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Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/20/20 11:17 AM
A thing I have noticed, and this is not just in Buddhism, but rather as a more universal human behavior pattern, is that people often tend to have negative reactions towards the suggestion that two different objects may actually be similar. To provide some context, to hopefully clarify what I’m talking about here, some typical reactions that I have observed include things like:

- “Because this person is suggesting that these two objects are similar, it indicates they don’t have the ability to discern one thing from another, therefore they are unintelligent or uneducated.”
- “The problem with X (the world, this generation, this person) is that everyone wants everything to be treated exactly the same, which is not only untrue - it’s dangerous.”
- “This is some hippie dippy bullsh*t. Call a spade a spade. “


Now, I would like to point out that all of these responses are making some pretty huge assumptions, which fall along the lines of the following:

- The person is actually not able to tell the difference between, let’s say, a red ball and a green ball, and so they lack intelligence or wisdom.
- The person doesn’t want to acknowledge that there are differences between the two balls, because X (they are afraid, they have some emotional issue, etc).
- This person wants to promote this viewpoint of ‘Oneness’ because they are narcissistic, and can better take advantage of people who are subscribed to this viewpoint.
- This is an attempt to brainwash and gaslight me into not knowing that I’m being taken advantage of, so that this person can profit off of me.
- I have a complete understanding of the causes and conditions of ‘what makes the world a better place’
- I just plain don’t like this person because they remind me of some other person who wronged me, or just because of my general life experience, for that reason I am going to make judgements against their ability and intention.


The first thing I propose is that all of these assumptions are hypocritical. Because, making these assumptions requires you to conflate two things which are not equivalent: your notion of what this person means, and what this person actually means. Maybe that’s not an entirely fair point, as this is true of perception itself. But it does go against the claims of the argument of the responder in this hypothetical.

These assumptions also seem to not be understanding the full point. Suggesting that two nominally different objects are similar, does not mean that they are not also nominally different. A red ball is red, a green ball is blue, but they are both balls. Light is both a wave and a particle, but either way, we still call it ‘light’.

These responses also make huge assumptions about things that are truly unknowable, for example, the relationship between the amount of suffering in the world and peoples’ abilities to discern one thing from another. What I’m talking about here is the notion that we would be ‘better off’ as a society if people were better able to discern differences between objects. This is contradicted by the fact that *everything* we do requires discernment. It is basically what defines any civilization ever: a unified sense of identity which is contrasted against the ‘other’, or those outside of the society. Basically they are saying that if we were better able to find even more differences between each other, the world would somehow be a better place. And it assumes that finding similarities between seemingly different groups is somehow harmful. Which seems counterintuitive, to say the least.



Thanks to the Buddhist teachings, this can all be summed up very concisely using the four profundities:

Form is emptiness
Emptiness is form
Form is not other than emptiness
Emptiness is not other than form


Picking just one of these 4 profundities, though by itself is a truth, does not paint the complete picture. In this hypothetical situation, this notion of oneness relates to the 1st profundity: whatever arises or passes, does so out of emptiness, and in that way, all things share one commonality with regard to the way that they exist; everything is connected, everything is interdependent.

The notion that all things are nominally different relates to the 2nd profundity: out of emptiness, all phenomena arise, in myriad shapes and sizes, no two objects exactly alike; everything is unique.

Taking any one of these truths out of context is essentially an “extreme” view - that either nothing exists, or things exist inherently and independently.








(Disclaimer)
I am still somewhat new to this whole Dharma thing, though my personal spiritual journey has long preceded my exposure to Buddhism. The point in me saying this is, there is still much I have to experience and understand regarding the dynamics of this space, and there is a good chance, (well actually, it’s nearly certain) that this post may not come across the right way to everyone. All I can do is to kindly ask you to withhold judgment, if this post for any reason rubs you the wrong way. My intention here is to inspire thought and discussion around an observation, which may or may not be accurate, which will hopefully lead towards insight and better understanding, for myself and for others.


Much love and respect to all here.

J W

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/20/20 1:29 PM as a reply to J W.
Interesting post. I'm curious to see where this goes. 

