Tag: Philosophy of Nature

Getting Somewhere … Else


I’m going to attempt to move things around today so I have more of a sense of what belongs where. It’s beginning to feel as though I have the bones of a narrative outline, so I’ll put that in one page, and then I have much of the outline of a literature review, so I’ll put that in another. Then I have to think about how to order the arguments but I think a heirarchical approach is (ironically, given I’m talking about anti-hierarchies) probably the most sensible, so that even though I’ve talked about respect and self respect in the outline and review, I’m then going to go back to deal with the detail of the problems of dualism (and relate this to the problem of environmental ethics), the development of understanding in the context of Evolutionary theory, comparing this, scientific, approach, with that of Zen and in particular, with the writings of Dogen, and then putting all this into the context of respect and self-respect and the environment.

I may need some help!

I want to create pages for all the posts I’ve written on the outline and the review, and then begin to think about how to organise posts on dualism and environmental ethics, Evolutionary theory and the scientific approach, Dogen, Zen and the empirical approach, and self respect and the environment.

I’ll begin by just categorising and I’ll upload some of the other work I’ve been doing over the last short while… this might be very messy, so please bear with me as I attempt to let some patterns emerge!

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Responding to Eckhart Tolle


There have been some good responses to Eckhart Tolle who, along with Deepak Chopra, has made a lot of money out of telling people to live in the now. These are some of my own responses.

Eckhart Tolle says that what we perceive as physical matter is energy vibrating at a particular range of frequencies. Thoughts consist of the same energy vibrating at a higher frequency than matter which is why they cannot be seen or touched. Thoughts have their own range of frequencies, with negative thoughts at the lower end of the scale and positive thoughts at the higher (pp146-7)

How do you know this isn’t true?

Because thoughts are not physical matter. They’re perceptions. And the relationship between perceptions and physical matter is complicated. You might be able to identify on an ECG graph whether or not a person is mostly relaxed or mostly excited, but it would be difficult to tell whether they were thinking about Mona Lisa or Quantum Theory. Difficult? I don’t know much about it. But I’d hazard a guess that it’s nearly impossible.

This isn’t my area of specialisation. But I’d hazard a guess it’s not Eckhart’s either.

I suspect Eckhart of some subtle conservatism, based on the fact (entirely subconscious) that he’s interested in conserving his new found wealth. None of this is intended as criticism. This is merely observation and an attempt to analyse and understand a system of thought of one person and how it fits into other systems of thought about which I’ve pondered, given that I’ve had a particular interest in how to live from a young age.

Eckhart says autonomous cars could never work. But there are autonomous cars in existence now.

Eckhart says that Einstein is almost completely free of ego. But there is not direct evidence of this and in fact his wife and his children might disagree. These are just two ideas that appear to come from nowhere.

Monism is the idea that there is only one kind of substance.

Whenever I hear of a position like this, I am reminded of Swift’s Liliputians, arguing and in the end, killing one another, over which end from which to eat an egg.