Consciousness and Civilization

Any topics primarily focused on metaphysics can be discussed here, in a generally casual way, where conversations may take unexpected turns.

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SanteriSatama
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Re: Consciousness and Civilization

Post by SanteriSatama »

AshvinP wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:04 am
SS wrote:Well, maybe the casual without "" is the collateral damage of the "Manifest Destiny"?
The ethics of it all is a separate question. To reduce or not to reduce, that is the question.
Ethics is always present. In how we read and react according to our emotional commitments and customs and deeper levels. Trying to separate ethics as something separate sounds very much like the type of cold rationalism that has been criticized.
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AshvinP
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Re: Consciousness and Civilization

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Lou Gold wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:05 pm
The Younger Brother and Elder Brother conceptualization is very interesting. It maps well on to the story of Cain and Abel.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cain_and_Abel
"In the biblical Book of Genesis, Cain and Abel are the first two sons of Adam and Eve.[1] Cain, the firstborn, was a farmer, and his brother Abel was a shepherd. The brothers made sacrifices to God, each of his own produce, but God favored Abel's sacrifice instead of Cain's. Cain then murdered Abel, whereupon Yahweh punished Cain by condemning him to a life of wandering. Cain then dwelt in the land of Nod (נוֹד‎, 'wandering'), where he built a city and fathered the line of descendants beginning with Enoch."
YES! My point is that dominant imperial colonial civilization IS the diaspora of Cain consciousness across the earth and that not all of Abel consciousness was extinguished. Some of it fled the terror of Cain to create a non-expansionist non-aggressive non-dominating civilization dedicated through materialist self-limitation and specialized leader training to performing the sacred purpose of holding together life on earth and in the process developed a sustainable agriculture and society lasting peacefully in traditional form for more than 1000 years. This is a feat the no modern culture or civilization can come near. Yet, we moderns consider them as 'primitives' by virtue of the victors writing the history books.
More than a 1000 years puts us back at 1000 AD. That's hardly prior to reaping the benefits of whatever 'Cain consciousness' is. Basically you are taking the view that most humans are tainted by 'Original Sin' but not all humans, and the former laid the foundations for what we call modern civilization. That's not accurate in my view. It is an artifact of reducing post-agricultural civilization to categories of power-seeking behavior, everything you a priori identify as broken or evil. Those are not even close to adequate categories to exhaustively explain the essence of civilization. Beyond that, there is nothing inherently evil about "aggressive" and "expansionist" behavior. Again, the Kogi are clearly beneficiaries of that human consciousness, even if they have managed to integrate those tendencies better than most.
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Lou Gold
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Re: Consciousness and Civilization

Post by Lou Gold »

AshvinP wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:04 am
SS wrote:Well, maybe the casual without "" is the collateral damage of the "Manifest Destiny"?
The ethics of it all is a separate question. To reduce or not to reduce, that is the question.
Not really a separate question in the triune of Consciousness, Civilization and Citizenship. Indeed, thinking of ethics as a separate problem would be the problem.
Be calm - Be clear - See the faults - See the suffering - Give your love
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AshvinP
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Re: Consciousness and Civilization

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SanteriSatama wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:27 pm
AshvinP wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:04 am
SS wrote:Well, maybe the casual without "" is the collateral damage of the "Manifest Destiny"?
The ethics of it all is a separate question. To reduce or not to reduce, that is the question.
Ethics is always present. In how we read and react according to our emotional commitments and customs and deeper levels. Trying to separate ethics as something separate sounds very much like the type of cold rationalism that has been criticized.
I mean it is logically a separate question, of course. First we must try to understand what dynamics are taking place to form civilizations. Forming an ethical commitment first and then proceeding to look at those dynamics after will only result in goal-seeked conclusions. That seems to be a lot of what you and Lou are doing to avoid taking a serious look at the evolution of consciousness. Obviously we cannot avoid that inherent bias completely, but we can be aware of it and and consciously mitigate its influence on our analysis.
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
SanteriSatama
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Re: Consciousness and Civilization

Post by SanteriSatama »

AshvinP wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:01 pm I mean it is logically a separate question, of course. First we must try to understand what dynamics are taking place to form civilizations. Forming an ethical commitment first and then proceeding to look at those dynamics after will only result in goal-seeked conclusions. That seems to be a lot of what you and Lou are doing to avoid taking a serious look at the evolution of consciousness. Obviously we cannot avoid that inherent bias completely, but we can be aware of it and and consciously mitigate its influence on our analysis.
Hume's guillotine is one way only: "No should from is." Starting from ethics and deriving ontology from ethics is not denied. We agree with Hume?

Taking a look at evolution of consciousness requires mental attempt to objectify and externalize consciousness as a thought structure. I prefer participatory, direct and ethical approach to evolution of consciousness.
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AshvinP
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Re: Consciousness and Civilization

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SanteriSatama wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:00 pm
AshvinP wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:01 pm I mean it is logically a separate question, of course. First we must try to understand what dynamics are taking place to form civilizations. Forming an ethical commitment first and then proceeding to look at those dynamics after will only result in goal-seeked conclusions. That seems to be a lot of what you and Lou are doing to avoid taking a serious look at the evolution of consciousness. Obviously we cannot avoid that inherent bias completely, but we can be aware of it and and consciously mitigate its influence on our analysis.
Hume's guillotine is one way only: "No should from is." Starting from ethics and deriving ontology from ethics is not denied. We agree with Hume?
I disagree with Hume. We can get ought from is but not is from ought. The former is tricky but not impossible.