I can chime in this much for now: it's clear to me from my experience that human beings have difficulty maintaining a focus on what appear to them to be conflicting points of view, even if those conflicts are made up, assumed, or otherwise ineptly applied. We don't have much mental capacity for apparently conflicting things to both be "true." And yes, this speaks to how the mind perceives, so there is something from Buddhism that can be applied here.

Do you have more to say, J W?

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/20/20 2:37 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Interesting post. I'm curious to see where this goes. 

I can chime in this much for now: it's clear to me from my experience that human beings have difficulty maintaining a focus on what appear to them to be conflicting points of view, even if those conflicts are made up, assumed, or otherwise ineptly applied. We don't have much mental capacity for apparently conflicting things to both be "true." And yes, this speaks to how the mind perceives, so there is something from Buddhism that can be applied here.

Do you have more to say, J W?
Thanks Chris.  I am curious to see where it goes as well, hopefully it can be somewhat fruitful.

It might be helpful for me to provide a specific example of what I'm talking about, from my own life, to clarify what I am basing this observation on. 

I have mentioned before that I was raised in a fundamentalist setting.  Growing up I would often question whether things really were as black and white as they are taught in such settings (as is natural for a teenager).  Whenever I would bring these things up with my father, or some church leader, it would be scoffed at.  The thought that Christ's death was somehow "symbolic" was seen as foolish or weak.  The notion that perhaps there could be patterns and archetypes which transcend any one religion, out of touch with reality.  

I agree with what you are saying here that the mind does seem to have trouble holding two apparently opposite viewpoints to both be true. Perhaps part of it is the assumption that by accepting something which conflicts with a previously held view, it invalidates the old view.  In the example above, the implicit assumption is that, if this is true (other religions are valid) it invalidates my view (my religion is valid).  It's the "There can be only one" mentality.

P.S. This stuff may be obvious. But IMO there can still be value in exploring what is obvious.

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/20/20 2:37 PM as a reply to J W.
We all have beliefs that we're loathe to examine, let alone drop. We literally build our self-image, self-worth, and even our lives around beliefs. It's a belief that we're an independent, permanent "me" for example. Having that belief contradicted can feel life-threatening. I'm sure the same can be said for deeply held religious beliefs that someone has grown up never questioning or doubting in any serious way.

I think our minds favor clear distinctions that are easy to operationalize in a survival mode sort of way. It makes judgments faster, more efficient, and more certain, right? So to question those clear distinctions flies in the face of that mental habit. We have to very deliberately decide to go through a process in order to get anywhere and spend serious time on it. That's more work than most people are up for.

Just rambling here...

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/20/20 4:10 PM as a reply to J W.
I think people often have a hard time holding more than one thought in their mind. That makes it hard to be nuanced. 

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/20/20 8:01 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Yes... it is necessary for survival to use generalizations and rely on them to make quick judgements. If we're speaking technically it is all we have. But, one could say it is a privilege to have the opportunity to even examine them at all, so I guess you could say we're lucky.  The result of the compassion of others I guess?

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/20/20 10:14 PM as a reply to J W.

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/21/20 5:26 AM as a reply to Milo.
Spot on, Milo!

J W, I'm not so sure it's all about compassion, although compassion is important for wanting to see more than one side. I wonder if it's also cognitively challenging to follow more than one line of thought. Maybe there are some who are willing but not able, and some who are able but not willing. Just thinking out loud here. 

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/21/20 8:44 AM as a reply to J W.
J W:

I have mentioned before that I was raised in a fundamentalist setting.  Growing up I would often question whether things really were as black and white as they are taught in such settings (as is natural for a teenager).  Whenever I would bring these things up with my father, or some church leader, it would be scoffed at.  The thought that Christ's death was somehow "symbolic" was seen as foolish or weak.  The notion that perhaps there could be patterns and archetypes which transcend any one religion, out of touch with reality.  

I hear where you're coming from. My wife's family are fairly literal Catholics (not fundamentalist though) and I often wonder what kind of stance to adopt.

The word 'symbolic' has a pejorative sense which can make believers feel threatened. Do I really want them to feel threatened and position myself as the aggressor?

If form is not other than emptiness then symbols are real, so you could just as easily say that Christ's death is real rather than symbolic. That's the essence of tantra.

Talking about archetypes which transcend a particular religion could also be seen as aggressive, a form of spiritual imperialism if you will.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that sometimes it can just be more compassionate to take things at face value and call a spade a spade ...

