June 2015

38 Ways To Win An Argument

by Arthur Schopenhauer

1 Carry your opponent’s proposition beyond its natural limits; exaggerate it.
The more general your opponent’s statement becomes, the more objections you can find against it. The more restricted and narrow your own propositions remain, the easier they are to defend.

2 Use different meanings of your opponent’s words to refute his argument.
Example: Person A says, “You do not understand the mysteries of Kant’s philosophy.” Person B replies, “Oh, if it’s mysteries you’re talking about, I’ll have nothing to do with them.”

3 Ignore your opponent’s proposition, which was intended to refer to some particular thing.
Rather, understand it in some quite different sense, and then refute it. Attack something different than what was asserted.

4 Hide your conclusion from your opponent until the end.
Mingle your premises here and there in your talk. Get your opponent to agree to them in no definite order. By this circuitous route you conceal your goal until you have reached all the admissions necessary to reach your goal.

5 Use your opponent’s beliefs against him.
If your opponent refuses to accept your premises, use his own premises to your advantage. Example, if the opponent is a member of an organization or a religious sect to which you do not belong, you may employ the declared opinions of this group against the opponent.
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If you can’t fix what’s broken, you’ll go insane.

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Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

An apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and almost everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order. There’s Max, a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos. And Furiosa, a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland.

Director: George Miller
Writers: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris
Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Josh Helman, Nathan Jones, Zoë Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton

The Upside-Down, Forward-Backward, Icy-Hot Contrary

“I am going to tell you a story about clowns, but it won’t be a funny story. For us Indians everything has a deeper meaning; whatever we do is somehow connected with our religion. I’m working up to this part. To us a clown is somebody sacred, funny, powerful, ridiculous, holy, shameful, visionary. He is all this and then some more. Fooling around, a clown is really performing a spiritual ceremony. He has a power. It comes from the thunder-beings, not the animals or the earth. In our Indian belief a clown has more power than the atom bomb. This power could blow off the dome of the Capitol.

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I have told you that I once worked as a rodeo clown. This was almost like doing spiritual work. Being a clown, for me, came close to being a medicine man. It was in the same nature. A clown in our language is called heyoka. He is an upside-down, backward-forward, yes-and-no man, a contrary-wise. Everybody can be made into a clown, from one day to another, whether he likes it or not. It is very simple to become a heyoka. All you have to do is dream about the lightning, the thunderbirds. You do this, and when you wake up in the morning you are a heyoka. There is nothing you can do about it.

Being a clown brings you honor, but also shame. It gives you a power, but you have to pay for it. A heyoka does strange things. He says “yes” when he means “no:’ He rides his horse backward. He wears his moccasins or boots the wrong way. When he’s coming, he’s really going. When it’s real hot, during a heat wave, a heyoka will shiver with cold, put his mittens on and cover himself with blankets. He’ll build a big fire and complain that he is freezing to death. In the wintertime, during a blizzard, when the temperature drops down to 40 degrees below, the heyoka will be in a sticky sweat. It’s too hot for him. He’s putting on a bathing suit and says he’s going for a swim to cool off.

My grandma told me about one clown who used to wander around naked for hours in subzero weather, wearing only his breechcloth, complaining all the time about the heat. They called him Heyoka Osni-the cold fool. Another clown was called the straighten-outener. He was always running around with a hammer trying to flatten round and curvy things, makin~ them straight, things like soup dishes, eggs, balls, rrogs or cartwheels. My grandma had one of those round glass chimneys which fits over a kerosense lamp. Well, he straightened it out for her. It’s not easy to be a heyoka. It is even harder to have one in the family.”- John (Fire) Lame Deer – Seeker of Visions

Hexagram 52

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Hexagram 52: bound; R Wilhelm 52: the keeping still; Hua-Ching Ni 52: keeping still, impediment; HDS Gate 52: gate of inaction, keeping still (mountain); S Rifler 52: keeping still; J Blofeld 52: desisting, stilling ; S Karcher: bound, stilling; GeneKey 52: the stillpoint

A free and civilised society should be judged by its willingness to accept porn

“…PORN TO BE FREE is a provocative documentary that explores the sexual revolution from the 70’s and 80’s through the incredible genesis of porn from the first magazines, first photoshoots to the first porn stars. The film is directed by controversial Italian director Carmine Amoroso and has been produced in an entirely independent way, without the support of any institution or broadcaster…The film features the main protagonists of that time, including porn star Cicciolina and her mentor and pornographer Riccardo Schicchi, pioneer director Lasse Braun as well as key feminist figures Giuliana Gamba and Lidia Ravera. The film also reveals the story of an unpublished short porn animation by Charlie Hebdo’s caricaturist Siné…”.

Introduction

This is the personal account of a two-year journey during which I experienced the falling away of everything I can call a self. It was a journey through an unknown passageway that led to a life so new and different that, despite forty years of varied contemplative experiences, I never suspected its existence. Because it was beyond my expectations, the experience of no-self remained incomprehensible in terms of any frame of reference known to me, and though I searched the libraries and bookstores I did not find there an explanation or an account of a similar journey which, at the time, would have been clarifying and most helpful. Owing then to the deficiency of recorded accounts, I have written these pages trusting that they may be of use to those who share the destiny of making this journey beyond the self.

Though my contemplative experiences began at an early age, it was not until I was fifteen that I discovered how these experiences fit like the inset of a child’s puzzle into the larger framework of the Christian contemplative tradition. This finding was followed by ten years of relative seclusion in order to pursue the Christian goal of union with God, and once I had the certitude of this goal’s realization, I entered the more ordinary stream of life where I remain to this day.

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978-0394726939

Within the traditional framework, the Christian notion of loss-of-self is generally regarded as a transformation of the ego or lower self into the true or higher self as it approaches union with God. In this union, however, self retains its individual uniqueness and never loses its ontological sense of personal selfhood. Thus being lost to myself meant, at the same time, being found in God as the sharer of a divine life. From here on, the deepest sense of being and life is equally the sense of God’s being and life. Thus there is no longer any sense of “my” life, but rather “our” life–God and self. In this abiding state God, the “still-point” at the center of being, is ever accessible to the contemplative gaze – a point from which the life of the self arises and into which it sometimes disappears. But this latter experience of loss-of-self is only transient, it does not constitute a permanent state, nor did it occur to me that it could ever do so in this life.

Prior to this present journey, I had given little thought to the self, its perimeters or definitions. I took for granted the self was the totality of being, body and soul, mind and feelings; a being centered in God, its power-axis and still-point. Thus, because self at its deepest center is a run-on with the divine, I never found any true self apart from God, for to find the One is to find the other.

Because this was the limit of my expectations, I was all the more surprised and bewildered when many years later I came upon a permanent state in which there was no self, no higher self, true self, or anything that could be called a self. Clearly, I had fallen outside my own., as well as the traditional frame of reference, when I came upon a path that seemed to begin where the writers on the contemplative life had left off. But with the clear certitude of the self disappearance, there automatically arose the question of what had fallen away; what was the self? What, exactly, had it been? Then too, there was the all-important question: what remained in its absence? This journey was the gradual revelation of the answers to these questions, answers that had to be derived solely from personal experience since no outside explanation was forthcoming.
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