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Showing posts from July 6, 2017

Nietzsche & Groundhog Day

On Nietzsche & Groundhog DayIn August, 1881, Friedrich Nietzsche, while out on a walk around a lake in Sils Maria, Switzerland, had an unusual idea, what could be called a philosophical thought experiment. It was based on the concept of ‘eternal recurrence,’ namely that in a universe that unfolds with infinite amounts of time but circumscribed by patterns and limitations, events would recur again and again infinitely…
Rather than viewing this idea as a burden, Nietzsche believed this possibility could help each of us properly analyze our decisions and even proceed through life authentically. The insight was based on a question:
Suppose a demon were to inform you that you’d have to live your life as you’ve lived it over and over and over again throughout eternity, with all the pleasures and pains, the accomplishments yes, but also the mistakes, rejections, failures, setbacks and embarrassments, not to mention the losses. Would you react with dread or with enthusiasm? This became know…

Buddhism and the Bilateral Brain: A Brief Sketch of Ideas Ranging from the Ancient Greeks, Early Buddhism, Nietzsche and a Smattering of Neuroscience

In Greek mythology, Apollo was the god of the reason and logic, appealing to the ideals of precision and abstract purity. Dionysus was the god of the spontaneous, the emotional, embodied, often irrational instinct. These gods were not considered to be antagonistic but rather complimentary.
Today, from the vantage of contemporary neuropsychology, especially in the works of Iain McGilchrist, Allan Schore and Robert Ornstein, we can readily note how these twin gods neatly represented the asymmetrical brain: • Apollo depicts the perspective of the left hemisphere, which represents the world in static ideas; reality is comprised of separate and fragmented objects, abstracted from their context; reality is separated into parts. The kind of attention is inherently dualistic and isolating—self versus other, me versus you, humankind versus nature; this attention tends to represent the fluid and organic as lifeless, static, in language or symbols. • Dionysus depicts the worldview of the r…