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Comments by Scott Miller

On “placeholder for a 0D30 post

I'll take your word for it on a level of clarity, but keep in mind that you have been speaking Miggs on a regular basis for many years now. Positively or negatively, or both, it might just have affected your mind.

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I love how a totally head-shaking comment like mine there could be followed so effortlessly by the real master of the comment head-shaker's comment. Although I do think that miggs' comment right there includes the least number of names he's ever used in a comment.

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Typical of me and my ADD, I forgot the point of my last comment. I had written earlier that movies like Trainspotting still make heroine addicts want to do heroine. My point was that Dj didn't make me want to go out and pierce my ear again.

On “Note On Disbelief in Disbelief and the “Interrogation of ‘the Nones'”

To me, the issue of atheism goes most directly to what CK has been questioning so well about belief. Is there a difference between God and No-God? If not, then definitely atheism is like the snake that eats its tail, and even if there is a difference, then atheism still might be the snake eating its tail. I understand agnosticism. I understand people believing that something can't be known. Like Richard Feynman, I believe that energy is unknowable. It can't be separated from any other thing, so it can't be compared or contrasted with anything, so we can't know what it is in the way we normally know things. I also appreciate the Buddha's position. He did not actually weigh in on the question of whether God exists. He just didn't think it was helpful for us to spend time with the questioning. We have bigger, more fundamental problems to work out and the question distracts us. But someone believing that not only is it impossible to know whether God exists, but that the person actually knows that God doesn't exist is problematic in the exact ways that CK has pointed out, and in respect to arrogance. I find it much more arrogant to go against what science has recognized about our brains' natural inclination toward theism and declare a knowing about God not existing, then to go along with the more natural idea that God does exist. That can be debated, but it feels like that to me.

On “Foucault on Iran, Some Fool on Egypt

I think you once criticized me for taking shelter behind the idea of being unimportant. But it's okay. That aside, I agree with what you've written here and in your next post about belief and that is of course, what really matters to you deep down--my approval I mean.

On “Note On Disbelief in Disbelief and the “Interrogation of ‘the Nones'”

Btw, if you haven't seen it, Cave of the Forgotten Dreams is a Herzog masterpiece. One of the scientists in it makes some great points about human spirituality and one of things he says is that "homosapien" is a bad name for us because it refers to "the man that knows and we don't know very much." He said what we're good at is being spiritual, so we should have called ourselves "homospiritus." He said our interest in spirituality throughout the last 40,000 years is the most consistent main aspect of what makes us human, and what took place in the Chauvet Caves for 20,000 years (before it was naturally closed) evinces that fact. It is amazingly beautiful and the artwork also blows the whole idea of how art evolved out the window. Because Spirit is Causal and because Spirit is in everything, anything and anyone can spontaneously express an "elevated" spiritual art and it shouldn't surprise us that early humans were capable of illustrating space in imaginary depth, and imaginary movement, and every other kind of imaginary relational-oriented supposed modernism.

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I believe that it is possible to define spirituality, not just in respect to what people think it is, but regarding what it really is. Ken Wilber has written many good books on the subject of defining what spirituality is from the most objective perspective possible, and he suggests that we think of spirit as Creativity itself. Spirit is--to use a word favored by spiritualists--"causal." It causes what is. That's what it does. Creative causality is its function and scientists do not know what is behind the causation of life--what causes a molecule to become a cell, or cell to become an organism. So spirit is the cause. But even if we accept causation as spirit's function, or Spirit's function (going along with the capitalization of Creativity) to really know what something is, we have to be able to compare and contrast it to the other things or non-things in its category. So we know what air is because it is not the other elements: earth, water, fire, and ether. Spirit is the category of Levels of Being--the category of Active Intelligences. It is the highest of the levels of Being--above Soul, Intellect, Ego, and Mind levels, (or, to use a different, more Western categorization: the Soul, Mind, Emotional, and Physical levels). So someone who is spiritual believes in a causally active intelligence, and actually, that objective, mature, rational, and clarifying awareness of what spirituality is can and often does actually disincline spiritualists from identifying with a religious institution and even when it doesn't do that--in the case of folks like Thomas Mertons--the person's connection to the institution is dynamically contentious. In other words, they know the church (or whatever) is full of shit. They connect with it anyway to further important missions like feeding the poor.

