So where do we go from here?
Saussure has laid out a foundation whereby a system is studied by its difference. Derrida has coined a term 'differance' meaning to differ and to defer. To what do we defer in philosophy? What, ultimately is the system?
It seems we have to start with the notion of human consciousness. Clearly it is through consciousness that we approach the limit of consciousness. The limit of the knowable, arguably, would be the domain of philosophy. The external difference of philosophies is related in all cases to the internal unknowable; be it Being, Nothing, Idea, or Emptiness.
However, I am fundimentally concerned with that field of metaknowlege related to the transcendent. The transcendent, by definition would be that which lies "outside" of any system, or contrarily, inside, but untouched. The foundation of a system cannot be considered a part of the system; but when we are talking about the transcending of the system, we are more specifically reaching out to the common ground from which many systems can be derived.
Abhidhamma represents one early system of approaching the bounds of human consciousness. It is not absolute in the sense of being the only system, as the proliferation of methods which arose from and alongside the Abhidhamma will attest. [to which]. However, as a method, the Abhidhamma has its range or scope of phenomena for which it accounts. Comperable to linguistics, the study of language, there are a vast realm of systems of philosophy which have arisen. Kantian, Hegelian, Madyamikan, Yogacarin, T'ien T'ai, Zen, Derridian. All are means of addressing the same philosopheme (unit of philosophy) we wish to address.
So it would seem to be possible to Integrate all these methods along their common denominator. Indeed, any sufficiently comprehensive philosphical system will be based upon the experience of being human, the perception of humanity, the consciousness as a result of the experience of being human. So where do we go from here?
Okay, so what I propose is this: Lets take all the systems and reduce them from their "proofs" which often are spurious to their "truth" which is unspeakable, unsystematizable, the beyond of the system.
or not. Its very difficult to compare systems based on monasticism from those based in academia. What makes Hegel not a monk? He was Lutheran, he was a very religious man, and his philosophy is tainted by his Christian beliefs (christ-ian); however, he never adhered to a rigourous formal system of "practice." Meanwhile, the Abhidhamma is founded on the principle that one will alter their lifestyle radically in order to practice therein.
Difference difference differance. Lets set this one up. Monastic tradition vs. acedemic tradition. Here's another Christian vs. Buddhist. Looking at Buddhism we have the foundation of belief in several progressive stages of "nothing" which resemble the several stages of Nothing enunciated by Hegel's Science of Logic. Where in Hegel the Spirit, the supreme ultimate godhead is ultimately one, in Buddhism, there is the belief in Nibbana which is termed the cessation of everything, even the very concept of Nibbana. In Buddism the path involves several physiological commitments. No sex, no food past noon, no idle speech. Hegel has none of these elements. His nothing is a nothing of the novice in Buddhism. A basic level of nothing, comperable to the arupajhana states, or perhaps the first Magga. Its hard to say what Hegel or Buddha was thinking since the textual tradition in both cases is damn near indecypherable. We need a skeleton key to open all these locks.
It is evident, however, that the concept, the problem of "nothing" permates all philosophies. Likewise, the notion of Consciousness. Nobody argues against the fact that we are percieving entities, and that we all possess the idea of "nothing." But that's about it. The quality of consciousness, and the extent to which we chase the absense of quality in nothingness varies dramatically. But these two concepts are integral to the path of the philosopher.
So what is consciousness? In Hudsism? Who asks the question?
I'm so fucking lost. Have to break down. The difference would have to stand on the meditational practice, rather than the philosophy. But then, the meditational practice is not philosophical. Its a faith based, try-it-you'll-like-it sorta system. Hegel offers no such promise. Hegel shows the unfolding in a comparable way to dependent origination, this should be explored. But ultimately, Hegel leaves you in the same state of consciousness as you started with. Only the eastern systems offer an altered state of consciousness as a reward.
Off to my left, there are four boys play-practicing japanese sword fighting. They have not swords (thankfully) But they are in a bar. Each taking and giving tips of what to do if one's opponent is in heavy armour. Rules of engagement, etc. Very comperable to reading Saussure. We are arming ourselves, but against what opponent? Certainly its not a sword fight which will save us.
What unites the study of Western Philosophy and Eastern? They are both 'philosophical', both means of addressing the human condition, both equally flawed. Yet the East says at the end of the day, that if you sit upright with your legs crossed, living in mindfulness, you set up concentration before yourself, that all the questions will resolve into not-questions. All the mysteries will be revealed. But perhaps that's because its just an old system.
I guess fundimentally, Buddhism is a religion with a well-developed (internal) philosophy whereas Hegel is a philosophy with an appended religion. Both are comprised of words. Maybe that's the significant common denomenator.
so I figured since I was talking to myself I ought to get the laptop. I just learned I can smoke and type at the same time just now! Which is a dangerous piece of information...
I sit right now in the middle of a field. No literally. I am asking these next questions, and one should understand fully the context. Okay I can't think/type if I'm smoking...
