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[Xmca-l] Re: Political constructions of self vs politicalconstructions of identity


In considering the definition of impermanence that Rein offered, there are two things I'd like to point out.

First is that I agree that in the apparent world that we live in everything changes. But how we detect it depends upon having some stationary point, even if that point is in motion itself, the change is relative to something else.

We are comparing this with that.

But no matter what this is or that is, the is-ness remains present. The properties change, but the is-ness does not.

I don't think this reality we find ourselves has anything to do with human mind. It is independent of human mind, because to say it is dependent upon human mind is not only anthropocentric (which is why Copernicus was a big deal), it means that our mind is entirely responsible for creating the world that we perceive. We know that that isn't true.

(Well, it's true for The Donald!)

We know there is a world "out there," but we can't perceive it in its entirety. We know that the world existed before we were born, and will continue without us when the body drops. We know that because we can reason it out from watching all that was left behind by those that came before, and that they are not here to tell us where they went. Just because we lack the means to perceive the world (instrumentally or cognitively) doesn't mean it isn't there. It is apparently there or there or there, I cannot dismiss it just by thinking "it's not here."

Also, from a different way to think about the world beyond perception, I think it is reasonable to consider in this infinite universe that there is at least one planet similar to ours that could support life. But I cannot determine that through my perceptive means. I don't know if that means I believe in little green men.

But it is also true that the mind as a tool for perception and reasoning can play tricks upon us, but that has to do with imaginations and conceptual play, such as seeing Santa Claus on the corner in July.

You know, this actually happened to me last month. :) I kid you not. There was a man dressed in a Santa suit standing on the corner waiting to cross the street in the heat. It was beautiful performance art (to me).

Santa Claus does exist, but his existence has particular properties that people argue about, but that he exists is true because otherwise we would not be talking about him at all.

Considering the power of the mind, I suppose mental illness derives from not being able to make sense of confusions and apparent contradictions, either happening in the mind or in the world, or both. And so the mind remains in a state of confusion, which is an inimical state of mind, full of doubts. Perhaps this is why we cringe when watching The Donald.

So that's my first point.

My second point: In consideration of impermanence, a word that itself depends upon the word "permanence," even to say "nothing is forever" is itself a sentence that depends upon "is-ness."

Still, taking away the linguistic argument, it is impossible to think of nothing without is-ness. Try.

And so even when considering no-thing, existence remains. Even a gap *is*.

This is why existence isn't a thing, for the reason it does not change. It is how we can detect change, it is the only truly true thing-that-is-not-a-thing. I say this in this construct "thing-that-is-not-a-thing" because of the limits of our language, not because of limits of what is real. By saying it that way I can reference "something" that everyone can determine on one's own, independent of the words.

No matter what we do, we can't change existence and we cannot dismiss it. It remains. The only things that can be dismissed are things themselves and their properties, and of course the words that reference them. On the other hand, existence is neither a thing, nor does it have properties, it is beyond time and space, but it is what all things depend upon (in order to exist!).

So, no, change is not opposed to stability. Change depends upon stability. That stability is existence.

I'm grateful for this exchange, because of what it makes possible, which I hope is community, inclusive of change and inclusive of sharing great thoughts.

At this point, I still think it's important to consider what to do in this election as citizens so we can continue having these discussions, if only for the reason that they vitally lack Trump-ity!

Kind regards,