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/21/20 5:19 PM as a reply to George S.
agnostic:
I hear where you're coming from. My wife's family are fairly literal Catholics (not fundamentalist though) and I often wonder what kind of stance to adopt.
The way I normally approach it is the same way I approach politics... don't approach it at all, conversationally.  Unless it really seems like it's something they are interested in talking about.  And, in that case, I tend to use language more specific to their beliefs than to mine (if I have an understanding of their beliefs).  Just their knowledge that you believe something different than them, and you appear to them as a somewhat normal, kind person I think does more towards opening up people to alternative viewpoints than we usually realize.

agnostic:

The word 'symbolic' has a pejorative sense which can make believers feel threatened. Do I really want them to feel threatened and position myself as the aggressor?

If form is not other than emptiness then symbols are real, so you could just as easily say that Christ's death is real rather than symbolic. That's the essence of tantra.

Talking about archetypes which transcend a particular religion could also be seen as aggressive, a form of spiritual imperialism if you will.
That's exactly it - something can be both real and symbolic at the same time.  I personally think Christ to have been a real historical figure and probably something along the lines of what's written actually happened. Though, I can't prove it.  Even to someone who takes the Christ story in the most literal way, it is still symbolic. For a fundamentalist you could say it's symbolic of the fulfillment of God's covenant... or whatever.  Anything with any sort of meaning is symbolic to you in some way.


But yeah, I know what you mean. 'Symbolic' can hold perjorative connotations... 

agnostic:
I guess what I'm trying to say is that sometimes it can just be more compassionate to take things at face value and call a spade a spade ...
Amen. And may we find the wisdom to recognize when this is the case.

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
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11/21/20 2:06 PM as a reply to Milo.
emoticon

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/21/20 5:39 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Spot on, Milo!

J W, I'm not so sure it's all about compassion, although compassion is important for wanting to see more than one side. I wonder if it's also cognitively challenging to follow more than one line of thought. Maybe there are some who are willing but not able, and some who are able but not willing. Just thinking out loud here. 
Yeah... it is definitely complex.  I was just kind of thinking of the meditation on our lives being a result of the kindness of other beings, (i.e. all beings as our mothers), it just kind of cheers me up sometimes.  But yes, it is only one way of looking at things. I'd argue there are certain advantages towards taking an optimistic lens, though indeed, it's not always possible. We all have our limits and obstacles.

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/21/20 8:35 PM as a reply to J W.
Buddhādasa, a Thai monastic and scholar from the last century said:
Those who have penetrated to the essential nature of religion
will regard all religions as being the same. Although they may say
there is Buddhism, Judaism, Taoism, Islam, or whatever, they will also
say that all religions are inwardly the same. However, those who have
penetrated to the highest understanding of Dhamma will feel that the
thing called "religion" doesn't exist after all. There is no
Buddhism; there is no Christianity; there is no Islam. How can they
be the same or in conflict when they don't even exist? It just
isn't possible.
It is not just that the difference between things is something fabricated by the mind, but the delineation of the things themselves is also a fabrication. 

That said, if take the stance that pointing to nominal differences is an arbitrary choice, then I don't really have a defense against the complaint, "This is some hippie dippy bullsh*t." The complaint really amounts to a charge of arbitrary fabrication of oneness and I have to allow it if I am going to make the same complaint against arbitrary fabrication of duality. 

On a conventional, day-to-day level, there are a lot of options in terms of ways to see the world. When I think about my wish that others be more flexible in their views, the first realization is that I must start by being flexible regarding their inflexibility. If I try to force them out of it by argument, they will be unlikely to believe that flexibility is a viable option, as even its proponent would seem incapable of practicing it. 

In short, I agree with you, and I think three is a lot to be gained by continuing your line of thinking.

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/21/20 10:36 PM as a reply to Martin.
I used to think of myself as being fairly flexible because I was always trying to challenge conventional thinking and suggest alternative views. Lately I've come to understand that is actually quite rigid behavior. If people get a sense of meaning, stability and fulfillment from their views, and their shadow side is not obvously worse than the shadow side of other views, then what am I really trying to achieve by introducing other views where they are not wanted? Sometimes people are willing to be challenged and other times it just causes suffering for no discernible benefit and simply being present seems to be the best strategy. Not moralizing here, just reflectng on my experience. 
 