On “Rooting for the Zombies

Great subject for a post. The post itself is wonderful, but the best thing is the cartoon. Zombie movies should be, one way or another, hilarious. They can be hilarious without being comical, but there's nothing better than a comical zombie movie. One of my favorite movies of all time is "Shawn of the Dead." Brilliant. "I just don't think I have it in me to kill me flatmate, me mum, and me girlfriend all in the same night." I also love Zombieland. It was a bit tweaky for me, though, because the main joke in the beginning of the movie was exactly the same as one I used in the Slider zombie episode. I did the rewrite for an episode credited to a free lance writer but the censors made me take out the line, "They became the first human happy-meals." They said McDonald's would sue. But they used the exact line in Zombieland and it great a huge laugh in the theater I was in. It was weird feeling. I thought, "I knew it." I knew the line was great, and I should have just enjoyed the realization of the idea. But I was mad. I don't even know why. There's probably something zombie-ish about morning a dead joke that comes back to life when it should be dead but is funny and troubling at the same time.

On “What they do not want to know about American democracy

Also, it's pertinent to clarify my creative support of you. You wrote some very funny, really great things about self-hatred. So I am not just bringing that out of no-where. As you know, I've always felt you should focus on art. Your politics are deformed. You know that. You go from socialist to the conservative nut house and back. You are great at making fun of self-hatred. It's worthwhile because so many people relate. It helps. It's to the point of our collective societal experience because our society makes us all vulnerable to self-hatred. But to bring that into ideas about politics is deforming.

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You're right in that it's best to hate the sin, not the sinner. I should be able to love Cortez and hate what he did. That becomes difficult when people who hate themselves see fit to try and convince others to think like them. But I never called you horrible. Quite the opposite, and your idea that I did goes with the psychology of self hatred and I'm not singling you out there either. I think all the politicians hate themselves. They won't admit either. You still won't come out and say what you really feel about people or yourself. You consider that private and it would be private except for it explains why a person would think that there is no difference between people who do horrible things and people who have lived peacefully. You can twist that fact around as much as you like but all it does is twist. You misunderstood me to be saying you're horrible because you think you're horrible. Show me where I said you were horrible. Won't happen. I'm not doing at all what you think. Just as you will find no evidence in any of these comments that I have referred to you as horrible, you will find no evidence of your other accusations except in your own mindset which is connected to self-hatred. You want my discourse to be deformed because it stands in opposition to you justifying your feelings toward yourself and humans in general. Death and violence do happen. But we can live in relative harmony with death and people have proved that. If you think violence may be good, you stand in opposition to what millions of spiritualist have advocated on this planet. They could all be wrong, but please don't try and marginalize my position.
You're biggest manipulation is that you focus on that stance to defend yourself against the main question. Do you recognize your inner goodness? Usually, people who recognize their inner goodness do not change as much as you do in the face of differing circumstance. You feel way better about yourself when outer circumstances are positive and way worse about yourself when they don't. That's a sign of low self-esteem, and it deforms your arguments. I don't care if you don't agree with me. Obviously. I wouldn't participate on this blog if I did. I've been here for years. Your ideas about my ideas don't hold water at all in the face of the facts. I also would suggest you put less stock in what the Greeks thought.

