of history, economics,
science, philosophy, biology will begin to be less complicated,
less moving parts, less difficult.....

that means as artist, and creations such as science and philosophy
and history and biology is an act of creation such as any artist would
do....we will come to a deeper understanding of what those disciplines
actually mean and we can state them in a simpler, less complicated
fashion...………. as we create, we find the lessons we learn can be
turned into simpler language.....

Or as Einstein once stated, someone really knows his stuff if they
can simplify it to the point of making it plain to anyone... that is
when people really understand what they are talking about.....
when they can make it plain and simple.... if they are still using
complicate language to make something understandable, they really
don't understand it...……….So, do you understand something?
Can you make it plain and simple for anyone to understand it?

That is the goal of understanding... to make it simple enough
so we can explain it to anyone.... understanding to the point as being able to
explain it to anyone......

do you understand?

Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:37 pm

As an average person looking at the academic disciplines that we
depend upon such as history and economics and science and of course,
philosophy, we see a complete lack of understanding of those disciplines
and a disregard of those disciplines. In other words, the common man/women
might ask, what has those academic disciplines done for me? Do those
academic disciplines help my life in any, way, shape or form? The common
person most likely sees someone who engages in those disciplines as
not much more then a "egghead", whatever that means, and they dismiss
anyone who engages in such matters as history and philosophy and political science
and economics and...…….

The "average" person cannot make a connection with any of those
academic disciplines and see them as not much more then
intellectual masturbation. The common person has no engagement
or connection with such academic disciplines.

The common American is "practical" and they don't see any of those
academic disciplines as being "practical". Americans have always
disliked and distrusted "intellectuals". In Europe and Asia, intellectuals
have a much higher level of respect then here in America.

Part of the slam against Clinton was, she was an intellectual who didn't connect
with people. As if connecting with people was a prerequest for being president.

Anyway, how do we get the "average" person to reconnect with such academic
disciplines as political science and philosophy and history?

You have to connect the disciplines with what is happening in people's lifes.
Why does philosophy matter? You have to show people why philosophy
matters in their life? The dry philosophy of deconstruction and analytical
philosophy doesn't tell people what they want to know about how to live life.

Or to be more exact, people don't see the issues in their life.
In their quest to be "Practical" people miss the fact that their
lives are an empty shell. People are simply going through the
motions in getting through life. Capitalism and democracy and the
western way of life has failed. The promise that life would be better
under this form of government and economics has failed...… but why
has capitalism and democracy failed? That is a question the common
people don't grasp. They don't see how capitalism and democracy
has failed. But the failure in both, stems from the same failure.

Both capitalism and democracy have money as it final judgment.
Both are judge by profits and losses where as we must judge
a political system and a economic system with a different
judgement values. But these matters don't engage the average person,
the average person simply wants the system to work and they don't care
how that happens or who is damaged in the rush to make the system work.

But that is the point, we should care not only if the system works,
but how it influences people, for better or worse. The failure is
not understanding that a system that works is still not the best system
to have. Success or failure is not just a matter of profits and losses,
it is about the effect that system has on its citizens or the people within
the system. We must make it clear that system understanding is really
in the best interest of people. We have said for decades, let the experts
do the thinking for you. And the experts have been in the pay of those
who make the decisions and thus the decisions have benefited those
who have paid for the "expert" opinions. The answer for me has always been
simple, the more people involved the better. Democracy or any political
system works best the more people you have involved in it. Any economic
system works best the more that the people benefit from it, not just the
1%. The answer is to increase participation in every area of our lives.
That is how we get engagement from people. We engage them by
getting them a voice, a place in the system. The academic disciplines
can become part of our engagement with people by bringing the disciplines
to the people, not just leave it in the hands of the "experts". Make philosophy
part of peoples life by allowing them engagement with philosophy.

I believe in the wisdom of the people, the group more then I believe in
the wisdom of the few or the one.

Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:52 pm

As usual, I return to existence for that is the basis
for any thought or philosophy that we have.

Existence is something we work through and discover about,
but existence also has an historical context that should be discussed.

Existence as punishment.
Now I don't claim any of this is new or something different then what others
has thought of, but it is another attempt to make sense of it.

Buddhism and Christianity for example treat existence as punishment.
Recall the Buddha and his teachings. The point of existence as to escape
suffering and by becoming enlighten, we can escape the ongoing rebirth
and death of life, reincarnation. We are ever being born and reborn and
all the while, we suffer. We suffer as humans and we suffer as animals
and we suffer every time we return to this earth. To end the endless
cycle of being reborn, we must achieve Enlightenment. That will put an end
to the constant cycle of rebirth and suffering. That philosophy/religion
is anti-life. It is an attempt to end the suffering we have in life.

Christianity is also anti-life, but its opposition to life is of a different sort.
The goal of life is not life but to rejoin with god in heaven. To join at the right
hand of god and spend eternity in the reflection and contemplation of god.
(this idea of the point of heaven is a direct steal from the Greek philosophers.
They thought that life was best spent in the contemplation of existence and god)

Now recall the Medieval ages when man was anti-body and anti-life.
Recall that many in the church felt the need to punish the body in
various actions such as in flagellation of the body for religious
purposes. To deny the flesh was a major fixture of the medieval man
and this denial carried over to even our time. Recall the
programs directed to youth about abstentions. It worked until it didn't work
and for the most part, abstention programs failed.

Today, we still have an feeling or idea that to deny the body pleasure
is an positive behavior and not a negative behavior.
This idea of abstention is still strong in conservatives but not so much
in liberals.

To deny the body and place primacy in the soul is still a fixture in our
modern society. Jesus said:

"What does it profit a man if he gains the world and yet loses his soul"

so existence has many different aspects. For the religious, the body means
less then the soul. But we are body, we cannot deny that simple fact.

to paraphrase Jesus: "What does it matter for you to gain your soul if
you lose your body"?

This entire debate hinges on one point, is the soul eternal?
If the soul is eternal, then the religious is right but, but
if the soul or what we think of as the soul, ends with death,
then those who engage with the body over the soul is right.

As of this moment, there is no evidence that the soul or what we think
of as the soul is eternal...….We have bodies, that much we know.
but do we have eternal souls? I cannot subscribe to that point of view.
For the simple reason, that I cannot discover anything that is eternal.
Even the universe is finite. It began and in billions of years, it will end.
Just as our solar system began at some point 14 billion years ago, it will
end. As we humans beings began at some point and at some point, we end.
I cannot find anything that last forever, is eternal.

And because we are finite beings, we must not only engage with the soul but
with the body. We must be in harmony and in moderation with both soul
and body.

So we return to the original point, that of existence being a punishment.
I cannot hold that point of view that existence is a punishment because
existence is not just a punishment but something that has
worthy pleasures and goals that make existence worth living.
Life is not about suffering, it has suffering in it, but the main
function of life is not to escape suffering, but life is to embrace
and overcome our suffering and pain and despair and unhappiness.

we can turn any negative aspect of our life which is suffering
and pain and despair and unhappiness into something positive and
worth remembering. For suffering and despair and pain and unhappiness
is part of this thing we call existence and it is a negative, a dark aspect
of life..... but as in the two aspects of life, the light and the dark,
light needs the dark to reveal the how lifegiving and astonishing the what
the light shows us. For the dark needs the light to reveal that life is two parts,
that of light and that of dark. To make sense of our existence, we need both
light and dark. To understand our existence we must accept both the light
and the dark. The light part of existence which is beautiful and wonderful
and uplifting and the dark part of existence which is the pain and suffering
and despair that each of us feels at some point in our life. We must have both
parts to help us appreciate what our life is and what is possible for us.

The exuberance of life is tempered by the realization of the negative, dark
aspects of life which is the pain and suffering that accompanies life.
We cannot just have the light part of life, we must, must have the
dark side of life and that allows us to enjoy the beauty and
promise and possibilities of life all the more.

So existence has two sides, the positive and light side
and the dark, negative side and we must have both to
correctly understand what life is...…

Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:17 pm

Given the above post, where can certainty be found?

Certainty is found in the knowledge that life is both the
light and the dark....... the positive and negative,
or as the eastern religions mark it, the yin and yang of life...
the "taichi" symbol... where opposite and often contrary forces
are often complementary, interconnected, interdependent.

It is not in the things, the material things that have certainty but in the
process of life is certainty and what that means is simple,
Life is a process. we are born, we live and we die....
Every human being goes through that process. Some days are in the light
and some days are in the dark..... Yesterday was a really shitty day at work
and some days are like that, dark days and perhaps my next day at work will be good
and it will exist in the positive, in the light.

the pain and suffering and death of both the Buddha and Christianity exists
and the beauty and joy and wonder in life, also exists.

that is where the certainty of life exists, in the process of life.....

