The Gift

on the non-fixity of world identity.

It is not a definitive world by which reality is understood as a singular and fixed truththat is significant. The various opinions, attitudes and mentalities based in subjective meaning upon the stable ground of reality are not the issue.  Rather, it is the relationship that we have with things which is truly significant. 

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I had a moment with a young individual today.

I don’t know how it is in the rest of the world, but in the US it is a strange kind of trend of adolescents who are depressed to self harm. I don’t know if this is a global thing but I know it is a United States thing.

It seems that there is a rash of depressed and or anxious young people who, lacking any particular sharp tool, such as a razor blade or perhaps a knife, will scratch themselves in one place with their own fingernail, often short, until The skin finally breaks and a wound develops. They will continue to scratch that one place longer and wider until some unknown threshold is achieved and then they will produce another one right next to it, often parallel and sometimes in squared or triangular designs. And they will do this, many of them, until their arms are covered with these kind of burn sores. When you get a bunch of these children together, it is at once striking and at the same time strangely of no concern; for in part, one might be just as inclined to wonder why a group of kids will start smoking tobacco or in our current situation, vaping. One has to admit there is a certain amount of fad or trend or whatever you would want to call it. Because anxiety and depression does not necessarily mean that you have to self harm, and indeed when I was young there was many kids my age, many who were depressed or had problematic families who were friends of mine, who never thought of self harming in the way that seems so trendy and ubiquitous for our children nowadays. It is sad and strange.

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My intention for this post was not to discuss the philosophical fixtures of mental health theories or to offer any sort of help necessarily to these young people.

I really brought it up because this one person I was talking to today used to self harm, and then stopped for a couple years and only recently had started again because of some sort of life event that was triggering.

This person was also depressed but having more issues with anxiety. I was talking to this person and they happen to mention how they are not suicidal because their best friend had committed suicide a few years prior, so they never contemplate killing themselves.

It struck me how they said this so matter-of-factly, for it is common with people who suffer from great and long lasting general anxiety as well as depression to have to also battle with intrusive suicidal thoughts.

And I said to this person:

You know, that’s kind of amazing, in a strange way, when you think about it. What you just said…

Your best friend died? I said.

And so you never think about killing yourself, you simply don’t have thoughts about killing yourself? I said.

Then I said, you know, in a strange way, your friend gave you a gift, for he gave you a reason to live.

And this person began to slowly tear up, as I did also, with compassion in my heart.

They were looking down but then they kind of looked up at me through the tops of their eyes and gave a sleight little smile On top of that kind of frown that you get when there’s a deep hurt that just quickly surged to the surface, when your face can’t help but strain into an childish ugly grimace. A kind of embarrassment and yet of connection.

Yeah; maybe… they said.



Sometimes we need a different way to look at things. Sometimes we can hold what seems as two opposing sentiments for the sake of at once mourning and yet celebrating, missing and yet respecting.  and yet, sometimes when we see it, it seems so obvious. Like, why didn’t I think of that.

I think some of it may be not so much that this person didn’t think of that, but they did not allow themselves to think of it because of the polemically reductive fashion by which we arrive with our ethical selves to the encounter with the world. We are often not permitted to think but in specific ways about specific things.

Often we just hold the sadness a certain way because we think that’s the only way that sadness is allowed to be, holding it so dear that we fear that person is going to be disrespected, as if it is this supremely fragile thing. Whereas actually it could be a source of the most profound strength and Resilliance. 

The modern ideological and ethical sense sometimes misleads us into seeing tragedy as one way, into what Kierkegaard calls the “either/or”, which is the mentality of fixation, of limit, of finitude. 

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How much does my identity depend upon this either/or reduction towards self and world, as if indeed they either have to be 100% intertwined and subjective, or 100% separate, psychological and objective?

Maybe the relationship changes under various conditions.  maybe it is both.





Viewing Corona: Phenomenology and Orientation.

HERE is a link to some current statistics that compare the flu and corona.

The thing I think that video in my previous post marks out is that what makes coronavirus so incredible is that we are looking at it “in just that way”, which is to say, that we are seeing something through a particular ability or manner.

I am a layman, so I could be entirely wrong in my interpretation of this, but…

What I hear the doctor saying is that what we consider the flu is just a few instances of pathogen in a vast array of contagions that cause people sickness, either cold or the flu or various other types of illnesses. Coronavirus is the name for a particular set of viruses that cause symptoms, that cause sicknesses. The reason why we often hear it called “novel coronavirus” is because it is a new mutation of a type of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are around all the time and people get sick from them all the time, it’s just that the scientific community is relatively familiar with these various types of coronaviruses, influenza, the common cold. But the one that we’re calling COVID-19 (corona virus disease discovered in 2019) is one that we’re not familiar with, a mutation that we aren’t very familiar with. We aren’t really sure what it’s going to do because it’s a new type of mutation.

But what the doctor in the video is saying, I think, is that given any cycle of various types of viruses and pathogens that cause sickness, such as respiratory sickness or digestional sickness, there are thousands of such pathogens that enter the human biome and then exit the human biome, routinely.

The scientists monitor this cycle of growth and recession of hundreds if not thousands of pathogens all the time. During these cycle they kind of make an educated guess about which pathogens we are going to have to concern ourselves with. For whatever reason, this particular cycle had a “novel” pathogen that was taking place more than what they were counting on, what we were paying attention to, what we were expecting; the novel coronavirus fell outside of that kind of usual monitoring. So they decided to start monitoring it.