Ultimately I feel like it comes down to the relationship between emptiness and form. When I'm overly focused on the emptiness property of form then I fail to relate to form ("mere symbols"). It's a dualistic trap, imagining that emptiness has some kind of independent existence which transcends form. That's why you need simultaneously to remain aware that emptiness is none other than form, i.e. emptiness is just another property of conventional reality (Nagarjuna). If there was no form then there would be no emptiness either. My reality is just as real as your reality, even if from your perspective it looks like a crock of shite. emoticon

I would even go as far as to venture that every object is a symbol and all it symbolizes is itself. If you like it and don't feel gulity then ice cream is happiness, not just a kind of happiness (which makes it seem like a watered down version of the real thing). If you believe it then Christ is the Redeemer and if not then there's always something else. Kind of tired and just thinking out loud now.

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/22/20 10:01 AM as a reply to George S.
So can we all live in our own little self-made worlds based on these individualized relative concepts of reality? Is there no shared experience we can ever agree on? My guess is that our experiences are far more alike than they are different, and in our development shared experience is far more important than we typically think. Yes, we have differences. Yes, these differences often make us fight, argue, break up, go to war, and so on. But there's more to human beings than our differences. We seem to have evolved to live in groups and eventually to form large societies in which we're able to put individual needs aside in favor of a collective, collaborative system that would appear to benefit the whole more than each individual part.

(No, I'm not a Marxist.)

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/22/20 11:11 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Just to mention something I have observed; I usually have no issues hanging around folks that disagree with m views nor do they have issues with me. We disagree but that's all to it. 

However I have noticed that there is always tension between me and those who are alike me in many ways as persons; same drive, same level of passion and energy, similar attitude ... this brings me to the animal world of the "packing order". Where you get two Alfa persons which have same energy and none is bending it's head, fight will occur at some stage it seems (could be just a civilized verbal fight but fight nonetheless). 

I think it is safe to include the animalistic aspect of humans when talking anything really especially human society. 

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/22/20 12:25 PM as a reply to George S.
Ultimately I feel like it comes down to the relationship between emptiness and form. When I'm overly focused on the emptiness property of form then I fail to relate to form ("mere symbols"). It's a dualistic trap, imagining that emptiness has some kind of independent existence which transcends form. 

It certainly can become a dualistic trap, this sort of ‘overcompensating towards emptiness’ to put it crudely. Because, like you say, at that point one has likely become attached to the idea of everything being completely equal, which is not necessarily any better than the alternative.

The example that comes to mind is Ken Wilber’s commentary on Spiral Dynamics (quote from A Theory of Everything):



Because pluralistic relativism (green) moves beyond mythic absolutisms (blue) and formal rationality (orange) into richly textured and individualistic contexts, one of its defining characteristics is its strong subjectivism. This means that its sanctions for truth and goodness are established largely by individual preferences (as long as the individual is not harming others). What is true for you is not necessarily true for me; what is right is simply what individuals or cultures happen to agree on at any given moment; there are no universal claims for knowledge or truth; each person is free to find his or her own values, which are not binding on anybody else. "You do your thing, I do mine" is a popular summary of this stance.

This is why the self at this stage is indeed the "sensitive self." Precisely because it is aware of the many different contexts and numerous different types of truth (pluralism), it bends over backwards in an attempt to let each truth have its own say, without marginalizing or belittling any. As with the catch words "anti-hierarchy," "pluralism," "relativism," and "egalitarianism," whenever you hear the word "marginalization" and a criticism of it, you are almost always in the presence of a green meme.

This noble intent, of course, has its downside. Meetings that are run on green principles tend to follow a similar course: everybody is allowed to express his or her feelings, which often takes hours; there is an almost interminable processing of opinions, often reaching no decision or course of action, since a specific course of action would likely exclude somebody. Thus there are often calls for an inclusionary, nonmarginalizing, compassionate embrace of all views, but exactly how to do this is rarely spelled out, since in reality not all views are of equal merit. The meeting is considered a success, not if a conclusion is reached, but if everybody has a chance to share their feelings. Since no view is supposed to be inherently better than another, no real course of action can be recommended, other than sharing all views. If any statements are made with certainty, it is how oppressive and nasty all the alternative conceptions are. There was a saying common in the sixties: "Freedom is an endless meeting." Well, the endless part was certainly right.

