today i learned – thurs 6th apr 2017

it’s been very few hours since i wrote a post for this blog 🙈 … two hours sleep before going on holiday was not the one! 

regardless, seen as i’m sat on a plane with nothing to do (starbucks is preventing sleep) i thought i’d write a post about a rather interesting lecture by alan watts that i’ve been listening to. 

#tdil that there are three ways that philosophy considers our position as humans in nature 😏 … strap yourself in, we’re about to get mad deep. 

first off, we have the western theory. this theory says that we in the west believe nature to be a machine. we inherited this from the hebrews, as they believed that their is a divine potter (god) who created nature 🌲. this was believed entirely until the 18th century … that’s when people started to question whether there really is a god – regardless, they still looked at nature as a machine. 

by the time of newton, the world, nature and humans were described in terms of mechanisms. this is the approach that we still have today 🤔 … alan uses the example of a visit to the hospital – when you go to hospital, you’re treated as a machine and shown diagrams that explain bodily functions like they are factory processes. 

right, that’s the first one done … told you that we’d be getting deep! 🤓 anyway, onwards!

next we have the east indian theory of nature; this theory believes that nature is a drama – life is an illusion/play … “the world is a stage”. 

in east indian theory the ultimate reality of the universe is the self or ‘brahman’. they say that the self is universal and eternal, everything that happens, happens on the self (stage). 

now, everything you hear on the radio is a vibration of the radio’s speaker … but the radio station doesn’t explicitly tell you this. in the exact same way the universe doesn’t let you in on the truth that all experiences are vibrations on the self – we all share this ‘self’ in common because it (brahman) is pretending to be all of us. 

brahman is lost and plays hide and seek for an immeasurable length of time (called a kalpa). he pretends to be us and everything that happens in your life, he is involved with. 

then, after 4,320,000 years (not literally that number … I think that’s just to help you conceptualise) there is a catastrophe … the universe is destroyed in fire #badtimes. at this point, the brahman wakes up and decides to rest a while – he now knows who he is and is no longer lost. then, after another 4,320,000 years, he decides that he’s bored and returns to being mixed up in everything again … basically, he returns to the stage. 

each time the brahman returns to the stage, the cycle is slightly different. each cycle gets shorter and slowly worse until it all goes completely wrong and bad triumphs … we are apparently in that stage (aka the age of darkness) now 🙃.

on to the final theory – the chinese theory. this is a pretty nice one … possibly my personal favourite 😬. 

the chinese expression for nature (alan did say it in the lecture but didn’t spell it out … so i’ve no idea how to type it!) means “for itself so” or “what happens if itself”. roughly translated, you can take this as “automatic” or “spontaneous”. differing from the western theory, the chinese theory of nature is concerned with biology and not machinery … for example: your hair grows by itself without you having to think about how to grow it.

their principle is called a tao, this means “the course of nature”. a chinese philosopher once said that “the tao that can be spoken is not the eternal tao as you cannot explain it … the eternal tao is spontaneous and cannot be defined”. 

there is a great difference between tao and the idea of god as the creator, lord and master of nature – this is because, unlike god, the tao does not act as a boss, nature has no boss, no one forces nature to do something. 

in summary – in the west, we see nature as a machine. in east india, they see nature as a drama. in china, they see nature as spontaneous and automatic. 

and there you have it! who said that #tdil couldn’t be a deep philosophical adventure?! 😏. i got this information from alan watts’ lecture called “man’s behaviour with nature” 🙂 if you enjoyed this and you’ve never listened to an alan watts lecture before, then i highly recommend you get on it! all of his lectures can be found as podcasts on apple or you’ll easily find him on youtube 👍🏻 … some quotes from his lectures have been featured in all sorts of chillstep songs 🦀. 

anyway! super long one today 🙈 hopefully you enjoyed it though! 

have a gooden’ 😬 #tdil

_____

if you want to read more blog posts (none others quite as deep as this – yet 😏 – then you need to go –>here<–

(today’s image came from the labelled for reuse part of google 👍🏻. it’s a picture of alan and was originally posted –>here<– … there’s a great piece on alan’s life if you click that 🤓)

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