The wonder of life through defamiliarization

Today… well this morning I suppose. There was a storm the likes of which I haven’t seen for at least a year.

I stood out in it with my arms spread, face facing the sky as it poured out its anger in rain, flashes and deep booms. I gave myself to wetness and the wind and the violence but after a while I went back inside, closed the door, forgot the wonder and made a tea.

Now I’m sat here, dry and comfortable; faced with the familiarity of Facebook and the everyday comfort and security of home.

I’m thinking “If this situation, this mundane, run-of-the-mill, everyday situation had never occurred for me before would I not stand in awe at the very presence of a cup and a table?”

Those flashes and booms – spectacular though they were – are only special because they rarely happen; they are to all intents and purposes novel events. Sure I have experienced a storm before; but not for a long time.

So this time, standing outside with my friend Ethan as Daisy gazed down upon us from Ethan’s bedroom window was the first time.

What lesson did I hear in the flashes and bangs? Defamiliarize, defamiliarize, defamiliarize!

Casually stroll through life as if you’d never seen any of it before and you’ll see the wonder that’s just waiting there to be unlocked by a particular way of gazing, smelling, touching, tasting or listening.

Stand quietly and imagine you’d never breathed before and feel the joy that just being alive brings, that just breathing brings.

Living is a beautiful thing all the time; we just get caught up in the trivialities; in mere trifles of problems that won’t matter tomorrow or in a weeks time.

They certainly won’t matter when you’re laying on your last bed! You’re possibilities limited to whether you’re going to shit in the colostomy bag now or hold on for a bit longer; whether you’re going to ring the bell just so you can ogle the curves and breasts of the young nurse on duty.

Will anything matter to us then about what happened now?

So why not forget the trivialities and gaze upon your kingdom; see how bizarre everything really is; see how it could be any other way but it’s not; it’s the way it is.

See that wherever you are you are in a truly novel situation; you are on the cutting edge of your life; you don’t need to travel (though that would be fun) to find wonder; it’s right before you all the time almost bursting with its suppressed excitement; like a child tugging at his parents attention saying “Look at me! Look at what I can do! Look at what I am!

“See look: Red, sound of distant traffic as the human world wakes up, feel the keys on my keyboard, smell your home, taste the bitter coffee that you don’t like the taste of and delve into the taste and see that its distastefulness is a part of all the wonder that forever surrounds us but is hidden by familiarity! Live every moment of your life playing pretend that it’s the first moment of your life because then I’ll show you who I really am!”


Western Philosophy meets Eastern Philosophy through Heidegger Part. 3

Another articulation of what Tolle says that is straight from the eastern source is in the Upanishads. It is an allegory that goes something like this:

There is a tree. In this tree perch two birds. One bird eats of the berries. The other bird perches silently and watches.

In Heideggerian terms I would say that the “room within which the furniture is” is what Heidegger is disclosing in his discourse on Dasein as Being-The-There.

The bird that “perches silently and watches” is what Heidegger is disclosing in his discourse on Dasein as Being-In-The-World.

The bird that eats of the berries of the tree is what Heidegger would call the “I” or the “Here”; the berries would of course be what Heidegger calls the “Over-There” where Handy things and other Daseins dwell.

Heidegger came to this realization via a logical deconstruction of the western philosophical tradition.

The eastern mystic came to the same realization via a method of silent contemplation of phenomena. By just listening to their experience; both inner and outer (which I believe to be another construction of the internal dialogue); I mean listening in the sense Heidegger uses the term: that is heedful listening, the east realized Being-The-There 1000s of years before the western philosophical tradition did. 


Problems with the Phenomenological Rebuttal of Free-Will cont….

The other way it could be is that all that you call your actions, intentions, emotions and experiences are all the actions of a kind of performer. You are just watching the performer do its thing and this performer has tricked you into thinking you are it. Much like a good movie or theatre company can make the audience forget themselves for a bit.

This would account for why we don’t know what we are going to choose before we choose it; what we will think before we think it. It would account for the opaque nature of the black box out of which all our experiences (I include intentions and decisions within that category) come.

Though both these pictures could be the case I genuinely believe we are merely passive observers in our lifes.

We have become so caught up in the drama on the stage that we have forgotten that it isn’t us up there.

Just like a play has a beginning and an end; life has a beginning and an end. Maybe at the end we’ll get to take our masks off and discover we were the same entity playing or the parts.