I will someday, die. I cannot escape that fact. My material body, the body
that is called Kropotkin, will cease to exist. but my individual cells within my
body will go on and become part of something else. As my individual cells were
something else before they became part of the material body known as Kropotkin.

We are finite and we are infinite, once again depending on how you look at it.
If you just look at our current form of material being called a human being,
then we are finite and soon, this form will cease to exist. But my cells, atoms,
they last forever and were present at the begining of time and they will
be there at the end of time. Which Kropotkin do you look at? The finite one
or the infinite one? The positive one of the light or the negative one of the dark?

Or do you understand human beings as being part light and part dark?

We can find certainty in this universe, you just to stop thinking that certainty
exists in a material matter or form. Certainty is a process in how we view ourselves
and each other. That is where certainty exists, not in the material objects themselves,
but in the process that created the material objects.

Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:20 pm

In thinking about the need for obedience, we must be obedient to
the state, to the church, to god, for the Jewish people, they must be
obedient to the religious laws of their forefathers.

If there was a trait to mark the modern age, it would be obedience.
But the question of obedience means we no longer "obey" or understand
the question of the Enlightenment which is basically a call for people to
think for themselves. As Kant said about the entire Enlightenment,

"Sapare aude"

which is a Latin phrase meaning, "Dare to know". And that phrase did sum up
the entire Enlightenment thought and goals. Dare to know. But the modern
point of view of obedience at all cost, rejects these phrase and the thought
behind it..... the modern world is about knowing exactly what the state wants
you to know and no more..... if there was a modern phrase to match the entire
agenda of the modern age, it would be this,

"need to know basis"

that is the one phrase that is the modern version of "Sapere aude".....
everyone is on a "need to know" basis and the average citizen
doesn't need to know anything outside of what the state tells them
and once again the greatest crime anyone can commit is to violate
this "need to know" order and reveal information that was a "need to know".....

This disobedience will get someone years in prison.... to violate the State
agenda which is to hold and maintain all relevant and pertinent information
which the state decides is relevant and pertinent. In other words, in regards to
the "need to know" basis, the state is judge, jury and executioner...… the state
lays out the rules, the program and the punishment for any crimes of
"disobedience" of the state mandated by the "need to know" basis.

The enlightenment fight was just another version of the "need to know" fight
we are experiencing today. But their battle in regards to the "need to know"
was a battle against the authority of such institutions like the church, or
authorities like Aristotle or St. Augustine. The Enlightenment was
saying, don't just accept the authority of church or Aristotle,
dare to know yourself. And the same can be said today, it is not enough
that we accept the authority of the state and simply bow down
to their "need to know" basis. Under the guise of authority of the state,
the state can and has limited our access to information and knowledge that
the state "claims" will somehow damage the state in some fashion.....
but if this is a democracy, then as the people who govern, we have a right,
indeed a absolute right to access that information...…

let us take an concrete example, the FBI investigation into Kavanaugh that
was done this last week is being held on a "need to know" basis and the American
people apparently don't need to know...…. but, but if information is being held
from the American people, then how are we to make "informed" decisions as
to our choices when we vote. In other words, a world that is a "need to know"
world is anti-democratic for it excludes the very people that are supposed to
be in charge, the people. The vital phrase is simply this,

"government of the people, for the people and by the people"

and if we operate with government done on a "need to know" basis and
the people don't need to know, then we don't have a democracy....
we have something else in which we don't have

"government of the people, for the people, by the people".

If actions are taken in the name of the people, such as military,
governmental, political and done with a "need to know" basis
then we have a dictatorship. For if the people have no say and no knowledge
of said actions taken in their name, those actions are not done in our name
and without our consent. Those actions are done by
the consent and knowledge of the "leadership" of our country but not the people
and thus are illegal. If the people do not have a say in or even knowledge of
actions taken in their name, then it is not done for the people. It is done
for the benefit of those who are in charge... The ones who "need to know".

For example after 9/11, we "the people" were forced without our consent,
to have TSA examine our persons and go through our luggage and take off
our shoes, belt, and have all other material go through a screening machine....
if it is done without our consent, it is illegal. Does the safety of the people
override the fact that we still live in a democracy and we must, must, must
consent to actions taken in our name. For if actions are taken in my name,
then I am responsible for those actions because they were done in my name.

This same theory can be established for religion especially Christianity.
for I have not given my consent to god for actions taken in my name.

The concept of consent is suppose to be the basis of our modern world
and yet, what consent have you ever given to either government or the church
or even god? I submit that part of the "modern condition" that afflicts the modern age,
lies in this problem, the fact, that so much of our modern age is done without
consent or permission of the people in whose name the actions are taken.

If I have liability for my actions taken, then I must have some consent, some
say in accepting that liability... I cannot be forced to accept liability for
something I never accepted or consented to and yet, the modern state
and the church and god forces me to accept liability for actions taken
when I never accepted or agreed to or choose or consented to.

and one solution I would advocate is this, at 18 or 21 as the case maybe,
I would stand people in front of a judge or in a written statement,
to publicly give consent to, to voluntarily choose to become
members of our society and state. To allow people the option to
give consent to the actions taken in their name and by this consent,
they earn the right to become one of the "need to know" basis.

If we are a democracy, then we must actually begin to act like it.
We must make participation in society and the state part of being
a member of said society/state. the entire point of democracy is to
have people have a say in matters of concern to their lives, be it
politically or economically or socially. To be a democracy demands
participation by those people in whose name actions are taken.
If I am going to be liable to pay taxes for warships and bombs
and nuclear weapons, then I deserve a voice in the process
and I deserve to make consent to those actions.....

Now one might say that that consent will create chaos and
confusion within society? but what is the point of democracy
if we have no voice or consent in actions taken in our name?

Either we have a democracy and we have a voice and give consent
to actions taken in our name or we don't have a democracy, in
which case we don't have a voice or give our consent to actions,
certainly not taken in our name, but taken by the leaders in their
name and their consent, for their benefit, not ours.

The bottom line is coming to a head. Do we have a democracy or don't we?

That is the modern question. Do we have a real, live, operating democracy
that is

"of the people, for the people, by the people"

or don't we?

Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:18 pm

The question of our age is simple, freedom or security?

That is the primary question of the modern age.

The constitution and the declaration of independence were quite
clear in their answer, freedom. Regardless of the question, the
answer was, is and always will be, freedom. The reason seems to be
clear as to why. But let us take security first. As we know,
no matter how hard we try, we cannot ever be 100% secure.
There is no such thing as absolute security. As we know from
our understanding of systems, that no system is 100% anything.

An example of this is with energy. No matter how hard we try, we cannot
get an energy system to be 100% efficient. That in every system, we can only
have a percentage of the system use energy efficiently. There is and will always
be inefficiency in a engine for example. So what this means for example,
is the relationship between the total energy contained in the fuel
and the amount of energy used to perform useful work. Most gasoline
engines are only about 20% efficient. Which means that the engine "waste"
80% of the energy possible in gasoline. The human body is about 25% efficient
and a Iowa cornfield is only 1.5% percent efficient at converting incoming sunlight
into chemical storage.

So we understand that in systems, that they are not 100% efficient,
and this is true in any attempt of a system, a person trying to be secure,
that he/she cannot ever, regardless of the energy put into their security,
ever be 100% safe and secure. It is simply not possible.

So let us look at freedom. We cannot ever have 100% of freedom.
In other words, we do not have absolute freedom. We can have a
percentage of freedom, but never absolute freedom. Our actions
are limited by various limitations, we cannot have bodily freedom because
we are biological creatures and that creates limitations in our bodily
freedom. I can only run as fast as my body will allow me. I am limited
in that aspect. I am not free to fly by just flapping my arms. I am
limited by the rules/laws of the physical universe. I am not free to act
with impunity regarding the laws of the universe. I cannot escape the laws/rules
of physics and evolution and gravity. I cannot be free to grow wings
nor am I free to float upwards on the earth because gravity is holding me
down. Nor can I travel the speed of light. My range of actions is limited
by the rules/laws of the universe. I cannot have freedom of actions.

So we know that there are limitations to both security and freedom.
What else can we understand about security and freedom.

Security is trying to make us safe from something. Security is
going away from something. It is negative in nature. You are trying to
escape harm by making oneself "secure". It is a fool's attempt.

so, what is freedom? Freedom is not going from something, but is going
toward something. I want to be free to act in some fashion. It is positive.
There are limitations in what I can be free in and how I can be free, but still
it is striving toward something. I am trying to be free to...…….

This is why we must engage in freedom over security. Freedom is about
going toward something and security is escaping from something.

