Category Archives: philosophy

Balancing power and potential

Potential is the possibility of success. It lies latent, letting us know that we have a chance to succeed someday. How does potential relate to power?

Power and potential can be either rivals or allies. These must be balanced in order to achieve victory and defeat evil.

At any point, potential is the precursor to success. While it does not guarantee victory, it is requisite for such. Power necessitates responsibility, which then gives way to meaning.

Perhaps potential occurs when we gain knowledge of our possibilities for becoming! Then, we must pursue power through the cultivation of skills necessary for reaching our goal. We also need strength to endure tough challenges.

Potential is born from the desire to follow our dreams!

Can we have a science of ourselves?

This question is tantamount to asking whether we can possess knowledge of ourselves. That we can to some extent is trivial, despite the endeavor’s hurdles (many of which–ironically–the human study of psychology has revealed).

We have developed such successful sciences of physics and chemistry due perhaps to our advantage over their subject matter. This is that we have at least a greater degree of consciousness than do particles, waves, and elements.

It may be argued that human scientists have a greater consciousness of people than the average person does. If this is so, then the epistemology of social science is on somewhat comparable grounds to that of physics and chemistry.

However, it is quite probable that human scientists are not so different from laypeople as all people are from physical objects. This represents an asymmetry worth pausing on in answering this post’s question.

 

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.

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?

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…

Inspired creation

Creation is my word of the day, having popped up twice so far in different contexts.

It is best for any creative act to be inspired. How do we become inspired?

Inspiration comes from within. Other words that closely resemble “inspiration” are perspirationaspirationrespiration.

(Respiration is a hot topic, today!)

Inspired creation consists of dedicated perspiration. It involves toil through our labors of love.

Keep inspiring, creating, dedicating, perspiring, aspiring, toiling, laboring–and, most sweetly of all–loving!

The deal with consciousness

Consciousness is a puzzle for emergentists and panpsychists. The former have to explain the causal jump from living matter to awareness. The latter only have to worry about correlation.

Either way, we can strive to describe the origin and development of consciousness in our daily lives. These two facets might be either miraculous or brute facts of existence.