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« Oh, And By The Way...Bush Lost The War | Main | Green Confucius »

August 24, 2007


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Because most moderns are commonsense materialists, they don't understand how anyone can really hold idealist views.

In reality, throughout history, materialism was exceedingly rare. Neither in India, China, nor Greece, nor Europe and the Arab world, did materialism coalesce into a school thought. (I don't count Vaisesika and Epicureanism as materialist, since they posit a soul atom.) By contrast, idealism was exceedingly common amongst the ancients, such as the Yogacarins, the Vedantins, the Yangming school, etc.

Platonism cannot count as idealism, even though it ascribes creation to divine minds, because it does acknowledge the existence of matter (even though matter is alive and conscious). But in early modern Europe, idealism was again very common, with proponents such as Berkeley and Kant.

The blogpost says '"the sense of having a body, of being in a bodily self,” is actually constructed from multiple sensory streams.' This really confirms the philosophy of Kant. I've recently read an article saying that Kant was actually very critical of the Lutheran faith, defended in his earlier days pantheism, animism, and other ancient beliefs, and was greatly influenced by Confucianism and the ideas of Leibniz. I'm no expert on the subject, but these are very excting ideas.

My personal theory is that life is one strong delusion after another. Everyday, as we interact with the diverse desired or feared objects in life, we feed into the delusion. When we die, we again acquire a new body, because the delusion is not over. We have not yet awoken from the dream.

Other people are also dreaming, but their dreams intersect with our dreams. But because our delusions differ, our interpretations of the world differ. For instance, the world of a dog is different from that of a human, even though they live in the same material universe. It should be noted that of all aspects of embodied beings we see, we don't see their consciousness. We never see anything except our own projected illusions, even though they may involve other conscious beings.

My other theory borrows elements from David Bohm. He says there is a fish in an aquarium. There are two video recorders filming the fish, one from the front, and the other from the back. We sit in another room looking at the transmitted videos. We may well be forgiven for imagining there are two fish, rather than one.

Reality is the same. We perceive diverse objects, but really there is only ever one thing, which is Dao. But because of our peculiar nature, we never see the whole fish at one time. Rather, time passes instant by instant, frame by frame.

But doesn't Te (Integrity) suggest a certain material embodiment of each particular thing?

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