The attempt to freedom causes chaos and violence and
upheaval. Oh, yes it does, but since we cannot ever become 100%
safe and secure, we should work toward the positive actions
and positive results. The search for freedom is a dance, a celebration
of what is possible and the search for security?

that is a reaction to fear and the opposite of the reason for
seeking freedom. The drive to seek freedom is far different then
the drive to find secuity.........the drive toward freedom is far riskier
and far more dangerious and full of traps to ensnare the unsuspecting
human being, but, but the drive for freedom is a positive action in
our lives and the drive for security is a negative drive in our lives.

the young person wants freedom, the old person wants security.
Who do you want to be?

Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:44 pm

Or perhaps said another way,

Security is the search for a certainty that does not exist,
freedom is the search for possibilities, not certainty.

in our search for freedom we sacrifice certainty,
and in our search for security, we sacrifice our possiblities of becoming.

In security, we no longer are overcoming, we are safe and set in the act
of security....we only seek to be safe in security, we no longer attempt to
become something more..... we are done with what drives life and that
is the act of overcoming who we are. We accept the habits and biases
and myths and prejudices and superstitions of our society, our upbringing,
our indoctrinations. We no longer seek to overcome our childhood indoctrintations
because in our search for security, the only thing that matters is our safety and
security. Nothing else matters outside of those things that make us "safe" and "secure".

It is by freedom that we engage with the overcoming of "who we are"
and the search "to know thyself", and when I know myself, I can then
discover what values I have been indoctrinated with and then overcome
those values by accepting the values that are the real me, become who I am,
in regards to the values that really matter to me, not the values I was indoctrinated with,
but the values that are the "real" me. The search to be human is the search for
the values that are the real you, not the indoctrinated values of childhood.
the search for those values require, no demand, not security, but freedom.

To become who we are and to overcome our childhood indoctrinations,
means we must have freedom to engage with knowing ourselves.

Thus freedom is a more acceptable path then security because it allows
us the opportunity to become who we are.

Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:22 pm

a look at our founding fathers, they didn't emphasize safety or security,
they said, come to America for its freedom/liberty. You didn't move to
the frontier to be safe and secure, you went to the wilderness to be
free. The very basis of America was in its freedom, not in its safety or
security. People left their homeland and traveled thousands of miles to find
freedom, not safety or security. We have lost what made America great
which was its promotion of the ideal of freedom, not the ideal of security.
to gain security, you must sacrifice freedom and I am not willing to sacrifice
the values that made America great to gain some vague hope of safety or security.

The risk to find freedom/liberty exists but the danger to surrender our
freedom to find security is far too great.

I am willing to follow the founding fathers and sacrifice some security in
return for greater freedom. It is in freedom that we find ourselves
and in security we lose ourselves.

Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:53 pm

Nihilism: the negation of humans and/or their values.

That we live in a nihilistic culture and state cannot be denied,
for evidence see the nomination of Kavanaugh in congress.

From the start of the 20th century to today, has been a lesson in
Nihilism. The First world war, the Holocaust, the second world war......
each event is evidence of our nihilism, the negation of human beings
in the pursuit of money/profits, that is a perfect example of our current nihilism.

But it is not enough to say, no, the GOP is the party of no and the
extremist party of nihilism. We cannot just negate our way into better lives.
at some point, we must affirm, we must say yes. The negation and nihilism
of society cannot hold, the center cannot hold, the man said and why?
Because the center is the negation of humans and their values.
The core of modern society today is negation and nihilism and we cannot
mantain that and expect to excel or succeed in our lives.

But what do we affirm? To what do we say yes to?

It is not enough to pursue profit/money to the exclusion/negation
of humans and their values. We must affirm, say yes to those values
that make life worth living. It is in the yes/the affirmation of
the values of justice and peace and love and hope and charity....
it is in those values that we begin to see what it means to be human,
truly human. To negate, to deny is to say no to what it means to be human.
To accept those negative values of hate, anger, lust, greed, meanness,
is to negate, to deny what is best human beings.

To negate is nihilism. Another value we must say yes to is freedom.
And to seek freedom is to seek uncertainty and chaos and disorder,
but understand this, freedom is an antidote to nihilism. Seeking freedom
means saying yes instead of negation or denying.

There are some who call America, the Welfare state, but that is not true.
In reality, we are a "martial state", we are a "nihilistic state", we are the
"safe and secure state". But we are clearly not a "freedom state", for
in our pursuit of security, we have negated, denied freedom as being
antagonistic to security/safety.

I for one would eliminate the police state that we have today and
and I would eliminate the NSA and CIA and FBI. But Kropotkin,
you would open us to danger, my life would be in danger.
If you don't have freedom, you don't have a life anyway.
If you favor security over freedom, you are negating, participating
in nihilism. In a choice between freedom and security, there is no choice,
you must choose freedom, for otherwise you choose nihilism.

Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:21 pm

Hegel early in his career wondered about a problem,
which may be instructive these days.

He often wrote about how to bring about a moral and spiritual
renewal and thus lead to social reform.

Hegel considered that is what Jesus did in the corrupt
Greco-Roman world of the 1st century. He felt that Jesus
brought about a moral and spiritual renewal that was needed because
the Greco-Roman world was the last stages of a long period of a civilization
that could be traced to the Egyptians and thus lasting for 3000 years and that
civilization was in dire need of renewal.

And what of us, do we after 500 years of the "modern" world, are
we in need of a moral and spiritual renewal? If we follow the GOP
and declare America a nihilistic zone in which the only values that matter
is money/profits, then yes, yes we are in need of moral and spiritual renewal.

If we follow the founding fathers and make the search to be about freedom,
then no, we are not in need of a moral/spiritual renewal. What values do
you make as your priority values, determine if we/you are in need of
a moral/spiritual renewal. If the values you fight for are values that negate
or deny humans or human values, then you are in need of a moral/spiritual
renewal. But the only way to know is to begin the process of knowing thyself.
Engage in self reflection about what values are important to you and are those
values that are important to you, are they your values or are they the values
that were indoctrinated into you as a child? If they are indoctrinated values as
I suspect most people values are values of indoctrination and not personally
discovered values. Then you must engage in a discovery of what values are really
your values. You must overcome the indoctrinated values of childhood
and discover what are your values and then the final step is to become
who you are by making those newly discovered values, your values.
when you are engaged with values that are your values and not indoctrinated
values then you have become who you are. But the only way to find out if
you need or if society needs to be morally and spiritually renewed, is by
reflection and awareness and understanding, what are the values that I have
and that my society has and are they really values worth holding?

It is this engagement that leads us to become truly human.

One might ask, Kropotkin, what about you? Does society need to be morally
and spiritually renewed? As I have made fairly clear, we live in a nihilistic
society because we hold money/profits above people and their values,
so yes, we most certainly need a moral and spiritual renewal.

And where should I, Kropotkin begin?

As always, I begin with me and I try to understand my values and
if the values I hold are indoctrinated values of my childhood or
are the values I hold really values I have discovered for myself?

As I have changed political views and philosophical views multiple
times, I can state with some degree of "certainty" that I have come
to my currently held views with a inner dialogue with myself.

A inner dialogue that must be honest and open and without fear.
And I have done that to the best of my abilities and I am calm
without fear and with hope because I am comfortable with my values
and with who I am. I have no need of crutches like religion or phony
values that are nihilistic like materialism and the modern pursuit of
and prayer to the god, Mammon.

Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:28 pm

this question of moral and spiritual renewal requires
some understanding of what needs to be renewal.
In other words, what actions/behavior or beliefs do
we need to reform to accomplish some sort of
moral or spiritual renewal. What are we doing wrong
that needs to be reformed and nenewed?

That we must begin by understanding what we are doing.
As I have noted, we are a martial, warlike society whereas
our moral document of a government budget is directed to
defense and security. That we put so much emphasis on
military and defensive tells us what our priorities are.

that we spend our days working and promoting the religion
of materialism, the buying and selling of goods, gives us another
clue as to our priorities.

Remove those two aspects and what is left?

Actually, not much. So any understanding of what it means to
have a moral and spiritual renewal must come from these two
aspects of our life. The renewal must come from our staunch
and dedicated beliefs in making security and materialism
our guiding principles in life. This renewal comes about
because security denies/negates freedom for true security can only
come about with the denial of freedom. The aspect of materialism
denies that our happiness can come from anything but the buying and
selling of goods and money/profits.

The pursuit of happiness spoken by the enlightenment documents
like the Declaration of Independence,

……."that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable
Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"

And we take the pursuit of happiness to be the materialism, the buying
and selling of goods/money/profits.

