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How To Read Wittgenstein Notes

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1. Believed philosophy not to be a science but an activity to seek truth and clarity amongst complexities brought about by the “bewitchments” of bad language. As a result, philosophy is not a doctrine but rather a practice to resolve confusion that exists because of “man made” complexities.

2. His critique of the science of logic was the only book review he wrote and published in his life and was also extremely short. He critiqued the “Science of Logic” because it made no reference to contemporary math that had been conceived, he sad that the word “is” (which was vital to the authors main point) carries multiple meanings, he said that classes are independent of relations between their members, but that, overall, the book was prejudice against sensible people.

3. Wittgenstein was unique at Cambridge because, unlike other prominent universities at the time such as Harvard or Oxford, it accepted the young twenty-something student as a philosopher rather than merely a student of philosophy. This allowed his works to be taken seriously and appreciated rather than just be considered the naive work of a newcomer.

Revisiting Aescetics

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Have you ever listened to a song that brought back a specific moment in time? Nostalgia? Childhood?

“Jump Up Behind Me”- My father beckoned me into our living room in Islamabad, Pakistan, and told both my twin sister and I to sit on a wooden bench and listen. Our Dad loved to stop at certain objects to teach us information about things. Isabel and I sat in awe a he explained the elements that compose a song: rhythm, melody, harmony, beat. He told us to tap our feet every other beat, to gain a sense of the instruments playing.

It’s funny how these moments in time really make me appreicate my father. I might complain about him, but so much of my knowledge comes from his desire to spread what he has learned. It’s so easy to gloss over these small details that make things beautiful. The song “Jump Up Behind Me” came on shuffle the other day, and Isabel and I looked at each other, nodding, silently acknowledging the happiness and nostalgia that it arises in both of us. I listen to it and hum to the beat. When I play this song, I forget all of the trivial things that bother me on a daily basis. It’s nice to retrn to pure serenity. “It felt like a festival and it felt like Christmas morning.” Thank you James ūüôā

Sometimes it’s good to cry.

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Let out everything that has been bottled up. Confront reality. One is everything and everything is one, from darkness emerges lightness, and we can appreciate the Sun and the moon in the starry night sky.

Breathe.

Recognize that you exist. You were created to inhabit this special place, never let that opportunity pass by, or take it for granted. We oftentimes go about too quickly to stop and realize that a tree in your backyard has grown, a certain flower that drooped in the wintertime is now in full blossom, or that a butterfly that landed on our hair yesterday is now dead.

Do things that you love. Be open to others, share with them your fears and joys, do not be afraid to understand them. (or try to) In others we find ourselves. Friends are our best teachers for compassion, yet nature is our universe’s guaranteed path former. Nature is impermanent, but will always exist, enveloping us in the natural formations of its billion year old stars, rocks, and hydrogen and oxygen molecules.

Breathe.

The air is so fresh, purified by the creek in your neighbors back yard, yet heavy with the bacteria of dinosaurs and the wilderness.

You

are

here.

What will you do with this life?

Quiet Place

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When I set my right foot down on the curled up brown leaf underneath the log, I heard the crunch as the sole against my shoe makes it’s way into an open patch of woods. It’s fall, and I can still smell the hint of sandalwood on my Dad’s scarf, with a mixture of Pumpkin Spice and the cool air that envelopes the September forest. The leaves shine with the Sun’s afternoon rays, most of which reflect upon the ice blue pond only 20 ft from where I stand. I inhale deeply, feeling every vertebrae in my spine move and crack as my back shifts from slightly astoop to tall and aware. The golden brown hues of the forest, combined with the dark green shades of pines needles, make me fall in love with this haven (no pun intended). I realize that I am nature, and nature comprises a universe much larger, meaningful, and deep than anything I will know. I am miniscule against the nighttime starry backdrop, yet this patch of dead organisms and fallen bark makes me almost whole with my surroundings. I can ponder thoughts that will never escape the complex branch patterns of the Oaks. I will return to my Cross Country team and begin to stretch for our regionals race, a task that I, along with 6 other girls, will try and master after around 20 minutes and sweat and pain. But I will look back, through a glimpse of the forest, and know that peace of mind travels with me as long as I can have this patch of woods.

