Commenter Archive

Comments by Scott Miller
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On “Theo-Anthropology and the Essence of Christianity

@ CK MacLeod:
You would probably expect me to bring up the fatalism issue here, but no. I agree with the essentialness of failure. It may not be a positive or a negative, but it is essential. Because Christ's love cannot be about success, because to be Love it has to be expressed with the knowledge that it can't be about winning, because it most certainly can't be about defeating the Romans (as some of Christ's followers wanted it to be about and as all fundamentalists want it to be about now), true Love, true Yoga, true Art at a minimum connects with the "possibility" of failure. Just so.

"

Now you've done it. Thanks to you and Kojève I really am going to have to study Hegel. The quote is remarkably similar to "dualistic" commentaries written about the Yoga Sutras. The Sutras are dualistic but most contemporary yoga people put a non-dual spin on them. One of the things scholars debate continually about the two states, which with Christianity are Man and God, and with so-called Classical Yoga or Patanjalian Yoga are Prakriti (Nature) and Purusha (Pure Consciousness), is whether the yoga described in the Sutras can happen while the practitioner is alive or if it happens after death. This is debated, but most people believe there to be something akin to the Hegelian idea that "he must realize in himself what at first he thought was realized in his God. To be really Christian, he himself must become Christ." The yogi would realize in himself what at first he thought was realized in Purusha. With Classical Yoga, however, the yogi realizes himself as a "separate and eternal Pure Consciousness." There is no union, which is why some people see Classical Yoga as a-yoga, or no-yoga, because there is no union (yoga). And yogis who reject that fundamentalist type of dualism also reject the selfishness involved and would advocate, like Hegel, that "Man must look away from the Beyond, look toward this earth and act only with a view to this earth."
Any way, the yogic equivalence is clear.

On “Shouting FIRE in a crowded world

bob wrote:

Scott, I was supporting Colin’s point. The archeological record shows a lot of conflict in that transition.

Bob, you know me well enough to know that the facts are relatively inconsequential in my world. In lieu of research, it was as close as I was going to come to support, so I jumped on it. Again, for the millionth time, just go with me here. It will be easier on both of us in the long run.

"

@ bob:
Nice assist, Bob. I was too lazy to respond to CK's question. There's a long list of peaceful societies listed at the end of Joseph Chilton Pearce's "Biology of Transcendence." Sometime I'll write a post about that. Quakers also are a good source of information on the history of peace. Where I got lazy, however, wasn't in respect to peaceful societies but in respect to the economic transition part. There, I was just assuming something I couldn't easily substantiate and probably won't be trying to substantiate any time soon. So I'm glad for Bob's post even with the "disease..." part.

On “Among the things about which I have no time to care

@ CK MacLeod:
I didn't mean to imply that the question wasn't serious. The answer to it just wouldn't be helpful, so I chose to just try and work some magic. I was semi-serious about working the magic.

On “Shouting FIRE in a crowded world

Naturally, I contest the idea that there has never been a transition that took place "at peace." The peaceful ones just never ended up in the history books. Too boring for the researchers. Same problem in Hollywood. "Wings of Desire" is the only movie I know that even addressed the issue. Peace is not dramatic. All writers like to deal with dramatic subjects, even economists.

On “Among the things about which I have no time to care

@ CK MacLeod:
You would ask that. Miguel is right. Whatever I call for, the opposite happens. Too bad it only works when I'm being sincere, otherwise I could just pretend to call for all kinds of things I don't want and then the opposite would happen. So, giving it a shot:
You don't cling to anything, Colin, and I hope you never allow yourself to be a cry baby.

"

@ CK MacLeod:
Since you have admitted to being more of a Marxist type in your early days, you didn't really get to ever enjoy the feeling of being a part of this "truly exceptional American idea" which you speak of as being pretty much a "was" at this point. Naturally, sympathetic liberals like myself relate too much to the suffering of minorities etc. to ever look at America in terms of it ever having been exceptional. But in any case, with you, it's in the past. I can tell from your writing that you know what America has been about in respect to human rights. So do you think maybe you fantasize about a reality that you like believing in because it's not okay with you as a conservative to just be a cry baby like us liberals? And I'm not relating this to the reality of whether America was exceptional. In this context, that doesn't matter. I'm asking about whether it's an emotional need of yours to have something conservative to believe in. I think it matters because like all humans, your writing is effected by your emotions, which are defended by your brilliance. I'm not advocating that you become a cry baby--it doesn't seem like it's really part of your nature and it would affect your writing too much--but just a little bit of it might make a positive difference.

