SpongeBob and phenomenology

When SpongeBob tries explaining “fun” to Plankton, he finds that the only way he can is to sing a song about it.

Some experiences are so fundamental for some of us that conveying them to others linguistically can be tricky.

The trick in these cases is to “live out” the experience in question. This lets the other know what it is like, and how they can experience it.

Of course–spelling a concept out and defining it more elaborately can work, too! But the basic experience has to be felt to understand its real nature.

Keeping the magic alive

I recently watched two video game reviews on YouTube. Both videos made me circumspect about how, for some, the magic in once enjoyable immersion can flounder amidst conflicted feelings.

Keeping the magic alive is something I learned was important at the early school age of 1st grade. I have my teacher to thank for exposing our class to The Polar Express, the popular Christmas story following a boy for whom the magic of the holiday never dies.

Never let the magic in your lives wane! Let your free, childlike spirits relish in delights eternally their birthright. Fear not the condemnation of those for whom “the bell no longer rings”: keep your flame well-tended and lit.

Let the magic of family, life, and friendship grow with each passing year.

Third Noble Truth and Christ

Two insights, each respectively from Buddhism and Christianity, may combine to reveal something important.

The Third Noble Truth of Buddhism states that we can escape the suffering inherent in life (which is acknowledged by the First Truth).

For Christians, though humans are mortal, Jesus Christ’s example can be followed to lead a more virtuous life.

We can transcend life’s suffering by following the examples set by ideal beings: even though they are supernormal!

Jung and Maslow

Carl Jung is represented as having believed that we should render the unconscious conscious. This should be done to free ourselves of the former’s power in defining our beliefs and habits.

One of Abraham Maslow’s 13 self-actualizing characteristics is the superior perception of reality. Do we not achieve the latter by learning about and knowing the contents of our unconscious?

Plato’s cave and Buddhist suffering

Plato used his allegory of the cave to demonstrate man’s attachment to the ideal forms. After spending his life in a cave, coming to the surface and seeing the sun was a new kind of experience.

In Buddhism, it is said that desire is at the root of human suffering.  What if the desire for perfection–i.e., for life to take on the shape of Plato’s forms–is an example of this?

Perhaps proving the Buddha’s noble truth #4, that we can overcome suffering, consists in shedding our fantasy of becoming ideal humans. Assuming this, transhumanism and posthumanism may go too far!

Destiny and free will in anime

In anime series Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, protagonist Judai Yuki duels destiny at least three times.

The first time, he goes on a voyage to rekindle his spirit, infusing his deck with power from outer space (“Neo-Space”) to defeat Edo Phoenix.

Next, Judai defeats Sartorius, antagonist of Season 2 who plays with a deck focused on determining outcomes that favor him and put Judai at a disadvantage. Sartorius wonders beforehand whether Judai is unique in his ability to defy destiny.

In Season 4, Judai and Sartorius duel again. Judai says Sartorius of all people should know that destiny cannot be controlled. This does not stop Sartorius from attempting to determine Judai’s fate: a loss, so that Sartorius’ sister Mizuchi can be saved.

With his back against the wall, and with his destiny all but decided, Judai turns things around with the Monster “Miracle Flipper”. Miracle Flipper allows him to tip the scales and escape Sartorius’ fate-deciding combo and win the duel.

Miracle Flipper’s card art

Judai is simultaneously able to fight destiny, but recognizes the futility of trying to controlling it. Still–he shows that one can overcome seemingly-hopeless situations, ones that may be imposed on us from the outside.

Philosophically, exercising our free will in a deterministic universe consists of choosing between genuine alternative paths (even if the end is already decided). If destiny cannot be controlled, determinism’s role is set in stone.

Perhaps being able to affirm our free will and win life’s games means pulling out a miracle when losing seems inevitable?

Self-acceptance and Eupsychia

Acceptance of self, others, and nature is one of Maslow’s self-actualizing characteristics.

Can self- and other-actualization lead to Eupsychia (the psychologically healthy socioculture)?

The above characteristic might be a good place to start! Just try accepting nature, too…

It would be ideal if acceptance of each of self, others, and nature reinforce one another 🙂

How humans can counteract COVID-19

The current COVID-19 situation is a pandemic of draconic proportions.

How can we crush the virus–biting a chunk out of its life with humanity’s serrated fang?

Masked heroes, of all eye colors, can resolve the current crisis!

The novel coronavirus is not a doom virus. It is just a dragon for wizards and warriors to slay.

Let us not be zombified by the magnitude of our task, today…at least in cyberspace, we can be whomever we want to be.

If the dinosaurs went extinct, so, too, can biochemical forces of evil.

We will become gravekeepers of the destroyed, biomemetic phenomenon.