In front of me a mountain ridge descends into Berkeley, evenly dividing my view of the Urban grid connecting Berkeley, Oakland, and Emeryville, where in 20ish hours' time I will board a train for Seattle. Beyond Emeryville is San Francisco, where My friend Lindy, a truly beautiful person, is probably just now settling in to bed. It is 1:22 am and about 45 degrees Fareignheit or 19 ish celcius. She did a highshool exchange in Belgium, and wears the mark of Belgian in her eyes. Separating us is the San Francisco bay and nine years.
In looking back nine years in her eyes, I see past those nine all the way to the innocense of 16. I am appalled at who I was then. I can't believe what I thought important then. Other than the thought of Travel, little remains of that person. But in another sense, this consciousness grew out of that. Therefore, contained within my present belief structure is this "other" reality where I live in Winter Haven, go to Boy Scout meetings, and shoot 22 rifles at summer camp. Now, I look out in front of me and reap the reward of wilderness survival merit badge.
To my left is my tree. I still haven't bothered to learn her species. Yet her singularity is really her beauty. My house consists of three trees actually, which have, due to sliding soil, conspired to form a dome, where the eldest of the three grows nearly horizontally from the hillside, forming a perfect pitched roof over the flat spot where I pitch my tent. The floorspace naturally defined is a grand room of thirty by thirty, a foyer of about 200 sq ft. and a bedroom maybe 15 X 20. The cieling in the bedroom is vaulted to about fifteen feet. My solo backpacker's free-standing two pole dome tent (3 1/2 lbs. Eureka Zeyphr) sits neatly in the flattest of the flat sections of the site. I have buried a five gallon bucket for critter-proof storage, and boarded up one of the two windows to the campsite/bedroom so that you can walk right past the site, on the deer trail, and never see that I'm there. You can fly over with a helicopter (which actually happened. I hid from the helicopter with a pretty freaked out deer. This was around the time we went to war. The deer didn't really understand the situation, but he seemed anxious about the heightened security. He was hanging out in the living room when I awoke that day)...
But we stray from the subject... Which is, where do we go from here. Well I touched on part of that with Emeryville. Tomorrow, my bike and I will abide through the day, pack a couple bags, grab a big-ass bike box, and ride to Emeryville. I will then pack said bike into said bike box, board a train and ride to Seattle reading Glas while trying not to hit on that cute girl over there. Then I will arrive in Seattle, unpack my touring bike, reassemble, and ride to see WiL. From there its sorta hazy. Somewhere, somehow my sister gets married and I end up in Japan... Strange synchronisities; she's a brown belt and I believe Wes is a black belt in Aikido.
Again we stray, so that, materially is where we are going. The owls are awefully quiet tonight.... a small insect has self-emolated and plunged into the hot wax of the candle lighting my keyboard. Still no word from the Owls. I've called twice... There they are...
My point, I guess is this, and I haven't strayed from the subject here at all. Is that the Buddha was not bullshitting when he said, go, beg one meal a day. Eat your meal and wash your hands. Then go to a secluded place, the woods, a cemetary, some place solitary, and sit upright with your legs crossed, and set up concentration in front of you.
Its really can be that simple. And in the manifold and nacent Buddhist institutions, this much is never questioned. But where do we see this happening today? Certainly Derrida lives in a comfortable home, with his wife, and a library. Hegel, I'm pretty sure didn't live under a tree, and neither does the Dali Lama.
But the Dali Lama knows. He told a congregation of monks and pilgrims "you have to be a little dense to go to the Monestary seeking enlightenment. You go to the monestary for education. The enlightenment comes in seclusion. I was there, and this was my one piece of empowerment; It was the Sixteen Drops impowerment... I only caught one, and transmission on Om Mane Padme Hum and Om Tare Tutare Ture Soha... So three drops. Though only really one. Bear in mind it was nine days of teaching, four hours a day of lecture in translation with salty ghee and milk chai to quech one's thirst. Life is beautiful at times like these.
Its starting to mist drizzle onto my laptop. I feel I could run on like this for days. But I will spare us all, and instead, sit mindfully, set up concentration before myself, and dwelling on the breathing breath in. Mindfully breathing out.
Tomorrow I break camp after two months camping on Charter Hill, Just down the hill from Berkeley Livermore Nuclear (weapons) reasearch lab and the World's first Cyclotron. Also downhill from where they keep the Hyenas. Tomorrow I break camp and move onto Amtrak. I have a month's pass, and I'm spending it wisely, and with experience, having done this once before in 95ish. Wow. All of the same trains but four, now that I think of it... After two months living under a tree, maintaining Brahmacharya (by and large...), I think I've even been strictly vegetarian by accident. I've protested the war, I've upheld Ahimsa. And tomorrow This phase is complete. Tonight this phase is complete. Now, this phase is ...
Now. Where do we go from now. On to other nows. But what happened to now? We brought it with us I guess. Ultimately the Stars and Now are the traveller's only companions.
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