But this enlightenment document is wrong. The pursuit should not be
after happiness, because that path leads us to the wrong goal.
The pursuit should be of values that give our live meaning and
purpose. Values like justice, dignity, tolerance, love, charity,
honor, freedom...…….. those values, these are the values we should pursue,
not materialism or the futile pursuit of safety or security.

So the pursuit of values that give life meaning is the moral and
spiritual renewal that we need. But we do not act or operate
in isolation, by ourselves. We exist within a society/culture,
a system as it were and only by existing within a society/culture
that we need or have use of morals or the spiritual aspect of life.

It is within a society that we need to be moral or spiritual,
individually we have no such need. Morality/spirituality
are collective aspects of our life. they must be shared within
the family, the state, the culture and the society.

It is because homo sapiens are social creatures that
we need morals or the spiritual. So any renewal must
occur both individually and, AND collectively. We must
think about this moral and spiritual renewal in terms
of the individual and society. We collectively must
engage in a moral/spiritual renewal.

So what values are values that we should individually
and collectively have? The same values I would think,
and the reason for that is simple, if we as individuals
have one set of values and society has another set of values,
that means we are alienated from society..... For that
is what alienation really means, that the individual has
one set of values and society has another set of values.

If I am set upon freedom as my primary value and
society is set upon security or materialism as its set/primary
value, then I am alienated from my society. Alienation
is a question of values and the difference in values between the
individual and society.

As I have laid out the quest to become who you are individually,
this approach also exists for a society. the society must begin
by knowing itself. Knowing what values are inherited, indoctrinated
within society itself. then the society just as an individual finds out
as they begin the journey to understanding which always begin
by beginning the process of knowing thyself. Then the society
begins to understanding what values are really the values
that a society should hold, overcoming the values that
have been inherited or indoctrinated within society.
And then, then the society after overcoming itself,
can become who it is when its values match the reality
of that society. We are alienated from our society because
individually, we hold different values then the society holds.

and we must match our values, individually and collectively.
To become who we are... our values individually must match
our collective values. And here is where the conflict within
society has been in the modern age. In the modern age,
what have we been striving for? to be better citizens and
engaging in materialism, the buying and selling of goods/money/profits.
We have also adapted the universal commandment about
disobedience. That is the greatest crime in modern society,
to be disobedient to society, to our overlords, the modern corporation.

Therein lies the modern conflict between individual values and the collective
values of the modern dictatorship of the modern corporation.
The modern corporation is about the negation/denial of humans and their
values and the individual values are about justice or love or charity.
Values which have no value in the modern conception of what values are,
in other words, the values of the corporation are nihilistic values
and the values of the individual are positive/ lifegiving values
and this conflict is what the modern society has been fighting about
for almost 200 years.

so we now see that our moral and spiritual renewal really is about
making our societal/ cultural/ collective values match our individual
values. So how do we match our individual value of justice with
the societies values of obedience and materialism.

That is the question of our moral and spiritual renewal.
How do we match individual values with the collective
corporation values of nihilism? Recall that disobedience is the greatest
crime in modern society even by asking such questions, we are disobeying
society and the corporations that run our modern society.

Even by asking if materialism/capitalism is the value we should live
by is basic disobedience to modern society because the values of
materialism/capitalism is considered to be so fundamental to
society existence as to be unquestioned and unchallenged.

To doubt that materialism/capitalism is the value that we should pursue is
to commit heresy.. and heresy in modern society for it is forbidden to hold
any disobedience to the cult of materialism/capitalism. For disobedience
to materialism/capitalism is really a religious crime because we are
suppose to accept the materialistic/capitalistic on faith, without question.
Our modern belief in materialism/ capitalism is really religious faith based
upon taking the faith upon the authorities who have given their blessing to
the faith/religion of materialism/capitalism.

So the question of a moral/spiritual renewal must begin with the religious
question of our faith in materialism/capitalism.

Peter Kropotkin
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Posts: 8953
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:52 pm

I am on vacation this week and have been spending it reading.
As is my usual habit, when beginning a new philosopher, I read
a biography about them and as I am beginning Hegel, I am reading
a biography by Terry Pinkard called surprising enough, "Hegel" a biography.

And I note that as with virtually all the philosophers I have encountered so far
in the modern era, from Descartes to Hegel, that they are really philosophers
of and for and by other philosophers. In other words, the works that they
have produced for the most part is written for other philosophers and not
for the average person on the street. Take Kant for example, after reading 12 books
by and about him, I still don't understand his philosophical idea's. It hasn't been
for a lack of trying, but his idea's have no bearing on the average person on
the street. His philosophy has no bearing on anything an average person thinks
or does and that is not going to help us trying to get an understanding
of the point and purpose of our existence. Kant's gobblegook doesn't
help me become a better person or understand life better or help me
understand my place in the universe or even understand the Kantian questions:

What am I to do? What should I hope for? What can I know?

I cannot relate what Kant wrote with the questions he asked.
And Kant is not alone in his failure to make his philosophy
assessible for the man on the street. Hegel makes the same mistakes
and in even worse language, if that is even possible. The mistake of
having language hide what is being said instead of using language to help
understand what is being said. If philosophy is to help people understand
their place in the universe, then the philosophical language must
be understandable, even to the average person. It is not until Kierkegaard that
philosophical language becomes plainer and even then, Kierkegaard
tried to hide his meaning through various tricks like third person use
of language and pseudonyms and pretend editors of his works.

This use of language to hide, obscure what is being said, to my mind anyway,
is meant to show us that the author meaning is so brilliant that us common
minds is unable to understand it. However I would suggest that the language
being used is to make us think that the author is somehow way above us,
but in fact, the author is really hiding the fact that his knowledge is for
show and a pretension to brilliance. If you can't make your language
plain, then why bother? If is a matter of instruction that you make
your presentation, then make your idea's clear and concise, so people
can learn from you...……..If is your intention to show us how smart
you are, then obscure language is your path to this goal. I believe
this urge to pretension is, in part, why philosophy has such a bad/no
reputation these days. Philosophy can show us our place and our
meaning in the universe, but it has got to become of the people,
for the people, by the people. Philosophy can be rigorous even using
plain, common language. If we want to return philosophy to the
"Queen of the Sciences" then philosophy must speak to those who
need it most and in language that they can understand.

Peter Kropotkin
ILP Legend
Posts: 8953
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:19 pm

In my reading of "modernity" and "postmodernism" I've come across
one concept that that has piqued my interest and I've commented
upon it before, the fragmentation of modern man.
Goethe commented on this when he said, "Alas, I have two souls
in my breast". And the modern man says, dam, I wish I only had
two souls. The modern man's soul has been fragmentated
like a mirror or cup that has been dropped from a great height.
But that mirrors our understanding of physics and how the universe
works...…. Once our understanding of the universe was Newtonian.
Which is really the clockwork nature of the universe and how it all flowed
all together under the great laws of Newton and Math. Under Newton,
there was no fragmentation. Everything had its place and that place
could be found by the laws of science and math. The clock was really
the symbol of the age of the enlightenment because everything
was defined by its place in the universe and that was as sure as
as how direct and clear the clock worked.

But the age of the enlightenment occurred before the modern age,
before the industrial revolution. The age of the industrial revolution
also adopted the clock as its symbol but not the clock that stands upon
your desk, but as the timepiece that measures all activities. Recall
that saying, "Time is money". That is a indication of the idea that
the industrial revolution took as its chief symbol the timeclock upon
which all workers must time in and out of everyday...…

We are seen in the modern age as workers and only as workers.
What is THE modern symbol of our industrial age? Work.
We are determined and judge and measured by the work we do.
What is virtually the first question you ever ask of someone you first meet?
What do you do? What is your job. And then we judge them based on that
criteria. Not is they are good people or honest people or just people, but
do they work and what is that work? And we then judge their honesty
and value as an individual based on the criteria of their employment.

But the fragmentation comes from the fact that we are so much more then
just working individuals. We attempt, in our own way, to answer the
Kantian/Kropotkin question of "what can I know? What am I to do?
What values should I hold? among other such questions.

And in our search for our answers to the Kantian/Kropotkin questions,
we discover ourselves to be greater then just our work status. We are not
just the sum of what we do for a living. We are so much more and this is
the crisis of the modern age. We are fragmented because we are seen as
only workers (and consumers) but as nothing else which flies in the face of
who we are. In our own self analysis, Know thyself, we find ourselves to
be holders of values but these values are in conflict with the modern
age demand, that all we are is workers. I hold values that are
being negated and devalued in the modern world pursuit of profits/money.
I am fragmented because of this conflict between the nihilism of the
modern world which is attempting to crush all values that don't lead
to profits/money and my need to hold values like honesty, justice,
truth, love. If I am to fit into the modern age, I must also negate
and deny my values because they don't lead to profits/money.
This is the fragmentation of the modern age. If I am to fit into
the modern age, I must deny and negate who I am and my values.
Either you accept the modern proposition that profit is the basis
of existence or you don't and if you don't, you are committing the
greatest crime of the modern age..... and that is disobeying,
disobedience. Just like Adam and Eve, you are committing the
crime that will have you removed from "paradise".

