Are you a slave, or a Free Man?

Epic Days

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Another well-crafted encapsulation. You are right... the whole thing has gotten mired down in philosophy.
Actually that’s not true. Way of thinking IS philosophy!
I wouldn’t dumb it down but that’s me.
The background and encapsulation of thought was very well done. You have the gift.
The first thing a writer needs to learn is that he never lets a non-writer tell him how to craft his words to his thoughts.
 
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ChristopherColumbus

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Nothing wrong with paying taxes, we are social animals after all, and money is a social institution. The point is to find a balance between freedom and order [and by first of all rejecting the abstract dichotomy of freedom and power].

The main philosophies of the ancients were Stoicism on the one hand, and Epicureanism on the other. Where the first centered on reason, the second centered more on aesthetics, on beauty, on the good life etc. In our world, you could say that the Stoic aspect represents our public life, the one we must resolve ourselves to, where our behavior is ordered and constrained, and where we pay our taxes. The Epicurean element is our private life, and has largely degenerated from the ideals of the artist to mass hedonism, where we eek out the little pleasure we can in the privacy of our own bedrooms.

Sadly, it's a dichotomous existence, where we are divided against ourselves in our private life and public functions. The average man is miserable with his public function, with his job, and comes back home to his drug of choice, whether pornography or chemicals. It is surprisingly like the picture Aldous Huxley painted generations ago in his novel 'Brave New World' - recreational sex on demand [Tinder], and the drug of Soma [the mass proliferation of pornography]. The point of all the distractions is to keep us distracted from the realities that we are only too intuitively aware of in the rumblings of 'conscience'.

The task of any ethically responsible life is one of unification of the fragmented self, and then self-determination of that self. Such a project is real concrete practical freedom as opposed to all the abstractions you hear repeated ad nauseum. And this existential freedom is no mere end in itself, but the means by which to attain some dignity, integrity, excellence, realization, and nobility in our lives.

Is this all too intellectual? I think it helps to draw a distinction between theoretical reason and practical reason. The first gives you the fruitless abstract ideologies that so many are weary of, but the second gives you practical ethics, a guide to practical behavior and how to live a decent life. I don't think this is mere intellectualism.
 

ChristopherColumbus

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Right. Can I give you examples of how this doesn’t always play out?

Place I worked before:

Team of 6. 4 “yes men”, 1 indifferent and me, who regularly challenged management when I felt appropriate and often did it my way.

Prime “yes man” got heaped with praise and position and opportunities.

I got labelled a troublemaker and incurred often wrath and disdain of managers.

Prime yes man is the one who got the female acclaim.

I’m much happier being my own man and would physically throw up to take on the “yes man” role. However, I disagree that being a free man gets you the women.

I’ve said it many times, women go for the manipulator and narc who can obtain position by fair means or foul.

It has nothing to do with being your own man. It’s a hinderence if anything.

If I’d challenge the yes man group would round up on me. So I became somewhat the lowest in the group, despite having the biggest balls and having a DNGAF attitude.

Can someone please explain this?

As far as I can see, everything is secondary to social rank. If literally sucking off the boss got
you promoted, the girls would still be all over him.
I find these 'yes man' scary. It's like proto fascism, where people do what they need to do in order 'climb the slippery pole' of bureaucracy. They loose all ethical responsibility in their public life - it has a machine life of its own, and is something separate from their inner life.... they soon become the ghosts in the machine.

I guess I have a lively imagination [or an ethical core], but I can not help see it in terms of resistance and collaboration. It's about the principle, and in so far as men keep abdicating their moral duty for bureaucratic advancement, society as a whole is on a slippery slope.

Another Faustian pact.
 
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ChristopherColumbus

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Freedom is an emotion.

Those examples I listed in my above post is different shades of that emotion so that it's easier for you to memorise it and store it in ur rational brain functions for future use.

It's not a strawman nor a strawberry, it's just facts of several examples within a singular emotion called freedom.
Freedom is a ethical imperative. It's what humanizes us. If we abdicate it [the fear of freedom], we are in for a world of hurt.
 

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ChristopherColumbus

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You do not create your own reality.

First, reason should be considered a half way house to reality - it correlates in some way but is not definitive, or representative of it. Language is figurative and analogical, NOT literal.

Reason/ philosophy has largely fallen into disrepute because it too readily associated with rationalism/ ideology, where language is serious, literal, and artless.

The existential reaction to this is to say you can create your own reality, which is essentially irrationalism [a shadow form of reason]

Rather, reason should be seen in some kind of dialogue or dialectical movement with reality. Consider it a dance, even an erotic dance of sorts... as the Greeks did.
 

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Actually that’s not true. Way of thinking IS philosophy!
I wouldn’t dumb it down but that’s me.
The background and encapsulation of thought was very well done. You have the gift.
The first thing a writer needs to learn is that he never lets a non-writer tell him how to craft his words to his thoughts.
You do make a good point.