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The other way of looking at it would be to recognize my attempt to get a straight answer from you. Failing that, I will once again play the new age meanie and supply the answer myself:
B-pyscho asked you a question and you outed your real belief system. You think people are horrible creatures. You think you're a horrible creature. SInce I try to respect your blog's rules of engagement--which means trying to ignore the real reason why people act horribly, including us, I get caught up in your game. That doesn't serve you. The game allows you to try to get me to recognize how horrible I am. I want you to recognize your innate goodness because I see the remainder of it in you from an earlier time, before this system got to you. If we all lived in a different way, I think you'd be fine. You're not a killer. You don't boast about killing anyone and you wouldn't do that even if you had killed someone--even if you had killed someone who in your opinion deserved to die. You're not like that. In a different living situation, you'd be fine. On the other hand, some people perpetuate the homicidal mania that birthed this country and continues to be expressed by its worst citizens. By playing to the idea that you should defend them, you make it impossible to recognize your own goodness. It feels right to you in the moment but it comes at a cost. I'm telling you once again that you could stop.

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I'm also saying that only bad people boast of killing someone--even an evil person. Again, simple. And nothing good is going to come of it. To live well, we must first establish our goodness. Granted, horrible people have been allowed to establish a seemingly insurmountable amount of problems in this country. We can't change it in degrees. That appears realistic to you. You credit yourself with a kind of positivity because you're being realistic in that way. It's not positivity. It's resignation and your words speak to resignation. They are, then, fatalistic. Instead, we can be truly realistic and insist on truly noble behavior regarding what we will champion. "Right living" is what Buddhists call it. We can all practice it. It's been done before and it should be done again right now.

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And though I got the numbers wrong, I was generally referring to the Jews killed by the Nazis. I just didn't identify them as such because there were also a lot of other great people murdered. The Jews back then seemed to me to be of remarkably high character in general, and though I am most positive about the artists and philosophers who we have some personal history of, the whole lower-income, very religious part of the Jewish culture in pre-Nazi Germany was also very different in a great way. I can't spell schteddle, but if I could I'd use it to describe them that way. Of course, I just did anyway. Whatever. You get my point. And don't think I'm upset here. This is old news between us. You know that. I'm just saying, come in, the water is great. Spiritually, we can all still bath in the positivity that positive people living on this planet have created. Their murders aside, they were amazing human beings. Their spirit is still here. Come on in.

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And, furthermore, what makes the implications of my analysis any more representative of “fatalistic negativity” than the implications of yours?

Easy answer: Mine points to the fact that there have been large groups of people on this planet who have developed cultures that supported life sustaining good-will toward the vast majority of other living things around them. They were not murderous in general, they shared what they had even with strangers and conducted themselves honorably when it came to gender relations. None of those things are true in general for the people who took over this continent. For four hundred years they have been raping, killing, stealing and hoarding. Who are they? The greediest of the greedy. Willing to face tremendous challenges to cross the ocean for what they could steal. They were bad before they got here and they became worse when they arrived. They were the worst where they were and they came here. Robin Williams said of the Puritans, "Imagine people so uptight that even the British couldn't stand them." And the fact that you can't see how bad the murderers have been in the face of relative goodness is the kind of thinking you should be careful with. It causes depression. The belief that everyone has been as bad as the worst people in history (for what they have done to the planet now in respect to resources) is depressing. It's disheartening. I am heartened by the knowledge that people haven't all been as greedy and murderous as the people who killed all the friendly Island people, the Native Americans, the African slaves. American corporations like IMB were also complicit in what the Nazis did. They did what they did in East Asia in the 70s for ignoble reasons. They fought with the wealthy in WW1. They did what they did in the Middle East these past 10 years. Who are these Americans you ask? Again, and as usual in this specific regard, you sound like a defense attorney. The murderer is in plain view. I'm referring to people who may not be sitting there in a defense chair, but you know the murders happened, and I have identified the first perps specifically. Columbus, Cortez, Pizzaro started the killing. Their letters prove them to be horrible human beings. They were the worst of their cultures I'm sure, and that horribleness was transplanted along with the what the Puritans did. The Civil War was just as bad. The North sent boat loads of Irish immigrants to die or be killed for not going to be killed. I have been specific. I haven't just championed all the victims. There are accounts of who Columbus killed. In his own words they were people who were generous to a fault and good. What you have written makes no sense in connection with that fact. Debate that point specifically if you can. Do you defend Columbus? Have you read his letters. Was a typical human? No, he was a horrible, horrible human. One of the worst in history. His letters prove that and his actions are documented as well. Do you debate that specifically? And in not recognizing the relative goodness of some of the worlds worst actions, when there is documented proof of how different they were than their killers, you do them yet another injustice. You can hide behind your words but what do they really defend? If I'm wrong and you see the goodness is some large groups of people who have lived on this planet, simply say that. Tell me I'm wrong about your negativity instead of talking in circles. Be simple and specific so I can know I'm wrong. I would like to be wrong. Then I would suggest you be more clear about things in your writing. If I'm wrong and you do feel positive about some people who have lived on this planet then you could be more clear and not write things that do imply that you think all humans are the same. Again, I would be happy to be wrong. Since I don't think I am, I think it would be better for you if you would look into your heart and see if you are just prejudiced against humans or not. If you are, then okay. We'll all live with it and we'll know that when we read things you've written we're reading things written by someone who feels the way you do. If not, then just acknowledge that there have been good people living peacefully and well on this planet. They were killed by horrible people who, if I'm right, you let off the hook by looking at their deeds as just somehow typical of humanity. I will admit that I misunderstood you and even apologize if you will just simply tell me that you do recognize that some humans have shown the capacity to be good in large groups for many generations. Simple.