"

To stave off unnecessary commenting, I should be clear about what I mean by "conservative." I'm not going by what people refer to themselves as. I'm talking about people's nature. in a nutshell, a conservative person is someone who hates to waste energy and resources, including money and lives. In terms of nature, there are no extreme conservatives and no extreme liberals in office. Extreme conservatives wouldn't waste energy running for office and extreme liberals would be too warn out being overly sensitive to everything around them in the campaign process to actually end up elected. Most of the public personalities who refer to themselves as conservatives are anything but conservative by nature. They advocate all kinds of waste, most obviously the waste of war. (Now Colin can spin that the other way somehow).

"

Just a note about "losing" me. My appreciation of CK's writing does include his logic, but I don't agree with him much except when it comes to art. I like what he teaches me about communication and how he expresses himself. He's an artist. I don't expect genius to be right on a normal level. It wouldn't be as interesting that way, and frankly, I've known very few wise conservatives and if I had the power to develop them I would. Even though I am radically liberal about most things, I don't want liberals to win. I want balance. We need smart conservatives. By our very nature, liberals are reactionary and our impulsiveness gets us into trouble. Smart, normal conservatives (not Colin) could keep us out of trouble. Unfortunately, they have been in extremely short supply--really non-existent. So we've been in a lot of trouble.

"

The others may consider my siding this way as a point against you, Rex, but I thought your argument tracked very well. Hang in there.

On “Flamesem & Japesem (Operation American Freedom)

@ bob:
Again, with the critique about something already put on the table as if it hadn't been. I posted a reply to my own post. So, yes, I knew I was having a conversation with myself at a certain point. It was humorous. What isn't humorous is to then read your conversation with yourself that even though it has been inspired by my posts, is still about you wondering if I recognize that I'm having a conversation with myself. Not fun. I hope we can do better. I will stay positive.

"

@ Scott Miller:
Since CK is supposed to be doing his duty, I decided to respond to my own comment. Now I'm really blogging.

"

CK MacLeod wrote:

but I have no way to assess the import of that statement – how I or we or anyone would go about his or her business differently if Being was the Ground of Consciousness, or Ground the Consciousness of Being or of was the the Being Ground Consciousness

Surely someone creative enough to write a sentence like that is creative enough to imagine how you and me and everyone else would go about our business differently if we all believed that since Consciousness is the Ground of Being and things therefore can't be set in stone, we can always have a positive affect on life.

"

@ miguel cervantes:
Space yes. Matter no. No matter equals "empty space."

"

@ CK MacLeod:
You're supposed to be doing your duty.
My original statement was simple. The physics terms were appropriately applied. Bob subverted that by bringing in the phenomenon issue without addressing how it related to the physics. He jumped over the physics to make a point that is always made because it's what usually applies and works as a defense. But I had been very careful not to apply any terms that I don't understand or that could qualify as speculative type science in the process of being proved or disproved. So there was no need for this type of discourse. I was obviously writing with an understanding of how this usually goes and helping us all steer clear of it. But a person should be able to write what I wrote with the anticipation that if I do steer clear of what we can now refer to as phenomenon issues, the old ammunition won't be shot off anyway. That sucks. It's unnecessarily defensive and contentiousness. You did the right thing. No real response to the first point. It wasn't really called for and there was no real opening there. The only thing you could have done was contest the idea that there is hardly any matter in the Universe. And now, if either of you can find any reputable physicist who believes that the Universe isn't primarily empty space and that things are really as solid as they appear, then let me know. Otherwise, in this case, what physicists say about matter is consistent with what I wrote about it, and the terms as stated are appropriate to any discourse. That was my whole damn point in writing things the way I did. Being aware of how people talk about physics in terms that are inappropriate I was careful to keep the physics points attached to ideas that are simple and uncontested. That's why you needed Bob to write what he wrote before you wrote what you wrote. I was careful not to give you an in. You were supposed to be doing your duty by the time I responded to Bob. Plus, you shouldn't mix the two things. My response to Bob gave you what you needed to talk about terms that are only appropriate to the second discourse, not the first and mixing the two was a mistake. The concepts mean very different things in different contexts. Now, you go do your duty.