Or we might just go into oblivion knowing nothing forever which ain’t that bad if you think about it.

Problems with the Phenomenological Rebuttal of Free-Will

I have a number of prongs in my attack on the traditional conception of free-will (the conception that states that if two worlds were identical in every way then it would be possible for a person x in one world to make a different decision to person x in the other world).

Recently I have thought of an analogy, or model, to show the problems in the phenomenological rebuttal of free-will.

If you try to distinguish between what you have control over and what you don’t have control over you will find that the closer you look the less you have control over; until it becomes apparent that you are nothing but a passive observer.

Your thoughts just pop spontaneously into your mind. Intentions I would say are thoughts to and like thoughts they just spring up out of no-where. But it is intentionality (that is the feeling of intending to do something) that we use to distinguish between what we have control over and what we don’t have control over.

The will to act upon an intention is no different. It’s not as if you will to will to will to act upon an intention. The will just appears magically.

Now this could be the result of a necessary bifurcation in our being brought about by our self-aware nature.

It is a bit like watching your reflection in the mirror. Whilst you are aware of yourself and your reflection you know that your reflection raising its arm is caused by you raising your arm.

If all you had available was the reflection then you could be forgiven for thinking it was moving itself and not being moved by your own actions and in a phenomenological analysis we may be just looking at the mirror and nothing else.

Naughty Communication

Arbitrary expressions of affection (or any emotion for that matter) come closer to displaying the true purpose of communication than say the form I am now engaged in. We don’t really communicate to convey information; we communicate for the sheer hell of it. But because we’re silly billys we have to create elaborate justifications for communication such as “to convey information” which is a bit like the teenagers caught fucking who said they were testing what they saw in biology class as justification for engaging in their activity.


Both with smirks on their faces too.

New Atheism (aka that movement with a door-kin at the from)

I watched a documentary called “The Unbelievers” on netflix recently. It followed Richard Dawkins and Lauwance Krauss as they toured various auditoriums and rallies.

One thing I quickly noticed was the religious fervour of these atheists. I saw how dogmatical and evangelical they had become.

These are the signs of belief systems that have lost their kernel of belief. They are the death-throes of an ideology.

That ideology is Positivism.

Man stubbornly clings in his deluded pride to the belief that he can know everything. As he loses the faith in his pride he clutches out to others to confirm that “Yes, yes! I’m right aren’t I? We can know can’t we?”. To confirm that he is who he thought he was.

This is why the Atheist doesn’t just enter into combat with the theist but both theist and atheist join forces against philosophy.

Philosophy points to both naked emperors and says “None of you are wearing clothes you buffoons!”

Philosophy says “To answer the question “where did the universe come from?” you would need to step outside before the event and watch the fucking thing”

Philosophy says “Empiricism is your base assumption! All you can do is observe and describe. What you call an explanation is merely taking a description to a more general or specific level”

And Philosophy finally says, gritting it’s teeth and wiping the sweat off it’s brow “Atheism is a meta-physical claim. You are actually making a claim about what came before the big bang. A claim you have no means of falsifying!

“And sure Hawkins picture of how you could dig something out of nothing was pretty. The story it presented was one among many non-falsifiable stories. No different in verifiability to the God hypothesis.

“Oh begone from me you myth-mongers! All pushing your tales on me and swearing their true”

But these enlightenment fossils stamp their feet in childish tantrums; screaming at reality “YOU ARE KNOWABLE!” As if tantrums ever got ice-creams off a good mummy 😛

The Aberrant is the Monster of Society and Society is the Monster of the Aberrant; The grounds for true compassion!


Tis a sad thing that few realize
That all are retards or none are;

That we are all abnormalities
Born with unchosen deformities;

That to call one shameful and evil
Is to call all shameful and evil.


If instead

We realize the truth:
That good and bad are nothing
But ways of saying:

I don’t like this”
And “I like that”

That give the illusion

That justifies the vicious acts
the likes of which were used
As the excuse to commit the acts.

Justice is ever the cover for man’s bestiality.

Have you ever looked

Into the eyes

Of a man

As he describes

What he’d like to do to those “evil” men!

And seen the same “evil”….


Right back out at you.

As if it’s a dog on a leash

Just raring to go.

The collar, my friend, is untied by Justice!

No-one was born,
Given a contract to sign
Then told to live accordingly!