See also: pre/post fallacy also known as the pre/trans fallacy.



If people get a sense of meaning, stability and fulfillment from their views, and their shadow side is not obvously worse than the shadow side of other views, then what am I really trying to achieve by introducing other views where they are not wanted?

You are wise to mention the shadow sides involved here. I think any time one attempts to impose a belief system an another, it’s not bound to go well, because it assumes that your belief is in some way ‘better’. This evangelism or zealousness in itself is the shadow, I would say.

The original post was not meant to suggest any sort of external action, per se. Though reading it back, I can see how it may seem to suggest that. Likely, there is some unconscious intention that I am not yet aware of. But mostly I think, it’s just something I’ve observed, that has been frustrating at times, and this forum is one of the few places that I know of where this type of thing can actually be talked about in good faith.

A subtlety to this is, I don’t think it’s always the case that what one perceives as threatening (in this case, the idea of someone trying to convince you to change your beliefs) is actually that. To use a modern example, I think of the way the American political left is portrayed in the media, specifically by right-wing media. “Obama wants to take your guns”. “The left wants to make Christianity illegal”. Etcetera. From my experience, this isn’t usually true. Mostly people just want basic access to health care, better wages, etc. Things that would be considered basic human rights in many other countries. They just want to be able to live happily. Unfortunately that usually does require that the more conservative, fundamentalist inspired values are not imposed on them in the form of legislation. Which, I would argue the US power structures are still heavily weighted towards (though, that may be changing). This idea that the liberals are out there trying to make you compromise your values is as much the result of propaganda and learned behaviors as it is anything else... it is one of the main tactics used to maintain power and manipulate people (on both sides, I should say).

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/22/20 3:01 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
So can we all live in our own little self-made worlds based on these individualized relative concepts of reality? Is there no shared experience we can ever agree on? My guess is that our experiences are far more alike than they are different, and in our development shared experience is far more important than we typically think. Yes, we have differences. Yes, these differences often make us fight, argue, break up, go to war, and so on. But there's more to human beings than our differences. We seem to have evolved to live in groups and eventually to form large societies in which we're able to put individual needs aside in favor of a collective, collaborative system that would appear to benefit the whole more than each individual part.

(No, I'm not a Marxist.)
I cannot see even any abstract way in which we could all live in self-made worlds, without shared experience. It's not even possible to disagree with someone until you agree with them on the existence and the significance of the things you are disagreeing about. (Before that, we have to agree that certain sequences of sounds or letters mean certain things. ) We are all swimming in the same cultural soup. There may be more carrots in your part of the bowl than my part, but that doesn't make it a different soup. To mix metaphors, it's like the joke about the person sitting on a dock who calls down to a fish swimming by, "How's the water?" And the fish replies, "What's water?"

Views, it seems, are phenomena that occur in a spatially and temporally localized manner, like ripples in the water. If, at the moment, I think I'm this ripple and another person thinks they are that ripple, it's not a disaster. Especially if we can both see that the ripples are happing in the same wave. 

Forgive me if my writing is messy (and maybe a bit hippy-dippy) but this is something I have been noticing a lot, the way that thoughts and/or views arise and cause desire/aversion, and sometimes clinging but there is no way I can legitimately claim ownership of those thoughts or views. For example, you said that you were not a Marxist, and that produced neutral vedena for me. But say I considered myself a Marxist, or I hated Marxists, and your comment produced some form of clinging in me. How would it be reasonable for me to consider such a culturally elaborate idea as Marxism or hating Marxists as somehow mine. At most, my mind would have been a locus where the temporary intersection of vastly shared ideas (memes, if you like) produced desire/aversion and clinging. -- Not such a big deal.

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/22/20 8:17 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
So can we all live in our own little self-made worlds based on these individualized relative concepts of reality? Is there no shared experience we can ever agree on? My guess is that our experiences are far more alike than they are different, and in our development shared experience is far more important than we typically think. Yes, we have differences. Yes, these differences often make us fight, argue, break up, go to war, and so on. But there's more to human beings than our differences. We seem to have evolved to live in groups and eventually to form large societies in which we're able to put individual needs aside in favor of a collective, collaborative system that would appear to benefit the whole more than each individual part.