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From what I've read and the pictures I've seen, I also think that a big percentage of the 6 million people that the Nazis killed were different. It seems that they were what I would call "high consciousness" people. I saw a documentary on the Siberian farmers that Stalin killed and they seemed very different to me. Once they were gone, no one could grow food on the land that they had been farming for a long time. They seemed like the real salt of the earth. Just the pics of them make it clear how different they were.

On “The Brady Bunch Annihilated

Well stated, Mr. M. An especially good point about "it's all rape" being offense to the victims of rape and since my wife is on the board of a big and very active organization called Rape Crisis in our home town, it's a good thing we made that clear.

On “Negative Action

I was wondering how you'd worm out and in with that one. You did not disappoint. Good job.

On “Was I

Wonderful imagery. I love the way you broke the poem up with the title being the first line. It makes the internet a co-conspirator in the down the stemming.

On “Open Thread

Baseball trades are so weird now. It is a lot of money, but it's the kind of money teams are spending. The fly in the ointment might actually turn out to be that kid pitcher De Rosa that the Dodgers gave up. He's got a real fastball--the kind of fastball players only have a few years. Those are the money-ball years, when a guy plays great for a team that isn't payin' them. Then they sign a big contract and can never pitch well again, but that De Rosa kid might be Cy Young for a few years.

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Yes, but it's like what you see with movie directors. If a movie has a bunch of actors all delivering amazing performances, you have to credit the director. If you have a bunch of previously good actors sucking, you have to blame the director. I think Bobby V is a genius in respect to baseball smarts. But geniuses almost always suck when it comes to interpersonal interactions. So he probably really mind fucked everybody and that means all these guys could get back to playing well under Mattingly, who seems like an idiot but probably has good people skills. So the trade might work for LA. Anyway, all that money won't be as wasted as what the Angels did with P and CK. Wilson has totally lost his velocity. Down like 6 mph.

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I've been hearing the first part. Didn't know Crawford was in the mix. I guess all the LA teams are just going to get everything they need for nothing from now on. Maybe they'll even be given a whole football team. I think the first guy the new LA football team should be given is that RG3 guy, Even if he doesn't end up in LA, I predict that he will be considered the greatest football player of all time in 10 years.

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Using my usual steroid system, Jeter is clean. He has never gotten bigger, he has never had a string of odd injuries, and he really never raged. In fact, he is the poster boy for the reverse in every way. Average size, durable, and so evenly keeled that it's kind of creepy. So I'd say Bayless may have picked the one guy in the league most undeserving of a steroid accusation. It's so stupid that it defies even a Bayless level of logic. Is it possible then that he just wanted to say something sensational and picked the one person to accuse that no one would believe and therefore do no real harm. I know that's giving Bayless way more credit than he deserves, but I think it's possible.