We were born free!

We washed up on the shores of life

Through no will of our own.

We owe no-one nothing!

And guilt is ever the illusion

Of the man who believed

The man at the docks who said

Gotta give us something

To be here mate! It’s only fair!”

And if a man wishes to murder
Who are we to say he’s wrong
In any inaccessibly objective metaphysical sense;
Because all we’re really saying
When we say

Murder is wrong!”
“I don’t want to die, please don’t kill me!”

We have to be honest

About the basis
Of our legal system!

It just so happens the majority
Share preferences
That the majority finds bearable.

So we

The majority

Gang up on the “Aberrant”
On the “Freak”

On the “Retard”

And the “Criminal”

And with no justification

Other than might

We deny them the
Ability for fulfilment.

And I whole-heartedly participate


I don’t want to get hurt,


I want to keep my stuff


I want to live in a world
Where we can all dance

Our freaky dances fearlessly

But there are those whose dance

We cannot tolerate.

We cannot like

Because it stops our dance.

So we gang up
And beat up
Those who can’t step to our rhythm.

To make ourselves feel better

We create the myth of morality,
Of justice!

To cover up the brute fact
Of the brute bullies we really are!

Do you accept this truth?

I do!

But it leaves a foul taste in my mouth.

I must wash it out!
But what’s the answer?

My answer? kind sir:

If the resources are sufficient
Then comfortable accommodations
Are most pertinent.

If not then we are left with the question:

A quick painless death
Or a lifetime in horrid conditions.

Which would you prefer?

Given the choice
I’d give society’s victims the choice.

Seeing as it’s his fate to be decided.

The aberrant

Is a monster to society

And society

Is a monster to the aberrant!

Just a ramble

What are words but signs that point to concepts in the mind. Concepts not images for images are a sub-set of concepts. That is they can be reduced to each other.

What is language if not a set of pictures and do not these pictures come to express concepts.

There’s a problem here! Do concepts exist as words on a page or as mental content or forms?

If concepts are nothing but words on paper then concepts can be created by pictures. But if concepts are not words on paper. The words on the page being triggers for certain mental states.

But then they both comprise the same informational content.

Making sense of concepts requires a more holistic understanding that expresses the relationship between the Dasein, concepts and images.

There is no You!

So the other day I was talking about identity and how it isn’t a fixed thing. I think I was really talking about the ego, super-ego and id triad. The nature of which is protean.

The Id doesn’t always want the same thing. So the Ego has to constantly change its interactions with the super-ego. Out of this process arises the protean identity; which is the triads projection into the world.

The real you is just a passive awareness through which experience passes. You experience trees, roads, cars, shame, guilt, sadness, choices and so on. If you watch carefully you will see that there is no “I” experiencing any of this stuff; there is just the experience.

I’ve been suffering hiccups recently so I’ll use them as an analogy. A hiccup seems to pop up out of no-where. You don’t strive to hiccup it just happens. Watch your thoughts and you will see the same thing. You don’t strive to think a thought it just pops into your mind.

Watch your internal experiences and you will see they have the same character. Sure you may feel sad when someone dies. You see the death as the cause of the sadness; but there was no “you” there who acted as an agent to feel sad in response to death. It just happened.

In fact we are never aware of an “I” that is perceiving. Rather we just see stuff.

This “I” is an illusion created by language because language requires a subject to act upon an object.

Apologetic thinking and….

There are two types of thinker’s. I haven’t thought of a name for the second yet so I shall describe the first and most common. The Apologist.


The Apologist’s main concern in thinking and discussing are to come up with arguments for a concept or set of concepts they already believe in.


Richard Dawkins’ way of thinking – at least as he publicly displays it – is apologetic. His agenda is to convince people that God isn’t real. The thinking behind this is one in which a concept – atheism – is constantly analysed in order to discover more convincing arguments for it.


The thinking of most religious people is the same; which is why I lump Richard Dawkins and all stubborn atheists in the same bit of play-doh as Christian fundamentalists.


So when these people come across a new concept they don’t look at it with innocent eyes; immediately they are assessing it to see whether it can be used to confirm or deny their set of concepts.

Most of these people are obsessing over metaphysical conundrums which have been shown to be unanswerable for millenia. If, in order to ascertain the truth value of a statement you refer to experience, to what are you meant to refer to in order to ascertain the truth value of a statement concerning the causes of experience?