I don't accept the premise that the value of human beings come
from the creation of profits/money. Simple as that
and with that, I am in conflict with my age, I am alienated
from my age, I am fragmented. So now the question becomes,
like the broken cup, can I be repaired? Can I be made whole again
or must I suffer from my fragmentation till the end of my existence?
From this we can now see the demand for the search for wholeness
that dominates our age. But the fact is, we may not be able to
put humpty dumpty together again. Think of it this way,
are we the single individual atoms that society/the modern age
has created or are we part of a whole? And if we are part of the whole,
which whole shall we be part of? Hence we now see or have an explanation
for the various ism's and ideologies that have dominated the modern age.
For the rise of ism's and ideologies come from the fragmentation of the modern
age and our attempt to make ourselves whole again with a return to
such ism's as nationalism and religion and such idiocy as "white is right".
I see such attempts to ism's as a response to the fragmentation
of the modern age.

We have been torn asunder because of the industrial revolution which
has devalued and negated humans and their values and we respond
as best we can to reuniting our fracture souls with ism's and ideologies
that seem to be able to reunite who we are into one soul...…

but is that even desirable? Should we even want to reunite
into one soul, be it in the name, the ism of nationalism or religion or
racism and bigotry? Should we attempt to reunite our souls or should
we attempt to conquer who we are and accept that we are individual
soul, individual atoms who cannot become part of any false ism or ideology?

The universe itself offers us an answer. We know that the base
of the universe is individual atoms. That is the basic structure
of the universe, the atom. But we also see atoms combining into
structures like the TV set and stoves and human beings and then
the atoms come apart, entropy, and then the atoms come together
again into a new structure. The number of atoms in the universe
has never changed since the second of the big bang to today
and it will never change till the end of time. We are just individual
atoms but we also change combine into structures and still
be individual atoms. Thus as individual atoms, we can become
part of structures like democracy and socialism and work and,
and we change and adapt, we can dissociate ourselves, as individual
atoms, and become part of other structures like dictatorships
and capitalism. These structures, like giant Lago logs,
are made up of many, thousands, indeed, millions of individual
Lago logs. but we have free will, we have the ability to
dissociate ourselves as we want from our created social structures
like communism and Catholicism, or to join other created social structures
or institutions like the party of treason, the GOP.

That is where we have freedom. to join or to dissociate ourselves
from created structures of ism's and ideologies like monarchy
or anarchism.

The path to becoming who we are is by understanding we
are individual atoms, each and every single one of us,
but we can join or dissociate ourselves from created social structures
that are created to harbor and help us individual atoms to survive.

The key is to accept us as individual atoms and the use that
understanding to accept our fractured souls. The fracturing
of our souls is because we now understand that
our social structure of modernism, capitalism and the industrial revolution,
has fractured our soul with its nihilism/negation of who we are
and what is possible by its relentless search for profits/money.

We are individual atoms.... the question becomes, what is next?

Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:20 pm

OK, when last seen, I ask a simply question,
as individual atoms, what is next?

But let us understand how we connect as individual atoms.

We know that in the beginning, the big bang, that the universe
was a random series of atoms. What connected them was a force,
that force, we call Gravity. The begining of the collection of matter, or
thought of another way, the unification of atoms, into matter that we now
call stars, planets, galaxies, space/time, all began because of gravity.

So, today we exist as a collection of individual atoms, we call cells.
this collection of billions and trillions and whatever is the next largest
number called, how did that collection of cells become, the human being?

We call this evolution. So matter began to collect as a response to Gravity
and became planets and stars and galaxies. We responded to Gravity in the same
way and we began to collect as individual atoms. Then after billions of years,
we began to be life, as we know it today. The path to the human being began
with the collection of random cells that, for whatever reason, became life.

Just as the organizing principle of matter is gravity, the organizing principle
of life is evolution. And as it does with Gravity, evolution goes from the small
and simple to the large and complex. We are not the last stage of evolution,
we are simply what has come to now and after us, life will continue, by
using such organizing principles of evolution and gravity, to continue to
build and create life into a collection of individual atoms. The next super power
of life on earth after the disappearance of human beings, may well be the
common dog or rats or alligators or some other random collection of individual
atoms that, by evolutionary means rise to the top of the food chain.
Life is created by some means we don't yet understand, and frankly it doesn't matter,
but life is maintain by evolution...…. we are individual atoms that has our organizing
principles as evolution. We exist as a collection of individual atoms just as the sun
and planets and galaxies are a collection of individual atoms and they are organized
by gravity. So as we are created by the "laws" of evolution, we must organize
in a certain fashion. We are social creatures, we must congregate together,
we human beings and this is because that is how evolution created us.
The rules, think of evolution as rules, and we humans must obey the rules.
And part of the rules for human beings is we must be social. That is inborn
within us as part of the rules for being human. So as individual atoms,
part of the rules for us individual atoms is we must congregate together
and so the social order of families and towns and cities and social organizations
like government and culture and ism's and ideologies like communism and democracy
exist because of the rules of evolution which demands, yep, demands
that we socialize together and exist together and live together. So this is why
as individual atoms, we tend to congregate into social structures like families
and groups. But we have freedom and part of that freedom is to associate
or as the case maybe, disassociate ourselves from a particular social order
such as a family or group or ism or ideology. Now seen this way, the real
path of freedom claimed by many is really just our ability to associate
or dissociate from any social structure. We have the right as given
by evolution, to dissent from and disagree with any social structure
that we, as individual atoms, agree with or disagree with.

We are determined by such factors as being inborn with certain
evolutionary forces such as the need to survive and the need to
be social. This need to survive is strong in all evolutionary/biology
structures we call animals or living beings such as fish and plants
and algae... That is the inbred function of evolution, to create
certain conditions of individual atoms, of which the will to survive
is strong. We as a collection of individual atoms, living in a universe
of collected atoms, both big and small, and the biological atoms
have as part of their code, the need to survive.... for that is written
within atoms by evolution, the need to survive. Recall that a cell,
a single, individual cell has as it basis, the coding written into
it by the force of evolution and we know that code as DNA and RNA.
That is the code that billions of years of evolution has written
into all biological cells...……

We cannot, as of yet, override those codes, but that is part of what
we are doing with our work with genetics and the study of genes and
heredity in living organisms. Seeing how evolution has wired us
as biological beings with DNA and RNA. So within us, as part of our
individual cells, is the coding of evolution and as we are also
part of that coding, we exist as being coded by evolution and
all life is by being life, coded by evolution. So as gravity has
organized matter into such things as stars and planets and galaxies,
evolution has organized matter into biological/coded individual
atoms which given enough time become more and more complicate
and eventually turning into us, not the final chapter of evolution, simple
the next chapter of evolution and after us, will come another chapter
and another and another. Life goes on...… with or without us.

With this in mind, what is next?

Peter Kropotkin
ILP Legend
Posts: 8953
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:46 pm

As have understood ourselves to be a collection
of individual atoms that has united under the forces of
gravity and evolution. We have both forces bound
within our own evolutionary growth. We are made of
both gravity and evolution. That is part of who we are
and you cannot remove or dissociate oneself from those
forces any more then you can remove your heart, as a physical
entity that moves your blood around your body. If you remove
your heart, you die. It is just that simple. But let us understand
the heart in the symbolic method that the heart is understood,
as an symbol of love and emotion. The creation of love and emotion
and passion comes from the evolution of the biological form we call
human beings. It is as much a part of us as the heart is a physical muscle
that pumps blood for us..... To state the obvious, you cannot live without
the heart as a physical function because it is part of us, as the brain and
liver and bones and sinew are also a part of us...… but as we cannot
live without the heart as a physical force that moves blood, we cannot live
without the heart as an symbolic force either. In other words, we are
created by evolution to have emotions, to love, to engage with passion
and we cannot remove those emotions, love, passion inside of us.....
They exist just as surely as the heart and brain exists and for the same
reason, they somehow allow us to survive, which as you recall is one
of the patterns evolution has written into our genetic code... All physical
forms created by evolution, has written into it, the will to survive.
It is part of the coding evolution has written into us and
emotion, passion and love is also written into us as genetic coding.

