Author Archives: Suraj Sood

About Suraj Sood

I'm a Ph.D. student focusing on prefiguring our relation with the environment, focusing on global climate change as a case problem. More about me can be gleaned from my other social media profiles.

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.

Is faith a kind of knowledge?

Pure faith has to be a special kind of knowledge. Faith must be blind: to be respected, it ought not to be challenged.

Faith is conviction in what can only be felt intuitively. As such, it cannot be scientific; it need not be checked against externality.

Faith in the ultimate is irrational. It may be a kind of knowing rather than knowledge–it cannot be denied, once had. To attempt such would be to reject God’s gift to us.

Faith is the absolute episteme. It can be placed in anything, and is holy as such. The holy person cannot break something so sacred!

Knowledge of faith is only afforded by genuine wisdom.

Power, knowledge, meaning

How are these three concepts related?

Many of us have heard the adage: “With great power, comes great responsibility.” (Thanks, Uncle Ben!)

Adding to the adage above, knowledge is often equated with power–knowledge is power.

If knowledge is power, and with great power comes great responsibility…well, maybe great knowledge is required for great power.

We can achieve great knowledge, thereby attaining great power (and so, great responsibility). How does meaning fit in?

For psychologist Jordan Peterson, meaning derives from the responsible life. If we achieve great responsibility from the above chain, we should expect great meaning!

Eupsychian self-actualization

One of Maslow’s characteristics of self-actualizers is the continued freshness of appreciation.

How does this lead one to Eupsychia–Maslow’s idea of the psychologically healthy culture/society?

The more we appreciate life, the more we may start to notice the ways it nourishes our soul!

The maximally healthy collective consists of spirited individuals taking great care of their souls…

Reversing fundamental attribution error

Fundamental attribution error (FAE) is our tendency to fault others and self-aggrandize.

What if we instead understood the difficulties in another’s situation?

What if we also were humble enough to recognize fate’s positive role in our own lives?

If we did both things, maybe we could exercise a fundamental attribution solution!

Do Jung’s archetypes exist?

Neuropsychoanalysis can answer this question. The biological functioning and substrate of humans typically operates below consciousness. Genetics and neurology are biological. Jung’s archetypes are transmitted genetically between successive generations. Archetypes of the collective unconscious are genetic and have such an ontological basis.