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@ bob:
That's why I kept it specific. Yes, lots of viewpoints find validation in in the idea of quantum physics. No one really understands the whole thing, so it is easily misapplied. I don't think I misapplied the physics. I kept it simple. I also distanced myself from the phenomenon. You connected it anyway. You did that without making a real point. Since you're contentious, you expect others to be contentious back, so you write in a way that deflects imagined contentiousness. I'm trying not to help you create that reality, but it's hard. Your implied point is that because all the isms are "likely candidates for the phenomenon" there most be something wrong with the phenomenon. And maybe there is. But I'm making a point about physics, not the phenomenon. The part we can all understand is that there is not enough matter to establish "a macro world." It doesn't exist. You want to believe that you're not defending the macro world, just living in it, but your contentiousness says otherwise. You came up with something you could be contentious about. You made it about the "phenomenon." If I was in the habit of critiquing things in a Bob-like manner, I would focus on the "Hinduism and shamanism seem like likely candidates for the phenonomen as well" idea. If I wrote that sentence, I could see you responding with something like, "So Hindus and Shamans are candidates for being affected by the laws of nature? Aren't we all candidates then?" The alternative is to just roll with you. I know you were referring to the social phenomenon, not physics itself, so I'll roll with you. But it's not easy. At this point, the best I can do is tell you that there are several Hindus at the forefront of the theoretical physics world today. They are not just validating Hindu philosophy, they are proving that Consciousness is the Ground of Being. Since they understand quantum physics better than anyone else, they could lord that over everyone. Instead, they try to communicate in simple terms. Of course, some people still react contentiously and, not coincidentally, those people are always defending a belief in the macro world's supremacy.

"

@ CK MacLeod:
Feel free to ignore this if you're doing your duty, but since you've opened the door to points of physics, I must add something. Trust me, I know the difference between new-age pop-physics and regular physics. I also know you'll have your reasons for dismissing the hopefulness of regular physics, and I know you already know what I'm going to point out, but the basic points I'll relate are not "What the Bleep Do We Know" stuff. It has to do with what theoretical physicists refer to as "actualization." Our observation of reality actualizes reality into existence in keeping with quantum mechanics. This relates to the famous phenomenon reported by scientists who first realized that the movement of quarks were linked to their observation of them. But we can keep it simple without losing the real points of the physics. What is indisputable is that there is very little matter in the Universe. There's so much empty space that nothing can be even remotely solid. The most solid seeming thing (like the relatively physical part of an hour glass) is still 99.99999 percent empty space. So we have to "actualize" things into being the way they are. This is why things are always more hopeful than they seem. Yes, the sand in an hour glass is probably going to run from top to the bottom, but you never know. Plus, your old boys Hegel, Nietzsche and the rest didn't have all the information. We can affect things in a positive way just by believing that good things are going to happen. This is particularly important in respect things like your "duty." I'm sending you positive energy. Okay, that last part is new-agey.

"

@ Rex Caruthers:
All the more impressive.

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@ CK MacLeod:
There you go with that fatalism again. I'm glad Rex can still spur you into more blogging. Go, Rex, go. Oh, and I have to admit that your idea for the ending of the Saddam movie is brilliant. No surprise. Put that together with Fuster's casting and we have something perfectly twisted.

"

@ Rex Caruthers:
Just wanted to tell you, Rex, how much I appreciate your comments. They give expression to things that I find difficult to communicate and the historical backup that flows along with it so effortlessly exemplifies what the educational system of this country used to be capable of helping people develop. Unless, of course, you went to Oxford or something.

"

Fuster wrote:

you thinking Dennis Miller for Saddam?

So damn perfect I can't believe it, Fuster. That is such a great call.