We cannot separate out from us emotions, passions, love any more then
we can separate out our heart or our brain. This is something we need
to learn. Is that we can separate or associate ourselves with ism's and
ideologies and specific social structures, but we cannot because of our
evolutionary coding escape being part of social structures or escape
being emotional, passionate, loving..... This is the failure of
the school of thought that says we must divest ourselves of
emotions, passions, love. We can no more divest ourselves of
that which is coded in us then anymore we can divest ourselves
of our heart or our brain as physical structures that allow us to live.

The 20th century is a lesson in our attempt to follow the
enlightenment of the 18the century and become only rational,
logical. We cannot divest ourselves of our feelings, passions, love,
emotions anymore then we can divest ourselves of our rationality,
logical side of us as that is also written into us as genetic coding.

so our genetic coding, has us being both rational and logical
and passionate and emotional and loving. We must accept
this basic fact and learn to work with both sides of our genetic
heritage, the brain as a symbol and the heart as a symbol.

We cannot deny or negate either side of our genetic heritage
without real problems and those real problems threaten
our very survival. We must learn to work with the rational,
logical side of us and work with the emotional, passionate side
of us.... The two sides, because they were created by evolution,
are a fixed and always present part of us and we must exist with both
intact and working. This is part of the challenge of being human,
learning to work with and be part of both the rational and emotional
side of the evolutionary forces that created us. We must work with
our rational side and our emotional side of us just as we must
work with the forces that created the universe, matter in the laws
of gravity and living, biological matter, evolution. We must find
a work to exist and work with gravity and evolution as they are
the forces that are a part of us, exist within us and we cannot escape
the forces of gravity or evolution any more then we can escape the
evolutionary forces of rational thought and emotional feelings.

It is within us, part of us and we must deal with that as best we can.
We have no choice, so we must incorporate both factions of
the evolutionary process that is rationality and emotionality.

so the path to becoming human, fully human lies in learning to
incorporate both sides of the evolutionary coding that exists
within us, emotions and rational thought. so, you want to
become a better human being and a better living being,
the answer lies in incorporating the two sides of our genetic coding,
the emotional and the rational.

Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:01 pm

When all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail...…

And within this quote you have the modern world..... for people think
all they have is a hammer, which is the ism's and ideologies that they
are committed to, be it capitalism or Catholicism or nationalism.
For example, if all you use to make judgements is profits and losses,
then every example you look at, will involved profits and losses.
This lack of imagination allows us to think that we can judge everything
by profits and losses. Thus we can negate and devalue people if they
don't create profits. If we judge everything by our hammer, which is
the profits/losses, then everything looks like a nail which in this case
is the question of profits/losses, the GDP, (Gross domestic product)
wealth...……….If we stop looking at everything through the paradigm of profits,
the hammer of profits, then we can reevaluate, better understand the world....
For that hammer of wealth/profits is a false vision of the world... it is
an artificial vision of what the world looks like...…..

We judge, value, understand ourselves in terms of profits and losses.
what a lack of imagination we have, to see ourselves in such nihilistic terms.
We can no longer have this lack this imagination and short change who we are
because offers us a false picture of who we are.

who I am and what is possible for me is not dependent upon any standard
of wealth that I have or might have...…. who I am and what is possible for
me exists within a different context outside of profits and losses.

Or if you see the world in the context of racial or sexual or gender identities,
then everything you see, the hammer is that context. If you see white identity
as the context for things, then that is your hammer and when you use that hammer,
everything looks like a white identity problem. That is lack of a imagination at work.

Change your vision, your hammer of the world and everything changes.
Here we become aware of another great problem of our age, the lack
of imagination. We are trapped because we lack the imagination
to escape our viewpoints...…

Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:14 pm

Here are a few notes I have collected over the last few days.

The continuity of life plays role in our lives. I was on vacation last week
and even though I wasn't there, the store continued on, as it does whether
I am there or not. Life is the same way. It is impossible to understand
life without understanding the continuity of life. We are born within this
continuity and life continues within this continuity. To be or not to be,
still exist within the continuation of life.

Now conservatives use this continuity as a justification for their ideology
which is basically, this continuity of life, of society, is the basis for all the good
things in life. A conservative values and believes in this continuity
that is our existence. But the problem of continuity is simple, it makes
no value judgment about the continuity of the life. For example, if we base
our existence on the continuity instead of the nature of what is being continued, then
we have our justification for such things as slavery, women being barefoot,
pregnant and in the kitchen, of political systems like the monarchy and not
democracy. For it is the modern world attack upon the continuity of
these institutions that has lead to the modern world as we know it.

To simply continue things because that is the way that they have always
been done is the carrying of the age old myths, biases, prejudices, habits
and superstitions into the modern world and into today. We cannot simply
be engaged in the act of maintaining our continuity instead of understand
as we have what is being continued. This is the difference between the liberal
and the conservative. For the conservative, it is about the continuation
and not necessarily what is being continued and for the liberal, it is about
what is being conserved, what is being continued that matters, not the act
of continuation. The second aspect is the speed of any change that might
be made. For the conservative, speed matters and if one is to conservative,
maintain our continuity, then it must change slowly if at all.

for the liberal, change cannot come fast enough. But once again, it is not
about the continuity itself, but what is being continued. And if what is being
continued is considered "wrong" by the liberal, then change cannot come fast
enough. Let us take one example, slavery. Slavery has existed since the beginning
of time and is mentioned within the bible. So in the eyes of the conservative,
slavery is acceptable because it is the continuity of existence that allows
society and the culture to survive. It is not about what is being continued,
just as long as it is being continued. But slavery is wrong and the sooner
we can removed it, eliminate it, the better off we are, that is the liberal
thinking. It doesn't matter about the continuity or the speed of change,
as long as the necessary change occurs to help those who are in the bonds
of slavery. For those who wonder, slavery is still practiced in the world.
We are not as advanced as we like to think.

So, what about continuity that appeals or doesn't appeal to you?
What do you want to continue and what do you want to change?
And the liberal ask, why? Why continue this and why change that.
It is not enough to engage in change but to understand what
change we want and why.

Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:17 pm

again a note taken a day or so ago.....

Note the "common" sense idea's of society that fall apart
upon examination. Idea's like "Truth, Justice and the American way of life"

I grew up upon the phrase "Truth, Justice and the American way of life".
But upon reflection, what exactly does this mean?

"Truth". What is "Truth"?????????? That which confirms our understanding of life,
or said another way, that which confirms our myths, biases, prejudices, ism's
and superstitions that we are indoctrinated with, in our childhood.

And what of Justice? What does Justice mean? Plato engaged in this
2,500 years ago and we have gotten no further then him. I have defined
Justice as equality and we clearly don't have equality in our justice system,
so we don't have justice in America. What does Justice mean in modern America?

and the American way of life? There isn't a person in America who can explain
to me what is the "American way of life". It is all empty words and phrases that
mean nothing. An honest examination of these and other prejudices and "buzz" words
show us the emptiness of our words and the emptiness of the "American way of life".

You want to get to the emptiness and apathy and nihilism of us Americans,
you must first get to the heart of our alienation from America and that lies
in the deep and vast separation between our ideals and the reality of those ideal's.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal"

And our words, vastly differ from our laws and our actions and who we claim to be.
The alienation between who we claim to be and who we actually are, has lead
us to an emptiness of soul and heart of American's today.

It is this disconnect between the words of our public monuments and
our actions that has lead us to, in part, to the fragmentation of the modern soul.
We are clearly leading fragmented lives/ souls and we cannot continue, as the conservative
wants, to continue as if nothing has happened to who we are and who we want to be.

But this is the problem with our going from here to there in regards to who we are
and who we aspire to be, because we see and feel and are alienated from
that which we claim to be and that which we are. We cannot become who we are,
if we are alienated between the words of our claims and the truth of our reality, of our
actions. We say, we are honest, and we lie and we say, we are just, and we are anything
but just, and we say, we are truthful, but we are engaged in deceit and lies and
following the footsteps of our so called "leaders" who lie and engage in deceit and
engage in dissembling their motives and beliefs.

A dishonest person, an American will say, "not me, I am truthful. It is everyone else
who is lying" but the fact is, concealing is the new America. Hiding the truth,
hiding justice, hiding honesty is the new America. The new America is a sham,
an act, an masquerade posing as honesty and truth and Justice and the American
way of life, with everyone denying their involvement with injustice and dishonesty
and their involvement in deceit and dissembling the truth.

IQ45 is not a anomaly, but the quintessential American. "we hold these truths to
be self-evident, that all men lie and cheat and hide the truth" That is the
America of 2018.

It is not common sense that has taken a beating in modern America, but
the truth and honesty that has suffered a beating.

What have you done today to be truthful and honest and to pursue justice
as equality, not as justice being bought and paid for?

Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:19 pm

The search for philosophy is not a search for
philosophy as a science, but philosophy as
a search for the truth. Science is about facts,
philosophy is about the why. There are no facts in
say, Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason" or in Nietzsche
"Thus Spoke Zarathustra" or in Plato's "Republic".

To turn philosophy into a science means you need to
have some philosophical facts. What would constitute
a philosophical fact? That all men search for happiness?
Or that we exist to search for knowledge? Or that we
try to understand the "meaning of life"?
There are no "facts" in these statements.

The point of philosophy is to understand what it means to
be human and we don't need facts to understand what it means
to be human. Understood correctly, literature can answer the question
of what it means to be human as well as philosophy does and sometimes
even better. Literature can educate us to the possibilities of being human
in ways that philosophy cannot and why? Because of the interaction
between characters reveals to us the possibilities of being human in ways and
language that is understandable whereas philosophy confounds us in
the understanding of what it means to be human because of the obscure
and esoteric language use of philosophers. The search for our understanding
of what it means to be human doesn't have to be guided by obscure language
and convoluted sentences as in Kant and Hegel and Wittgenstein and Heidegger.
The prose to philosophical understanding can be a clear and open as the
language of Hemingway and Goethe and Shakespeare. In fact, I would suggest
that the greatest philosopher of all time is really Shakespeare because
he was the first to alert us to the possibilities of being human and the Bildungsroman
of Goethe brought to light the developmental nature of the human being.
We are not static machines, but creatures with adaptable and changable
nature that progresses over the years. The truth is trying to find the truth
of human nature, of the answer to who we are is difficult because of the
changing nature of the human soul. I am different today then I was
5 or 10 or 20 years ago. Partly because I am older today and partly because
of events and people who have changed me, but who is the real me?
The me of 10 years ago or the me of today? I suggest that both are part
of me and the answer lies with the fact that we humans change and adapt
and progress with time. It is that change and adaptation that messes
with any understanding of what it means to be human because we
are in constant state of process from one day to the next to the next and
to the next day. The human soul is in a constant state of flux and that flux
makes it next to impossible to us to fix our understanding of what it means to be
human. Any account of what it means to be human and what are our
possibilities must take into account our soul as it changes and adapts
and continues of process from one day to the next.

I am Kropotkin..... but what that means has changed over the years.
Philosophy must learn to accomadate that change and constant
flux of being human. And philosophy must learn to do that with
clear and graceful langauge.

Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:13 pm

The changing question of what it means to be human
and its possibilities are also a question of what it
means to the relationship between individuals
and the state. This question of the relationship
between the state and the individual lies at the
heart of the Greek understanding of what it means
to be human for the Greeks understand the question of
becoming human in terms of the polis, the city.
It was not an individual question of how to become
human but a societal question, a question involving
the entire society, not just the individual.

Today, we have a mixed understanding of what it means to
become human because of our mixed attitude toward the state.
Is the state really the enemy of people as Ronal Raygun said it was,
or is the state really an agent of change in people or is the state
just an umpire that doesn't dictate change at all, it simply
stands as an umpire does in a game of football. Once we answer the
question of what is the role of government in the lives of people,
then we shall have some progress in what it means to become

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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:36 pm

It is not a question of our understanding human existence
as being a static, unchanging existence, but a question
of the ever changing, ever moving nature of human existence
that we must understand...… It is the change of human existence
that we must begin to understand, not the static nature of
human existence.

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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:48 pm

As a philosopher, one who is attempting an inquiry into the nature of things,
I must have some place where I begin...…

therefore, I begin here...… I do not believe in god or an metaphysical
notion that there are things beyond the physical. What is, is in the
known and seen universe. It has been said that there is such stuff as
dark matter and dark energy but we cannot see it...… I say, we can't
see it yet. We just haven't created the tools we need to see or measure
such things as dark matter or dark energy. Our scientific growth has
come because we have created tools that allow us to expand the use of
our senses with such devices as a telescope and microscope and antennas
and particle accelerators....It is the use of and growth in such tools
that has allowed us to gather a greater understanding of the universe and
the forces or laws of the universe. We have such human tools as logic
and science and mathematics that allows us gather information about
the nature of and reality of the universe we live in.
If you want a definition of a human being, it might be this, a human being
is a tool using animal.

It is the rise of modern science which has created our modern world.
Science measures, weighs, counts, analysis matter, forces, time/space....
in other words, if it can be studied and measured, it is science and science
uses those tools of science to measure and weigh and count...…

The question of science is about the who, what, when, where, how but
and this is important, not the why. Using the tools of science we can build
an atomic bomb but science cannot tell us if the use of the atomic bomb
is a "good" or a "bad" thing. That is the role of philosophy. But one may ask,
why isn't it the role of religion? Because Religion takes into account
evidence that isn't really there... In other words, in a court of law,
the trial of a person, the court would introduce the evidence of a crime
and that evidence must be physical evidence, paper work, a gun or a knife,
tax documents and if the evidence is a person who has knowledge of
the crime, it cannot be the sole evidence of a crime. In other words,
we must conclusively connect the person who is being charged with a crime
to the evidence of a crime. let us return to the role of religion.
For the evidence a religious person needs to prove there is
existence of a god, the evidence is not physical evidence.
The religious person accepts non physical evidence that a court
of law would not accept. You cannot prove that a god exists
and no court in the universe would accept that evidence because
there is no physical evidence connecting god to the physical universe.
a person saying in a court of law, I believe this is true and that makes
it true would not be accepted in a court of law as evidence of a crime or
any type of connection to a crime. simple belief is not enough of a connection
to be accepted in a court of law...….. and that is how I judge evidence for
something. Would it be acceptable in a court of law? If I hold this belief,
is there enough physical evidence to have this belief as holding true
in a court of law? In other words, my burden of proof is very high.
I cannot hold a belief if there is not enough supporting physical evidence for
that belief.

so in my inquiry, I can hold a belief if there is enough evidence that holds
true in a court of law. So I hold the belief that there are UFO'S because I
believe that there is enough physical evidence to bring into a court
of law and that evidence can be used to show that UFO'S exists.

But there isn't enough physical evidence to show us that a god or gods, exists.

We have enough physical evidence to show that black holes exists
and that time/space are a physical entity. That time/space is not
just a mathematical concept but a physical one like the planet
earth is physical evidence that planets do exists.

We have evidence that time/energy/matter/mass all have
a beginning in the big bang and thus have a ending date at
some point in the future but and this is important,
that the amount of matter/energy created in the big bang
is still the same amount of matter/energy that exists today and will
be the same amount of matter at the end of existence.

so how we will be able to explain the ending of the universe
in light of the fact that the amount of energy/matter in the universe
will be the exactly the same from beginning to end?

This is done by entropy. a decline into disorder from order.
Order exists because of the amount of energy that is in the system
or put into a system allows the system to maintain order.
Once a system doesn't have enough energy to maintain itself,
it begins its decline into disorder. The amount of energy a system
needs changes as the system changes. A political system in the
beginning phases of it operation needs a different amount of energy then
during it middle phase and a different amount during it ending phase.
At our current phase of existence we need more energy to maintain
our existence and yet, people try to increase disorder
by removing energy that goes into the system. That is done by
removing the energy a system needs to sustain and build itself.

a political system does this by money which allows a system
to maintain itself and the amount of energy that goes into a system.
so if we understand that a system needs an ever greater amount of
energy to maintain itself because a system becomes ever greater
more complicated. So the energy needed to maintain the American
political system was less during the 18the century and then every
century thereafter the amount of energy needed increased just
maintain itself. A large system needs ever greater energy then a smaller
system to maintain itself and the energy a political system needs is
twofold, participation and money. A reduction in either type of energy,
participation and money into a political system increases the disorder
into a system.

To truly understand the modern world, we must understand
systems and the energy that goes into the modern systems that
makes the systems work.

this is some of what I hold to be true.

Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:53 pm

If we hold ourselves to the higher standard
of it must eligible as evidence in a court of law,
then much of philosophy gets tossed into the garbage heap.

an example of this is Kant and his famous saying:

"Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration
and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them:
the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me"

OK, we have evidence for the starry heavens above but
the "moral law within me"? Nah, that is an assumption of
facts not admissible in a court of law. There is simply no
evidence of any kind of a moral law in Kant, in you, in me,
in anybody.

We see this false attempt to act upon evidence that we simply
don't have. The group after Kant, which included Fichte, Shelling, Schleiermacher, and
of course, Hegel, all began with unproven assumptions not admissible
in a court of law. Each of them wrote about assumptions like the
"divine absolute" which is another name for god, and the existence
of some sort of spirit which infuses "the People" which causes "the people"
to act in some fashion. Each of those named above writes about the
"Spirit of the people", the "German Spirit" as if it actually were a thing and
not some made up metaphysical thing. You have to stick to the facts as they
present themselves, not as how you want them to appear. This is the failure
of "German Idealism" during the period of Kant and thereafter. They assumed
facts not in evidence.