And what they found was pretty much the same as the flu. Yes it is more contagious than the flu, and is more intense, but the way that we stop spreading the virus has less to do with how contagious this is (what is inherent in itself) then it does with preventing that we get it (what we do about it). How contagious a particular pathogen is doesn’t say anything about whether or not I’m going to get it. The determinant of whether or not I’m going to get it has to do with the situation that I am being.

Nonetheless, statistically, I think he is pointing out, almost the same percentage amount of people that die from any other similar sickness are dying from the coronavirus and just as well, people that are getting it is not too much larger than any other type of pathogen of this kind. The difference is that we’ve just somehow decided to pay more attention to this particular novel pathogen in any given cycle.

I’m not sure exactly how true that may be because if people all around my neighborhood are suddenly getting sick to where they can’t go to work and function that in itself shows that there’s something slightly different going on with this one.

But from a statistician point of view…

…the doctor is really saying he’s not really sure how it happened that everyone got so excited and worried about this particular pathogen because if you look at any other pathogens throughout the world they’re all pretty much doing the same thing; that is, a small percentage of people are dying from it, a somewhat larger percentage of people are getting sick from it, and a vast array of people are carrying it around, or are positive for it, but are not really getting sick from it.

And we probably need not mention Miellassoux’s remark about the reason why the world should hold together for any amount of time, for we should expect that we would be walking down the street one day and all of a sudden everything changes beyond comprehension or completely falls apart. Well, that’s kind of what happened with the coronavirus, and indeed that could happen at any moment due to the nature of nature. 

Anyways…

So, as I said in a previous post, the question really becomes about the climate. And it really begs the question of, less perception or how people’s opinions or beliefs might affect how they act, and more about how ontology, how a person’s being is in-formed by a fundamental way of viewing the world which then allows them to see what Is real.

Innoway it is more philosophical, which is to say, how being is, as opposed to religious, theological, or epistemological, which is to say, what we believe, how we feel about those beliefs, and how we might analyze objects of knowledge that are feeling-belief.

The reason why it is nonsensical to argue something like “everyone is being hysterical”, or “The corona pandemic is not real”, it’s because the reference of those sentences is too imprecise to really address what is occurring so far as real reactions real perceptions real occurrences in the world.

Indeed, the word “real” and “reality” necessarily designates something that must be dealt with, an imperative, something that not cannot be dismissed by a wave of the hand, Or a whim of witty intellectualist thinking. It is a manifestation of concrete material.

Indeed if I fall onto the sidewalk without putting my hands forward I will probably hurt my face and bleed. And even while there is no argument that can be put forth to ever prevent that same fate every time it occurs, there are ways of thinking, ways of speaking, ways of acting that could alter the situation so that the event happens at different times, more or less, or not at all. So by analogy, even while the coronavirus pandemic may be blown way out of proportion, it is indeed blown to the proportion that it is, and indeed blew the way that it did blow. We surely must take precautions. Just because something might be blown out of proportion, as a way of speaking or understanding the situation, does not necessarily mean that one should not take account for it and act accordingly, yet also that one should be able to make an argument for why it is not the way it indeed is. Not how it appears, as though it is an illusion. And this is exactly because it is real. The question becomes more about the tools we are using to address reality. Less about perceptions and belief.

To address the situation as if it’s some sort of an illusion is kind of like trying to use a scalpel to hammer in a 4 inch nail. Not only is the tool (the tool we call ‘illusion’) inappropriate to the task, but also, it could work given a certain condition of application and time. These two possibilities do not really correctly reduce to one or the other because to approach the scalpel with the need of hammering in a 4 inch nail into a 2 x 4, by all reasonable and sensible standards of knowledge, amounts to nonsense, in this analogy that I’m putting forth here. But in fact, the tool called ‘rationality’ is also imprecise to move to describe why a common occurrence could cause such an “irrational” response (along the same argument of ‘illusion’), because then we are attempting to exclude the real situation of how most people are able to see the world and their role in it, which is to say, what human beings’ purpose is in the world as a teleological signifier for what they (the individual) is and supposed to be doing. What most people ‘think’ is more like a instinct (inthinked? Perhaps a phenomenological theological tenet?)

The scalpel is an imprecise manner of approaching the nail. However it might “know of it” never does the nail “do” what it is by applying the scalpel. Of course, we can create any sort of meaning we want of hammer and nails and scalpels–the post-modern phenomenalist loves to come up with all sorts of interesting perceptions upon things and situations and see those as foundational to everything. But the assumption there, in a way, is that scalpels must always be able to hammer in large nails. The phenomenalist refuses to see the nail as the nail simply because he sees what he is able to view. Sure, I could use a scalpel to comb my hair with, but it is an imprecise way to comb my hair. Lol. It is not ethically wrong, it is simply a limitation that defines the objectivity of the phenomenon, in the same way a nail defines itself, and a scalpel. It is about an ability to respond.

Presently, as I have argued elsewhere, the Traditional categories and methods that we use for philosophy are no longer sufficient to grasp , contain or communicate the situation that we are coming upon so far as knowledge might relate to what the world is, or the Being of the World.

So Again, we can begin speak about the climate of world and knowledge. 

x

Here Is another flu/corona comparison article.