Mid-Sunday Revelations

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1) sometimes the simple act of doing nothing can be the most calming and therapeutic

2) this is not to he confused with lethargy, however, because there should be a value placed in this practice

3) speaking of lethargy, lately I have been progressively more inclined to give in less effort, not care as much. I could take the easy route out and brand it as “senioritis”, but this actually makes me discontented. I think I’m going to put in effort to learn because unlike many kids in this world, I have the privilege of an education and so why would I waste that?

4) diligence comes with action, so I’m going to stop typing and get off my butt and do something

My Ching Interpretation

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33) RETREAT.

“Thus we do not simple abandon the field to the opponent; we make it difficult for him to advance by showing perseverance in single acts of resistance. In this way we prepare, while retreating, for the counter-movement.”

I now comprehend the meaning of this intepretation. Lately, I have been forced to reflect back a lot on certain issues, and realy dig deeper into the meaning of certain circumstances. But there are also opposing forces, not antogonistic in any sense, but things that I now realize I let “get to me” that I didn’t recognize before. I love how Daoist this is: retreat with strength and vitality, and you will persevere. It almost reminds me of Wei Wei, and how he simply stood back and¬†took advantage of opposing forces to gain strength. He retreated from the Chinese government, but with a camera and Twitter feed, and coined the destruction of his house and office his “greatest piece of art.” Being the “Western” thinker that I am, I first cringed when I saw my prediction- but now I actually appreciate the idea of retreating even more. I am going to take my time with things, devote more awareness and attention to myself, and learn to avoid the opposite of Retreat- Flight (escaping from trouble)- and grow from “the power of dark” that’s “ascending.” I am also¬†extremely¬†impatient, and will let anger get the best of me sometimes. I really want to focus on this “retreat”, because I feel like the serenity and introspection of retreating will¬†yield¬†more strength than just irrationally retaliating to anything that I don’t like.

1) THE CREATIVE.

“When an individual draws this oracle, it means that success will come to him from the primal depths of the universe and that everything depends upon his seeking his happiness and that of others in one way only, that is, by perseverance in what is right.”

The “perseverance in what is right” reminds me a lot of justice. I love the idea of always trying to achieve ideal justice, because I feel like any other injustice only¬†yields¬†discontent in the end. When I first read the description that accompanied the Creative (the sublime, success) I¬†actually¬†thought of my own mother, not just¬†because¬†she is a “maternal” figure; something that is very characteristic of the Creative, but because my Mom has an inner core that was formulated for success. I have never seen anyone so diligent, persevering, yet gentle and kind at the same time. I’d like to think that I can develop or uncover the same “inner core” that she has, because I feel like this drive for success is engrained in her character. The “primal depths of the universe” are the most fundamental aspects of our universe that, perhaps, remain the most unchanged. I’d like to think I have a certain “core”

Criticism for this practice:

I would just like to point out that, while I adore Eastern philosophy and support the practice of being introspective/applying these tenets to your life, I still question the real value of the motion of throwing up coins in the air on someone’s future or meaningful answer to a deep question. Does organicism really have any scientific value or validity? What if I accidentally got some gum stuck on the side of a penny, which made it tip a little more in the air and fall as “heads” rather than “tails”? It’s hard for me to believe that a simple coin toss can prove whether I have any “primal depths” related to the universe, or if I should “retreat” rather than fly. The Chinese were smart, but I would seriously question their intelligence if they believed that 5 seconds of trivial motion determined the soul and spirituality of a person. I think it’s a waste of time for someone to invest their energy thinking that six lines bear some tremendous, unseen meaning in their life just because Abraham Lincoln appeared once more than the opposite side of a penny.