So what other "facts" that we have that are assumed
and not actually proven? The idea of "progress" is one.
We have no evidence that the human race is supposed
to travel the path of "progress". From the lower, simpler
to the higher, complicated level. There is simply no evidence
for this idea. It is assumed that because we have a higher level
of technology, that we are "higher" or further along with
path of "progress". But this idea of "progress" assumes that
that there is some liner progression involved and we see no evidence
for that. I would suggest that the Greeks were higher then us in area's like
philosophy and ethics, and we are higher in science and technology.
so the question really becomes, we have "progress" in what exact area's
and depending upon that area, we may or may not have "progressed".
It depends upon how you define "progress"? The entire question of "progress"
revolves around how you define "progress". The question of "progress"
and other questions, really operate within the boundaries of your definition and
thus have no basis for being admissible in a court of law as being
"facts". As I stated, much of what passes for philosophy gets tossed
when judged upon being facts or being judge as opinion.
So we have statements like this, "The creative spirit of the people
help create democracy" Ok, there is no evidence of a collective
creative spirit of the people. We have individuals who are creative
and they do create. Am I such a creative person? Hell no.
We cannot take an individual property such as creativity
or socialness and assume that it is a collective process,
includes everyone. My sisters are creative, my brother and I,
nope, so does the entire family have a "creative spirit"?
some do and some don't, it is not a collective thing.
Now I could say, my family has a "creative spirit"
and I would be partly right, and I would be partly wrong.
depending on who I was talking about.

We have to speak and write with the current evidence, facts in mind.
Thus we cannot make blanket statements about "everyone" or the "collective"
spirit, or the "absolute" spirit which is god.
"I believe in god" is a personal, individual statement which
some in my family believes. "I don't believe in god" is a personal,
individual statement which some in my family believes. So is there
a collective understanding or a collective spirit about god in my family?
Not that I can tell.

We have to be careful about making individual, personal statements
that we falsely attribute to a "collective spirit" or a "collective understanding".

My statement "I believe in UFO'S" is a personal, individual statement,
but I can present evidence, evidence that is acceptable in a court of law,
that UFO"S exist.

a Statement that "I believe in GOD" is a personal, individual statement,
but I could not present evidence that would be acceptable in a court of law.

Why? because the evidence for a god is mostly faith based, not evidence
based. I have faith that god exists whereas I don't need faith for the evidence
for UFO'S. Philosophy must be presented upon evidence based, not faith
base. We must have evidence for our philosophical statements.
Enough evidence for a court of law.

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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:47 pm

sometimes I think we forget the order of things and it is
good to get a refresher occasionally.

I am old, 59, and so I look at things with old eyes.....
I see an experience and I try to find an explanation from
the varied examples of experiences I have. I see a man die from a heart
attack. From my prior experiences, I know what has happened and
what it means for me. My experiences have supplied me with information
about what those experiences like a heart attack means.

But when I was young, an experience like watching a man have a heart
attack, was new and confusing. I didn't know or understood what
it meant in general or specifically to me, to watch someone have
a heart attack. It would have been a confusing experience for me
because I didn't have the experience or knowledge to know
what it means to have a heart attack.

Now let us go even further back into time, when I was young,
maybe 9 or 10, my sister and I witnessed my father having a stroke.
We had no idea what was happening. Frankly, we panicked.
My sister ran next door and got a neighbor, a nurse, to come
over and take care of my dad. Now being so young, we had no
experiences with people having strokes or heart attacks and
we had no idea what to do. We didn't have enough experience
to make sense of what had happened or what to do. We knew
something was wrong but we didn't know what. Now that I am
old, I can pretty tell if something is wrong and because of my
past experiences, I can often tell what the problem is and what
the solution to that problem is.......

Now that I old, I can give experiences some context. From what is
totally unknown, my father's stroke, to today where I know
and understand the context of a stroke or a heart attack.
I can place or put into context, a single experience within
lifetime of my experiences. I now know that a heart attack is
a natural event that happens for quite often no real reason to people.
sometimes the live, sometimes they don't. I can place into context such
experiences as strokes and heart attacks and divorce and births and deaths.
Such is the understanding of life that happens when you are 59.
There are not a whole lot of mysteries when you are 59. You have seen it
all, you have done it all, you have been it all. The only mystery left
at age 59 is death and someday, I too will undergo that experience.

The point and value of philosophy and science and religion is
to explain what experiences mean. I can philosophically explain
what death means to me and I can scientifically explain what death means
and I can religiously explain what death means. Science, philosophy and religion
are all means to explain and understand experiences. Now some experiences
are unexplainable because the event/experience is random, chaotic and thus
cannot be explained in either scientific or philosophic or religious terms.
The experience lies outside of the usual explanations we offer up for
such things.

What is god? We can try to offer up scientific or philosophical
or religious explanations to, what is god? I can use my vast experience, old age,
to help me and you, understand what is god and what does that experience
explain to us or offer to us. I have learned that having a god helps us to.....
or I have learned that not having a god helps us to...…..
depends on my experience as to what my understanding of experiences
are. I have experienced a lot, so I know a lot... is pretty much how it works.

Now what philosophers try to do is to understand those experiences all humans
have of life and death and illness and loss and turn them into some explanation.
We have some philosophers who try to turn experiences into a system, by
deriving all experiences systematically from one fundamental principle.
Thus we have Nietzsche who tried to do this with his "will to power"
He thus understood all experiences from this one principle of "will to power"
and that was his "system".

Now we have had people who have tried to systematically turn experiences
into a fundamental principle by saying, "it is all god's will" and everything
is understood to happen by "god's will". then we attempt to work out what
it means for us humans if everything is and all our experiences are simple
part of "god's will". What does that mean for us humans?

We have also people who have tried to understand experiences in terms
of natural forces and actions. We call these people scientist. They try to
systematically understand experiences in light of natural forces and
experiences. We drop dead because of genetics or bad habits like smoking
and no exercise. The question of how we explain the world, how we understand
the world comes from our understanding the world of the world and our
experiences of the world. Our understanding of the world could
be scientific or philosophic or religious or some combination of all three.

So the question really is, by what method do you understand the world?
How do you understand and explain the experiences of the world?
How do you create context in your own mind with experiences of
your own life?

Think about how we understand experiences and how we engage
in creating context and understanding of those experiences.

that is the entire reason and rational of science and philosophy and
religion. To explain and understand experiences.

so how do you explain and understand experiences?

Peter Kropotkin
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Re: a new understanding of today, time and space.

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:50 pm

To keep it along the same lines as the last post, I shall use
basic experiences to help us understand.

I am born. I am born into a family and a city, a tribe or a group of people.
We are born into a already set understanding of the world which
is knowledge, superstitions, prejudice, habit, myths, in which we use
those things, knowledge, superstitions...…. to explain the world
and its experiences.

I am born. to ask what it means to be a human being, being born is
religious and philosophical. How we are born is scientific. What
it means to be born a white, American male in 1959 is a task I
have engaged with my whole life. Have I overcome my childhood
indoctrinations, myths, habits, prejudices is the question?

What have my experiences over the last 59 years taught me about
what it means to be born human, in this time and this place.
What does it mean to have been born with those childhood
indoctrinations and superstitions and myths and prejudices?

I was born with some myths but not other myths.... I was not born
with the myth or prejudice that white people are better then black
people. I was raised to be tolerant of those who hold idea's, beliefs, myths
and prejudices different then what I hold

as I grew older, I began to become aware of, to begin the process of knowing
thyself and I discovered that the beliefs I held were not my beliefs but
beliefs of my family, my race, my culture.... but they weren't my beliefs,
I was indoctrinated with those beliefs.

I began the engagement of overcoming my beliefs with a rigid
and complete understanding of what I believe and why. I engaged
with overcoming my childhood beliefs and myths and prejudices....
and in overcoming my indoctrinations, I discovered that I became
who I was. Now I held values and beliefs that matched who I was....
That is what it means to become who you are..... you discover
the values and beliefs that really define who you are.....
and part of that is the value of experiences.... I use my experiences
to help guide me in discovering who I am and overcoming childhood
indoctrinations and myths and...…..

experiences help guide us to discovering who I really am
and who I ought to become. It is experiences that show
us the path to overcoming ourselves and experiences that
show us who we really are...…

I owe, I owe, off to work I go.....
and off to work I go....

Peter Kropotkin
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Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:47 am
Location: blue state


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