Experience

04. “Movement beyond itself toward its idea”

The will could not experience an actual development of freedom if it were not possible for it to negate its essence. The subjective will must be able to separate itself from the essential, must be able to fall away from the Idea of freedom. The will must therefore determine itself as freedom of choice or as the ability to choose between opposite ends. The antinomy between the proposition that the will can only determine itself toward its Idea, and the opposite, that it can also negate it, is annulled by the recognition that the latter contains the negative condition for the actuality of the former. Only by overcoming the possibility of its opposite can freedom actually substantiate itself.

– Hans L. Martensen: ‘Outline to a System of Moral Philosophy’, 1841

Advertisements

15. “sense attractions”

The downward spiral to one’s ruin consists of the following process: Brooding on (or merely thinking about) worldly attractions develops attachments to them. From attachments to sense objects come selfish desires. Thwarted desires cause anger to erupt. From anger arises delusion. This causes confusion of the mind and makes one forget the lessons of experience. Forgotten lessons of experience cloud the reason, which results in loss of discrimination (between Truth and non-Truth, Real and not-Real). Finally, losing the faculty of discrimination makes one veer from life’s only purpose, achieving union with the Divinity within. Then, unfortunately, one’s life itself is wasted. But when you can move about in a world that surrounds you with sense attractions, and yet be free of either attachment or aversion to them, tranquility comes and sits in your heart – and you are absorbed in the peace and wisdom of the Self within. Serenity, Arjuna, is the point at which all sorrow ends!

– Bhagavad Gita: ‘The Path of Knowledge’

If one sits motionless but with one’s mind ever thinking of sense attractions, that too is engaging in action. If you think that merely being motionless is being actionless, you are being a hypocrite and deluding yourself.

– Bhagavad Gita: ‘The Path of Action’

38. “A non-rendering of non-experience”

Species of Offences against Condition, 11 Non-rendering of due service, and Subdivision of Self-regarding Offences: The evil which we may experience from others, we may produce for ourselves.

– W. Tait: ‘The Works of Jeremy Bentham, Now First Collected Under the Superintendence of His Executor, John Bowring’, 1839

40. “Absurd”

…nature of the absurd, which is that it is an experience to be lived through, a point of departure, the equivalent, in existence, of Descartes’s methodical doubt. The absurd is, in itself, contradiction.

– Albert Camus: ‘The Rebel, An Essay on Man in Revolt’, 1956

59. “One “retracts””

Each one (retracts) within the time of the utterance of his fellow.

– The Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin

Reality no longer sustains the values necessary to the creation of Snow White…, or the witch or the dwarfs; it lacks the floor under the imagination, the ingredients of possible aspiration, the hunger for simulated fate, to create “stories” of any kind. There is therefore no happy ending to this Snow White, no denouement except one that mocks the original’s, no satisfaction to be obtained from a clear, completed arc of fictional experience. Fiction, Barthelme is saying, has lost its power to transform and convince and substitute, just as reality has lost, perhaps only temporarily (but that is not the concern of the imagination), its need and capacity to sustain fictions of this kind…. [The] book makes its way by dealing steadily with the problems of language. One “retracts” what the written world has been composed of not by ignoring it, by writing new language, but by discrediting it as the answer to one’s own contemporary needs.

– Richard Gilman: ‘Donald Barthelme’ reprinted Random House in ‘The Confusion of Realms’ in 1969 

60. “representationalism”

There is no doubt whatever that all our cognition begins with experience; for how else should the cognitive faculty be awakened in exercise if not through objects that stimulate our senses and in part themselves produce representations, in part bring the activity of our understanding into motion to compare these, to connect or separate them, and thus to work up the raw material of sensible impressions into a cognition of objects that is called experience? As far as time is concerned, then, no cognition in us precedes experience, and with experience every cognition begins.

– Immanuel Kant: ‘The Critique of Pure Reason’

See also, Robert M. Coates: ‘The Art Galleries: Creeping Representationalism‘, The New Yorker 36, no. 8, 9 April 1960.