Short form - idealism is true, conscious activity evolves, intuiting/understanding evolutionary process allows differentiated integration (DI), DI reveals ultimate meaning, revelation of ultimate meaning is Good.
SS wrote:Taking a look at evolution of consciousness requires mental attempt to objectify and externalize consciousness as a thought structure. I prefer participatory, direct and ethical approach to evolution of consciousness.
Sure, but then we can't say/write anything further about it, other than telling people we are participating and we like it and they should join in, which just doesn't seem all that convincing.
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
SanteriSatama
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Re: Consciousness and Civilization

Post by SanteriSatama »

AshvinP wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:21 pm Short form - idealism is true, conscious activity evolves, intuiting/understanding evolutionary process allows differentiated integration (DI), DI reveals ultimate meaning, revelation of ultimate meaning is Good.
No 'ought' in that description.
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Lou Gold
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Re: Consciousness and Civilization

Post by Lou Gold »

AshvinP wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:37 pm
Lou Gold wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:05 pm
The Younger Brother and Elder Brother conceptualization is very interesting. It maps well on to the story of Cain and Abel.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cain_and_Abel
"In the biblical Book of Genesis, Cain and Abel are the first two sons of Adam and Eve.[1] Cain, the firstborn, was a farmer, and his brother Abel was a shepherd. The brothers made sacrifices to God, each of his own produce, but God favored Abel's sacrifice instead of Cain's. Cain then murdered Abel, whereupon Yahweh punished Cain by condemning him to a life of wandering. Cain then dwelt in the land of Nod (נוֹד‎, 'wandering'), where he built a city and fathered the line of descendants beginning with Enoch."
YES! My point is that dominant imperial colonial civilization IS the diaspora of Cain consciousness across the earth and that not all of Abel consciousness was extinguished. Some of it fled the terror of Cain to create a non-expansionist non-aggressive non-dominating civilization dedicated through materialist self-limitation and specialized leader training to performing the sacred purpose of holding together life on earth and in the process developed a sustainable agriculture and society lasting peacefully in traditional form for more than 1000 years. This is a feat the no modern culture or civilization can come near. Yet, we moderns consider them as 'primitives' by virtue of the victors writing the history books.
More than a 1000 years puts us back at 1000 AD. That's hardly prior to reaping the benefits of whatever 'Cain consciousness' is. Basically you are taking the view that most humans are tainted by 'Original Sin' but not all humans, and the former laid the foundations for what we call modern civilization. That's not accurate in my view. It is an artifact of reducing post-agricultural civilization to categories of power-seeking behavior, everything you a priori identify as broken or evil. Those are not even close to adequate categories to exhaustively explain the essence of civilization. Beyond that, there is nothing inherently evil about "aggressive" and "expansionist" behavior. Again, the Kogi are clearly beneficiaries of that human consciousness, even if they have managed to integrate those tendencies better than most.
Again, I disagree. I was following up your suggestion of an interesting overlay between the Kogi and the Genesis story. Able represents the hunter-gatherer moving in the flow of Nature's changes and Cain represents the nascent settlement farmer and his agriculture. Following the argument of Scott's "Against the Grain" that life in the new city-state was LESS desirable than hunter-gatherer existence, the HGs generally fled rather than fought in the stressed ecosystem (although some chose to be aggressive 'barbarians at the gates'). Thus, an aggressive dominating style was set among the 'civilized' structure, in the person and in the biome, the latter being a place of great suffering. In this 'civilized' mix, societies emerged with a materialist set of solutions and religions offered spiritual solutions, both oriented to prioritize the reduction of suffering. One interesting difference between civilized religion and indigenous religion is that the former focuses liberation from suffering and the latter focuses on maintaining balance in the biome. In brief, Cain and Able!
Be calm - Be clear - See the faults - See the suffering - Give your love
SanteriSatama
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Re: Consciousness and Civilization

Post by SanteriSatama »

Lou Gold wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:12 pm One interesting difference between civilized religion and indigenous religion is that the former focuses liberation from suffering and the latter focuses on maintaining balance in the biome. In brief, Cain and Able!
Yuval Noah Harari makes a fair point, though. Overall famine and war has decreased drastically, but with the cost of ecological crisis and general loss of meaning (cf. alienation). Also, I wouldn't hold it against Mother Earth, if she organized this against space rocks. Division of labor...
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Lou Gold
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Re: Consciousness and Civilization

Post by Lou Gold »

I agree with YNH depending on when one sets the historical baseline for famine. Hunter-gatherers were surely at the mercy of changing ecological conditions in the biome, whereas the settlers were vexed by that plus the stresses of population increase. No doubt that modern ag has fed more people AND increased population, arguably an unsustainable combo. Interestingly, the massive reduction in modern warfare is much related to the threat of Mutual Assured Destruction.

Mother Earth and space rocks can be imaged into a story of how earthlings were saved by rocket and nuclear tech. Potential stories abound.
Be calm - Be clear - See the faults - See the suffering - Give your love
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