On “Victory Boulevard

Declarations are easy. Actually being "immune to what this world offers" is a rare thing, accomplished by very few. They claim happiness. And even though my "Everybody wins" post is a shorter, funnier response to this post, I'll add something. Nietzsche's already worthwhile spiritual aphorisms come first throughout this list and are followed by my newcomer improvements:

“What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end: what can be loved in man is that he is an overture and a going under.”
We are a loving conduit between Form and Formlessness.
“I love those who do not know how to live, except by going under, for they are those who cross over.”
We love the chaotic nature of existence, as well as the inevitability of rupture and change.
“I love the great despisers because they are the great reverers and arrows of longing for the other shore.”
We love both shores, and all shores, and no shore because what is dispatched is not decidable in respect to an angelic destination or structure.
“I love those who do not first seek behind the stars for a reason to go under and be a sacrifice, but who sacrifice themselves for the earth, that the earth may some day become the overman’s.”
We love those who have fun going down into a borderless, unlegislated space that gives way to irreducible, intrasubjective experiencing.
“I love him who lives to know, and who wants to know so that the overman
may live some day. And thus he wants to go under.”
We love those who Know from having been in love with the unknown. Thus they went under.
“I love him who does not hold back one drop of spirit for himself, but wants to be entirely the spirit of his virtue; thus he strides over the bridge as spirit."
We love those who recognize themselves as a freeplaying bridge made of spirit that neither Form nor Formlessness creates alone.
“I love him who makes his virtue his addiction and his catastrophe: for his virtue’s sake he wants to live on and live no longer.”
We love those who make their virtue their addiction and their catastrophe: for their virtue’s sake they want to live and live no longer.”
“I love him whose soul squanders itself, who wants no thanks and returns
none: for he always gives away and does not want to preserve himself.”
We love the squandering soul who wants no thanks and returns none: for they always give themselves away and do not want to preserve themselves.
“I love him who is abashed when the dice fall to make his fortune, and asks, ‘Am I then a crooked gambler?’ For he wants to perish.”
We love those who weep when the dice fall to make their fortune and dance merrily when the dice fall to ruin them.
“I love him who casts golden words before his deeds and always does even
more than he promises: for he wants to go under.”
We love those who cast golden words accessed from a Formless source of Knowledge without calling those golden words their own.
“I love him who justifies future and redeems past generations: for he wants to perish of the present.”
We love our present expression as freeplaying bridges.
“I love him who chastens his god because he loves his god: for he must
perish of the wrath of his god.”
We love both Form and Formlessness.
“I love him whose soul is deep, even in being wounded, and who can perish of a small experience: thus he goes gladly over the bridge.”
We love the Soul that is a bridge between Mind and Spirit, and we love the human Spirit that is a freeplaying bridge between Form and Formlessness.
“I love him whose soul is overfull so that he forgets himself, and all things are in him: thus all things spell his going under.”
We love those who forget the self and find all things in the Self.
“I love him who has a free spirit and free heart: thus his head is only the entrails of his heart, but his heart drives him to go under.”
We love those whose heart is free: thus their head is only the entrails of their heart.
“I love all those who are as heavy drops, falling one by one out of the dark cloud that hangs over men: they herald the advent of lightening, and, as heralds, they perish.”
We love all those who are as crystal clear drops, falling one by one out of the dark cloud that hangs over humankind: they herald the advent of Kundalini, and, as heralds, they perish. We also love all those who are as conduits for Formlessness, catching its fallen love that express our experience of Yoga: they herald the advent of Knowledge, and, as
heralds, they express the eternal overture.
“Behold, I am a herald of the lightening and a heavy drop from the cloud; but this lightning is called overman.”
Behold, the lightening strikes from Below as well as from Above, and it is in us all.

On “Open Thread

Hmm. Yeah, that would work.

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Mantle may have been the most talented baseball player in history. Agreed. In respect to his injury, it always pissed me off that sprinklers were ever allowed to be just left out there in the field. What were people thinking? Maybe in some minor league park, but in Yankee stadium? I never understood that.

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