"

@ CK MacLeod:
One of the things it has exposed is that someone like Jones can set himself up in the way he did and still nothing happens to him. No assassination. If a muslim was talking about burning bibles in the south, how long do you think he'd live? John Lennon had death threats just for comparing the Beatles to Christ solely in respect to popularity. We'll never know how many muslim public figures have been assassinated by Christians.
And by the way, Salmon Rushdie is still alive as well. In terms of a "book review," I choose Satanic Verses. Every page is filled with mind-blowing imagery. Rushdie is anti-spiritual, but despite that, the book is amazing. With all the hype, it was easy for people to feel like they had read it even though they hadn't. If that's the case with any of you, do yourself a favor and read it. When I was writing in Hollywood, even though I was a sci-fi television guy, I managed to convince a film producer to option the book with a mind toward changing the title and just creating a movie out of the contemporary, relatively Islamic-friendly, London based half of the novel. Then the producer's wife got wind of it and put an end to the deal. Obviously, there was nothing to fear. Rushdie's still alive and even if the movie had been made, I would still be alive. Please don't credit that fact to US military actions. Please. Remember, when Saddam Hussein was found, he didn't have one person by his side. Not one. All alone. Could that happen to someone with any real power? The enemy is of our own construction. It's the creation of the "U.S. military entertainment complex," as an old friend once described it. Imagine the let down if it was an actual movie. The bad guy who has been hunted by the world's most powerful country at the cost of trillions of dollars is found in a bunker all alone. Worst ending in history. That's why there has never been an actual Hollywood movie made about it. Too pathetic. Satanic Verses, on the other hand, is a perfect story.

"

Say it ain't so. You can't cut down now. I'm addicted. As everyone can tell, I'm completely new to this. Never posted on a blog. Never read a blog. Absolute virgin. Miguel was absolutely right about me getting lost trying to follow his links. I thought I'd done well just doing it at all. Then there was the criticism from Miguel that was written in such a strange manner, like he was writing it into a, uh, Blackberry I guess it's called while driving a Hummer 65 done his own street. But still, it was interesting. I got headaches from this for the first few days, but now I think my brain is used to it. I kind of crave it. I know practically nothing about what I guess the Google guy (who's name I don't know) said recently regarding everyone's submission to the Internet master cylinder, but I do know I'm probably in trouble. I'm on vacation in the mountains. I planned to hike around for a few days and not to go on line. Guess what the first thing I did when I got here? Right. Read all the latest posts on the Bonfire post. Now, CK, you abandon me?
Just kidding. Sort of. Do your duty. Regular duty, however is misunderstood as dharma. More on that in a bit. The thing is that I really like the way all the regular writers on this blog express themselves, even Miguel for the most part, (when he's not being creepy). I just wish Bob would go vegetarian. I know he hates it when I'm spiritually judgmental, but chicken and goose are beneath him. Don't even try the "Dalai Lama eats meat" excuse either, Bob.
Seriously, I can't pay you back in kind, but maybe it would be interesting for me to write a post about the concept of dharma, the Bhagavad Gita, and how spiritual texts get misapplied as a justification for soldiers supposedly "doing their duty."? I wouldn't get all liberal about it. I'd just explain the misinterpretations in ways that are usually lost on politicos, so you'd have more information. Would that interest anyone or no?

On “Bonfire of the Islamophobic Vanities – Updated after Breaking News

@ miguel cervantes:
Funny you should go there. I started to write a blog post today on the misogyny of patriarchal religious institutions and how they affect society. It got ugly and I quit right around the time that I slid off point and started siting facts like, "two out five policemen in the U.S. admit to having committed domestic violence," and "three out of ten American women have been raped." The point had to do with casting stones. Yes, the real stones cast by some Islamic men create more dramatically visual horrors. Yes, suttee is dramatically horrific. However, the American way of torturing women is perhaps more profound in the way that it succeeds in getting women to horribly objectify themselves even as they take part in the finger pointing at other cultures' hatred of women, which then connects with all the other things Americans don't really care about but use to justify bombing the shit of people no worse than they are on any level. And I also stopped writing because of the effort required to properly expose but not condemn my own self-congratulatory ain't-I-being-such-a-good-male-feminist schtick. Ugh. Now, I wish I hadn't written any of this. It's definitely not going on my havan.

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