I tend to see two brands of philosophy... I prefer practical, action-oriented applied philosophy over intellectual navel-gazing; circular arguments and eternal uncovering of tangential points.

I used to be a much more highly theoretical guy, but I've become a man who simply wants to think and act in ways that are practical and yield tangible results.
 

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Freedom is a ethical imperative. It's what humanizes us. If we abdicate it [the fear of freedom], we are in for a world of hurt.
That too but to make a long story short, it's more towards an emotional feeling one inherently has embedded in the mind.

Always good to see you posting ChristopherColumbus.
 

Atom Smasher

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You do not create your own reality.

First, reason should be considered a half way house to reality - it correlates in some way but is not definitive, or representative of it. Language is figurative and analogical, NOT literal.

Reason/ philosophy has largely fallen into disrepute because it too readily associated with rationalism/ ideology, where language is serious, literal, and artless.

The existential reaction to this is to say you can create your own reality, which is essentially irrationalism [a shadow form of reason]

Rather, reason should be seen in some kind of dialogue or dialectical movement with reality. Consider it a dance, even an erotic dance of sorts... as the Greeks did.
Shorthand, my friend.

The trouble with excessive rationalism/reason is that they blind one to the incredible power of hitting the reset switch and considering oneself capable of that which he "knew" couldn't be possible for him.

I suppose I live in a state (or "world") where I have a bit of a knack for leveraging the best of rationalism and also creative instinct that dares to challenge the "known" or "established".

I've often quoted Shakespeare with his "Assume a virtue if you have it not" because no one that I know of has ever expressed better the power of a man to challenge his very reality and acquire new abilities based solely upon on acting as if. When a man acts as if something is true, even when all empirical evidence screams the opposite, he can move the immovable and can affect how others regard him.

I know that what I describe is simplistic, but it was enough to turn my life around and to free me from my former helplessness.
 

ChristopherColumbus

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Shorthand, my friend.

The trouble with excessive rationalism/reason is that they blind one to the incredible power of hitting the reset switch and considering oneself capable of that which he "knew" couldn't be possible for him.

I suppose I live in a state (or "world") where I have a bit of a knack for leveraging the best of rationalism and also creative instinct that dares to challenge the "known" or "established".

I've often quoted Shakespeare with his "Assume a virtue if you have it not" because no one that I know of has ever expressed better the power of a man to challenge his very reality and acquire new abilities based solely upon on acting as if. When a man acts as if something is true, even when all empirical evidence screams the opposite, he can move the immovable and can affect how others regard him.

I know that what I describe is simplistic, but it was enough to turn my life around and to free me from my former helplessness.
It's quite similar to the Socratic injunction to 'know yourself'. For Socrates, all knowledge was ethical... everything else sophistry.

As for modeling an 'as if', the hypothetical, this is also very Greek. Given the innate disposition, they posited the ideal, in the intelligible realm, and then strove toward it. The ethical path.
 

ChristopherColumbus

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Freedom is a ethical imperative. It's what humanizes us. If we abdicate it [the fear of freedom], we are in for a world of hurt.
Further, to run with this idea, this world of hurt is not something to just eventuate in the political sphere, but is felt very much in our own lives. When the ethical instincts of the self are denied, a gnawing sense of absence ensues. Why else is it so common for people to seek an escape [from themselves] in drugs, or sex, or mass ideology, or whatever. There is a lack of resiliency/ fortitude, where people are deluded into thinking they are entitled to some ethereal happiness, instead of seeing life as the grinding journey that it is. And with false expectations they become disappointed, looking not so much for solace but distraction from a misery that they are ill-equipped to cope with.

Of course, this was all intentional. Dissatisfied people make for the best consumers. But this kind of consumption can never be fulfilling. The dissociated self becomes a black hole wanting to consume more and more. It can never say enough, for what should be the means of existence, what should serve the ends of life, has become the ends themselves.

The Greeks never really posited the Will. This came later in early modern thought. What they posited was rational desire [and irrational desires]. If desire is not directed rationally to its rightful goal, and is instead at the whim of passion [irrational desire] then a man is not free. Freedom is therefore an ethical achievement, and is primarily freedom over the self.
 
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ubercat

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And don't be try-hard. Nobody's dominant all the time and nobody should try to be.
 

ChristopherColumbus

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Freedom is therefore an ethical achievement, and is primarily freedom over the self.
... and :)

This kind of freedom is actively discouraged in mass society, for it is only in a condition of unfreedom that men are compelled to consume. Their passion is unrestrained by reason, or rather their reason is chained by passion, where they are subjected to images to titillate the senses as opposed to contemplating the immutable forms to which the mind should turn as a plant to sunlight. Think Plato's cave here.
 
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