(No, I'm not a Marxist.)

I would say we have universal shared experiences at the physical and emotional level, but as you go up through psychology, society and culture it gets more fragmented.

Humans have evolved to live in ever larger societies but everything has its limits and that process might go into reverse at some point. It's an attractive narrative that society is constantly improving, but are we sure? We live longer due to collaborative medical advances, yet technology has eroded the attentional quality of our daily experience. We die less but fear it more because we are not as familiar with it.

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/22/20 8:28 PM as a reply to J W.
J W:
A subtlety to this is, I don’t think it’s always the case that what one perceives as threatening (in this case, the idea of someone trying to convince you to change your beliefs) is actually that. To use a modern example, I think of the way the American political left is portrayed in the media, specifically by right-wing media. “Obama wants to take your guns”. “The left wants to make Christianity illegal”. Etcetera. From my experience, this isn’t usually true. Mostly people just want basic access to health care, better wages, etc. Things that would be considered basic human rights in many other countries. They just want to be able to live happily. Unfortunately that usually does require that the more conservative, fundamentalist inspired values are not imposed on them in the form of legislation. Which, I would argue the US power structures are still heavily weighted towards (though, that may be changing). This idea that the liberals are out there trying to make you compromise your values is as much the result of propaganda and learned behaviors as it is anything else... it is one of the main tactics used to maintain power and manipulate people (on both sides, I should say).

I agree with a lot of what you say and my conditioning is fairly liberal, but I'll play devil's advocate. emoticon

Personally I'm not a fan of having large numbers of military grade weapons in circulation, but from the point of view of the gun owner it's basically true that a large leftish group wants to reduce their access to guns, so they are right to feel threatened (irrespective of whether or not it's right for them to have their weapons).

I don't think the left wants to make Christianity illegal, but certain kinds of Christian values actually are threatened by leftish values. Lots of people came to the US to escape religious persecution and that paranoia still seems to be an active part of the collective psyche.

In more general terms, I would argue that holding any view strongly (even liberalism) is usually in response to a perceived threat, otherwise why bother investing the considerable energy required to hold the view in the face of all the counter-evidence? It seems to be the case that we hold strong views about things we don't actually affect our immediate day to day experience that much and which we don't have much power to change.

Seeing how the pandemic response has played out in the US causes me to doubt whether most people just want access to health care, better wages, etc. Apparently 30-50% of the country values their perceived Freedom more than their health or welfare. In general it seems that people value things which appear to give their lives meaning more than they value their actual lives. Isn't this basically the fear of emptiness, being prepared to die for one’s cause?

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/22/20 11:15 PM as a reply to George S.
agnostic:
 In general it seems that people value things which appear to give their lives meaning more than they value their actual lives. 

That does, indeed, seem to be the case. It's odd, but perhaps, in a sense, it goes back to what Chris was saying. If meaning, and in particular social meaning, were not of great importance (did not produce great clinging) in comparison with immediate material benefit, we would not live in complex societies. It's clearly what we do, and possibly the value we give to meaning is one of the cogs in the wheels that make that happen. 

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/23/20 7:45 AM as a reply to Martin.
That's a nice way to square the circle. Clearly there's something more going on than just procreation, food and shelter. Or maybe creating and spreading meaning is just a sublimation of our procreational drive ("my book is my baby"). It's probably just a phase I'm going through in my practice at the moment, but I feel like the need to give meaning to things is a source of dissatisfaction and I'm happier just letting things be as they are without the need for interpretation ("be their own meaning" if you will).

RE: Hippie Dippy Bulls**t
Answer
11/23/20 9:40 AM as a reply to George S.
Of course, it just seemed like a safe and obvious metaphor to use here emoticon

You make good some counter points.  I guess, like anything, it has to do with ignorance.  By thinking that your 'self' is this static thing that is defined, or sustained by, a specific set of values, it is easy to see how things which do not conform to that set of values could be taken as a threat to someone who is thinking in these absolutist terms.  Just the knowledge that an alternative exists challenges their idea that their values are absolute.

Not really countering any of your argument at this point, just musing...

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